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G.R. No.

L-14526

March 31, 1965

ABOITIZ SHIPPING CORPORATION; CARLOS A. GO THONG & COMPANY; CEBU


NAVIGATION COMPANY, INC.; CEBU-BOHOL FERRY CO., INC.; COROMINAS,
RICHARDS NAVIGATION CO., INC.; HIJOS DE F. ESCANO, INC.; PACIFIC LINES,
INC.; ROYAL LINES, INC.; SOUTHERN ISLAND SHIPPING CORPORATION; SWEET
LINES SHIPPING; VISAYAN TRANSPORTATION CO., INC.; PHILIPPINE STEAM
NAVIGATION CO.; COMPAIA MARITIMA; and GENERAL SHIPPING CO.,
INC., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
THE CITY OF CEBU; FELIPE PAREJA, as City Treasurer of Cebu; THE HON.
SERGIO OSMEA, JR., as Mayor of the City of Cebu, defendants-appellees.
Lichauco, Picazo and Agcaoili for plaintiffs-appellants.
Cebu City Fiscal and Quirico del Mar for defendants-appellees.
MAKALINTAL, J.:
The principal question here is whether or not under its charter, Commonwealth Act No.
58, the City of Cebu may provide by ordinance for the collection of wharfage from
shipping concerns whose vessels dock at the public wharves of piers located in said city
but owned by the National Government. The ordinance, No. 207, was purportedly
enacted by the Municipal Board on August 14, 1956 and approved by the City Mayor on
the following August 27. Plaintiffs paid the wharfage charges under protest since
September 1, 1956 and on May 8, 1957 filed this action in the Court of First Instance of
Manila to have the said ordinance declared void, its enforcement enjoined in so far as
the wharves, docks and other landing places belonging to the National Government
were concerned, and all the amounts thus far collected by defendants refunded to them.
The court a quo dismissed the complaint after trial and the case has come to us on
appeal by plaintiffs.
Appellants have raised some questions of fact, and in particular point out certain events
and circumstances to show that ordinance No. 207 was not and could not have been
enacted, as alleged by appellees, on August 14, 1956. This case, however, may be
decided solely on the legal issue presented by the parties.1wph1.t
The Municipal Board's authority to pass the ordinance is claimed by appellees under
section 17 (w) of the charter of the City of Cebu, which states:

SECTION 17. General powers and duties of the Board.Except as otherwise


provided by law, and subject to the conditions and limitations thereof, the
Municipal Board shall have the following legislative powers:
xxx

xxx

xxx

(w) To fix the charges to be paid by all watercrafts landing at or using public
wharves, docks, levees, or landing places.
The lower court ruled upholding appellees' contention in this respect, that in using the
terms "public wharves, docks, levees, or landing places," the legislature made no
distinction between those owned by the National Government and those owned by the
City of Cebu and that consequently both fall within the scope of the power granted.
Appellants assail this construction as erroneous, first in the light of the generally
accepted meaning of "public wharf" as it may have a bearing on the right or authority to
charge wharfage and, secondly, in view of other related provisions of the same city
charter.
The word "public", as employed to describe a wharf, does not refer to its ownership
either by the National Government or by a province or municipality. It denotes rather the
nature of its use. Thus public wharves have been held to be those used generally by the
public, free of charge or for compensation, while a private wharf is one whose owner or
lessee has exclusive enjoyment or use thereof (Hamilton v. Portland State Pier Site
District, 112 A. 836). Piers, or landing places and wharves may be private or they may
be in their nature, public, although the property may be in an individual owner, where
the latter is under obligation to concede to others the privilege of landing their goods or
of mooring their vessels there, upon payment of a reasonable compensation as
wharfage (Dutton v. Strong, 17 Law Ed. 29, 1 Black 35, 66 U.S. 339). So a wharf may
be public whether it belongs to the National Government, to a municipal corporation or
to a private individual or concern.
Assuming the public character of a wharf by reason of its availability for public use, the
right to impose wharfage dues rests on a different basis that of ownership. For
wharfage is a charge against the vessel by way of rent or compensation for its being
allowed to lie alongside a wharf for the purpose of loading or unloading freight (Phil.
Sugar Centrals Agency vs. Insular Collector of Customs, 51 Phil. 131, citing
Parkersburg and Ohio River Transportation Co. vs. City of Parkersburg, 27 Law Ed.
584) and, of course, for the use of the artificial facilities offered for that purpose (City of
Shreveport vs. Red River and Coast Line, 55 Am. Rep. 504). That the right to charge
wharfage is based on ownership has been impliedly recognized by this Court
in Province of Mindoro v. Cruz, 74 Phil. 108, as follows: "... the subsequent classification

of the port of Calapan as a national port did not, and was not intended to, divest the
province of Mindoro of its part ownership of the wharf and, accordingly, of its right to
collect wharfage for its use as it had theretofore done"; and "not until its complete
ownership has become vested in the National Government by the mode of transfer
provided by law may the province of Mindoro be divested of this right."
Under the foregoing test the right to collect the wharfage in question here belongs to the
National Government, as in fact it has always collected the same from appellants. It is
unreasonable to conclude that the legislature, simply because it employed the term
"public wharves" in section 17 (w) of the charter of the City of Cebu, thereby authorized
the latter to collect wharfage irrespective of the ownership of the wharves involved. The
National Government did not surrender such ownership to the city; and there is no
justifiable ground to read into the statute an intention to burden shipowners, such as
appellants, with the obligation of paying twice for the same purpose.
Legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole
and not of an isolated part or a particular provision alone. This is a cardinal rule of
statutory construction. For taken in the abstract, a word or phrase might easily convey a
meaning quite different from the one actually intended and evident when the word or
phrase is considered with those with which it is associated. Thus an apparently general
provision may have a limited application if viewed together with other provisions.
Section 17 (w) of the charter of the City of Cebu is a case in point. It authorizes the
Municipal Board to fix the charges to be paid by all watercrafts landing at or
using public wharves, docks, levees, or landing places. There is indeed no distinction
therein between public wharves owned by the National Government and those owned
by the city itself. But the subsection immediately preceding (v) impliedly establishes
such a distinction. It empowers the Municipal Board "to provide for the construction and
maintenance, and regulate the use, of public landing places, wharves, piers, docks and
levees." It seems fairly evident that when the lawmaking body used the term "public
wharves, etc." in subsection 2, it meant to refer to those mentioned in the preceding
subsection, namely, the "public wharves, etc." constructed and therefore owned by the
City of Cebu. Section 30 of the charter has a similar bearing on the question, in granting
to the City Engineer "the care and custody of all public docks, wharves, piers, levees,
and landing places, when erected" undoubtedly referring to those constructed and
owned by the city. For in so far as those belonging to the National Government are
concerned they remain under the exclusive control, direction and management of the
Bureau of Customs, according to section 1142 of the Revised Administrative Code. And
appellants have accordingly been paying to the National Government fees for the use of
its wharves in Cebu, pursuant to law, particularly Republic Act No. 1371 which took
effect on July 1, 1955 and was later on embodied in the new Tariff and Customs Code.

