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G.R. No. L-39419 April 12, 1 DE CASTRO, J.


In this petition for certiorari, petiti

MAPALAD AISPORNA, petitioner, oner-accused Aisporna seeks the re
versal of the decision dated Augus
t 14, 1974 1 in CA-G.R. No. 13243
THE COURT OF APPEALS and THE -CR entitled "People of the Philippi
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respo nes, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Mapalad
ndents. Aisporna, defendant-appellant" of
respondent Court of Appeals affirm
ing the judgment of the City Cour
t of Cabanatuan 2 rendered on A

ugust 2, 1971 which found the pe surance Act on November 21, 197
titioner guilty for having violated S 0 in an information 3 which reads
ection 189 of the Insurance Act (A as follows:
ct No. 2427, as amended) and sen
tenced her to pay a fine of P500.
00 with subsidiary imprisonment in That on or before the 21st day of
case of insolvency, and to pay th June, 1969, in the City of Cabana
e costs. tuan, Republic of the Philippines, a
nd within the jurisdiction of this H
onorable Court, the above-named
Petitioner Aisporna was charged in accused, did then and there, wilful
the City Court of Cabanatuan for ly, unlawfully and feloniously act a
violation of Section 189 of the In s agent in the solicitation or proc

urement of an application for insu authority to act as such agent fr
rance by soliciting therefor the ap om the office of the Insurance Co
plication of one Eugenio S. Isidro, mmissioner, Republic of the Philipp
for and in behalf of Perla Compan ines.
ia de Seguros, Inc., a duly organiz
ed insurance company, registered
under the laws of the Republic of CONTRARY TO LAW.
the Philippines, resulting in the is
suance of a Broad Personal Accide
nt Policy No. 28PI-RSA 0001 in the
The facts, 4 as found by the resp
amount not exceeding FIVE THOU
ondent Court of Appeals are quot
SAND PESOS (P5,000.00) dated Jun
ed hereunder:
e 21, 1969, without said accused
having first secured a certificate of
a period of twelve (12) months wi
th beneficiary as Ana M. Isidro, an
IT RESULTING: That there is no de
d for P5,000.00; apparently, insure
bate that since 7 March, 1969 an
d died by violence during lifetime
d as of 21 June, 1969, appellant's
of policy, and for reasons not expl
husband, Rodolfo S. Aisporna was
ained in record, present informatio
duly licensed by Insurance Commi
n was filed by Fiscal, with assistan
ssion as agent to Perla Compania
ce of private prosecutor, charging
de Seguros, with license to expire
wife of Rodolfo with violation of S
on 30 June, 1970, Exh. C; on tha
ec. 189 of Insurance Law for havi
t date, at Cabanatuan City, Person
ng, wilfully, unlawfully, and felonio
al Accident Policy, Exh. D was issu
usly acted, "as agent in the solicit
ed by Perla thru its author repres
ation for insurance by soliciting th
entative, Rodolfo S. Aisporna, for
erefore the application of one Eug
enio S. Isidro for and in behalf of ppellant wife of Rodolfo, against w
Perla Compaa de Seguros, ... wit hich appellant in her defense soug
hout said accused having first secu ht to show that being the wife of
red a certificate of authority to ac true agent, Rodolfo, she naturally
t as such agent from the office of helped him in his work, as clerk,
the Insurance Commission, Republ and that policy was merely a ren
ic of the Philippines." ewal and was issued because Isidr
o had called by telephone to rene
w, and at that time, her husband,
and in the trial, People presented Rodolfo, was absent and so she l
evidence that was hardly disputed, eft a note on top of her husband'
that aforementioned policy was is s desk to renew ...
sued with active participation of a

Consequently, the trial court found In its resolution of October 28, 19
herein petitioner guilty as charge 74, 6 this Court resolved, without
d. On appeal, the trial court's deci giving due course to this instant p
sion was affirmed by the responde etition, to require the respondent
nt appellate court finding the petit to comment on the aforesaid petit
ioner guilty of a violation of the fi ion. In the comment 7 filed on D
rst paragraph of Section 189 of th ecember 20, 1974, the respondent,
e Insurance Act. Hence, this prese represented by the Office of the
nt recourse was filed on October Solicitor General, submitted that p
22, 1974. 5 etitioner may not be considered a
s having violated Section 189 of t
he Insurance Act. 8 On April 3, 19
75, petitioner submitted his Brief
9 while the Solicitor General, on b
ehalf of the respondent, filed a m 1. THE RESPONDENT COURT
anifestation 10 in lieu of a Brief o OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING TH
n May 3, 1975 reiterating his stan AT RECEIPT OF COMPENSATION IS
d that the petitioner has not viola NOT AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF T
ted Section 189 of the Insurance HE CRIME DEFINED BY THE FIRST

In seeking reversal of the judgmen

t of conviction, petitioner assigns t 2. THE RESPONDENT COURT
he following errors 11 allegedly co OF APPEALS ERRED IN GIVING DUE
mmitted by the appellate court: WEIGHT TO EXHIBITS F, F-1, TO

TABLISH PETITIONER'S GUILT BEYO The main issue raised is whether
ND REASONABLE DOUBT. or not a person can be convicted
of having violated the first paragra
ph of Section 189 of the Insuranc
3. THE RESPONDENT COURT e Act without reference to the se
OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT ACQUI cond paragraph of the same sectio
TTING HEREIN PETITIONER. n. In other words, it is necessary
to determine whether or not the
agent mentioned in the first parag
raph of the aforesaid section is go
We find the petition meritorious.
verned by the definition of an ins
urance agent found on its second

from the Insurance Commissioner
a certificate of authority to act a
The pertinent provision of Section
s an agent of such company as h
189 of the Insurance Act reads as
ereinafter provided. No person sha
ll act as agent, sub-agent, or brok
er in the solicitation of procureme
nt of applications for insurance, or
No insurance company doing busin receive for services in obtaining
ess within the Philippine Islands, n new insurance, any commission or
or any agent thereof, shall pay an other compensation from any ins
y commission or other compensati urance company doing business in
on to any person for services in o the Philippine Islands, or agent th
btaining new insurance, unless suc ereof, without first procuring a cer
h person shall have first procured tificate of authority so to act from
the Insurance Commissioner, whic urance Commissioner shall have th
h must be renewed annually on t e right to refuse to issue or rene
he first day of January, or within w and to revoke any such certifica
six months thereafter. Such certific te in his discretion. No such certifi
ate shall be issued by the Insuran cate shall be valid, however, in an
ce Commissioner only upon the wr y event after the first day of July
itten application of persons desirin of the year following the issuing
g such authority, such application of such certificate. Renewal certific
being approved and countersigned ates may be issued upon the appli
by the company such person desir cation of the company.
es to represent, and shall be upon
a form approved by the Insuranc
e Commissioner, giving such infor
mation as he may require. The Ins
Any person who for compensation
solicits or obtains insurance on b
Any person or company violating t
ehalf of any insurance company, o
he provisions of this section shall
r transmits for a person other tha
be fined in the sum of five hundr
n himself an application for a poli
ed pesos. On the conviction of an
cy of insurance to or from such c
y person acting as agent, sub-agen
ompany or offers or assumes to a
t, or broker, of the commission of
ct in the negotiating of such insur
any offense connected with the b
ance, shall be an insurance agent
usiness of insurance, the Insurance
within the intent of this section, a
Commissioner shall immediately r
nd shall thereby become liable to
evoke the certificate of authority i
all the duties, requirements, liabilit
ssued to him and no such certifica
ies, and penalties to which an age
nt of such company is subject.
te shall thereafter be issued to su its second paragraph defines who
ch convicted person. is an insurance agent within the
intent of this section and, finally,
the third paragraph thereof prescri
A careful perusal of the above-quo bes the penalty to be imposed for
ted provision shows that the first its violation.
paragraph thereof prohibits a pers
on from acting as agent, sub-agent
or broker in the solicitation or pr The respondent appellate court rul
ocurement of applications for insur ed that the petitioner is prosecute
ance without first procuring a certi d not under the second paragraph
ficate of authority so to act from of Section 189 of the aforesaid A
the Insurance Commissioner, while

ct but under its first paragraph. T hat she received no compensation
hus for issuance of the policy becaus

... it can no longer be denied that

it was appellant's most active en any person who for compensation
deavors that resulted in issuance o solicits or obtains insurance on b
f policy to Isidro, she was there a ehalf of any insurance company or
nd then acting as agent, and recei transmits for a person other than
ved the pay thereof her defens himself an application for a polic
e that she was only acting as hel y of insurance to or from such co
per of her husband can no longer mpany or offers or assumes to ac
be sustained, neither her point t t in the negotiating of such insura

nce, shall be an insurance agent
within the intent of this section, a
for compensation
nd shall thereby become liable to
all the duties, requirements, liabilit
ies, and penalties, to which an ag
ent of such company is subject. p which is the gist of the offense in
aragraph 2, Sec. 189, Insurance La Section 189 of the Insurance Law
w, in its 2nd paragraph, but what a
ppellant apparently overlooks is th
at she is prosecuted not under th
e 2nd but under the 1st paragrap
now it is true that information do
h of Sec. 189 wherein it is provid
es not even allege that she had o
ed that,
btained the insurance,

ally on the first day of January, or
within six months thereafter.
No person shall act as agent, sub-
agent, or broker, in the solicitation
or procurement of applications fo
therefore, there was no technical
r insurance, or receive for services
defect in the wording of the charg
in obtaining new insurance any c
e, so that Errors 2 and 4 must be
ommission or other compensation
overruled. 12
from any insurance company doing
business in the Philippine Island,
or agent thereof, without first pro
curing a certificate of authority to From the above-mentioned ruling,
act from the insurance commissio the respondent appellate court see
ner, which must be renewed annu ms to imply that the definition of

an insurance agent under the sec
ond paragraph of Section 189 is n
We find this to be a reversible er
ot applicable to the insurance age
ror. As correctly pointed out by th
nt mentioned in the first paragrap
e Solicitor General, the definition
h. Parenthetically, the respondent
of an insurance agent as found in
court concludes that under the sec
the second paragraph of Section
ond paragraph of Section 189, a p
189 is intended to define the wor
erson is an insurance agent if he
d "agent" mentioned in the first a
solicits and obtains an insurance f
nd second paragraphs of the afore
or compensation, but, in its first p
said section. More significantly, in
aragraph, there is no necessity tha
its second paragraph, it is explicitl
t a person solicits an insurance fo
y provided that the definition of a
r compensation in order to be call
ed an insurance agent.
n insurance agent is within the int wo paragraphs of the said section.
ent of Section 189. Hence The second paragraph of Section
189 is a definition and interpretati
ve clause intended to qualify the t
Any person who for compensation erm "agent" mentioned in both th
... shall be an insurance agent wi e first and third paragraphs of the
thin the intent of this section, ... aforesaid section.

