You are on page 1of 14

STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION Preliminary Considerations Civil Code of the Philippines (Article 2-13) Article 2.

Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. Scope of the Article on Effectivity of Laws a. An ordinary law b. The Civil Code NOTE: When a country is placed under martial law, the lawmaking authority is ordinarily vested in the Chief Executive or President or Commander-in-Chief who usually issues: i. General Orders (Codes) ii. Presidential Decrees or Executive Orders (Statutes) iii. Letters of Instruction or Letters of Implementation (Circulars) iv. Proclamations (announcements of important things or events) Article 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. Scope of Ignorance of the Law When we say “ignorance of the law,” we refer not only to the literal words of the law itself, but also to the meaning or interpretation given to said law by our courts of justice. Article 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. Exceptions to the Prospective Effects of Laws a. If the laws themselves provide for retroactivity, but in no case must an ex post facto law be passed. b. If the laws are remedial in nature. c. If the statute is penal in nature, provided: i. It is favorable to the accused or to the convict; ii. And provided further that the accused or convict is not a habitual delinquent. d. If the laws are of an emergency nature and authorized by the police power of the government e. If the law is curative (this is necessarily retroactive for the precise purpose is to cure errors or irregularities). However, this kind of law, to be valid, must not impair vested rights nor affect final judgments. f. If a substantive right be declared for the first time, unless vested rights are impaired.

Article 5. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity. Kinds of Mandatory Legislation a. positive – when something must be done b. negative or prohibitory – when something should not be done Article 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. Definitions ¤ Right – the power or privilege given to one person and as a rule demandable of another, as the right to recover a debt justly due. In still another sense, a right denotes an interest or title in an object or property. Generally, rights involve two subjects: the active subject (the person entitled) and the passive subject (the person obliged to suffer the enforcement of the right). Rights may be: * real rights (jus in re, jus in rem) – enforceable against the whole world (absolute rights) * personal rights (jus in personam, jus ad rem) – enforceable against a particular individual (relative rights) ¤ Waiver – the intentional or voluntary relinquishment of known right, or such conduct as warrants an inference of the relinquishment of such right A waiver may be express or implied. Requisites for a Valid Waiver a. The person waiving must be capacitated to make the waiver. b. The waiver must be made clearly, but not necessarily express. c. The person waiving must actually have the right which he is renouncing, otherwise, he will not be renouncing anything. d. In certain instances the waiver, as in the express remission of a debt owed in favour of the waiver, must comply with the formalities of a donation. e. The waiver must not be contrary to law, morals, public policy, public order, or good customs. f. The waiver must not prejudice others with a right recognized by law. Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to contrary.

When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. Sources of Law a. Constitution b. Laws (or presidential decrees) c. Administrative or executive acts, orders, and regulations Rule for General and Special Laws a. If the general law was enacted prior to the special law, the latter is considered the exception to the general law. Therefore, the general law, in general remains good law, and there is no repeal, except insofar as the exception or special law is concerned. b. If the general law was enacted after the special law, the special law remains unless: i. There is an express declaration to the contrary. ii. Or there is a clear, necessary and irreconcilable conflict. iii. Or unless the subsequent general law covers the whole subject and is clearly intended to replace the special law on the matter. Some Grounds for Declaring a Law Unconstitutional a. The enactment of the law may not be within the legislative powers of the lawmaking body. b. Arbitrary methods may have been established. c. The purpose or effect violates the Constitution or its basic principles. Operative Fact ¤ This is when a legislative or executive act, prior to its being declared as unconstitutional by the courts, is valid and must be complied with.

Of course, when a case has been decided erroneously, such an error must not be perpetuated by blind obedience to the doctrine of stare decisis. No matter how sound a doctrine may be, and no matter how long it has been followed thru the years, still if found to be contrary to law, it must be abandoned. The principle of stare decisis does not and should not apply when there is a conflict between the precedent and the law. Obiter Dicta ¤ Obiter dicta (singular “dictum”) are opinions not necessary to the determination of a case. They are not binding, and cannot have the force of judicial precedents.

