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STATUTE

A written law passed by a legislature on the state level. It sets forth general propositions of law that courts apply to specific situations. It may forbid a certain act, direct a certain act, make a declaration, or set forth governmental mechanisms to aid society. A statute begins as a bill proposed or sponsored by a legislator. If the bill survives the legislative committee process and is approved by both houses of the legislature, the bill becomes law when it is signed by the executive officer (the president). When a bill becomes law, the various provisions in the bill are called statutes. The term statute signifies the elevation of a bill from legislative proposal to law. State and federal statutes are compiled in statutory codes that group the statutes by subject. These codes are published in book form and are available at law libraries. Lawmaking powers are vested chiefly in elected officials in the legislative branch. The vesting of the chief lawmaking power in elected lawmakers is the foundation of a representative democracy. Aside from the federal and state constitutions, statutes passed by elected lawmakers are the first laws to consult in finding the law that applies to a case. Laws created through judicial opinion stand in contradistinction to laws created in statutes. Case law has the same legally binding effect as statutory law, but there are important distinctions between statutes and case law. 1. Case law is written by judges, not by elected lawmakers, and it is written in response to a specific case before the court. A judicial opinion may be used as precedent for similar cases, however. This means that the judicial opinion in the case will guide the result in similar cases. In this sense a judicial opinion can constitute the law on certain issues within a particular jurisdiction. Courts can establish law in this way when no statute exists to govern a case, or when the court interprets a statute. For example, if an appeals court holds that witness testimony on memory recovered through therapy is not admissible at trial, that decision will become the rule for similar cases within the appeals court's jurisdiction. The decision will remain law until the court reverses itself or is reversed by a higher court, or until the state legislature passes a statute that overrides the judicial decision. If the courts strike down a statute and the legislature passes a similar statute, the courts may have an opportunity to declare the new statute unconstitutional. This cycle can be repeated over and over if legislatures continually test the constitutional limits on their lawmaking powers. 2. Judicial opinions also provide legal authority in cases that are not covered by statute. Legislatures have not passed statutes that govern every conceivable dispute. Furthermore, the language contained in statutes does not cover every possible situation. Statutes may be written in broad terms, and judicial opinions must interpret the language of relevant statutes according to the facts of the case at hand. Regulations passed by administrative agencies also fill in statutory gaps, and courts occasionally are called on to interpret regulations as well as statutes.

phrases according to ordinary rules of grammar and dictionary definitions. If a word or phrase is technical or legal, it is interpreted within the context of the statute. For example, the term interest can refer to a monetary charge or ownership of property. If the term interest appears in the context of a statute on real estate ownership, a court will construe the word to mean property ownership. Previous interpretations of similar statutes are also helpful in determining a statute's meaning. Statutes are not static and irreversible. A statute may be changed or repealed by the lawmaking body that enacted it, or it may be overturned by a court. A statute may lapse, or terminate, under the terms of the statute itself or under legislative rules that automatically terminate statutes unless they are reapproved before a certain amount of time has passed. Although most legal disputes are covered at least in part by statutes, TORT and contract disputes are exceptions, in that they are largely governed by case law. Criminal Law, patent law, tax law, Property Law, and Bankruptcy law are among the areas of law that are covered first and foremost by statute.

Courts tend to follow a few general rules in determining the meaning or scope of a statute. If a statute does not provide satisfactory definitions of ambiguous terms, courts must interpret the words or

STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION
Construction, verily, is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law (Black, Interpretation of Laws, p. 1). CALTEX v PALOMAR GENERAL PRINCIPLES

extended to other transactions by interpretation. To do any of such things would be to do violence to the language of the law and to invade the legislative sphere (Canet vs. Decena, G.R. No. 155344, 20

January 2004; citations omitted). Part of the law of the land

Interpretations made by the Supreme Court become part of the laws of the land. This is explicitly provided in Section 8 of the Civil Code, which provides: "Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines."

The power to construe; limitations


It is the duty of the Legislature to make the law; of the Executive to execute the law; and of the Judiciary to construe the law. The Legislature has no authority to execute or construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or construe the law (U.S. vs. Ang Tang Ho, G.R. No. 17122, 27 February 1922), and the Judiciary has no power to make or execute the law (Borromeo vs. Mariano, G.R. No. L-16808, 3 January 1921). It is, emphatically, the province and duty of the judicial department, to say what the law is.

