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Statute - act of legislature as an organized body, expressed in the form and passed according to the procedure, required to constitute

it as a part of the law of the land. Law rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory by legitimate power of the state. CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION, DISTINGUISHED Construction is the drawing of conclusions with respect to subjects that are beyond the direct expression of the text, while interpretation is the process of discovering the true meaning of the language used. Interpretation is limited to exploring the written text. Construction on the other hand is the drawing of conclusions, respecting subjects that lie beyond the direct expressions of the text. What is Statutory Construction: Caltex v. Palomar (1966) Caltex Hooded Pump Contest not to be violative of the Postal Law 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) PARTS OF STATUTE a. Title the heading on the preliminary part, furnishing the name by which the act is individually known. It is usually prefixed to the statute in the brief summary of its contents. b. Preamble part of statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objects sought to be accomplished. Usually, it starts with whereas. c. Enacting clause part of statute which declares its enactment and serves to identify it as an act of legislation proceeding from the proper legislative authority. Be enacted is the usual formula used to start this clause. d. Body the main and operative part of the statute containing its substantive and even procedural provisions. Provisos and exceptions may also be found. e. Repealing Clause - announces the prior statutes or specific provisions which have been abrogated by reason of the enactment of the new law. f. Saving Clause restriction in a repealing act, which is intended to save rights, pending proceedings, penalties, etc. from the annihilation which would result from an unrestricted repeal. g. Separability Clause provides that in the event that one or more provisions or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall still be in force. h. Effectivity Clause announces the effective date of the law. Presidential Issuances - Presidential issuances are those which the President issues in the exercise of his ordinance power. They include executive orders, administrative orders, proclamations, memorandum orders, memorandum circulars, and general or special orders. These issuances have the force and effect of laws. - Generally, rules and regulations issued by administrative or executive officers are of two (2) types,namely: those whose purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation or to fill in the details of a statute (i.e. requires publication for its effectivity) those which are merely interpretative in nature or merely internal in character not concerning the public (i.e. does not require publication for its effectivity) Effect and Operation Rules and Regulations issued by the administrative or executive officers to enforce or implement a law or to fill in the details of a statute take effect after 15 days following their publication in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation. 1|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

Statutes continues in force until changed or repealed by the legislature. Types/Kinds of Statutes As to Scope of Application: -GENERAL - One which affects all of the people of the State or all persons or things of a particular class -SPECIAL - One which relates either to particular persons or things of a class or which operates on a portion of a class instead of all the classes. -LOCAL - One which operates over a particular locality instead of over the whole territory of the State As to Interested Parties: - PUBLIC - One which concerns the interest of the public at large - PRIVATE - One which relates to, concerns and affects particular individuals As to Effect (In Time): - PROSPECTIVE - One which anticipates the regulation of future conduct- RETROSPECTIVE - One that affects acts already committed and operates on transactions completed As to Purpose: -REMEDIAL - Statutes which afford a remedy, or improve or facilitate existing remedies for the enforcement of rights and of redress of injuries -PENAL - Those which impose a punishment for the violation of its provisions -CURATIVE- Those which are enacted to cure defects in a prior law As to Coercive Force Applied: - MANDATORY - A statute is mandatory if non-compliance therewith renders the proceedings to which it relates null and void. - DIRECTORY- A statute or any of its provisions is directory if non-compliance therewith does not invalidate the proceedings to which it relates. As to Period of Effectivity: - PERMANENT - One whose operation or activity is not limited to some particular term or period, but continues in force until repealed or amended. - TEMPORARY - One whose operation or effectivity is limited to a fixed period or term. It continues in force up to the expiration of said period or term, unless earlier repealed or amended. As to Stage of Enactment: - ORIGINAL - One which purports to be independent of existing statutory provision. - AMENDATORY - One which expressly adds to or supplements, or works out an improvement in the original law. - REPEALING - One which revokes or terminates another statute. - ADOPTED- Those which are adopted wholly or in part by another state. - RE-ENACTED - These are pre-existing statues which are passed by the legislature which originally enacted them in the same terms or in substantially the same language and for the same purpose and object as the original statute. Statutory Construction When does statutory construction come in? - "The first and fundamental duty of courts, in our judgment, is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them."

2|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

National Federation of Labor v. Eisma (1984) National Federation of Labor filed with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (Labor Relations Division, Zamboanga City), a petition for direct certification as the sole exclusive collective bargaining representative of the monthly paid employees at the Lumbayao manufacturing plant of the Zamboanga Wood Products, Inc. (Zambowood). the union issued a notice of strike against the firm. Zambowood filed a complaint with the trial court against the officers and members of the union, for damages for obstruction of private property with prayer for preliminary injunction and/or restraining order. Term under a construction should be accorded no other meaning than that which is consistent with the nature of the word associated therewith The first and fundamental duty of courts, in our judgment, is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them Paat v. CA (1997) Victoria de Guzmans truck was seized by Department of Environment and Natural Resources personnel in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya while on its ways to Bulacan from San Jose, Baggao, Cagayan because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest products found concealed in the truck In the construction of statutes, it must be read in such a way as to give effect to the purpose projected in the statute. Statutes should be construed in the light of the object to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be suppressed, and they should be given such construction as will advance the object, suppress the mischief, and secure the benefits intended. People v. Mapa (1967) Mario M. Mapa, secret agent of Gov. Feliciano Leviste, was charged for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in an information 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. The law cannot be any clearer. No provision is made for a secret agent. As such he is not exempt. Our task is equally clear. 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." The conviction of the accused must stand. It cannot be set aside. Daoang v. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas (1988) 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. Well known is the rule of statutory construction to the effect that a statute clear and unambiguous on its face need not be interpreted; stated otherwise, the rule is that only statutes with an ambiguous or doubtful meaning may be the subject of statutory construction. Paras v. Comelec (1996) Danilo E. Paras is the incumbent Punong Barangay of Pula, Cabanatuan City who won during the 1994 barangay election. A petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by the registered voters of the barangay, which was approved by the Comelec In the interpretation of a statute, the Court should start with the assumption that the legislature intended to enact an effective law, and the legislature is not presumed to have done a vain thing in the enactment of a statute. An interpretation should, if possible, be avoided under which a statute or provision being construed is defeated, or as otherwise expressed, nullified, destroyed, emasculated, repealed, explained away, or rendered insignificant, meaningless, inoperative or nugatory. 6 It is likewise a basic precept in statutory construction that a statute should be interpreted in harmony with the Constitution. 3|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

Statutory Construction v. Judicial Legislation: Statutory Construction, whose job is it? "To declare what the law shall be is a legislative power, but to declare what the law is or has been, is judicial." The duty and power to interpret or construe a statute or the Constitution belong to the judiciary. It is the court that has final word as to what the law means. The legislature has no power to overrule the interpretation or construction of a statute or the Constitution by the Supreme Court, for interpretation is a judicial function assigned to the latter by the fundamental law. Floresca v. Philex Mining(1985) Several miners were killed in a cave-in at one of Philex Mining Corporations mine sites. The heirs of the miners were able to recover under the Workmans Compensation Act (WCA). Thereafter, a special committee report indicated that the company failed to provide the miners with adequate safety protection. The heirs decided to file a complaint for damages before the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila. A cardinal rule in the interpretation of statutes is that the meaning and intention of the law-making body must be sought, first of all in the words of the statute itself, read and considered in their natural, ordinary, commonly-accepted and most obvious significations, according to good and approved usage and without resorting to forced or subtle construction Courts, therefore, as a rule, cannot presume that the law-making body does not know the meaning of words and the rules of grammar. Article 8 of the New Civil Code provides: Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines decrees that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution form part of this jurisdiction's legal system. These decisions, although in themselves not laws, constitute evidence of what the laws mean. 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 Court's application or interpretation merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that the construed law purports to carry into effect" Republic v. CA and Molina Roridel filed a verified petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo Molina, for he showed signs of immaturity and irresponsibility. much value should be give to the Canon Law jurisprudence as an aid to the interpretation and construction of the statutory enactment. Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts. Since the purpose of including such provision in our Family Code is to harmonize our civil laws with the religious faith of our people, it stands to reason that to achieve such harmonization, great persuasive weight should be given to decision of such appellate tribunal. This is one instance where, in view of the evident source and purpose of the Family Code provision, contemporaneous religious interpretation is to be given persuasive effect. Here, the State and the Church while remaining independent, separate and apart from each other shall walk together in synodal cadence towards the same goal of protecting and cherishing marriage and the family as the inviolable base of the nation. Legislative Intent: 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 a harmonious whole. A statute must be construed so as to harmonize and give effect to all its provisions wherever possible. Aisporna v. CA (1982) An information was filed against Mapalad Aisporna, Rodolfos wife, with the City Court of Cabanatuan for violation of Section 189 of the Insurance Act on 21 November 1970, or acting as an agent in the soliciting insurance without securing the certificate of authority from the office of the Insurance Commissioner 4|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

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. A statute must be so construed as to harmonize and give effect to all its provisions whenever possible. The meaning of the law, it must be borne in mind, is not to be extracted from any single part, portion or section or from isolated words and phrases, clauses or sentences but from a general consideration or view of the act as a whole. Every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context. This means that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment, not separately and independently. 16 More importantly, the doctrine of associated words (Noscitur a Sociis) provides that where a particular word or phrase in a statement is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings, its true meaning may be made clear and specific by considering the company in which it is found or with which it is associated China Bank v. Ortega (1973) Petitioners argue that the disclosure of the information required by the court does not fall within any of the four (4) exceptions enumerated in Section 2 ([1] upon written permission of the depositor, [2] or in cases of impeachment, [3] or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, [4] or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation), and that if the questioned orders are complied with Tan Kim Liong may be criminally liable under Section 5 and the bank exposed to a possible damage suit by B & B Forest Development Corporation. Specifically referring to the case, the position of the petitioners is that bank deposit of judgment debtor B and B Forest Development Corporation cannot be subject to garnishment to satisfy a final judgment against it in view of the aforementioned provisions of law. Exception of Article 2, RA 1405, Bank Secrecy Law - upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a 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. 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 Administration of the PVA v. Bautista (1982) Gasilao filed a claim for disability pension under Section 9 of Republic Act 65, with the Philippine Veterans Board, alleging that he was suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB), which he incurred in line of duty This stand of the petitioner does not appear to be in consonance with the spirit and intent of the law, considering that Republic Act 65 is a veteran pension law which must be accorded a liberal construction and interpretation in order to favor those entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits granted thereunder, among which are the right to resume old positions in the government, educational benefits, the privilege to take promotional examinations, a life pension for the incapacitated, pensions for widow and children, hospitalization and medical care benefits. As it is generally known, the purpose of Congress in granting veteran 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,8 and more particularly, those who have become incapacitated for work owing to sickness, disease or injuries sustained while in line of duty. 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.

5|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

Power to Construe - The duty and power to interpret or construe a statute or the Constitution belong to the judiciary. It is the duty of the legislature to make the law; of the executive to execute the law; and of the judiciary to construe thelaw.- While the legislature may indicate its construction of a statute in the form of a resolution or declaratory act, it cannot preclude the courts from giving the statute a different interpretation. Limitations on the Power to Construe - The courts may not enlarge nor restrict statutes.- Courts not to be influenced by questions of wisdom. Aids in Construction Intrinsic Aids The term intrinsic means internal or within. Intrinsic aids, therefore, are those aids within the statute. Intrinsic aids are resorted to only if there is ambiguity. In resorting to intrinsic aids, one must go back to the parts of the statute: the title, the preamble, context or body, chapter and section headings, punctuation, and interpretation. Extrinsic Aids These are existing aids from outside sources. Extrinsic aids therefore are resorted to after exhausting all the available intrinsic aids and still there remain some ambiguity in the statute. To ascertain the true intent of the statute, the court may avail of intrinsic aids, or those found in the printed page of the statute, and extrinsic aids, those extraneous facts and circumstances outside the printed page. Title - It may indicate the legislative extent or restrict the scope of law Preamble - It may, when the statute is ambiguous, be resorted to clarify the ambiguity, as a key to open the minds of the lawmakers as to the purpose of the statute. Context of the whole text - best source from which to ascertain the legislative intent is the statute itself > Legislative History - Where a statute is susceptible to several interpretations, there is no better means of ascertaining the will and intention of the legislature than that which is afforded by the history of the statute. The history of a statute refers to all its antecedents from its inception until its enactment into law. Legislative debates, views and deliberations - 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. Reports of the Commission - In construing the provisions of the code as thus enacted, courts may properly refer to the reports of the commission that drafted the code in aid of clarifiying ambiguities therein. Prior laws from which the statute is based - Legislative history will clarify the intent of the law or shed light on the meaning and scope of the codified or revised statute. Change in phraseology - Courts may investigate the history of the provisions to ascertain legislative intent as to the meaning and scope of the amended law. History of the times - T h e h i s t o r y o f t h e t i m e s o u t o f w h i c h t h e l a w g r e w a n d t o w h i c h i t m a y b e rationally supposed to bear some direct relationship. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. SSC (1961) The rule ejusdem generisapplies only where there is uncertainty. It is not controlling where the plain purpose and intent of the Legislature would thereby be hindered and defeated. This is made more evident by the fact that it contains an exception in which said institutions or entities are not included. And, certainly, had the Legislature really intended to limit the operation of the law to entities organized for profit or gain, it would not have defined an "employer" in such a way as to include the Government and yet make an express exception of it. The cases cited, however, are not in point, for the reason that the law therein involved expressly limits its application either to commercial, industrial, or agricultural establishments, or enterprises. . 6|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

