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145. RUBI V.

PROV BOARD OF MINDORO


(Delegation to Local Govts)
Facts:
The case is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the Province of
Mindoro. It is alleged that the Maguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial officials of
that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro,
against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at
Calapan for having run away from the reservation.
The provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board thereof directed the Manguianes in question to
take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the shore of Lake Naujan, selected by the provincial governor and
approved by the provincial board. The action was taken in accordance with section 2145 of the Administrative
Code of 1917, and was duly approved by the Secretary of the Interior as required by said action.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows:
SEC. 2145. Establishment of non-Christian upon sites selected by provincial governor. With the prior
approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian inhabitants
are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct
such inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him an
approved by the provincial board.
Petitioners, however, challenge the validity of this section of the Administrative Code.
Issue:
Whether or not section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative
power by the Philippine Legislature to a provincial official and a department head, therefore making it
unconstitutional?
Held:
No. Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1919 is a valid delegation of legislative power by the
Legislature, hence constitutional. The Legislature merely conferred, upon the provincial governor with the
approval of the provincial board and the department head, discretionary authority as to its execution, to be
exercised under and in pursuance of the law.
The maxim of constitutional law forbidding the delegation of legislative power should be zealously protected.
"The true distinction, therefore, is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves
a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised
under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made."
(Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Comrs. Clinton County [1852], 1 Ohio St., 88.)
The legislature may make decisions of executive departments or subordinate officials thereof, to whom it has
committed the execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact. The growing tendency in the decisions is to
give prominence to the "necessity," of the case.
An exception to the general rule, sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits the central legislative body to
delegate legislative powers to local authorities.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of legislative power by the
Philippine Legislature to provincial officials and a department head.