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September-1927 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 27484 September 1, 1927 - ANGEL LORENZO v. DIRECTOR OF HEALTH

    050 Phil 595

  • G.R. No. 26957 September 2, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIMEON YUSAY

    050 Phil 598

  • G.R. No. 26360 September 7, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERIBERTO CALLE

    050 Phil 616

  • G.R. No. 27234 September 7, 1927 - ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF NUEVA SEGOVIA v. COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE

    050 Phil 618

  • G.R. No. 26659 September 9, 1927 - GOVERNMENT OF THE PHIL. v. JOAQUIN SERNA

    050 Phil 624

  • G.R. No. 26672 September 9, 1927 - PROCESO ECHARRI v. FELICIANO GOMEZ

    050 Phil 629

  • G.R. No. 27054 September 9, 1927 - MACARIA SOLIS v. CHUA PUA HERMANOS

    050 Phil 636

  • G.R. Nos. 26853-26855 September 10, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HIPOLITO UNDIANA

    050 Phil 641

  • G.R. No. 27143 September 10, 1927 - QUINTILLANA SAMSON v. MANUEL CARRATALA

    050 Phil 647

  • G.R. No. 27178 September 10, 1927 - TIMOTEO UNSON v. SMITH, BELL & CO.

    050 Phil 654

  • G.R. No. 27213 September 10, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LINO S. TAN

    050 Phil 660

  • G.R. No. 27449 September 10, 1927 - CHUA PUA HERMANOS v. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF BATANGAS

    050 Phil 670

  • G.R. Nos. 26598 & 26599 September 17, 1927 - SIA SIMEON VELEZ v. RAMON CHAVES

    050 Phil 676

  • G.R. No. 26671 September 17, 1927 - MUNICIPALITY OF ORION v. F. B. CONCHA

    050 Phil 679

  • G.R. No. 27209 September 17, 1927 - ANDRES M. GABRIEL v. PROVINCIAL BOARD OF PAMPANGA

    050 Phil 686

  • G.R. No. 27020 September 19, 1927 - ASIA BANKING CORPORATION v. M. J. MCCUENE

    050 Phil 694

  • G.R. No. 27498 September 20, 1927 - IN RE: JOSEFA TONGCO v. ANASTACIA VIANZON

    050 Phil 698

  • G.R. No. 28320 September 20, 1927 - RUFO SAN JUAN v. PERFECTO ABORDO

    050 Phil 703

  • G.R. No. 26849 September 21, 1927 - GOVERNMENT OF THE PHIL. v. MARTINO TOMBIS TRIÑO

    050 Phil 708

  • G.R. No. 26771 September 23, 1927 - RUPERTO SANTOS v. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

    050 Phil 720

  • G.R. No. 27180 September 24, 1927 - TEODORO DE CASTRO v. MARINO OLONDRIZ

    050 Phil 725

  • G.R. No. 26538 September 27, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO SORIANO

    050 Phil 735

  • G.R. No. 26844 September 27, 1927 - ISABEL FLORES v. TRINIDAD LIM

    050 Phil 738

  • G.R. No. 26941 September 27, 1927 - JUAN ARQUIZA LUTA v. MUNICIPALITY OF ZAMBOANGA

    050 Phil 748

  • G.R. No. 27048 September 27, 1927 - SILVESTRA BARON v. ANSELMO SAMPANG

    050 Phil 756

  • G.R. No. 27552 September 27, 1927 - MANILA MERCANTILE Co. v. MARIANO FLORES

    050 Phil 759

  • G.R. No. 28117 September 27, 1927 - LORENZA SUÑGA v. FRANCISCO TINGIN

    050 Phil 766

  • G.R. No. 27110 September 28, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GUILLERMO MIANA

    050 Phil 771

  • G.R. No. 27120 September 28, 1927 - JUANA AGAPITO v. CANDIDO MOLO

    050 Phil 779

  • G.R. No. 26708 September 29, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJO RESABAL

    050 Phil 780

  • G.R. No. 27483 September 29, 1927 - ENCARNACION RAMOS v. JUSTO DUEÑO

    050 Phil 786

  • G.R. No. 27895 September 30, 1927 - CLEMENTE REYES v. PABLO BORBON

    050 Phil 791

  • G.R. No. 27040 September 29, 1927 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTINO GARALDE

    052 Phil 1000

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 26941   September 27, 1927 - JUAN ARQUIZA LUTA v. MUNICIPALITY OF ZAMBOANGA<br /><br />050 Phil 748

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 26941. September 27, 1927.]