Contemporary Construction Also known as practical construction; construction placed upon statutes at the time of, or after, their enactment by the executive, legislature, or judicial authorities, as well as by those who, because of their involvement in the process of legislation, are knowledgeable of the intent and purpose of the law. It is the strongest in law. David v. Comelec (1997) the intent and design of the legislature to limit the term of barangay officials to only three (3) years as provided under the Local Government Code emerges as bright as the sunlight. The cardinal rule in the interpretation of all laws is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the law. 30And three years is the obvious intent. The rationale is simple: a later law repeals an earlier one because it is the later legislative will. It is to be presumed that the lawmakers knew the older law and intended to change it. In enacting the older law, the legislators could not have known the newer one and hence could not have intended to change what they did not know. Under the Civil Code, laws are repealed only by subsequent ones 32 and not the other way around. Interpretation of Statutes Literal Construction Statutes are to be interpreted in their ordinary, commonly accepted usage. When the language of the law is clear and unequivocal, the law must be taken to mean exactly what it says. When statutory norm speak s unequivocally, there is nothing for the Courts to do but apply it. Salvatierra v. CA (1996) Enrique Salvatierra died intestate and without any issue. Reconveyance of Lot 26 by the spouses Longalong from Anselmo Salvatierra Implied trust is defined as the right, enforceable solely in equity, to the beneficial enjoyment of property, the legal title to which is vested in another and is further subdivided into resulting and constructive trust. While resulting trust is one raised by implication of law and presumed to have been contemplated by the parties; constructive trust, on the other hand, is one raised by construction of law or arising by operation of law. This case more specifically involves constructive trust. In a more restricted sense, it is a trust not created by any words, either expressly or impliedly, evincing a direct intention to create a trust, but by the construction of equity in order to satisfy the demands of justice. It does not arise by agreement or intention but by operation of law. The terms of the agreement are clear and unequivocal, hence the literal and plain meaning thereof should be observed. Contracts which are the private laws of the contracting parties, should be fulfilled according to the literal sense of their stipulations, if their terms are clear and leave no room for doubt as to the intention of the contracting parties, for contracts are obligatory, no matter what their forms maybe, whenever the essential requisites for their validity are present. Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa v, Manila Railroad Company (1979) The court determined Republic Act 2023 was enacted only to compel the employer to make the deduction of the employees debt from the latters salary and turn this over to the employees credit union; but which does not convert the credit unions credit into a first priority credit Mandamus is the proper remedy if it could be shown that there was neglect on the part of a tribunal in the performance of an act, which specifically the law enjoins as a duty or an unlawful exclusion of a party from the use and enjoyment of a right to which he is entitled. It has been repeated time and time again that where the statutory norm speaks unequivocally, there is nothing for the courts to do except to apply it. The law, leaving no doubt as to the scope of its operation, must be obeyed. 7|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

Departure from Literal Interpretation - When literal interpretation not favored - the rules of Court are procedural in nature while the Civil Code is substantive - the spirit, rather than the letter, of a law determines its construction; hence, a statute must be read according to its spirit and intent. Abellana v. Marave (1974) Francisco Abellana was charged with the City Court of Ozamis City with the crime of physical injuries through reckless imprudence in driving his cargo truck, hitting a motorized pedicab resulting in injuries to its passengers. He noted that the offended parties failed to expressly waive the civil action or reserved their right to institute it separately in the City Court; but which they filed in the CFI The rule in this jurisdiction is that upon appeal by the defendant from a judgment of conviction by the municipal court, the appealed decision is vacated and the appealed case 'shall be tried in all respects anew in the court of first instance as if it had been originally instituted in that court. It is a well-settled doctrine that a court is to avoid construing a statute or legal norm in such a manner as would give rise to a constitutional doubt. The law as an instrument of social control will fail in its function if through an ingenious construction sought to be fastened on a legal norm, particularly a procedural rule, there is placed an impediment to a litigant being given an opportunity of vindicating an alleged right. Paras v. Comelec, supra petitioner's too literal interpretation of the law leads to absurdity which we cannot countenance The spirit, rather than the letter of a law determines its construction; hence, a statute, as in this case, must be read according to its spirit and intent. Executive Construction Basic Rule on Executive Construction the contemporaneous construction of a statute by the executive officers of the government whose duty is to execute it, is entitled to great respect, and should ordinarily control the construction of the statute by the courts. PAFLU v. Bureau of Labor Relations (1976) Whether Director Noriel acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting NAFLU as the exclusive bargaining agent of all the employees in the Philippine Blooming Mills. The principle that the contemporaneous construction of a statute by the executive officers of the government, whose duty it is to execute it, is entitled to great respect, and should ordinarily control the construction of the statute by the courts, is so firmly embedded in our jurisprudence that no authorities need be cited to support it. Courts will and should respect the contemporaneous construction placed upon a statute by the executive officers whose duty it is to enforce it, and unless such interpretation is clearly erroneous will ordinarily be controlled thereby. The construction placed by the office charged with implementing and enforcing the provisions of a Code should he given controlling weight. When Executive Construction is not given weight while it is true that contemporaneous construction placed upon a statute by executive officers must be given great weight, if such construction is clearly erroneous, it must be declared null and void. Philippine Apparel Workers Union v. NLRC (1981) In anticipation of the expiration of their 1973-1976 collective bargaining agreement, the Union submitted a set of bargaining proposals to the company. the Union filed a complaint for unfair labor practice and violation of the CBA against the company.

8|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

If we countenance such act, the sanctity of the contract validly entered into by the parties which as in this case was interpreted by this Court, will be violated. If there is anything that needs to be done in this case, it is the fun and complete implementation of this Court's final and executory decision. IBAA Employees Union v. Inciong (1984) Whether the Ministry of Labor is correct in determining that monthly paid employees are excluded from the benefits of holiday pay. It is elementary in the rules of statutory construction that when the language of the law is clear and unequivocal the law must be taken to mean exactly what it says. Moreover, it shall always be presumed that the legislature intended to enact a valid and permanent statute which would have the most beneficial effect that its language permits. The presumption is always in favor of law, negatively put, the Labor Code is always strictly construed against management. Thus, the amendatory rule (Rule IV, Book III of the Rules to Implement the Labor Code) cannot be given retroactive effect as to modify final judgments. Not even a law can validly annul final decisions. A final judgment vests in the prevailing party a right recognized and protected by law under the due process clause of the Constitution. A final judgment is "a vested interest which it is right and equitable that the government should recognize and protect, and of which the individual could no. be deprived arbitrarily without injustice". "... acts of Congress, as well as those of the Executive, can deny due process only under pain of nullity, and judicial proceedings suffering from the same flaw are subject to the same sanction, any statutory provision to the contrary notwithstanding. Chartered Bank Employees Association v. Ople (1985) the Chartered Bank Employees Association, in representation of its monthly paid employees/members, instituted a complaint with the Regional Office IV, Department of Labor, now Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) against Chartered Bank, for the payment of 10 unworked legal holidays, as well as for premium and overtime differentials for worked legal holidays. An administrative interpretation which diminishes the benefits of labor more than what the statute delimits or withholds is obviously ultra vires. It is not the intent of this Court to impose any undue burdens on an employer which is already doing its best for its personnel. When the law provides benefits for "employees in all establishments and undertakings, whether for profit or not" and lists specifically the employees not entitled to those benefits, the administrative agency implementing that law cannot exclude certain employees from its coverage simply because they are paid by the month or because they are already highly paid. Rule v. Opinion What is the difference between a rule and an opinion Rule - when an administrative agency promulgates rules and regulations, it makes a new law with the force and effect of a valid law. Opinion - gives a statement of policy and merely interprets a pre-existing law. Victoria Milling v. Social Security Commission (1962) the Social Security Commission (SSC) issued its Circular 22 providing that effective 1 November 1958, all employers in computing the premiums due the System, will take into consideration and include in the Employees remuneration all bonuses and overtime pay, as well as the cash value of other media of remuneration There can be no doubt that there is a distinction between an administrative rule or regulation and an administrative interpretation of a law whose enforcement is entrusted to an administrative body. When an administrative agency promulgates rules and regulations, it "makes" a new law with the force and effect of a valid law, while when it renders an opinion or gives a statement of policy, it merely interprets a pre9|Statutory Construction Atty. Agnes Santos [jonamayALCAZAR]

existing law. statutes are usually couched in general terms, after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives, remedies and sanctions intended by the legislature. The details and the manner of carrying out the law are often times left to the administrative agency entrusted with its enforcement. rules and regulations are the product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have the effect of law. A rule is binding on the courts so long as the procedure fixed for its promulgation is followed and its scope is within the statutory authority granted by the legislature, even if the courts are not in agreement with the policy stated therein or its innate wisdom. On the other hand, administrative interpretation of the law is at best merely advisory, for it is the courts that finally determine what the law means. Strict Construction Construction according to the letter of a statute takes the language used in its exact meaning, and admits no equitable consideration. It is a close and conservative adherence to the literal or textual interpretation. Liberal Construction Such equitable construction as will enlarge the letter of a statute to accomplish its intended purpose, carry out its intent, or promote justice. Words should receive a fair and reasonable interpretation, so as to attain the intent, spirit, and purpose of the law. Subjects of Construction The Constitution: it is the written instrument agreed upon by the people...as the absolute rule of action and decision for all departments and officers of the government, and in opposition to which any act or rule of any department or officer of the government, or even of the people themselves, will be altogether void. How should the constitution be construed - the Constitution should be strictly construed so as to give effect to the whole instrument, and to every section and clause. If different portions seem to conflict, the Courts must harmonize them, if practicable, and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative, rather than one which may make some words idle and nugatory. - It must be construed as a dynamic process intended to stand for a great length of time, to be progressive and not static. Sarmiento v. Mison (1987) Petitioners, who are taxpayers, lawyers, members of the IBP and professors of Constitutional Law, seek to enjoin Salvador Mison from performing the functions of the Office of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Guillermo Carague, as Secretary of the Department of Budget, from effecting disbursements in payment of Misons salaries and emoluments, on the ground that Misons appointment as Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs is unconstitutional by reason of its not having been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. fundamental principle of constitutional construction is to give effect to the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it. Court will thus construe the applicable constitutional provisions, not in accordance with how the executive or the legislative department may want them construed, but in accordance with what they say and provide. 1987 Constitution, however, as already pointed out, the clear and expressed intent of its framers was to exclude presidential appointments from confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, except appointments to offices expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16, Article VII. Perfecto v. Meer (1950) The 1935 Constitution provides in its Article VIII, Section 9, that the members of the Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. The Collector of Internal Revenue required Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay income tax upon his salary as member of the judiciary. The latter paid the amount under 10 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

protest. He contended that the assessment was illegal, his salary not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would reduce it in violation of the Constitution. Language could not be more plain than that used in the Constitution. It is, moreover, one of its most important and essential provisions. For the articles which limits the powers of the legislative and executive branches of the government, and those which provide safeguards for the protection of the citizen in his person and property, would be of little value without a judiciary to uphold and maintain them, which was free from every influence, direct and indirect, that might by possibility in times of political excitement warp their judgments. Endencia v. David (1953) Whether the Legislature may lawfully declare the collection of income tax on the salary of a public official, specially a judicial officer, not a decrease of his salary, after the Supreme Court has found and decided otherwise. Our courts are the balance wheel of our whole constitutional system. Other constitutional systems lacks complete poise and certainly of operation because they lack the support and interpretation of authoritative, undisputable courts of law. It is clear beyond all need of exposition that for the definite maintenance of constitutional understandings it is indispensable, alike for the preservation of the liberty of the individual and for the preservation of the integrity of the powers of the government, that there should be some nonpolitical forum in which those understandings can be impartially debated and determined. The constitutional powers of the courts constitute the ultimate safeguard alike of individual privilege and of governmental prerogative. It is in this sense that our judiciary is the balance wheel of our entire system; it is meant to maintain that nice adjustment between individual rights and governmental powers which constitutes political liberty. Nitafan v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (1987) The Chief Justice has previously issued a directive to the Fiscal Management and Budget Office to continue the deduction of withholding taxes from salaries of the Justices of the Supreme Court and other members of the judiciary. the clear intent of the Constitutional Commission was to delete the proposed express grant of exemption from payment of income tax to members of the Judiciary, so as to "give substance to equality among the three branches of Government. primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution.11 it may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers. May the preamble be reffered to in the construction of Constitutional Provision? - yes, the preamble may be referred to in the construction of constitutional provisions. When the Filipino people, in the Preamble of their Constitution, implored the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure for themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty and democracy, they thereby manifested their intense religious nature and placed unfaltering reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men and nations. Aglipay v. Ruiz (1937) Director of Posts announced in the dailies of Manila that he would order the issuance of postage stamps commemorating the celebration in the City of Manila of the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic Church. Religious freedom as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not a denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession of faith to an active power that binds 11 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

and elevates man to his Creator is recognized. And, in so far as it instills into the minds the purest principles of morality, its influence is deeply felt and highly appreciated. When the Filipino people, in the preamble of their Constitution, implored the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty and democracy, they thereby manifested their intense religious nature and placed unfaltering reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men and nations. The elevating influence of religion in human society is recognized here as elsewhere. Are the provisions of the Constitution self-executing? Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS (1997) The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of the Manila Hotel (MHC). A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is selfexecuting if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation of such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. As against constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments, and the function of constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are selfexecuting. If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law. In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. Requirements for the publication of laws Tanada v. Tuvera (1985) Invoking the peoples right to be informed on matters of public concern (Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution) as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated. Whether publication is an indispensable requirement for the effectivity of laws 12 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

Publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect. This is correct insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws with the fact of publication. Article 2 however, considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. The clear object of the such provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim ignorantia legis non excusat. It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one. Further, publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. Tanada v. Tuvera (1986) Whether publication is still required in light of the clause unless otherwise provided. The clause unless it is otherwise provided, in Article 2 of the Civil Code, refers to the date of effectivity and not to the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not mean that the legislature may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or on any other date, without its previous publication. The legislature may in its discretion provide that the usual fifteen-day period shall be shortened or extended. Publication requirements applies to (1) all statutes, including those of local application and private laws; (2) presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the President in the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly delegated by the legislature or directly conferred by the Constitution; (3) Administrative rules and regulations for the purpose of enforcing or implementing existing law pursuant also to a valid delegation; (4) Charter of a city notwithstanding that it applies to only a portion of the national territory and directly affects only the inhabitants of that place; (5) Monetary Board circulars to fill in the details of the Central Bank Act which that body is supposed to enforce. Further, publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the public of the contents of the laws. Rule on Construction of ordinances vis-a-vis Statute Statute - an act of the legislature commanding or prohibiting something; a particular law enacted and established by the will of the legislative department of government; the written will of the legislature, solemnly expressed according to the forms necessary to constitute it the law of the state. Ordinances - an act passed by a municipal council, in the exercise of its law-making authority; in a more limited sense, the term is used to designate the enactment of the legislative body of a municipal corporation It is a fundamental principle that municipal ordinances are inferior in status and subordinate to the laws of the State; the ordinance must give way. Primicias v. Urdaneta (1979) Ordinance 3 (Series of 1964) was enacted by the Municipal Council of Urdaneta, Pangasinan. Ordinance is patterned after and based on Section 53, 5 paragraph 4 of Act 3992, as amended (Revised Motor Vehicle Law). On 20 June 1964, RA 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) became effective. Section 63 explicitly repealed Act 3992. By this express repeal, and the general rule that a later law prevails over an earlier law, appellants are in error in contending that "a later enactment of the law relating to the same subject matter as that of an earlier statute is not sufficient to cause an implied repeal of the original law." The validity of Ordinance No. 3, Series of 1964, must therefore be determined vis-a-vis Republic Act No. 4136, the "mother statute" so to speak, which was in force at the time the criminal case was brought against Primicias for the violation of the said ordinance. 13 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

An essential requisite for a valid ordinance is, among others, that is "must not contravene . . . the statute," 7 for it is a "fundamental principle that municipal ordinances are inferior in status and subordinate to the laws of the state." 8 Following this general rule, whenever there is a conflict between an ordinance and a statute, the ordinance "must give way. the general rule is that "ordinarily, criminal prosecution may not be blocked by court prohibition or injunction." 17 Exceptions however are allowed in the following instances: 1. for the orderly administration of justice; 2. to prevent the use of the strong arm of the law in an oppressive and vindictive manner; 3. to avoid multiplicity of actions; 4. to afford adequate protection to constitutional rights; 5. in proper cases, because the statute relied upon is unconstitutional or was held invalid.

Interpretation of specific types of statutes Tax Laws


- As a general rule: in asmuch as revenue laws impose special burden upon taxpayers, the same should be strictly construed against the government and in favor of the taxpayer, if the intent or meaning of the tax statute is doubtful.

How are tax refunds construed?


Strictly construed against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the taxing authority.

La Carlota Sugar Central v. Jimenez (1961)


La Carlota Sugar Central, which was under the administration of Elizalde, imported 500 short tons of ammonium sulphate and 350 short tons of ammonium phosphate. When the fertilizers arrived in the Philippines, the Central Bank imposed 17% exchange tax from the Central in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 601. The Central filed, through the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, a petition for the refund of the P20,872.09 paid (the 17% tax), claiming that it had imported the fertilizers mentioned heretofore upon request and for the exclusive use of 5 haciendas owned and managed by Elizalde, and therefore the importation was exempt from the 17% exchange tax in accordance with Section 2, RA 601, as amended by RA 1375 when the issue is whether or not the exemption from a tax imposed by law is applicable, the rule is that the exempting provision is to be construed liberally in favor of the taxing authority and strictly against exemption from tax liability, the result being that statutory provisions for the refund of taxes are strictly construed in favor of the State and against the taxpayer. Who has the burden of proof intax cases? the burden of proof in tax cases belongs to the taxpayer. CIR v. CA (1997) Is the Ateneo de Manila University performing the work of an independent contractor and thus taxable within the purview of then Section 205 of the National Internal Revenue Code levying a three percent contractor's tax The term "independent contractor" shall not include regional or area headquarters established in the Philippines by multinational corporations, including their alien executives, and which headquarters do not earn or derive income from the Philippines and which act as supervisory, communications and coordinating centers for their affiliates, subsidiaries or branches in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Court takes this occasion to reiterate the hornbook doctrine in the interpretation of tax laws that "(a) statute will not be construed as imposing a tax unless it does so clearly, expressly, and unambiguously . . . (A) tax cannot be imposed without clear and express words for that purpose. Accordingly, the general rule of requiring adherence to the letter in construing statutes applies with peculiar strictness to tax laws and the provisions of a taxing act are not to be extended by implication." 8 Parenthetically, in answering the question of who is subject to tax statutes, it is basic that "in case of doubt, such statutes are to be construed 14 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

most strongly against the government and in favor of the subjects or citizens because burdens are not to be imposed nor presumed to be imposed beyond what statutes expressly and clearly import." 9 it should be sufficiently proven that the private respondent is indeed selling its services for a fee in pursuit of an independent business. And it is only after private respondent has been found clearly to be subject to the provisions of Sec. 205 that the question of exemption therefrom would arise. Only after such coverage is shown does the rule of construction that tax exemptions are to be strictly construed against the taxpayer come into play, contrary to petitioner's position. Mactan Cebu (MCIAA) v. Marcos (1996) Issues are: (a) whether the parcels of land in question belong to the Republic of the Philippines whose beneficial use has been granted to the petitioner, and (b) whether the petitioner is a "taxable person". An instrumentality of Government is one created to perform governmental functions primarily to promote certain aspects of the economic life of the people. The states have no power by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden or in any manner control the operation of constitutional laws enacted by Congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the federal government. Respondent City of Cebu alleges that as local a government unit and a political subdivision, it has the power to impose, levy, assess, and collect taxes within its jurisdiction. Such power is guaranteed by the Constitution 10 and enhanced further by the LGC As a general rule, the power to tax is an incident of sovereignty and is unlimited in its range, acknowledging in its very nature no limits, so that security against its abuse is to be found only in the responsibility of the legislature which imposes the tax on the constituency who are to pay it. Nevertheless, effective limitations thereon may be imposed by the people through their Constitutions. 13 Our Constitution, for instance, provides that the rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable and Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation Accordingly, tax statutes must be construed strictly against the government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer. 16 But since taxes are what we pay for civilized society, 17or are the lifeblood of the nation, the law frowns against exemptions from taxation and statutes granting tax exemptions are thus construed strictissimi juris against the taxpayers and liberally in favor of the taxing authority. 18 A claim of exemption from tax payment must be clearly shown and based on language in the law too plain to be mistaken. 19 Elsewise stated, taxation is the rule, exemption therefrom is the exception. 20However, if the grantee of the exemption is a political subdivision or instrumentality, the rigid rule of construction does not apply because the practical effect of the exemption is merely to reduce the amount of money that has to be handled by the government in the course of its operations. 21 The power to tax is primarily vested in the Congress; however, in our jurisdiction, it may be exercised by local legislative bodies, no longer merely by virtue of a valid delegation as before, but pursuant to direct authority conferred by Section 5, Article X of the Constitution. 22 Under the latter, the exercise of the power may be subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide which, however, must be consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. The power to tax is the most effective instrument to raise needed revenues to finance and support myriad activities of local government units for the delivery of basic services essential to the promotion of the general welfare and the enhancement of peace, progress, and prosperity of the people. Moreover, the petitioner cannot claim that it was never a "taxable person" under its Charter. It was only exempted from the payment of real property taxes. The grant of the privilege only in respect of this tax is conclusive proof of the legislative intent to make it a taxable person subject to all taxes, except real property tax. Tax Sales Construed. are strictly construed against the taxpayer. Serfino v. CA (1987) Whether the auction sale of the disputed property was null and void. Strict adherence to the statutes governing tax sales is imperative not only for the protection of the tax payers, but also to allay any possible suspicion of collusion between the buyer and the public officials called 15 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

upon to enforce such laws. Notice of sale to the delinquent land owners and to the public in general is an essential and indispensable requirement of law, the non-fulfillment of which initiates the sale. A purchaser of real estate at the tax sale obtains only such title as that held by the taxpayer, the principle of caveat emptor applies. Where land is sold for delinquency taxes under the provisions of the Provincial Assessment Law, rights of registered but undeclared owners of the land are not affected by the proceedings and the sale conveys only such interest as the person who has declared the property for taxation has therein. Labor Laws. Rule on the construction of labor laws. the rule on construction of labor laws shall be resolved in favor of Labor. Manahan v. ECC (1981) Maria E. Manahan, the petitioner, is the widow of Nazario Manahan, Jr., who died of Enteric Fever while employed as classroom teacher in Las Pias Municipal High School, Las Pias, Riza. Thus, the petitioner filed a claim with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for death benefit under Presidential Decree 626 . in case of doubt, the same should be resolved in favor of the worker, and that social legislations like the Workmen's Compensation Act and the Labor Code should be liberally construed to attain their laudable objective, i.e., to give relief to the workman and/or his dependents in the event that the former should die or sustain an injury Villavert v. ECC (1981) Domina N. Villavert, the petitioner, is the mother of the late Marcelino N. Villavert who died of acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis on 12 December 1975 employed as a Code Verifier in the Philippine Constabulary. she filed a claim for income benefits for the death of her son under PD 626, as amended, with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). It should be noted that Article 4 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, provides that "All doubts in the implementation and interpretation of this Code, including its implementing rules and regulations shall be resolved in favor of labor." Del Rosario & Sons v. NLRC (1985) Del Rosario and Sons Logging Enterprises, Inc. entered into a Contract of Services with Calmar Security Agency whereby the latter undertook to supply the former with security guards at the rate of P300.00 per month for each guard. Thereafter, Paulino Mabuti, Napoleo Borata and Silvino Tudio filed a Complaint against the Security Agency and petitioner, for underpayment of salary, non-payment of living allowance, and 13th month pay. Thereafter, five other guards filed their complaint for the same causes of action. Petitioner contended that complainants have no cause of action against it due to absence of employeremployee relationship between them. They also denied liability alleging that due to the inadequacy of the amounts paid to it under the Contract of Services, it could not possibly comply with the payments required by labor laws. Provided for by Article 221 of the Labor Code "in any proceeding before the Commission or any of the Labor Arbiters, the rules of evidence prevailing in Courts of law or equity shall not be controlling and it is the spirit and intention of this Code that the Commission and its members and the Labor Arbiters shall use every and an reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively and without regard to technicalities of law or procedure, all in the interest of due process." Petitioner's joint and several liability with the Security Agency was correctly adjudged. When petitioner entered into a Contract of Services with the Security Agency and the latter hired complainants to work as guards for the former, petitioner became an indirect employer of respondents-complainants pursuant to the unequivocal terms of Articles 106 and 107 of the Labor Code. The joint and several liability imposed on petitioner and affirmed herein, however, is without prejudice to a claim for reimbursement by petitioner against the Security Agency for such amounts as petitioner may have to pay to complainants. 16 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

As an employer, it is charged with knowledge of labor laws and the adequacy of the compensation that it demands for contractual services is its principal concern and not any other's. Insurance Rule in the interpretation of insurance provisions in case there is no doubt as to the terms of an insurance contract, the provisions must be construed in their plain, ordinary and popular sense.- where the terms of the policy are ambiguous, uncertain and doubtful, they should be interpreted strictly and most strongly against the insurer, and liberally in favor of the insured. Ty v. First National Surety (1961) Diosdado C. Ty, employed as operator mechanic foreman in the Broadway Cotton Factory insured himself in 18 local insurance companies, among which being the 8 above-named defendants, which issued to him personal accident policies. 1953, a fire broke out which totally destroyed the Broadway Cotton Factory. Fighting his way out of the factory, plaintiff was injured on the left hand by a heavy object. Plaintiff filed the corresponding notice of accident and notice of claim with all of the above-named defendants to recover indemnity. Defendants rejected plaintiffs claim for indemnity for the reason that there being no severance of amputation of the left hand, the disability suffered by him was not covered by his policy. It cannot go beyond the clear and express conditions of the insurance policies, all of which define partial disability as loss of either hand by amputation through the bones of the wrist." There was no such amputation in the case at bar. All that was found by the trial court, which is not disputed on appeal, was that the physical injuries "caused temporary total disability of plaintiff's left hand." The agreement contained in the insurance policies is the law between the parties. As the terms of the policies are clear, express and specific that only amputation of the left hand should be considered as a loss thereof, an interpretation that would include the mere fracture or other temporary disability not covered by the policies would certainly be unwarranted. De la Cruz v. Capital Insurance (1966) Eduardo de la Cruz was the holder of an accident insurance policy. In connection with the celebration of the New Year, the insured, a non-professional boxer, participated in a boxing contest. In the course of his bout with another person, likewise a non-professional, of the same height, weight and size, Eduardo slipped and was hit by his opponent on the left part of the back of the head, causing Eduardo to fall, with his head hitting the rope of the ring. Simon de la Cruz, the father of the insured and beneficiary under the policy, filed a claim with the insurance company for payment of indemnity under the insurance policy. The generally accepted rule is that, death or injury does not result from accident or accidental means within the terms of an accident-policy if it is the natural result of the insured's voluntary act, unaccompanied by anything unforeseen except the death or injury.3 There is no accident when a deliberate act is performed unless some additional, unexpected, independent, and unforeseen happening occurs which produces or brings about the result of injury or death.4 In other words, where the death or injury is not the natural or probable result of the insured's voluntary act, or if something unforeseen occurs in the doing of the act which produces the injury, the resulting death is within the protection of policies insuring against death or injury from accident. The fact that boxing is attended with some risks of external injuries does not make any injuries received in the course of the game not accidental. In boxing as in other equally physically rigorous sports, such as basketball or baseball, death is not ordinarily anticipated to result. If, therefore, it ever does, the injury or death can only be accidental or produced by some unforeseen happening or event as what occurred in this case. Failure of the defendant insurance company to include death resulting from a boxing match or other sports among the prohibitive risks leads inevitably to the conclusion that it did not intend to limit or exempt itself from liability for such death

