Political Law

Pinagcamaligan Indo-Agro Development Corporation vs Macario Peralta, Jr.

image_printPrint this!

G.R. No. L-25459 – 23 SCRA 1183 – Political Law – Basic Principles – Separation of Powers – Delegation of Legislative Power – Overbreadth

Note: This case is consolidated with G.R. No. L-24796: DIRECTOR OF FORESTRY vs HON. EMMANUEL M. MUNOZ

Pinagcamaligan Indo-Agro Development Corporation, Inc. (Piadeco) was a company engaged in logging. It was given a Certificate of Private Woodland Registration so that it can operate in a 72,000 hectare land (located in three municipalities of Bulacan) which it owned as evidenced by a Titulo de Propriedad which it acquired in 1894 under the Spanish regime.

In 1964, Piadeco sought to renew its Certificate of Private Woodland Registration but it was denied by the Forestry Bureau. The reason for the denial was that under Forestry Administrative Order No. 12-2, Piadeco’s Spanish title was no longer registrable; that the Spanish title is no longer recognized and should have never been used to apply for a Certificate. Despite its non-renewal, Piadeco continued its logging activity. At around the same time, illegal logging was a hot issue and the President even declared a war against illegal logging. Defense Secretary Macario Peralta, Jr. was tasked to help the DENR in implementing forestry laws and regulations. Piadeco now questions as to why it was being considered an illegal logger. Piadeco insists that their title is valid.

The matter was brought to court and the trial court ruled in favor of Piadeco. The trial court ruled that Piadeco’s operations were valid due to a previous agreement with NAWASA (another government agency). The Forestry Bureau and the DND officials still refused to allow Piadeco to continue operating.

Piadeco argued that Forestry Administrative Order (FAO) No. 12-2 is beyond the provisions of Section 1829 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917 which provides:

Registration of title to private forest land. — Every private owner of land containing timber, firewood and other minor forest products shall register his title to the same with the Director of Forestry. A list of such owners, with a statement of the boundaries of their property, shall be furnished by said Director to the Collector of Internal Revenue, and the same shall be supplemented from time to time as occasion may require.

In fact, the previous FAO (FAO No. 12-1), allowed Spanish title holders like Piadeco to conduct logging operations in private woodlands.

ISSUE: Whether or not Piadeco must be allowed to continue its operations over the said property.

HELD: No. Piadeco’s Spanish title is no longer recognized. The Spanish title it acquired cannot be used to register for another Certificate. In fact, it was wrong in the first palce for the Forestry Bureau to allow Piadeco to conduct logging activities within the area it was claiming under a Spanish title.

Piadeco’s argument that FAO 12-2 was contrary to the RAC is without basis. FAO 12-2 has the force and effect of law. It was promulgated pursuant to law. Section 1817, Revised Administrative Code, empowers the Bureau of Forestry, with the approval of the department head, to issue regulations “deemed expedient or necessary to secure the protection and conservation of the public forests in such manner as to insure a continued supply of valuable timber and other forest products for the future, and regulating the use and occupancy of the forests and forest reserves, to the same end.” Forestry Administrative Order 12-2 was recommended by the Director of Forestry, and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is no less a valid law. It is an administrative regulation germane to the objects and purposes of the law. A rule shaped out by jurisprudence is that when Congress authorized the promulgation of administrative rules and regulations to implement a given legislation, “[a]ll that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation be not in contradiction with it, but conform to the standards that the law prescribes.”

Read full text

Read another version of this digest: Civil Law

image_printPrint this!

Leave a Reply