[G.R. No. 157523. June
EDILLO vs. CA
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this
court dated JUN 18 2003.
G.R. No. 157523(Roberto A. Edillo vs. Court of Appeals and the
City of Cebu and the City Council
of Cebu City.)
This is a petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure seeking
to set aside the decision of (1) the Court of Appeals dated September 5, 2002
affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City (2) of
Branch 21 of the RTC of Cebu City dismissing the case of petitioner Roberto A.
Edillo for declaratory relief with preliminary injunction and (3) its
resolution dated February 18, 2003 denying petitioner's motion for
The antecedent facts of the case follow.
Roberto A. Edillo was engaged in the business of mimeographing
and printing of jai-alai tip sheets under the firm name Roedil Enterprises
& Printing Press. In relation thereto, he was issued the corresponding
Certificate of Registration by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and
a Mayor's Permit. The tip sheets were referred to by petitioner as "Speed
Computer" for which he was issued a patent by the Philippine Patent Office on September
25, 1979 to protect said trademark.
On January 31, 1996, public respondents Rodolfo Y. Cabrera and
Michael L. Rama, then Members of the Sangguniang Panlunsod of Cebu City
(Sanggunian), filed a proposed ordinance entitled: AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING AND
PENALIZING THE MAKING, PRINTING, PRODUCTION, REPRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, SALE
OR POSSESSION OF ANY MATERIAL SHOWING FIGURES, SIGNS OR SYMBOLS OR ANY OTHER
MATERIAL CONTAINING WORDS, LETTERS OR NUMBERS WHICH PERTAIN TO JAI-ALAI,
JUETENG AND/OR SIMILAR GAMES OR LOTTERY WHICH IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.
Consequently, petitioner protested the proposed ordinance in his
letters to the Sanggunian dated February
19, 1996 and February 24,
1996 on the ground that it was oppressive, partial, unfair and
prohibits rather than regulates trade, contravenes the Constitution or
statutes. He further argued that the proposed ordinance did not comply with the
requisites for a valid exercise of police power.
In Resolution No. 2355, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cebu
City enacted Ordinance No. 1616
which was approved by City Mayor Alvin B. Garcia on March
Ordinance No. 1616 in substance provides:
xxx xxx xxx
WHEREAS, in order to give full meaning and effectivity to the
campaign waged by the Government, the Church and the concerned Private Sector
against illegal gambling, it is imperative to pass an ordinance supplementing
the provisions of P.D. 1602 to prevent its circumvention, in order to protect
the greater interest and welfare of the citizenry from the illegal operations
of unscrupulous individuals who thrive and make a living on the gullibility and
weakness of other persons;
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the
City of Cebu, in a regular session
assembled, hereby ordains that:
xxx xxx xxx
Section 2. Unlawful Acts - It shall be unlawful for any
person to make, print, produce, distribute, sell or possess any material
showing figures, signs or symbols of any other material containing words,
letters or numbers which pertain to jai-alai, jueteng and/or similar games or
lottery which is not authorized by law.
xxx xxx xxx
Petitioner then filed before the RTC of Cebu City a petition for
declaratory relief with preliminary injunction praying that Ordinance No. 1616
be declared as ultra vires, unconstitutional,
illegal, oppressive, partial, unfair and, in particular, prohibits rather than
regulates trade, contravenes common rights, is inconsistent with public policy
and is unreasonable.
On May 10, 1996
the trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction for the purpose of
preserving the status quo of the parties during the pendency of the case.
On September 16, 1996,
the trial court rendered a decision against petitioner, thus:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered
dismissing the complaint and declaring Ordinance No. 1616 of Cebu
City as neither invalid nor
unconstitutional. Accordingly, the writ of preliminary injunction is hereby
Aggrieved, petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals
and argued that the trial court erred in holding that the ordinance in question
was a valid exercise of the police power of the City of Cebu.
On September 5, 2002,
the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision:
WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the Decision dated September
16, 1996 of Branch 21 of the Regional
Trial Court of
in Civil Case No. CEB-18544, the same is hereby AFFIRMED and the instant appeal
is ordered DISMISSED, for lack of merit.
The Court of Appeals likewise denied the motion for
reconsideration of petitioner. Hence, the instant petition.
Petitioner argues that the ordinance's introductory statement
alone shows that the passage of such measure was intended only to accommodate
the perceived inability of the law enforcement agencies of Cebu City to curb
the proliferation of illegal gambling. Further, the ordinance is oppressive,
partial and unfair as it targets only the printers of Cebu
City. Lastly, the "SPEED COMPUTER"
cannot be classified as part of trade malpractices or a hazardous product from
which the consumers or inhabitants of the City of Cebu
must be protected. Petitioner maintains that "SPEED COMPUTER" is a registered
trademark and his application therefor was duly processed and approved by the
proper government agency.
We find no merit in the petition.
Section 5, Article II of our present Constitution provides:
The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life,
liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential
for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
In its exercise of police power, the State may impose appropriate
impositions or restraints upon liberty or property in order to foster the
common good. Corollarily, municipal corporations, being the agencies of the
State for the promotion and maintenance of local self-government, are endowed
with police powers in order to effectively accomplish and carry out the
declared objects of their creation. Pursuant to the general welfare clause in
Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160), local government
units are empowered to enact ordinances in the exercise of police power. Every
local government unit has the sworn obligation to enact measures that will
enhance the public health, safety and convenience, maintain peace and order,
and promote the general prosperity of the inhabitants of the local units.
As far back as U.S. vs.
Salaveriacralaw, this Court, through Justice George A.
Malcolm, clarified the significance and scope of such a clause which "delegates
in statutory form the police power to a municipality." As above-stated, this
clause has been given wide application by municipal authorities and has, in its
relation to the particular circumstances of the case, been liberally construed
by the courts. This, it is well to recall, is the progressive view of
Philippine jurisprudence. As it was then, so it has continued to be. This Court
will not lightly set aside local legislation unless a clear invasion and
transgression of personal or property rights under the guise of police
regulation is shown.cralaw
For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the
corporate powers of the municipality or city to enact but must also be passed
according to the procedure prescribed by law, and must be in consonance with certain
well established and basic principles of a substantive nature. These principles
require that a municipal ordinance (1) must not contravene the Constitution or
any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be partial or
discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) must be
general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.cralaw
Ordinance No. 1616 meets these criteria.
The objections interposed by petitioner to the validity of the
ordinance have not been substantiated. The reason and purpose for the enactment
of Ordinance No. 1616 are well within the objectives of sound government. No
undue restraint is placed upon the petitioner or for anybody to engage in trade
but merely a prohibition from the making, printing, reproduction, distribution
or sale of any material showing figures, signs or symbols, letters or numbers
which pertain to jai-alai, jueteng and
similar games or lottery which are
not authorized by law. Pursuant to Section 2 of PD 483,cralaw
betting in jai-alai is illegal. And whether under PD 810cralaw
or its repealing enactment EO 169,cralaw
jai-alai games are authorized to be conducted solely as a sports contest.
Betting on the results thereof, whether on or off-fronton, is illegal.cralaw
In maintaining a state policy on the various forms of gambling,
the political branches of government are best equipped to regulate and control
such activities and they therefore assume full responsibility to the people for
such policy. Thus, as far as public policy is concerned, there can be no better
policy than what has been conceived by the government of the City of Cebu.
There is no showing, therefore, of the unconstitutionality of Ordinance No.
WHEREFORE, for lack of
merit, the petition is hereby DENIED.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.)JULIETA Y. CARREON
Clerk of Court