The court a quo ruled that Section 17 (w) of the city charter is "plainly evincive of the
power to tax for revenue purposes," and therefore the wharfage charges imposed by
ordinance pursuant thereto are proper even if the amounts actually collected are much
more than what may be justified as license fees under the police power of regulation of
"shipping offices" granted under section 17 (1) of the same charter. The power to tax is
an attribute of sovereignty and for it to be exercised by a municipal corporation requires
a clear delegation of the power by means of charter grant or by a general enabling
statute. The power is not inherent in a municipal corporation (Saldaa vs. City of Iloilo,
55 O.G. 10267), and if there is any doubt as to whether or not such power has been
delegated to it the doubt must be resolved negatively (We Wa Yu vs. City of Lipa, 54
O.G. 4055).
But even if the wharfage dues authorized under Section 17(w) be considered as taxes
for revenue, such authority nevertheless is limited to public wharves, docks, levees and
other landing places belonging to the City of Cebu and not to those owned by the
National Government under the exclusive supervision of the Bureau of Customs.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the judgment appealed from is reversed; Ordinance
No. 207 of the City of Cebu is declared null and void, and appellees are ordered to
refund to appellants all amounts collected thereunder and to refrain from making such
collection. Costs against appellees.

ABOITIZ SHIPPING CORPORATION V. CITY OF CEBU


ABOITIZ SHIPPING CORPORATION V. CITY OF CEBU
FACTS: Ordinance No. 207 was passed by the Municipal Board of Cebu, requiring the
shipping concerns whose vessels dock at the public wharves of piers located in said city
but owned by the National Government to pay for wharfage. Aboitiz Shipping
Corporation paid the wharfage charges under protest. The petitioner questioned the
validity of the said ordinance contending that the said ordinance could not have been
enacted because the right to collect wharfage in question belongs to the National
Government. Respondent on the other hand cited Sec 17 (w) of the Charter of Cebu
which gives the Municipal Board the power xxx To fix the charges to be paid by all
watercrafts landing at or using public wharves, docks, levees, or landing places. They
further contest that the legislature made no distinction between those owned by the
National Government and those owned by the City of Cebu. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not under its charter, the City of Cebu may provide by ordinance for

the collection of wharfage from shipping concerns whose vessels dock at the public
wharves of piers located in said city but owned by the National Government.
HELD: The City of Cebu may not provide by ordinance for the collection of wharfage
from shipping concerns whose vessels dock at the public wharves of piers located in
said city but owned by the National Government because Sec 17 (w) of the Charter of
Cebu as cited by the respondent in consonance with its preceding section, would refer
only to those public wharves or landing places owned by the City of Cebu and not to
those owned by the National Government under the exclusive supervision of the Bureau
of Customs, according to section 1142 of the Revised Administrative Code. Legislative
intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole and not of an
isolated part or a particular provision alone. This is a cardinal rule of statutory
construction.

G.R. No. L-42935

February 15, 1935

FELIPE REGALADO, petitioner,


vs.
JOSE YULO, Secretary of Justice,
JUAN G. LESACA, Judge of First Instance of Albay,
and ESTEBAN T. VILLAR, respondents.
L.R. Pea for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for respondents.
Respondent Villar in his own behalf.
MALCOLM, J.:
This is an action of quo warranto originally brought in this court to determine the
respective rights of the petitioner Felipe Regalado and one of the respondents, Esteban
T. Villar, to the office of justice of the peace of Malinao, Albay. The issue in the case is
whether or not under the provisions of section 203 of the Administrative Code, as
amended by Act No. 3899, the justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace
appointed prior to the approval of the last mentioned Act who reached the age of sixtyfive years after said Act took effect shall cease to hold office upon reaching the age of
sixty-five years.
The facts as stipulated are principally the following: Felipe Regalado qualified for the
office of justice of the peace of Malinao, Albay, on April 12, 1906. On September 13,

1934, Regalado became sixty-five years of age. As a consequence, shortly thereafter,


the judge of first instance of Albay, acting in accordance with instructions from the
Secretary of Justice, designated Esteban T. Villar, justice of the peace of Tabaco, Albay,
to act as justice of the peace of Malinao, Albay. Regalado surrendered the office to Villar
under protest. On December 17, 1934, Villar qualified as justice of the peace of
Malinao, Albay, and entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office.
The text of section 203 of the Administrative Code, as amended by Act No. 3899, reads
in Spanish, the language in which this Act was enacted by the Philippine Legislature, as
follows:
ART. 203. Nombramiento y distribucion de jueces de paz. El Gobernador
General nombrara, con el consejo y consentimiento del Senado de Filipinas, un
juez de paz y un juez de paz auxilizr para la Ciudad de Baguio y para cada
municipio, township, y distrito municipal da las Islas Filipinas y si el interes
publico asi lo exigiere para cualquier otra division politica de menos importancia
y territorio no organizado en dichas Islas: Entendiendose, Que los jueces de paz
y jueces de paz auxiliares seran nombrados para servir cumplir sesenta y cinco
aos de edad: Entendiendose, ademas, Que los actuales jueces de paz y jueces
de paz auxiliares que al tiempo de la vigencia de esta Ley hayan cumplido
sesenta y cinco aos de edad, cesaran el primero de enero de mil novecientos
treinta y tres en sus cargos; y el Gobernador General, con el consejo y
consentimiento del Senado de Filipinas, hara nuevos nombramientos para cubrir
las vacantes que habran de ocurir por ministerio de esta Ley.
The English version of the same codal section, as amended, reads as follows:
SEC. 203. Appointment and distribution of justices of the peace. One justice of
the peace and one auxiliary justice of the peace shall be appointed by the
Governor-General, with the advise and consent of the Philippine Senate, for the
City of Baguio, and for each municipality, township, and municipal district in the
Philippine Islands, and if the public interests shall so require, for any other minor
political division or unorganized territory in said Islands: Provided, That justices
and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be appointed to serve until they have
reached the age of sixty-five years: Provided, further, That the present justices
and auxiliary justices of the peace who shall, at the time this Act takes effect,
have completed sixty-five years of age, shall automatically cease to hold office
on January first, nineteen hundred and thirty-three; and the Governor-General,
with the advise and consent of the Philippine Senate, shall make new
appointments to cover the vacancies occurring by operation of this Act.

