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In construing an ambiguous statute, the Courts will

presume that it was the intention of the legislature
to enact a valid, sensible and just law, and one
which should change the prior law no further than
may be necessary to effectuate the specific purpose
of the act in question
Construction should be in harmony with this
assumption whenever possible
But presumptions cannot prevail against the clear
and explicit terms of the law


Against Unconstitutionality
Against Injustice
Against Implied Repeals
Against Ineffectiveness
Against Absurdity
Against Violation of International Law

Presumption against Unconstitutionality

Laws are presumed constitutional. To justify

nullification of a law, there must be a clear and
unequivocal breach of the constitution, not a
doubtful and argumentative implication.
A law shall not be declared invalid unless the
conflict with the constitution is clear beyond
reasonable doubt.


Aris (Phils) Inc. vs. NLRC, GR No. 90501, August 5, 1991

Hon. Alfredo S. Lim vs. Hon. Felipe G. Pacquing and
Associated Development Corporation, G.R. No. 115044,
January 27, 1995
Teofisto Guingona Jr. and Dominador Cepeda Jr. vs. Hon.
Vetino Reyes and Associated Development Corporation, G.R.
No. 117263, January 27, 1995 (same as Lim)
Jovencio Lim and Teresita Lim, petitioners vs. The People of
the Philippines, The RTC Quezon City, Branch 217, the City
Prosecution of Quezon City and Wilsom Cham, G.R. No.
149276, September 27, 2002

Presumption Against Injustice

The law should never be interpreted in such a way as to

cause injustice as this is never within the legislative
intent, for we presume the good motives of the
legislature to render justice.
Law and justice are inseparable. Some laws while
generally valid may seem arbitrary when applied in a
particular case because of its peculiar circumstances.
In such situation, we are not bound to apply them just
the same in slavish obedience to the language. Instead,
we should finda a balance between the word and the
will that justice may be done even as the law is obeyed


Karen E. Salvacion vs. Central Bank of the

Philippines, G.R. No. 94723, August 21, 1997
Carlos Alonzo and Casimira Alonzo vs. IAC and
Tecla Padua, G.R. No. L-72873, May 28, 1987

Presumption against Implied Repeals

Repeals of laws by implications is not favored and

that courts must generally assume their congruent
The two laws must be absolutely incompatible, and
clear finding thereof must surface, before the
interference of implied repeal may be drawn.
Every statute must be so interpreted and brought
into accord with other laws as to form a uniform
system of jurisprudence.

Legislature is presumed to know the existing laws

not to have enacted conflicting statutes. Hence, all
doubts must be resolved against any implied
All efforts should be exerted in order to harmonize
and give effect to all laws in the subject.
The language of the latter statute must be such as
to render it irreconcilable with what had been
formerly enacted.


Achilles C. Berces, Jr. vs. Hon. Executive Secretary

Teofisto Guingona Jr. et. al., G.R. No. 112099,
February 21, 1995
Antonio A. Mecano vs. Commission on Audit, G.R.
No. 103982, December 11, 1992
GSIS vs. City Assessor of IloIlo City et. al. G.R. No.
147192, June 27, 2006

Presumption against Ineffectiveness

It is presumed that legislature intends to impart to

its enactments such as meaning as will render them
operative and effective, and to prevent persons
from eluding r defeating them.
In case of doubts or obscurity, the construction will
be such as to carry out those objects.
CASE: Danilo E. Paras vs. COMELEC, G.R. No.
123169, November 4, 1996

Presumption Against Absurdity

Statutes must receive a sensible construction such as
will give effect to the legislative intention so as to
avoid an unjust or absurd conclusion.
Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Esso Standard
Eastern Inc. and the Court of Tax Appeals, G.R. Nos.
28502-03, April 18, 1989
Cesario Ursua vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
112170, April 10, 1996

Presumption Against Violation of

International Law

Pursuant to the Constitutional provision that the state

adopts the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the land and
adheres to the policy of peace, equity, justice,
freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations.



Intrinsic Aids

Those aids of construction found within the statute:

The parts of the statute:


of body
Chapter and section headings
Punctuation and interpretation clause


Miriam Defensor Santiago, et. al. vs. COMELEC,

Jesus Delfin, Alberto Pedrosa and Lorna Pedrosa,
G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997
Florencio Eugenio vs. Executive Secretary Franklin
M. Drilon, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
and Prospero Palmiano, G.R. No. 109404, January
22, 1996
The People of the Philippines vs. Hon. Vicente B.
Echavez, Jr. et. al, G.R. Nos. L-47757-61, January
28m, 1980

Extrinsic Aids

Aids of construction from outside sources, meaning

outside of the four corners of the statute
Extrinsic aids are only resorted to after availing all
the intrinsic aids and still there remain some
ambiguity in the statute.

of the enactment of the statute

Opinions and rulings of officials of the government
called upon to execute or implement administrative


construction by executive officers

Actual proceedings of the legislative body
Individual statements by members of congress
Statement by the author of the law
Reports and recommendations of legislative committees
Public policy
Judicial construction
Construction by the bar


Commissioner of Customs vs. Esso Standard Eastern, Inc.

G.R. No. l-28329, August 7, 1975
Misael P. Vera as CIR and Fair Trade Board vs. Hon.
Serafin Cuevas, Judge of CGI Manila, et. al, G.R. No. L33693-94 May 31, 1979
Philippine Association of Free Labor Union vs. BLR,
G.R. No. L-43760, August 21, 1976
Cecilio de Villa vs. CA, G.R. No. 87416, April 8m 1991
National Police Commission vs. Hon. Judge Salvador de
Guzman, Jr. et. al. G.R. No. 106724, February 9, 1994
CASCO Philippine Chemical Co. Inc. vs. Hon. Pedro
Gimenez, GR. No. L-17931, February 28, 1963