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November 12, 2017

Bar Exam 2017: Civil Law Questions

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I. State whether the following marital unions are valid, void, or voidable, and give the corresponding justifications for your answer:

a. Ador and Becky’s marriage wherein Ador was afflicted with AIDS prior to the marriage. (2%)

b. Carlos’ marriage to Dina which took place after Dina had poisoned her previous husband Edu in order to free herself from any impediment in order to live with Carlos. (2%)

c. Eli and Fely’s marriage solemnized seven years after the disappearance of Chona, Eli’s previous spouse, after the plane she had boarded crashed in the West Philippine Sea. (2%)

d. David who married Lina immediately the day after obtaining a judicial decree annulling his prior marriage to Elisa. (2%)

e. Marriage of Zoren and Carmina who did not secure a marriage license prior to their wedding, but lived together as husband and wife for 10 years without any legal impediment to marry. (2%)

II. In 1960, Rigor and Mike occupied two separate but adjacent tracts of land in Mindoro. Rigor’s tract was classified as timber land while Mike’s was classified as agricultural land. Each of them fenced and cultivated his own tract continuously for 30 years. In 1991, the Government declared the land occupied by Mike as alienable and disposable, and the one cultivated by Rigor as no longer intended for public use or public service.

Rigor and Mike now come to you today for legal advice in asserting their right of ownership of their respective lands based on their long possession and occupation since 1960.

a. What are the legal consequences of the 1991 declarations of the Government respecting the lands? Explain your answer. (2%)

b. Given that, according to Section 48(b) of Commonwealth Act No. 141, in relation to Section 14(1) of Presidential Decree No. 1529, the open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain as basis for judicial confirmation of imperfect title must be from June 12, 1945, or earlier, may Mike nevertheless validly base his assertion of the right of ownership on prescription under the Civil Code? Explain your answer. (4%)

c. Does Rigor have legal basis for his application for judicial confirmation of imperfect title based on prescription as defined by the Civil Code given that, like Mike, his open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation was not since June 12, 1945, or earlier, and his tract of land was timber land until the declaration in 1991? Explain your answer. (4%)

III. Josef owns a piece of land in Pampanga. The National Housing Authority (NHA) sought to expropriate the property for its socialized housing project. The trial court fixed the just compensation for the property at P50 million. The NHA immediately deposited the same at the authorized depository bank and filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of possession with the trial court. Unfortunately, there was delay in the resolution of the motion. Meanwhile, the amount deposited earned interest.

When Josef sought the release of the amount deposited, NHA argued that Josef should only be entitled to P50 million.

Who owns the interest earned? (3%)

IV. a. Distinguish antichresis from usufruct. (3%)

b. Distinguish commodatum from mutuum. (3%)

V. Jacob has owned a farm land in Ramos, Tarlac. In 2012, Liz surreptitiously entered and cultivated the property. In 2014, Jacob discovered Liz’s presence in and cultivation of the property. Due to his being busy attending to his business in Cebu, he tolerated Liz’s cultivation of the property. Subsequently, in December 2016, Jacob wanted to regain possession of the property; hence, he sent a letter to Liz demanding that she vacate the property. Liz did not vacate despite the demand.

Jacob comes to enlist your legal assistance to bring an action against Liz to recover the possession of the property.

What remedies are available to Jacob to recover possession of his property under the circumstances? Explain your answer. (4%)

VI.  Tyler owns a lot that is enclosed by the lots of Riley to the North and East, of Dylan to the South, and of Reece to the West. The current route to the public highway is a kilometer’s walk through the northern lot of Riley, but the route is a rough road that gets muddy during the rainy season, and is inconvenient because it is only 2.5 meters wide. Tyler’s nearest access to the public highway would be through the southern lot of Dylan.

May Dylan be legally required to afford to Tyler a right of way through his property? Explain your answer. (4%)

VII. Alice agreed to sell a parcel of land with an area of 500 square meters registered in her name and covered by TCT No. 12345 in favor of Bernadette for the amount of P900,000. Their agreement dated October 15, 2015, reads as follows:

I, Bernadette, agree to buy the lot owned by Alice covered by TCT No. 12345 for the ammount of P900,000 subject to the following schedule of payment:

Upon signing of agreement – P100,000

November 15, 2015 – P200,000

December 15, 2015 – P200,000

January 15, 2016 – P200,000

February 15, 2016 – P200,000

Title to the property shall be transferred upon full payment of P900,000 on or before February 15, 2016.