Article 9. No judge or court shall decline to render judgment for reason of the silence, obscurity, or insufficiency of the laws. Duty of a Judge if the Law is Silent A judge must give a decision, whether he knows what law to apply or not. Rules that May Be Applied a. Customs which are not contrary to law, public order, and public policy. b. Decisions of foreign and local courts on similar cases. c. Opinions of highly qualified writers and professors. d. Rules of statutory construction. e. Principles laid down in analogous instances. Thus, it has been said that where the law governing a particular matter is silent on a question at issue, the provision of another law governing another matter may be applied where the underlying principle or reason is the same. “Ubi cadem ratio ibi eadem disposito.” f. General principles of the natural moral law, human law, and equity. g. Respect for human dignity and responsibility. Article 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation and application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail. Some Rules of Statutory Construction a. When a law has been clearly worded, there is no room for interpretation. Immediately, application of the law must be made unless consequences or oppression would arise. b. If there are two possible interpretations or constructions of a law, that which will achieve the ends desired by Congress should be adopted. c. In interpreting a law, the following can be considered: the preamble of the statute; the foreign laws from which the law was derived; the history of the framing of the law, including deliberations in

Article 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. Are Judicial Decisions Laws? Judicial decisions are not laws; they are evidence of what the laws mean. Doctrine of Stare Decisis In the Philippines, we adhere to the doctrine of stare decisis (let it stand, et non quieta movere) for reasons of stability in the law. The doctrine, which is really “adherence to precedents,” states that once a case has been decided one way, then another case, involving exactly the same point at issue, should be decided in the same manner.

d. e. f.

g.

Congress; similar laws on the same subject matter (in pari materia). Patent or obvious mistakes and misprints in the law, may properly be corrected by our courts. Laws of pleadings, practice, and procedure must be liberally construed. Laws in derogation of a natural or basic right must be strictly, i.e., restrictively, interpreted. Therefore, extensions by analogy should be avoided. This is also true in the case of penal and tax legislations and in laws which enumerate exceptions to wellestablished juridical axioms. The contemporaneous interpretation given by administrative officials to a law which they are duty bound to enforce or implement deserves great weight.

Article 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twentyfour hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise. If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have. In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. Examples of Periods a. 10 months = 300 days b. 1 year = 365 days c. March = 31 days d. One week = 7 successive days ¤ A bill is a proposed legislative measure introduced by a member of Congress for enactment into law. A bill shall embrace only one subject whish shall be expressed in the title thereof.

Article 11. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. ¤ A custom is a rule of human action (conduct) established by repeated acts, and uniformly observed or practiced as a rule of society, thru the implicit approval of the lawmakers, and which is therefore generally obligatory and legally binding.

Steps in the Passage of a Law 1. First Reading ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Reading the number and the title of the bill Referral to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation Committee may hold public hearings on the proposed measure

Requisites Before the Courts can Consider Customs a. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence; otherwise, the custom cannot be considered as a source of right. b. The custom must not be contrary to law (contra legem), public order, or public policy. c. There must be a number of repeated acts. d. The repeated acts must have been uniformly performed. e. There must be a juridical intention (convictio juris seu necessitatis) to make a rule of social conduct. f. There must be a sufficient lapse of time. Article 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. When a Custom is Presumed Non-Existent A custom is presumed not to exist when those who should know, do not know of its existence. Kinds of Customs a. A general custom is that of a country; a “custom of the place” is one where an act transpires. b. A custom may be propter legem (in accordance with law) or contra legem (against the law). It is unnecessary to apply the first, because it merely repeats the law; it is wrong to apply the second. Customs extra legem are those of which may constitute sources of supplementary law, in default of specific legislation on the matter.

2.

Committee submits report and recommendations for calendar for second reading Second Reading ¤ Bill is read in full with amendments proposed by the committee (if copies are distributed, reading is dispensed with) Bill will be subject to debates, motions and amendments Bill will be voted on

¤ ¤ ¤ 3.

An approved bill shall be included in the calendar of bills for third reading Third Reading ¤ Bill will be submitted by final vote by yeas and nays Transmission to the Other House for Concurrence ¤ ¤ If the other House approves without amendments, the bill is passed to the President. If the other House introduces amendments, and disagreement arises, differences will be settled by the Conference Committee of both houses. Report and recommendation of the 2 Conference Committees will have to be

4.

approved by both houses in order to be passed to the President.

