Case Digest - Political Law, Inherent Power

Municipality of Parañaque vs. VM Realty
292 SCRA 676
Panganiban, J.:

Pursuant to a Sanggunian Bayan Resolution of the petitioner municipality, an expropriation complaint against the property of herein respondent “for the purpose of alleviating the living conditions of the underprivileged by providing homes for the homeless through a socialized housing project. The RTC of Makati authorized petitioner to take possession of subject property upon deposit to the court an amount of its fair market value. Respondent filed a counter claim alleging that the complaint failed to state a cause of action because it was filed pursuant to a resolution and not to an ordinance as required by RA 7160.”

Whether or not the Resolution of the Municipal council is a substantial compliance of the statutory requirement of Section 19, RA 7160 in the exercise of the power of eminent domain.

The power of eminent by LGU’s may be affected only by ordinance not by a mere resolution. The following essential requisites must concur before an LGU can exercise the power of eminent domain.
1. An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local chief executive, in behalf of the LGU’s to exercise the power of eminent domain to pursue expropriation proceedings over a particular private property.
2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless.
3. There is payment of just compensation, as required under Sec 9, Article III of the Constitution and other pertment.
4. A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the property sought to be expropriated, but said offer was not accepted.

In the case at bar, the first requisite that there must be an ordinance was not complied with by the local chief executive. A municipal ordinance is different from a resolution. An ordinance is a law, it possesses a general and permanent character while a resolution is temporary in nature.
The petition is hereby denied without prejudice to petitioner’s proper exercise of its power of eminent domain over subject property.

Favis vs. The City of Baguio & Shell Company of the Philippines
GRN L – 29910 April 25, 1969
29 SCRA 456
Sanchez, J.:

Antonio Favis owned a lot. His means of egress and ingress from his residence to a public street was donated by Assumption Convent Inc to the City of Baguio for road purposes. Adjacent there to is lot 25 which is leased to Shell where a service station is constructed. By virtue of a City Resolution, Lot “B” consisting of 100sqm was also leased to Shell, whereby a bigger gasoline station be constructed by the latter. Petitioner contested such lease made in favor of shell claiming that it would diminish the width of Lapu-Lapu street to five meters only from the original 8 meters. Moreover, he asserts that municipal bodies do not have the power to close city streets or no inherent power to vacate or withdraw a street from public use. The lower court ruled in the negative.

Whether or not a municipal corporation such as the city of Baguio has the right to a street for public use.

The court ruled that the city is empowered to close a city street as embodied in Section 2558 of the Baguio Charter, thus: “To provide for laying out, opening, extending, widening, straightening, closing up… in whole or in part... upon public or private property. The circumstances in some cases may be such as to give a right to damages to a property owner, even though his property does not abut on the closed section. But to warrant recovery in any such case the property owner must show that the situation is such that he has sustained special damages differing in from those sustained by kind and not merely in degree, the public generally.”
There was not private right that has been invaded. No special damage or damages will incur by reason of the closing of a portion of Lapu-lapu street at its dead-end. His property does not about that street. Costs against plaintiff-appellant.

MMDA vs. Garin
G.R. No. 130230 April 15, 2005
Chico – Nazario, J.:

Respondent Garin was issued a traffic violation receipt and his driver’s license was confiscated for parking illegally. Garin wrote MMDA Chairman Prospero Oreta requesting the return of his license and expressed his preference for case to be filed in Court. Without an immediate reply from the reply from the Chairman, Garin filed a complaint for preliminary injunction assailing among other that Sec 5(+) of RA 7942 violates the constitutional prohibition against undue delegation of legislative authority, allowing MMDA to fix and impose unspecified and unlimited fines and penalties. RTC rules in his favor directing MMDA to return Garin’s driver’s license and for MMDA to desist from confiscating driver’s license without first giving the driver to opportunity to be heard in an appropriate proceeding.

Whether or not Sec 5(+) of RA 7942 which authorizes MMDA to confiscate and suspend or revoke driver’s license in the enforcement of traffic constitutional.

The MMDA is not vested with police power. It was concluded that MMDA is not a local government unit or a public corporation endowed with legislative power and it has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community.

Police power as an inherent attribute of sovereignty is the power vested in the legislative to make, ordain and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and for subjects of the same.
There is no provision in RA 7942 that empowers MMDA or its council to “enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Metro Manila. All its functions are administrative in nature. It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with the various national government agencies, P.O., NGO’s and private sector for the efficient and expeditious delivery of services.”

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