Patently, the definition of an insur Applying the definition of an insur

ance agent under the second para ance agent in the second paragrap
graph holds true with respect to t h to the agent mentioned in the f
he agent mentioned in the other t irst and second paragraphs would

give harmony to the aforesaid thr all its provisions whenever possible
ee paragraphs of Section 189. Legi . 14 The meaning of the law, it
slative intent must be ascertained must be borne in mind, is not to
from a consideration of the statut be extracted from any single part
e as a whole. The particular word , portion or section or from isolat
s, clauses and phrases should not ed words and phrases, clauses or
be studied as detached and isolate sentences but from a general cons
d expressions, but the whole and ideration or view of the act as a
every part of the statute must be whole. 15 Every part of the statut
considered in fixing the meaning e must be interpreted with refere
of any of its parts and in order t nce to the context. This means th
o produce harmonious whole. 13 at every part of the statute must
A statute must be so construed as be considered together with the o
to harmonize and give effect to ther parts, and kept subservient to
the general intent of the whole
enactment, not separately and ind
Considering that the definition of
ependently. 16 More importantly, t
an insurance agent as found in th
he doctrine of associated words (
e second paragraph is also applica
Noscitur a Sociis) provides that wh
ble to the agent mentioned in the
ere a particular word or phrase in
first paragraph, to receive a com
a statement is ambiguous in itsel
pensation by the agent is an esse
f or is equally susceptible of vario
ntial element for a violation of th
us meanings, its true meaning ma
e first paragraph of the aforesaid
y be made clear and specific by c
section. The appellate court has es
onsidering the company in which i
tablished ultimately that the petiti
t is found or with which it is asso
oner-accused did not receive any c
ciated. 17
ompensation for the issuance of t
he insurance policy of Eugenio Isid making it a misdemeanor for any
ro. Nevertheless, the accused was person for direct or indirect comp
convicted by the appellate court f ensation to solicit insurance witho
or, according to the latter, the rec ut a certificate of authority to act
eipt of compensation for issuing a as an insurance agent, an inform
n insurance policy is not an essen ation, failing to allege that the sol
tial element for a violation of the icitor was to receive compensation
first paragraph of Section 189 of either directly or indirectly, charg
the Insurance Act. es no offense. 18 In the case of
Bolen vs. Stake, 19 the provision
of Section 3750, Snyder's Compiled
We rule otherwise. Under the Tex Laws of Oklahoma 1909 is intend
as Penal Code 1911, Article 689, ed to penalize persons only who a
cted as insurance solicitors without
license, and while acting in such the crime must be alleged and p
capacity negotiated and concluded roved. 20
insurance contracts for compensati
on. It must be noted that the inf
ormation, in the case at bar, does After going over the records of thi
not allege that the negotiation of s case, We are fully convinced, as
an insurance contracts by the acc the Solicitor General maintains, th
used with Eugenio Isidro was one at accused did not violate Section
for compensation. This allegation is 189 of the Insurance Act.
essential, and having been omitte
d, a conviction of the accused cou
ld not be sustained. It is well-settl
WHEREFORE, the judgment appeale
ed in Our jurisprudence that to w
d from is reversed and the accuse
arrant conviction, every element of
d is acquitted of the crime charge HON. MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR.,
d, with costs de oficio. Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Cou
rt, Branch 156, Pasig, Metro Manil
a and ADONIS C. LIMJUCO, respon

G.R. No. 112940November 21, 199 Sebastian, Liganor & Galinato for p


RING CORPORATION, petitioner, Jara, Baarde & Associates for priva
te respondent.

t of petitioner on the ground of l
ack of jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the controversy; and 2)
Order dated November 29, 1993,
denying petitioner's motion for re
This is a petition for review on ce consideration.
rtiorari under Rule 45 of the Revis
ed Rules of Court in relation to R. I
A. No. 5440 and Circular No. 2-90
of the following orders of the Re
gional Trial Court, Branch 156, Pasi On July 29, 1993, petitioner filed
g, Metro Manila, in Civil Case No. a complaint for damages with the
63448: 1) Order dated September Regional Trial Court, Branch 156,
20, 1993, dismissing the complain
Pasig, Metro Manila, against privat be an informative body directly o
e respondent, a former employee. r indirectly, with any business firm
, entity or undertaking engaged in
Petitioner alleged that private resp
a business similar to or in compe
ondent violated paragraph five of
tition with that of the EMPLOYER
their Contract of Employment date
(Rollo, p. 24).
d August 27, 1990, which provides

That for a period of two (2) years Petitioner claimed that private res
after termination of service from pondent became an employee of
EMPLOYER, EMPLOYEE shall not in Angel Sound Philippines Corporatio
any manner be connected, and/or n, a corporation engaged in the s
employed, be a consultant and/or ame line of business as that of p

etitioner, within two years from Ja 00.00), as provided for in paragrap
nuary 30, 1992, the date of privat h seven of the contract, which pr
e respondent's resignation from pe ovides:
titioner's employ. Petitioner further
That a violation of the conditions
alleged that private respondent is
set forth in provisions Nos. (2) an
holding the position of Head of t
d (5) of this contract shall entitle
he Material Management Control
the EMPLOYER to collect from the
Department, the same position he
held while in the employ of petit
00) by way of liquidated damages
Petitioner sought to recover liquida and likewise to adopt appropriate
ted damages in the amount of On legal measures to prevent the E
e Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,0 MPLOYEE from accepting employm
ent and/or engaging, directly or in bject matter of the controversy be
directly, in a business similar to or cause the complaint was for dama
in competition with that of the E ges arising from employer-employe
MPLOYER, before the lapse of the e relations. Citing Article 217(4) of
aforesaid period of TWO (2) YEA the Labor Code of the Philippines
RS from date of termination of se , as amended by R.A.
rvice from EMPLOYER (Rollo, p. 25
No. 6715, respondent court stated
that it is the Labor Arbiter which
had original and exclusive jurisdic
tion over the subject matter of th
Respondent court, in its Order dat
e case (Rollo, pp. 28-32).
ed September 20, 1993, ruled that
it had no jurisdiction over the su

In this petition, petitioner asks for This issue is: Is petitioner's claim f
the reversal of respondent court's or damages one arising from empl
dismissal of the civil case, conten oyer-employee relations?
ding that the case is cognizable by
We answer in the negative.
the regular courts. It argues that
the cause of action did not arise Article 217, as amended by Sectio
from employer-employee relations, n 9 of R.A. No. 6715, provides as
even though the claim is based follows:
on a provision in the employment
contract. Jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and t
he Commission. (a) Except as o
II therwise provided under this Code,
the Labor Arbiters shall have orig
inal and exclusive jurisdiction to h
ear and decide, within thirty (30) 4. Claims for actual, moral, e
calendar days after the submission xemplary and other forms of dam
of the case by the parties for de ages arising from the employer-em
cision without extension, even in t ployee relations; (Emphasis supplie
he absence of stenographic notes, d)
the following cases involving all w
orkers, whether agricultural or non
-agricultural: xxx xxx xxx

xxx xxx xxx Petitioner does not ask for any rel
ief under the Labor Code of the P
hilippines. It seeks to recover dam

