Statutory Construction Is the art/process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the


Statutory Interpretation The art of finding the true meaning and sense of any form of words.

Distinction Bet 1st view – 2nd view – the two terms are synonymous and interchangeable  Is it part of the positive law? - No, they are not rules which must be followed like laws since they are merely guides and tools. - EXCEPTION: Sec.5 of the Local Government Code.  Purpose: - Recognized the inherent imperfection of written texts. The laws written may not always convey the desired legislation. - The purpose of all rules/maxims is to discover the true intention of the law, they are useful only in cases of doubt.  Situs of Construction - Interpretation of laws is for the courts. Legis interpretation legis vim obtinet - Judicial Construction What is the role of Congress over their power of construction on the Judiciary? Nature of the power of the courts to interpret: DISCRETIONARY AND NOT MANDATORY Executive Department of Government is frequently called upon to interpret the statutes long before they appeal in court of judicial construction - But: o They are not binding and conclusive upon the courts. o Subject to revocation, repeal and abrogation by their successors in office. Stare Decisis and Statutory Construction - The case for giving stare decisis effect to doctrine of statutory construction is settled. - Not absolute - Adherence to precedent and not to unsettle things that are settled already.

Local – one whose operation is confined to a specific place or locality (ex. As to Scope: . Promotes judicial economy c.Permanent – cannot be permanent forever.Penal .Special – one which relates to particular persons or things of a class or to a particular community or thing.Prospective/retroactive . NIR Tax Code b. As to application: .Mandatory . Others: .- 2 strains: o Vertical – deals with duty of lower courts to apply the decision of higher courts o Horizontal – high courts must follow its own precedent  Constitutional – judicial interpretations of the Constitution  Vertical – interpretation of statutes When to follow? a. Court decisions – stare decisis Statutes/Legislation Kinds: a.Tax – ex. Municipal ordinance) e. Legitimizes judicial instructions b.provisions .Labor – ex. Labor Code .Repealing/amendatory . Allows for predictability Sources of Law: Legislation Precedent Custom – have the force of law only when they are acknowledged and approved by society through long and uninterrupted usage. individual .Directory – compliance therewith is not required c.Temporary d. Family Code . As to performance: . As to nature: . Revised Rules of Court .General – applies to the whole State and operates throughout the State alike upon all the people or all of a class . otherwise unconstitutional: deterrent .Remedial – ex.Substantive – ex.

law means a rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory by the legitimate power of the State. custom. e. court decisions Statutes a. municipal.Reference/declaratory  How are statutes identified? 1901-1935 – Public Acts 1936-1946 – Commonwealth Acts 1952-1972 and from 1987 – Republic Acts by Batasang Pambansa – Batas Pambansa (ex. Sources – Legislation. BP 22 – bouncing check) Parts of a Statute: a. Definition – in its jural and generic sense refers to the whole body or system of law. rights and pending proceedings of the repeal Separability Clause Effectivity Clause Statutes: Law a. precedent. d. g. city. . implied repeal is not credited to statutory construction Saving Clause – restricts a repealing act and preserves existing powers. h. Definition – an act of the legislature as an organized body.. required to construe it as part of the law of the land. c. b. In its jural and concrete sense. b. f. i. part of the statute following the title Enacting clause – indicates authority that promulgates the enactment Proviso – enactment of purpose of acting as a restraint upon or as a qualification Interpretative Clause – legislature defines its own language/prescribes rules of its construction Repealing Clause – part of the stature that announces the legislative intent to terminate or revoke another statute or statutes. expressed in the form and passed according to the procedure. Other Laws: Presidential Issuances – are those which the President issues in the exercise of his ordinance power Ordinances – barangay. provincial Administrative Regulations 0 have the force and effect of law/partake the nature of a statute Title – general statement of and calls attention to the subject matter of an act Preamble – not an essential part.

