Thursday, February 16, 2012


1. Are checkpoints violative of an individual’s right against unreasonable search? Explain your answer.

Answer:Admittedly, the routine checkpoint stop does intrude, to a certain extent, on motorist's right to "free passage without interruption", but it cannot be denied that, as a rule, it involves only a brief detention of travelers during which the vehicle's occupants are required to answer a brief question or two. For as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is limited to a visual search, said routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of an individual's right against unreasonable search. RICARDO C. VALMONTE AND UNION OF LAWYERS AND ADVOCATES FOR PEOPLE'S RIGHTS (ULAP), petitioners, vs. GEN. RENATO DE VILLA AND NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION DISTRICT COMMAND, respondents. [G.R. No. 83988. May 24, 1990]

2. (a) What is the meaning of “double taxation”? (b) What is a “percentage tax”? How do you distinguish it with “income tax”? (c) Does the twenty percent (20%) final withholding tax (FWT) on a bank’s passive income form part of the taxable gross receipts for the purpose of computing the five percent (5%) gross receipts tax (GRT)? (d) How are tax exemptions construed under our constitution?

Double taxation means taxing for the same tax period the same thing or activity twice, when it should be taxed but once, for the same purpose and with the same kind of character of tax. This is not the situation in the case at bar. The GRT is a percentage tax under Title V of the Tax Code ([Section 121], Other Percentage Taxes), while the FWT is an income tax under Title II of the Code (Tax on Income). The two concepts are different from each other. In Solidbank Corporation, this Court defined that a percentage tax is a national tax measured by a certain percentage of the gross selling price or gross value in money of goods sold, bartered or imported; or of the gross receipts or earnings derived by any person engaged in the sale of services. It is not subject to withholding. An income tax, on the other hand, is a national tax imposed on the net or the gross income realized in a taxable year. It is subject to withholding. Thus, there can be no double taxation here as the Tax Code imposes two different kinds of taxes. X x x The government subsequently becomes the owner of the money when the financial institutions pay the FWT to extinguish their obligation to the government. As this Court has held before, this is the consideration for the transfer of ownership of the FWT from these institutions to the government (Ibid., p. 26). It is ownership that determines whether interest income forms part of taxable gross receipts (Ibid., p. 27). Being originally owned by these financial institutions as part of their interest income, the FWT should form part of their taxable gross receipts. X x x In fine, let it be stressed that tax exemptions are highly disfavored. It is a governing principle in taxation that tax exemptions are to be construed in strictissimi juris against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing authority and should be granted only by clear and unmistakable terms. (Commissioner v. city trust, g.r. no. 140857 sept 27, 2006).

3.Article VI, Section 28(1) of the Constitution reads: The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation. (a) What do you mean by “uniformity of taxation”? (b)What about “progressive taxation”? Explain.

ANSWER: Uniformity in taxation means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class shall be taxed at the same rate. Different articles may be taxed at different amounts provided that the rate is uniform on the same class everywhere with all people at all times x x xProgressive taxation is built on the principle of the taxpayer’s ability to pay. This principle was also lifted from Adam Smith’s Canons of Taxation, and it states: The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.

Taxation is progressive when its rate goes up depending on the resources of the person affected (ABAKADA v. Ermita G.R. No. 168056 September 1, 2005)

4. Local Government units posses the power of eminent domain.(a) What is the legal basis of this power? (b) Who can exercise it ? (c) Pursuant to what authority? (d) Inorder for the local government unit to exercise eminent domain, what are the prerequisites that it must comply with? (e) For it to immediately take possession of the property sought to be expropriated, what must the LGU do?

Petitioner has the irrefutable right to exercise its power of eminent domain. It being a local government unit, the basis for its exercise is granted under Section 19 of Rep. Act No. 7160, to wit:

Sec. 19. Eminent Domain. - A local government unit may, through its chief executive and acting pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain for public use, or purpose, or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the landless, upon payment of just compensation, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws: Provided, however, That the power of eminent domain may not be exercised unless a valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner, and such offer was not accepted: Provided, further, That the local government unit may immediately take possession of the property upon the filing of the expropriation proceedings and upon making a deposit with the proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the fair market value of the property based on the current tax declaration of the property to be expropriated: Provided, finally, That the amount to be paid for the expropriated property shall be determined by the proper court, based on the fair market value at the time of the taking of the property.

