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IN GENERAL Legislative power, generally

Power to make, alter and repeal laws
Laws, generally Vested in congress 1987 Constitution
A whole body or system of law President 1973 & Freedom (PD and EO
Rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory by respectively)
legitimate power of the state Sangguniang barangay, bayan, panglungsod,
Includes RA, PD, EO (president in the ex of legislative panlalawigan only within respective jurisdiction
power), Presidential issuances (ordinance power) ordinances
Jurisprudence, ordinances passed by sanggunians of Administrative or executive officer
local government units. Delegated power
Issue rules and regulations to implement a
Statutes, generally specific law
An act of legislature (Philippine Commission, Phil.
Legislature, Batasang Pambansa, Congress) Congress legislative power
PDs of Marcos during the period of martial law 1973 The determination of the legislative policy and its
Constitution formulation and promulgation as a defined and binding
EO of Aquino revolutionary period Freedom rule of conduct.
Constitution Legislative power - plenary except only to such
limitations as are found in the constitution
Public affects the public at large
general applies to the whole state and Procedural requirements, generally
operates throughout the state alike upon all Provided in the constitution (for Bills, RA)
people or all of a class. Provided by congress enactment of laws
Special relates to particular person or things Rules of both houses of congress (provided also
of a class or to a particular community, by the Constitution)
individual or thing.
Local Law operation is confined to a Passage of bill
specific place or locality (e.g municipal Proposed legislative measure introduced by a member
ordinance) of congress for enactment into law
Private applies only to a specific person or Shall embrace only one subject which shall be
subject. expressed in the title
Singed by authors
Permanent and temporary statutes File with the Secretary of the House
Permanent - one whose operation is not limited in Bills may originate from either lower or upper House
duration but continues until repealed. Exclusive to lower house
Temporary - duration is for a limited period of time Appropriation
fixed in the statute itself or whose life ceases upon the Revenue/ tariff bills
happening of an event. Bills authorizing increase of public debt
o E.g. statute answering to an emergency Bills of local application
Private bills
Other classes of statutes
After 3 readings, approval of either house (see Art 6
Prospective or retroactive accdg. to application Sec 26 (1))
Declaratory, curative, mandatory, directory, Secretary reports the bill for first reading
substantive, remedial, penal accdg. to operation
First reading reading the number and title, referral to
According to form the appropriate committee for study and
o Affirmative recommendation
o Negative
Committee hold public hearings and
submits report and recommendation for
Manner of referring to statutes
calendar for second reading
Public Acts Phil Commission and Phil Legislature
Second reading bill is read in full (with amendments
1901- 1935
proposed by the committee) unless copies are
Commonwealth Acts 1936- 1946 distributed and such reading is dispensed with
Republic Acts Congress 1946- 1972, 1987 ~ o Bill will be subject to debates, motions and
Batas Pambansa Batasang Pambansa amendments
Identification of laws serial number and/or title o Bill will be voted on
o A bill approved shall be included in the
calendar of bills for 3rd reading
Third reading bill approved on 2nd reading will be
submitted for final vote by yeas and nays,
Bill approved on the 3rd reading will be transmitted to Conclusive with respect to other matters that are
the Other House for concurrence (same process as required by the Constitution
the first passage) Disputable with respect to all other matters
o If the Other House approves without By reason of public policy, authenticity of laws should
amendment it is passed to the President rest upon public memorials of the most permanent
o If the Other House introduces amendments, character
and disagreement arises, differences will be Should be public
settled by the Conference Committees of both
houses Enrolled bill
o Report and recommendation of the 2 Bills passed by congress authenticated by the Speaker
Conference Committees will have to be and the Senate President and approved by the
approved by both houses in order to be President
considered pass Importing absolute verity and is binding on the courts
President o It carries on its face a solemn assurance that it
o Approves and signs was passed by the assembly by the legislative
o Vetoes (within 30 days after receipt) and executive departments.
o Inaction Courts cannot go behind the enrolled act to discover
If the President vetoes send back to the House where what really happened
it originated with recommendation o If only for respect to the legislative and
o 2/3 of all members approves, it will be sent to executive departments
the other house for approval Thus, if there has been any mistake in the printing of
o 2/3 of the other house approves it shall the bill before it was certified by the officer of the
become a law assembly and approved by the Chief Executive, the
o If president did not act on the bill with in 30 remedy is by amendment by enacting a curative
days after receipt, bill becomes a law legislation not by judicial decree.
Summary : 3 ways of how a bill becomes a law. Enrolled bill and legislative journals - Conclusive upon
President signs the courts
inaction of president with in 30 days after receipt If there is discrepancy between enrolled bill and
vetoed bill is repassed by congress by 2/3 votes of journal, enrolled bill prevails.
all its members, each house voting separately.
Withdrawal of authentication, effect of
Appropriations and revenue bills Speaker and Senate President may withdraw if there is
Same as procedure for the enactment of ordinary bills discrepancy between the text of the bill as deliberated
Only difference is that they can only originate from the and the enrolled bill.
Lower House but the Senate may propose/ concur with Effect:
the amendments o Nullifies the bill as enrolled
Limitations of passage (as per Constitution) Art 6 Sec. o Losses absolute verity
27 (2) o Courts may consult journals
o congress may not increase the appropriation
recommended by the President XXX
o particular appropriation limited PARTS OF STATUTES
o procedure for Congress is the same to all
other department/ agencies (procedure for Title of statute
approving appropriations ) Mandatory law - Every bill passed by Congress shall
o special appropriations national treasurer/ embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in
revenue proposal the title thereof (Art 6, Sec 26 (1) 1987 Constitution)
o no transfer of appropriations xxx authority to
2 limitations upon legislation
o To refrain from conglomeration, under one
o discretionary funds for public purposes
statute, of heterogeneous subjects
o general appropriations bills when re-enacted
o Title of the bill should be couched in a
o President my veto any particular item/s in an
language sufficient to notify the legislators
appropriation revenue, or tariff bill.
and the public and those concerned of the
import of the single subject.
Authentication of bills
Before passed to the President Purposes of requirement (on 1 subject)
Indispensable Principal purpose: to apprise the legislators of the
By signing of Speaker and Senate President object, nature, and scope of the provision of the bill
and to prevent the enactment into law of matters which
have not received the notice, action and study of the
Unimpeachability of legislative journals legislators.
Journal of proceedings o To prohibit duplicity in legislation
In sum of the purpose #3 - When #2 became bicameral: Be it enacted by the
o To prevent hodgepodge/ log-rolling Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines
legislation in legislature assembled and by authority of the same
o To prevent surprise or fraud upon the #4 - Commonwealth- Be it enacted by the National
legislature Assembly of the Philippines
o To fairly apprise the people, through #5 when #4 became bicameral: be it enacted by the
publication of the subjects of the legislation Senate and House of Representatives in congress
o Used as a guide in ascertaining legislative assembled same 1946-1972/1987-present.
intent when the language of the act does not #6 Batasang Pambansa: Be it enacted by the
clearly express its purpose; may clarify doubt Batasang Pambansa in session assembled
or ambiguity. #7 PD NOW THEREFORE, I ______ President of
the Philippines, by the powers vested in me by the
How requirement construed Constitution do hereby decree as follows
Liberally construed #8 EO Now, therefore, I, ____ hereby order
If there is doubt, it should be resolved against the
doubt and in favor of the constitutionality of the statute Preamble
Defined prefatory statement or explanation or a
When there is compliance with requirement finding of facts, reciting the purpose, reason, or
Comprehensive enough - Include general object occasion for making the law to which it is prefixed
If all parts of the law are related, and are germane to Found after enacting clause and before the body of the
the subject matter expressed in the title law.
Title is valid where it indicates in broad but clear Usually not used by legislations because content of the
terms, the nature, scope and consequences of the law preamble is written in the explanatory note.
and its operations But PDs and EOs have preambles.
Title should not be a catalogue or index of the bill
Principles apply to titles of amendatory acts. Purview of statute
o Enough if it states an act to amend a specific that part which tells what the law is about
statute body of statute should embrace only one subject
Need not state the precise nature of the should only one subject matter, even there provisions
amendatory act. should be allied and germane to the subject and
US Legislators have titles ending with the words and purpose of the bill.
for other purposes ( US is not subject to the same Statue is usually divided into section. w/c contains a
Constitutional restriction as that embodied in the single proposition.
Philippine Constitution) Parts
o short title
When requirement not applicable o policy section
Apply only to bills which may thereafter be enacted o definition section
into law o administrative section
Does not apply to laws in force and existing at the time o sections prescribing standards of conduct
the 1935 Constitution took effect. o sections imposing sanctions for violation of
No application to municipal or city ordinances. its provisions
o transitory provision
Effect of insufficiency of title o separability clause
Statute is null and void o effectivity clause
Where, the subject matter of a statute is not
sufficiently expressed in its title, only so much of the Separability clause
subject matter as is not expressed therein is void, it states that if any provision of the act is declared
leaving the rest in force, unless the invalid provisions invalid, the remainder shall not be affected thereby.
are inseparable from the others, in which case the It is not controlling and the courts may invalidate the
nullity the former vitiates the latter whole statute where what is left, after the void part, is
not complete and workable
Enacting clause Presumption statute is effective as a whole
Written immediately after the title its effect: to create in the place of such presumption
States the authority by which the act is enacted the opposite of separability.


#1 - Phil Commission By authority of the President ORDINANCES
of the US, be it enacted by the US Philippine
Commission Presidential issuances
#2 - Philippine Legislature- by authority of the US, are those which the president issues in the exercise of
be it enacted by the Philippine Legislature ordinance power.
i.e. EO, AO (administrative orders), proclamations, o Requisites for validity
MO (memorandum orders), MC (memorandum Rules should be germane to the
circulars), and general or special orders. objects and purposes of the law
Have force and effect of laws. Regulations be not in contradiction
EO with, but conform to, the standards
o acts of the President providing for rules of a that the law prescribes
general or permanent character in the The be for the sole purpose of
implementation or execution of carrying into effect the general
constitutional/ statutory powers. provisions of the law
o do not have the force and effect of laws o Law cannot be restricted or extended
enacted by congress o Law prevails over regulations, if there are
o different from EO issued by the President in discrepancies
the ex of her legislative power during the Rule-making power of public administrative agency is
revolution Presidential decree under the a delegated legislative power if it enlarges or restricts
freedom constitution such statute is invalid
AO Requisites for delegating a statute by legislative
o acts of the President which relate to particular branch to another branch of government to fill in
aspects of governmental operations in details, execution, enforcement, or administration of
pursuance of his duties as administrative head law. the law must be:
Proclamations o Complete in itself
o acts of the President fixing a date or declaring o Fix a standard which may be express or
a statute or condition of public moment or implied
interest, upon the existence of which the Example of standard simplicity
operation of a specific law or regulation is and dignity; public interest; public
made to depend welfare; interest of law and order;
MO justice and equity and substantial
o acts of the President on matters of merit of the case; adequate and
administrative details or of subordinate or efficient instruction
temporary interest which only concern a Example:
particular officer or office of government o Change of and/or to or invalid
MC o Change of may(permissive) to shall
o acts of the president on matters relating to (mandatory) invalid (Grego v COMELEC
internal administration which the President pp 22)
desires to bring to the attention of all or some
of the departments, agencies, bureaus, or Administrative rule and interpretation distinguished
offices of the government, for information of Rule makes new law with the force and effect of a
compliance valid law; binding on the courts even if they are not in
General or Specific Order agreement with the policy stated therein or with its
o Acts and commands of the President in his innate wisdom
capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the AFP Interpretation merely advisory for it is the courts that
finally determine what the law means
Supreme Court circulars; rules and regulations Administrative construction is not necessarily binding
See Art 8, Sec. 5(5) 1987 Constitution upon the courts; it may be set aside by judicial
See Art. 6, Sec. 30 1987 Constitution department (if there is an error of law, or abuse of
It has been held that a law which provides that a power or lack of jurisdiction or GAD grave abuse of
decision of a quasi-judicial body be appealable directly discretion)
to the SC, if enacted without the advice and
concurrence of the SC, ineffective Barangay ordinance
o Remedy or applicable procedure go to CA Sangguniang barangay smallest legislative body;
Rules of Court product of the rule-making power of may pass an ordinance by majority of all its members;
the SC subject to review by Sangguniang bayan/ panglungsod
o Power to repeal procedural rules Sangguniang bayan/ panglungsod take action on the
o No power to promulgate rules substantive in ordinance within 30 days from submission; if theres
nature (unlike the legislative department) inaction, it is presumed to be consistent with the
Substantive rules if it affects or takes away vested municipal or city ordinance; if inconsistency is found,
rights; right to appeal it will remand to the Sangguniang barangay
Procedural rules means of implementing existing Municipal ordinance
right; where to file an appeal for transferring the venue Lodged in the Sangguniang bayan
Rules and regulations issued by the administrative or Majority of the quorum voting, ordinance is passed
executive officers in accordance with and authorized Ordinance sent to Mayor within 10 days for approval
by law, have the force and effect of law or veto; if theres mayors inaction, ordinance is
presumed approved; if vetoed and overridden by 2/3 of Appropriate case
all members, ordinance is approved Bona fide case one which raises a justiciable
Approved ordinance is passed to Sangguniang controversy
panlalawigan for review Judicial power is limited only to real, actual, earnest,
o Within 30 days may invalidate in whole or in and vital controversy
part and its action is final; if theres inaction Controversy is justiciable when it refers to matter
within 30 days, it is deemed valid which is appropriate for court review; pertains to
issues which are inherently susceptible of being
City ordinance decided on grounds recognized by law
Vested in Sangguniang panglungsod Courts cannot rule on political questions questions
Majority of the quorum voting, ordinance is passed which are concerned with issues dependent upon the
Submitted to Mayor within 10 days wisdom (v. legality) of a particular act or measure
o Approve being assailed
o Veto 2/3 of all members approved o separation of powers
o Inaction deemed approved o However, Constitution expands the concept
If city or component city submit to Sangguniang of judicial review judicial power includes
panlalawigan for review which shall take action within the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
30 days, otherwise, it will be deemed valid controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable and to
Provincial ordinance determine whether or not there has been GAD
Sangguniang panlalawigan majority of quorum amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
voting, passage of ordinance the branch or the part of any branch/
Forwarded to the Governor who within 15 days from instrumentality of the Government
receipt shall
o Approve Standing to sue
o Veto 2/3 of all members approved Legal standing or locus standi personal/ substantial
o Inaction deemed approved interest in the case such that the party has sustained or
will sustain direct injury as a result of governmental
VALIDITY act that is being challenged
interest an interest in issue affected by the decree
Presumption of constitutionality Citizen acquires standing only if he can establish that
Every statute is presumed valid he has suffered some actual or threatened concrete
o Lies on how a law is enacted injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the
o Due respect to the legislative who passed and government
executive who approved o E.g. taxpayer when it is shown that public
o Responsibility of upholding the constitution funds have been illegally disbursed
rests not on the courts alone but on the Member of the Senate or of the House has legal
legislative and executive branches as well standing to question the validity of the Presidential
Courts cannot inquire into the wisdom or propriety of veto or a condition imposed on an item in an
laws appropriations bills
To declare a law unconstitutional, the repugnancy of SC may, in its discretion, take cognizance of a suit
the law to the constitution must be clear and which does not satisfy the requirement of legal
unequivocal standing
All reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor of o E.g. calling by the President for the
the constitutionality of law; to doubt is to sustain deployment of the Philippine Marines to join
Final arbiter of unconstitutionality of law is the the PNP in visibility patrols around the metro
Supreme Court EN BANC (majority who took part
and voted thereon) When to raise constitutionality
Nonetheless, trial courts have jurisdiction to initially xxx at the earliest possible opportunity i.e. in the
decide the issue of constitutionality of a law in pleading
appropriate cases it may be raised in a motion for reconsideration / new
trial in the lower court; or
Requisites for exercise of judicial power in criminal cases at any stage of the proceedings or
The existence of an appropriate case on appeal
Interest personal and substantial by the party raising in civil cases, where it appears clearly that a
the constitutional question determination of the question is necessary to a
Plea that the function be exercised at the earliest decision, and in cases where it involves the jurisdiction
opportunity of the court below
Necessity that the constitutional question be passed
upon in order to decide the case
Necessity of deciding constitutionality nullity should only affect the parties involved in the
where the constitutional question is of paramount case and its effects applied prospectively
public interest and time is of the essence in the
resolution of such question, adherence to the strict Partial invalidity
procedural standard may be relaxed and the court, in General rule: that where part of a statute is void as
its discretion, may squarely decide the case repugnant to the Constitution, while another part is
where the question of validity, though apparently has valid, the valid portion, if separable from the invalid,
become moot, has become of paramount interest and may stand and be enforced
there is undeniable necessity for a ruling, strong Exception that when parts of a statute are so
reasons of public policy may demand that its mutually dependent and connected, as conditions,
constitutionality be resolved considerations, inducements, or compensations for
each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature
Test of constitutionality intended them as a whole, the nullity of one part will
is what the Constitution provides in relation to what vitiate the rest such as in the case of Tatad v Sec of
can or may be done under the statute, and not by what Department of Energy and Antonio v. COMELEC
it has been done under it.