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Ambiguous provision interpreted against insurer where the terms of the policy are ambiguous, uncertain and doubtful, they should be interpreted strictly and most strongly against the insurer, and liberally in favor of the insured. Qua Chee Gan v. Law Union and Rock Insurance (1955) Fire of undetermined origin that broke out and lasted almost one week, gutted and completely destroyed Bodegas Nos. 1, 3 and 4, with the merchandise stored therein. Plaintiff-appellee informed the insurer by telegram on the same date. The insurance Company resisted payment, claiming violation of warranties and conditions, filing of fraudulent claims, and that the fire had been deliberately caused by the insured or by other persons in connivance with him. It is usually held that where the insurer, at the time of the issuance of a policy of insurance, has knowledge of existing facts which, if insisted on, would invalidate the contract from its very inception, such knowledge constitutes a waiver of conditions in the contract inconsistent with the facts, and the insurer is stopped thereafter from asserting the breach of such conditions The plain, human justice of this doctrine is perfectly apparent. To allow a company to accept one's money for a policy of insurance which it then knows to be void and of no effect, though it knows as it must, that the assured believes it to be valid and binding, is so contrary to the dictates of honesty and fair dealing, and so closely related to positive fraud, as to the abhorent to fairminded men To hold that a literal construction of the policy expressed the true intention of the company would be to indict it, for fraudulent purposes and designs which we cannot believe it to be guilty of that ambiguities or obscurities must be strictly interpreted against the party that caused them, 1the "memo of warranty" invoked by appellant bars the latter from questioning the existence of the appliances called for in the insured premises, since its initial expression, "the undernoted appliances for the extinction of fire being kept on the premises insured hereby, . . . it is hereby warranted . . .", admits of interpretation as an admission of the existence of such appliances which appellant cannot now contradict, should the parol evidence rule apply. The ambiguity must be held strictly against the insurer and liberally in favor of the insured, specially to avoid a forfeiture. Insurance is, in its nature, complex and difficult for the layman to understand. Policies are prepared by experts who know and can anticipate the hearing and possible complications of every contingency. So long as insurance companies insist upon the use of ambiguous, intricate and technical provisions, which conceal rather than frankly disclose, their own intentions, the courts must, in fairness to those who purchase insurance, construe every ambiguity in favor of the insured. -------------------------------------Finals-------------------------------Corporate Law Rule on the interpretation of Corporate Law provisions? 41. Home Insurance v. Eastern Shipping Lines (GR L-34382, 20 July 1983) Section 68 of the Corporation Law - in the eyes of Philippine law, the insurance contract involved in this case must be held void under the provisions of Article 1409 (1) of the Civil Code, and could not be validated by subsequent procurement of the license. A constitutional or statutory prohibition against a foreign corporation doing business in the state, unless such corporation has complied with conditions prescribed, is effective to make the contracts of such corporation void, or at least unenforceable, and prevents the maintenance by the corporation of any action on such contracts. Although the usual construction is to the contrary, and to the effect that only the remedy for enforcement is affected thereby, a statute prohibiting a non-complying corporation from suing in the state courts on any contract has 18 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

Pursuant to the basic public policy reflected in the Corporation Law, the insurance contracts executed before a license was secured must be held null and void. The court ruled that the contracts could not be validated by the subsequent procurement of the license The object of the statute was to subject the foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines to the jurisdiction of its courts. The object of the statute was not to prevent the foreign corporation from performing single acts, but to prevent it from acquiring a domicile for the purpose of business without taking the steps necessary to render it amenable to suit in the local courts. It was never the purpose of the Legislature to exclude a foreign corporation which happens to obtain an isolated order for business from the Philippines, from securing redress in the Philippine courts, and thus, in effect, to permit persons to avoid their contracts made with such foreign corporations. The primary purpose of our statute is to compel a foreign corporation desiring to do business within the state to submit itself to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state. The statute was not intended to exclude foreign corporations from the state The law simply means that no foreign corporation shall be permitted "to transact business in the Philippine Islands," as this phrase is known in corporation law, unless it shall have the license required by law, and, until it complies with the law, shall not be permitted to maintain any suit in the local courts. Section 69 of the Corporation Law imposed a penal sanction-imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years or payment of a fine not less than P200.00 nor more than P1,000.00 or both in the discretion of the court. There is a penalty for transacting business without registration. A foreign corporation actually doing business in the Philippines without license to do so may be sued in our courts Section 133 of the present Corporation Code provides: No foreign corporation transacting business in the Philippines without a license, or its successors or assigns, shag be permitted to maintain or intervene in any action, suit or proceeding in any court or administrative agency in the Philippines; but such corporation may be sued or proceeded against before Philippine courts or administrative tribunals on any valid cause of action recognized under Philippine laws.

Naturalization Laws Rule on the construction of Naturalization Laws 42. Co v. Republic (GR L-12150, 26 May 1960) Petitioner was born on March 13, 1931 in Bangued, Abra. He is the son of Go Cham and Yu Suan, both Chinese. He owes his allegiance to the Nacionalist Government of China. He is married to Leonor Go, the marriage having been celebrated in the Catholic church of Bangued, Abra. He is a merchant dealing in the buy and sell of tobacco. He claims that he has never been delinquent in the payment of taxes. But he admitted that he did not file his income tax return when he allegedly received an amount of not less than P3,000 from his father which he claims to have invested in his tobacco business. Government is now appealing the decision of the trial court on the ground that it erred in finding that petitioner has all the qualifications for naturalization and none of the disqualifications mentioned in the law. It is contended that such belief is not sufficient to comply with the requirement of the law that one must believe in the principles underlying our constitution. Our law requires that petitioner must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period of his residence in the Philippines in his relation with the constituted government as well as with the community in which he is living. It is contended that petitioner has also failed to comply with this legal

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requirement for he failed to register his wife and child with the Bureau of Immigration as required by the Alien Registration Act. His reasoning that he made that earning during the year in which this case was being heard is not convincing. "naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly construed in favor of the government and against the applicant" we are constrained to hold that the trial court erred in granting the petition for naturalization. Decision appealed from is reversed.

43. Lee Cho (@ Sem Lee) v. Republic (GR L-12408, 28 December 1959) Petition for naturalization filed by Lee Cho alias Sem Lee. Petitioner was born in Amoy, China, on September 22, 1907, of Chinese parents. He came to the Philippines sometime in February, 1921 and was given the corresponding alien certificate of residence and registration. He settled in the City of Cebu where he has continuously resided up to the present time. On December 8, 1929, he married one Sy Siok Bin with whom he had 13 children, all born in the City of Cebu. All these children had been issued the corresponding alien certificate of registration, with the exception of Lourdes Lee who married a naturalized Filipino citizen named Lim Kee Guan. Petitioner is receiving a monthly salary of P400.00 and realizes a profit share is about P10,000.00 every year. He has no tax liability to the government. Before an applicant may apply for Philippine citizenship, the law requires that he file a declaration of intention to become a Filipino citizen one year prior to the filing of application unless he is exempt from complying with said requirement (Section 6. Naturalization Law). This section exempts one from filing a declaration of intention in two cases; (a) if he is born in the Philippines and has received primary and secondary education in any school recognized by the government; and (b) if he has continuously resided in the Philippines for a period of 30 years or more provided that he has given primary and school or in private schools recognized by the government. The reason advanced that she was not able to complete her studies because she got married is not only satisfactory but betrays the sincerity of petitioner in embracing our citizenship. It appears that she studied only as far as third year high school and then stopped allegedly because of poor health. In spite of her alleged sickness she continued her studies, not in the high school proper, but in a Chinese school which employs strictly Chinese curriculum where Philippine Civics, Philippine History and Philippine Government are not taught Considering that the provisions of the Naturalization Law should be strictly construed in order that its laudable and nationalistic purpose may be fully fulfilled, we are persuaded to conclude that petitioner has failed to qualify to become a Filipino citizen and so his petition should be denied

Agrarian Reform Laws Rule on the construction of Agrarian Reform Laws 44. Guerrero v. CA (GR L-44570, 30 May 1986) Whether or not a tenancy relationship exists between the parties Manuel Guerrero, et al and Apolinario Benitez, et al. as to determine their respective rights and obligations to one another Whether a person is a tenant or not is basically a question of fact and the findings of the respondent court and the trial court are, generally, entitled to respect and non-disturbance. 20 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

The law defines "agricultural tenancy" as the physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture, belonging to or legally possessed by another for the purpose of production through the labor of the former and of the members of his immediate farm household in consideration of which the former agrees to share the harvest with the latter or to pay a price certain or ascertainable, either in produce or in money, or in both With petitioner reference to this case, "share tenancy" exists whenever two persons agree on a joint undertaking for agricultural production wherein one party furnishes the land and the other his labor, with either or both contributing any one or several of the items of production, the tenant cultivating the land with the aid of labor available from members of his immediate farm household, and the produce thereof to be divided between the landholder and the tenant in proportion to their respective contributions In contrast, a farmhand or agricultural laborer is "any agricultural salary or piece worker but is not limited to a farmworker of a particular farm employer unless this Code expressly provides otherwise, and any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with, a current agrarian dispute or an unfair labor practice and who has not obtained a substantially equivalent and regular employment The rule that the repeal of a statute defeats all actions pending under the repealed statute is a mere general principle. Among the established exceptions are when vested rights are affected and obligations of contract are impaired The definition of cultivation is not limited merely to the tilling, plowing or harrowing of the land. It includes the promotion of growth and the care of the plants, or husbanding the ground to forward the products of the earth by general industry. Further indicating the existence of a tenancy relationship between petitioners and respondent is their agreement to share the produce or harvest on a "tercio basis" that is, a 1/3 to 2/3 sharing in favor of the petitioner-landowners. The agricultural laborer works for the employer, and for his labor he receives a salary or wage, regardless of whether the employer makes a profit. On the other hand, the share tenant par ticipates in the agricultural produce. His share is necessarily dependent on the amount of harvest. Once a tenancy relationship is established, the tenant has the right to continue working until such relationship is extinguished according to law The Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 - all provide for the security of tenure of agricultural tenants. Ejectment may be effected only for causes provided by law. The respondent has been unlawfully deprived of his right to security of tenure and the Court of Agrarian Reforms did not err in ordering the reinstatement of respondent as tenant and granting him damages therefore. As the law seeks to "uplift the farmers from poverty, ignorance and stagnation to make them dignified, selfreliant, strong and responsible citizens ... active participants in nation-building", agricultural share tenants are given the right to leasehold tenancy as a first step towards the ultimate status of owner-cultivator, a goal sought to be achieved by the government program of land reform. The petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The decision of the appellate court is AFFIRMED.