The requisites for authorizing immediate entry are as follows: (1) the filing of a complaint for expropriation sufficient in form and substance; and (2) the deposit of the amount equivalent to fifteen percent (15%) of the fair market value of the property to be expropriated based on its current tax declaration.[31] Upon compliance with these requirements, the issuance of a writ of possession becomes ministerial.[32] THE CITY OF ILOILO, Represented by HON. JERRY P. TREÑAS, City Mayor, petitioner, vs. HON. JUDGE EMILIO LEGASPI, Presiding Judge, RTC, Iloilo City, Branch 22, and HEIRS OF MANUELA YUSAY, Represented by SYLVIA YUSAY DEL ROSARIO and ENRIQUE YUSAY, JR., respondents. SECOND DIVISION

[G. R. No. 154614. November 25, 2004]

5. In one case, after the finality of the expropriation proceeding in favor of the State, the owner of the property did not receive any just compensation for a period of 5 years. Confronted with this unfortunate event, what is the remedy, if you are the judge that you should give to the unpaid landowner? Explain your answer.

In summation, while the prevailing doctrine is that “the non-payment of just compensation does not entitle the private landowner to recover possession of the expropriated lots,[26] however, in cases where the government failed to pay just compensation within five (5)[27] years from the finality of the judgment in the expropriation proceedings, the owners concerned shall have the right to recover possession of their property. This is in consonance with the principle that “the government cannot keep the property and dishonor the judgment.”[28] To be sure, the five-year period limitation will encourage the government to pay just compensation punctually. This is in keeping with justice and equity. After all, it is the duty of the government, whenever it takes property from private persons against their will, to facilitate the payment of just compensation. In Cosculluela v. Court of Appeals,[29] we defined just compensation as not only the correct determination of the amount to be paid to the property owner but also the payment of the property within a reasonable time. Without prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered “just.” REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, GENERAL ROMEO ZULUETA, COMMODORE EDGARDO GALEOS, ANTONIO CABALUNA, DOROTEO MANTOS & FLORENCIO BELOTINDOS, petitioners, vs. VICENTE G. LIM, respondent. EN BANC[G.R. No. 161656. June 29, 2005]

6. Expropriation proceedings consist of two stages. What are these two stages? Explain each.

Answer:Significantly, in Municipality of Biñan v. Garcia[15] this Court ruled that the expropriation of lands consists of two stages, to wit:

“x x x The first is concerned with the determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, “of condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint” x x x.

The second phase of the eminent domain action is concerned with the determination by the court of “the just compensation for the property sought to be taken.” This is done by the court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. x x x.

7. State the four requisites for the valid exercise of the power of eminent domain by the local government unit.

The Court declared that the following requisites for the valid exercise of the power of eminent domain by a local government unit must be complied with:

1. An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local chief executive, in behalf of the local government unit, to exercise the power of eminent domain or 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 Section 9, Article III of the Constitution, and other pertinent laws.

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.[47] JESUS IS LORD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOUNDATION, INC., petitioner, vs. MUNICIPALITY (now CITY) OF PASIG, METRO MANILA, respondent. SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 152230. August 9, 2005]

8. President Aquino created the Truth Commission which which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed by public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration; and thereafter recommend the appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor.The Commission, which shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation of reported cases of graft and corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and higher, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman.

The Supreme Court declated this to be unconstitutional as it allegedly violates the equal protection clause of the constitution.

Questions: (a) What is the meaning of the “equal protection clause”?

(b) What is the purpose of said clause in the constitution?

(c) It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the test of reasonableness. State the(4) requisites of reasonable classification.

Answer: One of the basic principles on which this government was founded is that of the equality of right which is embodied in Section 1, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice and fair play. It has been embodied in a separate clause, however, to provide for a more specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause.

