Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 110120 March 16, 1994
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner,
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MANUEL JN. SERAPIO, Presiding Judge RTC, Branch 127, Caloocan City, HON. MACARIO A. ASISTIO, JR., City Mayor of Caloocan and/or THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN, respondents.
Alberto N. Hidalgo and Ma. Teresa T. Oledan for petitioner.
The City Legal Officer & Chief, Law Department for Mayor Macario A. Asistio, Jr. and the City Government of Caloocan.
The clash between the responsibility of the City Government of Caloocan to dispose off the 350 tons of garbage it collects daily and the growing concern and sensitivity to a pollution-free environment of the residents of Barangay Camarin, Tala Estate, Caloocan City where these tons of garbage are dumped everyday is the hub of this controversy elevated by the protagonists to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) for adjudication.
The instant case stemmed from an earlier petition filed with this Court by Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA for short) docketed as G.R. 1 promulgated on January 29, 1993 ruled that the LLDA has no power and authority to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage in Barangay Camarin, Tala Estate, Caloocan City. The LLDA now seeks, in this petition, a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals.
No. 107542 against the City Government of Caloocan, et al. In the Resolution of November 10, 1992, this Court referred G.R. No. 107542 to the Court of Appeals for appropriate disposition. Docketed therein as CA-G.R. SP
No. 29449, the Court of Appeals, in a decision
The facts, as disclosed in the records, are undisputed.
On March 8, 1991, the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, filed a letter-complaint 2 with the Laguna Lake Development Authority seeking to stop the operation of the 8.6-hectare open garbage dumpsite in Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City due to its harmful effects on the health of the residents and the possibility of pollution of the water content of the surrounding area.
On November 15, 1991, the LLDA conducted an on-site investigation, monitoring and test sampling of the leachate 3 that seeps from said dumpsite to the nearby creek which is a tributary of the Marilao River. The LLDA Legal and Technical personnel found that the City Government of Caloocan was maintaining an open dumpsite at the Camarin area without first securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as required under Presidential Decree No. 1586, 4 and clearance from LLDA as required under Republic Act No. 4850, 5 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983. 6
After a public hearing conducted on December 4, 1991, the LLDA, acting on the complaint of Task Force Camarin Dumpsite, found that the water collected from the leachate and the receiving streams could considerably affect the quality, in turn, of the receiving waters since it indicates the presence of bacteria, other than coliform, which may have contaminated the sample during collection or handling. 7 On December 5, 1991, the LLDA issued a Cease and Desist Order 8 ordering the City Government of Caloocan, Metropolitan Manila Authority, their contractors, and other entities, to completely halt, stop and desist from dumping any form or kind of garbage and other waste matter at the Camarin dumpsite.
The dumping operation was forthwith stopped by the City Government of Caloocan. However, sometime in August 1992 the dumping operation was resumed after a meeting held in July 1992 among the City Government of Caloocan, the representatives of Task Force Camarin Dumpsite and LLDA at the Office of Environmental Management Bureau Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes failed to settle the problem.
After an investigation by its team of legal and technical personnel on August 14, 1992, the LLDA issued another order reiterating the December 5, 1991, order and issued an Alias Cease and Desist Order enjoining the City Government of Caloocan from continuing its dumping operations at the Camarin area.
On September 25, 1992, the LLDA, with the assistance of the Philippine National Police, enforced its Alias Cease and Desist Order by prohibiting the entry of all garbage dump trucks into the Tala Estate, Camarin area being utilized as a dumpsite.
Pending resolution of its motion for reconsideration earlier filed on September 17, 1992 with the LLDA, the City Government of Caloocan filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an action for the declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order with prayer for the issuance of writ of injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. C-15598. In its complaint, the City Government of Caloocan sought to be declared as the sole authority empowered to promote the health and safety and enhance the right of the people in Caloocan City to a balanced ecology within its territorial jurisdiction. 9
On September 25, 1992, the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the LLDA from enforcing its cease and desist order. Subsequently, the case was raffled to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 126 of Caloocan which, at the time, was presided over by Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 127, the pairing judge of the recently-retired presiding judge.
