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CHAPTER I – STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, ITS CONCEPT, PURPOSE AND EFFECT  Statutory Construction – the act or process of discovering and

expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law. Construction vs. Interpretation Construction uses EXTRINSIC AIDS Interpretation uses INTRINSIC AIDS  When NECESSARY to interpret and construct?

Who interprets the law? Anyone can interpret the law, however, it is not necessarily conclusive nor can they bind the courts. The JUDICIARY has the delicate task of ascertaining the significance of a constitutional or statutory provision, an executive order, a procedural or a municipal ordinance. THE PRESENT STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT AND HOW THIS AFFECTS INTERPRETATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES. 1. LEGISLATIVE POWER – make laws and to alter or repeal them. a) ORIGINAL legislative power – power BELONGING to the sovereign people and this is SUPREME.



2. 

When NOT NECESSARY to interpret and construct? When the law speaks in clear and categorical language, APPLY THE LAW, DO NOT INTERPRET. 2.

b) DERIVATIVE legislative power – DELEGATED by the sovereign people to the legislative bodied and it is SUBORDINATE to the original power of the people. JUDICIAL POWER a) Traditional – authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for the violation of such rights.

AMBIGUITY – doubtfulness, doubleness of meaning, indistinctness or uncertainty of meaning of an expression used in a written instrument. When a literal interpretation would result to unreasonable, unjust or absurd consequences, or where a statute is in conflict with the Constitution. Most basic rules to remember: First. Law speaks in clear and categorical language – APPLY THE LAW Second. When there is ambiguity in the language of the statute, ascertain legislative intent, use intrinsic aids – INTERPRET THE LAW Third. When the intent cannot be ascertained using intrinsic aids, resort to extrinsic aids CONTRUCT THE LAW

b) New definition – to determine whether or not here has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on any part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.  RULES in the exercise of Judicial Power: 1. When the law is clear – APPLY; do not interpret; In case of doubt, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail; Court should interpret according to the meaning the legislature intended to give it; If there are two possible interpretations; that which will achieve the ends DESIRED BY CONGRESS should be adopted; Laws of pleadings, practice and procedures are liberally construed in order to promote their object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding;


Three CARDINAL RULES when the wordings of the CONSTITUTION are subject to interpretation: 1. VERBA LEGIS – Words used in the Constitution must be given their ORDINARY MEANING, except when technical terms are employed. RATIO LEGIS ET ANIMA – Words in the Constitution should be interpreted in ACCORDANCE WITH THE INTENT OF ITS FRAMERS. UT MAGIS VALEAT QUAM PEREAT – Constitution must be interpreted as a WHOLE.






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6. or legal debates. 3. Third. PREAMBLE – reasons or objectives of the enactment. A judge cannot decline to render judgment by reason of the silence. 5. The Executive IS NOT REQUIRED to determine the validity of the law. STATUTORY 4. The executive department may modify or set aside the judgment of the court. CONTEXT – taken from the general consideration of the act as a WHOLE. WORDS. TITLE – expresses the subject matter of the law.   b) Previous state of the law. bureaus and offices. CONTEMPORANEOUS CIRCUMSTANCES – conditions existing at the time the law was enacted. e) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION. The President has the duty to execute it regardless of his doubts on its validity. INTRINSIC AIDS – found in the law itself. Second. Third. legislative investigation.  3. c) LEGAL OPINIONS. 2. CONTEMPORANEOUS AND PRACTICAL CONSTRUCTION – those who lived at or near the time when the law was passed were more acquainted of the conditions and the reasons why the law was enacted.  EXECUTIVE POWER – power to ENFORCE AND ADMINISTER the laws. RESIDUAL POWERS – power borne by the President’s duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. in the transcript of stenographic notes taken during a hearing. PHRASES AND SENTENCES. d) Customs usages of the people. similar cases. c) Evils sought to be remedied or corrected by the law. CHAPTER II – AIDS IN INTERPRETATION AND CONSTRUCTION  In determining the intention of the legislature. POLICY – general policy of the law or the settled policy of the State may enlighten the interpreter of the law as to the intention of the legislature in enacting the law. d) GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF EQUITY AND JUSTICE. PRESUMPTION – based on logic or established provision of law. HEADINGS and MARGINAL NOTES LEGISLATIVE DEFINITION and INTERPRETATION b) COURT DECISIONS. The legislative department may amend or revoke the decisions of the court. 3. a) History if the times and conditions existing at the time the law was enacted. obscurity or insufficiency of the laws.  What are INTRINSIC AIDS? 1. This is to be resolved by the Judiciary. 2. 5. 6. not contrary to law. EXTRINSIC AIDS 1. 4. 6. The laws emanate from the legislature. Second. PUNCTUATION – aid of low degree and can never control against the intelligible meaning of the written word. public order or policy. A judge must be guided by the following: a) CUSTOMS. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE STATUTE – found in reports of legislative committees. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT – the PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES shall have control of all executive departments. atgPage 2 of 9 . EXECUTIVE CONSTRUCTION – given by the executive department. LEGISLATIVE CONSTRUCTION – given great weight but it cannot control as against the court’s  PRINCIPLE OF CHECK AND BALANCE: First. EXTRINSIC AIDS – facts or matters not found in the law. qualified writers and professors. the courts may use any of the following: First.