ages agreed upon in the contract (1983), which also dealt with the
as redress for private respondent's employee's breach of an obligatio
breach of his contractual obligatio n embodied in a written employm
n to its "damage and prejudice" ( ent agreement. Singapore Airlines f
Rollo, p. 57). Such cause of action iled a complaint in the trial court
is within the realm of Civil Law, for damages against its employee
and jurisdiction over the controver for "wanton failure and refusal" wi
sy belongs to the regular courts. thout just cause to report to duty
More so when we consider that t and for having "maliciously and
he stipulation refers to the post-e with bad faith" violated the terms
mployment relations of the parties. and conditions of its "Agreement
for a Course of Conversion Traini
A case in point is Singapore Airlin
ng at the Expense of Singapore Ai
es Limited v. Pao, 122 SCRA 671
rlines Limited." This agreement pro
vided that the employee shall agre each of a contractual obligation, w
e to remain in the service of the hich is intrinsically a civil dispute.
employer for a period of five year We further stated that while seem
s from the date of the commence ingly the cause of action arose fro
ment of the training program. The m employer-employee relations, th
trial court dismissed the complain e employer's claim for damages is
t on the grounds that it did not grounded on "wanton failure and
have jurisdiction over the subject refusal" without just cause to rep
matter of the controversy. ort to duty coupled with the aver
ment that the employee "malicious
On appeal to this court, we held
ly and with bad faith" violated the
that jurisdiction over the controver
terms and conditions of the cont
sy belongs to the civil courts. We
ract to the damage of the employ
stated that the action was for br
er. Such averments removed the c
ontroversy from the coverage of t ages be considered as arising from
he Labor Code of the Philippines employer-employee relations.
and brought it within the purview
In San Miguel Corporation v. Natio
of Civil Law.
nal Labor Relations Commission, 16
Jurisprudence has evolved the rule 1 SCRA 719 (1988), we had occasi
that claims for damages under pa on to construe Article 217, as am
ragraph 4 of Article 217, to be co ended by B.P. Blg. 227. Article 21
gnizable by the Labor Arbiter, mus 7 then provided that the Labor Ar
t have a reasonable causal connec biter had jurisdiction over all mon
tion with any of the claims provid ey claims of workers, but the phr
ed for in that article. Only if ther ase "arising from employer-employ
e is such a connection with the o ee relation" was deleted. We rule
ther claims can the claim for dam d thus:
While paragraph 3 above refers to erms and conditions of employmen
"all money claims of workers," it t), paragraph 4 (claims relating to
is not necessary to suppose that household services, a particular sp
the entire universe of money clai ecies of employer-employee relatio
ms that might be asserted by wor ns), and paragraph 5 (relating to c
kers against their employers has b ertain activities prohibited to empl
een absorbed into the original and oyees or to employers). It is evide
exclusive jurisdiction of Labor Arb nt that there is a unifying elemen
iters. In the first place, paragraph t which runs through paragraphs 1
3 should be read not in isolation to 5 and that is, that they all re
from but rather within the context fer to cases or disputes arising ou
formed by paragraph 1 (relating t t of or in connection with an em
o unfair labor practices), paragraph ployer-employee relationship. This i
2 (relating to claims concerning t s, in other words, a situation whe
re the rule of noscitur a sociis ma relations," which clause was not
y be usefully invoked in clarifying expressly carried over, in printer's
the scope of paragraph 3, and any ink, in Article 217 as it exists toda
other paragraph of Article 217 of y. For it cannot be presumed that
the Labor Code, as amended. We money claims of workers which d
reach the above conclusion from o not arise out of or in connectio
an examination of the terms them n with their employer-employee re
selves of Article 217, as last amen lationship, and which would theref
ded by B.P Blg. 227, and even th ore fall within the general jurisdict
ough earlier versions of Article 21 ion of regular courts of justice, w
7 of the Labor Code expressly bro ere intended by the legislative aut
ught within the jurisdiction of the hority to be taken away from the
Labor Arbiters and the NLRC "cas jurisdiction of the courts and lod
es arising from employer-employee ged with Labor Arbiters on an exc
lusive basis. The Court, therefore, connection with the employer-empl
believes and so holds that the "m oyee relationship (Emphasis supplie
oney claims of workers" referred t d).
o in paragraph 3 of Article 217 e
mbraces money claims which arise
out of or in connection with the San Miguel was cited in Ocheda v.
employer-employee relationship or Court of Appeals, 214 SCRA 629
some aspect or incident of some (1992), where we held that when
relationship. Put a little differentl the cause of action is based on a
y, that money claims of workers quasi-delict or tort, which has no
which now fall within the original reasonable causal connection with
and exclusive jurisdiction of Labor any of the claims provided for in
Arbiters are those money claims w
hich have some reasonable causal
Article 217, jurisdiction over the s (See also Honiron Philippines, Inc
action is with the regular courts. . v. Intermediate Appellate Court,
G.R. No. 66929, August 13, 1990
We also applied the "reasonable c
and Abejaron v. Court of Appeals,
ausal connection rule" in Pepsi-Col
208 SCRA 899 [1992]).
a Distributors of the Philippines, In
c. v. Gallang, 201 SCRA 695 (1991) The rationale behind the holdings
, where we held that an action fil in these cases is that the complai
ed by employees against an emplo nt for damages was anchored not
yer for damages for the latter's m on the termination of the employ
alicious filing of a criminal complai ee's services per se, but rather on
nt for falsification of private docu the manner and consequent effec
ments against them came under t ts of such termination.
he jurisdiction of the regular court
Cases decided under earlier versio eing a simple action for damages
ns of Article 217 were consistent for tortious acts allegedly committ
also in that intrinsically civil disput ed by the defendants. In Molave
es, even if these involve an emplo Sales, Inc. v. Laron, 129 SCRA 485
yer and his employee, are cogniza (1984), we held that the claim of
ble by the regular courts. In Medi the plaintiff against its sales man
na vs. Castro-Bartolome, 116 SCRA ager for payment of certain accou
597 (1982), a civil complaint for nts and cash advances was properl
damages against the employer for y cognizable by the regular courts
slanderous remarks made against t because "although a controversy i
hem, we upheld the regular court' s between an employer and an e
s jurisdiction after finding that the mployee, the Labor Arbiters have
plaintiffs did not allege any unfai no jurisdiction if the Labor Code is
r labor practice, their complaint b not involved."
Private respondent also raises the Petitioner asserts that the case be
issue of forum shopping. He assert fore the Labor Arbiter was filed b
s that the petition should be dism y private respondent against petiti
issed pursuant to Circular No. 28-9 oner for alleged illegal dismissal, u
1 because petitioner merely "menti nderpayment of wages and non-pa
oned in passing a labor case betw yment of overtime and premium p
een petitioner and private respond ay with prayer for moral and exe
ent which is being handled by pet mplary damages, to which petition
itioner's other counsel" (Rollo, p. 4 er, through its other counsel, "logi
2). Private respondent is referring cally raised as one of its several c
to NLRC NCR Case No. 00-11-0689 ounterclaims against private respon
493 filed by him on November 8, dent the liquidated damages menti
1993. oned in the contract of employme

nt between the parties" (Rollo, p. for liquidated damages merely as
69). a defense against private respond
ent's complaint before the Labor A
Petitioner did not fail to disclose t
he pending labor case in the certif
ication required under Circular No. ACCORDINGLY, the Orders of the
28-91. Thus, petitioner cannot be Regional Trial Court dated Septem
considered to have submitted a f ber 20, 1993 and November 29, 1
alse certification warranting summa 993 are SET ASIDE. The trial court
ry dismissal of the petition (Par. 3 is ORDERED to continue with the
[a] of Circular No. 28-91). proceedings in Civil Case No. 634
Petitioner did not commit forum s
hopping. It set up its counterclaim SO ORDERED


Aquilino G. Pimentel, Jr. and Assoc

G.R. No. 111097July 20, 1994
iates for petitioners.


R.R. Torralba & Associates for priv
ate respondent.



There was instant opposition when The trouble arose when in 1992, f
PAGCOR announced the opening lush with its tremendous success i
of a casino in Cagayan de Oro Cit n several cities, PAGCOR decided t
y. Civic organizations angrily denou o expand its operations to Cagaya
nced the project. The religious ele n de Oro City. To this end, it leas
ments echoed the objection and s ed a portion of a building belongi
o did the women's groups and th ng to Pryce Properties Corporation,
e youth. Demonstrations were led Inc., one of the herein private re
by the mayor and the city legislat spondents, renovated and equippe
ors. The media trumpeted the pro d the same, and prepared to inau
test, describing the casino as an a gurate its casino there during the
ffront to the welfare of the city. Christmas season.
The reaction of the Sangguniang P
anlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City
was swift and hostile. On Decem
ber 7, 1992, it enacted Ordinance
No. 3353 reading as follows:


BE IT ORDAINED by the Sanggunia
ng Panlungsod of the City of Caga

yan de Oro, in session assembled Sec. 2. That it shall be a viola
that: tion of existing business permit by
any persons, partnership or corpo
ration to use its business establish
Sec. 1. That pursuant to the p ment or portion thereof, or allow
olicy of the city banning the oper the use thereof by others for casi
ation of casino within its territorial no operation and other gambling
jurisdiction, no business permit sh activities.
all be issued to any person, partn
ership or corporation for the oper
ation of casino within the city limi Sec. 3. PENALTIES. Any viola
ts. tion of such existing business per
mit as defined in the preceding se

ction shall suffer the following pen second offense, and a fine of P3,
alties, to wit: 000.00/day

a) Suspension of the business c) Permanent revocation of t

permit for sixty (60) days for the he business permit and imprisonm
first offense and a fine of P1,000 ent of One (1) year, for the third
.00/day and subsequent offenses.

b) Suspension of the business Sec. 4. This Ordinance shall tak

permit for Six (6) months for the e effect ten (10) days from public
ation thereof.

Nor was this all. On January 4, 19
93, it adopted a sterner Ordinance
No. 3375-93 reading as follows:
WHEREAS, the City Council establis
hed a policy as early as 1990 agai
nst CASINO under its Resolution N
o. 2295;


WHEREAS, on October 14, 1992, t
he City Council passed another Re
solution No. 2673, reiterating its p

olicy against the establishment of
WHEREAS, under Art. 3, section 45
8, No. (4), sub paragraph VI of th
e Local Government Code of 1991
WHEREAS, subsequently, thereafter,
(Rep. Act 7160) and under Art. 9
it likewise passed Ordinance No.
9, No. (4), Paragraph VI of the im
3353, prohibiting the issuance of B
plementing rules of the Local Gov
usiness Permit and to cancel existi
ernment Code, the City Council as
ng Business Permit to any establis
the Legislative Body shall enact
hment for the using and allowing
measure to suppress any activity i
to be used its premises or portion
nimical to public morals and gener
thereof for the operation of CASI
al welfare of the people and/or re
gulate or prohibit such activity per
taining to amusement or entertain Sec. 1. The operation of gambl
ment in order to protect social an ing CASINO in the City of Cagayan
d moral welfare of the community de Oro is hereby prohibited.