The LLDA, for its part, filed on October 2, 1992 a motion to dismiss on the ground, among others, that under Republic Act No. 3931, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 984, otherwise known as the Pollution Control Law, the cease and desist order issued by it which is the subject matter of the complaint is reviewable both upon the law and the facts of the case by the Court of Appeals and not by the Regional Trial Court. 10
On October 12, 1992 Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio issued an order consolidating Civil Case No. C-15598 with Civil Case No. C-15580, an earlier case filed by the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite entitled "Fr. John Moran, et al. vs. Hon. Macario Asistio." The LLDA, however, maintained during the trial that the foregoing cases, being independent of each other, should have been treated separately.
On October 16, 1992, Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, after hearing the motion to dismiss, issued in the consolidated cases an order 11 denying LLDA's motion to dismiss and granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the LLDA, its agent and all persons acting for and on its behalf, from enforcing or implementing its cease and desist order which prevents plaintiff City of Caloocan from dumping garbage at the Camarin dumpsite during the pendency of this case and/or until further orders of the court.
On November 5, 1992, the LLDA filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction with prayer for restraining order with the Supreme Court, docketed as G.R. No. 107542, seeking to nullify the aforesaid order dated October 16, 1992 issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 127 of Caloocan City denying its motion to dismiss.
The Court, acting on the petition, issued a Resolution 12 on November 10, 1992 referring the case to the Court of Appeals for proper disposition and at the same time, without giving due course to the petition, required the respondents to comment on the petition and file the same with the Court of Appeals within ten (10) days from notice. In the meantime, the Court issued a temporary restraining order, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from it, ordering the respondents: (1) Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 127, Caloocan City to cease and desist from exercising jurisdiction over the case for declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order issued by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA); and (2) City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City.
Respondents City Government of Caloocan and Mayor Macario A. Asistio, Jr. filed on November 12, 1992 a motion for reconsideration and/or to quash/recall the temporary restraining order and an urgent motion for reconsideration alleging that ". . . in view of the calamitous situation that would arise if the respondent city government fails to collect 350 tons of garbage daily for lack of dumpsite (i)t is therefore, imperative that the issue be resolved with dispatch or with sufficient leeway to allow the respondents to find alternative solutions to this garbage problem."
On November 17, 1992, the Court issued a Resolution 13 directing the Court of Appeals to immediately set the case for hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the temporary restraining order issued by the Court should be lifted and what conditions, if any, may be required if it is to be so lifted or whether the restraining order should be maintained or converted into a preliminary injunction.
The Court of Appeals set the case for hearing on November 27, 1992, at 10:00 in the morning at the Hearing Room, 3rd Floor, New Building, Court of Appeals. 14 After the oral argument, a conference was set on December 8, 1992 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning where the Mayor of Caloocan City, the General Manager of LLDA, the Secretary of DENR or his duly authorized representative and the Secretary of DILG or his duly authorized representative were required to appear.
It was agreed at the conference that the LLDA had until December 15, 1992 to finish its study and review of respondent's technical plan with respect to the dumping of its garbage and in the event of a rejection of respondent's technical plan or a failure of settlement, the parties will submit within 10 days from notice their respective memoranda on the merits of the case, after which the petition shall be deemed submitted for resolution. 15 Notwithstanding such efforts, the parties failed to settle the dispute.
On April 30, 1993, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision holding that: (1) the Regional Trial Court has no jurisdiction on appeal to try, hear and decide the action for annulment of LLDA's cease and desist order, including the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in relation thereto, since appeal therefrom is within the exclusive and appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals under Section 9, par. (3), of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129; and (2) the Laguna Lake Development Authority has no power and authority to issue a cease and desist order under its enabling law, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order
No. 927, series of 1983.
The Court of Appeals thus dismissed Civil Case No. 15598 and the preliminary injunction issued in the said case was set aside; the cease and desist order of LLDA was likewise set aside and the temporary restraining order enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City was lifted, subject, however, to the condition that any future dumping of garbage in said area, shall be in conformity with the procedure and protective works contained in the proposal attached to the records of this case and found on pages 152-160 of the Rollo, which was thereby adopted by reference and made an integral part of the decision, until the corresponding restraining and/or injunctive relief is granted by the proper Court upon LLDA's institution of the necessary legal proceedings.