o If not within the legislative power to enact EFFECT AND OPERATION
o If vague unconstitutional in 2 respects
Violates due process When laws take effect
Leaves law enforcers unbridled Art 2 CC - xxx laws to be effective must be published
discretion in carrying out its either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of
provisions general circulation in the country
o Where theres a change of circumstances o The effectivity provision refers to all statutes,
i.e. emergency laws including those local and private, unless there
Ordinances (test of validity are): are special laws providing a different
o It must not contravene the Constitution or any effectivity mechanism for particular statutes
statute Sec 18 Chapter 5 Book 1 of Administrative Code
o It must not be unfair or oppressive Effectivity of laws
o It must not be partial or discriminatory o default rule 15-day period
o It must not prohibit but may regulate trade o must be published either in the OG or
o It must be general and consistent with public newspaper of general circulation in the
policy country; publication must be full
o It must not be unreasonable The clause unless it is otherwise provided solely
refers to the 15-day period and not to the requirement
Effects of unconstitutionality of publication
It confers no rights
Imposes no duties When Presidential issuances, rules and regulations take effect
Affords no protection The Presidents ordinance power includes the authority
Creates no office to issue EO, AO, Proclamations, MO, MC and general
In general, inoperative as if it had never been passed or specific orders
2 views: Requirement of publication applies except if it is
o Orthodox view unconstitutional act is not a merely interpretative or internal in nature not
law; decision affect ALL concerning the public
o Modern view less stringent; the court in 2 types:
passing upon the question of o Those whose purpose is to enforce or
unconstitutionality does not annul or repeal implement existing law pursuant to a valid
the statute if it finds it in conflict with the delegation or to fill in the details of a statute;
Constitution; decisions affects parties ONLY requires publication
and no judgment against the statute; opinion o Those which are merely interpretative in
of court may operate as a precedent; it does nature or internal; does not require
not repeal, supersede, revoke, or annul the publication
statute Requirements of filing (1987 Administrative Code):
o Every agency shall file with the UP Law
Invalidity due to change of conditions Center 3 certified copies of every rule
Emergency laws adopted by it. Rules in force on the date of
It is deemed valid at the time of its enactment as an effectivity of this Code which are not filed
exercise of police power within 3 months from that date shall not
It becomes invalid only because the change of thereafter be the basis of any sanction against
conditions makes its continued operation violative of any party/ persons
the Constitution, and accordingly, the declaration of its
When local ordinance takes effect CHAPTER TWO: Construction and Interpretation
Unless otherwise stated, the same shall take effect 10
days from the date a copy is posted in a bulletin board NATURE AND PURPOSE
at the entrance of the provincial capitol or city,
municipality or barangay hall, AND in at least 2 other Construction defined
conspicuous places in the local government unit Construction is the art or process of discovering and
concerned expounding the meaning and intention of the authors
The secretary to the Sangguinian concerned shall cause of the law, where that intention rendered doubtfully
the posting not later than 5 days after approval; text reason of ambiguity in its language or of the fact that
will be disseminated in English or Tagalog; the the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law.
secretary to the Sangguinian concerned shall record Construction is drawing of warranted conclusions
such fact in a book kept for that purpose, stating the beyond direct expression of the text expressions which
dates of approval and posting are in spirit though not within the text.
Gist of ordinance with penal sanctions shall be xxx inevitably, there enters into the construction of
published in a newspaper of general circulation within statutes the play of JUDICIAL JUDGMENT within
the respective province concerned; if NO newspaper of the limits of the relevant legislative materials
general circulation in the province, POSTING shall be it involves the EXERCISE OF CHOICE BY THE
made in all municipalities and cities of the province JUDICIARY
where the Sanggunian of origin is situated
For highly urbanized and independent component Construction and interpretation distinguished
cities, main features of the ordinance, in addition to the They are so alike in practical results and so are used
posting requirement shall be published once in a local interchangeably; synonymous.
newspaper. In the absence of local newspaper, in any
newspaper of general circulation Construction Interpretation
o Highly urbanized city minimum population - process of drawing - art of finding the true
of 200,000 and with latest annual income of warranted conclusions not meaning and sense of any
at least 50M Php always included in direct form of words
expressions, or determining
Statutes continue in force until repealed the application of words to
Permanent/ indefinite law once established continues facts in litigation
until changed by competent legislative power. It is not
changed by the change of sovereignty, except that of Rules of construction, generally
political nature Rules of statutory construction are tools used to
Temporary in force only for a limited period, and ascertain legislative intent.
they terminate upon expiration of the term stated or NOT rules of law but mere axioms of experience
upon occurrence of certain events; no repealing statute In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to
is needed know the rules of statutory construction, in case of
doubt, be construed in accordance with the settled
Territorial and personal effect of statutes principles of interpretation.
All people within the jurisdiction of the Philippines Legislature sometimes adopts rules of statutory
construction as part of the provisions of the statute: -
Manner of computing time see examples page 49-50
See Art. 13 CC Legislature also defines to ascertain the meaning of
Where a statute requires the doing of an act within a vague, broad words/ terms
specified number of days, such as ten days from
notice, it means ten calendar days and NOT ten Purpose of object of construction
working days The purpose is to ascertain and give effect to the intent
E.g. 1 year from Oct. 4, 1946 is Oct. 4, 1947 of the law.
If last day falls on a Sunday or holiday, the act can still The object of all judicial interpretation of a statute is to
be done the following day determine legislative intent, either expressly or
Principle of exclude the first, include the last DOES impliedly, by the language used; to determine the
NOT APPLY to the computation of the period of meaning and will of the law making body and discover
prescription of a crime, in which rule, is that if the last its true interpretations of law.
day in the period of prescription of a felony falls on a
Sunday or legal holiday, the information concerning Legislative intent, generally
said felony cannot be filed on the next working day, as is the essence of the law
the offense has by then already prescribed Intent is the spirit which gives life to legislative
enactment. It must be enforced when ascertained,
although it may not be consistent with the strict letter
of the statute. It has been held, however, that that the
ascertainment of legislative intent depend more on a Where legislative intent is ascertained
determination of the purpose and object of the law. The primary source of legislative intent is the statute
Intent is sometimes equated with the word spirit. itself.
While the terms purpose, meaning, intent, and spirit If the statute as a whole fails to indicate the legislative
are oftentimes interchangeably used by the courts, not intent because of ambiguity, the court may look
entirely synonymous beyond the statute such as:
o Legislative history what was in the
Legislative purpose legislative mind at the time the statute was
A legislative purpose is the reason why a particular enacted; what the circumstances were; what
statute was enacted by legislature. evil was meant to be redressed
Legislation is an active instrument and government o Purpose of the statute the reason or cause
which, for the purpose of interpretation means that which induced the enactment of the law, the
laws have ends to be achieved mischief to be suppressed, and the policy
which dictated its passage
Legislative meaning o when all these means fail, look into the effect
Legislative meaning is what the law, by its language, of the law.
means. If the 3rd means (effect of the law) is
What it comprehends; first used, it will be judicial
What it covers or embraces; legislation
What its limits or confines are.
Intent and Meaning synonymous POWER TO CONSTRUE
If there is ambiguity in the language used in a statute,
Construction is a judicial function
its purpose may indicate the meaning of the language
It is the court that has the final word as to what the law
and lead to what the legislative intent is
Graphical illustration It construes laws as it decide cases based on fact and
the law involved
Federation of Free Farmers v CA. Laws are interpreted in the context of a peculiar factual
RA No. 809 Sec. 1 In absence of a written milling situation of each case
agreements between the majority of the planters and Circumstances of time, place, event, person and
the millers, the unrefined sugar as well as all by- particularly attendant circumstances and actions
products shall be divided between them before, during and after the operative fact have taken
RA 809 Sec. 9 The proceeds of any increase in their totality so that justice can be rationally and fairly
participation granted by the planters under this act and dispensed.
above their present share shall be divided between the Moot and academic
planter and his laborer in the proportion of 60% o Purpose has become stale
laborer and 40% planter o No practical relief can be granted
To give literal import in interpreting the two section o Relief has no practical effect
will defeat the purpose of the Act General rule (on mootness) dismiss the case
The purpose: o Exception:
o Continuous production of sugar If capable of repetition, yet evading
o To grant the laborers a share in the increased review
participation of planters in the sugar produce Public interest requires its resolution
Rendering decision on the merits
The legislative intent is, thus to make the act operative
would be of practical value
irrespective of whether there exists a milling
agreement between central and the sugar planters.
Legislative cannot overrule judicial construction
Matters inquired into in construing a statute It cannot preclude the courts from giving the statute
different interpretation
It is not enough to ascertain the intention of the
statute; it is also necessary to see whether the intention Legislative enact laws
or meaning has been expressed in such a way as to Executive- to execute laws
give it legal effect or validity Judicial- interpretation and application
Thus: The object of inquiry is not only to know what If the legislature may declare what a law means it
the legislature used sufficiently expresses that will cause confusionit will be violative of the
meaning. The legal act is made up of 2 elements: fundamental principles of the constitution of
o internal intention separation powers.
o external- expression Legislative construction is called resolution or
Failure of the latter may defeat the former declaratory act
Endencia v David Courts cannot enlarge or limit the law if it is clear and
Explains why legislative cannot overrule Supreme free from ambiguity (even if law is harsh or onerous
Courts decision A meaning that does not appear nor is intended or
reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be
Perfecto v. Meer placed therein by construction
Art. 8 Sec. 9 1935 Constitution SCs interpretation:
shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by Manikan v. Tanodbayan
law, which shall not be diminished during their Sec. 7 PD 1716-A sole police authority of EPZA
continuance in office exempt from income tax officials may not be construed as an exception to, or
Legislative passed RA 590 Sec. 13 no salary limitation on, the authority of the Tanodbayan to
whenever received by any public officer of the investigate complaints for violation of the anti-graft
Republic shall be considered exempt from the income law committed by the EPZA officials
tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be a EPZAs power not exclusive; sole refers to police
diminution of his compensation fixed by the authority not emplyed to describe other power
Constitution or by law
Source of confusion Lapid v. CA
Violative of principle on separation of powers Issue: whether or not the decision of the Ombudsman
RA 590 Sec 13 unconstitutional imposing a penalty of suspension of one year without
Art 8 Sec. 9 1935 repealed by Art. 15 Sec. 6 1973 pay is immediately executory
Constitution no salary or any form of emolument of Administrative Code and LGC not suppletory to
any public officer or employee, including Ombudsman Act
constitutional officers, shall be exempt from payment These three laws are related or deal with public
of income tax officers, but are totally different statutes
Thus, judiciary is not exempt from payment of tax
anymore An administrative agency tasked to implement a
statute may not construe it by expanding its meaning
When judicial interpretation may be set aside where its provisions are clear and unambiguous
Interpretations may be set aside. The interpretation
of a statute or a constitutional provision by the courts Land Bank v. CA
is not so sacrosanct as to be beyond modification or DAR interpreted deposits to include trust accounts
nullification. SC held that deposits is limited only to cash and
The Supreme Court itself may, in an appropriate case LBP bonds
change or overrule its previous construction.