1. Presumption Construction of Acquiescence to Judicial b) MORAL LAW – what is right and what is wrong as dictated by human conscience and as inspired by the eternal law. powers of the CHAPTER III – LAW. a) PHYSICAL LAW – universal rule of action that govern the conduct and movement of things. Laws must be PRESCRIBED BY LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY – If laws are not prescribed by legitimate authority. DIVINE HUMAN POSITIVE LAW – commandments of the church 2. laid down by legitimate authority for the common observance and benefit. the purpose for which they are intended will not be served. which are non-free and material 9. in harmony with justice and public policy and consistent with the local law. Presumption Against Violation of Public Policy 11. Presumption of Validity Presumption of Constitutionality Presumption of Good Faith Presumption Against Injustice – lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail Presumption Against Inconsistency Presumption Against Absurdity Presumption Against Ineffectiveness Presumption Against Irrepealable Laws – the need of today and the situation obtaining now will not most likely be the same in the years to come. just and obligatory. 7. 10. POSITIVE LAW a) PUBLIC LAW i. CONSTRUCTION BY COMMENTATORS THE BAR AND LEGAL  Strict legal sense – a rule of conduct. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW –   fundamental law of the land. 6. 2. Presumption Against Violation of International Law ii. Presumption Against Implied Repeal  4. 3. CLASSIFICATION OF LAW 1. Laws must be ordained for the COMMON BENEFIT – Salus populi est suprema lex – the welfare of the people is the supreme law. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW –  fixes the organization. NATURAL LAW – derives its force and authority from GOD. PRESUMPTIONS IN AIDS OF CONSTRUCTION 1. 5. Superior to other laws. 8. 7. It is a RULE OF CONDUCT – serves as guidelines of an individual in relation to his fellowmen and to his community.  2. Laws must be JUST It must be OBLIGATORY – If laws are not enforced. Presumption of Acting Within the Scope of Authority 15. 5. c) DIVINE LAW i. 8. ITS CONCEPT AND CLASSIFICATION  LAW Defined  Broadest sense – means any rule of action or norm of conduct applicable to all kinds of action and to all objects of creation. 4. Presumption of Jurisdiction 14. DIVINE POSITIVE commandments LAW – 10 13. JUDICIAL CONSTRUCTION – it should be followed only if it is reasonable. Presumption of Knowledge of Existing Laws 12. the people could not be expected to observe them. 3. atgPage 3 of 9 . defines the government.prerogative to decide on what is the right or wrong interpretation. ii.

