FACTS: Petitioner Agustina M. Enemecio (Enemecio”) is a utility worker at the Cebu State College of Science and Technology, College of Fisheries Technology (CSCST-CFT”), Carmen, Cebu. Since certain portions of the public land subject matter Proclamation No. 2239 were occupied by a non-operational chemical fertilizer plant and related facilities owned by Maria Cristina Fertilizer Corporation (MCFC”), Letter of Instruction (LOI), No. 1277, was issued directing the NSC to negotiate with the owners of MCFC, for and on behalf of the Government, for the compensation of MCFC’s present occupancy rights on the subject land.” LOI No. 1277 also directed that should NSC and private respondent MCFC fail to reach an agreement within a period of sixty (60) days from the date of LOI No. 1277, petitioner ISA was to exercise its power of eminent domain under P.D. No. 272 and to initiate expropriation proceedings in respect of occupancy rights of private respondent MCFC relating to the subject public land as well as the plant itself and related facilities and to cede the same to the NSC.
This Court, speaking through Justice J. P. Bengzon, realistically observed: This original jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, when exercised in an action for recovery of personal property which is a subject of a forfeiture proceeding in the Bureau of Customs, tends to encroach upon, and to render futile, the jurisdiction of the Collector of Customs in seizure and forfeiture proceedings.” The court should yield to the jurisdiction of the Collector of Customs.” Such a ruling, as pointed out by Justice Zaldivar in Auyong Hian v. Court of Tax Appeals, promulgated less than a year later, could be traced to Government v. Gale, 26 a 1913 decision, where there was a recognition in the opinion of Justice Carson that a Collector of Customs when sitting in forfeiture proceedings constitutes a tribunal upon which the law expressly confers jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions touching the forfeiture and further disposition of the subject matter of such proceedings.
To this petition the respondents demur on the ground that the facts stated in that (1) none of the facts alleged in the petition divest the respondent judge of his jurisdiction to take cognizance of the cases referred to in the complaint, and (2) even admitting as true, for the sake of this demurrer, the facts alleged in paragraph 7 of the petition, the respondent judge is still a de facto judge and his title to the office and his jurisdiction to hear the cases referred to in the petition cannot be questioned by prohibition, as this writ, even when directed against persons acting as judges, cannot be treated as a substitute for quo warranto, or be rightfully called upon to perform any of the functions of that writ.
Except as to matters of detail that may be left to be filled in by rules and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards, an act of the Legislature, as a general rule, is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary powers delegated to it.
As Mr. Peroutka pointed out, Article 1 Section 1 of the federal Constitution declares, All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States” If all legislative powers are vested in Congress, no legislative powers are vested in the courts (or in the executive branch, which is currently famous for issuing executive orders that seem to have the force of law”).