Petitioner Regalado insists that the law is clear and accordingly needs no interpretation.
The meaning of the law according to him is that only those justice of the peace and
auxiliary justices of the peace ceased to hold office who had completed sixty-five years
of age on or before November 16, 1931, when Act No. 3899 took effect. On the other
hand, the Solicitor-General, as attorney for the respondents, admits that the provisions
of the second proviso added to section 203 of the Administrative Code by Act No. 3899,
are not very specific, but that according to the real intention of the law the only sensible
and proper construction that could be place on the proviso in question in that under its
provisions all justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace, whether
appointed prior to the approval of the Act or subsequent thereto, who had completed the
age of sixty-five years of age at the time of the approval of the Act, and those who shall
complete that age thereafter, shall cease to hold office, the former on January 1, 1933,
and the latter at the time they complete that age.
All are agreed that the language which should prevail in the interpretation of Act No.
3899 is Spanish, but that the English text may be consulted to explain the Spanish. The
English text is deficient in that it includes the word "automatically", the equivalent of
which does not appear in the Spanish. Also, in the Administrative Code containing a
compilation of section 203, as amended, the word "office" was omitted after the word
"hold". Finally, the spanish uses the term "al teimpo de la vigencia de esta ley",
translated into English as "at the time this Act takes effect". But the Solicitor-General
insists that the equivalent of the term "al" is "at" and that "at" can be construed as
equivalent to "during".
The Solicitor-General properly invites attention to the history of the law and from that
history would deduce the legislative intention to be effectuated. Let us briefly notice this
point. Originally judges of first instance and justices of the peace had no age limits on
their tenures of office. Eventually, however, the Philippine Legislature enacted Act No.
2347. That law not only provided that judges of first instance shall serve until they have
reached the age of sixty-five years, but it further provided that "... the present judges of
Courts of First Instance ... vacate their positions on the taking effect of this Act: and the
Governor-General, with the advice and consent of the Philippine Commission, shall
make new appointments of judges of the Courts of First Instance ... ." This law was held
valid. (Chanco vs. Imperial [1916], 34 Phil., 329.) Subsequently section 203 of the
Administrative Code, relating to justices of the peace, was amended by section 1 of Act
No. 3107 by adding at the end thereof the following proviso: "... Provided, That justices
and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be appointed to serve until they have reached
the age of sixty-five years." It was held that the law should be given prospective effect
only and was not applicable to justices and auxiliary justices of the peace appointed
before it went into effect. (Segovia vs. Noel [1925], 47 Phil., 543.) Thereafter the matter
again came before the Philippine Legislature and apparently it was in the mind of

certain members of the Legislature to make the law fixing the age limit for justices of the
peace retroactive in nature. At least the bill as introduced in the Senate, and providing:
"Entendiendose, ademas, Que los actuales jueces de paz y jueces de paz auxiliares
que al tiempo de la vigencia de esta Ley hayan cumplido sesenta y cinco aos de edad,
cesaran automaticamente en sus cargos; y el Gobernador General, con el consejo y
consentimiento del Senado de Filipinas, hara nuevos nombramientos para cubrir las
vacantes que habran de ocurrir por ministerio de esta ley," appears to have had this
purpose both because of the langage used and because of what can be gleaned from
the debates on the bill while it was under consideration in the Senate. But when the bill
left the Philippine Legislature it was in a different form, for the word "automaticamente"
had been omitted and instead there was to be found the words "el primero de enero de
mil novecientos treinta y tres".
The Solicitor-General finally points out that the Secretary of Justice has consistently
interpreted the proviso in question as meaning, that all justices of the peace and
auxiliary justices of the peace no matter when appointed who had completed the age of
sixty-five years prior to the approval of the law and those who shall complete that age
thereafter, shall cease to hold office upon their attaining that age. It is of course a
cardinal rule that the practical construction of a statute by the department whose duty it
is to carry it into execution is entitled to great weight. Nevertheless the court is not
bound by such construction and the rule does not apply in cases where the construction
is not doubtful.
The fundamental purpose in enacting Act No. 3899, it is argued, was to correct the
phraseology of the first proviso to section 203 of the Administrative Code added thereto
by Act No. 3107, and to place justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace
on the same footing as regards their cessation from office by reason of age. We are
asked for effectuate this legislative purpose. We would accede if that result was
obtainable by any logical construction of the law whether strict or liberal. But we cannot
reach that result when to do so compels us to rewrite a law and to insert words or
phrases not found in it. If the court should do that it would pass beyond the bounds of
judicial power to usurp legislative power.
The intent of the Legislature to be ascertained and enforced is the intent expressed in
the words of the statute. If legislative intent is not expressed in some appropriate
manner, the courts cannot by interpretation speculate as to an intent and supply a
meaning not found in the phraseology of the law. In other words, the courts cannot
assume some purpose in no way expressed and then construe the statute to
accomplish this supposed intention.