The President may: a. Approve and sign b. Veto (within thirty days from receipt thereof) - if the President vetoes, it is sent back to the House where it originated with recommendation, if 2/3 of the members of the Congress with each house voting separately approves, then it becomes a law c. Inaction (within thirty days from receipt thereof) - the bill will become a law

Interpretation – art of finding the true meaning and sense of any form of words – process of discovering the true meaning of the language used – limited to exploring the written text Intrinsic and Extrinsic Aids  Intrinsic Aids – internal or within – those aids within the statute Examples:      

Statutory Construction Statutory Construction the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law, where the intention is rendered doubtful by reason of the ambiguity in its language or of the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law the drawing of warranted conclusions respecting subjects that lie beyond the direct expression of the text, conclusions which are in the spirit, though not within the letter of the text involves the exercise of choice by the judiciary the art of seeking the intention of the legislature in enacting a statute and applying it to a given state of facts Legal Hermeneutics the systematic body of rules which are recognized as applicable to the construction and interpretation of legal writings

The Title The Preamble Context or body Chapter and section headings Punctuation and interpretation Extrinsic Aids – from outside sources (outside the four corners of the statute) – resorted to after exhausting all the available intrinsic aids and still there remain some ambiguity in the statute

Examples:  

  

History of the enactment of the statute Opinions and rulings of officials of the government called upon to execute or implement administrative laws Contemporaneous construction by executive officers charged with implementing and enforcing the provisions of the statutes unless such interpretation is clearly erroneous Actual proceedings of the legislative body Individual statements by members of the congress The author of the law

Object or Purpose ¤ ¤ Cardinal rule in interpretation: to ascertain, and give effect to, the intent of law. The sole object of all judicial interpretation of a statute is to determine legislative intent, what intention is conveyed, whether expressly or impliedly.

Other sources:  Reports and recommendations of legislative committees  Public policy  Judicial construction  Construction by the bar Strict and Liberal Construction  Strict Construction – construction according to the letter of a statute, which recognizes nothing that is not expressed, takes the language used in its exact meaning, and admits no equitable consideration – nothing should be included within the scope that does not come clearly within the meaning of the language used

Construction and Interpretation  Construction – process of drawing warranted conclusions not always included in direct expressions – determining the application of words to facts in litigation

not applicable where the meaning of the statute is certain and unambiguous, for under these circumstances, there is no need for construction Liberal Construction – equitable construction as will enlarge the letter of a statute to accomplish its intended purpose, carry out its intent, or promote justice – the meaning of the statute may be extended to matters which come within the spirit or reason of the law or within the evils which the law seeks to suppress or correct – applies only in proper cases and under justifiable causes and circumstances

It is the duty of the legislature to make the law; of the executive to executive the law; and of the judiciary to construe the law.

Judicial Power Section 1 (Article VIII). The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. ¤ Judicial power is the power to apply the laws to contests or disputes concerning legally recognized rights or duties between the State and private persons, or between individual litigants in cases properly brought before the judicial tribunals.

Examples:  

Penal statutes are to be construed strictly against the state and in favor of the accused. Tax laws must be construed strictly against the government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer, for taxes, being burdens, are not to be presumed beyond what the applicable statute expressly and clearly declares. Any claim of exemption from a tax statute is strictly construed against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the state. Naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly construed in favor of the government and against the applicant. Contracts of Insurance are to be construed liberally in favor of the insured and strictly against the insurer. Doubts in the interpretation of Workmen's Compensation and Labor Code should be resolved in favor of the worker. It should be liberally construed to attain their laudable objective. Retirement laws are liberally interpreted in favor of the retiree because the intention is to provide for the retiree's sustenance and comfort, when he is no longer capable of earning his livelihood. Statute providing for election contests is to be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in the choice of public officer may not be defeated by mere technical objections. Rule of court shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding.

Scope of Judicial Power a) Adjudicatory power – It includes the duty of the courts of justice: i. to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable; and ii. to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government b) Power of judicial review – It also includes the power: i. to pass upon the validity or constitutionality of the laws of the State and the acts of the other departments of the government; ii. to interpret them; and iii. to render binding judgments. c) Incidental powers – It likewise includes the incidental powers necessary to the effective discharge of the judicial functions such as the power to punish persons adjudged in contempt.

Latin Maxims  Absoluta sententia expositore non indiget – When the language of law is clear, no explanation of it is required.  Aequitas nunquam contravenit legis – Equity never acts in contravention to the law.  Casus omissus pro omisso habendus est – A person, object, or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentioanlly.

Power to Construe The duty and power to interpret or construe a statute or the Constitution belong to the judiciary.

