Olivarez v. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 118533 October 4, 1995 248 SCRA 700 (1995)

Fact: Baclaran Credit Cooperative, Inc. (BCCI), through its board member charged petitioner Parañaque Mayor Olivarez with Violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for unreasonably refusing to issue a mayor’s permit despite request and follow-ups to implement Parañaque Sangguniang Bayan Resolution which petitioner himself approved. the resolution authorized BCCI to set up a night manufacturer’s fair during the Christmas fiesta celebration of and at Baclaran for 60 days for which they will use a portion of the service road of Roxas Boulevard from the corner of Opena to Rivera Streets. BCCI requesting assistance for the issuance of a mayor’s permit, BCCI counsel Atty. Renato Dilag to petitioner formally demanding implementation of Resolution. petitioner replied letter to Atty. Dilag stating among others that the non-implementation of Resolution was due to BCCI’s failure to apply for appropriate permit and license to operate the Night Manufacturer’s Fair which was one of the conditions in the authorization.

Issue: Whether the petitioner disregarded right to the Equal Protection of BCCI?

Held: Yes, petitioner failed to show, in apparent disregard of BCCI’s right to equal protection, that BCCI and the unidentified Baclaran-based vendors’ associations were not similarly situated as to give at least a semblance of legality to the apparent haste with which said executive order was issued. It would seem that if there was any interest served by such executive order, it was that of herein petitioner. As the mayor of the municipality, the officials referred to were definitely under his authority and he was not without recourse to take appropriate action on the letter-application of BCCI although the same was not strictly in accordance with normal procedure. There was nothing to prevent him from referring said letter-application to the licensing department, but which paradoxically he refused to do. Whether petitioner was impelled by any material interest or ulterior motive may be beyond us for the moment since this is a matter of evidence, but the environmental facts and circumstances are sufficient to create a belief in the mind of a reasonable man that this would not be completely improbable, absent countervailing clarification. Lastly, it may not be amiss to add that petitioner, as a municipal mayor, is expressly authorized and has the power to issue permits and licenses for the holding of activities for any charitable or welfare purpose, pursuant to the Local Government Code of. Hence, he cannot really feign total lack of authority to act on the letter-application of BCCI..

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