People v. Astorga G.R. No. 110097.

December 22, 1997
Around 6:30 P.M. children of neighbors were near the store of the grandparents of
Yvonne Traya. Accused told Yvonne to go with him to buy candy. She did not answer and
accused immediately grabbed and held her hand. Accused also placed his hand on her shoulder
and covered her mouth. Accused never went inside the store to buy candy. Instead he held and
dragged Yvonne until they went inside the compound of Maco Elementary School. She asked
him where they were going and accused answered that they were going home. She told him that
they were already on the opposite direction because her grandparent’s house is at Binuangan,
while their route was going towards Tagum. She cried and protested that she must go home.
Accused did not heed her plea and while she was forced to walk she continued crying.
Somewhere near the Luponlupon Bridge they met some group of men. The group was
suspicious about the man who was bringing a child. The group decided to follow them.
Accused hurriedly walked fast with Yvonne, and to prevent from being overtaken, he carried the
victim and ran. After a distance of half a kilometer they were overtaken. The group bought
Yvonne back home, while the accused wanted to talk to the parents of the victim, but he was
driven away by her aunt. He left and never talked with the family.
Whether or not the trial court erred in the application of the law by convicting accused of
kidnapping despite the fact that Yvonne Traya was not detained, locked-up or deprived of her
Yes. The Court held that there was an error in the judgment of the trial court and that the
accused. Accused’s forcible dragging of Yvonne to a place only he knew cannot be said to be an
actual confinement or restriction on the person of Yvonne. There was no “lockup.”

People v. Puno G.R. No. 97471 February 17, 1993
Mrs. Maria Socorro Mutuc-Sarmiento owns a bakeshop in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City
called Nika Cakes and Pastries. At around 5:00 in the afternoon of January 13, 1988, the accused
Isabelo Puno, who is the personal driver of Mrs. Sarmiento's husband, arrived at the bakeshop.
Mrs. Socorro's time to go home to Valle Verde in Pasig came and so she got into the car. After
the car turned right in a corner, it stopped and then a young man, accused Enrique Amurao, and
boarded the car beside the driver. Once inside, Enrique clambered on top of the back side of the
front seat and went onto where Ma. Socorro was seated at the rear. He poked a gun at her and
Isabelo, who earlier told her that Enrique is his nephew announced, "ma'm, you know, I want to
get money from you." She said she has money inside her bag and they may get it just so they will
let her go. The bag contained P7, 000.00. The two accused told her they wanted P100, 000.00
more. Socorro agreed to give them that but would they drop her at her gas station in Kamagong
St., Makati where the money is located. Beloy asked Socorro to issue a check for P100, 000.00.
Socorro complied. She drafted 3 checks in denominations of two for P30 thousand and one for
P40 thousand. Being able to escape by jumping out of the vehicle, Socorro upon reaching
Balintawak, reported the matter to CAPCOM.
Whether or not the said robbery can be classified as "highway robbery" under PD No.
532 (Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974)
No. PD No. 532 punishes as highway robbery only acts of robbery perpetrated by outlaws
indiscriminately against any person or persons on Philippine highways and not acts of robbery
committed against only a predetermined or particular victim. The mere fact that the robbery was
committed inside a car which was casually operating on a highway does not make PD No 532
applicable to the case.

Eugenio v. Drilon G.R. No. 109404 January 22, 1996
Private Respondent purchased on installment basis from Petitioner, two lots. Private
respondent suspended payment of his amortizations because of non-development on the
property. Petitioner then sold one of the two lots to spouses Relevo and the title was registered
under their name. Respondent prayed for annulment of sale and reconveyance of the lot to him.
Applying P.D. 957 “The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree”, the Human
Settlements Regulatory Commission ordered Petitioner to complete the development, reinstate
Private Respondent’s purchase contract over one lot and immediately refund him of the payment,
including interest he made for the lot sold to the spouses. Petitioner claims that the Exec. Sec.
erred in applying P.D. 957 saying it should have not been given retroactive effect and that non-
development does not justify the non-payment of the amortizations.
Whether or not the Executive Secretary acted with grave abuse of discretion when he
decided P.D. 957 will be given retroactive effect.
No. Respondent Executive Secretary did not act with grave abuse of discretion and P.D.
957 is to give retroactive effect so as to cover even those contracts executed prior to its
enactment in 1976. P.D. 957 did not expressly provide for retroactivity in its entirety, but such
can be plainly inferred from the unmistakable intent of the law. “The intent of the statute is the

