Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1920 > November 1920 Decisions > G.R. No. 15939 November 5, 1920 - KUAN LOW & CO. v. VICENTE ALDANESE

042 Phil 921:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 15939. November 5, 1920. ]

KUAN LOW & CO., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VICENTE ALDANESE, Insular Collector of Customs, Defendant-Appellee.

Hartford Beaumont for Appellant.

Attorney-General for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; WHAT ACTS OF THE PHILIPPINE LEGISLATURE NEED BE APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. — The only acts of the Philippine Legislature which, under the Jones Law, appear to require the approval of the President of the United States are: (1) Those having reference to "lands of the public domain, timber, and mining; (2) tariff acts or acts amendatory to the tariff of the Philippine Islands; (3) acts affecting immigration; and (4) acts affecting the currency or coinage laws of the Philippine Islands." (Secs. 9 and 10, Jones Law.)

2. ID.; ID. — Act No. 2869 of the Philippine Legislature, which authorized the Governor-General to prohibit, with the consent of the Council of State, by proclamation, the exportation of rice or palay, except to the United States, whenever in his judgment the public interest may require it, does not belong to any of the four classes of Acts above enumerated.

3. ID.; FOREIGN COMMERCE; POWER OF PHILIPPINE LEGISLATURE TO REGULATE SAME. — Held: Following the decision in the case of United States v. Bull (15 Phil., 7, 30), the Philippine Legislature has the power to regulate commerce between foreign nations and the ports of the Philippine Islands.


D E C I S I O N


JOHNSON, J. :


This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila, denying the appellant’s petition for the writ of permanent injunction to restrain and prohibit the Collector of Customs from interfering with the exportation of rice from Manila to Hongkong.

The only questions presented by this appeal are: (1) Whether or not Act No. 2869 of the Philippine Legislature was in full force and effect on the 6th day of August, 1919; and (2) whether or not said Act is constitutional. Said Act No. 2869 was approved on July 30, 1919, and reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"SECTION 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized to prohibit, with the consent of the Council of State, by proclamation and subject to such rules as he may publish, the exportation of rice or palay, except to the United States, whenever in his judgment the public interest may require it.

"SEC. 2. Upon the express or implicit approval of this Act by the President of the United States, as provided in the Act of Congress approved on August twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and sixteen, entitled ’An Act to declare the purpose of the people of the United States as to the future political status of the people of the Philippine Islands, and to provide a more autonomous government for those Islands,’ the Governor-General shall so announce forthwith, by means of a proclamation, and this Act shall take effect on the date of such proclamation."cralaw virtua1aw library

The appellant contends that said Act was not in full force and effect at the time of the trial of this cause (August 6, 1919) because (1) the President of the United States had not approved it, and (2) the Governor-General had not, by proclamation, announced that the President had approved it.

It appears that on the 6th day of August, 1919, the Governor-General, by a proclamation, declared that said Act was in full force and effect and, with the consent of the Council of State, prohibited "the exportation of any rice from the Philippine Islands to any country except the United States." (See proclamation No. 14, 17 Off. Gaz., 1174.)

When that proclamation was made, however, the President of the United States had not yet approved said Act (No. 2869) either expressly or implicitly. In view of the provisions of section 2 of said Act the question arises as to whether that proclamation could be legally made before such approval; in other words, could said Act be made effective before its express or implicit approval by the President of the United States? The Attorney-General, on behalf of the appellee, maintains the affirmative, and argues as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"From a reading of the section of law above quoted (sec. 2), it is evident that, in passing the Act under consideration, the Philippine Legislature was under the impression that its approval by the President of the United States was required by the provisions of the Jones Law. It transpired, however, that the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, the official representative of the President of the United States in matters relating to the Government of the Philippine Islands, held that such approval was not necessary. Such being the case, it is submitted that, as a matter of law, there has been a substantial compliance with the conditions prescribed by section 2 of the Act."cralaw virtua1aw library

The alleged action or ruling of the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs with reference to the approval of the Act in question by the President of the United States does not appear of record in this case. But an examination of the provisions of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916 (the Jones Law) really shows that the approval by the President of Act No. 2869 is perhaps not necessary, under the said Act of Congress (the Jones Law). The only acts of the Philippine Legislature which, under the Jones Law, appear to require the approval of the President of the United States are: (1) Those having reference to "land of the public domain, timber, and mining; (2) tariff acts or acts amendatory to the tariff of the Philippine Islands; (3) acts affecting immigration; and (4) acts affecting the currency or coinage laws of the Philippine Islands" (secs. 9 and 10, Jones Law). The Act here in question (No. 2869) does not belong to any of these classes.

It being evident that the main purpose and intent of the Philippine Legislature in enacting Act No. 2869 was to authorize the Governor-General, by proclamation, to prohibit the exportation of rice or palay, and the approval by the President being unnecessary, under the Jones Law, to carry that purpose into effect, we are of the opinion and so decide that said Act became effective when it was so proclaimed by the Governor-General on the 6th day of August, 1919.

The appellant further contends that the Act in question is unconstitutional because it attempts to regulate commerce with foreign nations. Counsel alleges, but does not argue, that the trial court "erred in holding that the Government of the Philippine Islands has authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations," and in "holding that Congress may delegate to the Philippine Government power to regulate commerce with foreign nations." In answer to this contention of the appellant it is sufficient to cite our decision in the case of the United States v. Bull (15 Phil., 7, 80), wherein we expressly held that the Philippine Government has, by delegation from Congress, the power "to regulate commerce between foreign nations and the ports of the territory." "The power to regulate foreign commerce is vested in Congress, and by virtue of its power to govern the territory belonging to the United States, it may regulate foreign commerce with such territory. It may do this directly, or indirectly through a legislative body created by it, to which its power in this respect is delegated."cralaw virtua1aw library

For the foregoing reasons the judgment appealed from should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs. So ordered.

Mapa, C.J., Araullo, Malcolm, Avanceña, and Villamor, JJ., concur.




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