Distinguished from law. bill – Bill is a proposed legislative measure introduced by a member of Congress for enactment into law. and every statutory grant of power. Such construction will be adopted as will reconcile/harmonize the various provisions and avoid conflict between them. right or privilege is deemed to include all incidental power. hard or harsh Legislative intent o Maxim: ration legis – interpretation according to the spirit or reason of law o Intent is the spirit which gives life to a legislative enactment Doctrine of Necessary Implication o One of the rules of statutory construction used to fill in the gap.b. o The greater includes the lesser. Effectivity of Laws – Article 2 of the Civil Code Basic Canons: Plain-meaning rule o Cardinal canon. o Maxim: ex necessitate legis – from the necessity of the law. right or privilege. verba legis rule (letter of the law) o index animi sermo est o If a statute is clear. The doctrine states that what is implied in a statute in as much a part thereof as that which is expressed. it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation o Maxim: speech is the index of intention o Verba legis non est recedendum – from the words of the statute there should be no departure Ubi lex non distinguit nec cos distinguere debemos o Where the law does not distinguish. we ought not to distinguish Holistic approach o Harmonization rule o The different provisions of a statute should be read and construed together. plain and free from ambiguity. Dura lex sed lex o The law may be harsh but it is still the law o The principle requires that the statute should be applied regardless of whether it is unwise. - - - - . c. How a bill becomes a statute – a bill may be enacted into law only in the manner the Constitution requires and in accordance with the procedure therein provided.

they will not be given such meaning if they are used in association with specific words or phrases o Where a statute describes things of a particular class or kind accompanied by words of a generic character. or cover the same specific or particular subject matter. unless there be something in the context of the stature to repel such interference. thing or consequence implies the exclusion of all other. Expressum facit cessare tacitum o Based on rules of logic and the natural workings of the human mind.- Ejusdem generis o General terms in provisions must be limited to the particular terms only o While general words or expressions in a statute are. They are predicted upon one’s own voluntary act and not upon that of others. the generic word will usually be limited to things of a kindred nature with those particularly enumerated. that the two or more statutes relate to the same specific subject matter Reddendo singular singulis o Last antecedent rule o Requires that the antecedents and consequences should be read distributively to the effect that each word is to be applied to the subject to which it appears by context mist appropriately related and to which it is most applicable - - - - . Noscitur a sociis o States that where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings. as a rule. Expressio unius est exclusion alterius o Doctrine of negative implication o It is a settled rule of statutory construction that the express mention of one person. or have the same purpose or object. natural and generic sense. o Opposite of doctrine of necessary implication In pari materia o When they relate to the same person or thing. o One variation of the rule is the principle that what is expressed puts an end to that which is implied. its correct construction may be made clear and specific by considering the company of words in which it is found or with which it is associated. o It is sufficient in order that they may be considered in pare material. accorded their full.

object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally. the court should resolve the ambiguity in favor of the defendant. Lex posterior derogate priori o The later rule prevails over the earlier rule Lex specialis derogate generalis o Special law prevails over a general law Lex posterior generalis non derogate legi priori specialis o A later law general in nature does not repeal earlier law which is more special in nature The Borrowed Statute Rule Harmonization with other statutes o Interpretare et concordare legibus est optimus interpretandi o Every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence. Rule of Lenity o In construing an ambiguous criminal statute.o Referring to each other. Charming Betsy Rule o National statute should be construed so as not to conflict with international law. the words should be taken distributively. Casus omissus o Casus omissus pro omisso habendus est – states that a person. referring each phrase or expression to its appropriate object or let each be put in its proper place. thing or object from the enumeration Contemporanea exposition o The contemporary construction is strongest in law. o The rule does not apply where it is shown that the legislature did not intend to exclude the person. similar legislation or legal principles to lapse and become unenforceable by a long habit of non-enforcement or lapse of time Argumentum a contrario o What is expressed puts an end to that which is implied - - - - - - . that it. no longer custom o A doctrine that causes statutes. Doctrine of desuetude o Outdated.