    JUAN ARQUIZA LUTA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. THE MUNICIPALITY OF ZAMBOANGA and MATEO PAULINO, as municipal treasurer of Zamboanga, Defendants-Appellees.

    Pablo Lorenzo and J. P. Melencio for Appellant.

    Attorney-General Jaranilla for Appellee.

    SYLLABUS


    1. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS; MUNICIPALITIES IN MINDANAO AND SULU; POWER TO LICENSE; SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS. — Section 2625 (d) of the Administrative Code, a part of the Municipal Law for Mindanao and Sulu, provides that "The municipal council shall have power by ordinance or resolution: . . . (d) Licenses and license fee. — To regulate, license, or prohibit the selling, giving away, or disposing, in any manner of any intoxicating, spirituous, vinous, or fermented liquors . . . ., and fix the sum to be paid for such licenses." It is held that this provision of law in relation with the agreed facts authorizes the municipal council of Zamboanga to adopt section 16 of Ordinances Nos. 188, 197, and 199. It is held further that section 16 of Ordinances Nos. 188, 197, and 199 of the municipality of Zamboanga are valid.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. — The cases of Pacific Commercial Company v. Romualdez and Alfonso ([1927], 49 Phil., 917), and Cuunjieng v. Patstone ([1922], 42 Phil., 818) are noticed. In contrast with the first case relating to the City of Manila, the Municipal Law for Mindanao and Sulu does not contain similar provisions indicative of a strict distinction between the licensing power and the taxing, power. In relation with the second case, a rule there announced applies for the sale of liquors should be classified as a non-useful business.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. — Whether certain sums fixed for certain activities in the sale of liquors were appropriate for the purpose, could better be decided by the local authorities than by any one else. The presumption must be, in lieu of convincing evidence to the contrary, that the ordinances are just and reasonable. The courts should not adopt a policy of petty picking at municipal officials who are attempting to perform their duties, and so through judicial interference, unduly embarrass municipal administration.


    D E C I S I O N


    MALCOLM, J.:


    In the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga an action was brought to secure a legal declaration that section 16 of Ordinances Nos. 188, 197, and 199 of the municipality of Zamboanga were invalid, and to obtain the return of two thousand pesos (P2,000) paid under protest pursuant to the provisions of the said ordinances, and the costs. The case was submitted for decision on the following agreed facts:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. That the plaintiff holds internal revenue licenses for the last quarter of 1925 and the three quarters of 1926 as wholesale liquor dealer, retail liquor dealer, retail fermented liquor dealer, retail ’vino’ dealer and wholesale fermented liquor dealer, as shown by Exhibits A, B, C, D and E and that these are internal revenue taxes.

    "2. That the receipts for the payment of these taxes for the three quarters of 1926 are Exhibits F, G, H, I and J, also internal revenue taxes.

    "3. That the receipts A to J refer to the wine and liquors business of Juan Arquiza Luta in the municipality of Zamboanga on Calle Guardia Nacional corner of Governor Lim.

    "4. That the Exhibits K, L, M and N are receipts for the payment of a municipal license for a bar or canteen.

    "5. That Exhibits O, P, Q and R are plaintiff’s license for a liquor store which is not the bar.

    "6. That the payments made after January 1, 1926 were made voluntarily by the plaintiff, stating that he paid under protest without having been required to do so by the defendants.

    "7. That Exhibits S, T and U, which are the ordinances attached to case No. 1337, be also considered as Exhibits S, T and U in this case.

    "8. That that part of paragraph 7 of the complaint which reads: ’compelled the plaintiff to make said payment is illegal constituting a double tax,’ should read: ’compelled the plaintiff to make said payment is illegal and because it constitutes a double tax;’ and that this amendment be deemed also introduced in paragraph 3 of the supplemental complaint in the same manner.

