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Pastor Endencia vs Saturnino David

November 6, 2010 93 Phil. 699

Political Law The Judiciary Te Legislature Separation of Powers
Statutory Construction Who May Interpret Laws
Saturnino David, the then Collector of Internal Revenue, ordered the taxing of
Justice Pastor Endencias and Justice Fernando Jugos (and other judges) salary
pursuant to Sec. 13 of Republic Act No. 590 which provides that
No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the
Philippines shall be considered as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is
hereby declared not to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the
Constitution or by law.
The judges however argued that under the case of Perfecto vs Meer, judges
are exempt from taxation this is also in observance of the doctrine of separation of
powers, i.e., the executive, to which the Internal Revenue reports, is separate from
the judiciary; that under the Constitution, the judiciary is independent and the
salaries of judges may not be diminished by the other branches of government; that
taxing their salaries is already a diminution of their benefits/salaries (see Section 9,
Art. VIII, Constitution).
The Solicitor General, arguing in behalf of the CIR, states that the decision in
Perfecto vs Meer was rendered ineffective when Congress enacted Republic Act No.
Whether or not Sec 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.
No. The said provision is a violation of the separation of powers. Only courts
have the power to interpret laws. Congress makes laws but courts interpret them. In
Sec. 13, R.A. 590, Congress is already encroaching upon the functions of the courts
when it inserted the phrase: payment of which [tax] is hereby declared not to be a
diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.
Here, Congress is already saying that imposing taxes upon judges is not a
diminution of their salary. This is a clear example of interpretation or ascertainment
of the meaning of the phrase which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office, found in Section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution, referring to
the salaries of judicial officers. This act of interpreting the Constitution or any part
thereof by the Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established
province and jurisdiction of the Judiciary.
The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any
declaratory act, or act declaratory of what the law was before its passage, so as to
give it any binding weight with the courts. A legislative definition of a word as used
in a statute is not conclusive of its meaning as used elsewhere; otherwise, the
legislature would be usurping a judicial function in defining a term.
The interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within
the exclusive province and jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in
enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted

in such a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the
hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting said statute, especially when
the interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs counter to a previous
interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of the land.
People of the Philippines vs. M. Mapa
G.R. No. L-22301, August 30, 1967
En Banc
The accused was convicted in violation of Sec. 878 in connection to Sec. 2692
of the Revised Administrative Code as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 56 and
further amended by R.A. 4. On August 13, 1962, the accused was discovered to
have in its possession and control a home-made revolver cal. 22 with no license
permit. In the court proceeding, the accused admitted that he owns the gun and
affirmed that it has no license. The accused further stated that he is a secret agent
appointed by Gov. Leviste of Batangas and showed evidences of appointment. In his
defense, the accused presented the case of People vs. Macarandang, stating that he
must acquitted because he is a secret agent and which may qualify into peace
officers equivalent to municipal police which is covered by Art. 879.
Whether or not holding a position of secret agent of the Governor is a proper
defense to illegal possession of firearms.
The Supreme Court in its decision affirmed the lower courts decision. It
stated that the law is explicit that except as thereafter specifically allowed, "it shall
be unlawful for any person to . . . possess any firearm, detached parts of firearms or
ammunition therefor, or any instrument or implement used or intended to be used
in the manufacture of firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition." The next section
provides that "firearms and ammunition regularly and lawfully issued to officers,
soldiers, sailors, or marines [of the Armed Forces of the Philippines], the Philippine
Constabulary, guards in the employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police,
provincial governors, lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal
treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners and jails," are not
covered "when such firearms are in possession of such officials and public servants
for use in the performance of their official duties.
The Court construed that there is no provision for the secret agent; including
it in the list therefore the accused is not exempted.

Nos. 24116-17August 22, 1968

Cebu Portland Cement Company, vs. Mun. of Naga, Cebu, et. al.
1.The Treasurer of the Mun. of Naga, Cebu collected from Cebu Portland
CementCompany (CPCC) municipal license tax imposed by the Amended Ordinance
No. 21 oncement factories located in the same municipality.
2.The demands made by the Treasurer were not entirely successful and
resulted to theremedies provided under Section 2304 of the Revised Administrative
Code. TheTreasurer gave CPCC 10 days to settle the account.
3.The Treasurer also notified the Plant Manager of CPCC that he was
distraining 100,000bags of Apo cement in satisfaction of their municipal license tax
in the total amount of Php 204,300.00. At first the Plant Manager did not agree with
the letter but acknowledged the distraint in the afternoon of the same day he was
4.The Treasurer signed the receipt of the goods under the authority of 2304 of
the Revised Administrative Code & shall sell the same at a public auction to the
highest bidder. The proceeds thereof shall be utilized in part of the satisfaction of
the municipal license tax &penalties CPCC owes to the municipality of Naga, Cebu.
5.The Notice of Sale was posted by the Treasurer & stated that the public sale
shall be on July 27, 1962. However, no sale was held on the date specified & in the
appealed decision, that there was a stipulation by the parties where the auction
took place on January 30, 1962.
1.Whether the distraint was valid.
2.Whether the auction sale was valid Decision
1.CPCC alleged that the 10-day grace period in the letter of the Municipal
Treasurer did not lapse and therefore, the distrain is invalid. This is not true.
According to theRevised Administrative Code, the municipal treasurer may seize &
distrain any personal property belonging to such person or any property subject to
the tax lien, insufficient quantity to satisfy the tax or charge in question xxx. With
this, the law gives an authority to the municipal treasurer to seize & distrain
properties regardlessof the provisions or conditions stated in the letter. There is only
room for application and not for interpretation and what is stated in the letter
cannot amend the law.
2.The auction sale is also valid. Under the Revised Administrative Code, the
sale cannot take place less than 20 days after notice to the owner or possessor of
theproperty xxx. Since the first notification for distrait was in July 6, 1961 & the
sale wason January 30, 1962, the requisite for the notification was more than
complied with. The sale was only delayed due to the deferment made by the CPCC.

Even if the salewas made only in January 1962, the Treasurer informed the CPCCs
acting officer that he would again advertise for the public sale of the said bags of
cement. With this, the validity of the date of the said auction sale cannot be