Cruz vs. CA GR 108738 17 June 1994
Andrea Mayor is engaged in the business of granting interest-bearing loans and in
rediscounting checks. Roberto Cruz, on the other hand, is engaged in selling ready to wear
clothes at the Pasay Commercial Center. Cruz frequently borrows money from Mayor. In 1989,
Cruz borrowed P176,000 from mayor, which Mayor delivered. In turn, Cruz issued a Premiere
Bank check for the same amount. When the check matured, Mayor presented it to the bank but
was dishonored and marked “account closed.” When notified of the dishonor, Cruz promised to
pay in cash. No payment was made, and thus the criminal action for violation of BP 22 was
Whether Cruz is liable for violating BP 22, even upon the claim that the check was
issued to serves a mere evidence of indebtedness, and not for circulation or negotiation.
A check issued as an evidence of debt, though not intended to be presented for payment
has the same effect of an ordinary check, hence, it falls within the ambit of BP 22. When a check
is presented for payment, the drawee bank will generally accept the same regardless of whether it
was issued in payment of an obligation or merely to guarantee the said obligation. What the law
punishes is the issuance of a bouncing check, not the purpose for which it was issued nor the
term and conditions relating to its issuance. The mere act of issuing a worthless check is malum
“In accordance with the pertinent rule of statutory construction, inasmuch as the law has
not made any distinction in this regard, no such distinction can be made by means of
interpretation or application. Furthermore, the history of the enactment of subject statute evinces
the definite legislative intent to make the prohibition all-embracing, without making any
exception from the operation thereof in favor of a guarantee. This intent may be gathered from
the statement of the sponsor of the bill (Cabinet Bill No. 9) which was enacted later into Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22, when it was introduced before the Batasan Pambansa, that the bill was
introduced to discourage the issuance of bouncing checks, to prevent checks from becoming
"useless scraps of paper" and to restore respectability to checks, all without distinction as to the
purpose of the issuance of the checks,. The legislative intent as above said is made all the more
clear when it is considered that while the original text of Cabinet Bill No. 9, supra, had contained
a proviso excluding from the coverage of the law a check issued as a mere guarantee, the final
version of the bill as approved and enacted by the Committee on the Revision of Laws in the
Batasan deleted the abovementioned qualifying proviso deliberately for the purpose of
making the enforcement of the act more effective”