    "9. That the plaintiff’s bar is a distinct department from his wines and liquors and general merchandise store, connected by a door; that the bar has a show-case where different kinds of wines and liquors, etc., are displayed; that in the plaintiff’s store, distinct from the bar, where he sells general merchandise, are show-cases containing various kinds of liquors and fermented spirits which are sold to the public in corked or closed bottles for consumption outside of the store.

    "10. That Ordinance No. 197 of the municipality of Zamboanga went into effect on January 1, 1926, but was disapproved by the provincial board on March 26, 1926 and the municipal council of Zamboanga later approved Ordinance No. 199 in its stead.

    "11. That all of these exhibits presented by the plaintiff as a part of the evidence in this case were admitted over the objection of the defendants as being incompetent, immaterial and irrelevant, said defendants having excepted to the admission thereof."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Section 16 of Ordinances Nos. 188, 197, and 199 of the municipality of Zamboanga, the validity of which are disputed, provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ART. 16. Sale of liquors. — The following annual license fees, payable quarterly and in advance, are hereby imposed:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "(a) For the retail sale of wines and liquors of the country and imported in corked bottles not consumed in establishments within one and a half kilometers from the provincial capital, P2,000 annually.

    "(a-1) For the wholesale sale of wines and liquors of the country and imported in corked bottles, not consumed in establishments within one and a half kilometers from the provincial capital, P200 annually.

    "(b) For the retail sale of wines and liquors of the country and imported in corked bottles not consumed in establishments beyond one and a half kilometers from the provincial capital, P500 annually.

    "(b-1) For the wholesale sale of wines and liquors of the country and imported in corked bottles not consumed in establishments beyond a kilometer and a half from the provincial board, P100 annually.

    (c) For the retail sale of wines and liquors of the country only, excluding beer in corked bottles, not consumed in establishments beyond a kilometer from the provincial capital, P180 annually.

    "(c-1) For the wholesale sale of wines and liquors of the country only, excluding beer in corked bottles, not consumed in establishments beyond a kilometer and a half from the provincial capital, P60 annually.

    "The holders of licenses under this article are prohibited from selling wines and liquors of any kind, retail or wholesale, for consumption within the establishment."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The judgment absolved the municipality of Zamboanga and the municipal treasurer of Zamboanga as defendants from the complaint, with costs. From the judgment against him, the plaintiff has appealed, and here has assigned that the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga erred:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. In not holding that the municipal council of Zamboanga was not authorized by any law to impose the tax created by article 16 of said Ordinances Nos. 188, 197, and 199.

    "2. In not holding that the so-called municipal license which is imposed under article 16 of said ordinances is a tax which the plaintiff is already paying under section 1464 of the Administrative Code and therefore said article 16 is illegal for it constitutes a double tax.

    "3. In not holding that the municipal license for canteens or bars paid without protest by the plaintiffs by virtue of articles 27 et seq. of said ordinances, exempt the plaintiffs from the obligation of paying the so-called municipal license under article 16 of said ordinances.

    "4. In not holding that article 16 of the said ordinances was illegal, being an importation tax.

    "5. In denying the motion for a new trial."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The law pertaining to the case is found in the Administrative Code in sections 1454, 1464, 2625, and 2629. The most important of these legal provisions is a portion of sub-section (d) of section 2625, a part o4 the Municipal Law for Mindanao and Sulu. It provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SEC. 2625. The municipal council powers. — The municipal council shall have power by ordinance or resolution:"

    x       x       x


    "(d) Licenses and license fee. — . . .

    "To regulate, license, or prohibit . . . the selling, giving away, or disposing, in any manner of any intoxicating, spirituous, vinous, or fermented liquors . . ., and fix the sum to be paid for such licenses.

    "But nothing in this section shall be held to repeal or modify the provisions of law prohibiting the sale, gift, or other disposal of intoxicating liquors, other than native wines and liquors, to non-Christian inhabitants.

    "x       x       x"

    A study of Ordinance No. 199 of the municipality of Zamboanga in relation with Ordinances Nos. 188 and 197 discloses that it contains comprehensive provisions regulating the imposition of licenses. Some point has been made as to the true meaning of section 16 relating to the sale of liquors. Apparently, the municipal intention was to establish two zones within one of which establishments should pay certain fees and beyond which establishments should pay certain other fees. It cannot, therefore, be fairly said that the provisions under scrutiny suffer from ambiguity or are void for uncertainty. Indeed, this does not appear to have been the theory of the plaintiff in the lower court, and is not now pointed out as an error in this court, and so may be passed over without further comment.