The rule that the Supreme Court has the final word in Libanan v. HRET
the interpretation or construction of a stature merely Issue: whether ballots not signed at the back by the
means that the legislature cannot, by law or resolution, chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) are
modify or annul the judicial construction without spurious, since it violated Sec. 24 RA 7166
modifying or repealing the very statute which has been Held: not spurious; only renders the BEI accountable
the subject of construction. It can, and it has done so,
by amending or repealing the statute, the consequence Rulings of Supreme Court part of legal system
of which is that the previous judicial construction of Art. 8 CC Judicial decisions applying or
the statute is modified or set aside accordingly. interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part
of the legal system of the Philippines
When court may construe statute Legis interpretato legis vim obtinet authoritative
The court may construe or interpret a statute under interpretation of the SC of a statute acquires the force
the condition that THERE IS DOUBT OR of law by becoming a part thereof as of the date of its
AMBIGUITY enactment , since the courts interpretation merely
Ambiguity a condition of admitting 2 or more establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that
meanings. Susceptible of more than one interpretation. the statute thus construed intends to effectuate
Only when the law is ambiguous or doubtful of Stare decisis et non quieta novere when the SC has
meaning may the court interpret or construe its intent. once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a
certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and
Court may not construe where statute is clear apply it to all future casese where the facts are
A statute that is clear and unambiguous is not substantially the same
susceptible of interpretations. o For stability and certainty
First and fundamental duty of court to apply the law Supreme Court becomes, to the extent applicable, the
Construction very last function which the court criteria that must control the actuations not only of
should exercise those called upon to abide thereby but also of those
Law is clear no room for interpretation, only room duty-bound to enforce obedience thereto.
for application SC rulings are binding on inferior courts
Judicial rulings have no retroactive effect RP v. CA/ Molina
Lex prospicit not respicit - the law looks forward, not Guidelines for ascertaining psychological incapacity of
backward an erring spouse in a void marriage under Art. 36 FC
Rationale: Retroactive application of a law usually
divest rights that have already become vested or LIMITATIONS ON POWER TO CONSTRUE
impairs he obligations of contract and hence is
unconstitutional. Courts may not enlarge nor restrict statutes
Courts are not authorized to insert into the law what
Peo v. Jabinal they think should be in it or to supply what they the
Peo v Macarandang peace officer exempted from legislature would have supplied if its intention had
issuance of license of firearms included a secret been called to the omission.
agent hired by a governor They should not by construction, revise even the most
Peo. v. Mapa abandoned doctrine of Macarandang in arbitrary or unfair action of the legislature, nor rewrite
1967 the law to conform to what they think should be the
The present case, Jabinal was arraigned while the law.
Macarandang Doctrine was still prevailing, however, Neither should the courts construe statutes which are
the decision was promulgated when the Mapa doctrine perfectly vague for it violates due process
was in place o Failure to accord persons fair notice of the
The Court held that Jabinal is acquitted using stare conduct to avoid
decisis doctrine and retroactivity doctrine o Leave law enforcers unbridled discretion in
Co. v. CA carrying out its provisions
On BP 22, Co is acquitted in relying on the Circular 2 leading stars on judicial construction
issued; Que doctrine, which convicted Que under BP o Good faith
22, was not given retroactive application o commonsense
an utterly vague act on its face cannot be clarified by
Roa v. Collector of Customs either a saving clause or by construction
Used jus soli (place of birth)
SC favored jus sanguinis (by blood) Courts not to be influenced by questions of wisdom
However, the abandonment of the principle of jus soli Courts do not sit to resolve the merit of conflicting
did not divest the citizenship of those who, by virtue of theories
the principle before its rejection, became of were Courts do not pass upon question of wisdom, justice or
declared citizens of the Philippines expediency of legislation, for its not within their
province to supervise legislation and keep it within the
Benzonan v. CA bounds of common sense.
Issue: when to count the 5-year period to repurchase The court merely interpret regardless of whether or not
land granted CA 141 they wise or salutary.
Monge v Angeles (1957) and Tupas v Damaso (1984)
from the date of conveyance or foreclosure sale CHAPTER THREE: Aids to Construction
Belisario v. IAC (1988) from the period after the
expiration of the 1-year period of repurchase IN GENERAL
The SC held that the doctrine that should apply is that
which was enunciated in Monge and Tupas because Generally
the transactions involved took place prior to Belisario Where the meaning of a statue is ambiguous, the court
and not that which was laid down in the latter case is warranted in availing itself of all illegitimate aids to
which should be applied prospectively construction in order that it can ascertain the true intent
of the statute.
Court may issue guidelines in construing statute The aids to construction are those found in the printed
In construing a statute, the enforcement of which may page of the statute itself; know as the intrinsic aids,
tread on sensitive areas of constitutional rights, the and those extraneous facts and circumstances outside
court may issue guidelines in applying the statute, not the printed page, called extrinsic aids.
to enlarge or restrict it but to clearly delineate what the
law is. Title
It is used as an aid, in case of doubt in its language to
Peo. v. Ferrer its construction and to ascertaining legislative will.
What acts that may be considered liable under the If the meaning of the statute is obscure, courts may
Anti-Subversion Act resort to the title to clear the obscurity.
The title may indicate the legislative intent to extend or
Morales v. Enrile restrict the scope of law, and a statute couched in a
Rights of a person under custodial investigation language of doubtful import will be constructed to
conform to the legislative intent as disclosed in its title.
Resorted as an aid where there is doubt as to the investigation thereof can be undertaken or information
meaning of the law or as to the intention of the file in court unless there is previous compliance with
legislature in enacting it, and not otherwise. the executive order.
Serve as a guide to ascertaining legislative intent EO only applies to administrative and not to criminal
carries more weight in this jurisdiction because of the complaints.
constitutional requirement that every bill shall The very title speaks of commission of irregularities.
embrace only one subject who shall be expressed in
the title thereof. When resort to title not authorized
The constitutional injunction makes the title an The text of the statute is clear and free from doubt, it is
indispensable part of a statute. improper to resort to its title to make it obscure.
The title may be resorted to in order to remove, but not
Baguio v. Marcos to create doubt.
The question raised is when to count the 40 yr period
to file a petition for reopening of cadastral proceedings Preamble
(to settle and adjudicate the titles to the various lots It is a part of the statute written immediately after its
embraced in the survey) as authorized by RA 931 title, which states the purpose, reason for the
covering the lands that have been or about to be enactment of the law.
declared land of public domain, by virtue of judicial Usually express in whereas clauses.
proceedings instituted w/in the 40 years next preceding Generally omitted in statutes passed by:
the approval of this act. Phil. Commission
The question is asked if the proceeding be reopened Phil. Legislature
originally instituted in court April 12, 1912 or National Assembly
November 25, 1922, the counted date form which the Congress of the Phil
decision therein rendered became final. Petition was
Batasang Pambansa
filed on July 25, 1961
These legislative bodies used the explanatory note to
Title of the Law An Act to authorize the filing in the explain the reasons for the enactment of statutes.
proper court under certain conditions of certain claims
Extensively used if Presidential decrees issued by the
of title to parcels of land that have been declared
President in the exercise of his legislative power.
public land, by virtue of the approval of this act.
When the meaning of a statute is clear and
There was an apparent inconsistency between the title
unambiguous, the preamble can neither expand nor
and body of the law.
restrict its operation, much less prevail over its text.
It ruled that the starting date to count the period is the
Nor can be used as basis for giving a statute a
date the final decision was rendered.
It recites that it authorizes court proceedings of claims
When the statute is ambiguous, the preamble can be
to parcels of land declared public by virtue of judicial
resorted to clarify the ambiguity.
decisions rendered within forty years next preceding
Preamble is the key of the statute, to open the minds of
the approval of this act.
the lawmakers as to the purpose is achieved, the
That title written in capital letters by Congress itself;
mischief to be remedied, and the object to be
such kind of title then is not to be classed with words
accomplished, by the provisions of the legislature.
or titles used by compilers of statues because it is the
May decide the proper construction to be given to the
legislature speaking.
Words by virtue of judicial decisions rendered in the
May restrict to what otherwise appears to be a broad
title of the law stand in equal importance to the phrase
scope of law.
in Sections 1 thereof by virtue of judicial proceedings
It may express the legislative intent to make the law
apply retroactively in which case the law has to be
The court ruled that examining Act no. 2874 in detail
given retroactive effect.
was intended to apply to public lands only for the title
of the act, always indicative of legislative intent.
Illustration of rule
No bill shall embrace more than one subject, which
subject shall be expressed in the title of the bill, the
People v. Purisima
words and for other purposes when found in the title
A person was charged w/ violation of PD 9 which
have been held to be without force or effect
penalizes, among others, the carrying outside of ones
whatsoever and have been altogether discarded in
residence any bladed, blunt or pointed weapon not
construing the Act.
used as a necessary tool or implement for livelihood,
with imprisonment ranging from five to ten years.
Ebarle v. Sucaldito
Question rose whether the carrying of such weapon
The issue is raised whether Executive order no. 264
should be in relation to subversion, rebellion,
entitled Outlining the procedure by which complaints
insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos or
charging government officials and employees with
public disorder as a necessary element of the crime.
commission of irregularities should be guided applies
to criminal actions, to the end that no preliminary
The mere carrying of such weapon outside ones The qualifying effect of a word or phrase may be
residence is sufficient to constitute a violation of the confined to its last antecedent if the latter is separated
law by a comma from the other antecedents.
Pursuant to the preamble which spelled out the events An argument based on punctuation is not persuasive.
that led to the enactment of the decree the clear intent
and spirit of the decree is to require the motivation Illustrative examples
mentioned in the preamble as in indispensable element
of the crime. Florentino v. PNB
The severity of the penalty for the violation of the who may be willing to accept the same for such
decree suggests that it is a serious offense, which may settlement this implies discretion
only be justified by associating the carrying out of SC held: only the last antecedent any citizen of the
such bladed of blunt weapon with any of the purposes Philippines or any association or corporation organized
stated in its preamble. under the laws of the Philippines
xxx pursuant to which backpay certificate-holders can
Peo v. Echavez compel government-owned banks to accept said
Issue: whether a person who squatted on a pastoral certificates for payment of their obligations subsisting
land could be held criminally liable for the violation of at the time of the amendatory act was approved
PD 772 any person who, with the use of force, Nera v. Garcia
intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the if the charge against such subordinate or employee
absence or tolerance of the land owner, succeeds in involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave misconduct
occupying or possessing the property of the latter or neglect in the performance of his duty
against his will for residential, commercial or any dishonesty and oppression need not be
other purposes. committed in the course of the performance of duty by
The decree was promulgated to solve the squatting the person charges
problem which according to its preamble is still a
major problem in urban communities all over the Peo. v. Subido
country and because many persons and entities found Subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency
to have been unlawfully occupying public and private qualifies both non-payment of indemnity and non-
lands belong to the affluent class. payment of fine
The court said that crime may only be committed in
urban communities and not in agricultural and pastural Capitalization of letters
lands because the preamble of the decree shows that it An aid of low degree in the construction of statute.
was intended to apply for squatting in urban lands,
more particularly to illegal constructions.
Headnotes or epigraphs
Context of whole text Secondary aids
To ascertain legislative intent is the statute itself taken They are prefixed to sections, or chapters of a statute
as a whole and in relation to one another considering for ready reference or classification.
the whole context of the statute and not from an Not entitled too much weight, and inferences drawn
isolated part of the provision. there from are of little value and they can never control
The meaning dictated by the context prevails. the plain terms of the enacting clauses, for they are not
Every section, provision, or clause of the statute must part of the law.
be expounded by reference to each other in order to The provisions of each article are controlling upon the
arrive at the effect contemplated by the legislature. subject thereof and operate as a general rule for
settling such questions as are embraced therein.
Punctuation marks When the text of a statute is clear and unambiguous,
Semi- colon used to indicate a separation in the there is neither necessity nor propriety to resort to the
relation of the thought, what follows must have a headings or epigraphs of a section for interpretation of
relation to the same matter it precedes it. the text, especially when they are mere reference aids
Comma and semi- colon are use for the same purpose indicating the general nature of the text that follows.
to divide sentences, but the semi colon makes the
division a little more pronounce. Both are not used to Lingual text
introduce a new idea. Rule is that, unless provided, where a statute is
Punctuation marks are aids of low degree and can promulgated in English and Spanish, English shall
never control against the intelligible meaning of govern but in case of ambiguity, Spanish may be
written words. consulted to explain the English text.
An ambiguity of a statute which may be partially or A statute is officially promulgated in Spanish or in
wholly solved by a punctuation mark may be English, or in Filipino
considered in the construction of a statute. In the interpretation of a law or administrative
issuance promulgated in all the official languages, the
English text shall control, unless otherwise provided.
Intent or spirit of law Consequences of various constructions
Inquired as an additional aid to interpretation.
