Fact: The plaintiff corporation was created on the 10th day of March, 1917, by Act No. 2705, for the purpose of developing the coal industry in the Philippine Island, in harmony with the general plan of the Government to encourage the development of the natural resources of the country, and to provided facilities therefor. By said Act, the company was granted the general powers of a corporation “and such other powers as may be necessary to enable it to prosecute the business of developing coal deposits in the Philippine Island and of mining, extracting, transporting and selling the coal contained in said deposits.” (Sec. 2, Act No. 2705.) By the same law (Act No. 2705) the Government of the Philippine Islands is made the majority stockholder, evidently in order to insure proper government supervision and control, and thus to place the Government in a position to render all possible encouragement, assistance and help in the prosecution and furtherance of the company’s business. This action was brought in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila on the 17th day of July, 1923, for the purpose of recovering the sum of P12,044.68, alleged to have been paid under protest by the plaintiff company to the defendant, as specific tax on 24,089.3 tons of coal. Said company is a corporation created by Act No. 2705 of the Philippine Legislature for the purpose of developing the coal industry in the Philippine Islands and is actually engaged in coal mining on reserved lands belonging to the Government. It claimed exemption from taxes under the provision of sections 14 and 15 of Act No. 2719, and prayed for a judgment ordering the defendant to refund to the plaintiff said sum of P12,044.68, with legal interest from the date of the presentation of the complaint, and costs against the defendant.
Issue: Whether the Petitioner Corporation is a Public Corporation
Held: No, The Petitioner is a private corporation. The mere fact that the Government happens to the majority stockholder does not make it a public corporation. Act No. 2705, as amended by Act No. 2822, makes it subject to all of the provisions of the Corporation Law, in so far as they are not inconsistent with said Act (No. 2705). No provisions of Act No. 2705 are found to be inconsistent with the provisions of the Corporation Law. As a private corporation, it has no greater rights, powers or privileges than any other corporation which might be organized for the same purpose under the Corporation Law, and certainly it was not the intention of the Legislature to give it a preference or right or privilege over other legitimate private corporations in the mining of coal.