After making the initial payment of P100,000 on october 15, 2015, and the second installment of P200,000 on November 15, 2015, Bernadette defaulted despite repeated demands from Alice.

In December 2016, Bernadette offered to pay her balance but Alice refused and told her that the land was no longer for sale. Due to the refusal, Bernadette caused the annotation of her adverse clalm upon TCT No. 12345 on December 19, 2016. Later on, Bernadette discovered that Alice had sold the property to Chona on February 5, 2016, and that TCT No. 12345 had been cancelled and another one issued (TCT No. 67891) in favor of Chona as the new owner.

Bernadette sued Alice and Chona for specific performance, annulment of sale and cancellation of TCT No. 67891. Bernadette insisted that she had entered into a contract of sale with Alice; and that because Alice had engaged in double sale, TCT No. 67891 should be cancelled and another title be issued in Bernadette’s favor.

a. Did Alice and Bernadette enter into a contract of sale of the lot covered by TCT No. 12345? Explain your answer. (4%)

b. Did Alice engage in double sale of the property? Explain your answer. (4%)

VIII. Pedro had worked for 15 years in Saudi Arabia when he finally decided to engage in farming in his home province where his 10-hectare farmland valued at P2,000,000 was located. He had already P3,000,000 savings from his long stint in Saudi Arabia.

Eagerly awaiting Pedro’s arrival at the NAIA were his aging parents Modesto and Jacinta, his common-law spouse Veneranda, their three children, and Alex, his child by Carol, his departed legal wife. Sadly for all of them, Pedro suffered a stroke because of his over-excitement just as the plane was about to land, and died without seeing any of them.

The farmland and the savings were all the properties he left.

(a) State who are Pedro’s legal heirs, and the shares of each legal heir to the estate? Explain your answer. (4%)

(b) Assuming that Pedro’s will is discovered soon after his funeral. In the will, he disposed of half of his estate in favor of Veneranda, and the other half in favor of his children and his parents in equal shares. Assuming also that the will is admitted to probate by the proper court. Are the testamentary dispositions valid and effective under the law on succession? Explain your answer. (4%)

IX. Danny and Elsa were married in 2002. In 2012, Elsa left the conjugal home and her two minor children with Danny to live with her paramour. In 2015. Danny sold without EIsa’s consent a parcel of land registered in his name that he had purchased prior to the marriage. Danny used the proceeds of the sale to pay for his children’s tuition fees.

Is the sale valid, void or voidable? Explain your answer. (3%)

X. Briefly explain whether the following contracts are valid, rescissible, unenforceable, or void:

(a) A contract of sale between Lana and Andy wherein 16-year old Lana agreed to sell her grand piano for 25,000.00. (2%)

(b) A contract of lease of the Philippine Sea entered by and between Mitoy and Elsa. (2%)

(c) A barter of toys executed by 12-year old Clarence and 10-year old Czar (2%)

(d)A sale entered by Barri and Garri, both minors, which their parents later ratified. (2%)

(e) Jenny’s sale of her car to Celestine in order to evade attachment by Jenny’s creditors. (2%)

XI. Zeny and Nolan were best friends for a long time already. Zeny borrowed 310,000.00 from Nolan, evidenced by a promissory note whereby Zeny promised to pay the loan “once his means permit.” Two months later, they had a quarrel that broke their long-standing friendship.

Nolan seeks your advice on how to collect from Zeny despite the tenor of the promissory note. what will your advice be? Explain your answer. (3%)

XII. Krystal owns a parcel of land covered by TCT No. 12345 in Angeles City, Due to severe financial constraints, Krystal was lorc based in the property to RBP Corporation, a foreign corporation based in South Korea. Subsequently, RBP Corporation sold the property to Gloria, one of its most valued clients.

Wanting her property back, Krystal, learning of the transfer of the property from RBP Corporation to Gloria, sued both of them in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for annulment of sale and for reconveyance. She alleged that the sale by RBP Corporation to Gloria was void because RBP Corporation was a foreign corporation prohibited by the Constitution from acquiring and owning lands in the Philippines.