Construction by administrative agencies


The general rule is that construction of a statute by an administrative agency charged with the task of interpreting or applying the same is entitled to great weight and respect. The Court, however, is not bound to apply said rule where such executive interpretation, is clearly erroneous, or when there is no ambiguity in the law interpreted, or when the language of the words used is clear and plain, as in the case at bar. Besides, administrative interpretations are at best advisory for it is the Court that finally determines what the law means (NFA vs. Masada Security Agency, Inc., G.R. No. 163448, 8 March

2005) Carrying out the intention of the legislature


The court may rectify and correct a clearly clerical error in the wording of a statute, in order to give due course and carry out the evident intention of the Legislature. Under the rules of statutory construction, it is not the letter but rather the spirit of the law and intention of the Legislature that is important and which matters. When the interpretation of a statute according to the exact and literal import of its words would lead to absurd or mischievous results, or would contravene the clear purposes of the Legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary, the latter of the law. Statutes may be extended to cover cases not within the literal meaning of the terms, for that which is clearly within the intention of the Legislature in enacting the law is as much within the statute as if it were within the latter. Here the error (clerical and misprint) is plain and obvious. It is within the province of the courts to correct said error. This is not to correct the act of the Legislature, but rather to carry out and give due course to the true intention of said Legislature (Rufino Lopez & Sons, Inc. vs. Court of Tax Appeals, G.R. No. L-9274, 1 February 1957).

RULES OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION The following are the rules of statutory construction, in alphabetical order: Ad proximum antecedens fiat relatio nisi impediatur sentencia The antecedent bears relation to what follows next, unless it destroys the meaning of the sentence. Casus omissus pro omisso habendus est A person, object, or thing omitted from an enumeration in a statute must be held to have been omitted intentionally. Distingue tempora et concordabis jura Distinguish times and you will harmonize laws. We have laws enacted at different times, under dissimilar circumstances (Commissioner of Customs vs. Superior Gas and Equipment Co., G.R. No. L-

Wisdom of the law


However, it is not within the province of the Judiciary to inquire into the wisdom of the law. (NFA vs. Masada Security Agency, Inc., G.R. No. 163448, 8 March 2005) Courts may not, in the guise of interpretation, enlarge the scope of a statute and include therein situations not provided nor intended by the lawmakers. An omission at the time of the enactment, whether careless or calculated, cannot be judicially supplied however after later wisdom may recommend the inclusion. Courts are not authorized to insert into the law what they think should be in it or to supply what they think the legislature would have supplied if its attention has been called to the omission. Courts should not, by construction, revise even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the legislature nor rewrite the law to conform to what they think should be the law. Nor may they interpret into the law a requirement which the law does not prescribe. Where a statute contains no limitations in its operation or scope, courts should not engraft any. And where a provision of law expressly limits its application to certain transactions, it cannot be

14115, 25 May 1960)

Expressium facit cessare tacitum What is expressed renders what is implied silent. Pari materia rule A rule of statutory construction which commands that statutes must be harmonized with each other. Plain meaning rule Also known as verba legis, this rule provides that if the statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without interpretation.

Verba legis Also known as the plain meaning rule, this rule provides that where the language of the law is clear and unequivocal, it must be given its literal application and applied without interpretation. WHEN DOES STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION COME IN? The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them. 1. NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR V. EISMA

cannot adopt, are clear and unambiguous. When the New Civil Code was adopted, it changed the word descendant, found in the Spanish Civil Code to which the New Civil Code was patterned, to children. The children thus mentioned have a clearly defined meaning in law and do not include grandchildren. In the present case, Roderick and Rommel Daoang, the grandchildren of Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos-Agonoy, cannot assail the adoption of Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos by the Agonoys. Therefore, the general rule is that only statutes with an ambiguous or doubtful meaning may be the subjects of statutory construction. 5. PARAS V. COMELEC

Is SK to be considered a regular local election in a recall proceeding?


The subject provision of the Local Government Code, Sec. 74 Paragraph (b) provides that No recall shall take place within one year from the date of the officials assumption to office or one year immediately preceding a regular local election. Hence, It is a rule in statutory construction that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context. In the present case, the Sangguniang Kabataan elections cannot be considered a regular election, as this would render inutile the recall provision of the Local Government Code. It would be more in keeping with the intent of the recall provision of the Code to construe regular local election as one referring to an election where the office held by the local elective official sought to be recalled will be contested and be filled by the electorate.

Construction is required to determine jurisdiction.