Sec. 2. Any violation of this Or

NOW THEREFORE, dinance shall be subject to the fol
lowing penalties:

BE IT ORDAINED by the City Coun

cil in session duly assembled that: a) Administrative fine of P5,0
00.00 shall be imposed against the
proprietor, partnership or corpora

tion undertaking the operation, co ment, conduct and maintenance of
nduct, maintenance of gambling C gambling CASINO.
ASINO in the City and closure ther
Sec. 3. This Ordinance shall tak
e effect ten (10) days after its pu
b) Imprisonment of not less t blication in a local newspaper of g
han six (6) months nor more than eneral circulation.
one (1) year or a fine in the am
ount of P5,000.00 or both at the
discretion of the court against the Pryce assailed the ordinances befor
manager, supervisor, and/or any e the Court of Appeals, where it
person responsible in the establish was joined by PAGCOR as interven

or and supplemental petitioner. Th e Rules of Court. 3 They aver tha
eir challenge succeeded. On March t the respondent Court of Appeals
31, 1993, the Court of Appeals d erred in holding that:
eclared the ordinances invalid and
issued the writ prayed for to pro
hibit their enforcement. 1 Reconsid 1. Under existing laws, the S
eration of this decision was denied angguniang Panlungsod of the City
on July 13, 1993. 2 of Cagayan de Oro does not hav
e the power and authority to pro
hibit the establishment and operati
Cagayan de Oro City and its mayo on of a PAGCOR gambling casino
r are now before us in this petiti within the City's territorial limits.
on for review under Rule 45 of th

2. The phrase "gambling and 4. The questioned Ordinances
other prohibited games of chance are discriminatory to casino and
" found in Sec. 458, par. (a), sub- partial to cockfighting and are ther
par. (1) (v) of R.A. 7160 could efore invalid on that point.
only mean "illegal gambling."

5. The questioned Ordinances

3. The questioned Ordinances are not reasonable, not consonan
in effect annul P.D. 1869 and are t with the general powers and pu
therefore invalid on that point. rposes of the instrumentality conce
rned and inconsistent with the law
s or policy of the State.

6. It had no option but to f on of the Philippines. In Basco v.
ollow the ruling in the case of Ba Philippine Amusements and Gaming
sco, et al. v. PAGCOR, G.R. No. 91 Corporation, 4 this Court sustaine
649, May 14, 1991, 197 SCRA 53 d the constitutionality of the decre
in disposing of the issues presente e and even cited the benefits of t
d in this present case. he entity to the national economy
as the third highest revenue-earn
er in the government, next only t
PAGCOR is a corporation created d o the BIR and the Bureau of Cust
irectly by P.D. 1869 to help centra oms.
lize and regulate all games of cha
nce, including casinos on land and
sea within the territorial jurisdicti

Cagayan de Oro City, like other lo ercise the powers expressly grante
cal political subdivisions, is empow d, those necessarily implied therefr
ered to enact ordinances for the om, as well as powers necessary,
purposes indicated in the Local Go appropriate, or incidental for its ef
vernment Code. It is expressly vest ficient and effective governance, a
ed with the police power under w nd those which are essential to th
hat is known as the General Welf e promotion of the general welfar
are Clause now embodied in Secti e. Within their respective territoria
on 16 as follows: l jurisdictions, local government un
its shall ensure and support, amon
g other things, the preservation an
Sec. 16. General Welfare. Ev d enrichment of culture, promote
ery local government unit shall ex health and safety, enhance the rig
ht of the people to a balanced ec
ology, encourage and support the In addition, Section 458 of the sai
development of appropriate and se d Code specifically declares that:
lf-reliant scientific and technological
capabilities, improve public morals
, enhance economic prosperity and Sec. 458. Powers, Duties,
social justice, promote full emplo Functions and Compensation. (
yment among their residents, main a) The Sangguniang Panlungsod, as
tain peace and order, and preserv the legislative body of the city, s
e the comfort and convenience of hall enact ordinances, approve res
their inhabitants. olutions and appropriate funds for
the general welfare of the city a
nd its inhabitants pursuant to Sect
ion 16 of this Code and in the pr

oper exercise of the corporate po x x x x x x
wers of the city as provided for u x x x
nder Section 22 of this Code, and
(v) Enact ordinances intended
to prevent, suppress and impose a
(1) Approve ordinances and p ppropriate penalties for habitual dr
ass resolutions necessary for an ef unkenness in public places, vagranc
ficient and effective city governme y, mendicancy, prostitution, establis
nt, and in this connection, shall: hment and maintenance of houses
of ill repute, gambling and other
prohibited games of chance, frau
dulent devices and ways to obtain

money or property, drug addictio operties and businesses within thei
n, maintenance of drug dens, drug r territorial limits in the interest o
pushing, juvenile delinquency, the f the general welfare. 5
printing, distribution or exhibition
of obscene or pornographic mate
rials or publications, and such oth The petitioners argue that by virtu
er activities inimical to the welfare e of these provisions, the Sanggun
and morals of the inhabitants of iang Panlungsod may prohibit the
the city; operation of casinos because they
involve games of chance, which ar
e detrimental to the people. Gam
This section also authorizes the loc bling is not allowed by general la
al government units to regulate pr w and even by the Constitution it

self. The legislative power conferre
d upon local government units ma
It is submitted that this interpretat
y be exercised over all kinds of g
ion is consonant with the policy o
ambling and not only over "illegal
f local autonomy as mandated in
gambling" as the respondents err
Article II, Section 25, and Article X
oneously argue. Even if the operat
of the Constitution, as well as va
ion of casinos may have been per
rious other provisions therein seeki
mitted under P.D. 1869, the gover
ng to strengthen the character of
nment of Cagayan de Oro City has
the nation. In giving the local gov
the authority to prohibit them wi
ernment units the power to preve
thin its territory pursuant to the a
nt or suppress gambling and other
uthority entrusted to it by the Loc
social problems, the Local Govern
al Government Code.
ment Code has recognized the co
mpetence of such communities to ke craps, baccarat, blackjack and r
determine and adopt the measures oulette, it meant all forms of gam
best expected to promote the ge bling without distinction. Ubi lex n
neral welfare of their inhabitants i on distinguit, nec nos distinguere
n line with the policies of the Sta debemos. 6 Otherwise, it would h
te. ave expressly excluded from the s
cope of their power casinos and o
ther forms of gambling authorized
The petitioners also stress that wh by special law, as it could have
en the Code expressly authorized t easily done. The fact that it did n
he local government units to prev ot do so simply means that the lo
ent and suppress gambling and ot cal government units are permitte
her prohibited games of chance, li d to prohibit all kinds of gambling

within their territories, including t cree are expressly discontinued by
he operation of casinos. the Code insofar as they do not
conform to its philosophy and pro
visions, pursuant to Par. (f) of its
The adoption of the Local Govern repealing clause reading as follows:
ment Code, it is pointed out, had
the effect of modifying the chart
er of the PAGCOR. The Code is n (f) All general and special law
ot only a later enactment than P. s, acts, city charters, decrees, exec
D. 1869 and so is deemed to pre utive orders, proclamations and ad
vail in case of inconsistencies betw ministrative regulations, or part or
een them. More than this, the po parts thereof which are inconsiste
wers of the PAGCOR under the de nt with any of the provisions of t

his Code are hereby repealed or government units. Section 5 of the
modified accordingly. Code specifically provides:

It is also maintained that assuming Sec. 5. Rules of Interpretation.

there is doubt regarding the effe In the interpretation of the provi
ct of the Local Government Code sions of this Code, the following r
on P.D. 1869, the doubt must be ules shall apply:
resolved in favor of the petitioners
, in accordance with the direction
in the Code calling for its liberal i (a) Any provision on a power
nterpretation in favor of the local of a local government unit shall
be liberally interpreted in its favor,

and in case of doubt, any questi (c) The general welfare provisi
on thereon shall be resolved in fa ons in this Code shall be liberally
vor of devolution of powers and o interpreted to give more powers t
f the lower local government unit. o local government units in accele
Any fair and reasonable doubt as rating economic development and
to the existence of the power sh upgrading the quality of life for th
all be interpreted in favor of the l e people in the community; . . . (
ocal government unit concerned; Emphasis supplied.)

xxx xxx xxx Finally, the petitioners also attack

gambling as intrinsically harmful an
d cite various provisions of the Co

nstitution and several decisions of tial law instrument") in creating P
this Court expressive of the gener AGCOR and authorizing it to opera
al and official disapprobation of th te casinos "on land and sea within
e vice. They invoke the State polic the territorial jurisdiction of the
ies on the family and the proper Philippines."
upbringing of the youth and, as m
ight be expected, call attention to
the old case of U.S. v. Salaveria, This is the opportune time to stre
7 which sustained a municipal ordi ss an important point.
nance prohibiting the playing of p
anguingue. The petitioners decry t
he immorality of gambling. They al
The morality of gambling is not a
so impugn the wisdom of P.D. 18
justiciable issue. Gambling is not
69 (which they describe as "a mar
illegal per se. While it is generally ay consider sufficient. Thus, it has
considered inimical to the interes prohibited jueteng and monte but
ts of the people, there is nothing permits lotteries, cockfighting and
in the Constitution categorically pr horse-racing. In making such choi
oscribing or penalizing gambling or, ces, Congress has consulted its ow
for that matter, even mentioning n wisdom, which this Court has n
it at all. It is left to Congress to o authority to review, much less r
deal with the activity as it sees f everse. Well has it been said that
it. In the exercise of its own discr courts do not sit to resolve the
etion, the legislature may prohibit merits of conflicting theories. 8 Th
gambling altogether or allow it wit at is the prerogative of the politic
hout limitation or it may prohibit al departments. It is settled that q
some forms of gambling and allow uestions regarding the wisdom, mo
others for whatever reasons it m rality, or practicibility of statutes a
re not addressed to the judiciary The only question we can and sha
but may be resolved only by the l ll resolve in this petition is the va
egislative and executive departmen lidity of Ordinance No. 3355 and
ts, to which the function belongs i Ordinance No. 3375-93 as enacted
n our scheme of government. That by the Sangguniang Panlungsod o
function is exclusive. Whichever f Cagayan de Oro City. And we sh
way these branches decide, they a all do so only by the criteria laid
re answerable only to their own c down by law and not by our own
onscience and the constituents wh convictions on the propriety of g
o will ultimately judge their acts, ambling.
and not to the courts of justice.