Agacaoli v. Suguitan G.R. No. L-24806 February 13, 1926
Agcaoli was appointed as justice of the peace of municipality of Laoag on March
25,1916 under Act No. 2041, section 1 which states that “All justices of the peace and auxiliary
justices shall hold office during good behaviour”. However, on March 17,1917 Act No.3107 was
adopted and although it provides only for "regulating the salaries of justices of the peace," said
Act in section 203 provides for "the appointment and distribution of justices of the peace" with
the proviso in said section ". . . That justices and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be
appointed to serve until they have reached the age of sixty-five years." It was clear that there was
nothing in the title of the Act that it indicates a provision applicable for appointment of justices
of the peace nor as to the period during which they may serve after appointment. Agcaoli
received a letter from the Undersecretary of Justice that he should cease to be a justice of peace
by operation of said amendment upon receipt and that if he fails to do so, he would liable for a
criminal prosecution. After receipt thereof, Agcaoli entered protests and patiently waited for a
resolution and did not receive any reply which prompted him to file a petition for a writ of quo
warranto in the Court of First Instance.
Is the provision of Act No. 3107, in so far as it provides that "justices of the peace shall
be appointed to serve until they have reached the age of 65 years," valid and constitutional, when
applied to justices of the peace appointed under Act No. 2041, section 1, to serve "during good
No. According to subparagraph 16 of section 3 of the Jones law provides "That no bill
which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject, and that subject shall be
expressed in the title of the bill." It was decided that said provision of the Jones Law was
mandatory and not directory and its violation was fatal to any provision of the law to which no
reference was made in the title.
The failure to indicate in the title of the bill the object intended to be accomplished by the
legislation often resulted in members voting ignorantly for measures which they would not
knowingly have approved. And not only were legislators thus misled, but the public also; so that
legislative provisions were stealthily pushed through in the closing hours of a session, which,
having no merit to commend them, would have been made odious by popular discussion and
remonstrance if their pendency had been seasonably announced. The constitutional clause under
discussion is intended to correct these evils; to prevent such corrupting aggregations of
incongruous measures, by confining each act to one subject; to prevent surprise and inadvertence
by requiring that subject or object to be expressed in the title.
The SC sustained the decision in the case of Segovia vs. Noel, wherein the Supreme
Court held that the Act No. 3107 could not be applied to and enforced against justices of the
peace who had been appointed prior to the 17th day of March, 1923. Moreover, when Agcaoili
was forcibly, by means of threats and intimidation, ordered to leave his office as justice of the
peace, he was forced to do so illegally, without just cause, and should therefore be restored to his
position as justice of the peace of the municipality of Laoag, without delay.

An Act to amend and repeal certain provisions of the Administrative Code relative to the
judiciary in order to reorganize the latter; increasing the number of judges for certain judicial
districts; increasing the salaries of judges of Courts of First Instance; vesting the Secretary of
Justice with authority to detail a district judge temporarily to a district or province other than his
own; regulating the salaries of justices of the peace; abolishing the municipal court and justice of
the peace court of the City of Manila and creating in lieu thereof a municipal court with three
branches; regulating the salaries of clerks of court and other subordinate employees of Courts of
First Instance, and for other purposes.

People v. Echaves G.R. No. L-47757-61 January 28, 1980
Fiscal Ello, petitioner filed with the lower court separate information against sixteen
persons charging them with squatting as penalized by Presidential Decree No. 772. The
information against Mario Aparici which is similar to the other fifteen pieces of information that
sometime in 1974 in the province of Bohol, the accused with stealth and strategy, entered,
occupied and cultivated a portion of a grazing land physically occupied, possessed and claimed
by Atty. Vicente de la Serna, Jr., did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously squat
and cultivate a portion of the said grazing land; said cultivating has rendered a nuisance to and
has deprived the pasture applicant from the full use thereof for which the land applied for has
been intended.
Before arraignment, respondent Judge Echaves issued an omnibus order dismissing the
five other pieces of information out of the 16 raffled, on the grounds (1) that it was alleged that
the accused entered the land through “stealth and strategy”, whereas under the decree the entry
should be effected “with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the
absence or tolerance of the landowner”, and (2) that under the rule of ejusdem generis the decree
does not apply to the cultivation of a grazing land. From the order of dismissal, the fiscal
appealed to this Court and invoked Republic Act No. 5440.
Is P.D. No. 772 which penalizes squatting and similar acts applicable to agricultural
No. The protest in this case involves squatting in a pasture land in a rural area. It was
stated in the preamble of the said decree that it was intended to apply to squatting in urban
communities or more particularly to illegal constructions in squatter areas made by well-to-do
individuals. Furthermore, it should be noted that squatting on public agricultural lands, like the
grazing lands involved in this case, is punished by Republic Act No. 947.
The rule of ejusdem generis (of the same kind or species) invoked by the trial court does
not apply to this case. Here, the intent of the decree is unmistakable. It is intended to apply only
to urban communities, particularly to illegal constructions. The rule of ejusdem generis is merely
a tool of statutory construction which is resorted to when the legislative intent is uncertain.