Delving a little more deeply into the meaning of the law as applied to the case of the
petitioner, at the time Act No. 3899 took effect he was one of the "actuales jueces de
paz" (present justices of the peace). Giving the term "al tiempo de la vigencia de la ley"
the ordinary meaning of "at the time this Act takes effect," which was on November 16,
1931, on that date the petitioner was not sixty-five years of age. Proceeding further, the
phrase "hayan cumplido se senta cinco aos de edad", appearing in English as "have
completed sixty-five years of age", is of the past tense and could not regularly be taken
to contemplate the future. Finally the phrase "el primero de enero de mil novecientos
treinta y tres", in English "on January first nineteen hundred and thirty-three", is also a
date in the past, for on that date the petitioner had not yet reached the age of sixty-five.
Before we conclude, let us again return to the consideration of the law and see if it
would be possible under any logical interpretation, to give the law the meaning which
the Government insists it should have. Supposing we give to the phrase "al tiempo de la
vigencia de esta ley" the unusual meaning of "within the time this Act is effective", but
having done so, we then reach the barrier that the petitioner within the time this Act is
effective must have completed sixty-five years of age and cease to hold office on
January 1, 1933. The petitioner having become sixty-five years of age on September
13, 1934, could not be included under a law which required justices of the peace sixtyfive years of age to cease to hold office on January 1, 1933.
For the reasons given, we are of the opinion that the natural and reasonable meaning of
the language used in Act No. 3899 leaves room for no other deduction than that a
justice of the peace appointed prior to the approval of the Act and who completed sixtyfive years of age on September 13, 1934, subsequent to the approval of the Act, which
was on November 16, 1931, and who by the law was required to cease to hold office on
January 1, 1933, is not affected by the said Act. Accordingly it is our judgment that the
respondent Esteban T. Villar be ousted from the office of justice of the peace of Malinao,
Albay, and that the petitioner Felipe Regalado be placed in possession of the same. So
ordered, without special pronouncement as to the costs.

Case of Regalado vs. Yulo


No. 42935 15February1935
FACTS OF THE CASE:
This case was brought about by the action quo warranto to determine the respective
rights of the petitioner Felipe Regalado and one of the respondents, Esteban T. Villar, to
the office of Justice of the peace of Malinao, Albay.

Felipe Regalado qualified for the office of justice of the peace of Malinao, Albay on April
12, 1906. On September 13, 1934 Regalado became 65 yrs old. As a consequence
thereafter the judge of first instance of Albay, acting in accordance w/ instructions from
the Sec of Justice, designated Esteban T. Villar, Justice of the peace of Malinao, Albay.
Regalado surrendered the office to Villar under protest.

ISSUES OF THE CASE:


Whether or not under the provisions of section 203 of the Administrative Code, as
amended by the Act No. 3899, the Justices and auxiliary justices appointed prior to the
approval of the Act No. 3899 who reached the age of 65 yrs after said Act took effect
shall cease to hold office upon reaching the age of 65 yrs.
No, Because justices appointed prior to the approval of the act and who completed 65
yrs of age on September 13 1934, subsequent to the approval of the Act which was on
November 16 1931 and who by law is required to cease to hold office on January 1,
1933 is not affected by the said act.
HELD:
RESPONDENT ESTEBAN VILLAR BE OUSTED FROM THE OFFICE OF JUSTICE OF
THE PEACE OF MALINAO, ALBAY, AND THAT THE PETITIONER FELIPE
REGALADO BE PLACED IN POSSESSION OF THE SAME.
STAT CON LESSON:
The intent of the law is to be ascertained from the words used in its construction. (If
legislative intent is not expressed in some appropriate manner, the courts cannot by
interpretation speculate as to an intent and supply a meaning not found in the
phraseology of the law.)

G.R. No. L-16808

January 3, 1921

ANDRES BORROMEO, plaintiff,


vs.
FERMIN MARIANO, defendant.
Fisher and DeWitt for plaintiff.
Attorney-General Feria for defendant.
MALCOLM, J.:

Quo warranto proceedings have been instituted in this court to determine the right of the
plaintiff and of the defendant to the office of Judge of the Court of First Instance of the
Twenty-fourth Judicial District.
The only facts, and these are undisputed ones, which need be noticed, are the
following: Andres Borromeo was appointed and commissioned as Judge of the Twentyfourth Judicial District, effective July 1, 1914. He duly qualified and took possession of
the office on that date. On February, 25, 1920, he was appointed Judge of the Twentyfirst Judicial District, and Fermin Mariano was appointed Judge of the Twenty-fourth
Judicial District. Judge Borromeo has since the latter date consistently refused to accept
appointment to the Twenty-first Judicial District.
Judges of First Instance are appointed by the Governor-General with the consent of the
Philippine Senate to serve until they reach the age of 65 years. (Adm. Code, secs. 65,
66, 148.) One Judge of First Instance is commissioned for each judicial district, except
the night. (Sec. 154.) The oath of office of the judge is "filed with the clerk of the court to
which the affiant pertains and shall be entered upon its records." (Sec. 128.) Judges of
First Instance may only be detailed by the Secretary of Justice to temporary duty in a
district other than their own for the purpose of trying land registration cases and for
vacation duty. (Sec. 155.) The concluding portion of section 155 of the Administrative
Code, to which particular attention is addressed by the Attorney-General, is, "but
nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a judge of first instance of one district from
being appointed to be judge of another district." A Judge of First Instance can be
removed from office by the Governor-General only if in the judgment of the Supreme
Court sufficient cause shall exist involving serious misconduct or inefficiency in office.
(Sec. 173.)
The cardinal rule of statutory construction requires the court to give effect to the general
legislative intent if that can be discovered within the four corners of the Act. When the
object intended to be accomplished by the statute is once clearly ascertained, general
words may be restrained to it and those of narrower import may be expanded to
embrace it, to effectuate the intent. Along with this fundamental principle is another,
equally well-established, that such a construction is, if possible, to be adopted, as will
give effect to all provision of the statute. (2 Lewis' Sutherland, Statutory Construction,
pp. 662, et seq.; In re Allen [1903], 2 Phil., 630; Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 287.)
Leaving out of consideration for the moment the last part of section 155 of the
Administrative Code, the provisions of the Judiciary Law are plain and unambiguous.
Judges of First Instance are appointed judges of the courts of first instance of the
respective judicial districts of the Philippines Islands. They are not appointed judges of
first instance of the Philippine Islands. They hold these positions of judges of first
instance of definite districts until they resign, retire, or are removed through
impeachment proceedings. The intention of the law is to recognize separate and distinct
judicial offices.