Rules of Court Rule on the construction of the provisions of the Rules of Court 45. Bello v. CA (GR L-38161, 29 March 1974) Petitioners spouses were charged on August 25, 1970 for estafa before the City Court of Pasay for allegedly having misappropriated a lady's ring with a value of P1,000.00 received by them from Atty. Prudencio de Guzman for sale on commission basis. The Court has always stressed that a respondent judge is "merely a nominal party" in special civil actions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus and that he "is not a person "in interest" within the purview (of Rule 21 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

65, section 5 12)" and "accordingly, he has no standing or authority to appeal from or seek a review on certiorari" of an adverse decision of the appellate court setting aside his dismissal of a party's appeal and issuing the writ of mandamus for him to allow the appeal. the real parties in interest being "the person or persons interested in sustaining the proceedings in the court" and who are charged with the duty of appearing and defending the challenged act both "in their own behalf and in behalf of the court or judge affected by the proceedings. Here, petitioners-accused's counsel, misdirected their appeal to the court of first instance, confronted with the thorny question (which has confused many a practitioner) 15 of concurrent criminal jurisdiction of city courts and municipal courts of provincial and sub-provincial capitals with courts of first instance under sections 44 (f) and 87 (c) of the Judiciary Act where the appeal from the municipal or city court's judgment should be taken directly to the Court of Appeals It certainly was within the inherent power of the court of first instance in exercise of its power to "control its process and orders so as to make them conformable to law and justice" 18 to grant petitioners-accused's timely plea to endorse their appeal to the Court of Appeals as the proper court and within the context and spirit of Rule 50, section 3. In a mis-directed appeal to the Court of Appeals of a case that pertains to the court of first instance's jurisdiction, the said Rule expressly provides that the Court of Appeals "shall not dismiss the appeal but shall certify the case to the proper court" viz, the court of first instance in the given example. There is no logical reason why in all fairness and justice the court of first instance in a misdirected appeal to it should not be likewise bound by the same rule and therefore enjoined not to dismiss the appeal but to certify the case to the Court of Appeals as the proper court construction of statutes always cautioned against "narrowly"interpreting a statute "as to defeat the purpose of the legislator" " 19 and stressed that "it is of the essence of judicial duty to construe statutes so as to avoid such a deplorable result (of injustice or absurdity)" 20 and that therefore "a literal interpretation is to be rejected if it would be unjust or lead to absurd results". 21 In the construction of its own Rules of Court, this Court is all the more so bound to liberally construe them to avoid injustice, discrimination and unfairness and to supply the void that is certainly within the spirit and purpose of the Rule to eliminate repugnancy and inconsistency by holding as it does now that courts of first instance are equally bound as the higher courts not to dismiss misdirected appeals timely made but to certify them to the proper appellate court decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing the petition is hereby set aside

Expropriation Laws 46. City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila (GR 14355, 31 October 1919) the city of Manila presented a petition in the Court of First Instance of said city, praying that certain lands, therein particularly described, be expropriated for the purpose of constructing a public improvement. The defendant, the Comunidad de Chinos de Manila [Chinese Community of Manila], answering the petition of the plaintiff, alleged that it was a corporation organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Philippine Islands Under the law, that it has authority to expropriate land, it may expropriate any land it may desire; that the only function of the court in such proceedings is to ascertain the value of the land in question; that neither the court nor the owners of the land can inquire into the advisible purpose of purpose of the expropriation or ask any questions concerning the necessities therefor; that the courts are mere appraisers of the land involved in expropriation proceedings, and, when the value of the land is fixed by the method adopted by the law, to render a judgment in favor of the defendant for its value.

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That the city of Manila has authority to expropriate private lands for public purposes, is not denied. Section 2429 of Act No. 2711 (Charter of the city of Manila) provides that "the city (Manila) . . . may condemn private property for public use." Act No. 190, in its section 241 - The Government of the Philippine Islands, or of any province or department thereof, or of any municipality, and any person, or public or private corporation having, by law, the right to condemn private property for public use, shall exercise that right in the manner hereinafter prescribed." Section 242 provides that a complaint in expropriation proceeding shall be presented; that the complaint shall state with certainty the right of condemnation, with a description of the property sought to be condemned together with the interest of each defendant separately Section 243 - if the court shall find upon trial that the right to expropriate the land in question exists, it shall then appoint commissioners. Upon the question whether expropriation is a legislative function exclusively, and that the courts cannot intervene except for the purpose of determining the value of the land in question, there is much legal legislature. It cannot be denied, if the legislature under proper authority should grant the expropriation of a certain or particular parcel of land for some specified public purpose, that the courts would be without jurisdiction to inquire into the purpose of that legislation. If, upon the other hand, however, the Legislature should grant general authority to a municipal corporation to expropriate private land for public purposes, we think the courts have ample authority in this jurisdiction, under the provisions above quoted, to make inquiry and to hear proof, upon an issue properly presented, concerning whether or not the lands were private and whether the purpose was, in fact, public. The right of expropriation is not an inherent power in a municipal corporation, and before it can exercise the right some law must exist conferring the power upon it. First, the land must be private; and, second, the purpose must be public. If the court, upon trial, finds that neither of these conditions exists or that either one of them fails, certainly it cannot be contended that the right is being exercised in accordance with law. Expropriation of lands usually calls for public expense. The taxpayers are called upon to pay the costs In the absence of some constitutional or statutory provision to the contrary, the necessity and expediency of exercising the right of eminent domain are questions essentially political and not judicial in their character. The determination of those questions (the necessity and the expediency) belongs to the sovereign power; the legislative department is final and conclusive, and the courts have no power to review it For if the use be not public or no necessity for the taking exists, the legislature cannot authorize the taking of private property against the will of the owner, notwithstanding compensation may be required." The taking of private property for any use which is not required by the necessities or convenience of the inhabitants of the state, is an unreasonable exercise of the right of eminent domain, and beyond the power of the legislature to delegate. As long as there is a constitutional or statutory provision denying the right to take land for any use other than a public use, it occurs to us that the question whether any particular use is a public one or not is ultimately, at least, a judicial question. Article 349 of the Civil Code - No one may be deprived of his property unless it be by competent authority, for some purpose of proven public utility, and after payment of the proper compensation Unless this requisite (proven public utility and payment) has been complied with, it shall be the duty of the courts to protect the owner of such property in its possession or to restore its possession to him , as the case may be." The statutory power of taking property from the owner without his consent is one of the most delicate exercise of government authority. The very foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a genuine necessity, and that necessity must be of a public character. The ascertainment of the necessity must precede or accompany, and not follow, the taking of the land Where a cemetery is open to public, it is a public use and no part of the ground can be taken for other public uses under a general authority judgment of the lower court should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs against the appellant

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Election Laws 47. Villanueva v. Comelec (GR L-54718, 4 December 1985) The 1978 Election Code provides: SEC. 27. ... No certificate of candidacy duly filed shall be considered withdraw ... unless the candidate files with the office which received the certificate ... or with the Commission a sworn statement of withdrawal ... SEC. 28. ... If, after last day for filing certificates of candidacy, a candidate with a certificate of candidacy duly filed should ... withdraw ... any voter qualified for the office may file his certificate of candidacy for the office for which ... the candidate who has withdrawn ... was a candidate on or before midday of election The Court holds that the Comelec's first ground for denying due course to petitioner's substitute certificate of candidacy, i.e. that Mendoza's withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy was not "under oath," should be rejected. The fact that Mendoza's withdrawal was not sworn is but a technicality which should not be used to frustrate the people's will in favor of petitioner as the substitute candidate "(T)he will of the people cannot be frustrated by a technicality that the certificate of candidacy had not been properly sworn to, This legal provision is mandatory and non-compliance therewith before the election would be fatal to the status of the candidate before the electorate, but after the people have expressed their will, the result of the election cannot be defeated by the fact that the candidate has not sworn to his certificate or candidacy. The legal requirement that a withdrawal be under oath will be held to be merely directory and Mendoza's failure to observe the requirement should be "considered a harmless irregularity." The Comelec's post-election act of denying petitioner's substitute candidacy certainly does not seem to be in consonance with the substance and spirit of the law. "the bona fides of petitioner Crisologo Villanueva y Paredes as a substitute candidate cannot, (in his opinion), be successfully assailed. It follows that the votes cast in his favor must be counted. the Court SETS ASIDE the questioned Resolutions of respondent Comelec and annuls the proclamation of respondent Lirio as elected vice-mayor of Dolores, Quezon and instead declares petitioner as the duly elected vice-mayor

Wills Rule on the interpretation of wills 48. In RE: Tampoy (GR L-14322, 25 February 1960) concerns the probate of a document which purports to be the last will and testament of one Petronila Tampoy Section 618 of Act 190, as amended, requires that the testator sign the will and each and every page thereof in the presence of the witnesses, and that the latter sign the will and each and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other, which requirement should be expressed in the attestation clause. This requirement is mandatory, for failure to comply with it is fatal to the validity of the will. "Statutes prescribing the formalities to be observed in the execution of wills are very strictly construed . A will must be executed in accordance with the statutory requirements; otherwise it is entirely void.' All these requirements stand as of equal importance and must be observed, and courts cannot supply the defective execution of a will Since the will in question suffers from the fatal defect that it does not bear the thumbmark of the testatrix on its first page even if it bears the signature of the three instrumental witnesses, we cannot escape the conclusion that the same fails to comply with the law and therefore, cannot be admitted to probate. Wherefore, the order appealed from is affirmed 24 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

VII. Construction of Words and Phrases

May and Shall 49. Capati v. Ocampo, GR L-28742, April 30, 1982) Virgilio Capati a resident of Bacolor, Pampanga, was the contractor of the Feati Bank for the construction of its building in Iriga, Camarines Sur. On May 23, 1967, plaintiff entered into a sub-contract with the defendant Dr. Jesus Ocampo, a resident of Naga City, whereby the latter, in consideration of the amount of P2,200.00, undertook to construct the vault walls, exterior walls and columns of the said Feati building in accordance with the specifications indicated therein. Defendant further bound himself to complete said construction on or before June 5, 1967 Claiming that defendant finished the construction in question only on June 20, 1967, plaintiff filed in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga an action for recovery of consequential damages in the sum of P85,000.00 with interest, plus attorney's fees and costs In support thereof, plaintiff cited the use of the word "may " in relation with the institution of any action arising out of the contract Section 3 of the same rule - The rule on venue of personal actions cognizable by the courts of first instance is found in Section 2 (b), Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, which provides that such "actions may be commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the plaintiff." It is well settled that the word "may" is merely permissive and operates to confer discretion upon a party. Under ordinary circumstances, the term "may be" connotes possibility; it does not connote certainty. "May" is an auxillary verb indicating liberty, opportunity, permission or possibility. Since the complaint has been filed in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga, where the plaintiff resides, the venue of action is properly laid in accordance with Section 2 (b), Rule 4 of the Rules of Court. WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby set aside

Of and May And and Or 50. GMCR vs. Bell Telecommunications, 271 SCRA 790 G. R. No. 126496. April 30, 1997 NTC is a collegial body requiring a majority vote out of the three members of the commission in order to validly decide a case or any incident therein. Corollary, the vote alone of the chairman of the commission is not sufficient to legally render an NTC order, resolution or decision. Simply put, Commissioner Kintanar is not the National Telecommunications Commission. He alone does not speak for and in behalf of the NTC. The NTC acts through a three-man body, and the three members of the commission each has one vote to cast in every deliberation concerning a case or any incident therein that is subject to the jurisdiction of the NTC National Assembly passed Commonwealth Act No. 146 which created the Public Service Commission (PSC). As amended by RA 2677, the Public Service Commission was transformed into and emerged as a collegial body. The amendment provided that contested cases and all cases involving the fixing of rates shall be decided by the Commission en banc EO 546 does not specifically state that the NTC was a collegial body. Neither does it provide that the NTC should meet En Banc in deciding a case or in exercising its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial functions. But the absence of 25 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

such provisions does not militate against the collegial nature of the NTC under the context of Section 16 of EO 546 and under the Rules of Procedure and Practice applied by the NTC in its proceedings. Under [Rule 15] of said Rules, the BOC (now the NTC) sits En Banc. Rule 15 of the Rules of Procedure and Practice of BOC, under its Rules of Procedure and Practice, the Respondent NTC, as its predecessor, the BOC, had consistently been and remains a collegial body. A Commission is also defined as a board or committee of officials appointed and empowered to perform certain acts or exercise certain jurisdiction of a public nature or service. Indeed, as can be easily discerned from the context of Section 16 of Executive Order No. 546, the Commission is composed of a Commissioner and two (2) deputy commissioners . . . not the commissioner, alone The conjunctive word "and" is not without any legal significance. It is not, by any chance, a surplusage in the law. It means "in addition to". The word "and", whether it is used to connect words, phrases or full sentence[s], must be accepted as binding together and as relating to one another . . . . In interpreting a statute, every part thereof should be given effect on the theory that it was enacted as an integrated law and not as a combination of dissonant provisions When the respondent Court of Appeals directed Commissioners Kintanar, Dumlao and Perez to meet en banc and to consider and act on the working draft of the order granting provisional authority to BellTel, said court was simply ordering the NTC to sit and meet en banc as a collegial body, and the subject of the deliberation of the three-man commission would be the said working draft which embodies one course of action that may be taken on private respondent BellTel's application for a provisional authority. The respondent Court of Appeals, however, did not order the NTC to forthwith grant said application the instant consolidated petitions are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Principally and Exclusively 51. Alfon v. Republic (GR L-51201, 29 May 1980) Maria Estrella Veronica Primitiva Duterte through her counsel, Atty. Rosauro Alvarez, praying that her name be changed from Maria Estrella Veronica Primitiva Duterte to Estrella S. Alfon. Art. 364 of the Civil Code. The word "principally" as used in the codal provision is not equivalent to "exclusively" so that there is no legal obstacle if a legitimate or legitimated child should choose to use the surname of its mother to which it is equally entitled The following may be considered, among others, as proper or reasonable causes that may warrant the grant of a petitioner for change of name; (1) when the name is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor, or is extremely difficult to write or pronounce; (2) when the request for change is a consequence of a change of' status, such as when a natural child is acknowledged or legitimated; and (3) when the change is necessary to avoid confusion There is therefore ample justification to grant fully her petition which is not whimsical but on the contrary is based on a solid and reasonable ground, i.e. to avoid confusion. petitioner is allowed to change not only her first name but also her surname so as to be known as ESTRELLA S. ALFON. No costs.