Hence, the Laguna Lake Development Authority filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, now docketed as G.R. No. 110120, with prayer that the temporary restraining order lifted by the Court of Appeals be re-issued until after final determination by this Court of the issue on the proper interpretation of the powers and authority of the LLDA under its enabling law.
On July, 19, 1993, the Court issued a temporary restraining order 16 enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, effective as of this date and containing until otherwise ordered by the Court.
It is significant to note that while both parties in this case agree on the need to protect the environment and to maintain the ecological balance of the surrounding areas of the Camarin open dumpsite, the question as to which agency can lawfully exercise jurisdiction over the matter remains highly open to question.
The City Government of Caloocan claims that it is within its power, as a local government unit, pursuant to the general welfare provision of the Local Government Code, 17 to determine the effects of the operation of the dumpsite on the ecological balance and to see that such balance is maintained. On the basis of said contention, it questioned, from the inception of the dispute before the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, the power and authority of the LLDA to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage in the Barangay Camarin over which the City Government of Caloocan has territorial jurisdiction.
The Court of Appeals sustained the position of the City of Caloocan on the theory that Section 7 of Presidential Decree No. 984, otherwise known as the Pollution Control law, authorizing the defunct National Pollution Control Commission to issue an ex-parte cease and desist order was not incorporated in Presidential Decree No. 813 nor in Executive Order No. 927, series of
1983. The Court of Appeals ruled that under Section 4, par. (d), of Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, the LLDA is instead required "to institute the necessary legal proceeding against any person who shall commence to implement or continue implementation of any project, plan or program within the Laguna de Bay region without previous clearance from the Authority."
The LLDA now assails, in this partition for review, the abovementioned ruling of the Court of Appeals, contending that, as an administrative agency which was granted regulatory and adjudicatory powers and functions by Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws, Presidential Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, it is invested with the power and authority to issue a cease and desist order pursuant to Section 4 par. (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of Executive Order No. 927 series of 1983 which provides, thus:
Sec. 4. Additional Powers and Functions. The authority shall have the following powers and functions:
xxx xxx xxx
(c) Issue orders or decisions to compel compliance with the provisions of this Executive Order and its implementing rules and regulations only after proper notice and hearing.
(d) Make, alter or modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution specifying the conditions and the time within which such discontinuance must be accomplished.
(e) Issue, renew, or deny permits, under such conditions as it may determine to be reasonable, for the prevention and abatement of pollution, for the discharge of sewage, industrial waste, or for the installation or operation of sewage works and industrial disposal system or parts thereof.
(f) After due notice and hearing, the Authority may also revoke, suspend or modify any permit issued under this Order whenever the same is necessary to prevent or abate pollution.
(g) Deputize in writing or request assistance of appropriate government agencies or instrumentalities for the purpose of enforcing this Executive Order and its implementing rules and regulations and the orders and decisions of the Authority.
The LLDA claims that the appellate court deliberately suppressed and totally disregarded the above provisions of Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, which granted administrative quasi-judicial functions to LLDA on pollution abatement cases.
In light of the relevant environmental protection laws cited which are applicable in this case, and the corresponding overlapping jurisdiction of government agencies implementing these laws, the resolution of the issue of whether or not the LLDA has the authority and power to issue an order which, in its nature and effect was injunctive, necessarily requires a determination of the threshold question: Does the Laguna Lake Development Authority, under its Charter and its amendatory laws, have the authority to entertain the complaint against the dumping of garbage in the open dumpsite in Barangay Camarin authorized by the City Government of Caloocan which is allegedly endangering the health, safety, and welfare of the residents therein and the sanitation and quality of the water in the area brought about by exposure to pollution caused by such open garbage dumpsite?