Will KrystaI’s suit for annulment of sale and reconveyance prosper? Explain your answer. (4%)

XIII. TRUE or FALSE – Explain your answers.

(a) All rights are considered as property. (2%)

(b) A lessee cannot bring a case for quieting of title respecting the property that he leases. (2%)

(c) Only the city or municipal mayor can file a civil action to abate a public nuisance. (2%)

(d) Possession of a movable property is lost when the location of the said movable is unknown to the owner. (2%)

(e) Continuous non-apparent easements can be acquired either through title or by prescription. (2%)


Plutarco owned land that borders on a river. After several years the action of the water of the river caused the deposit of soil, and increased the area of Plutarco’s property by 200 square meters.

a. If Plutarco wants to own the increase in area, what will be his legal basis for doing so? Explain your answer. (2%)

b. On the other hand, if the river dries up, may Plutarco validly claim a right of ownership of the dried-up river bed? Explain your answer. (2%)

XV. Kevin signed a loan agreement with ABC Bank. To secure payment, Kevin requested his girlfriend Rosella to execute a document entitled “Continuing Guaranty Agreement” whereby she expressly agreed to be solidarily liable for the obligation of Kevin.

Can ABC Bank proceed directly against Rosella upon Kevin’s default even without proceeding against Kevin first? Explain your answer. (3%)

XVI. Jovencio operated a school bus to ferry his two sons and five of their schoolmates from their houses to their school, and back. The parents of the five schoolmates paid for the service. One morning, Porfirio, the driver, took a short cut on the way to school because he was running late, and drove across an unmanned railway crossing. At the time, Porfirio was wearing earphones because he loved to hear loud music while driving. As he crossed the railway tracks, a speeding PNR train loudly blared its horn to warn Porfirio, but the latter did not hear the horn because of the loud music. The train inevitably rammed into the school bus. The strong impact of the collision between the school bus and the train resulted in the instant death of one of the classmates of Jovencio’s younger son.

The parents of the fatality sued Jovencio for damages based on culpa contractual alleging that Jovencio was a common carrier; Porfirio for being negligent; and the PNR for damages based on culpa aquiliana.

Jovencio denied being a common carrier. He insisted that he had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in supervising Porfirio, claiming that the latter had had no history of negligence or recklessness before the fatal accident.

(a) Did his operation of the school bus service for a limited clientele render Jovencio a common carrier? Explain your answer. (3%)

(b) In accordance with your answer to the preceding question, state the degree of diligence to be observed by Jovencio, and the consequences thereof. Explain your answer. (3%)

(c) Assuming that the fatality was a minor of only 15 years of age who had no earning capacity at the time of his death because he was still a student in high school, and the trial court is minded to award indemnity, what may possibly be the legal and factual justifications for the award of loss of earning capacity? Explain your answer. (4%)

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November 5, 2017

Bar Exam 2017: Labor Law Questions

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I. a. What are the accepted tests to determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship? (5%)

b. Applying the tests to determine the existence of employer-employee relationship, is a jeepney driver operating under the boundary system an employee of the jeepney operator or a mere lessee of the jeepney? Explain your answer. (3%)
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Bar Exam 2017: Political Law Questions

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I. A priority thrust of the Administration is the change  of the form of government from unitary to federal. The change can be effected only through constitutional amendment or revision.

a. What are the methods of amending the Constitution? Explain briefly each method. (3%)

b. Cite at least three provisions of the Constitution that need to be amended or revised to effect the change from unitary to federal, and explain briefly why. (3%)

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October 18, 2017

How to Know If You Have a Real Personal Injury Case

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Before you rush to call a personal injury lawyer, you could save yourself significant time and possibly money by determining if you have a real personal injury case. Not every injury can be pursued in court. Conversely, if you know you have a legitimate case, you can start collecting information now to make that case easier to pursue. Here is how you know if you have a valid personal injury case.
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October 12, 2017

Why Commercial Truck Driving Is One of The Toughest Gigs in the World

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Truck drivers get to traverse some of the most remote and interesting stretches of roadways in America on a pretty regular basis. Even commercial truck drivers who operate local routes may be assigned to work in areas that far away from their homes. The world of trucking is open to truckers of all ages and backgrounds, but one thing is certain - operating a commercial truck can be one of the most dangerous decisions you make. It is estimated that more than one-fourth of all occupation-related deaths in the trucking industry each year. Truckers drive long routes, often without an assistant driver there to take over when they need to rest. Here are some of the reasons that commercial truck drivers have what may be the toughest gig on the planet.

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Four Tips for Documenting a Personal Injury for Court

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After a serious accident, your first instinct may be to put the experience behind you as quickly as possible. However, moving on too quickly could prevent you from being properly compensated for your injuries. In fact, the steps that you take after suffering from an injury that was through no fault of your own could be key to getting the compensation that you deserve. Whether you have been injured at work or elsewhere, proper documentation of your injury and its effects on your life is essential for when you take your case to court. Here’s what to do to make sure that you’re in tth the best chance of getting the compensation that you deserve. 