The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them. However, jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by the sovereign authority, which organizes the court; and it is given only by law. Jurisdiction is never presumed; it must be conferred by law in words that do not admit of doubt. Since the jurisdiction of courts and judicial tribunals is derived exclusively from the statutes of the forum, the issue should be resolved on the basis of the law or statute in force. 2. PAAT V. CA

Whether construction admits that the authority confiscates conveyances belonging to the court.
The construction that conveyances are subject of confiscation by the courts exclusively (pursuant to Section 28, paragraph 2) unduly restricts the clear intention of the law and inevitably reduces the other provision of Section 68-A, aside to the fact that conveyances are not mentioned nor included in the former provision. In the case at bar, the phrase to dispose of the same is broad enough to cover the act of forfeiting conveyances in favor of the government. The only limitation is that it should be made in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter. Therefore, in the construction of statutes, it must be read in such a way as to give effect to the purpose projected in the statute. 3. PEOPLE V. MAPA

WHEN IS IT CONSTRUCTION AND WHEN IT IS JUDICIAL LEGISLATION? To declare what the law shall be is a legislative power, but to declare what the law is or has been, is judicial. However, the court do and must legislate to fill in the gaps in the law. The Court decided to go beyond merely ruling on the facts of the existing law and jurisprudence. (Floresca v. Philex Mining; Republic v. CA and Molina) 1. FLORESCA V. PHILEX MINING

Does CFI (RTC) have jurisdiction over the complaint?


Pursuant to Article 9 of the Civil Code which provides that: No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. It argues that the application or interpretation placed by the Court upon a law is part of the law as of the date of the enactment of the said law since the Courts application or interpretation merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that the construed law purports to carry into effect. Yet, the Court argues that the Court can legislate, pursuant to Article 9 of the New Civil Code. However, even the legislator himself recognizes that in certain instances, the court do and must legislate to fi ll in the gaps in the law; because the mind of the legislator, like all human beings, is finite and therefore cannot envisage all possible cases to which the law may apply. 2. REPUBLIC V. CA AND MOLINA

Prosecution for the crime of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition of appointed secret agent of a public official.
The law is explicit that it is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm or any instrument, intended to be used in the manufacture of firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition except when such firearms are in possession of such public officials and public servants for use in the performance of their official duties. It is the first and fundamental duty of courts to apply the law. It was decided that construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them. The law cannot be any clearer; there being no provision made for a secret agent. 4. DAOANG V. MUNICIPAL JUDGE OF SAN NICOLAS

Guidelines presented by the court.


The Family Code of the Philippines provides an entirely new ground (in addition to those enumerated in the Civil Code) to assail the validity of a marriage, namely, "psychological incapacity." In addition to resolving the present case, the court finds the need to lay down specific guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code. In the present case, it appears to that there is a

Adoption under para 1 of Art. 335 of the Civil Code.

The words used in paragraph (1) of Article 335 of the Civil Code, in enumerating the persons who

"difficulty," if not outright "refusal" or "neglect" in the performance of some marital obligations of the respondent spouse. Mere showing of "irreconcilable differences" and "conflicting personalities" in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity. Hence, the Court decided to go beyond merely ruling on the facts of this case vis-a-vis existing law and jurisprudence. For psychological incapacity to foster three characteristics should manifest, that include gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability.

more importantly, those who have become incapacitated for work owing to sickness, disease or injuries sustained while in the line of the duty. R.A. No. 65 (Veterans Bill of Rights) or veteran pension law is therefore, a governmental expression of gratitude to and those who rendered service for the country, by extending to them regular monetary aid. If the pension awards are made effective only upon approval of the application, then the noble and humanitarian purposes for which the law had enacted could easily be thwarted or defeated.

HOW MUST LEGISLATIVE INTENT BE ASCERTAINED?


Legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole. The particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce harmonious whole. (Aisporna v. CA; China Bank v. Ortega; PVA Board of Administrators v. Bautista) 1. AISPORNA V. CA

Legislative intent of the Insurance Act: whether an insurance subagent or proxy covered in section 189 of Insurance Act.
Legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole. The particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce harmonious whole. In the present case, the first paragraph of Section 189 prohibits a person from acting as agent, subagent or broker in the solicitation or procurement of applications for insurance without first procuring a certificate of authority so to act from the Insurance Commissioner; while the second paragraph defines who is an insurance agent within the intent of the section; while the third paragraph prescribes the penalty to be imposed for its violation. 2. CHINA BANK V. ORTEGA

Whether a banking institution can validly refuse a court process garnishing the bank deposit invoking the provisions of R.A. No. 1405 (An Act prohibiting Disclosure of or Inquiry into, Deposits with any Banking Institution).
In gist of the pertinent provisions of RA 1405, Sec. 2., that although transactions with banking institutions in the Philippines is absolutely confidential, there is an exception upon written permission of depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of the competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation. In the present case, China Bank is at default because the court merely required the bank to inform the court whether or not the defendant had a deposit with the bank for the purposes of garnishment issued by the court. However, the disclosure is purely incidental to the execution process. 3. PVA BOARD OF ADMINISTRATORS V. BAUTISTA

Whether plaintiff is entitled to the pension from 1955 instead of from 1968.
The purpose of Congress in granting veterans pensions is to compensate, as far as may be, a class of men who suffered in the service for the hardships they endured and the dangers they encountered, and

CALTEX VS. PALOMAR G.R. No. L-19650 FACTS: In 1960, the petitioner, Caltex (Philippines) Inc., launched a promotional scheme called "Caltex Hooded Pump Contest" which calls for participants to estimate the actual number of liters a hooded gas pump of each Caltex Station will dispense within a specific period. Such contest is open to all motor vehicle owners and/or licensed drivers. There is no required fee or consideration, and there is no need for the contestants to purchase the products of Caltex. The forms are available upon request at each Caltex Station and there is a sealed can where accomplished entry stubs may be deposited. Then, seeing the extensive use of mails for publicizing and transmission of communication purposes, Caltex sent representatives to the postal authorities for advance clearing for the use of mails for the contest. But then, the Postmaster General, Enrico Palomar, denied the request of Caltex in view of Sections 1954 (a), 1982 and 1983 of the Revised Administrative Code. The aforesaid sections prohibits the use of mail conveying any information concerning non-mailable schemes, such as lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme. Consequently, Caltex invoked a judicial intervention by filing a petition of declaratory relief against the Postmaster General, ordering the Postmaster General to allow the petitioner to use the mails to bring the contest to the attention of the public and that the aforesaid contest is not violative of the Postal Law. ISSUE: Whether or not the scheme proposed by Caltex is within the coverage of the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably requires an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. HELD: No. Caltex may be granted declaratory relief, even if Enrico Palomar simply applied the clear provisions of the law to a given set of facts as embodied in the rules of the contest. For, construction is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. In this case, the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably required an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. Also, the Court is tasked to look beyond the fair exterior, to the substance, in order to unmask the real element that the law is seeking to prevent or prohibit. PAAT VS CA GR No. 111107, 10 January 1997 266 SCRA 167 FACTS The truck of private respondent Victoria de Guzman was seized by the DENR personnel while on its way to Bulacan because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest product found concealed in the truck. Petitioner Jovito Layugan, CENRO ordered the confiscation of the truck and required the owner to explain. Private respondents failed to submit required explanation. The DENR Regional Executive Director Rogelio Baggayan sustained Layugans action for confiscation and ordered the forfeiture of the truck. Private respondents brought the case to the DENR Secretary. Pending appeal, private respondents filed a replevin case before the RTC against petitioner Layugan and Baggayan. RTC granted the same. Petitioners moved to dismiss the case contending, inter alia, that private respondents had no cause of action for their failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The

trial court denied their motion. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. Petitioners aver that the trial court could not legally entertain the suit for replevin because the truck was under administrative seizure proceedings. ISSUE Whether or not the instant case falls within the exception of the doctrine. HELD The Court held in the negative. The Court has consistently held that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative processed afforded him. Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before courts judicial power can be sought. The premature invocation of court intervention is fatal to ones cause of action. The doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. Hence, it is disregarded (1) when there is violation of due process, (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question, (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, (4) when there is estoppels on the part of the administrative agency concerned, (5) when there is irreparable injury, (6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention. A suit for replevin cannot be sustained against the petitioners for the subject truck taken and retained by them for administrative forfeiture proceedings in pursuant to Sections 68-A of OD 705, as amended. Dismissal of the replevin suit for lack of cause of action in view of the private respondents failure to exhaust administrative remedies should have been the proper course of action by the lower court instead of assuming jurisdiction over the case and consequently issuing the writ ordering the return of the truck. PEOPLE V. MAPA GR L-22301, 30 August 1967 (20 SCRA 1164)En Banc, Fernando (p): 9 concur FACTS: Mario M. Mapa was charged for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in an information dated 14 August 1962 in violation of Section 878 of the Revise Administrative Code in connection with Section 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended by CA 56 and as further amended by RA 4. Accused admits to possession of firearm on ground of being a secret agent of Governor Feliciano Leviste of Batangas. On 27 November 1963, the lower court rendered a decision convicting the accused of the crime and sentenced him to imprisonment for one year and one day to two years. As the appeal involves a question of law, it was elevated tothe Supreme Court. ISSUE:

Whether or not a secret agent duly appointed and qualified as such of the governor is exempt from the requirement of having a license of firearm HELD: The law is explicit that it is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm, detached parts of firearms or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or implement used or intended to be used in the manufacture of firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition except when such firearms are in possession of such public officials and public servants for use in the performance of their official duties; as those firearms and ammunitions which are regularly and lawfully issued to officers, soldiers, sailors or marines, the Philippines Constabulary, guards in the employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police, provincial governors, lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners and jails. It is the first and fundamental duty of courts to apply the law; Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them. The law cannot be any clearer, there being no provision made for a secret agent. Reliance in the decision in People v. Macarandang is misplaced, and the case no longer speaks with authority to the extent that the present decision conflicts with. It may be note that in Peoplev. Macarandang, a secret agent was acquitted on appeal on the assumption that the appointment of the accused as a secret agent to assist in the maintenance of peace and order campaigns and detection of crimes sufficiently put him within the category of a peace officer equivalent even to a member of the municipal police expressly covered by section 879, Thus, in the present case, therefore, the conviction must stand. The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed judgment DAOANG VS. MUNICIPAL JUDGE OF SAN NICOLAS GR L-34568, 28 March 1988 (159 SCRA 369) FACTS: On 23 March 1971, spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy filed a petition with the Municipal Court of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte seeking the adoption of minors Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos. However, minors Roderick and Rommel Daoang, assisted by their father and guardian ad litem, the petitioners herein filed an opposition to the said adoption. They contended that the spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy had a legitimate daughter named Estrella Agonoy, oppositors mother, who died on 1 March 1971, and therefore said spouses were disqualified to adopt under Article 335 of the Civil Code, which provides that those who have legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children or children by legal fiction cannot adopt. ISSUE: Whether the spouses Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos are disqualified to adopt under paragraph 1 of Article 335 of the Civil Code. HELD: The words used in paragraph (1) of Article 335 of the Civil Code, in enumerating the persons who cannot adopt, are clear and unambiguous. When the New Civil Code was adopted, it changed the word descendant, found in the Spanish Civil Code to which the New Civil Code was patterned, to children. The children thus mentioned have a clearly defined meaning in law and do not include grandchildren. Well known is the rule of statutory construction to the effect that a statute clear and unambiguous on its face need not be interpreted. The rule is that only statutes with an ambiguous or doubtful meaning may be the subjects of statutory construction. In the present case, Roderick and Rommel Daoang, the

grandchildren of Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos-Agonoy, cannot assail the adoption of Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos by the Agonoys. The Supreme Court denied the petition, and affirmed the judgment of the Municipal Court of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte (Special Proceedings 37), wthout pronouncement as to costs.

PARAS V. COMELEC G.R. No. 123169 (November 4, 1996) FACTS: A petition for recall was filed against Paras, who is the incumbent Punong Barangay. The recall election was deferred due to Petitioners opposition that under Sec. 74 of RA No. 7160, no recall shall take place within one year from the date of the officials assumption to office or one year immediately preceding a regular local election. Since the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election was set on the first Monday of May 2006, no recall may be instituted. ISSUE: W/N the SK election is a local election. HELD: No. Every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to its context, and it must be considered together and kept subservient to its general intent. The evident intent of Sec. 74 is to subject an elective local official to recall once during his term, as provided in par (a) and par (b) The spirit, rather than the letter of a law, determines its construction. Thus, interpreting the phrase regular local election to include SK election will unduly circumscribe the Code for there will never be a recall election rendering inutile the provision. In interpreting a statute, the Court assumed that the legislature intended to enact an effective law. An interpretation should be avoided under which a statute or provision being construed is defeated, meaningless, inoperative or nugatory.