The concluding portion of section 155 of the Administrative Code, although not
beginning with the usual introductory word, "provided," is nevertheless, in the nature of
a proviso, and should be construed as such. The office of a proviso is to limit the
application of the law. It is contrary to the nature of a proviso to enlarge the operation of
the law. It should not be construed so as to repeal or destroy the main provisions of the
statute. A proviso which is directly repugnant to the purview or body of an Act is
inoperative and void. (See generally, 25 R. C. L., pp. 984, et seq.; and specifically, the
leading cases of McKnight vs. Hodge [1909], 55 Wash., 289, 104 Pac., 504, 40 L. R. A.
[N.S.], 1207; McCormick vs. West Duluth [1891], 47 Minn., 272, 50 N.W., 128; Idaho
Power & Light Co. vs. Blomquist [1916], 26 Idaho, 222; 141 Pac., 1083, Ann. Cas. [1916
E], p. 282, where these principles concerning provisos are applied.)
To arrive at a correct decision with reference to the proviso before us, let it first be
recalled that the law is emphatic in its specification that, save when judges of first
instance are detailed to try land registration cases or when assigned to vacation duty,
"no judge of first instance shall be required to do duty in any other district than that for
which he is commissioned." The keyword to the proviso which follows is "appointed."
This word should here be given its usual signification. Many of the decisions follow the
definition of "appoint" found in the Century Dictionary and Encyclopedia. "Appoint" is
there defined as "to allot, set apart, or designate; nominate or authoritatively assign, as
far a use, or to a position or office." All the authorities united in saying that the term
"appoint" is well-known in law and whether regarded in its legal or in its ordinary
acceptation, is applied to the nomination or designation of an individual. Appointment
signifies no more than selection for public office. (4 C. J., 1402, 1404, citing numerous
decisions.)
The effect to be given to the word "appoint" is corroborated by the principles of the law
of public officers. Appointment and qualification to office are separate and distinct
things. Appointment is the sole act of those vested with the power to make it.
Acceptance is the sole act of the appointee. Persons may be chosen for office at
pleasure; there is no power in these Islands which can compel a man to accept the
office. (22 R. C. L. 423.) If, therefore, anyone could refuse appointment as a judge of
first instance to a particular district, when once appointment to this district is accepted,
he has exactly the same right to refuse an appointment to another district. No other
person could be placed in the position of this Judge of First Instance since another rule
of public officers is, that an appointment may not be made to an office which is not
vacant. (29 Cyc., 1373.) In our judgment, the language of the proviso to section 155 of
the Administrative Code, interpreted with reference to the law of public officers, does not
empower the Governor-General to force upon the judge of one district an appointment
to another district against his will, thereby removing him from his district.
Returning again to the principle of statutory construction that a proviso should not be
given a meaning which would tend to render abortive the main portions of the law, it
should further be recalled that judges of first instance are removable only through a
fixed procedure. Moreover, impeachment proceedings, as conducted by the Supreme
Court, may be in the nature of jurisdiction, conferred upon the Supreme Court by

ratification of the Congress of the United States, which, it has uniformly been held,
cannot be diminished. (We make no ruling on this point because unnecessary for the
resolution of the case.) But, certainly, if a judge could be transferred from one district of
the Philippine Islands to another, without his consent, it would require no great amount
of imagination to conceive how this power could be used to discipline the judge or as an
indirect means of removal. A judge who had, by a decision, incurred the ill-will of an
attorney or official, could, by the insistence of the disgruntled party, be removed from
one district, demoted, and transferred to another district, at possibly a loss of salary, all
without the consent of the judicial officer. The only recourse of the judicial officer who
should desire to maintain his self-respect, would be to vacate the office and leave the
service. Unless we wish to nullify the impeachment section of the Administrative Code,
and thus possibly to encroach upon the jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court
by the Organic Law, section 155 must be interpreted so as to make it consistent
therewith.
What we have said is reinforced by the authorities most directly in point. In the early
decision of Marbury vs.Madison ([1803], 1 Cranch, 137), the Supreme Court of the
United States, in unmistakable terms, explained the powers of the Judiciary in enforcing
the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land and held that the President of the
United States had no power to remove a justice of the peace of the District of Columbia
from office. Mr. Chief Justice Marshall said that "When the officer is not removable at
the will of the executive, the appointment is not revocable, and cannot be annulled: it
has conferred legal rights which cannot be resumed. The discretion of the executive is
to be exercised, until the appointment has been made. But having once made the
appointment, his power over the office is terminated, in all cases where, by law, the
officer is not removable by him. The right to the office is then in the person appointed,
and he has the absolute unconditional power of accepting or rejecting it." The great
jurist further or observed that "It is, emphatically, the province and duty of the judicial
department, to say what the law is"
In State of Louisiana vs. Downes ([1869], 21 La. Ann., 490), the Supreme Court of
Louisiana said that a judge of a court could, under the Constitution of that State, only be
removed from office by impeachment, by address of the Legislature, or by proceeding
under the intrusion act. It was held that the appointment and commissioning by the
Governor of the State of a party to an office which has legally been filled, without the
vacancy being first declared according to law, was an absolute nullity.
The Attorney-General brings to our notice an obsolete law which had escaped us, and
which, if any lingering doubts exist, would serve to remove that. This law is Act No. 396,
enacted by the Philippine Commission in 1902. Section 4 thereof, separate and distinct
from the other provisions of the Act, and not tacked on as a proviso, provided that "any
judge of a Court of First Instance . . . may be transferred from one judicial district to
another by order of the Civil Governor, with the advice and consent of the Commission.
Any judge so transferred shall, upon such transfer, cease the performance of judicial
duties in the district to which he was originally appointed, and shall be the regular judge
thereafter in the judicial district to which he as been so assigned." But Act No. 396 was

