Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Villegas vs Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho & Judge Arca

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

Villegas vs Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho & Judge Arca
G..R. No. L-29646
November 10, 1978


This is a petition for certiorari to review tile decision dated September 17, 1968 of respondent Judge Francisco Arca of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch I, in Civil Case No. 72797. The controverted Ordinance No. 6537 was passed by the Municipal Board of Manila on February 22, 1968 and signed by the herein petitioner Mayor Antonio J. Villegas of Manila on March 27, 1968.

Section 1 of said Ordinance No. 6537 prohibits aliens from being employed or to engage or participate in any position or occupation or business enumerated therein, whether permanent, temporary or casual, without first securing an employment permit from the Mayor of Manila and paying the permit fee of P50.00 except persons employed in the diplomatic or consular missions of foreign countries, or in the technical assistance programs of both the Philippine Government and any foreign government, and those working in their respective households, and members of religious orders or congregations, sect or denomination, who are not paid monetarily or in kind.

Violations of this ordinance is punishable by an imprisonment of not less than three (3) months to six (6) months or fine of not less than P100.00 but not more than P200.00 or both such fine and imprisonment, upon conviction.

On May 4, 1968, private respondent Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho who was employed in Manila, filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch I, denominated as Civil Case No. 72797, praying for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction and restraining order to stop the enforcement of Ordinance No. 6537 as well as for a judgment declaring said Ordinance No. 6537 null and void.

In this petition, Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho assigned the following as his grounds for wanting the ordinance declared null and void: As a police power measure, it makes no distinction between useful and non-useful occupations, imposing a fixed P50.00 employment permit, which is out of proportion to the cost of registration and that it fails to prescribe any standard to guide and/or limit the action of the Mayor, thus, violating the fundamental principle on illegal delegation of legislative powers


Whether or not respondent judge erred in ruling ordinance 6537 and violated the cardinal rule of uniformity of taxation, the principle against undue designation of legislative power, and due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution


Ordinance No. 6537 does not lay down any criterion or standard to guide the Mayor in the exercise of his discretion. It has been held that where an ordinance of a municipality fails to state any policy or to set up any standard to guide or limit the mayor's action, expresses no purpose to be attained by requiring a permit, enumerates no conditions for its grant or refusal, and entirely lacks standard, thus conferring upon the Mayor arbitrary and unrestricted power to grant or deny the issuance of building permits, such ordinance is invalid, being an undefined and unlimited delegation of power to allow or prevent an activity per se lawful.

Ordinance No. 6537 is void because it does not contain or suggest any standard or criterion to guide the mayor in the exercise of the power which has been granted to him by the ordinance.

The ordinance in question violates the due process of law and equal protection rule of the Constitution.

Requiring a person before he can be employed to get a permit from the City Mayor of Manila who may withhold or refuse it at will is tantamount to denying him the basic right of the people in the Philippines to engage in a means of livelihood. While it is true that the Philippines as a State is not obliged to admit aliens within its territory, once an alien is admitted, he cannot be deprived of life without due process of law. This guarantee includes the means of livelihood. The shelter of protection under the due process and equal protection clause is given to all persons, both aliens and citizens.

The trial court did not commit the errors assigned.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.

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