they are not. the courts may consult in dictionaries. legal. it may. there is no better means of ascertaining the will and intention of the legislature than that which is afforded by the history of the statute. Explanatory notes 3. Preamble – “whereas” clauses. however. Long title – the title of the statute that serves as aid. as aid in determining the meaning to be assigned to such words or phrases. 8. when the statute is ambiguous. 2. 4. Definition sections and interpretation clauses Extrinsic Aids 1. Applicability of extrinsic aids 2. provisions – taken as a whole and in relation to one another. 3. Capitalization of letters – like punctuation marks. Legislative history – it is a well-settled rule of statutory construction that where a statute is susceptible of several interpretations or where there is ambiguity in its language. Legislative debates and deliberations 6. entitled to much weight. sentences. phrases. scientific. Other statutes in pari material 7.Aids in Statutory Construction Intrinsic Aids 1. be resorted to clarify the ambiguity. or general. 4. Treaties and international conventions 5. An argument based on punctuation done is not persuasive. Punctuation – it is a rule of legal hermeneutics that punctuation marks are aids of low degree and can never control against he intelligible meaning of written words. In lieu of preamble. Section headings – they may be construed in aid of interpretation. these legislative bodies used the explanatory note to explain the reasons for the enactment of statutes. nor does its purpose or the context in which the words or phrases are employed indicate their meaning. Dictionaries – where a statute does not define the words or phrases used therein. Context or text of a statute – best source from which to ascertain legislative intent is the statute itself – the words. preamble sets out the intention of the legislature 5. Contemporaneous circumstances – contemporary/practical constructions are the construction placed upon statutes at the time . capitalization of letters is an aid of low degree in the construction of a statute 9. in case of doubt in its language to its construction and to ascertaining legislative will. The title may indicate the legislative intent to extend or restrict the scope of the law. clauses. and a statute couched in a language of doubtful import will be construed to conform to the legislative intent as disclosed in its title. In short. and inferences drawn therefrom are of little value and they can never control the plain terms of the enacting clauses for they are not part of the law 7. Short title 6. sections.

a construction that will promote public policy. are knowledgeable of the intent and purpose of the law. their enactment by the executive. executive and administrative the very first officials to interpret the law. or after. Executive Construction – what is commonly understood. as well as by those who. Construction by an executive or administrative officer directly called to implement the law 2. One way of accomplishing this mandate is to give a statute of doubtful meaning.of.General rule: statutes are presumed constitutional . preparatory to its enactment. legislature. Moreover.General rule: Statutes are presumed valid . Policy. once ascertained should be given the effect by the judiciary. in construing a statute. Construction by the bar and legal commentators Presumptions Presumption of Validity . there is no basis for its nullification in view of the presumption of validity which every law in its favor. or judicial authorities.Case: Carlos Superdrug case o Issue: Whether or not Section 3(a) of RA 9257. o Ruling: Police power as an attribute to promote the common good would be diluted considered if only the mere plea petitioners that they will suffer loss of earnings and capital. The purpose of a statute is more important than rules of grammar and logic ascertaining its meaning. as contemporaneous construction is the construction placed upon the statute by an executive/administrative officer called upon to execute/administer such statute. otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act is valid. 10. such as the draftsmen and bill sponsors. 9. 8. the purpose/object of law or the mischief intended to be removed/suppressed and the causes which induced the enactment of the law are important factors to be considered in its construction. Interpretation handed down in an adversary proceeding in the form of a ruling by an executive officer quasi-judicial power. because of their involvement in the process of legislation. and usually referred to. Presumption of Constitutionality . Accordingly. the questioned provision is invalidated. Construction by the Secretary of Justice in his capacity as a chief legal adviser of the government 3.Exception: if it clearly appears that the statutes violate some of the fundamental law (constitution) .  Kinds: 1. spirit and purpose of the law – policy of law. in the absence of evidence demonstrating the alleged confiscatory effect of the provision in the question.

