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1. How are statutes read?

A statute must be read and construed in its entirety. Each provision of the
statute should be construed in relation to the other provisions of the statute.
Parts of a statute are not to be viewed in isolation because a statute is
passed and approved as a whole.

2. How do we ascertain legislative intent?

In trying to ascertain legislative intent, courts should find be guided by

intrinsic aids, or those found in the law itself.
There is no need to make use of extrinsic aids, or those found outside of the
written language of law, if the legislative intent could be ascertained by
merely making use of the intrinsic aid.

3. Explain optima statute interpretatix est ipsum statutum (the best interpreter
of the statute is the statute itself).

In the construction of statutes, what is of prevailing importance is to discover

the legislative intent why the law is enacted.
The intent is primarily determined from the language of the statute.
It is to be presumed that the purpose of the legislature is to make every part
of the statute effective.

4. Explain ut res magis quam pereat.

This means that it is not enough that a statute should be given effect as a
whole but that effect should be given to each of the provisions in the statute.
This rule applies to amendments because it is presumed that the legislature,
in making changes in the law, finds that there is a necessity for said

5. How to give effect to conflicting provisions?

Each provision in a statute is inserted for a definite reason.

The courts have the duty to reconcile or harmonize so far as practicable the
various parts and provisions of a statute, including the conflicting provisions
so as to make them consistent, harmonious and sensible.

6. How to apply two different statutes that are contrary?

Where two different statutes of different dates and of contrary tenor are of
equal theoretical application to a particular case, the statute of later date

The statute of a later date is presumed to be the latest expression of

legislative will on subject.

7. Explain generalia specialibus non derogant.

Special provisions prevail over the general provisions.

However, if it is possible to harmonize the general and special provisions,
said rule shall not apply.
Special provisions prevail regardless of the positions it occupies in the
statute, and whether t comes earlier or later than the general one. The
former must prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly than a
general statute does.

8. What are the exceptions to the rule that special provisions prevail over the
general provisions?

The general law prevails over the special law when it treats the subject in
particular and the special law refers to it in general.
The general law prevails over the special law when the legislature intended
the general enactment to cover the whole subject and to repeal all prior laws
inconsistent therewith.

9. Explain pari materia rule.

Under this rule, all statutes relating to the same subject, or having the same
general purpose, should be read and construed together as if they
constituted one law.
This rule is founded on the assumption that in enacting a law, the legislature
has in mind the previous statutes relating to the same subject matter, and in
the absence of any express repeal or amendment the new statute is deemed
enacted in accordance with the legislative policy embodied in the previous
statutes that it enacted.

10.What are the three qualifications for pari material rule to apply?

If two or more statutes on the same subject were enacted at different times
and under different conditions and circumstances, their interpretation should
be in accordance with the circumstances or conditions peculiar to each
(distingue tempra et concordabis jura).
A statute will not be construed as repealing prior act or acts on the same
subject unless the new law is evidently intended to all prior laws on the
In case of doubt, the doubt will be resolved against implied amendment or
repeal and in favour of harmonization of all laws on the subject.

11.What is a reenacted statute?

A re-enacted statute is a statute, which re-enacts a previous statute.

In re-enacting the provisions of a previous statute, it is presumed that the
legislature has the intention of adopting the construction and the language of
the previous act.

12.What are adopted statutes?

Adopted statutes are those which are patterned after, or copied from the
statute of another country.
For purposes of construing an adopted statute, our courts will necessarily be
guided by the interpretation and construction of the courts of the country
from which such statute is taken.

13.Common law principle v. a statutory provision.

In case of conflict between a common law principle and a statutory provision,

the latter prevails.

14.Statutory law v. equity.

Equity is justice outside legality. It applies only in the absence of and never
against statutory law or judicial rules of procedure.
Equity follows the law but where the law gives a particular remedy and that
remedy is bounded and circumscribed by particular rules, it would be
improper for the court to take it up where the law leaves it and to extend it
further than the law allows.
Principles of equity cannot be applied if there is a provision of law specifically
applicable to a case.

15.Presumption of implied repeals.

Implied repeals are not legally presumed in the absence of a clear and
unmistakable showing of such intentions.