Previously and Simultaneously 52. Rura v. Lopena (GR L-69810-14, 19 June 1985) Petitioner Teodulo Rura was accused, tried and convicted of five (5) counts of estafa. Rura was sentenced to a total prison term of seventeen (17) months and twenty-five (25) days. Whether or not the petitioner is disqualified for probation 26 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

When he applied for probation he had no previous conviction by final judgment. When he applied for probation the only conviction against him was the judgment which was the subject of his application. The statute relates "previous" to the date of conviction, not to the date of the commission of the crime. WHEREFORE, the petition is granted and the respondent judge is directed to give due course to the petitioner's application for probation

Every, Each and Particularly 53. NHC vs Juco, 134 SCRA 172 (1985) (No. L- 64313, January 17, 1985 Are employees of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) covered by the Labor Code or by laws and regulations governing the civil service? NHC is a one hundred percent (100%) government-owned corporation organized in accordance with Executive Order No. 399, the Uniform Charter of Government Corporations, dated January 5, 1951. Its shares of stock are owned by the Government Service Insurance System the Social Security System, the Development Bank of the Philippines, the National Investment and Development Corporation, and the People's Homesite and Housing Corporation Section 1, Article XII-B of the Constitution specifically provides: The Civil Service embraces every branch, agency, subdivision, and instrumentality of the Government, including every government-owned or controlled corporation. ...The inclusion of "government-owned or controlled corporations" within the embrace of the civil service shows a deliberate effort of the framers to plug an earlier loophole which allowed government-owned or controlled corporations to avoid the full consequences of the encompassing coverage of the civil service system. The provision uses the word "every" to modify the phrase "government-owned or controlled corporation."Every" means each one of a group, without exception It means all possible and all taken one by one. Presidential Decree No. 807 is unequivocal that personnel of government-owned or controlled corporations belong to the civil service and are subject to civil service requirements. It is clear that the petitioner National Housing Corporation comes under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, not the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Petition is hereby GRANTED. The questioned decision of the respondent National Labor Relations Commission is SET ASIDE. The decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the case before it for lack of jurisdiction is reinstated

Term and Tenure 54. Aparri vs Court of Appeals, 127 SCRA 231 (1984) G.R. No. L-30057 January 31, 1984 Whether or not Board Resolution No. 24 (series of 1962) was a removal or dismissal of petitioner without cause. A public office is the right, authority, and duty created and conferred by law, by which for a given period, either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be exercise by him for the benefit of the public The right to hold a public office under our political system is therefore not a natural right. It exists, when it exists at all only because and by virtue of some law expressly or impliedly creating and conferring By "appointment" is meant the act of designation by the executive officer, board or body, to whom that power has been delegated, of the individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office When the power of appointment is absolute, and the appointee has been determined upon, no further consent or approval is necessary, and the formal evidence of the appointment, the commission, may issue at once. To constitute an "appointment" to office, there must be some open, unequivocal act of appointment on the part of 27 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

the appointing authority empowered to make it, and it may be said that an appointment to office is made and is complete when the last act required of the appointing authority has been performed term" in a legal sense means a fixed and definite period of time which the law describes that an officer may hold an office. the term of office is the period during which an office may be held. Upon the expiration of the officer's term, unless he is authorized by law to hold over, his rights, duties and authority as a pubic officer must ipso facto cease In the case at bar, the term of office is not fixed by law. However, the power to fix the term is vested in the Board of Directors subject to the recommendation of the Office of Economic Coordination and the approval of the President of the Philippines. Resolution No. 24 (series of 1962) speaks of no removal but an expiration of the term of office of the petitioner It is the rule in statutory construction that if the words and phrase of a statute are not obscure or ambiguous, its meaning and the intention of the legislature must be determined from the language employed, and, where there is no ambiguity in the words, there is no room for construction. The reason for the rule is that the legislature must be presumed to know the meaning of words, to have used words advisedly and to have expressed its intent by the use of such words as are found in the statute (50 Am. Jur. p. 212). Removal entails the ouster of an incumbent before the expiration of his term. The petitioner in this case was not removed before the expiration of his term. Rather, his right to hold the office ceased by the expiration on March 31, 1962 of his term to hold such office. THE DECISION APPEALED FROM IS HEREBY AFFIRMED

Surplusages 55. Demafiles vs. Comelec, GR L-28396, 29 December 1987 The new municipality of Sebaste1 in Antique province held its first election of officers in the general elections of November 14, 1967, with the petitioner Agripino Demafiles and the respondent Benito B. Galido vying for the mayoralty. Respondent Galido asked the provincial board, acting as municipal board of canvassers pursuant to section 167 (b) of the Revised Election Code, to disregard, as "obviously manufactured", the election return from precinct 7 on the ground that the said return shows that 195 voters were registered (of whom 188 voted), when, according to a certificate of the municipal election registrar only 182 had registered in that precinct as of October 30, 1997. The board voted to reject the return from precinct 7 and then proceeded with the canvass of the returns from the other precints. The resulting tally gave Galido 888 votes as against 844 for Demafiles. Accordingly, Galido was proclaimed mayor-elect of the municipality of Sebaste. the last portion of the provision "and shall have qualified" is devoid of any meaning, is unmitigated jargon in or out of context, and does not warrant the respondent's reading that the term of office of the first municipal officials of Sebaste begins immediately after their proclamation. A judge must not rewrite a statute, neither to enlarge nor to contract it. Whatever temptations the statesmanship of policy-making might wisely suggest, construction must eschew interpolation and evisceration. general rule that the term of office of municipal officials shall begin on the first day of January following their election First, a canvassing board performs a purely ministerial function they cannot pass upon the validity of an election return, much less exclude it from the canvass on the ground that the votes cast in the precinct from whence it came are illegal. In other words, the aid of evidence aliunde was not needed, as "the fraud [being] so palpable from the return itself (res ipsa loquitur the thing speaks for itself), there is no reason to accept it and give it prima facie value. Second, the canvass and proclamation should be annulled because two of the four members of the board of canvassers were disqualified from sitting in it, they being candidates for reelection. This is clear from Section 28 of the Revised Election Code which provides that any member of the provincial board who is a candidate for an elective office shall be incompetent to act in said board in the performance of its duties in connection with the election. Under section 28 only when the board acts as a provincial board of 28 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

canvassers, to prevent them from canvassing their own votes, and not when they sit as a municipal board of canvassers. Any member of a provincial board or of a municipal council who is a candidate for office in any election, shall be incompetent to act on said body in the performance of the duties the of relative to said election . The statute draws no distinction between the provincial board acting as a provincial board of canvassers and the same board acting as a municipal canvassing body new municipalities, settled doctrine that the COMELEC has the power to annul an illegal canvass and an illegal proclamation as when they are based on incomplete returns, and order a new canvass to be made by counting the returns wrongfully excluded.10 If it has power to direct that certain copies of election returns be used in preference to other copies of the same returns,11 there is no reason why it cannot direct canvassing bodies to count all turns which are otherwise regular. Commission on Elections are set aside, and the canvass of returns made and the subsequent proclamation of the respondent Benito B. Galido are annulled.

Punctuations 56. Arabay vs CFI of Zamboanga del Norte, 66 SCRA 617 G.R. No. L-37684 September 10, 1975 dismissing the complaint of the herein petitioner Arabay, Inc., for annulment of a tax ordinance of the Municipal Council of Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte, and for refund of the taxes it had paid thereunder. 1969 Republic Act No. 5520 was approved. It provided for the creation of the City of Dipolog from the then of the Municipality of Dipolog, to take effect on January 1, 1970. a complaint against the City of Dipolog contesting the validity of the above-mentioned Section 1 of Ordinance No. 53 on the ground that the same imposed a sales tax which is beyond the power of a municipality to levy under Section 2 of Republic Act No. 2264, otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act of 1959. Arabay, Inc. filed a supplemental complaint which prayed, among others, for a refund of the taxes it had paid under the ordinance in question. the court a quo rendered judgment upholding the validity of the questioned provision of Ordinance No. 53. The basic issues in the case at bar are: (1) whether or not the questioned tax provision imposes a sales tax; and (2) if it imposes a sales tax, whether the Arabay, Inc. is entitled to a tax refund, considering that Dipolog is now a city. a municipal tax ordinance which prescribes a set ratio between the amount of the tax and the volume of sales of the taxpayer imposes a sales tax and is null and void for being beyond the power of a municipality to enact. 1 The ordinance in question therefore exacts a tax based on sales; it follows that the Municipality of Dipolog was not authorized to enact such an ordinance under the Local Autonomy Act. The legality of an ordinance depends upon the power of the municipality at the time of the enactment of the challenged ordinance. Under the foregoing proviso of Section 2 of R.A. 2264, two courses of action in the exercise of their taxing powers are denied to municipalities and municipal districts, to wit, (1) to levy any sales tax in whatever form; and (2) to levy any tax on articles subject to specific tax under the National Internal Revenue Code. With the exemption of gasoline from the coverage of the same, it becomes relevant to determine the effect which such exclusion has on the previous prohibition against the levying of the sales tax. The judgment a quo is set aside. The City of Dipolog is hereby ordered to refund to the Arabay, Inc. the taxes the latter has paid under Section 1 of Ordinance No. 53 57. US vs Hart, 26 Phil 149 G.R. No. L-8848 November 21, 1913

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Miller, and Natividad, were arraigned in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga on a charge of vagrancy under the provisions of Act No. 519, found guilty, and were each sentenced to six months' imprisonment. Hart and Miller were further sentenced to a fine of P200, and Natividad to a fine of P100 Vagrancy Law: Every person having no apparent means of subsistence, who has the physical ability to work, and who neglects to apply himself or herself to some lawful calling; (2) every person found loitering about saloons or dram shops or gambling houses, or tramping or straying through the country without visible means of support; (3) every person known to be a pickpocket, thief, burglar, ladrone, either by his own confession or by his having been convicted of either of said offenses, and having no visible or lawful means of support when found loitering about any gambling house, cockpit, or in any outlying barrio of a pueblo; (4) every idle or dissolute person or associate of known thieves or ladrones who wanders about the country at unusual hours of the night; (5) every idle peron who lodges in any barn, shed, outhouse, vessel, or place other than such as is kept for lodging purposes, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof; (6) every lewd or dissolute person who lives in and about houses of ill fame; (7) every common prostitute and common drunkard, is a vagrant. Section 1 of Act No. 519 is divided into seven clauses, separated by semicolons. Each clause enumerates a certain class of persons who, within the meaning of this statute, are to be considered as vagrants act, it was not the intention of the Legislature to limit the crime of vagrancy to those having no visible means of support. visible means of support" as used in that clause does not apply to "every person found loitering about saloons or dram shops or gambling houses," but is confined entirely to "or tramping or straying through the country When the meaning of a legislative enactment is in question, it is the duty of the courts to ascertain, if possible, the true legislative intention, and adopt that construction of the statute which will give it effect. The construction finally adopted should be based upon something more substantial than the mere punctuation found in the printed Act. If the punctuation of the statute gives it a meaning which is reasonable and in apparent accord with the legislative will, it may be used as an additional argument for adopting the literal meaning of the words of the statute as thus punctuated. But an argument based upon punctuation alone is not conclusive, and the courts will not hesitate to change the punctuation when necessary, to give to the Act the effect intended by the Legislature, disregarding superfluous or incorrect punctuation marks, and inserting others where necessary. The offense of vagrancy as defined in Act No. 519 is the Anglo-Saxon method of dealing with the habitually idle and harmful parasites of society. While the statutes of the various States of the American Union differ greatly as to the classification of such persons, their scope is substantially the same. Their sole offense was gambling, which the legislature deemed advisable to make the subject of a penal law. the defendants are acquitted

Associated Words Provisos, Exceptions and Saving Clauses

VIII. Particular Latin Phrases

Uti Loquitur Vulgus Verba Legis 58. Victoria vs. COMELEC, (GR No. 109005, January 10, 1994) 30 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

Is the ranking of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Albay for purposes of succession The Local Government Code provides Sec. 44. Permanent Vacancies in the Office of the Governor, ViceGovernor, Mayor, and Vice-Mayor. (a) If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vice-governor or vice-mayor concerned shall become governor or mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, mayor, or vice-mayor, the highest ranking Sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking Sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, mayor or vice-mayor For purposes of succession as provided in this Chapter, ranking in the Sanggunian shall be determined on the basis of the proportion of votes obtained by each winning candidate to the total number of registered voters in each district in the immediately preceding local election Clear that the ranking in the Sanggunian shall be determined on the basis of the proportion of the votes obtained by each winning candidate of the total number of registered voters who actually voted. In such a case, the Court has no recourse but to merely apply the law Under the principles of statutory construction, if a statue is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given it literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. This plain-meaning rule or verba legis derived from the maxim, index animi sermo est (speech is the index of intention) rests on the valid presumption that the words employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its intent or will and preclude the court from construing it differently. The legislature is presumed to know the meaning of the words, to have used words advisely, and to have expressed its intent by the use of such words as are found in the statute. Verba legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a statute there should be no departure. we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC. petition is DISMISSED