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August 3, 2017

Resolving Insurance Disputes

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Insurance companies have a reputation, arguably deservedly so, for being reluctant to pay out on policies and creating and exploiting loopholes to avoid paying out on legitimate claims. When an insurer acts in this way, they are said to be acting in bad faith and the policy holder may choose to take them to court if they believe they have a strong case. The insurance industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the United States, and while regulations will vary between states there are some aspects of resolving disputes with insurers that are universal. Every state will have a law with a name such as ‘Unfair Insurance Practices Act’ (UIPA) or ‘Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act’ (UCSPA), searching online for similar terms and the name of your state should return the exact legislation in the search results.

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July 22, 2017

Cabutihan vs. Landcenter

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  • Cabutihan filed an action for specific performance against Landcenter Construction and Development Corporation with the RTC of Pasig.
  • According to Cabutihan, Landcenter Corporation did not comply with their obligation in a Deed of Undertaking wherein they agreed that Cabutihan would facilitate and assist Landcenter Corporation in recovering a parcel of land located in Paranaque in consideration of 20% of the land to be recovered.
  • Thereafter, Landcenter Corporation filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of improper venue.
  • They contended that since the primary objective of Cabutihan was to recover a property, it is a real action. Hence, the case should have been filed in the RTC of Paranaque where the land is situated pursuant to the rules.
  • The RTC granted the motion to dismiss.
  • Cabutihan assailed the said order.

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July 2, 2017

Legal Name in the Philippines

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Name is defined as a word or set of words by which a person or thing is known, addressed, or referred to. In our jurisdiction, a person’s legal name is composed of two parts namely the given name or proper name (also known as the first name) and the surname or the family name. The legal name of a person is one that is registered with the Civil Registry. Under the Philippines, a person acquires his or her legal name upon the filing of the birth certificate with the Office of the Civil Registrar. The name that appears on the said certificate shall be the legal name that will be used by the said person in exercising his capacity to act under the law and in his fitness of being subject to legal relations.

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June 6, 2017

Worker's Statutory Monetary Benefits (2016 Ed.)

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Issued by:  
Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC)
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
Tel. No. 5273000 locals 303, 308
Telefax No. 527-3478
Email: bwcsecretary@gmail.com
Website: bwc.dole.gov.ph

Click here to download.
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June 2, 2017

History of Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Even before the Spaniards reach the Philippines, Filipinos already have their own set of customs and traditions that they follow from day to day. Whenever there are conflicts that arise among members of a particular community, the practice of the Filipino men and women was to refer the same to their elders. These elders are highly respected in the community, which is the primary reason why Filipinos respect and abide by whatever resolution that the former makes.

In the book of Jim V. Lopez entitled “The Law on Alternative Dispute Resolution: How to Resolve Legal Disputes Without A Courtroom Trial”, the author pointed out the fact that our ancestors have practiced out-of- court settlements during their time. According to him, Jose Rizal said that “Judges were persons of the locality, forming a jury, elected by both parties who knew the case, the customs and usages better than the gowned judge from the outside to make his fortune, to judge the case he does not know and who does not know the usage customs and language of the locality.”

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May 18, 2017

Buan vs. OIC Lopez

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  • On August 5, 1986, a Special Civil Action was instituted by the Quiapo Church Vendors against Respondent Gemiliano Lopez who was the then Acting Mayor of Manila.
  • The case prayed for that the Lopez be prohibited from arbitrarily, whimsically and capriciously revoking or cancelling their licenses or permit as well as from threatening the physical demolition of their business stalls.
  • There was also a prayer for issuance of TRO which was granted on the same day.
  • On July 7, 1986, another Special Civil Action of prohibition with preliminary injunction was filed by Samahang Kapatiran Sa Hanap Buhay ng Bagong Lipunan against Lopez.
  • The president of the said organization was Rosalina Buan and its press relations officer was Liza Ocampo.
  • The two individuals are also the petitioners in the case at bar.
  • It must be noted that the petitions is grounded on the same facts. (page 7, left)
  • There was also identity of parties or at least such parties represent the same interests in both actions as well as the identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for. 