It is the law itself. A construction of a statute should be rejected that will
Controlling factor, leading star and guiding light in the cause injustice and hardship, result in absurdity, defeat
application and interpretation of a statute. legislative intent or spirit, preclude accomplishment of
A statute must be according to its spirit or intent. legislative purpose or object, render certain words or
The courts cannot assume an intent in no way phrases a surplusage, nullify the statute or make any of
expressed and then construe the statute to accomplish its provisions nugatory.
the supposed intention; otherwise they would pass
beyond the bounds of judicial power to usurp Presumptions
legislative power. Based on logic, experience, and common sense, and in
the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary,
Policy of law doubts as to the proper and correct construction of a
Should be given effect by the judiciary. statute will be resolved in favor of that construction
One way to accomplish this mandate is to give a which is in accord with the presumption on the matter.
statute of doubtful meaning, a construction that will o Constitutionality of a statute
promote public policy. o Completeness
o Prospective operation
Tinio v. Francis o Right and justice
Policy of the law to conserve the land of the o Effective, sensible, beneficial and reasonable
homesteader operation as a whole
xxx not be subject to encumbrance/ alienation from the o Against inconsistency and implied repeal
date of the approval of the application and for a term unnecessary changes in law
of 5 years from and after the date of the issuance of the impossibility
patent or grant absurdity
o from the ORDER for the issuance of patent injustice and hardship
o if literal interpretation is to be used, policy inconvenience
will be defeated ineffectiveness.


policy against double pensions for the same services
a law which grants retirable employees certain gratuity
in addition to other benefits which they are entitled A statute is susceptible of several interpretations or
under existing laws CANNOT be construed as to where there is ambiguity in the language, there is no
authorize the grant of double gratuity better means of ascertaining the will and intention of
the legislature than that which is afforded by the
other benefits may be
history of the statute.
o Refund of contributions
o Payment of the money value of accumulated
What constitutes legislative history
vacation and sick leaves
History of a statute refers to all its antecedents from its
inception until its enactment into law.
Purpose of law or mischief to be suppressed Its history proper covers the period and the steps done
Intended to be removed or suppressed and the causes from the time the bill is introduced until it is finally
which induced the enactment of the law are important passed by the legislature.
factors to be considered in this construction. What it includes:
o Purpose or object of the law o Presidents message if the bill is enacted in
o Mischief intended to be removed response thereto,
o Causes which induced the enactment of the o The explanatory note accompanying the bill
law o Committee reports of legislative
Must be read in such a way as to give effect to the investigations
purpose projected in the statute. o Public hearings on the subject of the bill
o Sponsorship speech
The purpose of the general rule is not determinative of
the proper construction to be given to the exceptions. o Debates and deliberations concerning the bill
o Amendments and changes in phraseology in
Purpose of statute is more important than the rules of
which it undergoes before final approval
grammar and logic in ascertaining the meaning
o If the statute is based from a revision, a prior
statute, the latters practical application and
A statute does not define word or phrases used.
judicial construction,
Generally define words in their natural plain and o Various amendments it underwent
ordinary acceptance and significance. o Contemporary events at the
Presidents message to legislature Prior laws from which statute is based
The president shall address the congress at the opening Courts are permitted to prior laws on the same subject
of its regular session or appear before it at any other and to investigate the antecedents of the statute
time. involved.
Usually contains proposed legal measures. This is applicable in the interpretation of codes,
Indicates his thinking on the proposed legislation, revised or compiled statutes, for the prior law which
when enacted into law, follows his line of thinking on have been codified, compiled or revised will show the
the matter. legislative history that will clarify the intent of the law
or shed light on the meaning and scope of the codified
Explanatory note or revised statute.
A short exposition of explanation accompanying a
proposed legislation by its author or proponent. Peo. v. Manantan
Where there is ambiguity in a statute or where a statute Issue: whether or not justice of peace is included
is susceptible of more than one interpretation, courts Contention of Manantan, who is a justice of peace, is
may resort to the explanatory note to clarify the that the omission of justice of peace revealed the
ambiguity and ascertain the purpose or intent of the intention of the legislature to exclude such from its
statute. operation
Used to give effect to the purpose or intent as Held: contention denied. In holding that the word
disclosed in its explanatory note. judge includes justice of peace, the Court said that
A statute affected or changed an existing law and the a review of the history of the Revised Election Code
explanatory note to the bill which has eventually will help justify and clarify the above conclusion
enacted into a law states that the purpose is too simply
to secure the prompt action on a certain matter by the Director of Lands v. Abaya
officer concerned and not to change the existing law; When to count the 10-year period, either from the date
the statute should be construed to carry out such the decision was rendered or from the date judicial
purpose. proceedings instituted in cadastral cases
It may be used as a basis for giving a statute a meaning Held: court resolved the issue by referring to 4 older
that is inconsistent with what is expressed in the text of laws which have in common that counting of the
the statute. period starts from the date of the institution of the
judicial proceeding and not from the date the judgment
Legislative debates, views and deliberations is rendered
Courts may avail to themselves the actual proceedings
of the legislative body to assist in determining the
construction of a statute of doubtful meaning. Salaysay v. Castro
There is doubt to what a provision of a statute means, Actually holding ~ lastly elected
that meaning which was put to the provision during the Thus, a vice mayor acting as mayor is not included in
legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill may be the provision
Views expressed are as to the bills purpose, meaning Change in phraseology by amendments
or effect are not controlling in the interpretation of the Intents to change the meaning of the provision.
law. A statute has undergone several amendments, each
It is impossible to determine with authority what amendment using different phraseology, the deliberate
construction was put upon an act by the members of selection of language differing from that of the earlier
the legislative body that passed the bill. act on the subject indicates that a change in meaning of
The opinions expressed by legislators in the course of the law was intended and courts should so construe
debates concerning the application of existing laws are that statute as to reflect such change in meaning.
not also given decisive weight, especially where the
legislator was not a member of the assembly that Commissioner of Customs v. CTA
enacted the said laws. national port (new law) not the same as any port
When a statute is clear and free from ambiguity, courts (old law); otherwise, national will be a surplusage
will not inquire into the motives which influence the
legislature or individual members, in voting for its Amendment by deletion
passage; no indeed as to the intention of the draftsman, Deletion of certain words or phrases in a statute
or the legislators, so far as it has not been expressed indicates that the legislature intended to change the
into the act. meaning of the statute, for the presumption is that the
legislation would not have made the deletion had the
Reports of commissions intention been not effect a change in its meaning.
Commissions are usually formed to compile and A statute containing a provision prohibiting the doing
collate all laws on a particular subject and to prepare of a certain thing is amended by deleting such
the draft of the proposed code. provision.
Conditions at time of enactment
Gloria v. CA In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to
Issue: whether a public officer or employee, who has have taken into account the existing conditions of
been preventively suspended pending investigation of things at the time of its enactment.
the administrative charges against him, is entitled to In the interpretations of a statute, consider the physical
his salary and other benefits during such preventive conditions of the country and the circumstances then
suspension obtain understanding as to the intent of the legislature
Held: Court answered in the negative because such or as to the meaning of the statute.
provision with regard to payment of salaries during
suspension was deleted in the new law History of the times
A court may look to the history of the times,
Buenaseda v. Flavier examining the state of things existing when the statute
Ombusman and his deputy can only preventively was enacted.
suspend respondents in administrative cases who are A statute should not be construed in a spirit as if it
employed in his office, and not those who are were a protoplasm floating around in space.
employees in other department or offices of the In determining the meaning, intent, and purpose of a
government law or constitutional provision, the history of the times
of which I grew and to which it may be rationally
Exceptions to the rule (of amendment by deletion) supposed to bear some direct relationship, the evils
An amendment of the statue indicates a change in intended to be remedied and the good to be
meaning from that which the statute originally had accomplished are proper subjects of inquiry.
applies only when the intention is clear to change the Law being a manifestation of social culture and
previous meaning of the old law. progress must be interpreted taking into consideration
Rules dont apply when the intent is clear that the the stage of such culture and progress including all the
amendment is precisely to plainly express the concomitant circumstances.
construction of the act prior to its amendment because Law is not a watertight compartment sealed or shut off
its language is not sufficiently expressive of such from the contact with the drama of life which unfolds
construction. before our eyes.
Frequently, words do not materially affect the sense
will be omitted from the statute as incorporated in the CONTEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION
code or revised statute, or that some general idea will
be expressed in brief phrases. Generally
Are the constructions placed upon statutes at the time
Adopted statutes of, or after their enactment by the executive, legislative
Foreign statutes are adopted in this country or from or judicial authorities, as well as by those who involve
local laws are patterned form parts of the legislative in the process of legislation are knowledgeable of the
history of the latter. intent and purpose of the law.
Local statutes are patterned after or copied from those Contemporary construction is strongest in law.
of another country, the decision of the courts in such
country construing those laws are entitled to great Executive construction, generally; kinds of
weight in the interpretation of such local statutes. Is the construction placed upon the statute by an
executive or administrative officer.
Limitations of rule Three types of interpretation
A statute which has been adopted from that of a o Construction by an executive or
foreign country should be construed in accordance administrative officer directly called to
with the construction given it in the country of origin implement the law.
is not without limitations. o Construction by the secretary of justice in his
capacity as the chief legal adviser of the
Principles of common law government.
Known as Anglo-American jurisprudence which is no o Handed down in an adversary proceeding in
in force in this country, save only insofar as it is the form of a ruling by an executive officer
founded on sound principles applicable to local exercising quasi-judicial power.
conditions and is not in conflict with existing law,
nevertheless, many of the principles of the common Weight accorded to contemporaneous construction
law have been imported into this jurisdiction as a result Where there is doubt as to the proper interpretation of
of the enactment of laws and establishment of a statute, the uniform construction placed upon it by
institutions similar to those of the US. the executive or administrative officer charged with its
enforcement will be adopted if necessary to resolve the
True expression of the legislative purpose, especially if When contemporaneous construction disregarded
the construction is followed for a considerable period When there is no ambiguity in the law.
of time. If it is clearly erroneous, the same must be declared
null and void.
Nestle Philippines, Inc. v. CA
Reasons for why interpretation of an administrative Erroneous contemporaneous construction does not preclude
agency is generally accorded great respect correction nor create rights; exceptions
o Emergence of multifarious needs of a The doctrine of estoppel does not preclude correction
modernizing society of the erroneous construction by the officer himself by
o Also relates to experience and growth of his successor or by the court in an appropriate case.
specialized capabilities by the administrative An erroneous contemporeaneous construction creates
agency no vested right on the part of those relied upon, and
o They have the competence, expertness, followed such construction.
experience and informed judgment, and the
fact that they frequently are the drafters of the Legislative interpretation
law they interpret Take form of an implied acquiescence to, or approval
of, an executive or judicial construction of a statute.
Philippine Sugar Central v. Collector of Customs The legislature cannot limit or restrict the power
Issue: whether the government can legally collect granted to the courts by the constitution.
duties as a charge for wharfage required by a statute
upon all articles exported through privately-owned Legislative approval
wharves Legislative is presumed to have full knowledge of a
Held: the court reasoned in the affirmative by saying contemporaneous or practical construction of a statute
the language of the Act could have been made more by an administrative or executive officer charged with
specific and certain, but in view of its history, its long its enforcement.
continuous construction, and what has been done and The legislature may approve or ratify such
accomplished by and under it, we are clearly of the contemporaneous construction.
opinion that the government is entitled to have and May also be showmen by the legislature appropriating
receive the money in question, even though the sugar money for the officer designated to perform a task
was shipped from a private wharf pursuant to interpretation of a statute.
Legislative ratification is equivalent to a mandate.
Weight accorded to usage and practice
Common usage and practice under the statute, or a Reenactment
course of conduct indicating a particular undertaking Most common act of approval.
of it, especially where the usage has been acquiesced
The re-enactment of a statute, previously given a
in by all the parties concerned and has extended over a
contemporaneous construction is persuasive indication
long period of time. of the adoption by the legislature of the prior
Optimus interpres rerum usus the best interpretation construction.
of the law is usage.
Re-enactment if accorded greater weight and respect
than the contemporaneous construction of the statute
before its ratification.
Construction of rules and regulations Stare decisis
This rule-making power, authorities sustain the
Judicial interpretation of a statute and is of greater
principle that the interpretation by those charged with
weight than that of an executive or administrative
their enforcement is entitled to great weight by the
officer in the construction of other statutes of similar
court in the latters construction of such rules and
It is an invaluable aid in the construction or
interpretation of statutes of doubtful meaning.
Reasons why contemporaneous construction is given much
Stare decisis et non quieta movere one should follow
past precedents and should not disturb what has been
It is entitled to great weight because it comes from the
particular branch of government called upon to
Supreme Court has the constitutional duty not only of
implement the law thus construed.
interpreting and applying the law in accordance with
Are presumed to have familiarized themselves with all
prior doctrines but also of protecting society from the
the considerations pertinent to the meaning and
improvidence and wantonness wrought by needless
purpose of the law, and to have formed an
upheavals in such interpretations and applications
independent, conscientious and competent expert
In order that it will come within the doctrine of stare
opinion thereon
decisis, must be categorically stated on an issue
expressly raised by the parties; it must be a direct
ruling, not merely an obiter dictum
Obiter dictum opinion expressed by a court upon o MAY denotes that it is directory in nature
some question of law which is not necessary to the and generally permissive only
decision of the case before it; not binding as a o Plain-meaning rule is applicable
precedent o Ano yun, ipapasara ng government tapos
The principle presupposes that the facts of the magbabayad pa ang employer ng separation
precedent and the case to which it is applied are pay?!? Ang daya-daya! Lugi na nga si
substantially the same. employer, kikita pa si employee?!? Unfair!