thrice repealed by the Philippine Legislature; the first time, impliedly by the enactment of
Act No. 2347, the Judiciary Reorganization Act, and subsequently, expressly by the
Administrative Code of 1916 and the Administrative Code of 1917. Instead, also, of
continuing the phraseology of section 4 of Act No. 396, the Legislature merely included
the proviso to which we have alluded. It cannot, therefore, admit of doubt that the
members of the Philippine Legislature had before them the Act of the Philippine
Commission and preferred, not to perpetuate the old law, but to insert language of their
own. The purpose of the Philippine Legislature was clearly to safeguard the interests of
the judiciary, and this laudable purpose, it is for us now to effectuate.
Far more convincing than precedent or argument are great and basic principles long
inherent in popular government intended to create an independent judiciary. A history of
the struggle for a fearless and an incorruptible judiciary prepared to follow the law and
to administer it regardless of consequences, can be perused with ever-recurring benefit.
Since the early days of the Republic, the judicial system in the United States, with
certain exceptions which only served to demonstrate more fully the excellence of the
whole, has been viewed with pride, and confidently relied upon for justice by the
American people. The American people considered it necessary "that there should be a
judiciary endowed with substantial and independent powers and secure against all
corrupting or perverting influences; secure, also, against the arbitrary authority of the
administrative heads of the government." (Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government
in the United States, pp. 17, 142.) It was such a conception of an independent judiciary
which was instituted in the Philippines by the American administration and which has
since served as one of the chief glories of the government and one of the most priceless
heritages of the Filipino people.
The Attorney-General in the argument in support of his motion for reconsideration,
quotes the last preceding sentence and says that he dissents therefrom. The number of
authoritative replies to the proposition advanced by the law officer of the government
relative to the intention to establish an independent judiciary in these Islands, is limited
only by space in which to quote them. Possibly we can do no better than to make our
own the language of Mr. Justice Trent, speaking for a unanimous court, in
Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negro ([1910], 16
Phil., 366, 384), when he said: "This governments in the United States, now possesses
a complete governmental organization, with executive legislative, and judicial
departments, which are exercising functions as independent of each other as the
Federal or State governments." (For the legislative version of the same idea, see
Administrative Code, sec. 17.)
On occasion, the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands has applied the accepted
theory of the division of powers, termed by the United States Supreme Court as "one of
the chief merits of the American system of written constitutional law"
(Kilbourn vs. Thompson [1881], 13 Otto, 168), and has unhesitatingly refused to
interfere with the official acts of the Governor-General or to intrude on the rights and
privileges of the Philippine Legislature (In the Patterson [1902], 1 Phil., 93;
Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros,supra; In re

McCulloch Dick [1918], 38 Phil., 41; U.S. vs. Bull [1910], 15 Phil., 7; U.S. vs. Ten Yu
[1912], 24 Phil., 1; Veloso vs. Boards of Canvassers of Leyte and Samar [1919], 39
Phil., 886.) As an instance of this class of decisions, in Veloso vs. Boards of
Canvassers of Leyte and Samar, supra, this court, in considering the right of the
Philippine Senate to be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its
elective members, said:
The grant of power to the Philippine Senate and the Philippine House of
Representatives, respectively is full, clear, and complete. . . . The judiciary, with
its traditional and careful regard for the balance of powers, must permit this
exclusive privilege of the legislature to remain where the sovereign authority has
placed it. Since, therefore, the Philippine Senate is made the sole judge of the
elections, returns, and qualifications of its elective members, this tribunal neither
can, nor ought, to take jurisdiction of the case.
Although much more reluctantly, and also much more infrequently we are happy to add,
the court has had to defend the judiciary against legislative and executive
encroachment. (Ocampo vs. Cabagis [1910], 15 Phil., 626;In re Guaria [1914], 24
Phil., 37; Barrameda vs. Moir [1913], 25 Phil., 44; and Province of Tarlac vs. Gale
[1913], 26 Phil., 338.) As an instance of the latter class of decisions, in Province of
Tarlac vs. Gale, supra, Mr. Justice Moreland, speaking for the court, said:
The judiciary is one of the coordinate branches of the Government.
(Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco, 16 Phil., 534; United States vs. Bull, 15 Phil., 7.) Its
preservation in its integrity and effectiveness is necessary to the present form of
Government. . . . It is
clear . . . that each department is bound to preserve its own existence if it live up
to the duty imposed upon it as one of the coordinate branches of the
government. Whatever a person or entity ought to do or must do in law, it has the
power to do. This being true, the judiciary has the power to maintain its
existence; and whatever is reasonably necessary to that end, courts may do or
order done. But the right to live, if that is all there is of it, is a very small matter.
The mere right to breathe does not satisfy ambition or produce results.
Therefore, courts have not only the power to maintain their life, but they have
also the power to make that existence effective for the purpose for which the
judiciary was created. They can, by appropriate means, do all things necessary
to preserve and maintain every quality needful to make the judiciary an effective
institution of Government. Courts have, therefore, inherent power to preserve
their integrity, maintain their dignity and to insure effectiveness in the
administration of justice. This is clear; for, if the judiciary may be deprived of any
one of its essential attributes, or if any one of them may be seriously weakened
by the act of any person or official, then independence disappears and
subordination begins. The power to interfere is the power to control, and the
power to control is the power to abrogate. The sovereign power has given life to
the judiciary and nothing less than the sovereign power can take it away or
render it useless. The power to withhold from the courts anything really essential

for the administration of justice is the power to control and ultimately to destroy
the efficiency of the judiciary. Courts cannot, under their duty to their creator, the
sovereign power, permit themselves to be subordinated to any person or official
to which their creator did not itself subordinate them.
A stirring plea has been made by the learned representative of the Government for a
decision which will work for the public welfare. We agree that, under the peculiar
conditions existing in the Philippines, it is sometimes well for a judge not to remain
indefinitely in a particular district. But it is a far cry from this premise to the use of a
method not sanctioned by existing law and savoring of military discipline. Our
conception of good judges has been, and is, of men who have a mastery of the
principles of law, who discharge their duties in accordance with law, who are permitted
to perform the duties of the office undeterred by outside influence, and who are
independent and self-respecting human units in a judicial system equal and coordinate
to the other two departments of government. We are pleased to think of judges as of the
type of the erudite Coke who, three centuries ago, was removed from office because
when asked "if in the future he would delay a case at the King's order," replied: "I will do
what becomes me as a judge."
For the reasons given, we are of opinion that the reasonable force of the language used
in the proviso to section 155 of the Administrative Code taken in connection with the
whole of the Judiciary Law, and the accepted canons of interpretation, and the
principles of the law of public officers, leave from for no other construction than that a
Judge of First Instance may be made a judge of another district only with his consent.
It is our holding that the plaintiff Andres Borromeo is lawfully entitled to the possession
of the office of Judge of the Court of First Instance of the Twenty-Fourth Judicial District.
It is our judgment that the defendant Fermin Mariano shall be ousted from the office of
Judge of the Twenty-fourth Judicial District, and the plaintiff placed in possession of the
same. The motion for reconsideration filed by the Attorney-General is denied. No costs
shall be allowed. Let this be entered as the order of the court. So ordered.
Araullo, Street and Avancea, JJ., concur.
Johnson, J., signed the original decision, but was not present when the motion for
reconsideration was filed and when this decisions was promulgated.