making the facts known to them and effectuating their judgments. 3. LEGISLATION PRECEDENT – Stare decisis CUSTOMS a) Proven as a fact according to the rules of evidence. 1. determines the competence of the administrative authorities.  KINDS OF STATUTES 1. As to NATURE a) Penal statutes  b) Remedial statutes iii. PROCEDURAL OR ADJECTIVE PRIVATE LAW – means and methods of setting the court in motion. 4. 2. 5. of d) Labor statutes e) b) PRIVATE LAW –   Creates duties.  PARTS OF STATUTES atgPage 4 of 9 . 2. Bills submitted to Congress for consideration and approval. these bills become STATUTES. INTERNATIONAL LAW – c)  regulates the community nations.  c) Must be a number of uniformly performed repeated acts. Once approved by the Congress and by the President. rights and obligations. STATUTES – those enacted by the legislature. regulates the method by which the functions of the Government are performed. 2. As to APPLICATION a) Mandatory Tax statutes Substantive statutes b) Directory As to PERFORMANCE a) Permanent ii. 3. and The means and methods of setting courts in motion for the ENFORCEMENT of a right or of a redress of wrong. IDENTIFICATION OF STATUTES – depends on the respective authorities that enacted them. b) Temporary 4. i. 3. b) Special c) Local OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS a) Prospective/Retroactive b) Repealing/Amendatory c) Reference/Declaratory b) Must not be contrary to law. SUBSTANTIVE PRIVATE LAW – declare legal relations of litigants. PUBLIC ACTS – 1901 to 1935 COMMONWEALTH ACTS – 1936 to 1946 REPUBLIC ACTS – 1942 to 1972 BATAS PAMBANSA or BP – approved by the Batasang Pambansa PRESIDENTIAL DECREES or PD – issued by President Ferdinand Marcos during the martial law. e) Must be acknowledged and approved by society. d) Must be judicial intention to make a rule of social conduct. 5. As to SCOPE a) General  SOURCES OF LAWS 1. 4.  COURT DECISION – evidence of the meaning and interpretation of the laws.

INTESTATE and TESTAMENTARY PROVISIONS – subject to the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. 4. if they shall so desire. except where there is estoppel – at any stage if it involves jurisdiction of the court. the generality of the language which it follows. Ordinances (Local Government) – effectivity is after the lapse of 10 days from the date a copy is posted in a bulletin board located in a conspicuous place. admissibility of evidence. and calls attention to. REAL PROPERTY – subject to the where it is located. ENACTING CLAUSE – indicates the authority that promulgated the enactment.  A bill can only embrace ONE SUBJECT MATTER  To avoid HODGE-PODGE or LOG ROLLING legislation – if hodge-podge. TITLE – gives a general statement of. 3.  4.1. SEPARABILITY AND SAVING CLAUSES 3. DATES OF EFFECTIVITY  Shall be published first to take effectivity. 5. Must be raised at the EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY  CRIMINAL CASES – at any time in the discretion of the court CIVIL CASES – at any stage if it is necessary to the determination of the case itself. applies to all laws except to interpretative regulations and to those merely internal in nature. only gives it dignity BODY – contains the subject matter of the statute EXCEPTIONS AND PROVISOS – restraint upon or as a qualification of.      2. rights and pending proceedings from the effects of the repeal Separability – any section or provision of the statute is held to be unconstitutional or invoked. it is inoperative as though it has never been passed. it affords no protection.  atgPage 5 of 9 . Must be raised by the PROPER PARTY – one who has sustained or is in danger of sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained. PREAMBLE – states the REASONS or the OBJECTS of the enactment. Matter respecting REMEDIES (bringing of suits. INTERPRETATIVE. the other section or provision of the law shall not be affected thereby. IN EVERY CASE. statute of limitations) – depend upon the law of the PLACE WHERE THE SUIT IS BROUGHT. the subject matter of an act. EFFECT OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL STATUTE  If TOTALLY declared unconstitutional: FIRST VIEW – an unconstitutional act is not a law.      Must be NECESSARY TO THE DETERMINATION OF THE CASE – when there are no other available grounds which it can base its decision. 2.  Interpretative – legislature defines its own language Repealing – to terminate or revoke another statute or statutes Saving – restricts a repealing act and preserves existing powers. should be declared void by the courts To prevent SURPRISE OR FRAUD upon the legislature To FAIRLY APPRISE the people of the subjects of legislation being considered so that they may have the opportunity of being heard thereon. 7. even though living abroad. REPEALING. There must be an ACTUAL CASE or CONTROVERSY – not hypothetical or one that is moot or academic. it creates no office. 6. NOT ESSENTIAL to the validity of the law. it confers no rights. CHAPTER IV – VALIDITY AND CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATUTES  REQUISITES OF JUDICIAL INQUIRY: 1. it imposes no duties.  Who are subject to Philippine Laws?  Laws relating to FAMILY RIGHTS – binding upon citizen of the Philippines.