The tests of a valid ordinance are 2) It must not be unfair or o
well established. A long line of d ppressive.
ecisions 9 has held that to be vali
d, an ordinance must conform to
the following substantive requirem 3) It must not be partial or
ents: discriminatory.

1) It must not contravene th 4) It must not prohibit but

e constitution or any statute. may regulate trade.

5) It must be general and co er prohibited games of chance." O
nsistent with public policy. bviously, this provision excludes ga
mes of chance which are not proh
ibited but are in fact permitted by
6) It must not be unreasonab law. The petitioners are less than
le. accurate in claiming that the Cod
e could have excluded such games
of chance but did not. In fact it
does. The language of the section
We begin by observing that under
is clear and unmistakable. Under
Sec. 458 of the Local Governmen
the rule of noscitur a sociis, a wo
t Code, local government units are
rd or phrase should be interpreted
authorized to prevent or suppress
in relation to, or given the same
, among others, "gambling and oth
meaning of, words with which it
is associated. Accordingly, we concl quite conclusively. But we will not.
ude that since the word "gambling The vigorous efforts of the petiti
" is associated with "and other pr oners on behalf of the inhabitants
ohibited games of chance," the wo of Cagayan de Oro City, and the
rd should be read as referring to earnestness of their advocacy, de
only illegal gambling which, like th serve more than short shrift from
e other prohibited games of chanc this Court.
e, must be prevented or suppresse
The apparent flaw in the ordinanc
es in question is that they contrav
We could stop here as this interpr ene P.D. 1869 and the public polic
etation should settle the problem y embodied therein insofar as the

y prevent PAGCOR from exercising ot really repealed by the Code, bu
the power conferred on it to op t merely "modified pro tanto" in t
erate a casino in Cagayan de Oro he sense that PAGCOR cannot no
City. The petitioners have an ingen w operate a casino over the objec
ious answer to this misgiving. They tion of the local government unit
deny that it is the ordinances th concerned. This modification of P.
at have changed P.D. 1869 for an D. 1869 by the Local Government
ordinance admittedly cannot prev Code is permissible because one la
ail against a statute. Their theory w can change or repeal another la
is that the change has been made w.
by the Local Government Code it
self, which was also enacted by th
e national lawmaking authority. In
their view, the decree has been, n
It seems to us that the petitioners on 458 of the Code if the word "
are playing with words. While ins shall" as used therein is to be giv
isting that the decree has only be en its accepted meaning. Local gov
en "modified pro tanto," they are ernment units have now no choice
actually arguing that it is already but to prevent and suppress gam
dead, repealed and useless for all bling, which in the petitioners' vie
intents and purposes because the w includes both legal and illegal g
Code has shorn PAGCOR of all po ambling. Under this construction, P
wer to centralize and regulate casi AGCOR will have no more games
nos. Strictly speaking, its operation of chance to regulate or centralize
s may now be not only prohibited as they must all be prohibited by
by the local government unit; in the local government units pursu
fact, the prohibition is not only di ant to the mandatory duty impose
scretionary but mandated by Secti d upon them by the Code. In this
situation, PAGCOR cannot continu ch painstakingly mentions the spec
e to exist except only as a toothl ific laws or the parts thereof whic
ess tiger or a white elephant and h are repealed (or modified) by th
will no longer be able to exercis e Code. Significantly, P.D. 1869 is
e its powers as a prime source of not one of them. A reading of th
government revenue through the e entire repealing clause, which is
operation of casinos. reproduced below, will disclose th
e omission:

It is noteworthy that the petitione

rs have cited only Par. (f) of the Sec. 534. Repealing Clause.
repealing clause, conveniently disca (a) Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, o
rding the rest of the provision whi therwise known as the "Local Gov

ernment Code," Executive Order N (c) The provisions of Sections
o. 112 (1987), and Executive Order 2, 3, and 4 of Republic Act No. 1
No. 319 (1988) are hereby repeal 939 regarding hospital fund; Sectio
ed. n 3, a (3) and b (2) of Republic
Act. No. 5447 regarding the Specia
l Education Fund; Presidential Decr
(b) Presidential Decree Nos. 6 ee No. 144 as amended by Presid
84, 1191, 1508 and such other de ential Decree Nos. 559 and 1741;
crees, orders, instructions, memora Presidential Decree No. 231 as am
nda and issuances related to or c ended; Presidential Decree No. 436
oncerning the barangay are hereby as amended by Presidential Decre
repealed. e No. 558; and Presidential Decree
Nos. 381, 436, 464, 477, 526, 63
2, 752, and 1136 are hereby repe
aled and rendered of no force an ns 2, 16, and 29 of Presidential D
d effect. ecree No. 704; Sections 12 of Pres
idential Decree No. 87, as amende
d; Sections 52, 53, 66, 67, 68, 69,
(d) Presidential Decree No. 15 70, 71, 72, 73, and 74 of Preside
94 is hereby repealed insofar as it ntial Decree No. 463, as amended;
governs locally-funded projects. and Section 16 of Presidential De
cree No. 972, as amended, and

(e) The following provisions ar

e hereby repealed or amended ins (f) All general and special law
ofar as they are inconsistent with s, acts, city charters, decrees, exec
the provisions of this Code: Sectio utive orders, proclamations and ad

ministrative regulations, or part or
parts thereof which are inconsiste
The cases relating to the subject
nt with any of the provisions of t
of repeal by implication all procee
his Code are hereby repealed or
d on the assumption that if the a
modified accordingly.
ct of later date clearly reveals an
intention on the part of the lawm
aking power to abrogate the prior
Furthermore, it is a familiar rule t
law, this intention must be given
hat implied repeals are not lightly
effect; but there must always be
presumed in the absence of a cl
a sufficient revelation of this inte
ear and unmistakable showing of s
ntion, and it has become an unbe
uch intention. In Lichauco & Co. v
nding rule of statutory constructio
. Apostol, 10 this Court explained:
n that the intention to repeal a f
ormer law will not be imputed to in two later enactments of Congr
the Legislature when it appears t ess, to wit, R.A. 7309, creating a
hat the two statutes, or provisions Board of Claims under the Depart
, with reference to which the que ment of Justice for the benefit of
stion arises bear to each other th victims of unjust punishment or
e relation of general to special. detention or of violent crimes, and
R.A. 7648, providing for measures
for the solution of the power cri
There is no sufficient indication of sis. PAGCOR revenues are tapped
an implied repeal of P.D. 1869. by these two statutes. This would
On the contrary, as the private re show that the PAGCOR charter h
spondent points out, PAGCOR is m as not been repealed by the Local
entioned as the source of funding Government Code but has in fact
been improved as it were to ma
ke the entity more responsive to t anch of the government. On the a
he fiscal problems of the governm ssumption of a conflict between P.
ent. D. 1869 and the Code, the proper
action is not to uphold one and
annul the other but to give effect
It is a canon of legal hermeneutic to both by harmonizing them if
s that instead of pitting one statu possible. This is possible in the ca
te against another in an inevitably se before us. The proper resolutio
destructive confrontation, courts n of the problem at hand is to h
must exert every effort to reconcil old that under the Local Governm
e them, remembering that both la ent Code, local government units
ws deserve a becoming respect as may (and indeed must) prevent an
the handiwork of a coordinate br d suppress all kinds of gambling w
ithin their territories except only t
hose allowed by statutes like P.D. it is probably as old as illegal ga
1869. The exception reserved in s mbling, if not indeed more so. Th
uch laws must be read into the C e petitioners' suggestion that the
ode, to make both the Code and Code authorizes them to prohibit
such laws equally effective and m all kinds of gambling would erase
utually complementary. the distinction between these two
forms of gambling without a clea
r indication that this is the will of
This approach would also affirm th the legislature. Plausibly, following
at there are indeed two kinds of this theory, the City of Manila co
gambling, to wit, the illegal and t uld, by mere ordinance, prohibit t
hose authorized by law. Legalized he Philippine Charity Sweepstakes
gambling is not a modern concept; Office from conducting a lottery as
authorized by R.A. 1169 and B.P.
42 or stop the races at the San well as the public policy expressed
Lazaro Hippodrome as authorized in the decree allowing the playin
by R.A. 309 and R.A. 983. g of certain games of chance desp
ite the prohibition of gambling in
In light of all the above considerat
ions, we see no way of arriving at
the conclusion urged on us by th The rationale of the requirement t
e petitioners that the ordinances i hat the ordinances should not con
n question are valid. On the contr travene a statute is obvious. Muni
ary, we find that the ordinances v cipal governments are only agents
iolate P.D. 1869, which has the ch of the national government. Local
aracter and force of a statute, as councils exercise only delegated l