FLORESCA vs PHILEX MINING CORPORATION FACTS: Floresca et al are the heirs of the deceased employees of Philex Mining Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Philex), who, while working at its copper mines underground operations at Tuba, Benguet on June 28, 1967, died as a result of the cave-in that buried them in the tunnels of the mine. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Philex, in violation of government rules and regulations, negligently and deliberately failed to take the required precautions for the protection of the lives of its men working underground. Floresca et al moved to claim their benefits pursuant to the Workmens Compensation Act before the Workmens Compensation Commission. They also petitioned before the regular courts and sue Philex for additional damages. Philex invoked that they can no longer be sued because the petitioners have already claimed benefits under the WCA. ISSUE: Whether or not Floresca et al can claim benefits and at the same time sue.

HELD: Under the law, Floresca et al could only do either one. If they filed for benefits under the WCA then they will be estopped from proceeding with a civil case before the regular courts. Conversely, if they sued before the civil courts then they would also be estopped from claiming benefits under the WCA. The SC however ruled that Floresca et al are excused from this deficiency due to ignorance of the fact. Had they been aware of such then they may have not availed of such a remedy. However, if in case theyll win in the lower court whatever award may be granted, the amount given to them under the WCA should be deducted. The SC emphasized that if they would go strictly by the book in this case then the purpose of the law may be defeated. Idolatrous reverence for the letter of the law sacrifices the human being. The spirit of the law insures mans survival and ennobles him. As Shakespeare said, the letter of the law killeth but its spirit giveth life. REPUBLIC V. CA AND MOLINA GR 108763, 13 February 1997 FACTS: Roridel Olaviano was married to Reynaldo Molina on 14 April 1985 in Manila, and gave birth to a son a year after. Reynaldo showed signs of immaturity and irresponsibility on the early stages of the marriage, observed from his tendency to spend time with his friends and squandering his money with them, from his dependency from his parents, and his dishonesty on matters involving his finances. Reynaldo was relieved of his job in 1986, Roridel became the sole breadwinner thereafter. In March 1987, Roridel resigned from her job in Manila and proceeded to Baguio City. Reynaldo left her and their child a week later. The couple is separated-in-fact for more than three years. On 16 August 1990, Roridel filed a verified petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo Molina. Evidence for Roridel consisted of her own testimony, that of two of her friends, a social worker, and a psychiatrist of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. Reynaldo did not present any evidence as he appeared only during the pre-trial conference. On 14 May 1991, the trial court rendered judgment declaring the marriage void. The Solicitor General appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals denied the appeals and affirmed in toto the RTCs decision. Hence, the present recourse. ISSUE: Whether opposing or conflicting personalities should be construed as psychological incapacity HELD: The Court of Appeals erred in its opinion the Civil Code Revision Committee intended to liberalize the application of Philippine civil laws on personal and family rights, and holding psychological incapacity as a broad range of mental and behavioral conduct on the part of one spouse indicative of how he or she regards the marital union, his or her personal relationship with the other spouse, as well as his or her conduct in the long haul for the attainment of the principal objectives of marriage; where said conduct, observed and considered as a whole, tends to cause the union to self-destruct because it defeats the very objectives of marriage, warrants the dissolution of the marriage. The Court reiterated its ruling in Santos v. Court of Appeals, where psychological incapacity should refer to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity, existing at the time the marriage is celebrated, and that there is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of

psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. Psychological incapacity must be characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence, and incurability. In the present case, there is no clear showing to us that the psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity; but appears to be more of a difficulty, if not outright refusal or neglect in the performance of some marital obligations. Mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity. The Court, in this case, promulgated the guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code, removing any visages of it being the most liberal divorce procedure in the world: (1) The burden of proof belongs to the plaintiff; (2) the root cause of psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven by expert, and clearly explained in the decision; (3) The incapacity must be proven existing at the time of the celebration of marriage; (4) the incapacity must be clinically or medically permanent or incurable; (5) such illness must be grave enough; (6) the essential marital obligation must be embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code as regards husband and wife, and Articles 220 to 225 of the same code as regards parents and their children; (7) interpretation made by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church, and (8) the trial must order the fiscal and the Solicitor-General to appeal as counsels for the State. The Supreme Court granted the petition, and reversed and set aside the assailed decision; concluding that the marriage of Roridel Olaviano to Reynaldo Molina subsists and remains valid. AISPORNA V CA (1982) FACTS: Mapalad Aisporna, the wife of one Rodolfo Aisporna, an insurance agent, solicited the application of Eugenio Isidro in behalf of Perla Compana de Seguros without the certificate of authority to act from the insurance commissioner. Isidro passed away while his wife was issued Php 5000 from the insurance policy. After the death, the fiscal instigated criminal action against Mapalad for violating sec 189 of the Insurance code for feloniously acting as agent when she solicited theapplication form. In the trial court, she claimed that she helped Rodolfo as clerk and that she solicited a renewal, not a new policy from Isidro through the phone. She did this because her husband was absent when he called. She only left a note on top of her husbands desk to inform him of what tran spired. (She did not accept compensation from Isidro for her services) Aisporna was sentenced to pay Php 500 with subsidiary costs in case of insolvency in 1971 in the Cabanatuan city court. In the appellate court, she was found guilty of having violating par 1 of sec 189 of the insurance code. The OSG kept on repeating that she didnt violate sec 189 of the insurance code. In seeking reversal of the judgment, Aisporna assigned errors of the appellate court: 1. the receipt of compensation was not a necessary element of the crime in par 1 of sec 189 of the insurance code 2. CA erred in giving due weight to exhibits F, F1, F17 inclusive sufficient to establish petitioners guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 3. The CA erred in not acquitting the petitioner

