Political Law

United States vs Luis Toribio

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G.R. No. L-5060 – 15 Phil. 85 – Political Law – Police Power – Limitations on Private Ownership – General Welfare

Sometime in the 1900s, Toribio applied for a permit to have his carabao slaughtered for human consumption. His request was denied because his carabao was found not unfit for work. He nevertheless slaughtered his carabao without the necessary license. He was eventually sued and was sentenced by the trial court. His counsel argued that the law requiring one to acquire a permit before slaughtering a carabao is not a valid exercise of police power.

ISSUE: Whether or not the said law is valid.

HELD: The SCĀ  ruled against Toribio. The SC explained that it “is not a taking of the property for public use, within the meaning of the constitution, but is a just and legitimate exercise of the power of the legislature to regulate and restrain such particular use of the property as would be inconsistent with or injurious to the rights of the public. All property is acquired and held under the tacit condition that it shall not be so used as to injure the equal rights of others or greatly impair the public rights and interests of the community.” The wisdom behind said law: the prohibition of the slaughter of carabaos for human consumption, so long as these animals are fit for agricultural work or draft purposes was a “reasonably necessary” limitation on private ownership, to protect the community from the loss of the services of such animals by their slaughter by improvident owners, tempted either by greed of momentary gain, or by a desire to enjoy the luxury of animal food, even when by so doing the productive power of the community may be measurably and dangerously affected

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