egislative powers conferred on the Municipal corporations owe their o
m by Congress as the national law rigin to, and derive their powers a
making body. The delegate cannot nd rights wholly from the legislatu
be superior to the principal or e re. It breathes into them the brea
xercise powers higher than those th of life, without which they can
of the latter. It is a heresy to sug not exist. As it creates, so it may
gest that the local government uni destroy. As it may destroy, it ma
ts can undo the acts of Congress, y abridge and control. Unless ther
from which they have derived th e is some constitutional limitation
eir power in the first place, and n on the right, the legislature might,
egate by mere ordinance the man by a single act, and if we can su
date of the statute. ppose it capable of so great a foll
y and so great a wrong, sweep fr
om existence all of the municipal
corporations in the State, and the he Constitution strengthening the
corporation could not prevent it. policy of local autonomy. Without
We know of no limitation on the meaning to detract from that polic
right so far as to the corporation y, we here confirm that Congress
themselves are concerned. They ar retains control of the local govern
e, so to phrase it, the mere tena ment units although in significantly
nts at will of the legislature. 11 reduced degree now than under
our previous Constitutions. The po
wer to create still includes the po
This basic relationship between the wer to destroy. The power to gra
national legislature and the local nt still includes the power to with
government units has not been en hold or recall. True, there are cert
feebled by the new provisions in t ain notable innovations in the Con
stitution, like the direct confermen
t on the local government units of s and their apprehensions that the
the power to tax, 12 which cann welfare of Cagayan de Oro City
ot now be withdrawn by mere sta will be endangered by the opening
tute. By and large, however, the n of the casino. We share the view
ational legislature is still the princi that "the hope of large or easy
pal of the local government units, gain, obtained without special effo
which cannot defy its will or mo rt, turns the head of the workma
dify or violate it. n" 13 and that "habitual gambling
is a cause of laziness and ruin."
14 In People v. Gorostiza, 15 we
The Court understands and admire declared: "The social scourge of ga
s the concern of the petitioners f mbling must be stamped out. The
or the welfare of their constituent laws against gambling must be e
nforced to the limit." George Was
hington called gambling "the child
of avarice, the brother of iniquity
We hold that the power of PAGC
and the father of mischief." Never
OR to centralize and regulate all g
theless, we must recognize the po
ames of chance, including casinos
wer of the legislature to decide, i
on land and sea within the territo
n its own wisdom, to legalize cert
rial jurisdiction of the Philippines,
ain forms of gambling, as was don
remains unimpaired. P.D. 1869 has
e in P.D. 1869 and impliedly affir
not been modified by the Local
med in the Local Government Cod
Government Code, which empower
e. That decision can be revoked b
s the local government units to pr
y this Court only if it contravenes
event or suppress only those form
the Constitution as the touchston
s of gambling prohibited by law.
e of all official acts. We do not fi
nd such contravention here.
thy motives, these ordinances are
contrary to P.D. 1869 and the pub
Casino gambling is authorized by P
lic policy announced therein and a
.D. 1869. This decree has the stat
re therefore ultra vires and void.
us of a statute that cannot be am
ended or nullified by a mere ordi
nance. Hence, it was not compete
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIE
nt for the Sangguniang Panlungsod
D and the challenged decision of t
of Cagayan de Oro City to enact
he respondent Court of Appeals is
Ordinance No. 3353 prohibiting t
AFFIRMED, with costs against the
he use of buildings for the operati
petitioners. It is so ordered
on of a casino and Ordinance No.
3375-93 prohibiting the operation
of casinos. For all their praisewor
[G.R. No. 119122. August 8, 2000] PURISIMA, J.:

PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIO At bar is a petition for review on

N, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEA certiorari under Rule 45 of the R
LS, COURT OF TAX APPEALS, AND ules of Court seeking a review of
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVE the decision[1] of the Court of Ap
NUE, respondents. peals in CA-G.R. SP No. 34095 whi
ch affirmed the decision of the Co
urt of Tax Appeals in C.T.A. Case
D E C I S I O N No. 4419.

The facts that matter are as follo
Total gross receipts 1987

On June 21, 1989, the petitioner r

eceived an assessment letter from
the Commissioner of Internal Rev
enue (respondent Commissioner) fo
r the payment of deficiency amuse 15% tax due thereon
ment tax computed thus:

Deficiency Amusement Tax

Less: Tax paid



20% interest (2 years)

Deficiency amusement tax


P 2,393,575.85

Total Amount Due & Collectible

Add:....75% surcharge
P 5,864,260.84 On January 8, 1990, petitioner file
d a petition for review[2] with the
Court of Tax Appeals (respondent
CTA) questioning the denial by re
spondent Commissioner of its tax
On July 18, 1989, petitioner conte
sted the assessment by filing a pr
otest with respondent Commissione On December 24, 1993, responden
r who denied the same on Novem t CTA dismissed petitioners petitio
ber 6, 1989. n, holding:

"WHEREFORE, in all the foregoing, ons 248 and 249 (c) (3) of the Ta
herein petition for review is here x Code, as amended."[3]
by DISMISSED for lack of merit an
d the Petitioner is hereby ORDERE
D to PAY to the Respondent the Petitioner presented a motion for
amount of P5,864,260.84 as deficie reconsideration[4] of the said decis
ncy amusement tax for the year 1 ion but the same was denied by r
987 plus 20% annual delinquency i espondent CTA in a resolution[5] d
nterest from July 22, 1989 which i ated April 8, 1994. Thereafter and
s the due date appearing on the within the reglementary period fo
notice and demand of the Commis r interposing appeals, petitioner ap
sioner (i.e. 30 days from receipt o pealed the CTA decision to the Co
f the assessment) until fully paid urt of Appeals.
pursuant to the provisions of Secti
Undaunted, petitioner found its wa
y to this Court via the present pe
On November 21, 1994, the Court
tition, contending that:
of Appeals rendered its questione
d Decision,[6] affirming the decisio
n of the CTA and dismissing petiti
"1. Respondent Court of Appeals e
oners appeal. Petitioner filed a Mo
rred in holding that the jurisdictio
tion for Reconsideration of said de
n to collect amusement taxes of P
cision but to no avail. The same
BA games is vested in the nationa
was denied by the Court of Appea
l government to the exclusion of t
ls in a Resolution[7] dated January
he local governments.
31, 1995. Hence, this petition.

"2. Respondent Court of Appeals e , 1988 is an erroneous interpretati
rred in holding that Section 13 of on of law.
the Local Tax Code of 1973 limit
s local government units to theate
rs, cinematographs, concert halls, c "4. Respondent Court of Appeals e
ircuses and other places of amuse rred in giving retroactive effect to
ment in the collection of the amu the revocation of Revenue Regula
sement tax. tions 8-88.

"3. Respondent Court of Appeals e "5. Respondent Court of Appeals e

rred in holding that Revenue Regul rred when it failed to consider th
ations No. 8-88 dated February 19 e provisions of P.D. 851 the franc

hise of Petitioner, Section 8 of wh "7. Respondent Court of Appeals e
ich provides that amusement tax o rred in holding that the cession of
n admission receipts of Petitioner i advertising and streamer spaces i
s 5%. nside the venue is embraced withi
n the term gross receipts as defin
ed in Section 123 (6) of the Tax
"6. Respondent Court of Appeals e Code.
rred in holding that the cession of
advertising and streamer spaces i
n the venue to a third person is "8. Respondent Court of Appeals e
subject to amusement taxes. rred in holding that the amuseme
nt tax liability of Petitioner is subj
ect to a 75% surcharge."

2. Is the cession of advertising an
d streamer spaces to Vintage Ente
The issues for resolution in this ca
rprises, Inc. (VEI) subject to the p
se may be simplified as follows:
ayment of amusement tax?

1. Is the amusement tax on admis

3. If ever petitioner is liable for t
sion tickets to PBA games a natio
he payment of deficiency amusem
nal or local tax? Otherwise put, w
ent tax, is it liable to pay a seven
ho between the national governme
ty-five percent (75%) surcharge on
nt and local government should p
the deficiency amount due?
etitioner pay amusement taxes?

Petitioner contends that PD 231, o Code; and BIR Ruling No. 231-86
therwise known as the Local Tax which held that "the jurisdiction t
Code of 1973, transferred the pow o levy amusement tax on gross re
er and authority to levy and colle ceipts from admission tickets to pl
ct amusement taxes from the sale aces of amusement was transferre
of admission tickets to places of d to local governments under P.D.
amusement from the national gove No. 231, as amended."[8] Further,
rnment to the local governments. petitioner opined that even assu
Petitioner cited BIR Memorandum ming arguendo that respondent Co
Circular No. 49-73 providing that t mmissioner revoked BIR Ruling No.
he power to levy and collect amu 231-86, the reversal, modification
sement tax on admission tickets w or revocation cannot be given ret
as transferred to the local govern roactive effect since even as late
ments by virtue of the Local Tax as 1988 (BIR Memorandum Circula
r No. 8-88), respondent Commissio e disquisition. Section 13 of the L
ner still recognized the jurisdiction ocal Tax Code provides:
of local governments to collect a
musement taxes.
"Sec. 13. Amusement tax on admis
sion. -The province shall impose a
The Court is not persuaded by pet tax on admission to be collected
itioners asseverations. from the proprietors, lessees, or
operators of theaters, cinematogra
phs, concert halls, circuses and ot
The laws on the matter are succin her places of amusement xxx."
ct and clear and need no elaborat