Separate Opinions
VILLAMOR, J., dissenting:
I dissent. The interpretation, which the majority give to the last clause of section 155 of
the Administrative Code, in the sense that it requires the consent of a judge of the Court
of First Instance in order that he may be transferred from one judicial district to another,

is an amendment of the law, an act which should be done only by the legislative branch
of the government. I am not unaware of the possibility that the power of the GovernorGeneral to effect such transfers of Judges of First Instance with the consent of the
Senate may produce as a result the resignation of the judge thus transferred if he does
not accept the transfer. However, this fact should be referred to the legislature in order
that it may amend the law if it sees fit to do so. The provisions of the law being clear, the
court should apply it in the manner and form in which it has been passed by the
legislature, without attempting to attach thereto a condition, as that of the consent of the
judge transferred, which the legislature did not see fit to require.
It is presented that the appointment to a specific position in the Government requires,
among other elements, the acceptance thereof, without which it would not produce any
effect. However, with reference to the transfer of judges a new appointment is made
only to distinguish a permanent transfer from a temporary assignment to sit in another
district, which is forbidden by law, except for the purposes of land registration cases;
and a new oath is taken only to attest the fact that the transfer has been effected and
that the transferred judge has taken possession of the office in the new district for the
purposes of jurisdiction. But, in reality, in this case there is no new employee, there is
not a different office. The transferred judge continues being a judge as much as before
his transfer, holds the same office with all the attributes and powers thereto annexed,
and enjoys the same privileges, with the sole difference as to the place in which
jurisdiction is exercised. In this case, according to the law, the prior consent of the judge
is not necessary in order that he may be transferred to another district, for the good of
the public service, which is the basis of the power to make such transfers, is over and
above the personal interests of every citizen.
It is also contended that the last clause of section 155 is a danger to the independence
of the judiciary. But if this legal provision is considered in relation to section 5 of the
Administrative Code, which presumes that administrative discretion is exercised for the
good of the service and the benefit of the public; and if it is furthermore considered that
the executive power to effect transfers of judges is subject to the approval of a
restraining body, that is, the Senate, it seems, in my opinion, that this legal provision is a
prudent measure tending to protect the interest of good public service.
According to law, the Governor-General has the discretion to make transfers of judges
from one district to another, with the consent of the Senate. Therefore, to the GovernorGeneral and to the Senate, and not to the judges, is the power granted to determine
how such discretion should be exercised. In the case at bar there is not even a single
allegation that such discretion has been abused in disregard of the law, and therefore,
there is no way by which this court may disapprove the transfer of the petitioner deiced
to be effected by the Governor-General in the exercise of the discretionary powers
conferred upon him by law.
If the consent of a judge is an essential requisite to his transfer to another district, it
must also be an essential requisite to his assignment to sit in another district to try land
registration cases or as vacation judge, for in both cases, the same reason exists, that

is, the danger to the independence of the judiciary, which is the foundation of the
majority opinion. The result would be the complete repeal of section 155 of the
Administrative Code through the interpretation given by this court. And an interpretation
leading to such result should be discarded for it is contrary to the doctrines of statutory
construction cited in the majority opinion, to wit: that the court should give effect to the
general intention of the legislator, if it may be gathered from all the viewpoints from
which the law is examined; and that, if possible, that construction should be adopted
which gives effect to all the provisions of the law (2 Lewis' Sutherland, Statutory
Construction, page 662 et seq.; In re Allen [1903], 2 Phil., 630; sec. 207 of the
Administrative Code).
But what is the intention of the legislator in the legal provision now under consideration?
The provisions of the law are clear and it is not necessary either to stretch the
imagination or resort to other jurisdictions, to discover the intention of the legislator.
Section 155 of the Administrative Code provides:
For the purpose of trying land registration cases only, a judge of first instance
may, if the public interests so require, be detailed by the Department Head to
temporary duty in a district other than his own. Save when so detailed or when
assigned to vacation duty, no judge of first instance shall be required to do duty
in any other district than that for which he is commissioned; but nothing herein
shall be construed to prevent a judge of first instance of one district from being
appointed to be judge of another district.
It is admitted by the authorities on the subject that the object of a saving clause of
proviso is (1) to except something from the legal provision in question, or (2) to restrict
the provisions thereof, or (3) to exclude all possible reason for erroneously construing
such provision so as to make it applicable to cases which the legislature did not intend
to include therein.
In whatever sense the proviso in question is interpreted, there is no reason for requiring
the consent of the judge for a temporary or permanent transfer to another district. The
intention of the legislature, as gathered from the provisions of the law, is that no judge
shall be required to render services in another district, except to try land registration
cases or to act as vacation judge, but without prejudice to his being appointed by the
Governor-General as judge of another district.
That discharge is a different thing from transfer is a self-evident proposition requiring no
proof. That a judge appointed to another district may refuse to accept his transfer is not
disputed by anyone. But if he leaves the office by abandonment or resignation, such
result is not a necessary effect of the transfer but of his free will.
The majority decision tries to solve the proposition that if the remedy prayed for is not
granted judges would lose their judicial independence. But we should remember, in this
connection what Judge Cooley, one of the most eminent American jurists, in resolving
the proposition that if it should be held that the Governor cannot be compelled to fulfill

purely ministerial duties, those in possession of legal rights would, in many cases, be
without remedy, said in the case of Sutherland vs. Governor (29 Mich., 329), to wit:
Practically, there are a great many such cases, but theoretically, there are none
at all. All wrongs, certainly, are not redressed by the judicial department. A party
may be deprived of a right by a wrong verdict, or an erroneous ruling of a judge,
and though the error may be manifest to all others than those who are to decide
upon his rights, he will be without redress. A person lawfully chosen to the
Legislature may have his seat given by the house to another, and be thus
wronged without remedy. A just claim against the State may be rejected by the
board of auditors, and neither the governor nor the courts can give relief. A
convicted person may conclusively demonstrate his innocence to the governor,
and still be denied a pardon. In which one of these cases could the denial of
redress by the proper tribunal constitute any ground for interference by any other
authority? The law must leave the final decision upon every claim and every
controversy somewhere, and when that decision has been made, it must be
accepted as correct. The presumption is just as conclusive in favor of executive
action as in favor of judicial.
A case in which the court discussed the proposition that there can be no wrong
whatever without any remedy is that of People vs. Bissell (19 Ill., 229). In that case the
court said:
It is urged upon us, that in a government of laws there must be an adequate
remedy for every wrong, and that where a clear right exists, there must be some
mode of enforcing that right. While human society is governed by so imperfect a
being as man, this can be true only in theory. If we are to compel the Governor or
the legislature to right every wrong which may arise from their omissions of duty,
then surely they must, in order to make this Utopian system perfect, have the
power to compel us to do right in every case. May it not be as well supposed that
we will act perversely, and refuse to perform a duty imposed upon us, to the
injury of the citizen, as that the Governor will do so? In the formation of the
government, equal confidence was rightfully reposed in each department, to
which appropriate and independent duties were assigned.
The proceeding instituted in this case is entitled Quo Warranto, a proceeding for
determining the right of a Judge of First Instance to sit in a determined judicial district.
But there can be no doubt that in this question is involved the power of the GovernorGeneral to appoint Judges of First Instance. While the petition in this case does not
include the Governor-General as party respondent, nevertheless, the judgment of this
court must in the same manner necessarily affect him who authorized the appointment
now in dispute and the appointee, now respondent Judge Fermin Mariano. This
conclusion is inevitable for the case deals with the appointment of a judge made by the
Governor-General in the exercise of his discretional powers. Indeed this court cannot
decide this case by granting the prayer of the petitioner without disapproving the

