TATEL VS. MUNICIPALITY OF VIRAC [207 SCRA 157; G.R. No. 40243; 11 Mar 1992]
Petitioner Celestino Tatel owns a warehouse in barrio Sta. Elena, Municipality of Virac. Complaints were received by the municipality concerning the disturbance caused by the operation of the abaca bailing machine inside petitioner's warehouse. A committee was then appointed by the municipal council, and it noted from its investigation on the matter that an accidental fire within the warehouse of the petitioner created a danger to the lives and properties of the people in the neighborhood. Resolution No. 29 was then passed by the Municipal council declaring said warehouse as a public nuisance within a purview of Article 694 of the New Civil Code. According to respondent municipal officials, petitioner's warehouse was constructed in violation of Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952, prohibiting the construction of warehouses near a block of houses either in the poblacion or barrios without maintaining the necessary distance of 200 meters from said block of houses to avoid loss of lives and properties by accidental fire. On the other hand, petitioner contends that Ordinance No. 13 is unconstitutional. Issues:
(1) Whether or not petitioner's warehouse is a nuisance within the meaning Article 694 of the Civil Code (2) Whether or not Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952 of the Municipality of Virac is unconstitutional and void. Held:
The storage of abaca and copra in petitioner's warehouse is a nuisance under the provisions of Article 694 of the Civil Code. At the same time, Ordinance No. 13 was passed by the Municipal Council of Virac in the exercise of its police power. It is valid because it meets the criteria for a valid municipal ordinance: 1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute, 2) must not be unfair or oppressive, 3) must not be partial or discriminatory, 4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade, 5) must be general and consistent with public policy, and 6)...
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