 Cessante ratione legis, cessat et ipsa lex – When the reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases.  Contemporanea expositio est optima et fortissima in lege – The contemporary construction is strongest in law.  Dura lex sed lex – The law may be harsh, but that is the law.  Ea est accipienda interpretatio quae vitio caret – That interpretation is to be adopted which is free from evil or injustice.  Ex dolo malo non oritur action – No man can be allowed to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing.  Ex necessitate legis – By necessary implication of law. / From the necessity of law.  Expressio unius est exclusio alterius – The express mention of one person, thing, or consequence implies the exclusion of all others.  Falsa demonstratio non nocet, cum de corpore constat – False description does not preclude construction nor vitiate the meaning of the statute. / False description does not preclude construction nor vitiate the meaning of the statute which is otherwise unclear.  Fiat justicia, ruat coelum – Let right be done, though the heavens fall.  Hoc quidem perquam durum est, sed ita lex scripta est – It is exceedingly hard but so the law is written.  Ibi quid generaliter conceditur; inest haec exceptio, si non aliquid sit contras jus basque – Where anything is granted generally, this exception is implied; that nothing shall be contrary to law and right.  Impossibilium nulla obligatio est – There is no obligation to do an impossible thing.  In eo quod plus sit, semper inest et minus – The greater includes the lesser.  In pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis – No man should be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong.  Index animi sermo / Index animi sermo est – Speech is the index of intention.  Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium – The interest of the State demands that there be an end to litigation. / Public interest requires that by the very nature of things there must be an end to a legal controversy.

 Interpretatio fienda est ut res magis valeat quam pereat – That interpretation as will give the thing efficacy is to be adopted. / A law should be interpreted with a view to upholding rather than destroying it.  Interpretatio talis in ambiguis semper fienda est ut evitetur inconveniens et absurdum / Interpretato talis in ambiguis semper fienda est, ut evitatur inconveniens et absurdum – Where is ambiguity, such interpretation as will avoid inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted.  Jure naturae aequum est neminem cum alterius detrimento et injuria fieri locupletiorem – The fact that a statute is silent, obscure, or insufficient with respect to a question before the court will not justify the latter from declining to render judgment thereon.  Legis interpretatio legis vim obtinet / Legis interpretato legis vim obtinet – The authoritative interpretation of the court of a statute acquires the force of law by becoming a part thereof. / The authoritative interpretation of the Supreme Court of a statute acquires the force of law by becoming a part thereof.  Lex prospicit, non respicit – The law looks forward, not backward.  Maledicta est expositio quae corrumpit textum – It is dangerous construction which is against the text.  Nemo tenetur ad impossibile – The law obliges no one to perform an impossibility.  Nullus commodum potest de injuria propriasua / Nullus commodum capere potest de injuria sua propria – No amn should be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong.  Obiter dictum – An opinion expressed by a court on some question of law which is not necessary to the decision of the case before it.  Optimus interpres rerum usus – The best interpreter of the law is usage.  Quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per obliquum – What is prohibited directly is prohibited indirectly. / What cannot, by law, be done directly cannot be done indirectly.  Ratihabito mandato aquiparatur / Ratihabitio mandato aequiparatur – Legislative ratification is equivalent to a mandate.  Ratio legis – Interpretation according to spirit. / Interpretation according to the spirit or reason of the law.

 Ratio legis est anima legis / Ratio legis est anima – The reason of the law is its soul.  Stare decisis et non quieta movere – Follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been settled. / One should follow past precedents and should not disturb what has been settled.  Summum jus, summa injuria – The rigor of the law would become the highest injustice.  Surplusagium non nocet / Surplusagium non noceat – Surplusage does not vitiate a statute.  Ubi jus, ubi remedium- Where there is a right, there is a remedy. / Where there is a right, there is a remedy for violation therof.  Utile per inutile non vitiatur – The usful is not vitiated by the non-useful.  Verba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservire – Words ought to be more subservient to the intent and not the intent to the words.  Verba legis – Plain-meaning rule.  Verba legis non est recedendum – From the words of the statute there should be no departure.  Post-Midterms 