The foregoing provision of law in "SEC. 44. Section 268 of this Code
point indicates that the province c , as amended, is hereby further a
an only impose a tax on admissio mended to read as follows:
n from the proprietors, lessees, or
operators of theaters, cinematogr
aphs, concert halls, circuses and ot Sec. 268. Amusement taxes. -- The
her places of amusement. The aut re shall be collected from the pro
hority to tax professional basketbal prietor, lessee or operator of cock
l games is not therein included, as pits, cabarets, night or day clubs,
the same is expressly embraced i boxing exhibitions, professional bas
n PD 1959, which amended PD 14 ketball games, Jai-Alai, race tracks
56 thus: and bowling alleys, a tax equivalen
t to:

4. Fifteen per centum in the case
of professional basketball games
1. Eighteen per centum in the cas
as envisioned in Presidential Decre
e of cockpits;
e No. 871. Provided, however, Tha
t the tax herein shall be in lieu o
f all other percentage taxes of wh
2. Eighteen per centum in the cas atever nature and description;
e of cabarets, night or day clubs;

5. Thirty per centum in the case

3. Fifteen per centum in the case of Jai-Alai and race tracks; and
of boxing exhibitions;

6. Fifteen per centum in the case erein imposed shall be similarly lia
of bowling alleys of their gross r ble for said tax with respect to su
eceipts, irrespective of whether or ch portion of the receipts derived
not any amount is charged or pa by him or it.)
id for admission. For the purpose
of the amusement tax, the term g
ross receipts embraces all the rece The taxes imposed herein shall be
ipts of the proprietor, lessee or o payable at the end of each quart
perator of the amusement place. S er and it shall be the duty of the
aid gross receipts also include inco proprietor, lessee, or operator co
me from television, radio and moti ncerned, as well as any party liabl
on picture rights, if any. (A person e, within twenty days after the en
or entity or association conductin d of each quarter, to make a true
g any activity subject to the tax h
and complete return of the amou ed herein, or in case a false or fr
nt of the gross receipts derived d audulent return is willfully made, t
uring the preceding quarter and p here shall be added to the tax or
ay the tax due thereon. If the tax to the deficiency tax, in case any
is not paid within the time presc payment has been made on the
ribed above, the amount of the ta basis of the return before the disc
x shall be increased by twenty-five overy of the falsity or fraud, a sur
per centum, the increment to be charge of fifty per centum of its a
part of the tax. mount. The amount so added to a
ny tax shall be collected at the sa
me time and in the same manner
In case of willful neglect to file th and as part of the tax unless th
e return within the period prescrib e tax has been paid before the di
scovery of the falsity or fraud, in
which case, the amount so assesse nue, which payment is a national
d shall be collected in the same tax. The said payment of amusem
manner as the tax." (underscoring ent tax is in lieu of all other perc
ours) entage taxes of whatever nature a
nd description.

From the foregoing it is clear that

the "proprietor, lessee or operato While Section 13 of the Local Tax
r of xxx professional basketball ga Code mentions "other places of a
mes" is required to pay an amuse musement", professional basketball
ment tax equivalent to fifteen per games are definitely not within it
centum (15%) of their gross recei s scope. Under the principle of ej
pts to the Bureau of Internal Reve usdem generis, where general wor

ds follow an enumeration of perso on as their common characteristic.
ns or things, by words of a partic Professional basketball games do
ular and specific meaning, such ge not fall under the same category
neral words are not to be constru as theaters, cinematographs, conce
ed in their widest extent, but are rt halls and circuses as the latter
to be held as applying only to p basically belong to artistic forms o
ersons or things of the same kind f entertainment while the former
or class as those specifically men caters to sports and gaming.
tioned.[9] Thus, in determining the
meaning of the phrase "other pla
ces of amusement", one must refe A historical analysis of pertinent la
r to the prior enumeration of the ws does reveal the legislative inte
aters, cinematographs, concert halls nt to place professional basketball
and circuses with artistic expressi
games within the ambit of a natio all professional basketball games
nal tax. The Local Tax Code, which conducted by the Philippine Basket
became effective on June 28, 197 ball Association shall only be subje
3, allowed the province to collect ct to amusement tax of five per c
a tax on admission from the prop ent of the gross receipts from the
rietors, lessees, or operators of th sale of admission tickets." Then,
eaters, cinematographs, concert hal on June 11, 1978, PD 1456 came
ls, circuses and other places of a into effect, increasing the amusem
musement. On January 6, 1976, th ent tax to ten per cent, with a ca
e operation of petitioner was plac tegorical referral to PD 871, to wi
ed under the supervision and regu t, "[t]en per centum in the case o
lation of the Games and Amuseme f professional basketball games as
nt Board by virtue of PD 871, wit envisioned in Presidential Decree N
h the proviso (Section 8) that "xxx o. 871 xxx." Later in 1984, PD 19
59 increased the rate of amuseme he 1997 National Internal Revenue
nt tax to fifteen percent by makin Code. Section 140[11] of the Loc
g reference also to PD 871. With al Government Code of 1992 (Rep
the reference to PD 871 by PD 14 ublic Act 7160), meanwhile, retaine
56 and PD 1959, there is a recog d the areas (theaters, cinematogra
nition under the laws of this coun phs, concert halls, circuses and ot
try that the amusement tax on pr her places of amusement) where t
ofessional basketball games is a na he province may levy an amuseme
tional, and not a local, tax. Even nt tax without including therein pr
up to the present, the category of ofessional basketball games.
amusement taxes on professional
basketball games as a national ta
x remains the same. This is so pr
ovided under Section 125[10] of t
Likewise erroneous is the stance o It bears stressing that the govern
f petitioner that respondent Comm ment can never be in estoppel, pa
issioners issuance of BIR Ruling No rticularly in matters involving taxes
. 231-86[12] and BIR Revenue Me . It is a well-known rule that erro
morandum Circular No. 8-88[13] -- neous application and enforcement
both upholding the authority of t of the law by public officers do
he local government to collect am not preclude subsequent correct a
usement taxes -- should bind the pplication of the statute, and that
government or that, if there is an the Government is never estoppe
y revocation or modification of sai d by mistake or error on the part
d rule, the same should operate p of its agents.[14]

Untenable is the contention that i
ncome from the cession of stream
Sec. 268. Amusement taxes. -- The
er and advertising spaces to VEI is
re shall be collected from the pro
not subject to amusement tax. T
prietor, lessee or operator of cock
he questioned proviso may be fou
pits, cabarets, night or day clubs,
nd in Section 1 of PD 1456 which
boxing exhibitions, professional bas
ketball games, Jai-Alai, race tracks
and bowling alleys, a tax equivalen
t to:
"SECTION 1. Section 268 of the N
ational Internal Revenue Code of 1
977, as amended, is hereby furthe
r amended to read as follows:

bject to the tax herein imposed s
hall be similarly liable for said tax
of their gross receipts, irrespective
with respect to such portion of t
of whether or not any amount is
he receipts derived by him or it.)"
charged or paid for admission. Fo
(underscoring ours)
r the purpose of the amusement t
ax, the term gross receipts embrac
es all the receipts of the propriet
The foregoing definition of gross r
or, lessee or operator of the amu
eceipts is broad enough to embrac
sement place. Said gross receipts
e the cession of advertising and st
also include income from television
reamer spaces as the same embra
, radio and motion picture rights,
ces all the receipts of the propriet
if any. (A person, or entity or ass
or, lessee or operator of the amu
ociation conducting any activity su
sement place. The law being clear, is issue must necessarily fail as th
there is no need for an extended e same has never been posed as
interpretation.[15] an issue before the respondent co
urt. Issues not raised in the court
a quo cannot be raised for the f
The last issue for resolution conce irst time on appeal.[16]
rns the liability of petitioner for t
he payment of surcharge and inter
est on the deficiency amount due. All things studiedly considered, the
Petitioner contends that it is not Court rules that the petitioner is
liable, as it acted in good faith, liable to pay amusement tax to t
having relied upon the issuances o he national government, and not t
f the respondent Commissioner. Th o the local government, in accorda

nce with the rates prescribed by P SO ORDERED
D 1959.

G.R. No. 155703 Sep

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIE tember 8, 2008
D, and the Decisions of the Court
of Appeals and Court of Tax App
eals dated November 21, 1994 an THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
d December 24, 1993, respectively petitioner,
AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as
to costs. vs.


D E C I S I O N ppeals (CA) Decision1 dated Septe
mber 23, 2002.

The facts of the case are undisput
Should the courts grant a petition
for reconstitution of a certificate
of title on the basis of a tax decl On February, 16, 1999, respondent
aration, survey plan and technical Dominador Santua filed with the
description? This is the question t Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Calap
hat confronts the Court in this pet an, Oriental Mindoro, a petition fo
ition for review of the Court of A r judicial reconstitution of Transfer

Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-22 was lost while in respondents po
868. Respondent alleged that he is ssession and all efforts exerted to
the registered owner of certain p locate the same proved futile; th
arcels of land with an area of 3,3 ere are no co-owners, mortgagee
06 square meters, situated in Pobl s, or lessees duplicate of said cer
acion, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, a tificate of title; there are no buildi
nd covered by TCT No. T-22868; t ngs or improvements existing on s
he original copy of TCT No. T-228 aid land which do not belong to r
68 was among those destroyed by espondent; respondent and his fa
the fire that completely razed th mily are in actual possession of th
e Capitol Building then housing th e property and have been paying
e Office of the Register of Deeds taxes thereon; and there exists no
of Oriental Mindoro on August 12, deeds or instrument affecting the
1977; the owners duplicate copy property which have been presen
ted for and pending registration in the publication of the order in t
the Office of the Register of Dee he Official Gazette, its posting at t
ds. The names and addresses of t he main entrance of the Capitol B
he adjoining property owners were uilding and in the Municipal Buildi
enumerated in the petition. Attac ng of Victoria, Calapan City, and s
hed to the petition were a tax de ending of copies thereof to all adj
claration, survey plan, and technica oining owners mentioned in the p
l description of each lot.2 etition, the Register of Deeds, Pro
vincial Prosecutor, Director of Land
s, Solicitor General and the Admini
On February 25, 1999, the RTC iss strator of the Land Registration Au
ued an Order3 setting the initial h thority.
earing of the case. It also directed