Issues: Won a person can be convicted of having violated the 1 st par of the sec 189 of the IC without reference to the 2nd paragraph of the said section. Or Is it necessary to determine WON the agent mentioned in the 1st paragraph of the aforesaid section is governed by the definition of an insurance agent found on its second paragraph Decision: Aisporna acquitted Ruling: Sect 189 of the I.C., par 1 states that No insurance company doing business with the Philippine Isl ands nor l any agent thereof shall pay any commission or other compensation to any person for services in obtaining new insurance unless such person shall have first procured from the Insurance Commissioner a certificate of authority to act as an agent of such company as herein after provided. No person shall act as agent, sub-agent, or broker in the solicitation of procurement of applications for insurance without obtaining a certificate from the Insurance Commissioner. Par2 Any person who for COMPENSATION solicits or obtains insurance for any for any insurance compna or offers or assumes to act in the negotiating of such insurance shall be an insurance agent in the intent of this section and shall thereby become liable to all liabilities to which an insurance agent is subject. Par 3 500 peso fine for person or company violating the provisions of the section. The court held that the 1st par prohibited a person to act as agent without certificate of authorityfrom the commissioner. In the 2nd par, the definition of an insurance agent is stipulated. The third paragraph provided the penalty for violating the 1st 2 rules The appellate court said that the petitioner was penalized under the1st paragraph and not the 1nd. The fact that she didnt receive compe nsation wasnt an excuse for her acquittal because she was actually punished separately under sec 1 because she did not have a certificate of authority as under par 1. The SC held that the definition of an insurance agent was made by CA to be limited to paragraph 2 and not applicable to the 1st paragraph. The appellate court said that a person was an insurance agent under par 2 if she solicits insurance for compensation, but in the 1st paragraph, there was no necessity that a person solicits an insurance compensation in order to be called an agent. The SC said that this was a reversible error. The CA said that Aisporna didnt receive compensation. The SC said that the definition of an insurance agent was found in the 2nd par of Sec 189 (check the law) The definition in the 2nd paragraph qualified the definition of an agent used in the 1st and third paragraphs. DOCTRINE: The court held that legislative intent must be ascertained from the consideration of the statute as a whole. The words shouldnt be studied in isolated explanations but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts in order topronounce the harmonious whole. Noscitur a sociis provides that where a particular word or phrase in a statement is ambiguous in itself, the true meaning may be made clear in the company it is fixed in. In applying this, the court held that the definition of an insurance agent in the 2nd paragraph was applicable in the 1stparagraph. To receive compensation be the agent is an essential element for violation of the 1st paragraph. The appellate court said that she didnt receive compensation by the receipt of compensation wasnt an essential element for violation of the 1st paragraph. The SC said that this view