 Exceptio firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis – A thing not being excepted must be regarded as coming within the purview of the general rule.  Expressio unius est exclusion alterius – The express mention of one person, thing, or consequence implies the exclusion of all others.  Expressum facit cessare tacitum- What is expressed puts an end to what is implied.  Favorabilia sunt amplianda, adiosa restringenda / Favores ampliandi sunt; odia restringenda – Penal laws which are favorable to the accused are given retroactive effect.  Generale dictum generaliter est interpretandum – A general statement is understood in a general sense.  Generalia specialibus non derogant – A general law does not nullify a specific or special law.  Interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus / Interpotare et concordare legibus est optimus interpotandi modus – The best method of interpretation is that which makes laws consistent with other laws. / Every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form uniform system of law.  Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant – Later statute repeals prior ones which are repugnant thereto. / A later law repeals a prior law on the same subject which is repugnant thereto.  Lex de futuro, judex de praeterito – The law provides for the future, the judge for the past.  Noscitur a sociis – Words construed with reference to accompanying or associated words.  Nova constitutio futuris formam imponere debet non praeteritis – A new statute should affect the future, not the past.  Nullum crimen sine poena, nulla poena sine legis – There is no crime without penalty, and there is no penalty without a law.  Nullum tempus occurrit regi / Nullum tempus occurit – There can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the right depends.  Optima statuti interpretatix est ipsum statutum – The best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself.  Pari materia – Relating to same matter.

 Actus me invito factus non est meus actus – An act done by me against my will is not my act.  Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea – The act itself does not make a man guilty unless his intention were so.  Ad proximum antecendens fiat relatio nisi impediatur sentential – Relative words refer to the nearest antecedents, unless the context otherwise requires.  Argumentum a contrario – Negative-positive doctrine.  Casus omissus pro omisso habendus est – A person, object, or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally.  Dissimilum dissimilis est ratio – Of things dissimilar, the rule is dissimilar.  Distingue tempora et concordabis jura – Distinguish times and you will harmonize laws.  Dura lex sed lex – The law may be harsh, but that is the law.  Ejusdem generis – Of the same kind or specie.

  Potior est in tempoe, potior est in jure – He who is first in time is preferred in right.  Privilegia recipiunt largam interpretationem voluntati consonam concedentis / Privilegia reciprint largan interpretationem voluntate consonan concedentis – Privileges are to be interpreted in accordance with the will of him who grants them.  Reddendo singula singulis – Referring each to each. / Referring each phrase or expression to the appropriate object. / Let each be put in its proper place.  Salus populi est suprema lex – The voice of the people is the supreme law.  Statuta pro publico commodo late interpretantur – Statutes enacted for the public good are to be construed liberally.  Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguere debemus – Where the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish.  Verba accipienda sunt secundum subjectam materiam / Verba accipienda sunt secumdum materiam – A word is to be understood in the context in which it is used.  Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt – The laws aid the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights. JUDICIAL REVIEW AND STARE DECISIS Power of Judicial Review  Power of Judicial Review a court’s power to review the actions of other branches or levels of government the courts’ power to invalidate legislative and executive actions as being unconstitutional a court’s review of a lower court or an administrative body’s factual or legal findings 

Vagueness uncertain breadth of meaning Vagueness Doctrine / Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine the doctrine – based on the due process clause – requiring that a criminal statute state explicitly and definitely what acts are prohibited, so as to provide fair warning and preclude arbitrary enforcement Void for vagueness establishing a requirement or punishment without specifying what is required or what conduct is punishable, and therefore void because violative of due process

Stare decisis et non quieta movere  Stare decisis et no quieta movere – Follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been settled. Stare decisis to stand by things decided (Latin) the doctrine of precedent, under which it is necessary for a court to follow earlier judicial decisions when the same points arise again in litigation

Article 8, Civil Code Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws and the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines. Prospective Application of Judicial Precedents  Prospective effective or operative in the future

SUBJECTS OF CONSTRUCTION Constitution  Constitution the fundamental and organic law of a nation or state that establishes the institutions and apparatus of government, defines the scope of governmental sovereign powers, and guarantees individual civil rights and civil liabilities Kinds of Constitution: a. Flexible constitution has few or no special amending procedures b. Rigid constitution whose terms cannot be altered by ordinary forms of legislation, only by special amending procedures c. Unwritten constitution the customs and values, some of which are expressed in statutes, that provide the organic

Judicial Legislation  Judicial Legislation the law established by judicial precedent rather than by statue the law that results when judges construe statutes contrary to legislative intent

Void for Vagueness  Vague imprecise; not sharply outlined; indistinct; uncertain

and fundamental law of a state or country that does not have a single written document functioning as a constitution Statutes  Statute a law passed by a legislative body legislation enacted by any lawmaking body, including legislatures, administrative boards, and municipal courts Title

a. b. c. d. e.

