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Chapter 1

PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
Statutory Construction
-the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the
authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case, where that
intention is rendered doubtful, among others, by reason of the fact that the given
case is not explicitly provided for in the law.
Chapter 2
How does a bill becomes a law
1. A member of the National Assembly may introduce a proposed bill to the
Secretary of the National Assembly who will calendar the same for the first
reading. The proponent must affix his signature in the bill stating his purpose.
2. In the first reading, the bill is read by its number and title only.
3. After the first reading, the bill is referred by the Speaker to the appropriate
4. committee for study. The appropriate committee will then conduct public
hearing
5. The appropriate committee shall decide on whether or not to report the bill
favorably or whether a substitute bill should be considered. Should there be
an unfavorable report of the committee, the proposed bill is dead.
6. Upon favorable report of the committee, the proposed bill is returned to the
National Assemble and is calendared for the second reading.
7. In the second reading, the bill is read in its entirety
8. Immediately after the second reading, the bill is set for open debates where
members of the assembly may propose amendments and insertions to the
proposed bill
9. After the approval of in its second reading and at least three calendar days
before its final passage the bill is printed in its final form and copies thereof
are distributed to each of the members of the assembly unless the President
certifies in writing as to the necessity of the immediate enactment of the bill
to meet a public calamity or emergency
10.The bill is calendared for the third reading. No amendment shall be allowed.
Only the title the bill is read and the National Assembly will vote on the bill.
Yeas and nays are entered in the journal. It appears that only majority of the
members present constituting a quorum is sufficient to pass the bill. If the no
vote wins, the proposed bill is dead.
10 After the third and final reading at one House where the bill originated, it will
go to the other house where it will undergo the same process, meaning
another three readings on separate days. If conflict or variance arises in the
proposed bill of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the bill may
pass through the bicameral conference committee which can introduce
amendments to suit both houses. This is known as the compromise bill.
11 After the bill has been finally passed, it will be submitted to the President for
his approval. If he approves the same, he shall sign it otherwise he shall veto
it and return the same together with his objections to the house where it

originated. The house where the bill originated can proceed to reconsider the
vetoed bill. After such, if two- thirds of all the members of such shall agree to
pass the bill, it shall be sent to the other house by which it shall be likewise
be qreconsidered. And if it is approved by two- thirds of all the member of
that house, it shall become a law. (the votes of each house shall be
determined by yeas and nays and the names of the members voting for or
against shall be entered in its journal) Every bill passed by congress shall be
acted upon by president within 30 days from the receipt thereof. Otherwise, it
shall become a law as if he had signed it.
CONSTITUTIONAL TEST in the PASSAGE OF THE BILL
1. Every bill passed by congress shall embrace only one subject which shall
be expressed in the title thereof. The purposes of which are:
1. To prevent hodge-podge or log-rolling legislation
2. To prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature
3. To fairly appraise the people through such publications of legislative
proceedings, of the subjects of the legislation that are being
considered, in order that that they may have the opportunity of being
heard thereon by petition or otherwise, if they shall so desire
2. Three Reading and No Amendment Rule
No bills passed by either house shall become a law unless it has passed
three readings on separate days and printed copies thereof in its final
form have been distributed to each member three days before its
passage, except when the president certifies to the necessity of its
immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon, last
reading of the bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote
thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays
entered in the journal.
3. The Executive Approval and Veto Power of the President
Every bill passed by the congress shall before it becomes a law, be
presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it;
otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the
house where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its
journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, twothirds of all the members of such house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall
be sent, together with the objections, to the other house by which it shall
likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members
of the house, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each
House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the
members voting for or against shall be entered in its journal. The
president shall communicate his veto of any bill to the house where it
originated within 30 days after the receipt thereof, otherwise, it shall
become a law as if he had signed it.

Judicial DOCTRINE
The judicial interpretation which constitutes part of the law merely establishes the
contemporaneous legislative intent that the interpreted law carried into effect. Such
judicial doctrine does not amount to a the passage of a new law but consists merely
of a construction or interpretation of preexisting one.
Vague STAUTE
A statute is vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as
to its application
-repugnant to the constitution in two ways:
It violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parites
targeted by it, fair notice of the conduct to avoid
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It leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out


provisions ;and becomes an arbitrary flexing the Government muscle

The act must be utterly vague on its face, that is to say it cannot be
clarified by either a saving clause or by construction
Repeal
2 kinds: Express and Implied
Express abrogation or annulling of a previously existing law by the
enactment of a subsequent statute which declares that the former law
shall be revoked
Implied a later statute contains provisions so contrary to or
irreconcilable with those of the earlier law that only one of the statutes
can stand in force
2 categories of implied repeal:
Where provision in the two acts on the same subject matter are in an
irreconcilable conflict the later act to the extent of conflict constitutes an
implied repeal of the earlier one.
if the later act covers the whole subject of the earlier one and is clearly
intended as a substitute, it will operate to repeal the earlier law
Q: What is the doctrine of processual presumption?
A: It refers to the invocation of a foreign law in the Philippines
If one wants to invoke in the Philippines a foreign law, the first thing one
should do is to prove that the foreign law does exist. If one cannot prove
the existence of that law, the presumption is that the foreign law is the
same as Philippine law, in which case, the applicable law becomes
Philippine law

Chapter 3
BASIC GUIDELINES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF LAWS
LEGISLATIVE INTENT
Legislative intent is determined principally from the language of the
statute.
* the objective footprints left on the trail of legislative enactment
* Where the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the law is applied
according to its express terms, and interpretation would be resorted to only where a
literal interpretation would be either impossible or absurd or would lead to an
injustice.
*It must be presumed that the means employed by the legislature to express its will
are adequate to the purposes and do express that will correctly
* the particular clauses and phrases of the statute should not be taken as detached
and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part thereof must be considered
in fixing the meaning of its parts
VERBA LEGIS (THE PLAIN MEANING RULE)
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derived from the maxim index animi sermo est (speech is the index of
intention); rests on the valid presumption that the words employed by the
legislature in a statute correctly expresses its intent or will and preclude the
court from construing it differently.