Where the facts are dissimilar, then the principle of Cannot be! No! No!
stare decisis does not apply. o To depart from the meaning expressed by the
The rule of stare decisis is not absolute. It does not words is to alter the statute, to legislate and
apply when there is a conflict between the precedent not interpret
and the law. o Maledicta est exposition quae corrumpit
The duty of the court is to forsake and abandon any textum dangerous construction which is
doctrine or rule found to be in violation of law in force against the text
Inferior courts as well as the legislature cannot
abandon a precedent enunciated by the SC except by Dura lex sed lex
way of repeal or amendment of the law itself Dura lex sed lex the law may be harsh but it is still
the law
CHAPTER FOUR: Adherence to, or departure from, Absoluta sentential expositore non indigent when the
language of statute language of the law is clear, no explanation of it is
LITERAL INTERPRETATION When the law is clear, it is not susceptible of
interpretation. It must be applied regardless of who
Literal meaning or plain-meaning rule may be affected, even if it may be harsh or onerous
General rule: if statute is clear, plain and free from Hoc quidem perquam durum est, sed ital ex scripta est
ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and it is exceedingly hard but so the law is written
applied without attempted interpretation A decent regard to the legislative will shoud inhibit the
o Verba legis court from engaging in judicial legislation to change
o Index animi sermo speech is the index of what it thinks are unrealistic statutes that do not
intention conform with ordinary experience or practice (respeto
o Words employed by the legislature in a nalang sa ating mga mambabatas! Whatever?!? Haha
statute correctly express its intent or will joke only)
o Verba legis non est recedendum from the If there is a need to change the law, amend or repeal it,
words of a statute there should be no remedy may be done through a legislative process, not
departure by judicial decree
o Thus, what is not clearly provided in the law Where the law is clear, appeals to justice and equity as
cannot be extended to those matters outside justification to construe it differently are unavailing
its scope Philippines is governed by CIVIL LAW or POSITIVE
Judicial legislation an encroachment upon legislative LAW, not common law
prerogative to define the wisdom of the law Equity is available only in the absence of law and not
o Courts must administer the law as they find it its replacement (so, pag may law, walang equity
without regard to consequences equity! Pero pag walang law, pwedeng mag-equity,
gets?!?... important to!)
National Federation of Labor v. NLRC Aequitas nunquam contravenit legis equity never
Employees were claiming separation pay on the basis acts in contravention of the law
of Art. 283 Labor Code which states that employer
MAY also terminate the employment of an employee DEPARTURE FROM LITERAL INTERPRETATION
for reasons therein by serving notice thereof and
paying separation pay to affected employees Statute must be capable of interpretation, otherwise inoperative
There was compulsory acquisition by the government If no judicial certainty can be had as to its meaning,
of the employers land (Patalon Coconut Estate) for the court is not at liberty to supply nor to make one
purposes of agrarian reform which forced the employer
to cease his operation Santiago v. COMELEC
Issue: whether or not employer is liable for separation In this case, the Court adopted a literal meaning thus,
pay? concluded that RA 6735 is inadequate to implement
Held: NO, employer is not liable for separation pay! the power of the people to amend the Constitution
o It is a unilateral and voluntary act by the (initiative on amendments) for the following reasons:
employer if he wants to give separation pay o Does not suggest an initiative on amendments
o This is gleaned from the wording MAY in on to the Constitution because it is silent as to
the statute amendments on the Constitution and the word
Constitution is neither germane nor relevant o Legislative words are not inert but derived
to said section vitality from the obvious purposes at which
o Does not provide for the contents of a petition they are aimed
for initiative on the Constitution o Legislation working instrument of
o Does not provide for subtitles for initiative on government and not merely as a collection of
the Constitution English words
o RA is incomplete and does not provide a Benjamin Natham Cardozo
sufficient standard o Legislation is more than a composition
Justice Puno (ano?!? Justice Tree?!) dissents: o It is an active instrument of government
o Legislative intent is also shown by the which means that laws have ends to be
deliberations on the bill that became RA achieved
6735 (there are 4 more reasons see page Holmes
130-131, which are not so important) o Words are flexible
Interpretation of RA 6735 was not in keeping with the o The general purpose is a more important aid
maxim interpretation fienda est ut res magis valeat to the meaning than any rule which grammar
quam pereat that interpretation as will give the thing or formal logic may lay down
efficacy is to be adopted o Courts are apt to err by sticking too closely to
the words of law where those words import a
What is within the spirit is within the law policy that goes beyond them
Dont literally construe the law if it will render it
meaningless, lead to ambiguity, injustice or Soriano v. Offshore Shipping and Manning Corp
contradiction A literal interpretation is to be rejected if it would be
The spirit of the law controls its letter unjust or lead to absurd results
Ratio legis interpretation according to the spirit or
reason of the law Illustration of rule
Spirit or intention of a statute prevails over the letter
A law should accordingly be so construed as to be in King v. Hernandez
accordance with, and not repugnant to, the spirit of the Issue: whether or not a Chinese (parang si RA and
law Serge) may be employed in a non-control position in a
Presumption: undesirable consequences were never retail establishment, a wholly nationalized business
intended by a legislative measure under RA 1180 Retail Trade Law (btw, wala na tong
law na to. It has been repealed by the Retail Trade
Literal import must yield to intent Liberalization Act my thesis! )
Verba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservire Held: No! (kasi duduraan ka lang ng mga intsik! Joke
words ought to be more subservient to the intent and only!) the law has to be construed with the Anti-
not the intent to the words (ahhh parang intent is to Dummy Law prohibiting an alien from intervening
woman as word is to man so man is subservient to in the management, operation, administration or
woman logical!) control thereof
Guide in ascertaining intent conscience and equity When the law says you cannot employ such alien, you
So it is possible that a statute may be extended to cases cannot employ an alien! The unscrupulous alien may
not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as resort to flout the law or defeat its purpose!
they come within its spirit or intent (maggulang daw mga intsik ultimo tubig sa pasig
river, which is supposed to be free, bottles it and then
Limitation of rule sells it! Huwat?!?)
Construe (intent over letter) only if there is ambiguity! It is imperative that the law be interpreted in a manner
that would stave off any attempt at circumvention of
Construction to accomplish purpose the legislative purpose
PURPOSE or REASON which induced the enactment
of the statute key to open the brain of the legislature/ Bustamante v. NLRC
legislative intent! Issue: how to compute for backwages to which an
Statutes should be construed in the light of the object illegally dismissed employee would be entitled until
to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be his actual reinstatement (take note of this case.. its a
suppressed labor case kiliti ni Golangco)
As between two statutory interpretations, that which 3 ways:
better serves the purpose of the law should prevail o 1st before Labor Code to be deducted from
the amount of backwages is the earnings
Sarcos v. Castillo elsewhere during the period of illegal
This case explains why legislative purpose to
o 2nd Labor Code Art. 279 the amount of
determine legislative intent
backwages is fixed without deductions or
qualifications but limited to not more than 3
o 3rd amended Art. 279 full backwages or Peo v. Almuete
without deductions from the time the Agricultural Tenancy Act is repealed by the
laborers compensation was withheld until his Agricultural Land Reform Code
actual reinstatement Agricultural Tenancy Act punishes prereaping or
The clear legislative intent of the amendment in RA prethreshing of palay on a date other than that
6715 (Labor Code) is to give more benefits to workers previously set without the mutual consent of the
than was previously given them under the Mercury landlord and tenant
Drug rule or the 1st way o Share tenancy relationship
Agricultural Land Reform Code abolished share
US v. Toribio tenancy relationship, thus does not punish prereaping
The prohibition of the slaughter of carabaos for human or prethreshing of palay on a date other than that
consumption so long as these animals are fit for previously set without the mutual consent of the
agricultural work/ draft purposes was a reasonable landlord and tenant anymore
necessary limitation on private ownership o Leasehold system
Purpose or object of the law to protect large cattle
against theft and to make easy recovery and return of Commendador v. De Villa
such cattle to their owners, when lost, strayed or stolen Issue: whether PD 39, which withdrew the right to
Issue: whether the slaughter of large cattle outside the peremptorily challenge members of a military tribunal,
municipal slaughterhouse without a permit by the had been rendered inoperative by PD 2045
municipal treasurer is prohibited? proclaiming the termination of a state of martial law
Held: YES! Outside or inside without permit is Held: YES! The termination of the martial law and the
prohibited dissolution of military tribunals created thereunder, the
reason for the existence of PD 39 ceased automatically
Bocobo v. Estanislao and the decree itself ceased
Issue: whether the CFI and a municipal court in the
capital of a province have concurrent jurisdiction over Vasquez v. Giap
the crime of libel Where the mischief sought to be remedied by a statute
RPC grants jurisdiction with CFI has already been removed in a given situation, the
Judiciary Act grants jurisdiction with the municipal statute may no longer apply in such case
court in the capital of a province in offenses where the The law bans aliens from acquiring and owning lands,
penalty is not more than prission correctional or fine the purpose is to preserve the nations lands for future
not exceeding 6,000Php (penalty for libel) generations of Filipinos
So ano na?!? A sale of land in favor of an alien, in violation of the
said law, no longer be questioned after the alien
Godines v. CA becomes a Filipino citizen
Patent Law grants the patentee the exclusive right to Supplying legislative omission
make, use, and sell his patented machine, article or xxx if it is clearly ascertainable from the CONTEXT!
product xxx May supply legislative omission to make the statute
Doctrine of equivalents when a device appropriates a conform to obvious intent of the legislature or to
prior invention by incorporating its innovative concept, prevent the act from being absurd
and albeit with some modification and change, Note: differentiate from judicial legislation
performs substantially the same function in
substantially the same way to achieve substantially the
same result (ano ba to?!? Puro substantially?) Correcting clerical errors
As long as the meaning intended is apparent on the
Planters Association of Southern Negros, Inc. v. Ponferrada face of the whole enactment and no specific provision
2 apparently conflicting provisions should be is abrogated
construed as to realize the purpose of the law This is not judicial legislation
The purpose of the law is to INCREASE the workers
benefits Illustration rule
Benefits under RA 6982 shall be IN ADDITION to the
benefits under RA 809 and PD 621 Rufino Lopez & Sons, Inc. v. CTA
Substituted cannot be given literal interpretation Court change the phrase collector of customs to
commissioner of customs to correct an obvious
When reason of law ceases, law itself ceases mistake in law
The reason which induced the legislature to enact a Sec 7 commissioner of customs grants the CTA
law is the heart of the law jurisdiction to review decisions of the Commissioner
Cessante ratione legis, cessat et ipsa lex when the of Customs
reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases Sec 11 collector of customs refers to the decision
Ratio legis est anima reason of the law is its soul of the Collector of Customs that may be appealed to
the tax court
Commissioner prevails Commissioner of Customs Court held that the phrase institution of judicial
has supervision and control over Collectors of proceedings for its investigation and punishment may
Customs and the decisions of the latter are reviewable be either disregarded as surplusage or should be
by the Commissioner of Customs deemed preceded by the word until

Lamp v. Phipps Oliveros v. Villaluz

Ordinary COURTS of law to Ordinary COURSE of Issue: whether or not the suspension order against an
law elective official following an information for violation
of the Anti-Graft law filed against him, applies not
Farinas v. Barba only to the current term of office but also to another
Issue: who is the appointing power to fill a vacancy term if the accused run for reelection and won
created by the sanggunian member who did not belong Sec 13 of the Anti-Graft Law suspension unless
to any political party, under the provision of the Local acquitted, reinstated!
Government Code Held: only refers to the current term of the suspended
local chief executive a misnomer officer (and not to a future unknown and uncertain new
It should be authorities concerned term unless supplemented by a new suspension order
Because the President is not a local chief executive in the event of reelection) for if his term shall have
but under Sec. 50 of the Local Government Code, the expired at the time of acquittal, he would obviously be
President, Governor, Mayor have the executive power no longer entitled to reinstatement; otherwise it will
to appoint in order to fill vacancies in local councils or lead to absurdities
to suspend local officials
Peo v. Yu Hai
Qualification of rule (of correcting clerical errors) Issue: when does a crime punishable by arresto menor
Only those which are clearly clerical errors or obvious prescribe?
mistakes, omissions, and misprints; otherwise, is to State says 10 years as provided for in Art 90 RPC
rewrite the law and invade the domain of the o Art. 26 (correctional offenses) max fine of
legislature, it is judicial legislation in the guise of 200Php correctional penalty prescribes in
interpretation 10 years (Art. 90)
Court held that this is not right!!!! It is wrong!
Construction to avoid absurdity o Art. 9 (light offenses) not more than 200Php
Reason: it is always presumed that the legislature light felonies 2 months
intended exceptions to its language which would avoid o 1Php makes a difference of 9 years and 10
consequences of this character months! (huwat?!?)
Thus, statutes may be extended to cover cases not o Arresto mayor (correctional penalty)
within the literal meaning of the terms if their exact prescribes in 5 years
and literal import would lead to absurd or mischievous o Less grave prescribe even shorter
results o Also, prescriptive period cannot be
Interpretation talis in ambiguis simper fienda est ut ascertained not until the court decides which
evitetur inconveniens et absurdum where there is of the alternative penalties should be imposed
ambiguity, such interpretation as will avoid imprisonment ba or fine lang yun lang
inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted po!