Ratio Legis 59. Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Seagate Technology, (GR No. 153866, Feb. 11, 2005) Business companies registered in and operating from the Special Economic Zone in Naga, Cebu -- like herein respondent -- are entities exempt from all internal revenue taxes and the implementing rules relevant thereto, including the value-added taxes or VAT. Although export sales are not deemed exempt transactions, they are nonetheless zero-rated. Hence, in the present case, the distinction between exempt entities and exempt transactions has little significance, because the net result is that the taxpayer is not liable for the VAT. "Whether or not respondent is entitled to the refund or issuance of Tax Credit Certificate in the amount ofP12,122,922.66 representing alleged unutilized input VAT paid on capital goods purchased for the period April 1, 1998 to June 30, 1999 No doubt, as a PEZA-registered enterprise within a special economic zone,7 respondent is entitled to the fiscal incentives and benefits8 provided for in either PD 669 or EO 226.10 It shall, moreover, enjoy all privileges, benefits, advantages or exemptions under both Republic Act Nos. (RA) 722711 and 7844. A privilege available to respondent under the provision in RA 7227 on tax and duty-free importation of raw materials, capital and equipment18 -- is, ipso facto, also accorded to the zone19 under RA 7916. Respondent benefits under RA 7844 from negotiable tax credits24 for locally-produced materials used as inputs From the above-cited laws, it is immediately clear that petitioner enjoys preferential tax treatment.27 It is not subject to internal revenue laws and regulations and is even entitled to tax credits. The policies of the law should prevail. Ratio legis est anima. The reason for the law is its very soul. PD 66 ,seeks "to encourage and promote foreign commerce as a means of x x x strengthening our export trade and foreign exchange position, of hastening industrialization, of reducing domestic unemployment, and of accelerating the development of the country. 31 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

RA 7916, as amended by RA 8748, declared that by creating the PEZA and integrating the special economic zones, "the government shall actively encourage, promote, induce and accelerate a sound and balanced industrial, economic and social development of the country x x x through the establishment, among others, of special economic zones x x x that shall effectively attract legitimate and productive foreign investments." Fiscal incentives that are cost-efficient and simple to administer shall be devised and extended to significant projects "to compensate for market imperfections, to reward performance contributing to economic development,"115 and "to stimulate the establishment and assist initial operations of the enterprise." By providing many export and tax incentives,124 the State is able to drive home the point that exporting is indeed "the key to national survival and the means through which the economic goals of increased employment and enhanced incomes can most expeditiously be achieved." All these statutory policies are congruent to the constitutional mandates of providing incentives to needed investments,128 as well as of promoting the preferential use of domestic materials and locally produced goods and adopting measures to help make these competitive.129 Tax credits for domestic inputs strengthen backward linkages. Rightly so, "the rule of law and the existence of credible and efficient public institutions are essential prerequisites for sustainable economic development. special laws expressly grant preferential tax treatment to business establishments registered and operating within an ecozone, which by law is considered as a separate customs territory. As such, respondent is exempt from all internal revenue taxes, including the VAT, and regulations pertaining thereto. Being VAT-registered and having satisfactorily complied with all the requisites for claiming a tax refund of or credit for the input VAT paid on capital goods purchased, respondent is entitled to such VAT refund or credit. Petition is DENIED and the Decision AFFIRMED

Mens Legislatoris 60. Matabuena v. Cervantes (GR L-28771, March 31,1971)

Dura Lex Sed Lex 61. People v. Santayana (GR L-22291, November 15, 1976) Accused, Jesus Santayana y Escudero, was found guilty of the crime of illegal possesion of firearms and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years and to pay the costs. doctrine then prevailing is enunciated in the case of People vs. Macarandang 7 wherein it is held that the appointment of a civilian as "secret agent to assist in the maintenace of peace and order campaigns and detection of crimes sufficiently puts him within the category of a 'peace officer' equivalent even to a member of the municipal police expressly covered by Section 879 decision appealed from is hereby reversed and appellant Jesus Santayana y Escudero is hereby acquitted.

Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius 62. Rubio, Jr. vs. Paras (GR No. 156047, April 12, 2005) 32 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

expression unius est exclusio alterius, the mention of one thing implies the exclusion of another thing not mentioned. Thus, if a statute enumerates the things upon which it is to operate, everything else must necessarily and by implication be excluded from its operation and effect. This rule, as a guide to probable legislative intent, is based upon the rules of logic and natural workings of the human mind.23 The general rule is that the aggrieved party is mandated to exhaust all administrative remedies available before resorting to judicial recourse. The tribunal, either judicial or quasi-judicial must be given a chance to correct the imputed errors on its act or order.24 The rule is an element of the petitioners right to action, and if he fails or refuses to avail himself of the same, the judiciary shall decline to interfere.25 Formal charge filed by the respondent against the petitioner was violative of the latters right to due process; hence, is void ab initio and may be assailed directly or indirectly at any time, without the petitioner being required to first exhaust all administrative remedies before the respondent: [T]he doctrine consistently adhered to by this Court is that a denial of due process suffices to cast on the official act taken by whatever branch of the government the impress of nullity. A decision rendered without due process is void ab initio and may be attacked directly or collaterally. A decision is void for lack of due process if, as a result, a party is deprived of the opportunity of being heard. Petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolutions of the Court of Appeals are SET ASIDE. The Formal Charge against petitioner Engr. Pedro C. Rubio, Jr., dated March 15, 2002, as well as the Order for his preventive suspension, are hereby NULLIFIED. No costs.

Ejusdem Generis 63. Mutuc v. Comelec (GR L-32717, November 26, 1970) invocation of his right to free speech by petitioner Amelito Mutuc, then a candidate for delegate to the Constitutional Convention, in this special civil action for prohibition to assail the validity of a ruling of respondent Commission on Elections enjoining the use of a taped jingle for campaign purposes Court issued granting the writ of prohibition, setting forth the absence of statutory authority on the part of respondent to impose such a ban in the light of the doctrine ofejusdem generis as well as the principle that the construction placed on the statute by respondent Commission on Elections would raise serious doubts about its validity, considering the infringement of the right of free speech of petitioner. Its concluding portion was worded thus: "Accordingly, as prayed for, respondent Commission on Elections is permanently restrained and prohibited from enforcing or implementing or demanding compliance with its aforesaid order banning the use of political jingles by candidates. This resolution is immediately executory. ejusdem generis, the general words following any enumeration being applicable only to things of the same kind or class as those specifically referred to. 6 It is quite apparent that what was contemplated in the Act was the distribution of gadgets of the kind referred to as a means of inducement to obtain a favorable vote for the candidate responsible for its distribution. certain Administrative Code provisions were given a "construction which should be more in harmony with the tenets of the fundamental law. The judiciary may even strain the ordinary meaning of words to avert any collision between what a statute provides and what the Constitution requires. The objective is to reach an interpretation rendering it free from constitutional defects. For, in unequivocal language, the Constitution prohibits an abridgment of free speech or a free press. It has been our constant holding that this preferred freedom calls all the more for the utmost respect when what may be curtailed is the dissemination of information to make more meaningful the equally vital right of suffrage. respondent Commission is permanently restrained and prohibited from enforcing or implementing or demanding compliance with its aforesaid order banning the use of political taped jingles

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Cassus Omissus 64. People v. Manantan (GR L-14129, July 31, 1962)

65. Lopez v. CTA (GR L-9274, February 1, 1957) Tax Court dismissed the appeal on the ground that it had no jurisdiction to review decisions of the Collector of Customs of Manila, citing section 7 of Republic Act No. 1125, creating said tax court There is really a discrepancy between Sections 7 and 11 above reproduced. Section 7 provides that the Court of Tax Appeals has exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal decisions of the Collector of Internal Revenue, decisions of the Commissioner of Customs and decisions of provincial or city Board of Assessment Appeals on cases mentioned in said section. Section 11 of the same Republic Act in listing and enumerating the persons and entities who may appeal as well as the effect of said appeal, mentions those affected by a decision or ruling of the Collector of Internal Revenue, the Collector of Customs or any provincial or City Board of Assessment Appeals, and fails to mention the Commissioner of Customs. That legal provision conferring appellate jurisdiction on the Court of Tax Appeals to review decisions of the Commissioner of Customs would be empty, meaningless, and unenforceable because under Section 11, no person affected by the decision of the Commissioner of customs may appeal to the Tax Court. Under the Customs Law, found in sections 1137 to 1419 of the Revised Administrative Code, the Commissioner of Customs (Insular Collector of Customs) is the Chief of the Bureau of Customs and has jurisdiction over the whole country as regards the enforcement of the Customs Law. These Collectors of Customs are subordinates of the Commissioner of Customs over whom he has supervision and control. Under this section, any person affected or aggrieved by the decision of the Collector of Customs may appeal the decision to the Commissioner of Customs. 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. The phrase "Collector of Customs" appearing in the above-mentioned provision (section 11) of Republic Act No. 1125 is clearly an oversight on the part of Congress. It should read "Commissioner of Customs" to make the provision conform with section 7 of the said Republic Act section 1380 of the Revised Administrative Code. Appeal to the Commissioner of Customs is purely administrative, whereas, appeal to the Court of Tax Appeal is manifestly judicial. And it is a sound rule that before one resorts to the Courts, the administrative remedy provided by law should first be exhausted. Under the law, the Customs Law and Republic Act No. 1125, the Court of Tax Appeals has no jurisdiction to review by appeal, decisions of the Collector of Customs

Noscitur A Sociis 66. Sanciangco v. Rono (GR L-68709, July 19, 1985)

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Whether or not an appointive member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, who ran for the position of Mambabatas Pambansa in the elections of May 14, 1984, should be considered as resigned or on forced leave of absence upon the filing of his Certificate of Candidacy Sec. 13. Effects of filing of certificate of candidacy. - (1) Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Integrated National Police, as well as officials and employees of government-owned and governmentcontrolled corporations and their subsidiaries,shall ipso facto cease in office or position as of the time he filed his certificate of candidacy: Provided, however, that the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Members of the Cabinet, and the Deputy Ministers shall continue in the offices they presently hold notwithstanding the filing of their certificates of candidacy. Petitioner was elected Barangay Captain of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Ozamiz City, in the May 17, 1982 Barangay elections. Later, he was elected President of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) of Ozamiz City by the Board of Directors of the said Association. As the President of the Association, petitioner was appointed by the President of the Philippines as a member of the City's Sangguniang Panlungsod. On March 27, 1984, petitioner filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the May 14, 1984 Batasan Pambansa elections for Misamis Occidental under the banner of the Mindanao Alliance. He was not successful in the said election. Petitioner informed respondent Vice-Mayor Benjamin A. Fuentes, Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, that he was resuming his duties as member of that body. Since petitioner is unquestionably an appointive member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Ozamiz City, he is deemed to have ipso facto ceased to be such member when he filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 14, 1984 Batasan elections. In section 13(2), as contrasted to appointive positions in section 13(l) under the all-encompassing clause reading "any person holding public appointive office or position," is clear. It is a rule of statutory construction that "when the language of a particular section of a statute admits of more than one construction, that construction which gives effect to the evident purpose and object sought to be attained by the enactment of the statute as a whole, must be followed. Neither can petitioner justifiably contend that he was removed from office without due process of law since it was of his own choice that he ran for a seat in the Batasan Pambansa. It goes without saying that although petitioner, by filing his certificate of candidacy for the Batasan Pambansa ceased, ipso facto, to be an appointive member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, he remains an elective Barangay Captain from which position he may be considered as having been on "forced leave of absence." He also continues as President of the Association of Barangay Councils but will need a reappointment by the President, as member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Ozamiz City as the law speaks of "members who may be appointed by the President." WHEREFORE, finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent officials, the Writs prayed for are denied, and this Petition is hereby ordered dismissed. No costs.

IX. Statute Construed as a Whole and in Relation to Other Statutes 67. Lozano vs. Yorac (GR Nos. 94521 &4626, October 28, 1991) Petitioner and Bernadette Agcorpa, a registered voter of Makati, filed with the COMELEC a petition for disqualification against then candidate for mayor Jejomar C. Binay on the ground that respondent Binay used P9.9 million of municipal funds to enhance his candidacy and his entire ticket under the Lakas ng Bansa. The disqualification case was assigned to the Second Division of the COMELEC composed of Commissioner Haydee B. Yorac, as presiding officer, and Commissioners Andres R. Flores and Magdara B. Dimaampao, as members. On November 3, 1988, the COMELEC en banc promulgated Resolution No. 2050 which provides that petitions for 35 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

disqualification filed prior to the January 18, 1988 local elections based on Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code but not resolved before the elections shall be referred for preliminary investigation to the Law Department which shall submit its report to the Commission en banc. August 7, 1990 resolution which is herein assailed, the COMELEC en banc dismissed the petition for disqualification andthe criminal complaint for vote buying against respondent Binay. COMELEC Rules of Procedure, specifically Section 1, Rule 4 thereof, prohibits a member from, among others, sitting in a case in which he has proof. The opinion of Commissioner Yorac was based on prior cases for disqualification filed with the COMELEC wherein prior conviction of the respondent was considered a condition sine qua non for the filing of the disqualification case. We accordingly find no compelling reason to inhibit Commissioner Yorac from participating in the hearing and decision of the case. The case pending in a division may be referred to and decided by the Commission en banc only on a unanimous vote of all the members of the division. Any complaint for disqualification based on Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code in relation to Section 6 of the Rep. Act No. 6646 filed after the election against a candidate who has already been proclaimed as winner shall be dismissed as a disqualification case. However, the complaint shall be referred for preliminary investigation to the Law Department of the Commission. The COMELEC Rules of Procedure speak of special actions, which include disqualification cases, in general. Hence, as between a specific and a general rule, the former shall necessarily prevail. at the time the supposed "gift-giving" transpired between the periods of December 22-30, 1987, respondent Binay was no longer Mayor of the Municipality of Makati having resigned from the position on December 2, 1987, to pursue his candidacy for re-election to the same position. There is no clear and convincing proof exists to show that respondent Binay was indeed engaged in vote buying. The traditional gift-giving of the Municipality of Makati during the Christmas season is not refuted. Moreover, the legislative construction of the constitutional provision has narrowed down "the scope and extent of the inquiry the Court is supposed to undertake to what is strictly the office of certiorarias distinguished from review." Indeed, as early as the year 1938, applying Section 4, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution, this Court held that the Electoral Commission's "exclusive jurisdiction" being clear from the language of the provision, "judgment rendered . . . in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference, except "upon a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvement use of the power as will constitute a denial of due process of law. The charge against respondent Binay for alleged malversation of public funds should be threshed out