The primary rule in addressing any problem relating to the understanding


or interpretation of a law is to examine the law itself to see what it plainly
says.
*The legislature is presumed to know the meaning of the words, to have used words
advisedly, and to have expressed its intent by the use of such words as are found in
the statute.
* From the words of a statute there should be no departure. Verba legis non est
recedendum
When the language of the law is clear, it should be given its natural
meaning.
STATUTES AS A WHOLE
*Legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a
whole and not merely of a particular provision.

* A general provision may actually have a limited application if read together with
other provisions.
* A provision or section, which is unclear by itself, may be clarified by reading and
construing it in relation to the whole statute.
*Effect and meaning must be given to every part of the statute.
*It is not to be presumed that the legislature has used any useless words.
* It is a dangerous practice to base the construction upon only a part of the statute,
since one portion may be qualified by other portions
*The thought conveyed by the statute in its entirety may reveal the inaccurate use.
Hence, the court should construe all of the constituent parts of the statute together,
and seek to ascertain the legislative intention from the whole act, considering every
provision thereof in the light of the general purpose and object of the act itself, and
endeavoring to make every part effective, harmonious and sensible.
In interpreting a statute, care should be taken that every part should be
given effect.
* Care should be taken that every part should be given effect on the theory that a
statute was enacted as an integrated measure and not as a hodge -podge of
conflicting provisions -Ut res magis valeat quam pereat
* A construction that would render a provision inoperative should be avoided
* Inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a
coordinated and harmonious whole
Ut res magis valem quam pereat or that construction is to be sought which
gives effect to the whole of the statute -its every word.
*Particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and
isolated expressions, but the whole and every part of the statute must be
considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts in order to produce a
harmonious whole
*Courts should adapt a construction that will give effect to every part of a statute, if
it all possible.
SPIRIT AND PURPOSE OF THE LAW
*When the interpretation of a statute according to the exact and literal import of its
words would lead to absurd or mischievous consequences, or would thwart or
contravene the manifest purpose of the legislature in its enactment, it should be
construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding or modifying, so far as
may be necessary, the strict letter of the law.
*the courts have the power to declare that a case which falls within the letter of a
statute is not governed by the statute, because it is not within the spirit and reason
of the law and the plain intention of the legislature

*Statutes may be extended to cases not within the literal import of their terms, if
plainly meant to be included within the intention of the legislature, in the framing
of the statute, is as much within the statute as if its within its letters
* Where the statute is free from ambiguity and plainly shows what the legislature
meant, the letter of it is not to be disregarded under the pretext of pursuing its
spirit, and exceptions not made by the legislature cannot be read into it
A construction that gives to the language used in a statute a meaning that
does not accomplish the purpose for which the statute was enacted should
be rejected.
*Statutes should be construed in the light of the object to be achieved and the evil
and mischief to be suppressed.
Between two statutory interpretations, that which better serves the
purpose of the law should prevail.
When the reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases.
IMPLICATIONS
*The implication must be so strong in its probability that the contrary thereof cannot
be reasonably supposed
*The intent as expressed must prevail over the intent reached by implication. If the
intent is expressed there is nothing that can be implied
Doctrine of necessary implications. What is implied in a statute is as much
a part thereof as that which is expressed.
*Every statute is understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions as may
be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights,
powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such collateral and
subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms. -Ex
necessitate legis
*Every statutory grant of power, right or privilege is deemed to include all incidental
power, right privilege. This is so because the greater included the lesser (in eo plus
sit, sunperinest et minus)
CASUS OMISUS
*When a statute makes specific provisions in regard to several enumerated cases or
objects, but omits to make any provision for a case or object which is analogous to
those enumerated, or which stands upon the same reason, and is therefore the
general scope of the statute, and it appears that such case or object was omitted by
inadvertence or because it was overlooked or unforeseen
*Omissions or defects cannot be supplied by the courts.
The rule of casus omissus pro omisso habendus est can operate and apply only if
and when the omission has been clearly established.

STARE DECISIS
*policy of courts to stand by precedent and not disturb settled point
*when court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to certain state of
facts, it will adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases, where facts are
substantially the same, regardless of whether the parties and properties are the
same.
*stare decisis et non quieta movere a point of law already established will
generally, be followed by the same determining court and by all courts of lower rank
in subsequent cases where the same legal issue id raised.
Stare Decisis. Follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been
settled. Matters already declared on the merits cannot be relitigated
again and again.
*it is against public policy that matters already decided on the merits be relitigated,
again and again, consuming the courts time and energies at the expense of other
litigants Interest rei publicae ut finis sit litium
STARE DECISIS ET NON QUIETA MOVERE, which means to adhere to
precedents, and not to unsettle things, which are established
Chapter 4
CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF WORDS AND PHRASES
WHEN THE LAW DOES NOT DISTINGUISH, COURTS SHOULD NOT
DISTINGUISH
*Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos
*general words and phrases in a statute should ordinarily be accorded their natural
and general significance
*where the law does not make any exception, courts may not except something
therefrom, unless there is a compelling reason apparent in the law to justify it
*Courts should administer the law not as they think it ought to be but as they find it
without regard to consequences