DAVID G. NITAFAN, WENCESLAO M. POLO, and MAXIMO A. SAVELLANO, JR., petitioners,vs.COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE and THE FINANCIAL OFFICER,SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
The statute and the constitution
The petitioners seek to enjoin CIR from making deduction of withholding taxesfrom their salaries.Petitioners contend that "any tax withheld from their emoluments orcompensation as judicial officers constitutes a decrease or diminution of theirsalaries, contrary to the provision of Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987Constitution mandating that during their continuance in office, their salary shallnot be decreased,'
WON appointed and qualified judges (the petitioners) may be exempt frompayment of income tax
No. This petition of the judges is then dismissed.
RATIO:To resolve the legal issue raised in this petition the court looked into theintent of the framers of the Constitution who drafted the provision inquestion. The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertainand thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution.
The intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission was to delete the proposedexpress grant of exemption from payment of income tax to members of the Judiciary, so as to "give substance to equality among the three branches of Government" (in the words of Commissioner Rigos). Commissioner Joaquin Bernasalso said that the salaries of members of the Judiciary would be subject to thegeneral income tax applied to all taxpayers. This intent became unclear in the final text of the 1987 Constitution. Having seenthe failure of not including a prohibition on the exemption of any public officer oremployee from payment of income tax, the court has authorized the continuationof the deduction of the withholding tax from the salaries of the members of theSupreme Court, as well as from the salaries of all other members of the Judiciary.
ADDITIONAL INFO (Might be asked):
*In relation to the legal issue raised in this case, it was stated here that they havediscarded the ruling in
Perfecto vs. Meer
Endencia vs. David
that declared the