    Passing in review the five errors assigned, it is our opinion that most of them merit no serious consideration. The stipulated facts and the law itself constitute sufficient answers. The only point which needs elucidation is whether or not the ordinance in question should be placed under the power to tax and held void, or under the power to license and held valid.

    The question above suggested was given rather elaborate consideration in the recent case of Pacific Commercial Company v. Romualdez and Alfonso ([1927], 49 Phil., 917). It was there held that Ordinance No. 1264 of the City of Manila was invalid as an unauthorized tax measure. It was said that "The terms ’license’ and ’regulate’ in a municipal charter may authorize licenses for the purpose of raising revenue, if there is nothing antagonistic in the rest of the charter. Otherwise not." It was further observed: "A comparison of the provisions of the Manila Charter relative to the legislative powers of the Municipal Board makes it apparent that the power to tax was given where it was intended to be exercised, and that it was not given where it was not intended to be exercised." But we think that the case at bar can be fairly distinguished from the case of Pacific Commercial Company v. Romualdez and Alfonso, supra. The prime reason is that the Municipal Law for Mindanao and Sulu does not contain provisions indicative of a strict distinction between the licensing power and the taxing power. In the broadest possible manner, the municipal councils within the confines of Mindanao and Sulu are given power over the sale of intoxicating liquors. And this power is not detracted from by a comparison with other powers in the same law or the same section defining the right to tax.

    A branch of the subject was given attention in the case of Cuunjieng v. Patstone ([1922], 42 Phil., 818). The distinction was there drawn between license fees for useful occupations or enterprises and non-useful occupations or enterprises. It was held: "In the absence of special authority to impose a license fee or tax for revenue, the fee for licenses for the regulation of useful occupations or enterprises may only be of a sufficient amount to include the expense of issuing the license and the cost of the necessary inspection and police surveillance, taking into account not only the expense of direct regulation but also incidental consequences. In fixing fees for licenses for non-useful occupations, a municipal corporation is allowed a wider discretion than in regard to license fees for useful occupations, and aside from applying the legal principle that municipal ordinances must not be unreasonable, oppressive, or tyrannical, the courts have generally declined to interfere with such discretion." Keeping this rule to the forefront, it will be recalled that the ordinance before us concerns the sale of liquors which should be classified as a non-useful business. It will also be recalled that the licenses are not only intended for the strictly related power to regulate but might extend so far as to prohibit.

    Of even a more fundamental nature is the undeniable fact that the municipal authorities of Zamboanga, better acquainted than we are with the local conditions, were attempting, under the power to license, to regulate the sale of liquors. If under ordinances thus enacted incidental revenue should accrue, it would not undermine the validity of the local provisions. Whether certain sums fixed for certain activities in the sale of liquors were appropriate for the purpose, could better be decided by the local authorities than by any one else. The presumption must be, in lieu of convincing evidence to the contrary, that the ordinances are just and reasonable. The courts should not adopt a policy of petty picking at municipal officials who are attempting to perform their duties, and so through judicial interference, unduly embarrass municipal administration.

    After a prolonged consideration of this case with reference to the admitted facts and the law and with reference to the particular errors assigned, the court reaches the definite conclusion that section 16 of Ordinances Nos. 188, 197, and 199 of the municipality of Zamboanga are valid.

    Judgment is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the Appellant.

    Avanceña, C.J., Johnson, Street, Villamor, Romualdez, and Villa-Real, JJ., concur.

    Separate Opinions


    JOHNS, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The rule is elementary that on an appeal in a civil action, in particular, the merits of the appeal are limited and confined to the errors assigned.

    That is true in this case. Following that rule, I am forced to concur in the result. If all of the legal questions involved in this case had been raised on this appeal, another and a very different question would be presented. It is for such reason that I concur in the result.

    G.R. No. 26941   September 27, 1927 - JUAN ARQUIZA LUTA v. MUNICIPALITY OF ZAMBOANGA<br /><br />050 Phil 748


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