Respondent complied with the juri Exh. "C" - Tax Declaration No. 150
sdictional requirements. The court 03-816 indicating the name of Do
thus commissioned the Clerk of Co minador Santua as owner of the l
urt to receive the respondents evi ots covered by TCT No. 22868;
dence and submit his findings to t
he court. Aside from the documen
ts that delved into the jurisdiction Exh. "D" - Technical description of
al aspect of the petition, responde Lot 5358-A-3-0-8-B, (LRC) PSD-257
nt offered the following document 136;
s in support of his petition:

Exh. "E" - Technical description of
Lot 5358-A-3-0-8-C, (LRC) PSD-257
Exh. "H" - Technical description of
Lot 5358-A-3-0-8-F, (LRC) PSD-257

Exh. "F" - Technical description of

Lot 5358-A-3-0-8-D, (LRC) PSD-2571
Exh. "I" - Blue print plan of Lot 5
358-A-3-0-8, (LRC) PSD-251540 as s
urveyed for Dominador Santua, et
Exh. "G" - Technical description of
Lot 5358-A-3-0-8-E, (LRC) PSD-257

Exh. "J" - Certification dated Septe Respondent testified that he is the
mber 24, 1982 issued by the Actin registered owner of certain parcel
g Register of Deeds of this provin s of land known as Lot No. 5358-
ce, certifying to the effect that all A-3-0-8-B, with an area of 730 sq
original certificates of title on file uare meters; Lot No. 5358-A-3-0-8-
with the Registry were destroyed C, with an area of 731 square me
by reason of the fire that hit th ters; Lot No. 5358-A-3-0-8-D, with
e Capitol Building housing the Offi an area of 731 square meters; Lot
ce of the Register of Deeds on Au No. 5358-A-3-0-8-E, with an area
gust 12, 1977. of 731 square meters, and Lot No.
5358-A-3-0-8-F, with an area of 3
83 square meters, or a total area
of 3,306 square meters, situated
in Poblacion, Victoria, Mindoro. Th
e original copy of this title was a eds. There exist no deeds of instr
mong the documents destroyed on uments affecting the property, whi
August 12, 1977 when fire razed ch have been presented to, or pe
the entire Capitol Building then h nding registration with, the Office
ousing the Office of the Register of the Register of Deeds. It has n
of Deeds, while the owners duplic ever been offered as a bail bond
ate copy in the respondents poss or as collateral to secure a loan
ession was lost when their house with any banking institution or any
was destroyed by the Intensity 7 person. It has not been declared
earthquake that hit the province o as null and void by any court or
n November 15, 1994. There is no competent authority. It is not a s
co-owners, mortgagees or lessee ubject of attachment.
s duplicate copy of said title previ
ously issued by the Register of De
The Provincial Assessor, Mr. Onisi The adjoining property owners wer
mo Naling, testified that the tax d e notified of the hearing of the p
eclaration submitted in evidence is etition but no one interposed any
a true and genuine tax declaratio objection thereto.
n issued by their office. Mrs. Flord
eliza Villao, Records Officer III of t
he Register of Deeds, testified that On December 15, 2000, the RTC g
the Certification issued by her off ranted the petition, thus:
ice is a true and genuine certificat
ACCORDINGLY, finding the instant
petition to be well-taken and ther
e being no opposition thereto, sa

me is hereby granted. The Registe , Lot No. 5358-A-3-0-8-E, and Lot
r of Deeds of this province is her No. 5358-A-3-0-8-F, (LRC) Psd 2571
eby directed to reconstitute the or 36, thirty (30) days after receipt o
iginal and the owners duplicate c f this Order by the Register of De
opies of Transfer Certificate of Titl eds of this province and the Land
e No. T-22868 in the name of "D Registration Authority.
atividad Paner, of legal age, Filipin
o citizen and a resident of Poblaci SO ORDERED.4
on, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro" on
the basis of the tax declaration, t
echnical descriptions and plan of L
On January 16, 2001, the Office of
ot No. 5358-A-3-0-8-B, Lot No. 535
the Solicitor General filed a Notic
8-A-3-0-8-C, Lot No. 5358-A-3-0-8-D
e of Appeal, which was given due S FOR THE RECONSTITUTION OF L

On September 23, 2002, the CA af

firmed the RTC Decision.5 Petitione In a Comment/Manifestation7 date
r filed this petition for review raisi d September 11, 2003, respondent
ng the sole issue - s counsel manifested that respond
ent is submitting the petition for r
eview for resolution without any c

Respondents waiver of the filing o st be granted only upon clear pro
f a comment is unfortunate consid of that the title sought to be rest
ering that we find the petition me ored was indeed issued to the pet
ritorious. itioner.10 In this regard, Section 3
of Republic Act (RA) No. 26 enu
merates the documents regarded a
The reconstitution of a certificate s valid and sufficient bases for rec
of title denotes restoration in the onstitution of a transfer certificate
original form and condition of a lo of title:
st or destroyed instrument attestin
g the title of a person to a piece
of land.8 It partakes of a land re SEC. 3. Transfer certificates of title
gistration proceeding.9 Thus, it mu shall be reconstituted from such

of the sources hereunder enumera
ted as may be available, in the fo
(c) A certified copy of the certifica
llowing order:
te of title, previously issued by th
e register of deeds or by a legal
custodian thereof;
(a) The owners duplicate of the c
ertificate of title;

(d) The deed of transfer or other

document on file in the registry o
(b) The co-owners, mortgagees or
f deeds, containing the description
lessees duplicate of the certificat
of the property, or an authentica
e of title;
ted copy thereof, showing that its
original had been registered, and
pursuant to which the lost or de
stroyed transfer certificate of title
(f) Any other document which, in
was issued;
the judgment of the court, is suffi
cient and proper basis for reconsti
tuting the lost or destroyed certifi
(e) A document, on file in the reg
cate of title.
istry of deeds, by which the prope
rty the description of which is giv
en in said documents, is mortgage
The instant petition for reconstituti
d, leased or encumbered, or an a
on is anchored on Section 3(f) of
uthenticated copy of said documen
RA No. 26, with respondent proffe
t showing that its original had bee
ring three significant documents -
n registered; and

a tax declaration, survey plan and uments enumerated in Section 3(a)
technical descriptions of each lot. , (b), (c), (d) and (e) are documen
ts that had been issued or are on
file with the Register of Deeds, t
The Court has already settled in a hus, highly credible.
number of cases that, following t
he principle of ejusdem generis in
statutory construction, "any docu Moreover, they are documents fro
ment" mentioned in Section 3 sho m which the particulars of the cer
uld be interpreted to refer to doc tificate of title or the circumstance
uments similar to those previously s which brought about its issuance
enumerated therein.11 As aptly o could readily be ascertained. Afte
bserved by the petitioner, the doc r all, the purpose of reconstitution

proceedings under RA No. 26 is t
he restoration in the original form
The tax declaration obviously does
and condition of a lost or destro
not serve as a valid basis for rec
yed instrument attesting the title
onstitution. For one, we cannot sa
of a person to a piece of land.12
fely rely on Tax Declaration No. 1
Consequently, a petitioners docu
5003-816 as evidence of the subje
mentary evidence should be able t
ct property being covered by TCT
o establish that the lost or destro
No. T-22868 in the name of respo
yed certificate of title has, in fact,
ndent because a tax declaration is
been issued to the petitioner or
executed for taxation purposes o
his predecessor-in-interest and such
nly and is actually prepared by th
title was in force at the time it
e alleged owner himself.14 In fact,
was lost or destroyed.13
in Heirs of Eulalio Ragua v. Court
of Appeals,15 the Court pronounc overed by the lost or destroyed ti
ed that a tax declaration is not a tle16 but merely determines whet
reliable source for the reconstituti her a re-issuance of such title is p
on of a certificate of title. roper.

At most, the tax declaration can o As for the survey plan and technic
nly be prima facie evidence of pos al descriptions, the Court has previ
session or a claim of ownership, ously dismissed the same as not t
which however is not the issue in he documents referred to in Secti
a reconstitution proceeding. A rec on 3(f) but merely additional docu
onstitution of title does not pass ments that should accompany the
upon the ownership of the land c petition for reconstitution as requir

ed under Section 12 of RA 26 and Once again, we caution the courts
Land Registration Commission Circ against the hasty and reckless gr
ular No. 35.17 Moreover, a survey ant of petitions for reconstitution.
plan or technical description prep Strict observance of the rules is vi
ared at the instance of a party ca tal to prevent parties from exploiti
nnot be considered in his favor, t ng reconstitution proceedings as a
he same being self-serving.18 Furt quick but illegal way to obtain T
her, in Lee v. Republic,19 the Cou orrens certificate of titles over par
rt declared the reconstitution base cels of land which turn out to be
d on a survey plan and technical already covered by existing titles.
descriptions void for lack of factua 20 Courts should bear in mind tha
l support. t should the petition for reconstitu
tion be denied for lack of sufficien
t basis, the petitioner is not left
without a remedy. He may still fil
e an application for confirmation o
f his title under the provisions of
the Land Registration Act, if he is
in fact the lawful owner.21

WHEREFORE, premises considered,

the petition is GRANTED. The Deci
sion of the Court of Appeals date
d September 23, 2002 is REVERSE
D and SET ASIDE. The petition for
reconstitution is DENIED.