The matter of determining whether there is such pollution of the environment that requires control, if not prohibition, of the operation of a business establishment is essentially addressed to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR which, by virtue of Section 16 of Executive Order No. 192, series of 1987, 18 has assumed the powers and functions of the defunct National Pollution Control Commission created under Republic Act No. 3931. Under said Executive Order, a Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) under the Office of the DENR Secretary now assumes the powers and functions of the National Pollution Control Commission with respect to adjudication of pollution cases. 19
As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), except in cases where the special law provides for another forum. It must be recognized in this regard that the LLDA, as a specialized administrative agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws to carry out and make effective the declared national policy 20 of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna and the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan 21 with due regard and adequate provisions for environmental management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution. Under such a broad grant and power and authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its special charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the inhabitants of the Laguna Lake region from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the discharge of wastes from the surrounding areas. In carrying out the aforementioned declared policy, the LLDA is mandated, among others, to pass upon and approve or disapprove all plans, programs, and projects proposed by local government offices/agencies within the region, public corporations, and private persons or enterprises where such plans, programs and/or projects are related to those of the LLDA for the development of the region. 22
In the instant case, when the complainant Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, filed its letter-complaint before the LLDA, the latter's jurisdiction under its charter was validly invoked by complainant on the basis of its allegation that the open dumpsite project of the City Government of Caloocan in Barangay Camarin was undertaken without a clearance from the LLDA, as required under Section 4, par. (d), of Republic Act. No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927. While there is also an allegation that the said project was without an Environmental Compliance Certificate from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR, the primary jurisdiction of the LLDA over this case was recognized by the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR when the latter acted as intermediary at the meeting among the representatives of the City Government of Caloocan, Task Force Camarin Dumpsite and LLDA sometime in July 1992 to discuss the possibility of
re-opening the open dumpsite.
Having thus resolved the threshold question, the inquiry then narrows down to the following issue: Does the LLDA have the power and authority to issue a "cease and desist" order under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws, on the basis of the facts presented in this case, enjoining the dumping of garbage in Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City.
The irresistible answer is in the affirmative.
The cease and desist order issued by the LLDA requiring the City Government of Caloocan to stop dumping its garbage in the Camarin open dumpsite found by the LLDA to have been done in violation of Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, and other relevant environment laws, 23 cannot be stamped as an unauthorized exercise by the LLDA of injunctive powers. By its express terms, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, authorizes the LLDA to "make, alter or modify order requiring the discontinuance or pollution." 24 (Emphasis supplied) Section 4, par. (d) explicitly authorizes the LLDA to make whatever order may be necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction.
To be sure, the LLDA was not expressly conferred the power "to issue and ex-parte cease and desist order" in a language, as suggested by the City Government of Caloocan, similar to the express grant to the defunct National Pollution Control Commission under Section 7 of P.D. No. 984 which, admittedly was not reproduced in P.D. No. 813 and E.O. No. 927, series of 1983. However, it would be a mistake to draw therefrom the conclusion that there is a denial of the power to issue the order in question when the power "to make, alter or modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution" is expressly and clearly bestowed upon the LLDA by Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.
Assuming arguendo that the authority to issue a "cease and desist order" were not expressly conferred by law, there is jurisprudence enough to the effect that the rule granting such authority need not necessarily be express. 25 While it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an administrative agency has also such powers as are necessarily implied in the exercise of its express powers. 26 In the exercise, therefore, of its express powers under its charter as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake region, the authority of the LLDA to issue a "cease and desist order" is, perforce, implied. Otherwise, it may well be reduced to a "toothless" paper agency.
In this connection, it must be noted that in Pollution Adjudication Board v. Court of Appeals, et al., 27 the Court ruled that the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) has the power to issue an ex-parte cease and desist order when there is prima facie evidence of an establishment exceeding the allowable standards set by the anti-pollution laws of the country. The ponente, Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano, declared:
Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in situations like that here presented precisely because stopping the continuous discharge of pollutive and untreated effluents into the rivers and other inland waters of the Philippines cannot be made to wait until protracted litigation over the ultimate correctness or propriety of such orders has run its full course, including multiple and sequential appeals such as those which Solar has taken, which of course may take several years. The relevant pollution control statute and implementing regulations were enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general welfare and comfort of the public, as well as the protection of plant and animal life, commonly designated as the police power. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests like those here involved, through the exercise of police power. . . .
