Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1935 > August 1935 Decisions > G.R. No. 41825 August 7, 1935 - MALABON SUGAR COMPANY v. MUNICIPALITY OF MALABON

061 Phil 717:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 41825. August 7, 1935.]

THE MALABON SUGAR COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. THE MUNICIPALITY OF MALABON, ET AL., Defendants-Appellants.

Acting Provincial Fiscal of Rizal Bautista for Appellants.

Ross, Lawrence & Selph for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS; ORDINANCES, LEGALITY OF. — Having shown that even carretelas and carromatas, admittedly the means of transportation of the majority of the residents and inhabitants of the municipality of Malabon, and of the Island of Tanza, would fall within the prohibition of the ordinance, in connection with the passage through the Women’s Club Street, we are forced to hold that said ordinance is illegal because unreasonable and oppressive and because it has not been enacted to protect or promote the welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality of Malabon.


D E C I S I O N


IMPERIAL, J.:


The plaintiff brought this action to annul or set aside ordinance No. 11, approved by the municipal council of Malabon, Province of Rizal, on November 10, 1928, reading as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF MALABON, PROVINCE OF RIZAL, P. I., IN THE FULL EXERCISE OF ITS POWERS, DECREES:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"SECTION 1. There is hereby prohibited the passage of any vehicle pulling more than one car or wagon, or carrying more than four tons of freight, or whose width does not leave a space of at least one yard from the sidewalk on both sides, on the San Agustin, Sigua, Beacom, Burgos, Asuncion, Talipapa, now Andres Bonifacio, Naval, now A. Ayroso, and Women’s Club streets, within this municipality.

"SEC. 2. Each violation of any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be punished by a fine of not less than TWENTY PESOS or by imprisonment from TEN DAYS to SIX MONTHS, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

"SEC. 3. Ordinance No. 7, series of 1928, and all ordinances and resolutions or parts thereof in violation of the present Ordinance are hereby repealed.

"SEC. 4. This Ordinance shall take effect ten days after its approval.

"Approved unanimously today, November 10, 1928."cralaw virtua1aw library

The ordinance was approved by the defendant municipality in the exercise of the power conferred upon it by section 2242, paragraph (e), of the Revised Administrative Code, the pertinent portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"SEC. 2242. Certain legislative powers of mandatory character. — It shall be the duty of the municipal council, conformably with law:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

x       x       x


"(e) To regulate the construction, care, and use of streets, sidewalks, canals, wharves and piers in the municipality, and prevent and remove obstacles and encroachment on the same."cralaw virtua1aw library

The material and admitted facts may be stated as follows: The eight streets or alleys mentioned in the ordinance are the narrowest thoroughfares in the municipality of Malabon. They are crowded and the traffic thereon consisting of pedestrians, motor vehicles, vehicles drawn by horses, and passenger and freight trucks, is unusually heavy. Plaintiff’s refinery and candy factory were established on the Island of Tanza in 1883. At least, from 1922 to 1933, its freight trucks used to pass through the Women’s Club Street in transporting goods from and to the factory to Malabon and other places, and there is no other way in the locality through which said trucks could transport said goods and merchandise. The plaintiff constructed a wooden bridge over the Tanza River which is being used indiscriminately by its trucks and by the inhabitants of the island and their vehicles in going to the town, as well as by the residents of the municipality of Malabon and their vehicles in going to the said island. As the Women’s Club Street has been abandoned for lack of municipal funds, the plaintiff has been financing its repair and maintenance. The widest part of the Women’s Club Street is 3 meters and 14 centimeters; a certain portion of it where there is a sidewalk is 3.385 meter wide, and the narrowest part adjoining the bridge constructed by the plaintiff is only 2.83 meters in width.

We have no occasion to describe certain accidents, more or less important, which have occurred along the said street, because such accidents, in our opinion, are isolated and immaterial.

The question for decision, in the light of the facts above stated, is whether or not the ordinance in question is reasonable and has been enacted to promote the welfare of the inhabitants of the said municipality. There is no truth in the appellants’ statement that the Women’s Club Street, in its narrowest part, is 3.38 meters wide, and that, consequently, the carromatas and carretelas, which pass through it comply with the ordinance because they leave a yard on both sides intended for pedestrians. We said that the statement is untrue because in Exhibit 1 presented by them it appears that the narrowest part of said street is only 2.83 meters wide. If this is the width at this point, it is evident that the carromatas and carretelas would violate the ordinance whenever they pass through it in view of the fact that, according to the defendants, a carretela has a width of not less than 1.50 meters and a yard contains 91.5 centimeters. This means that at the narrowest point. a carromata or a carretela would leave no more than 1.33 meters of space on both sides, whereas to comply with the ordinance it is necessary to leave a space of 1.83 meters on both sides.

Having shown that even the carretelas and carromatas, admittedly the means of transportation of the majority of the residents and inhabitants of the municipality of Malabon and of the Island of Tanza, would fall within the prohibition of the ordinance, in connection with the passage through the Women’s Club Street, we are forced to hold that said ordinance is illegal because unreasonable and oppressive and because it has not been enacted to protect or promote the welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality of Malabon.

The appealed judgment is affirmed, with the costs of this instance to the appellants. So ordered.

Malcolm, Villa-Real, Butte and Goddard, JJ., concur.




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