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May 3, 2017

CIR vs. Stanley Works Sales

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  • Stanley Works Sales Phils., Incorporated is a domestic corporation. Stanley Works filed its Annual Income Tax Return for taxable year 1989 with the BIR.
  • On March 19, 1993, the BIR issued to Stanley Works a Pre-Assessment Notice No. 002523 for 1989 deficiency income tax. It was received by the corporation on April 21, 1993.
  • On May 19, 1993, Stanley Works filed a protest letter and requested reconsideration and cancellation of the assessment.
  • On November 16, 1993, a certain Mr. John Ang, on behalf of the corporation, executed a "Waiver of the Defense of Prescription Under the Statute of Limitations of the National Internal Revenue Code" (Waiver). 
  • The Waiver was not signed by Stanley Works or any of its authorized representatives and did not state the date of acceptance as prescribed under Revenue Memorandum Order No. 20-90.
  • Under the terms of the Waiver, Stanley Works waived its right to raise the defense of prescription under Section 223 of the NIRC of 1977 insofar as the assessment and collection of any deficiency taxes for the year ended December 31, 1989, but not after June 30, 1994. 
  • On March 4, 2002, Stanley Works submitted a Supplemental Memorandum alleging that CIR’s right to collect the alleged deficiency income tax has prescribed.
  • The CTA Division ruled that the request for reconsideration did not suspend the running of the prescriptive period to collect deficiency income tax. This decision was affirmed by the CTA en banc.

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April 29, 2017

Does Rule 108 Allow Sex or Gender Change in the Birth Certificate by Reason of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplaxia?

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Under Rep. Act No. 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Ultimately, we are of the view that where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual, like respondent, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones (androgen) there is preponderant biological support for considering him as being male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed.
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April 21, 2017

Change of Name Under Rule 103

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April 12, 2017

Bar Exam Results 2016

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Date of exam: NOVEMBER 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2016
Release date: MAY 3, 2017

For the complete list, click here
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March 13, 2017

What is Suffrage?

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Definition: The right to vote in the election of officers chosen by the people and in the determination of questions submitted to the people. 

Suffrage applies not only to elections, but may also extend to initiatives, referenda, plebiscite and recall.

Suffrage as a duty is in the nature of a public trust and constitutes a voter a representative of the whole people. This duty requires that the privileged bestowed should be exercised not exclusively for the benefit of the citizen or citizens proferring it but in good faith and with intelligent zeal for the general benefit and welfare of the State. (Cipriano Abanil v. Justice of the Peace Court of Bacolod, Negros Occidental et. al. 70 Phil. 28 (1940)).
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March 6, 2017

Benguet vs. Flores

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  • This involves an administrative case filed by Benguet Electric Cooperative against Atty. Flores.
  • The complaint was for the removal of his name in the Roll of Attorneys by reason of forum shopping which amounted to grave misconduct and delay in the administration of justice.
  • There was a case GR. No. 89070 wherein Benguet Electric Cooperative was the winner. 
  • There was a writ of execution ordering the losing board members of  Benguet Cooperative to pay the amount of P344,000 which it paid to one Peter Cosalan during the pendency of the said case.
  • Now, Atty. Flores was the legal counsel of two of the losing board members namely Abundlo Awal and Nicasio Aliping.
  • As the lawyer for Awal and Aliping, Atty. Flores instituted Civil Case No. 2738-R with the RTC of Baguio seeking to enjoin Clerk of Court and others from levying on their properties. However, this was dismissed. (prayer: issuance of TRO and or preliminary writ of injunction pending the resolution of the main action)
  • Thereafter, separate complaints for Judicial Declaration of Family Home Constituted to exempt a property from being levied as a result of the enforcement of the judgment.
  • It was the claim of Benguest that there was forum shopping by reason of the fling of the said complaints as well as there was  a groundless suit for damages against the Sheriff since the said sheriff was only performing his job.
  • The IBP found Atty. Flores guilty and ordered his suspension for 6 months.
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February 14, 2017

Ferrer vs. Bautista

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  • The City of Quezon passed two ordinances namely.
  • The first one was the Socialized Housing Tax of QC allowing the imposition of special assessment (1/2 of the assessed valued of land in excess of P100k)
  • The second one was Ordinance No. SP-2235, S-2013 on Garbage Collection Fees imposing fees depending on the amount of the land or floor area).
  • Jose Ferrer, as a property in Quezon City questioned the validity of the city ordinances.
  • According to Ferrer:
    • The city has no power to impose the tax.
    • The SHT violates the rule on equality because it burdens real property owners with expenses to provide funds for the housing of informal settlers.
    • The SHT is confiscatory or oppressive.
  • Also, he assails the validity of the garbage fees imposition because:
    • It violates the rule on double taxation.
    • It violates the rule on equality because the fees are collected from only domestic households and not from restaurants, food courts, fast food chains, and other commercial dining places that spew garbage much more than residential property owners.

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