Title Enacting Clause Preamble Body or Purview Separability Clause

Every bill passed by Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. (Section 26 [1], Article VI of the 1987 Constitution)  Limitations: a. The legislature is to refrain from conglomeration, under one statute, of heterogeneous subjects. b. The title of the bill is to be couched in a language sufficient to notify the legislators and the public and those concerned of the import of the single subject thereof. Purpose of title requirement: a. The principal purpose of the constitutional requirement that every bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in its title is to apprise the legislators of the object, nature and scope of the provisions of the bill, and to prevent the enactment into law of matters which have not received the notice, action and study of the legislators. b. It is to prohibit duplicity in legislation the title of which completely fails to apprise the legislators or the public of the nature, scope and consequences of the law or its provisions. c. To prevent hodgepodge or log-rolling legislation. d. To prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature, by means of provisions in bills of which the title gave no information, and which might therefore be overlooked and carelessly and unintentionally adopted. e. To fairly apprise the people, through such publication of legislative proceedings as is usually made, of the subjects of legislation that are being heard thereon, by petition or otherwise if they shall so desire.

Ordinances  Ordinance an authoritative rule or law; a decree or command Validity of ordinances: a. must not contravene the Constitution or any statute b. must not be unfair or oppressive c. must not be partial or discriminatory d. must not prohibit but may regulate trade e. must be general and consistent with public policy f. must not be unreasonable Kinds of Ordinance: a. Barangay ordinance b. Municipal ordinance c. City ordinance d. Provincial ordinance

Contracts and Wills  Contract an agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law Will wish; desire; choice a document by which a person estate to be disturbed upon death

directs his

LAWS Definitions  Law refers to the whole body or system of law (jural and generic sense) a rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory by legitimate power of the state (jural and concrete sense)

Enacting Clause  Enacting clause that part of a law written immediately after the title thereof which states the authority by which the act is enacted

Preamble  Preamble a prefatory statement or explanation or a finding of facts, reciting the purpose, reason, or occasion for making the law to which it is prefixed

Parts of a Law  Parts of Laws:

 We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution. (Preamble, 1987 Constitution) Body or Purview  Body or Purview that part which tells what the law is all about should embrace only one subject matter

Remedial law – providing a means to enforce rights or redress injuries; passed to correct or modify an existing law Penal law – defines an offense and prescribes its corresponding fine, penalty or punishment Curative law – corrects an error in a statute’s original enactment, usually an error that interferes with interpreting or applying the statute

Permanent or Temporary In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period of time and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof.  Permanent law – one whose operation is not limited in duration but continues until repealed Temporary law – whose duration is for a limited period of time fixed in the statute itself whose life ceases upon the happening of an event

Separability Clause  Separability Clause that part of a statute which states that if any provision of the act is declared invalid, the remainder shall not be affected thereby a legislative expression of intent that the nullity of one provision shall not invalidate the other provisions of the act

Some Classifications General, Special or Local  General law – one which applies to the whole state and operates throughout the state alike upon all the people or all of a class Special law – one which relates to particular persons or things of a class or a particular community, individual or thing Local law – one whose operation is confined to a specific place or locality

Public or Private  Public law – one which affects the public at large or the whole community Private law – one which applies only to a specific person or subject

Prospective or Retroactive General Rule: ~ Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (Article 4, Civil Code) ~ No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. Exceptions: ~ Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (Article 4, Civil Code) ~ Retroactive effect of penal laws. – Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in rule 5 of article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same. (Article 22, Revised Penal Code)  Prospective law – applies to future events

Mandatory or Directory Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory and prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity. (Article 5, Civil Code)  Mandatory law – requires a course of action as opposed to merely permitting it Directory law – indicates only what should be done, with no provision for enforcement Prohibitory law – forbids all acts that disturb society’s peace or forbids certain acts on other grounds

Remedial, Penal or Curative

Retroactive law – a legislative act that looks backward or contemplates the past, affecting acts or facts that existed before the act came into effect

the commission of a crime, an element not clearly expressed in its text. Context of whole text  The best source from which to ascertain the legislative intent is the statute itself – the words, phrases, sentences, sections, clauses, provisions – taken as a whole and in relation to one another.  Legislative intent should accordingly be ascertained from a consideration of the whole context of the statute and not from an isolated part or particular provision.  Every section, provision or clause of the statute must be expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive at the effect contemplated by the legislature.