Courts test the law by its results if law appears to be
arbitrary, courts are not bound to apply it in slavish Peo v. Reyes
disobedience to its language Dangerous Drugs Act
Courts should construe a statute to effectuate, and not RA 7659
to defeat, its provisions; nor render compliance with its o X < 200 grams max penalty is reclusion
provisions impossible to perform perpetua
o X > 200 grams min penalty is reclusion
Peo v. Duque perpetua
Surplusage!!! Court ruled that:
Sec. 2 of Act No. 3326 prescription of offenses o X < 200 grams penalty ranging from prision
o Prescription shall begin to run from correctional to reclusion temporal
The day of the commission of the 134-199grams reclusion temporal
violation 66-133 prison mayor
From the time of discovery AND Less than 66 grams prision
institution of judicial proceedings for correcional
investigation and punishment StatCon duty of the court to harmonize conflicting
But the prevailing rule is that prescriptive period is provisions to give effect to the whole law; to effectuate
tolled upon the institution of judicial proceedings an the intention of legislature
act of grace by the State
Malonzo v. Zamora Held: NO! (isang beses lang naman eh.. hehehe joke
Contention: the City Counsel of Caloocan cannot lang!)
validly pass an ordinance appropriating a supplemental o The purpose of the Anti-alias Law is to
budget for the purpose of expropriating a certain parcel prevent confusion and fraud in business
of land, without first adopting or updating its house transactions
rules of procedure within the first 90 days following o Such isolated use of a different name is not
the election of its members, as required by Secs. 50 prohibited by the law; otherwise, injustice,
and 52 of the LGC absurdity and contradiction will result
Court said this is absurd!!!! Contention is rejected!
o Adoption or updating of house rules would Construction to avoid danger to public interest
necessarily entail work local councils
hands were tied and could not act on any Co Kim Cham v. Valdez Tan Keh
other matter if we hold the absurd contention! Sa Consti to ah! La lang hehe (yihee, Serge!)
o So much inconvenience! Shiox! And this processes in the proclamation that all laws
could not have been intended by the law regulations and processes of the so-called RP during
the Japanese occupation of the country are null and
Construction to avoid injustice void and without legal effect MAY NOT be
Presumption legislature did not intend to work a construed to embrace JUDICIAL PROCESSES as this
hardship or an oppressive result, a possible abuse of would lead to great inconvenience and public hardship
authority or act of oppression, arming one person with and public interest would be endangered
a weapon to impose hardship on the other o Criminals freed
Ea est accipienda interpretation quae vitio caret that o Vested right, impaired
interpretation is to be adopted which is free from evil
or injustice Construction in favor of right and justice
Art. 10 CC: In case of doubt in the interpretation or
Amatan v. Aujero application of laws, it is presumed that the law-making
Rodrigo Umpad was charged with homicide body intended right and justice to prevail
Pursuant to some provision in criminal procedure, he Art. 9 CC: The fact that a statute is silent, obscure, or
entered into a plea bargaining agreement, which the insufficient with respect to a question before the court
judge approved of, downgrading the offense charge of will not justify the latter from declining to render
homicide to attempted homicide to which Umpad judgment thereon
pleaded guilty thereto. In balancing conflicting solutions, that one is
Hello?!? Namatay na nga tapos attempted lang?!? perceived to tip the scales which the court believes will
Mababaliw ako sayo, judge, whoever you are!!! best promote the public welfare is its probable
Fiat justicia, ruat coelum let the right be done, operation as a general rule or principle
though the heavens fall (ano daw?!?)
Stated differently, when a provision of the law is silent Salvacion v. BSP
or ambiguougs, judges ought to invoke a solution Greg Bartelli raped his alleged niece 10 times and
responsive to the vehement urge of conscience detained her in his apartment for 4 days
(ahhh ano daw ulit?!?) Court gave a favorable judgment of more than 1MPhp
BSP rejected the writ of attachment alleging Sec 113
Peo v. Purisima of the Central Bank Circular No. 960 (applicable to
It was contended that PD 9(3) is a malum transient foreigners)
prohibitum; thus intent to use such prohibited weapons Issue: whether the dollar bank deposit in a Philippine
is immaterial by reason of public policy bank of a foreign tourist can be attached to satisfy the
Court said that use the preamble to construe such act moral damages awarded in favor of the latters 12-
whether penalized or not year-old rape victim
Moreover the court said that legislature did not intend BSP did not honor the writ of attachment pursuant to
injustice, absurdity and contradiction RA6426 Sec 8 foreign currency deposits shall be
Court gave an example exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other
o So if I borrowed a bolo then I return this to order or process of any court, legislative body,
my lender, then in the course or my journey government agency or any administrative body
Im caught, Im penalized under the Decree whatsoever
for 5-10 years imprisonment! (ang labo Court held that: ANO BA?!? Na-rape na nga ayaw
naman!) pang magbayad ng moral damages dahil lang sa isang
silly law?!? (hehe.. joke lang.. Im so bored na eh!)
Ursua v. CA o Court applied the principles of right and
Issue: whether or not the isolated use, at one instance, justice to prevail over the strict and literal
of a name other than a persons true name to secure a words of the statute
copy of a document from a government agency, o The purpose of RA 6426 to exempt such
constitutes violation of CA 142 Anti-alias Law assets from attachment: at the time the said
law was enacted, the countrys economy was Inest haec exception, si non aliquid sit contras jus
in a shambles. But in the present time it is basque where anything is granted generally, this
still in shambles... hehe joke lang but in the exception is implied
present time, the country has recovered Compelling reasons may justify reading an exception
economically. No reason why such assets to a rule even where the latter does not provide any;
cannot be attached especially if it would otherwise the rigor of the law would become the
satisfy a judgment to award moral damages to highest injustice summum jus, summa injuria
a 12-year-old rape victim!
Law does not require the impossible
Surplusage and superfluity disregarded Nemo tenetur ad impossible the law obliges no one
Where a word, phrase or clause in a statute is devoid to perform an impossibility
of meaning in relation to the context or intent of the Impossibilium nulla obligation est no obligation to
statute, or where it suggests a meaning that nullifies do an impossible thing
the statute or renders it without sense, the word, phrase Impossible compliance versus Substantial compliance
or clause may be rejected as surplusage and entirely (as required by law)
Surplusagium non noceat surplusage does not vitiate Lim co Chui v Posadas
a statute Publication in the Official Gazette weekly, for three
Utile per inutile non vitiatur nor is the useful vitated times and consecutively, to acquire jurisdiction over
by the non-useful naturalization case
It was an impossibility to fulfill such requirement as
Demafiles v. COMELEC the OG was not, at the time, published weekly
Issue: whether a pre-proclamation election case has Thus, Court held that compliance with the other 2
become moot because the proclaimed winner had requirements would be deemed sufficient to acquire
immediately taken his oath pursuant to Sec 2 RA 4870 jurisdiction over the naturalization case
which provides that the first mayor, vice-mayor and
councilors of the municipality of Sebaste shall be Akbayan v. COMELEC
elected in the next general elections for local officials This case is about the statutory grant of stand-by
and shall have qualified power to the COMELEC as provided for in Sec. 28
It was contended that shall have qualified begins RA 8436
immediately after their proclamation! Petitioners were asking the respondent to exercise such
Court held that this is wrong! power so as to accommodate potential voters who
o The said phrase is a jargon and does not were not able to register for the upcoming election
warrant the respondents reading that the term COMELEC denied the petition alleging the
of office of the first municipal officials of impossibility of late registration to accommodate
Sebaste begins immediately after their potential voters
proclamation Court ruled that the provision must be given such
o The King in Alice in Wonderland: if there is interpretation that is in accordance with logic, common
no meaning in it, that saves a world of sense, reasonableness and practicality
trouble, you know, as we need not try to find
Where time constraint and the surrounding
circumstances make it impossible or the COMELEC to
o Apply the general rule when such term begin
conduct special registration of voters, the COMELEC
the term of municipal officials shall begin cannot be faulted for refusing to do so, for the law
on the 1st day of January following their
does not require the impossible to be done; there is no
obligation to ho the impossible thing
COMELECs decision is sustained
Redundant words may be rejected
Self-explanatory, ano buzzzz?!?
Number and gender of words
When the context of a statute so indicates, words in
Obscure or missing word or false description may not preclude
plural include the singular, and vice versa.
A plural word in a statute may thus apply to a singular
Falsa demonstration non nocet, cum de corpore constat
person or thing, just as a singular word may embrace
false description does not preclude construction nor
two or more persons or things
vitiate the meaning of the statute which is otherwise
Art. 996 CC (law on succession) such article also
applies to a situation where there is only one child
because children includes child
Exemption from rigid application of law
Election Code candidate comprehends some
Ibi quid generaliter conceditur every rule is not
candidates or all candidates
without an exception
On gender the masculine, but not the feminine,
includes all genders, unless the context in which the
word is used in the statute indicates otherwise
Batungbakal v National Development Co
IMPLICATIONS Petitioner was suspended and removed from office
which proved to be illegal and violative not only of the
Doctrine of necessary implication Administrative Code but of the Constitution itself
So-called gaps in the law develop as the law is Court ruled that to remedy the evil and wrong
enforced committed, there should be reinstatement and payment
StatCon rule: to fill in the gap is the doctrine of of backwages, among other things
necessary implication However, there was a legal problem as to his
Doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as reinstatement, for when he was suspended and
much a part thereof as that which is expressed eventually dismissed, somebody was appointed to his
Ex necessitate legis from the necessity of the law position
Every statutory grant of power, right or privilege is Issue: whether remedy is denied petitioner
deemed to include all incidental power, right or Held: position was never vacant. Since there is no
privilege vacancy, the present incumbent cannot be appointed
In eo quod plus sit, simper inest et minus greater permanently. The incumbent is only holding a
includes the lesser temporary position. Moreover, the incumbents being
Necessity made to leave the post to give way to the employees
o includes such inferences as may be logically superior right may be considered as removal for cause
be drawn from the purpose or object of the
statute, from what the legislature must be Grant of jurisdiction
presumed to have intended, and from the Conferred only by the Constitution or by statute
necessity of making the statute effective and Cannot be conferred by the Rules of Court
operative Cannot be implied from the language of a statute, in
o excludes what is merely plausible, beneficial, the absence of clear legislative intent to that effect
or desirable
must be consistent with the Constitution or to existing Pimentel v. COMELEC
laws COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction over election
an implication which is violative of the law is cases filed with and decided by the RTC involving
unjustified or unwarranted municipal elective officials DOES NOT IMPLY the
grant of authority upon the COMELEC to issue writs
Chua v. Civil Service Commission of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus concerning said
Issue: whether a coterminous employee, or one whose election cases
appointment is co-existent with the duration of a
government project, who has been employed as such Peo v. Palana
for more than 2 years, is entitled to early retirement Statute grants a special court jurisdiction over criminal
benefits under Sec 2 RA 6683 cases involving offenders under 16 at the time of the
Court held that YES, Chua is entitled! filing of the action, a subsequent statute defining a
o A coterminous employee is no different from youthful offender as one who is over 9 but below 21
a casual or temporary employee, and by years of age may not be so construed as to confer by
necessary implication, the inclusion of the implication upon said special court the authority to try
latter in the class of government employees cases involving offenders 16 but below 21 years of age
entitled to the benefits of the law necessarily
implies that the former should also be entitled What may be implied from grant of jurisdiction
to such benefits The grant of jurisdiction to try actions carries with it
o Wrong application of the maxim expresio all necessary and incidental powers to employ all
uniusest exclusion alterius writs, processes and other means essential to make its
jurisdiction effective
Remedy implied from a right Where a court has jurisdiction over the main cause of
Ubi jus, ibi remedium - where there is a right, there is action, it can grant reliefs incidental thereto, even if
a remedy for violation thereof they would otherwise be outside its jurisdiction
Right -> Obligation -> Remedy o E.g. forcible entry and detainer is cognizable
The fact that the statute is silent as to the remedy does in MTC MTC can order payment of rentals
not preclude him from vindicating his right, for such even though the amount exceeds the
remedy is implied from such right jurisdictional amount cognizable by them, the
Once a right is established, the way must be cleared for same merely incidental to the principal action
its enforcement, and technicalities in procedure, Statutes conferring jurisdiction to an administrative
judicial as well as administrative, must give way agency must be liberally construed to enable the
Where there is wrong, (deprivation or violation of a agency to discharge its assigned duties in accordance
right) there is a remedy with the legislative purpose
If theres no right, principle does not apply o E.g. the power granted the NHA to hear and
decide claims involving refund and any other
claims filed xxx, include attorneys fees and o Provided that such removal is made with just
other damages cause
o Except is such statute provides that term of
Grant of power includes incidental power office to be at the pleasure of the appointing
Where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, officer, power to appoint carries with it power
every particular power necessary for the exercise of to remove anytime
one or the performance of the other is also conferred Power to investigate officials DOES NOT INCLUDE
The incidental powers are those which are necessarily the power to delegate the authority to take testimony of
included in, and are therefore of lesser degree than the witnesses whose appearance may be required by the
power granted compulsory process of subpoena. Nor does such
o Examples power to investigate include the power to delegate the
Power to establish an office includes authority to administer oath
authority to abolish it, unless xxx
Warrant issued shall be made upon Authority to charge against public funds may not be implied
probable cause determined by the It is well-settled that unless a statute expressly so
judge xxx implies the grant of power authorizes, no claim against public funds may be
to the judge to conduct preliminary allowed
investigations o Statute grants leave privileges to
Power to approve a license includes APPOINTIVE officials, this cannot be
by implication the power to revoke it construed to include ELECTIVE officials
Power to revoke is limited o employer to pay 13th month pay, does not
by the authority to grant imply that it includes government
license, from which it is
Power to deport includes the power Illegality of act implied from prohibition
to arrest undesirable aliens after In pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis - where a
investigation statute prohibits the doing of an act, the act done in
Power to appoint vested in the violation thereof is by implication null and void
President includes the power to Prohibited act cannot serve as foundation of a cause of
make temporary appointments , action for relief
unless xxx Ex dolo malo non oritur actio no man can be allowed
Power to appropriate money to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing or inequity
includes power to withdraw Nullus coomodum capere potest de injuria sua propria
unexpended money already no man should be allowed to take advantage of his
appropriated own wrong
Etc see page 171-172 Public policy requires that parties to an act prohibited
by statute be left where they are, to make the statute
Grant of power excludes greater power effective and to accomplish its object
The principle that the grant of power includes all o Party to an illegal contract cannot come to
incidental powers necessary to make the exercise court of law and ask that his illegal object be
thereof effective implies the exclusion of those which carried out
are greater than that conferred o A citizen who sold his land to an alien in
o Power of supervision DOES NOT INCLUDE violation of the constitutional restriction
power to suspend or removal cannot annul the same and recover the land,
o Power to reorganize DOES NOT INCLUDE for both seller and buyer are guilty of having
the authority to deprive the courts certain violated the Constitution
jurisdiction and to transfer it to a quasi-
judicial tribunal Two (2) Exceptions to the rule
o Power to regulate business DOES NOT Pari delicto doctrine will not apply when its
INCLUDE power to prohibit enforcement or application will violate an avowed
fundamental policy or public interest
What is implied should not be against the law
Power to appoint includes power to suspend or remove Delos Santos v. Roman Catholic Church
Homestead Law to give and preserve in the
o Constitutional restriction of CIVIL SERVICE homesteader and his family a piece of land for his
EMPLOYEES, that it must be a cause house and cultivation
provided for by law precludes such The law prohibits the alienation of a homestead within
implication (unless the appointment was 5 years following the issuance of the patent and
made outside the civil service law provides that any contract of a conveyance in
Power to appoint a public officer by the President contravention thereof shall be null and void
includes power to remove
The seller or his heirs, although in pari delicto, may CHAPTER FIVE: Interpretation of words and phrases
recover the land subject of such illegal sale
Barsobia v. Cuenco
Another exception is that when the transaction is not Generally
illegal per se but merely prohibited and the A word or phrase used in a statute may have an
prohibition by law is designed for protection of one ordinary, generic, restricted, technical, legal,
party, the court may grant relief in favor of the latter commercial or trading meaning
May be defined in the statute if this is done, use such
What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly definition because this is what the legislature intended
Quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per Task:
obliquum what cannot, by law, be done directly o ascertain intent from statute
cannot be done indirectly o ascertain intent from extraneous & relevant
Peo v. Concepcion o construe word or phrase to effectuate such
Where a corporation is forbidden from doing an act, intent
the prohibition extends to the board of directors and to General rule in interpreting the meaning and scope of a
each director separately and individually term used in the law:
Where the board of directors is prohibited from o Review of the WHOLE law involved as well
granting loans to its director, a loan to a partnership of as the INTENDMENT of law (not of an
which the wife of a director is a partner falls within the isolated part or a particular provision alone)
Statutory definition
Peoples Bank and Trust Co. v. PNB When statute defines words & phrase- legislative
Where a statute prohibits the payment of the principal definition controls the meaning of statutory word,
obligation during a fixed period, the interest thereon irrespective of any other meaning word have in
during the existence of the restriction is not ordinary usual sense.