Presidential Decree No. 772, which penalizes squatting and similar acts, applies to agricultural
lands. The decree (which took effect on August 20, 1975) provides:
SECTION 1. Any person who, with the use of force, intimidation or threat, or taking advantage
of the absence or tolerance of the landowner, succeeds in occupying or possessing the property
of the latter against his will for residential, commercial or any other purposes, shall be punished
by an imprisonment ranging from six months to one year or a fine of not less than one thousand
nor more than five thousand pesos at the discretion of the court, with subsidiary imprisonment in
case of insolvency. (2nd paragraph is omitted.)

People vs Degamo G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003

Roy Degamo succeeded in having carnal knowledge with Ellen Virtudazo against her
will. As a result of the rape, Ellen became temporarily insane until the pendency of the case. Dr.
Go attested the insanity of the victim. Hence, Degamo was charged and found guilty with the
crime of rape qualified by the circumstance of insanity. Degamo argues that Ellen had not
become insane by reason of rape because she gave intelligent answers on the witness stand.

Whether or not the Degamo’s crime of rape should be qualified by temporary insanity.

There is no doubt that the highest penalty shall be imposed if the victim if the victim
becomes permanently insane, there is no ruling yet whether temporary insanity still falls within
the purview of provision. It is a hornbook doctrine in statutory construction that it is the duty of
the court in construing a law to determine the legislative intention from its language. An
examination of the deliberation of the lawmakers in enacting R.A. No. 2632, convinces us that
the degree of insanity, whether permanent or temporary, is not relevant in considering the same
as a qualifying circumstance for as long as the victim has become insane by reason or on
occasion of the rape.

Abaquin Security vs Hon. Diego Atienza G.R. No. 72971 October 15, 1990

Petitioner, Abaquin Security (Abaquin), employed Antonio Jose as a security guard. Due
to his failing health and to withdraw his cash deposits with Abaquin, Jose voluntarily resigned.
Relying on the absence of any management policy or any collective bargaining agreement,
Abaquin paid Jose only his cash deposits. Jose filed with the Labor Arbiter a complaint against
Abaquin for separation pay and retirement benefits. The Arbiter dismissed the complaint on the
grounds that the retirement benefits under Rule 1, Book IV of the rules and regulations
implementing the labor code is subject to tha existence of a collective bargaining agreement or
management policy and Jose cannot claim benefits which are not granted by the Labor Code,
otherwise the Ministry of Labor would be guilty of Legislative usurpation. On appeal, the NLRC
reversed the decision of the arbiter. The NLRC construed Section 14 (a) of Rule I, Book VI of
the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code in relation to the second paragraph
of Article 288 as entitling a retiring employee to termination pay of one-half (½) month for every
year of service in the absence of any agreement or employer policy on retirement pay. It ruled
that said Section 14 (a) was intended "to give full effect and application to Article 288 of the
Labor Code which covers all retiring employees, regardless of the existence of any agreement,
company policy or otherwise.”

Whether or not Jose should be given retirement benefits under the implementing rules

While it is true that the contemporaneous construction placed upon a statute by executive
officers whose duty is to enforce it should be given great weight by the courts, still if such
construction is so erroneous, as in the instant case, the same must be declared as null and void. It
is the role of the Judiciary to refine and, when necessary, correct constitutional interpretation.
The interpretation given in the case by the NLRC to Section 14 (a) of the implementing rule is in
harmony with Article 288.