The immediate response to the demands of "the necessities of protecting vital public interests" gives vitality to the statement on ecology embodied in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies or the 1987 Constitution. Article II, Section 16 which provides:
The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
As a constitutionally guaranteed right of every person, it carries the correlative duty of non-impairment. This is but in consonance with the declared policy of the state "to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them." 28 It is to be borne in mind that the Philippines is party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Alma Conference Declaration of 1978 which recognize health as a fundamental human right. 29
The issuance, therefore, of the cease and desist order by the LLDA, as a practical matter of procedure under the circumstances of the case, is a proper exercise of its power and authority under its charter and its amendatory laws. Had the cease and desist order issued by the LLDA been complied with by the City Government of Caloocan as it did in the first instance, no further legal steps would have been necessary.
The charter of LLDA, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, instead of conferring upon the LLDA the means of directly enforcing such orders, has provided under its Section 4 (d) the power to institute "necessary legal proceeding against any person who shall commence to implement or continue implementation of any project, plan or program within the Laguna de Bay region without previous clearance from the LLDA."
Clearly, said provision was designed to invest the LLDA with sufficiently broad powers in the regulation of all projects initiated in the Laguna Lake region, whether by the government or the private sector, insofar as the implementation of these projects is concerned. It was meant to deal with cases which might possibly arise where decisions or orders issued pursuant to the exercise of such broad powers may not be obeyed, resulting in the thwarting of its laudabe objective. To meet such contingencies, then the writs of mandamus and injunction which are beyond the power of the LLDA to issue, may be sought from the proper courts.
Insofar as the implementation of relevant anti-pollution laws in the Laguna Lake region and its surrounding provinces, cities and towns are concerned, the Court will not dwell further on the related issues raised which are more appropriately addressed to an administrative agency with the special knowledge and expertise of the LLDA.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The temporary restraining order issued by the Court on July 19, 1993 enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan from dumping their garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City is hereby made permanent.
Feliciano, Bidin, Melo and Vitug, JJ., concur.
1 Jorge S. Imperial, J., ponente, Vicente V. Mendoza and Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr., JJ., concurring.
2 Annex "C", Petition, G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 47-51.
3 Webster's Third International Dictionary (1986) defines "leachate" as the liquid that has percolated through soil or other medium.
4 Establishing An Environmental Impact Statement System, Including Other Environmental Management Related Measures And For Other Purposes
(June 11, 1978).
5 An Act Creating The Laguna Lake Development Authority, Prescribing Its Powers, Functions and Duties, Providing Funds Therefor, And For Other Purposes
(July 18, 1966).
6 Annex "D", Petition, G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 52-54.
8 Annex "G", Petition, G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 58-63.
9 Annex "M", Petition, G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 77-81.
10 Annex "O", Petition, G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 83-90.
11 Annex "A", Petition, G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 29-37.
12 G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 93-95.
13 G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 98-99.
14 Ibid, p. 97.
15 G.R. No. 107542, Rollo, pp. 129-130.
16 G.R. No. 110120, Rollo, p. 70.
17 Section 16, Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as "The Local Government Code of 1991."
18 Providing For The Reorganization Of The Department Of Environment, Energy And Natural Resources, Renaming It As The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, And For Other Purposes (June 10, 1987).
19 Section 19, Executive Order No. 192, series of 1987.
20 Section 1, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.
21 Section 41, par. (4), Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.
22 Section 4, par. (d), Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983. (Emphasis supplied)
23 Sections 45 and 48, Presidential Decree No. 1152, otherwise known as Philippine Environment Code which requires that solid waste disposal shall be by sanitary landfill, incineration, composting and other methods as may be approved by competent government authority and, that the sites shall conform with existing zoning, land use standards, and pollution control regulations, respectively; Section 4, Presidential Decree No. 1586.
24 Section 4, par. (d), Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.
25 Motor Transit Co. v. Railroad Com., 189 CAL 573, 209 P 586.
26 Republic v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 90482, August 5, 1991, 200 SCRA 266; Guerzon v. Court of Appeals, et al. G.R. No. 77707, August 8, 1988, 164 SCRA 182.
27 G.R. No. 93891, March 11, 1991, 195 SCRA 112.
28 Art. II, Section 15, 1987 Constitution.
29 Record of the Constitutional Commission, Proceedings and Debates, Vol. III,
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