AIDS TO STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION Parts of a Law  Title  The title may indicate the legislative intent to extend or restrict the scope of the law, and a statute couched in a language of doubtful import will be construed to conform to the legislative intent as disclosed in its title.  The title can be resorted to as an aid where there is doubt as to the meaning of the law or as to the intention of the legislature in enacting it, and not otherwise.  What may adequately be omitted in the text may be supplied or remedied by its title.  The title may be resorted to in order to remove, but not to create, doubt or uncertainty. √ Section 26 (1), Article VII of the 1987 Constitution – “Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.”  Preamble part of a statute written immediately after its title, which states the purpose, reason or justification for the enactment of the law  While a preamble is not, strictly speaking, a part of a statute, it may, when the statute is ambiguous, be resorted to clarify the ambiguity.  The preamble is the key of the statute, to open the minds of the lawmakers as to the purpose to be achieved, the mischief to be remedied, and the object to be accomplished, by the provisions of the statute.  The preamble sets out the intention of the legislature.  Whenever there is ambiguity in a statute or whenever the words used therein have more than one meaning, the preamble may decide the proper construction to be given to the statute.  A preamble may restrict what otherwise appears to be a broad scope of the law or require, in

Grammatical Aids  Punctuation Marks  A semi-colon is used to indicate a separation in the relation of the thought, a degree greater than that expressed by a comma; and what follows a semi-colon must have a relation to the same matter which precedes it. The comma and a semi-colon are both used for the same purpose, namely, to divide sentences and parts of sentences, the only difference being that the semi-colon makes the division a little more pronounced than the comma. They are not used to introduce a new idea. A period is a mark used to indicate the end of a sentence.  Where there is an ambiguity in a statute which may be partially or wholly solved by a punctuation mark, it may be considered in the construction of the statute.  If the punctuation gives the statute a meaning which is reasonable and in apparent accord with the legislative will, it may be used as additional argument for adopting the literal meaning of the words as thus punctuated. Headnotes or Epigraphs  Headnotes, headings or epigraphs of sections of a statute are convenient index to the contents of its provisions. They are prefixed to sections or chapters of a statute for ready reference or classification.  When a statute is divided into several subjects or articles, having respective appropriate headings, it must be presumed that the provisions of each article are controlling upon the subject thereof and operate as a general rule for settling such questions as are embraced therein.

Intent and Policy  Intent or spirit of law  The intent or spirit of the law is the law itself.  Legislative intent or spirit is the controlling factor, the leading star and guiding light in the application and interpretation of a statute.  The spirit, rather than the letter, of a statute determines its construction; hence, a statute must be read according to its spirit or intent.  The intent or spirit of a statute is that which is expressed in the words thereof, which should be discovered within its four corners aided, if necessary, by its legislative history.  Policy of law  The policy of the law, once ascertained should be given effect by the judiciary. One way of accomplishing this mandate is to give a statute of doubtful meaning, a construction that will promote public policy.  A construction which would carry into effect the evident policy of the law should be adopted in favor of that interpretation which would defeat it. Explanatory Notes and Legislative Debates  Explanatory note a short exposition or explanation accompanying a proposed legislation by its author or proponent contains statements of the reason or purpose of the bill, as well as arguments advanced by its author in urging its passage.  Where there is ambiguity in a statute or where a statute is susceptible of more than one interpretation, courts may resort the explanatory note to clarify the ambiguity and ascertain the purpose or intent of the statute.  An explanatory note is resorted to only for clarification in case of doubt, and not when there is no ambiguity in the law.  Legislative debates, views and deliberations  Courts may avail themselves of the actual proceedings of the legislative body to assist in determining the construction of a statute of doubtful meaning. 

 Where there is doubt as to what a provision of a statute means, that meaning which was put to the provision during the legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill may be adopted.  Statements made by assemblymen during floor deliberations do not necessarily reflect the views of the assembly.  Exceptions in the use of legislative debates: a. where there are circumstances indicating a meaning of a statute other than that expressed by the legislators b. where the views expressed were conflicting c. where the intent deducible from such views is not clear d. where the statute involved is free from ambiguity

Legislative History and Prior Laws on Which the Statute is Based  Legislative history  Where a statute is susceptible of several interpretations or where there is ambiguity in its language, there is no better means of ascertaining the will and intention of the legislature than that which is afforded in the history of the statute. Prior laws from which the statute is based  In ascertaining the intention of the lawmaker, courts are permitted to look to prior laws on the same subject and to investigate the antecedents of the statute involved.  This is specially applicable in the interpretation of codes, revised, or compiled statutes, for the prior laws which have been codified, compiled, or revised will show the legislative history that will clarify the intent of the law or shed light on the meaning and scope of the codified or revised statute. Presumptions and Implications  Presumptions  In construing a statute, the court may properly rely on presumptions as to legislative intent in order to resolve doubts as to its correct interpretation.  Presumptions are based on logic, experience and common sense, and in the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary, doubts as to the proper and correct construction of a statute will be resolved in favor of the construction which is in accord with the presumption on the matter.