wasnt correct owing to the American insurance laws which qualified compensation as a qualifying factor in penalizing unauthorized persons who solicited insurance (Texas code and snyders law) CHINA BANKING CORP VS. ORTEGA G.R. No. L-34964 January 31, 1973 FACTS: Petitioner refuses to comply with a court process garnishing the bank deposit of a judgment debtor by invoking the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405 (Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act) which allegedly prohibits the disclosure of any information relative to bank deposits. ISSUE: Whether or not a banking institution may validly refuse to comply with a court process garnishing the bank deposit of a judgment debtor, by invoking the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405. HELD: No. It is sufficiently clear from the foregoing discussion of the conference committee report of the two houses of Congress that the prohibition against examination of or inquiry into a bank deposit under Republic Act 1405 does not preclude its being garnished to insure satisfaction of a judgment. Indeed there is no real inquiry in such a case, and if the existence of the deposit is disclosed the disclosure is purely incidental to the execution process. It is hard to conceive that it was ever within the intention of Congress to enable debtors to evade payment of their just debts, even if ordered by the Court, through the expedient of converting their assets into cash and depositing the same in a bank. BOARD OF ADMINISTRATORS OF THE PVA V. BAUTISTA GR L-37867, 22 February 1982 (112 SRCA 59) FACTS: Calixto Gasilao was a veteran in good standing during the last World War that took active participation in the liberation drive against the enemy, and due to his military service, he was rendered disabled. The Philippine Veterans Administration, formerly the Philippine Veterans Board,(now Philippine Veterans Affairs Office) is an agency of the Government charged with the administration of different laws giving various benefits in favor of veterans and their orphans/or widows and parents. On July 23, 1955, Gasilao filed a claim for disability pension under Section 9of Republic Act 65, with the Philippine Veterans Board, alleging that he was suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB), which he incurred in line of duty. Due to Gasilaos failure to complete his supporting papers and submit evidence to establish his service-connected illness, his claim was disapproved by the Board on 18 December 1955.On 8 August 1968, Gasilao was able to complete his supporting papers and, after due investigation and processing, the Board of Administrators found out that his disability was 100% thus he was awarded the full benefits of section 9of Republic Act 65. Later on, Republic Act 5753 was approved on 22 June 1969, providing for an increase in the basic pension and additional pension for the wife and each of the unmarried minor children. Gasilaos monthly pension was, however, increased only on 15 January 1971, and by 25% of the increases rovided by law, due to the fact that it was only on said date that funds were released for the purpose, and the amount so released was only sufficient to pay only 25% of the increase. On 15January 1972, more funds were released to implement fully Republic Act 5753 and allow payment in full of the

benefits thereunder from said date. In 1973, Gasilao filed an action against the Board to recover the pension, which he claims he is entitled to, from July 1955, when he first filed his application for pension, up to 1968 when his pension was finally approved. The Board contends, however, based on Section 15 of Republic Act 65, that since the section impliedly requires that the application filed should first be approved by the Board of Administrators before the claimant could receive his pension, therefore, an award of pension benefits should commence from the date of approval of the application. I u s e :Whether Gasilao is entitled to the pension from 1955 instead of from 1968. Held: As it is generally known, the purpose of Congress in granting veteran pensions is to compensatea class of men who suffered in the service for the hardships they endured and the dangers they encountered, and more particularly, those who have become incapacitated for work owing to sickness, disease or injuries sustained while in line of duty. A veteran pension law is, therefore, a governmental expression of gratitude to and recognition of those who rendered service for the country, especially during times of war or revolution, by extending to them regular monetary aid. For this reason, it is the general rule that a liberal construction is given to pension statutes in favor of those entitled to pension. Courts tend to favor the pensioner, but such constructional preference is to be considered with other guides to interpretation, and a construction of pension laws must depend on its own particular language. In the present case, Republic Act 65 is a veteran pension law which must be accorded a liberal construction and interpretation in order to favor those entitled to rights, privileges, and benefits granted thereunder, among which are the right to resume old positions in government, educational benefits, the privilege to take promotion examinations, a life pension for the incapacitated, pension for widow and children, and hospitalization and medical benefits. Upholding the Board that the pension awards are made effective only upon approval of the application, this would be dependent upon the discretion of the Board which had been abused in this case through inaction extending for 12years. Such stand, therefore does not appear to be, or simply is not, in consonance with the spirit and intent of the law. Gasilaos claim was sustained. The Supreme Court modified the judgment of the court a quo, ordering the Board of Administrators of the Philippine Veterans Administration (now the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office) to make Gasilaos pension effective 18 December 1955 at the rate of P50.00 per month plus P10.00 per month for eachof his then unmarried minor children below 18, and the former amount increased to P100.00 from 22June 1957 to 7 August 1968; and declaring the differentials in pension to which said Gasilao, his wife and his unmarried minor children below 18 are entitled for the period from 22 June 1969 to 14January 1972 by virtue of Republic Act 5753 subject to the availability of Government funds appropriated for the purpose.