“According to a long line of decisions, equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.” It “requires public bodies and institutions to treat similarly situated individuals in a similar manner.” “The purpose of the equal protection clause is to secure every person within a state’s jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a statue or by its improper execution through the state’s duly constituted authorities.” “In other words, the concept of equal justice under the law requires the state to govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective.”

The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. Its inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments, and extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is taken.

It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the test of reasonableness. The test has four requisites:

(1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions;

(2) It is germane to the purpose of the law;

(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies equally to all members of the same class. “Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.”

For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class. “The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed. It is not necessary that the classification be made with absolute symmetry, in the sense that the members of the class should possess the same characteristics in equal degree. Substantial similarity will suffice; and as long as this is achieved, all those covered by the classification are to be treated equally. The mere fact that an individual belonging to a class differs from the other members, as long as that class is substantially distinguishable from all others, does not justify the non-application of the law to him.”

The classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude addition to the number included in the class. It must be of such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. It must not leave out or “underinclude” those that should otherwise fall into a certain classification. As elucidated in Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union and reiterated in a long line of cases,

The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate.

The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. [Citations omitted] Biraogo v. The Phil. Truth Commission, GR 192935, DEC. 7, 2010

9.(a) What is police power?(b) On what maxim is it founded? (c) What is its fundamental purpose? (d) Do municipalities exercise “inherent police power”? (e) What is the basis of local government units in exercising police power?

ANSWER: The police power is a governmental function, an inherent attribute of sovereignty, which was born with civilized government. It is founded largely on the maxims, "Sic utere tuo et alienum non laedas" and "Salus populi est suprema lex." Its fundamental purpose is securing the general welfare, comfort and convenience of the people.

Police power is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people. It is the most essential, insistent, and illimitable of powers. In a sense it is the greatest and most powerful attribute of the government. It is elastic and must be responsive to various social conditions. (Sangalang, et al. vs. IAC, 176 SCRA 719). On it depends the security of social order, the life and health of the citizen, the comfort of an existence in a thickly populated community, the enjoyment of private and social life, and the beneficial use of property, and it has been said to be the very foundation on which our social system rests. (16 C.J.S., p. 896) However, it is not confined within narrow circumstances of precedents resting on past conditions; it must follow the legal progress of a democratic way of life. (Sangalang, et al. vs. IAC, supra).

Police power is inherent in the state but not in municipal corporations (Balacuit v. CFI of Agusan del Norte, 163 SCRA 182). Before a municipal corporation may exercise such power, there must be a valid delegation of such power by the legislature which is the repository of the inherent powers of the State. A valid delegation of police power may arise from express delegation, or be inferred from the mere fact of the creation of the municipal corporation; and as a general rule, municipal corporations may exercise police powers within the fair intent and purpose of their creation which are reasonably proper to give effect to the powers expressly granted, and statutes conferring powers on public corporations have been construed as empowering them to do the things essential to the enjoyment of life and desirable for the safety of the people. (62 C.J.S., p. 277). The so-called inferred police powers of such corporations are as much delegated powers as are those conferred in express terms, the inference of their delegation growing out of the fact of the creation of the municipal corporation and the additional fact that the corporation can only fully accomplish the objects of its creation by exercising such powers. (Crawfordsville vs. Braden, 28 N.E. 849). Furthermore, municipal corporations, as governmental agencies, must have such measures of the power as are necessary to enable them to perform their governmental functions. The power is a continuing one, founded on public necessity. (62 C.J.S., p. 273) Thus, not only does the State effectuate its purposes through the exercise of the police power but the municipality does also. (U.S. v. Salaveria, 39 Phil. 102).

