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(case no.

166)

FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS


GR Number 95279
July 25, 1991
Art. III
FACTS:
A Quonset building was constructed by the American Liberation Forces in 1944. It stands
on a lot owned by the Philippine Ports Authority and faces the municipal wharf. Gregorgia
Francisco, who died in 1976, purchased the property. By virtue of President Quirinos
Proclamation No. 83, it was declared for the exclusive use of port facilities.
On January 10, 1989, the Philippine Ports Authority issued a permit to occupy the lot
where the building stands for a period of 1 year (to expire on December 31, 1989) to Tan Gin
San, Gregoria Franciscos surviving spouse, who was using the Quonset for copra storage.
On May 8, 1989, the Mayor, through the Municipal Action Officer, notified San by mail
to remove or relocate the building, citing Zoning Ordinance No. 147 of the municipality, noting
its antiquated and dilapidated structure and stressing the clean-up campaign on illegal squatters
and unsanitary surroundings along Strong Boulevard. It was followed by another letter a few
days after of the same tenor.
The notifications remain unheeded and the Mayor ordered the demolition on May 24.
Petitioner sought a Writ of Prohibition before Basilan RTC and it upheld the power to order the
demolition without judicial authority.
On September 6, the Quonset building was completely demolished, in its place sprang
shanties and nipa huts, photographs were attached to the petitioners memorandum. On January
25, 1990, the Court of Appeals initially reversed the RTC decision but upon reconsideration, it
has reversed itself and held that deficiency was remedied when petitioner filed a petition for
prohibition and injunction and was heard on oral argument after respondent officials filed the
answer.
Further plea for reconsideration by the petitioner was denied. Hence, the present petition.
ISSUE:
Whether the respondent Mayor, without judicial process, could summarily order the
demolition of the petitioners Quonset building.
HELD:
No. Even though the petitioner failed to apply for a Certificate of Non-Conformance
to Ordinance No. 147 (Ordinance Establishing Comprehensive Zoning Regulations for the
Municipality of Isabela), it cannot be interpreted as to have authorized the summary
removal of a non-conforming building by the municipal government. If it does, the Court
opined, it must be struck down for being in contravention of the requirement of due process.
The enforcement and administration of the Ordinance should be done by the Zoning
Administrator. The Court further noted that the Zoning Administrator should be the one calling
the City Fiscal to institute the necessary legal proceedings to enforce the provisions. Any persons
aggrieved may appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
From a review of the provisions of the penal provisions of the Ordinance, it may be
concluded that a summary remedy can not be resorted to. Violation of a municipal ordinance
do not empower the Municipal Mayor to avail of extra-judicial remedies.

Prepared by: Cecille Diane DJ. Mangaser

(case no. 166)

Petitioner was in lawful possession of the lot and the Quonset building by virtue of a
permit when demolition was effected. It cannot be considered to be squatting on a public land.
Petitioner is entitled to an impartial hearing before a tribunal authorized to decide whether
the Quonset building constitute a nuisance in law. There was no compelling necessity for
precipitate action. The respondent officials transcended their authority in abating
summarily petitioners Quonset building.
For the effected demolition, petitioner should be entitled to a just compensation
which would be determined by the Trial Court.
The original decision of the CA is reinstated. The case is remanded to the Regional Trial
Court for the determination of the just compensation due petitioner for the demolition of the
Quonset building.

Prepared by: Cecille Diane DJ. Mangaser