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115 Phil 657 People v.

ManantanGR L-14129, 31 July 1962 (5 SCRA 684)Facts: In an information filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan in the Court of F irstInstance (CFI) of that Province, Guillermo Manantan was charged with a viola tion of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. A preliminary investigation con ducted by saidcourt resulted in the finding of a probable cause that the crime c harged was committedby the defendant. Thereafter, the trial started u pon defendant s plea of not guilty, thedefense moved to dismiss the information on the ground th at as justice of the peace,the defendant is not one of the officers enumerated i n Section 54 of the RevisedElection Code. The lower court denied the motion to d ismiss, holding that a justice of the peace is within the purview of Section 54. A second motion was filed by defensecounsel who cited in support thereof the de cision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in Peoplevs. Macaraeg, where it was held tha t a justice of the peace is excluded from theprohibition of Section 54 of the Re vised Election Code. Acting on various motionsand pleadings, the lower court dis missed the information against the accused upon theauthority of the ruling in th e case cited by the defense. Hence, the appeal by theSolicitor General. Issue: Whether the justice of the peace was excluded from the coverage of Section 54 of theRevised Election Code Held: Under the rule of Casus omisus pro omisso habendus est, a person, object or thin gomitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally. Th e maxim casus omisus can operate and apply only if and when the omission has beenclearly established. The application of the rule of casus omisus does not proceed from the mere fact that a case is criminal in nature, but rather from a reasonable ce rtaintythat a particular person, object or thing has been omitted from a legisla tive enumeration.Substitution of terms is not omission. For in its most extensiv e sense the term'judge' includes all officers appointed to decide litigated ques tions while acting in thatcapacity, including justice of the peace, and even jur ors, it is said, who are judges of facts. The intention of the Legislature did n ot exclude the justice of the peace from itsoperation. In Section 54, there is n o necessity to include the justice of peace in theenumeration, as previously mad e in Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code, asthe legislature has avail ed itself of the more generic and broader ter m judge , including therein all kinds of judges, like judges of the courts of First Instan ce, judges of the courts of Agrarian Relations, judges of the courts of Industri al Relations, and justices of the peace. The Supreme Court set aside the dismiss al order entered by thetrial court and remanded the case for trial on the merits .