 2. The SC simply ignores statutes deemed unconstitutional  If PARTIALLY declared unconstitutional:  SPECIAL PROVISION PREVAIL over general provisions. the LATTER PREVAILS. In the case of ADOPTED STATUTE. that is. If statutes on the same subject were enacted at different times and under different conditions and circumstances. may stand and be enforced. the statute of a LATER DATE PREVAILS. should be read and construed together as if they constituted one law. EFFECT OF A STATUTE UNCONSTITUTIONAL  WHICH IS DECLARED ORTHODOX VIEW – an unconstitutional act. the doubt will be resolved against implied amendment or repeal and in favor of harmonization of all laws on the subject. The GENERAL LAW PREVAILS when the legislature intended the general enactment to cover the whole subject and to repeal all prior laws inconsistent therewith.  QUALIFICATIONS: 1.SECOND VIEW – an unconstitutional statute is nevertheless a statute. imposes no duties and affords no protection. Legislature is willing to retain the valid portion even if the rest is declared illegal (can be manifested in the SEPARABILITY CLAUSE). The GENERAL LAW PREVAILS when it TREATS THE SUBJECT IN PARTICULAR and the special law refers to it in general. if it is possible to harmonize the general and special provision. OF PARTIAL 2. if separable (can stand independently as a separate statute) from the invalid. CHAPTER V – GENERAL PRINCIPLES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES   Legislative intent must be ascertained from the statute as a WHOLE  Optima statuli interpretatix est ipsum statum – the best interpreter of the statute is the statute itself. the effects prior to its declaration is left undisturbed as a matter of equity or fair play. In case of doubt.  2. EXCEPTIONS: 1. the court will follow the construction which such statute received when PREVIOUSLY IN FORCE. said rule shall not apply. The valid portion. – latest expression of the legislative intent. however.  SECOND – the SC simply ignores statutes deemed unconstitutional. confers no rights. That the valid portions can stand independently as a separate statute (must express the LEGISLATIVE WILL independently of the void part). whether legislative or executive.  In interpreting REENACTED STATUTES.  Courts have the duty to RECONCILE or HARMONIZE the different provisions of the statute including the conflicting provisions thereof. their interpretation should be in accordance with the circumstances or conditions peculiar to each (Distingue tempra et concordabis jura).   atgPage 6 of 9 . or having the same general purpose. is not a law. the interpretation of the courts of the state from which it is adopted should be considered. – Each provision in a statute is inserted for a definite reason.  REQUISITE FOR DECLARATION UNCONSTITUTIONALITY 1. a legislative act. As a rule. In case of CONFLICT BETWEEN A COMMON LAW PRINCIPLE and a STATUTORY PROVISION.  PARI MATERIA RULE – all statutes relating to the same subject. (APPLIED IN THE PHILIPPINES) o Exception is the OPERATIVE FACT – when the law is declared unconstitutional. IMPLIED REPEALS are not legally presumed in the absence of a clear and unmistakable showing of such intentions. A statute will not be construed as repealing prior act or acts on the same subject unless the new law is evidently intended to all prior laws of the matter. 3.