with reference to lands of the public domain. The courts therefore have the duty to interpret the law in such a way as to avoid absurd result. ESSO Standard Eastern.Case: Teofisto Guingona vs. The following shall be considered election offenses under this Act: (j) Violation of the provisions of this Act. Register of Deeds o Issue: Whether or not an alien under our constitution may acquire residential land. . 1623 of the New Civil Code o Ruling: The purpose is clear enough to make sure that the redemptioners are duly notified… Presumption against inconsistency . it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended rights and justice to prevail. Comelec o Issue: Whether or nor RA 8189.A word or phrase repeated in a statute will have the same meaning throughout the statute. timber and mineral lands. IAC o Issue: Whether or not there was valid notice under Art. Sec 45(j) is unconstitutional o The phraseology: Sec 45. timber and mineral…. Presumption of good faith .Case: CIR vs.Good motives making the law .1 of the 1987 Constitution.It is presumed that the legislature had good motives in having considered and adopted a particular law Presumption against injustice . “Nothing is better settled than that courts are not to . Inc. o Issue: Whether or not ESSO should pay o Ruling: To interpret the words of the statute in such a manner as to subvert these truisms simply cannot and should not be countenanced.Whether or not it be in different laws or some laws .Case: Krivenko vs. unless a different intention appears. (Art XIII. Sec. makes mention to only agricultural. agricultural. this provision. Election offenses. o Ruling: the void-for-vagueness doctrine… .Statutes must receive a sensible construction against absurdity .It is presumed that the legislature does not intend that absurdity will flow from its enactment. Presumption against absurdity . .- Exception: Case: Romualdez vs. . therefore. it means that all lands of the public domain are classified into the said 3 groups namely.Article 10 of the New Civil Code – in case of doubt.Case: Alonzo vs. ADC o Ruling: The time-honored doctrine is that all laws (PD No. 771) are presumed valid and constitutional until or unless otherwise ruled by this Court. o Ruling: When.

262 in relation to Sec. and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment.Case: Paras vs. Comelec o Issue: Whether or not an alleged misrepresentation of profession or occupation on a certificate of candidacy punishable as an election offense under Sec. . Implied repeal: (1) Repealing clause fails to identify the act/acts intended to be repealed. some provisions contain irreconcilable inconsistencies with provision of a prior law. o 2 categories of implied repeal:  1. o Ruling: Whenever possible. or they are incompatible. or (2) No repealing clause. phrase. Presumption against ineffectiveness . the law first repealed shall not be thereby revived. that every part of the statute must be considered together with other parts. Comelec o Ruling: It is a rule ins statutory construction that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context. Presumption against irrepealable laws . A general law does not repeal a special law unless it is so expressly provided. However. not expressly but by implication only..Case: Lluz vs.e. Implied repeal by irreconcilable inconsistency .Rules: o 1. o 3.2 requisites: o Statutes touch the same subject matter o The later statute is repugnant to the earlier one . unless expressly so provided.Legislature intended not to make an ineffective law .Case: Mecano vs. .It is presumed that the lawmaking body does not intend that its law shall be irrepealable. when a law repeals a prior law. or word must not be construed as to be meaningless for a useless surplusage in the sense of adding nothing to the law or having no effect on it. COA o Issue: Whether or not Administrative Code of 1987 repealed Revised Administrative Code of 1917 o Ruling: Express repeal: the repealing clause identifies or designates the act or acts that are intended to be repealed.give words a meaning which would lead to absurd or unreasonable consequences…” .74 of BP 881. When a law which expressly repeals a prior law is itself repealed.Reason of the presumption: the need of today and the situation obtaining now will not most likely be the same in the years to come Presumption against implies repeals: . Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones o 2. its repeal revives the prior law unless the language of the repealing statute provides otherwise. i. a legal provision.

Sec 2 of 1987 Constitution . Presumption of knowledge of existing laws Presumption of acquiescence to judicial construction Presumption of jurisdiction .It is presumed that the legislature designs to favor and faster than contravene. that public policy which is based on principle of natural justice. Case: Roma Drug vs.- 2.A statute will not be construed in such a manner as to oust or restrict the jurisdiction of superior courts… Presumption against violation of international laws .Article. The later act covers the whole subject of the earlier one and is clearly intended as a substitute. and the settled wisdom of the la as applied to the ordinary affairs of life. RTC of Pampanga  Presumption against public policy .

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