manner in which this power of the Governor-General has been exercised. Has the court
jurisdiction to do this?
Section 26 of the Jones Act provides, among other things:
The Judges of the Courts of First Instance shall be appointed by the GovernorGeneral, by and with the advice and consent of the Philippine Senate.
In view of this legal provision and of section 155 of the Administrative Code, to maintain
that a Judge of First Instance may not be transferred to another district without his
consent amounts to judicially determining that the Governor-General cannot exercise
the power conferred upon him by law to transfer a judge from one district to another
without the consent of the judge concerned.
The question whether courts possess or do not possess jurisdiction to control the official
acts of the Governor has been raised before many courts of the United States. And this
Supreme Court, in the case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of
Occidental Negros (16 Phil., 366, 387, 400, 402), after examining the various cases in
which this question was raised in the United States, said:
We think that the weight of authority, based upon legal principles and sound
reasoning, supports the proposition that in the United States the supreme courts
of the States do not have jurisdiction to control the official acts of the governor.
For better reasons we conclude that this court has no jurisdiction, either by
mandamus or injunction, to control the official acts of the Governor-General,
inasmuch as we have seen that his duties, powers, and responsibilities are more
comprehensive than those conferred upon any State Governor. When the
Philippine legislative body confers upon the Governor-General powers and
duties, it does so for the reason that he is in a better position to know the needs
of the country than any other member of the executive department, and with the
full confidence that he will perform such duties, under his official oath, as his best
judgment dictates. If this had not been the intention of the legislature, they could
have placed the duty upon some other official of the executive department. It no
doubt is sometimes very necessary for the Governor-General to perform certain
important executive duties without delay, and should this court attempt to
distinguish between purely ministerial and discretionary duties, conferred upon
him by law, and attempt to determine in each case which are purely ministerial,
which are political, or which are discretionary, the Governor-General, to that
extent would become subservient to the judiciary. To avoid this is why the three
great coordinate departments of the Government were created and made
independent of each other. President McKinley in creating civil government in this
country took into consideration these fundamental principles of separate and
independent departments, which have been demonstrated to be essential to a
republican form of government, and conferred upon the Governor-General, as
the Executive of the Philippine Islands, the power to execute the laws according
to his best judgment, holding him responsible to the President of the United

States, without interference on the part of the judiciary. In so doing he reposed in


the Executive of this country great confidence, realizing that he, the Executive,
acting independently of the judiciary, would be in a better position to carry out the
great underlying principles of American institutions for the peace and happiness
of the inhabitants of this country. The President realized that the final decision of
every question in controversy must be left somewhere, and when such decision
has been made it must be accepted as correct. The presumption is just as
conclusive in favor of executive action, as to its correctness and justness, as it is
in favor of judicial action.
In another part of this decision this court added:
Inasmuch as the three coordinated departments of the Government, the
executive, legislative, and judicial, have been established and are operating, as
we have said, as independently of each other as the same three coordinated
branches created under the constitution of the Federal and State governments
are operating in the American Union, and in view of the fact that there have been
conferred upon the Chief Executive of these Islands more extensive powers,
duties, and responsibilities than have been conferred upon the governors of the
various States of the Union, we think the reason for the holdings of the courts of
the United States, which have passed upon this question are worthy of
consideration. We might here add that we have no doubt that the present
incumbent of the office of Governor-General, a man who is ready and willing at
all times to render obedience to the law, would follow the mandate of this court,
but such willingness to be governed by the order of this court would not of itself
give us jurisdiction. Nor should he manifest (which he has not done) his intention
to not obey the mandate of this court, this would not be sufficient reason for us to
asbtain from requiring him to comply with such mandate in case we have
jurisdiction.
And in the dispositive part of the decision the court among other things said: "That we
can not and should not entertain a complaint which seeks to control or interfere with the
official duties of the Governor-General."
In the case of Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield (16 Phil., 534), this court,
adhering to the same principle announced in the case of Severino vs. GovernorGeneral and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, supra, established the following
doctrine:
In a government of separate and independent departments, executive,
legislative, and judicial, with separate and distinct functions, one department will
not attempt to interfere with the performance of the exclusive duties of another.
To permit such an interference would destroy the independence of the separate
departments and would make one subject to the control of the others. For the
judiciary to interfere, for the purpose of questioning the manner of exercising the
legal and political duties of the chief executive head of the Government or to

control the action of the legislative department, would, in effect, destroy the
independence of the departments of the Government and would make all
departments subject to the ultimate control of the judicial. Such a conclusion or
condition was never contemplated by the organizers of the Government.
In deciding the present petition, ordering that the respondent judge Fermin Mariano
should be ousted from the office of Judge of the Twenty-fourth District and that
possession thereof should be surrendered to the petitioner Andres Borromeo, has not
this court judicially determined that the appointment of the former to said district and
that of the latter to the twenty-first, both made by the Governor-General, with the advice
and consent of the Philippine Senate, are not well made and are contrary to the
immovability of judges and should therefore be annulled by this court? What does the
decision of the majority mean but that it is a real intrusion in the exercise of the powers
conferred upon the executive and legislative departments of the Government? And is
this not openly contrary to the doctrines established in the decisions cited of this
Supreme Court itself, where the much-vaunted independence of the executive,
legislative, and judicial departments is proclaimed?
The petition is denied.
The motion for reconsideration should be granted.