demandable Where a statute defines a word or phrase, the word or
phrase, should not by construction, be given a different
Cruz v. Tantuico meaning.
Law exempts retirement benefits of a public officer or Legislature restricted meaning as it adopted specific
employee from attachment, garnishment etc definition, thus, this should be used
Earlier law authorizes the government to withhold an Term or phrase specifically defined in particular law,
amount due such officer or employee to pay his definition must be adopted.
indebtedness to the government SHOULD NOT BE No usurpation of court function in interpreting but it
CONSTRUED to withhold so much of his retirement merely legislates what should form part of the law
benefits as this amount to attachment garnishment etc. itself

Tantuico, Jr. v Domingo Victorias Milling Co. v. Social Security Commission

Law exempts retirement benefits of a public officer or <compensation; RA 1161, Sec. 8(f)>
employee from attachment, garnishment etc compensation to include all renumerations, except
Government cannot withhold payment of retirement bonuses, allowances & overtime pay
benefits of a public officer until his accountabilities Definition was amended: deleted exceptions
with the government shall have been cleared, as such Legislative Intent: the amendment shows legislative
action is doing indirectly what the government is intent that bonuses & overtime pay now included in
prohibited from doing directly employees renumeration.
Principle: by virtue of express substantial change in
There should be no penalty from compliance with law phraseology, whatever prior judicial or executive
A person who complies with what a statute requires construction should give way to mandate of new law.
cannot, by implication, be penalized thereby
For simple logic and fairness and reason cannot Peo. v. Venviaje < Chiropractic>
countenance an exaction or a penalty for an act Issue: Whether person who practiced chiropractic
faithfully done in compliance with the law without having been duly licensed, may be criminally
liable for violation of medical law.
Held: Though term practice of medicine,
chiropractic may in ordinary sense fall within its
meaning; statutorily defined - includes manipulations
employed in chiropractic; thus, one who practices
chiropractic without license is criminally liable.
Chang Yung Fa v. Gianzon< alien> signification, according to good and approved usage
Issue: whether alien who comes into country as and without resulting to forced or subtle construction.
temporary visitor is an immigrant?
Held: while immigrant in ordinary definition- an Central Azucarera Don Pedro v. Central Bank
alien who comes to the Philippines for permanent A statute exempts certain importations from tax and
residence; The Immigration Act makes own foreign exchange, which are actually used in the
definition of term, which is any alien departing from manufacture or preparation of local products, forming
any place outside the Philippines destined for the part thereof.
Philippines, other than a non-immigrant. Forming part thereof not to mean that the imported
(so kelangan part siya nung other than a non- products have to be mixed mechanically, chemically,
immigrant.) -> yep yep, Serge! But more importantly, materially into the local product & lose its identity.
the definition emphasizes an immigrant, who is an Means that the imported article is needed to
alien, who comes to the Philippines either to reside accomplish the locally manufactured product for
CIR v. Manila Business Lodge 761
definition of terms given weight in construction business (if unqualified) in tax statute: plain and
terms & phrases, being part & parcel of whole statute, ordinary meaning to embrace activity or affair where
given effect in their ENTIRTY, as harmonious, profit is the purpose & livelihood is the motive.
coordinated, and integrated unit In this case, a fraternal social club selling liquor at its
words & phrases construed in light of context of clubhouse in a limited scale only to its members,
WHOLE statute. without intention to obtain profit
Not engaged in business.
Qualification of rule
Statutory definition of word or term controlling only as Phiippinel Association of Government Retirees v. GSIS
used in the Act; < present value>
not conclusive as to the meaning of same word or term Statute: for those who are at least 65 yrs of age, lump
in other statutes sum payment of present value of annuity for the first 5
Especially to transactions that took place prior to years, and future annuity to be paid monthly. Provided
enactment of act. however, that there shall be no discount from annuity
Statutory definition controlling statutory words does for the first 5 yrs. of those who are 65 yrs or over, on
not apply when: the day the law took effect.
o application creates incongruities Vocabulary:
o destroy its major purposes o lump sum - amount of money given in single
o becomes illogical as result of change in its payment
factual basis. o annuity - amount of money paid to somebody
yearly or at some other regular interval
Ernest v. CA < RA 4166 & EO 900, 901> Should there be discount from the present value of his
sugarcane planter is defined as a planter-owner of annuity?
sugarcane plantation w/in particular sugar mill district, NO. Used in ordinary sense as said law grants to the
who has been allocated export and/or domestic & retired employee substantial sum for his sustenance
reserve sugar quotas. considering his age. Any doubt in this law should be
Statutory definition excludes emergency, non-quota, ruled in his favor.
non-district and accommodation planters, they having
no sugar quota. However, in 1955, quota system Matuguina Integrated Wood Products Inc. v. CA
abolished Whether transferee of a forest concession is liable for
With change in situation, illogical to continue adhering obligations arising from transferors illegal
to previous definition that had lost their legal effect. encroachment into another forest concessionaire,
which was committed prior to the transfer
Amadora v. CA Sec. 61 of PD 705 the transferee shall assume all the
However, where statute remains unchanged, obligations of the transferor.
interpreted according to its clear and original mandate; Court held that the transferee is NOT liable and
until legislature taking into account changes subjected explained: Obligations construed to mean
to be regulated, sees fit to enact necessary amendment. obligations incurred by transferor in the ordinary
course of business. Not those as a result of
Words construed in their ordinary sense transgressions of the law, as these are personal
General rule: In the absence of legislative intent, words obligations of transferor.
and phrases should be given their plain, ordinary, and Principle: Construe using ordinary meaning & avoid
common usage meaning. absurdity.
Should be read and considered in their natural,
ordinary, commonly accepted, and most obvious
Mustang Lumber, Inc. v CA Central Bank v. CA
Statute: Sec. 68 PD 705 - penalizes the cutting, National Government - refers only to central
gathering & or collecting timber or other forest government, consisting of executive, legislative and
products without a license. judiciary, as well as constitutional bodies ( as
Is lumber included in timber distinguished from local government & other
Reversing 1st ruling, SC says lumber is included in governmental entities) Versus->
timber. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines
The Revised Forestry Code contains no definition of or Philippine Government including central
timber or lumber. Timber is included in definition of governments as well as local government & GOCCs.
forestry products par (q) Sec.3. Lumber - same
definitions as processing plants Republic Flour Mills v. Commissioner of Customs
Processing plant is any mechanical set-up, machine or product of the Philippines any product produced in
combination of machine used for processing of logs & the country, e.g. bran (ipa) & pollard (darak) produced
other forest raw materials into lumber veneer, plywood from wheat imported into the country are products of
etc p. 183. the Philippines
Simply means, lumber is a processed log or forest raw
material. The Code uses lumber in ordinary common Generic term includes things that arise thereafter
usage. In 1993 ed. of Websters International Progressive interpretation - A word of general
Dictionary, lumber is defined as timber or logs after signification employed in a statute, in absence of
being prepared for the market. Therefore, lumber is a legislative intent, to comprehend not only peculiar
processed log or timber. Sec 68 of PD 705 makes no conditions obtaining at its time of enactment but those
distinction between raw & processed timber. that may normally arise after its approval as well
Progressive interpretation extends to the application of
General words construed generally statute to all subjects or conditions within its general
Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda - what is purpose or scope that come into existence subsequent
generally spoken shall be generally understood; from its passage
general words shall be understood in a general sense. Rationale: to keep statute from becoming ephemeral
Generale dictum generaliter est interpretandum - a (short-lived) and transitory (not permanent or lasting).
general statement is understood in a general sense Statutes framed in general terms apply to new cases
In case word in statute has both restricted and general and subjects that arise.
meaning, GENERAL must prevail; Unless nature of General rule in StatCon: Legislative enactments in
the subject matter & context in which it is employed general comprehensive operation, apply to persons,
clearly indicates that the limited sense is intended. subjects and businesses within their general purview
General words should not be given a restricted and scope coming into existence subsequent to their
meaning when no restriction is indicated. passage.
Rationale: if the legislature intended to limit the
meaning of a word, it would have been easy for it to Geotina v. CA
have done so. articles of prohibited importation - used in Tariff and
Customs Code embrace not only those declared
Application of rule prohibited at time of adoption, but also goods and
articles subject of activities undertaken in subsequent
Gatchalian v. COMELEC laws.
foreigner- in Election Code, prohibiting any
foreigner from contributing campaign funds includes Gatchalian v. COMELEC
juridical person any election - not only the election provided by law
person- comprehends private juridical person at that time, but also to future elections including
person- in penal statute, must be a person in law, election of delegates to Constitutional Convention
an artificial or natural person
Words with commercial or trade meaning
Vargas v. Rillaroza Words or phrases common among merchants and
judge without any modifying word or phrase traders, acquire commercial meanings.
accompanying it is to be construed in generic sense to When any of words used in statute, should be given
comprehend all kinds of judges; inferior courts or such trade or commercial meaning as has been
justices of SC. generally understood among merchants.
Used in the following: tariff laws, laws of commerce,
C & C Commercial Corp v. NAWASA laws for the government of the importer.
government - without qualification should be The law to be applicable to his class, should be
understood in implied or generic sense including construed as universally understood by importer or
GOCCs. trader.
Asiatic Petroleum Co. v. CIR Dismissal does not amount to acquittal except when,
No tax shall be collected on articles which, before its the dismissal comes after the prosecution has
taking effect, shall have been disposed of presented all its evidence and is based on
Lay: parting away w/ something insufficiency of such evidence.
Merchant: to sell (this must be used)
Rura v. Lopena
San Miguel Corp. v. Municipal Council of Mandaue Probation law - Disqualified from probation those:
gross value of money who have been previously convicted by final
Merchant: gross selling price which is the total judgment of an offense punished by imprisonment of
amount of money or its equivalent which purchaser not less than 1 month & a fine of no less than Php
pays to the vendor to receive the goods. 200.
Issue: previously convicted
Words with technical or legal meaning Held: it refers to date of conviction, not date of
General rule: words that have, or have been used in, a commission of crime; thus a person convicted on same
technical sense or those that have been judicially date of several offenses committed in different dates is
construed to have a certain meaning should be not disqualified.
interpreted according to the sense in which they have
been PREVIOUSLY used, although the sense may
vary from the strict or literal meaning of the words
Presumption: language used in a statute, which has a How identical terms in the statute construed
technical or well-known meaning, is used in that sense General rule: a word or phrase repeatedly used in a statute
by the legislature will bear the same meaning throughout the statute; unless
a different intention is clearly expressed.
Manila Herald Publishing Co. v. Ramos Rationale: word used in statute in a given sense presumed
Sec 14 of Rule 59 of Rules of Court which prescribes to be used in same sense throughout the law. Though rigid
the steps to be taken when property attached is claimed and peremptory, this is applicable where in the statute the
by a person other than the defendant or his agent words appear so near each other physically, particularly
Statute: nothing herein contained shall prevent such where the word has a technical meaning and that meaning
third person from vindicating his claim to the property has been defined in the statute.
by any proper action.