Municipal governments exercise this power under the general welfare clause: pursuant thereto they are clothed with authority to "enact such ordinances and issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out and discharge the responsibilities conferred upon it by law, and such as shall be necessary and proper to provide for the health, safety, comfort and convenience, maintain peace and order, improve public morals, promote the prosperity and general welfare of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and insure the protection of property therein." (Sections 91, 149, 177 and 208, BP 337). And under Section 7 of BP 337, "every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary and proper for governance such as to promote health and safety, enhance prosperity, improve morals, and maintain peace and order in the local government unit, and preserve the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants therein." HON. JEJOMAR C. BINAY and the MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI, petitioners, vs. HON. EUFEMIO DOMINGO and the COMMISSION ON AUDIT, respondents. EN BANC [G.R. No. 92389. September 11, 1991]

10. On August 14, 1987, between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., the Accused and his common-law wife, Shirley Reyes, went to the booth of the "Manila Packing and Export Forwarders" in the Pistang Pilipino Complex, Ermita, Manila, carrying with them four (4) gift wrapped packages. Anita Reyes (the proprietress and no relation to Shirley Reyes) attended to them. The accused informed Anita Reyes that he was sending the packages to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Appellant filled up the contract necessary for the transaction, writing therein his name, passport number, the date of shipment and the name and address of the consignee, namely, "WALTER FIERZ, Mattacketr II, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland".

Anita Reyes then asked the accused if she could examine and inspect the packages. Accused, however, refused, assuring her that the packages simply contained books, cigars, and gloves and were gifts to his friend in Zurich. In view of accused's representation, Anita Reyes no longer insisted on inspecting the packages. The four (4) packages were then placed inside a brown corrugated box one by two feet in size (1' x 2'). Styro-foam was placed at the bottom and on top of the packages before the box was sealed with masking tape, thus making the box ready for shipment .

Before delivery of appellant's box to the Bureau of Customs and/or Bureau of Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (proprietor) and husband of Anita (Reyes), following standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for final inspection. When he opened appellant's box, a peculiar odor emitted therefrom. His curiosity aroused, he squeezed one of the bundles allegedly containing gloves and felt dried leaves inside. Opening one of the bundles, he pulled out a cellophane wrapper protruding from the opening of one of the gloves. He made an opening on one of the cellophane wrappers and took several grams of the contents thereof

Job Reyes forthwith prepared a letter reporting the shipment to the NBI and requesting a laboratory examination of the samples he extracted from the cellophane wrapper .He brought the letter and a sample of appellant's shipment to the Narcotics Section of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), at about 1:30 o'clock in the afternoon of that date, i.e., August 14, 1987. The Chief of Narcotics Section interviewed him. Job Reyes informed the NBI that the rest of the shipment was still in his office. Therefore, Job Reyes and three (3) NBI agents, and a photographer, went to the Reyes' office at Ermita, Manila .Job Reyes brought out the box in which appellant's packages were placed and, in the presence of the NBI agents, opened the top flaps, removed the Styro-foam and took out the cellophane wrappers from inside the gloves. Dried marijuana leaves were found to have been contained inside the cellophane wrappers. Job Reyes likewise opened the package that allegedly contained books. He discovered that the package contained bricks or cake-like dried marijuana leaves. The package, which allegedly contained tabacalera cigars, was also opened. It turned out that dried marijuana leaves were neatly stocked underneath the cigars .

The NBI agents made an inventory and took charge of the box and of the contents thereof, after signing a "Receipt" acknowledging custody of the said effects.

Thereupon, the NBI agents tried to locate the accused but to no avail. Accused's stated address in his passport being the Manila Central Post Office, the agents requested assistance from the latter's Chief Security. On August 27, 1987, accused, while claiming his mail at the Central Post Office, was invited by the NBI to shed light on the attempted shipment of the seized dried leaves. On the same day the Narcotics Section of the NBI submitted the dried leaves to the Forensic Chemistry Section for laboratory examination. It turned out that the dried leaves were marijuana flowering tops as certified by the forensic chemist.

Thereafter, an Information was filed against appellant for violation of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act.

After trial, the court a quo rendered the decision convicting the accused..

In this appeal, accused/appellant assigns the following errors, to wit:



Appellant contends that the evidence subject of the imputed offense had been obtained in violation of his constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure and privacy of communication (Sec. 2 and 3, Art. III, Constitution) and therefore argues that the same should be held inadmissible in evidence (Sec. 3 (2), Art. III).

QUESTIONS: Rule on the assigned errors II, as stated and I above.

ANSWERPEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appelleevs.ANDRE MARTI, accused-appellant. : G.R. No. 81561 January 18, 1991

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