US vs Hart G.R. No. L-8327 March 28, 1913

Hart was caught in a gambling house and was penalized under Act No. 519 which
punishes “every person found loitering about saloons or dram shops or gambling houses, or
tramping or straying through the country without visible means of support”. The said portion of
the law is divided into two parts, separated by the comma, separating those caught in gambling
houses and those straying through the country without means of support. Though it was proven
that Hart and the other Defendants had “visible means of support”, it was under the first part of
the portion of law for which they were charged with. The prosecution persisted that the phrase
“without visible means of support” was in connection to the second part of the said portion of
Act No. 519, therefore was not a viable defense.

Whether or not Hart should be charged with vagrancy

The construction of a statute should be based upon something more substantial than mere
punctuation. If the punctuation gives it a meaning which is reasonable and is in apparent accord
with legislative will, it may be as an additional argument for adopting the literal meaning of the
words in the statute as thus punctuated. An argument based on punctuations alone is not
conclusive and the court will not hesitate to change the punctuation when necessary to give the
act the effect intended by the legislature, disregarding superfluous and incorrect punctuation
marks, or inserting others when necessary. In as much as defendant had, “visible means of
support” and that the absence of such was necessary for the conviction for gambling
and loitering in saloons and gambling houses, defendants are acquitted

People of the Philippines vs. Purisima G.R. No. L-42050-66 November 20, 1978
26 petitions for review filed are consolidated in a decision involving a basic question of
law. Information were filed charging the respective accused with “Illegal possession of deadly
weapon” in violation of Presidential Decree Number 9. An order quashing or dismissing the
information, on a common ground that the information did not allege facts which constitute the
offense penalized by Presidential Decree number 9 because it failed to state one essential
element of the crime.
Whether or not, PD no.9 (3) shows that the prohibited acts need not be related to
subversive activities and the act prescribed is essentially an offense (malum prohibitum)
penalized for reasons of public policy.
The petitions for review were denied. PD no.9 (3) provides and condemns not only the
carrying of said weapon in connection with the commission of the crime. In statutory offenses,
the intention of the accused is immaterial. When ambiguity exists, it becomes a judicial task to
construe and interpret the true meaning and scope of the measure. The two elements of the
offense covered by this PD no.9 (3) must be alleged in the information in order that the latter
may constitute a sufficiently valid charge.

Philippine Sugar Centrals Agency vs. Insular Collector of Customs G.R. No. L-2776
December 6, 1927
The Philippine Sugar Centrals Agency at all times, acted as a representative of the Ma-ao
Sugar Central Company. The plaintiff shipped 5,124,416 gross kilograms of centrifugal sugar
consigned to the United States that the said sugar was laden through a wharf built, owned and
maintained solely by Ma-ao Sugar Central Company, leased to it by the Government of
Philippine Islands. Insular Collector of Customs assessed and collected wharfage dues on sugar
at 2 pesos per thousand gross kilograms with a total amount of 10,248.84 pesos. The plaintiff
paid, under protest, the said amount but overruled by the Insular Collector of Customs.
Whether or not, the Government of Philippine Islands can legally collect the duty of 1
dollar per gross ton of 1,000 kilograms as a charged for wharfage.
August 5, 1909, the Congress of the United States passed what is known as the
"Philippine Tariff Act of 1909," entitled "An Act to raise revenue for the Philippine Islands, and
for other purposes," section 14 of which, under the head of "Wharfage," states that there shall be
levied and collected upon all articles, goods, wares, or merchandise, except coal, timber and
cement, the product of the Philippine Islands, exported through ports of entry of the Philippine
Islands, or shipped therefrom to the United States or any of its possessions, a duty of one dollar
per gross ton of one thousand kilos, as a charge for wharfage, whatever be the port of destination
or nationality of the exporting vessel: Provided, that articles, goods, wares, or merchandise
imported, exported, or shipped in transit for the use of the Government of the United States, or of
that of that of the Philippine Islands, shall be exempted from the charges prescribed in this
section. The Government of Philippine Islands can legally collect the duty of 1 dollar per gross
ton of 1,000 kilograms as a charged for wharfage.

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