Presumptions in favor of: a. the constitutionality of a statute b. its completeness c. its prospective operation d. its right and justice e. its effective, sensible, beneficial reasonable operation as a whole Presumption against: a. inconsistency and implied repeal b. unnecessary changes in law c. impossibility d. absurdity e. injustice and hardship f. inconvenience and ineffectiveness

RULES OF CONSTRUCTION FOR SPECIFIC LAWS  and Constitution “The language of the constitution should be understood in the sense it has in common use and that the words in constitutional provisions are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed.” Penal laws “Penal laws are strictly construed against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.” Tax laws “Tax statutes must be construed strictly against the government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer.” “Laws granting tax exemptions are construed strictissimi juris against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing authority.”  Labor laws “Labor laws should be liberally construed in favor of the worker.” Rules of Court “The Rules of Court, being procedural, are to be construed liberally with the end in view of realizing their purpose – the proper and just determination of a litigation.” Insurance laws and contracts “Insurance laws are liberally construed in favour of the insured and against the insurer.”  Insurance contracts of adhesion prepared by one party to be accepted by the other party in their discretion

LATIN MAXIMS  Verba legis non est recedendum From the words of a statute there should be no departurea. Ratio legis est anima legis The reason of the law is the soul of the law. Mens legislatoris Mind of the legislators. Dura lex, sed lex The law may be harsh, but it is the law. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius The express mention of one person, thin or consequence implies the exclusion of all others. Ejusdem generis Of the same kind or specie. Cassus omissus pro omisso habendus est A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally. Pari materia Of the same matter. Noscitur a sociis Associated words. Ubi lex non distuinguit nec nos distinguire debemos When the law does not distinguish, we should not distinguish. Cessante rationale legis, cessat ipsa lex When the reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases. Salus populi est suprema lex The voice of the people is the supreme law.   

Naturalization laws “Laws on naturalization are strictly construed against an applicant for citizenship and rigidly followed and enforced.” Expropriation laws “Statutes expropriating or authorizing the expropriation of property are strictly construed against the expropriating authority and liberally in favor of property owners.” Election laws “Election laws should be reasonably and liberally construed to achieve their purpose – to effectuate

and safeguard the will of the electorate in the choice of their representatives.”  Wills “Statutes prescribing the formalities to be observed in the execution of wills are strictly construed.”

handed down in an adversary proceeding in the form of a ruling by an executive officer exercising quasi-judicial power AMENDMENTS, REPEALS AND PARTIAL INVALIDITIES  Amendment connotes change or alteration but necessarily a complete loss a change in the law, but not of the law a piecemeal change Revision a total alteration a change of the law Repeal abrogation total erasure of a law  Kinds of Repeal: a) Express provides what is specifically repealed b) Implied there is a general repealing clause not

COMTEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION  Contemporary Construction construction placed upon statutes at the time of, or after, their enactment by the executive, legislative, or judicial authorities Contemporanea expositio est optima et fortissima in lege – The contemporary construction is strongest in law. Contemporaneous Construction construction placed upon the statute by an executive or administrative officer called upon to execute or administer such statute Types of Executive Construction: a. Quasi-legislative / Rule Making Power construction by an executive or administrative officer directly called to implement the law Expressed interpretation: embodied in a circular, directive or regulation Implied interpretation: practice or mode of enforcement of not applying the statute to certain situations or applying it in a particular manner; interpretation by usage or practice Requisites: a) Germane to the goal or intent of the law b) Not in contradiction c) To carry into effect the general standard – cannot be limited or extended Legal Opinions construction by the Secretary of Justice in his capacity as the chief legal adviser of the government in the form of opinions issued upon request of administrative or executive officials who enforce the law not necessarily binding but it could be used as a guide as long as it is not with palpable mistake or attended with grave abuse of discretion Quasi-judicial / Adjudicative Power

Unconstitutionality inconsistent with the constitution Illegality when the law does not conform with another law when the law is not consistent with another law when the law is contrary to another law, therefore illegal

b.

c.