X. Special over general What is the rule regarding conflicting provisions of the same statute? 68. Manila Railroad Co. v.Collector of Customs (GR 30264, 12 March 1929) How should dust shields be classified for the purposes of the tariff, under paragraph 141 or under paragraph 197 of section 8 of the Tariff Law of 1909? Dust shields are manufactured of wool and hair mixed. The component material of chief value is the wool. They are used by the Manila Railroad Company on all of its railway wagons. The purpose of the dust shield is to cover the axle box in order to protect from dust the oil deposited therein which serves to lubricate the bearings of the wheel. Based on these facts, it was the decision of the Insular Collector of Customs that dust shields should be classified as "manufactures of wool, not otherwise provided for. Judge Simplicio del Rosario held that dust shields should be classified as "detached parts" of vehicles for the use on railways. 36 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

It is the general rule in the interpretation of statutes levying taxes or duties not to extend their provisions beyond the clear import of the language used. In every case of doubt, such statutes are construed most strongly against the Government and in favor of the citizen, because burdens are not to be imposed, nor presumed to be imposed, beyond what the statutes expressly and clearly import There are present two fundamental considerations which guide the way out of the legal dilemma. The first is by taking into account the purpose of the article and then acknowledging that it is in reality used as a detached part or railways vehicles. The second point is that paragraph 141 is a general provision while paragraph 197 is a special provision. Where there is in the same statute a particular enactment and also a general one which is embraced in the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment must be taken to effect only such cases within its general language as are not within the provisions of the particular enactment We conclude that the trial judge was correct in classifying dust shields under paragraph 197 of section 8 of the Tariff Law of 1909, and in refusing to classify them under paragraph 141 of the same section of the law. Accordingly, the judgment appealed from will be affirmed in its entirety, without special taxation of costs in either instance.

69. Almeda vs. Florentino, 15 SCRA 514 G.R. No. L-23800 December 21, 1965 There is nothing in Rep. Act 2709 that indicates any intention on the part of the Legislature to repeal, alter, or modify in any way the provisions of section 14 of the Pasay City charter (Rep. Act No. 183) regarding the appointment of its secretary by the Municipal Board. The power of appointment of Board employees is conferred upon the vice-mayor by section 1 of Republic Act 2709; but the preamble of said section expressly recites that it is an amendment to section 12 of the Pasay charter, and no other. Because repeals by implication are not favored, unless it is manifest that the legislature so intended (U.S. vs. Palacio, 33 Phil. 216; Lichauco vs. Apostol, 44 Phil. 138); and since courts are duty bound to adopt a construction that will give effect to every part of a statute, if at all possible, following the maxim "ut magis valeat quam pereat" ("that construction [is to be] sought which gives effect to the whole of the statute-its every word", Tamayo vs. Gsell, 35 Phil. 953, 980), there is no alternative but to interpret the charter as the lower court has done, i.e., limiting the power of the ViceMayor under section 12 (as amended) to the appointment of all the employees of the Board other than the Secretary, who is to be appointed by the Board itself, as specifically prescribed by section 14 of the Pasay city charter.

What is the rule regarding conflicting provisions of different statutes? 70. Laxamana v. Baltazar (GR L-5955, 19 September 1952) In July 1952 the mayor of Sexmoan, Pampanga, was suspended, vice-mayor Jose T. Baltazar,assumed office as mayor by virtue of section 2195 of the Revised Administrative Code. However, theprovincial governor, acting under section 21(a) of the Revised Election Code (RA 180), with the consentof the provincial board appointed Jose L. Laxamana, as mayor of Sexmoan, who immediately took thecorresponding official oath. Thus, the quo warranto petition.The Supreme Court dismissed the quo warranto petition with costs. Section 21(a) derived from Section 2180; supplements, not repeal, Section 219 . Section 2195 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that upon the occasion of the absence,suspension, or other temporary disability of the Mayor, his duties shall be discharged by the Vice-Mayor,or if there be no Vice-Mayor, by the councilor who at the last general election received the highest number of votes. Section 21(a) of the Revised Election Code provides that whenever a temporary vacancy in any elective local office occurs, the same shall be filled by appointment by the President if itis a provincial or city office, and by the provincial governor, with the consent of the provincial board, if itis a municipal office. The portion of Section 21(a) relating to municipal offices was 37 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

taken from section2180 of the Revised Administrative Code. Thus, when the office of municipal president (now mayor)became permanently vacant, the vice- president stepped into the office. Likewise, when the municipal president is suspended, the vice-president takes his place by virtue of Section 2195. Sections 2180 and2195, thus, supplemented each other. It must also be noted that paragraph (a) of section 2180 applied to municipal offices in general, other than that of the municipal president. Contemporaneous and practical interpretation of re-enacted statute. Where a statute has received a contemporaneous and practical interpretation and the statute as interpreted is re-enacted, the practical interpretation is accorded greater weight than it ordinarily receives, and is regarded as presumptively the correct interpretation of the law. The rule here is based upon the theory that the legislature is acquainted with the contemporaneous interpretation of a statute, especially when made by an administrative body or executive officers charged with the duty of administering or enforcing the law, and therefore impliedly adopts the interpretation upon re-enactment. The incorporation of Section 2180 of the Revised Administrative Code as Section 21(a) of the Revised Election Law did not have the effect of enlarging its scope, to supersede or repeal section 2195,what with the presumption against implied repeals. Particular over general. Even disregarding their origin, the allegedly conflicting sections, could be interpreted in the light of the principle of statutory construction that when a general and a particular provision are inconsistent the latter is paramount to the former (Sec. 288, Act 190). Where one statute deals with a subject in general terms, and another deals with a part of the same subject in a more detailed way, the two should be harmonized if possible; but if there is any conflict, the latter will prevail, regardless of whether it was passed prior to the general statute. In the case at bar, section 2195 referring particularly to vacancy in the office of mayor, must prevail over the general terms of section 21(a) as to vacancies of municipal(local) offices. Otherwise stated, section 2195 may be deemed an exception to or qualification of the latter. Particular not repealed by general statute unless there is manifest intent to repeal such. A special and local statute, providing for a particular case or class of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its terms, provisions and applications, unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest, although the terms of the general act are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law. It is a canon of statutory construction that a later statute, general in its terms and not expressly repealing a prior special statute, will ordinarily not affect the special provisions, of such earlier statute. Where there are two statutes, the earlier general broad enough to include the matter provided for in the is special and the other is general creates a presumption that the special is to be considered as remaining an exception to the general, one as a general law of the land, the other as the law of a particular case. Executive Construction given weight by Court. The contemporaneous construction placed upon the statute by the executive officers charged with its execution deserves great weight in the courts. In the case at bar, the Department of the Interior and the office of Executive Secretary who are charged with the supervision of provincial and municipal governments, even after the Revised Election Code was enacted, have consistently held that in case of the suspension or other temporary disability of the mayor, the vice-mayor shall, by operation of law, assume the office of the mayor, and if the vice- mayor is not available, the said office shall be discharged by the first councilor

71. Butuan Sawmill v. City of Butuan (GR L-21516, 29 April 1966) Taxation of franchise beyond citys taxation power. The Local Autonomy Act did not authorize the City of Butuan to tax the franchised business of Butuan Sawmill (see Section 2, Act 2264). The inclusion of the franchised business of the Butuan Sawmill, Inc. by the city of Butuan within the coverage of the questioned taxing ordinances is beyond the broad power of taxation of the city under its charter; nor can the power therein granted be taken as an authority delegated to the city to amend or alter the franchise, since its charter did not 38 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

expressly nor specifically provide any such power. It must be noted that the franchise was granted by act of the legislature on 18June 1949 while the citys charter was approved on 15 June 1950. Earlier special over the latter general. the terms of the general broad enough to include the matter provided for in the s is special and the other is general creates a presumption that the special is to be considered as remaining an exception to the general, one as a general law of the land, the other as the law of a particular case Construction must consider other provisions of the same act; and its effects. Subparagraph (j) of the section 2 (RA 2264) specifically withholds the imposition of taxes on persons paying franchise tax. Further, the citys interpretation of the provision would result in double taxation against the business of the franchisee because the internal revenue code already imposes a franchise tax. The logical construction of section 2 (d) of RA 2264, that would not nullify section 2 (j) of the same Act, is that the local government may only tax electric light and power utilities that are not subject to franchise taxes, unless the franchise itself authorizes additional taxation by cities or municipalities. Ordinance 104 an invalid exercise of police power. The passage of ordinance 104, prohibiting the disconnection of any electrical wire connected to any consumers building with the power plant, without the consent of the consumer, except in case of fire, clear and positive danger to residents, or order of the authorities, is an unwarranted exercise of power for the general welfare The ordinance compels the electric company to keep supplying electric current to a company even if the latter does not pay the bills thereof, and to that extent deprives the company of its property without due process. How the general welfare would be promoted under the ordinance has neither been explained nor justified. The general welfare clause was not intended to vent the ire of the complaining consumers against the franchise holder, because the legislature has specifically lodged jurisdiction, supervision and control over public services and their franchises in the Public Service Commission, and not in the City of Butuan.

72. Arayata vs. Joya, 51 PHIL 654 G.R. No. L-28067 March 10, 1928

What is the rule in case of conflict between a special provision of a general law and a general provision of a special law? 73. City of Manila vs. Teotico, 2 SCRA 267 G.R. No. L-23052 January 29, 1968 On January 27, 1958, Teotico was at the corner of the Old Luneta and P. Burgos Avenue, Manila, within a "loading and unloading" zone, waiting for a jeepney. As he stepped down from the curb to board the jeepney he hailed, and took a few steps, he fell inside an uncovered and unlighted catch basin or manhole on P. Burgos Avenue. Due to the fall, Teotico suffered injuries. Teotico filed with the CFI Mla complaint against the City which dismissed the same. On appeal, CA sentenced the City of Manila to paydamages. WON the City of Manila have control or supervision over P. Burgos Ave making it responsible forthe damages suffered by Teotico. Decision affirmed. In its answer to the complaint, the City, alleged that "the streets aforementioned were and have been constantly kept in good condition and manholes thereof covered by the defendant City and the officers concerned" Thus, the City had, in effect, admitted that P. Burgos Avenue was and is under its control and supervision. Under Article 2189 CC, it is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach that the defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or municipality from which responsibility is exacted. What said article requires is that the province, city or municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road. Even if P. Burgos Avenue were, therefore, a national highway, this circumstance would not necessarily detract from the City's "control or supervision." 39 | S t a t u t o r y C o n s t r u c t i o n A t t y . A g n e s S a n t o s [ j o n a m a y A L C A Z A R ]

XI. Mandatory and Directory Statutes

XII. Prospective and Retroactive Statutes

XIII. Amendment, Revision, Codification and Repeal 74. Tac-an vs. CA, 137 SCRA 803 (G.R. No. L-62251 July 29, 1985)

75. Villegas v. Subido (GR L-31711, 30 September 1987) Villegas v. Subido [GR L-31711, 30 September 1971] The Revised Administrative Code distinguishes one in that category from an officer to designate those whose duties, not being of a clerical or manual nature, may be considered to involve the exercise of discretion in the performance of the functions of government, whether such duties are precisely defined by law or not. In the case at hand, the Assistant and City Treasurer is an officer, not an employee. The principle, that undue interference with the power and prerogatives of a local executive is sought to be avoided considering the City Mayors primary responsibility is for efficient governmental administration, was announced in connection with the appointment of a department head, the chief of police, who necessarily must enjoy the fullest confidence of the local executive, one moreover whose appointment is expressly vested in the city mayor. The principle therein announced does not extend as far as the choice of an assistant city treasurer whose functions do not require that much degree of confidence, not to mention the specific grant of such authority to the President. Implied repeals not favored; Standard to determine repeal. Repeals by implication are not favored and will not be so declared unless it be manifest that the legislature so intended. It is necessary then before such a repeal is deemed to exist that it be shown that the statutes or statutory provisions deal with the same subject matter and that the latter be inconsistent with the former. There must be a showing of repugnancy clear and convincing in character. The language used in the latter statute must be such as to render it irreconcilable with what had been formerly enacted. An inconsistency that falls short of that standard does not suffice. What is needed is a manifest indication of the legislative purpose to repeal. Subsequent general statute does not repeal a special enactment unless intent is manifest. A subsequent statute, general in character as to its terms and application, is not to be construed as repealing a special or specific enactment, unless the legislative purpose to do so is manifest. Generalia specialibus non derogant. This is so even if the provisions of the latter are sufficiently comprehensive to include what was set forth in the special act. At any rate, inthe event harmony between provisions of this type in the same law or in two laws is impossible, the specific provision controls unless the statute, considered in its entirety, indicates a contrary intention upon the part of the legislature. A general law is one which embraces a class of subjects or places and does not omit any subject or place naturally belonging to such class, while a special act is one which relates to particular persons or things of a class.

XIV. Practical Applications

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