REDRESS an existing grievance. No injury can result from ignoring it. shall be resolved IN FAVOR OF LABOR. including its implementing rules and regulations. are mandatory. Art.CHAPTER VI – RULES OF CONSTRUCTION OF SPECIFIC STATUTES  i. rather than the letter of an ordinance. of COMMAND or TAX EXEMPTIONS are construed strictly against taxpayers and in favor of the taxing power. He must not read out except to avoid patent nonsense of internal contradictions. o Words cannot be enlarged beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. TERMINOLOGY – Mandatory uses “shall/must”. the judge should presume that the LAWMAKING BODY INTENDED RIGHT AND JUSTICE TO PREVAIL. o What the law grants. 3.  As to APPLICATION: o iii. 2. and o o o o 2. ii. He must not read in any way of creation. Interpreted strictly against the taxing power and liberally in favor of the taxpayer. the statute should be As to NATURE: PENAL Statutes o Impose PUNISHMENT for an offense against the State. if MANDATORY or iv. directory uses “may/it is lawful” MATERIALITY of the provisions – Provision which affect substantial rights. In case of doubt.  ii. Non-compliance renders the proceedings to which it relates ILLEGAL and VOID. History of considered. MANDATORY o Contains words PROHIBITION. COMMANDS OR PROHIBITS certain acts and establish penalties for their violation. TAX Statutes o Seeks to impose burden upon persons and property. do not relate to the essence of the thing to be done. LABOR Statutes o Govern the RIGHT AND OBLIGATIONS OF EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES. compliance is for convenience rather than substance are directory. o o o TEST in DETERMINING DIRECTORY in nature: 1. are the very essence of the thing to be done. The spirit. LIBERALLY CONSTRUED because it enacted to improve the law was i. provisions which do not affect substantial rights. CONSEQUENCES – a failure of performance will result to the injury or prejudice to the o atgPage 7 of 9 . Interpreted AGAINST THE STATE LIBERALLY IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED. Judge’s duty is to APPLY THE LAW if it is clear and there is no doubt. Rules of construction applying to tax laws: 1. or INTRODUCE regulations conducive to the public good. DIRECTORY o Those which are permissible or discretionary. IV of New Labor Code – All doubt in the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of this code. REMEDIAL Statutes 4. v. 3. Real purpose of the legislature will prevail over the literal import of the words used. o Designed to CORRECT and existing law. providing the rules on which it may be ENFORCED. the court cannot deny. SUBSTANTIVE Statutes o o o Laws which ESTABLISH RIGHTS AND DUTIES.

STATUTE AUTHORIZING SUITS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT o o STRICTLY CONSTRUED The statute conferring the right to maintain the action MUST BE PLAIN AND POSITIVE. As to PERFORMANCE: PERMANENT o o o Not limited to a particular period of time. strictly against taxpayer. mandatory. and its meaning should not be left to doubt. iii. PENALTIES FOR NON- STATUTE IMPOSING PAYMENT OF TAX o Liberally in favor of GOVERNMENT. ii. STATUTES GRANTING PRIVILEGES o One who invokes a special privilege granted by a statute must COMPLY STRICTLY WITH ITS PROVISIONS atgPage 8 of 9 . OTHER STATUTES STATUTES IN DEROGATION OF RIGHTS ix. v. vii. NATURALIZATION LAWS o The right of an alien to become a citizen by naturalization is merely a STATUTORY RIGHT STRICTLY AGAINST APPLICANT o  i. STATUTES PRESCRIBING LIMITATIONS ON THE TAXING POWER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS o Strictly against NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. otherwise. entity. AMNESTY PROCLAMATION VETERAN AND PENSION LAWS GENERAL WELFARE LEGISLATION PROBATION LAW LAWS ON ATTACHMENT RULES OF COURT ii. xiv. entities. As to SCOPE GENERAL o Relates to persons. Strictly construed and rigidly confined to cases clearly within their scope of purpose o ADOPTION STATUTES x. TEMPORARY o Life or duration is fixed for a specified period of time iv. if not. xv. xii. PENALTY – Penalty for failure to observe it.substantial rights of interested persons are mandatory. SPECIAL o Relates to particular persons. LOCAL o Its operation is confined within territorial limits other than that of a whole state.  i. xiii. or things of a class. or thing belonging to a class. it is directory. 4. o o Such as price control laws. vi. STATUTES IMPOSING TAXES AND CUSTOMS DUTIES Imposes burdens to the public Strictly against taxing power. o Continues to be in force until it is duly altered or repealed. or things as a class or operates equally or alike upon all of a class. ii. directory. iii. viii. and liberally in favor of LGU. xi. liberally in favor of taxpayer. omitting no persons. entity. To facilitate the collection of taxes. o ELECTION LAWS o Construed liberally To give effect to the expressed will of the electorate  i.