Consti 2 111616.docx - CASE 1 White Light vs City of Manila...

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CASE 1: White Light vs. City of Manila – ORDINANCE UNCONSTITUTIONAL; PETITION GRANTED FACTS: Mayor of Manila Alfredo Lim signed into law an ordinance, Ordinance 7774, prohibiting short–time admission in lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments. Wash-up rate or other similar terms, which mean admittance or charging of room rate for less than 12 hours, more than twice a day is prohibited. Malate Tourist and Development Corporation filed a complaint before RTC praying that said ordinance be declared unconstitutional, since said acts were authorized by PD 259 to admit customers on a short time basis. Petitioners White Light, Titanium and Sta. Mesa (STDC) filed motion to intervene, on the ground that ordinance affects their business as operators of hotels and motels in Manila. RTC declared said ordinance as unconstitutional. CA reversed the decision of RTC, and retained the constitutionality of the ordinance. Hence, this petition. One of the issues raised by respondent City of Manila, represented by Mayor Lim, is that said ordinance is a valid exercise of police power pursuant to Art 458 of LGC which confers on cities, among other LGU the power to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance, among others, hotels, motels, inns, or other similar establishments. Petitioner, in contrast, argued that the ordinance is unconstitutional and void since it violates the right to privacy and freedom of movement, invalid exercise of police power. Issue: Whether ordinance is a valid exercise of police power. Ruling: No. SC granted the petition and declared the said ordinance invalid and unconstitutional. Ratio: SC described police power based upon the concept of necessity of the State, right to protect itself and people. The goal of ordinance is to minimize the use of establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, etc. These goals, fall within the ambit of the police power of the State. However, desirability of these means must align with the Constitution. The SC ruled that the said ordinance is null and void as it indeed infringes upon individual liberty. It also violates the due process clause which serves as a guaranty for protection against arbitrary regulation or seizure. It also invades private rights. SC noted that not all who goes into motels and hotels for wash up rate are really there for obscene purposes only. Some are tourists who needed rest or to “wash up” or to freshen up. Hence, the infidelity sought to be avoided by the said ordinance is more or less subjected only to a limited group of people. The SC reiterates that individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. Definition of Liberty: Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was defined by Justice Malcolm to include "the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary restraint or servitude.
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