Issue: proper action limits the 3rd partys remedy to De la Paz v. Court of Agrarian Relations <Riceland>
intervene in the action in which the writ of attachment share tenancy - average produce per hectare for the 3
is issued agricultural years next preceding the current harvest
Held: action has acquired a well-defined meaning as leasehold - according to normal average harvest of the
an ordinary suit in a court of justice by which one 3 preceding yrs
party prosecutes another for the enforcement or Year- agricultural year not calendar year
protection of a right or prevent redress or wrong Agricultural year - represents 1 crop; if in 1 calendar
yr 2 crops are raised thats 2 agricultural years.
Sec 2 Rule 2 of Rules of Court; Commencement of
Action Krivenko v. Register of Deeds
Statute: Civil action may be commenced by filing a Statute: In Sec.1 , Art. XIII of 1935 Constitution -
complaint with the proper court public agricultural lands shall not be alienated
Word: commencement - indicates the origination of except in favor of Filipinos, SAME as Sec. 5 no
entire proceeding private agricultural land shall be transferred or
It was appropriate to use proper action (in 1 st statute) assigned.
than intervention, since asserted right of 3rd party both have same meaning being based on same policy
claimant necessarily flows out of pending suit; if the of nationalization and having same subject.
word intervention is used, it becomes strange.
Meaning of word qualified by purpose of statute
Malanyaon v. Lising Purpose may indicate whether to give word, phrase,
Sec. 13 of Anti-Graft Law ordinary, technical, commercial restricted or expansive
Statute: if a public officer is acquitted, he shall be meaning.
entitled to reinstatement and to his salaries and In construing, court adopts interpretation that accords
benefits which he failed to receive during the best with the manifest purpose of statute; even
suspension disregard technical or legal meaning in favor of
Issue: Will a public officer whose case has been construction which will effectuate intent or purpose.
dismissed not acquitted be entitled to benefits in
Sec. 13?
Held: No. Acquittal (legal meaning) - finding of not
guilty based on the merit.
Word or phrase construed in relation to other provisions Sanggunians to enact, which undoubtedly includes
General rule: word, phrase, provision, should not be resolutions.
construed in isolation but must be interpreted in
relation to other provisions of the law. Gelano v. C.A.
This is a VARIATION of the rule that, statute should In Corporation Law, authorizes a dissolved corporation
be construed as a whole, and each of its provision must to continue as a body corporate for 3 yrs. for the
be given effect. purpose of defending and prosecuting suits by or
against it, and during said period to convey all its
Claudio v. COMELEC properties to a trustee for benefits of its members,
Statute (LGC): No recall shall take place within 1 yr stockholders, creditors and other interested persons,
from the date of the officials assumption of office or 1 the transfer of the properties to the trustee being for the
year immediately preceding a regular election protection of its creditors and stockholders.
Issue: Does the 1st limitation embraces the entire recall Word trustee - not to be understood in legal or
proceedings (e.g. preparatory recall assemblies) or technical sense, but in GENERAL concept which
only the recall election? would include a lawyer to whom was entrusted the
Held: the Court construed recall in relation to Sec.69 prosecution of the cases for recovery of sums of
which states that, the power of recall shall be money against corporations debtors.
exercised by the registered voters of an LGU to which
the local elective official belongs. Republic v. Asuncion
Hence, not apply to all recall proceedings since power Issue: Whether the Sandiganbayan is a regular court
vested in electorate is power to elect an official to within the meaning of R.A. 6975?
office and not power to initiate recall proceedings. Statute: RA 6975 which makes criminal actions
involving members of the PNP come within the
Word or provision should not be construed in isolation exclusive jurisdiction of the regular courts.
form but should be interpreted in relation to other Used regular courts & civil courts interchangeably
provisions of a statute, or other statutes dealing on Court martial - not courts within the Philippine
same subject in order to effectuate what has been Judicial System; they pertain to the executive
intended. department and simply instrumentalities of the
executive power.
Garcia v. COMELEC Regular courts - those within the judicial department
History of statute: of the government namely the SC and lower courts
o In the Constitution, it requires that legislature which includes the Sandiganbayan.
shall provide a system of initiative and Held: Courts considered the purpose of the law which
referendum whereby people can directly is to remove from the court martial, the jurisdiction
approve or reject any act or law or part over criminal cases involving members of the PNP and
thereof passed by Congress or local to vest it in the courts within the judicial system.
legislative body.
o Local Govt. Code, a later law, defines local Molina v. Rafferty
initiative as process whereby registered Issue: Whether Agricultural products includes
voters of an LGU may directly propose, domesticated animals and fish grown in ponds.
enact, or amend any ordinance. Statute: Phrase used in tax statute which exempts such
It is claimed by respondents that products from payment of taxes, purpose is to
since resolution is not included in encourage the development of such resources.
this definition, then the same cannot Held: phrase not only includes vegetable substances
be subject of an initiative. but also domestic and domesticated animals, animal
Issue: whether a local resolution of a municipal products, and fish or bangus grown in ponds. Court
council can be subject to an initiative and referendum? gave expansive meaning to promote object of law.
Held: We reject respondents narrow and literal
reading of above provision for it will collide with the Munoz & Co. v. Hord
Constitution and will subvert the intent of the Issue: Consumption limited or broad meaning
lawmakers in enacting the provisions of the Local Statute: word is used in statute which provides that
Government Code (LGC) of 1991 on initiative & except as herein specifically exempted, there shall be
referendum paid by each merchant and manufacturer a tax at the
The subsequent enactment of the LGC did not change rate of 1/3 of 1% on gross value of money in all goods,
the scope of its coverage. In Sec. 124 of the same wares and merchandise sold, bartered, or exchanged
code. It states: (b) Initiative shall extend only to for domestic consumption.
subjects or matters which are within the legal powers Held: Considering the purpose of the law, which is to
of the Sanggunians to enact. tax all merchants except those expressly exempted, it
This provision clearly does not limit the application of is reasonable and fair to conclude that legislature used
local initiative to ordinances, but to all subjects or in commercial use and not in limited sense of total
matters which are within the legal powers of the destruction of thing sold.
Peo. v. Nazario
Mottomul v. de la Paz Statute: Municipal tax ordinance provides any owner
Issue: Whether the word court refers to the Court of or manager of fishponds shall pay an annual tax of a
Appeals or the trial court? fixed amount per hectare and it appears that the owner
Statute: RA 5343 Effect of Appeal- Appeal shall not of the fishponds is the government which leased them
stay the award, order, ruling, decision or judgment to a private person who operates them
unless the officer or body rendering the same or the Word: Owner does not include government as the
court, on motion, after hearing & on such terms as it ancient principle that government is immune from
may deem just should provide otherwise. taxes.
Held: It refers to the TRIAL COURT. If the adverse
party intends to appeal from a decision of the SEC and Where the law does not distinguish
pending appeal desires to stay the execution of the Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguere debemus -
decision, then the motion must be filed with and be where the law does not distinguish, courts should not
heard by the SEC before the adverse party perfects its distinguish.
appeal to the Court of Appeals. Corollary principle: General words or phrases in a
Purpose of the law: the need for immediacy of statute should ordinarily be accorded their natural and
execution of decisions arrived at by said bodies was general significance
imperative. General term or phrase should not be reduced into
parts and one part distinguished from the other to
Meaning of term dictated by context justify its exclusion from operation.
The context in which the word or term is employed Corollary principle: where the law does not make any
may dictate a different sense exception, courts may not except something therefrom,
Verba accipienda sunt secundum materiam- a word is unless there a compelling reason to justify it.
to be understood in the context in which it is used. Application: when legislature laid down a rule for one
class, no difference to other class.
People v. Chavez Presumption: that the legislature made no qualification in
Statute: Family home extrajudicially formed shall be the general use of a term.
exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment,
except for non payment of debts Robles v. Zambales Chromite Co.
Word debts means obligations in general. Statute: grants a person against whom the possession
of any land is unlawfully withheld the right to bring
Krivenko v. Register of Deeds an action for unlawful detainer.
Statute: lands were classified into timber, mineral and Held: any land not exclusive to private or not
agricultural exclusively to public; hence, includes all kinds of land.
Word agricultural used in broad sense to include
all lands that are neither timber, nor mineral, such Director of Lands v. Gonzales
being the context in which the term is used. Statute: authorizes the director of lands to file petitions
for cancellation of patents covering public lands on the
Santulan v. Executive. Secretary. ground therein provided.
Statute: A riparian owner of the property adjoining Held: not distinguished whether lands belong to
foreshore lands, marshy lands or lands covered with national or local government
water bordering upon shores of banks of navigable
lakes shall have preference to apply for such lands SSS v. City of Bacolod
adjoining his property. Issue: exempts the payment of realty taxes to
Fact: Riparian - one who owns land situated on the properties owned by RP
banks of river. Held: no distinction between properties held in
Held: Used in a more broader sense referring to a sovereign, governmental, or political capacity and
property having a water frontage, when it mentioned those possessed in proprietary or patrimonial character.
foreshore lands, marshy lands, or lands covered
with water. Velasco v. Lopez
Statute: certain formalities be followed in order that
Peo. v. Ferrer act may be considered valid.
(case where context may limit the meaning) Held: no distinction between essential or non-essential
Word: Overthrow formalities
Statute: Anti-Subversion Act knowingly & willfully
and by overt acts. Colgate-Palmolive Phils v. Gimenez
Rejects the metaphorical peaceful sense & limits its Statute: does not distinguish between stabilizer and
meaning to overthrow by force or violence. flavors used in the preparation of food and those used
in the manufacture of toothpaste or dental cream
Oliva v. Lamadrid Tiu San v. Republic
Statute: allows the redemption or repurchase of a Issue: whether the conviction of an applicant for
homestead property w/in 5 years from its conveyance naturalization for violation of a municipal ordinance
Held: conveyance not distinguished - voluntary or would disqualify him from taking his oath as a citizen.
involuntary. Statute: An applicant may be allowed to take his oath
as a citizen after 2 years from the promulgation of the
Escosura v. San Miguel Brewery Inc. decision granting his petition for naturalization if he
Statute: grants employee leaves of absence with pay can show that during the intervening period he has
Held: with pay refers to full pay and not to half or not been convicted of any offense or violation of
less than full pay; to all leaves of absence and not government rules
merely to sick or vacation leaves. Held: law did not make any distinction between mala
in se and mala prohibita. Conviction of the applicant
Olfato v. COMELEC from violation of municipal ordinance is
Statute: makes COMELEC the sole judge of all pre- comprehended within the statute and precludes
proclamation controversies applicant from taking his oath.
Held : all covers national, provincial, city or
municipal Peralta v. CSC
Issue: whether provision of RA 2625, that government
Phil. British Assurance Co. v. Intermediate Apellate Court employees are entitled to 15 days vacation leaves of
Statute: A counterbond is to secure the payment of absence with full pay and 15 days sick leaves with full
any judgment, when execution is returned pay, exclusives of Saturday, Sundays or holidays in
unsatisfied both cases, applies only to those who have leave
Held: any judgment includes not only final and credits and not to those who have none.
executory but also judgment pending appeal whose Held: Law speaks of granting of a right and does not
execution ordered is returned unsatisfied. distinguish between those who have accumulated and
those who have none.
Ramirez v. CA
Statute: Act to Prohibit & Penalize Wire Tapping and Pilar v. COMELEC
Other related Violations of Private Communications Statute: RA 7166 provides that Every candidate shall,
and Other Purposes within 30 days after the day of the election file xxx
It shall be unlawful, not being authorized by all the true and itemized statement of all contributions and
parties to any private communication or spoken word, expenditures in connection with the election.
to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device Held: Law did not distinguish between a candidate
or arrangement who pushed through and one who withdrew it.
Issue: Whether violation thereof refers to the taping of Every candidate refers to one who pursued and even
a communication other than a participant to the to those who withdrew his candidacy.
communication or even to the taping by a participant
who did not secure the consent of the party to the Sanciagco v. Rono
conversations. (where the distinction appears from the statute, the
Held: Law did not distinguish whether the party sought courts should make the distinction)
to be penalized ought to be party other than or Statute: Sec 13 of BP Blg. 697 which provides that:
different from those involved in the private Any person holding public appointive or position
communication. The intent is to penalize all persons shall ipso facto cease in office or position as of the
unauthorized to make any such recording, underscored time he filed his certificate of candidacy
by any Governors, mayors, members of various sanggunians
or barangay officials shall upon the filing of
Ligget & Myers Tobacco Co. v. CIR candidacy, be considered on forced leave of absence
Statute: imposes a specific tax on cigarettes from office
containing Virginia tobacco . Provided that of the Facts: an elective Barangay. Captain was elected
length exceeds 71 millimeters or the weight per President of Association of Barangay Councils and
thousand exceeds 1 kilos, the tax shall be increased pursuant thereto appointed by the President as member
by 100%. of the Sanggunian Panlungsod. He ran for Congress
Issue: whether measuring length or weight of cigars, but lost.
filters should be excluded therefrom, so that tax would Issue: He then wants to resume his duties as member
come under the general provision and not under the of sangguiniang panlungsod. He was merely forced
proviso? on leave when he ran for Congress.
Held: Not having distinguished between filter and non- Held: the Secretary of Local Government denied his
filter cigars, court should not distinguish. request; being an appointive sanggunian member, he
was deemed automatically resigned when he filed his
certificate of candidacy.
Garvida v. Sales, Jr. Although these persons are mentioned disjunctively,
Issue: whether petitioner who was over 21 but below provision must be construed as meaning that the right
22 was qualified to be an elective SK member to institute a criminal proceeding is exclusively and
Statute: Sec.424 of the LGC provides that a member of successively reposed in said persons in the order
the Katipunan ng Kabataan must not be 21 yrs old. mentioned, no one shall proceed if there is any person
Sec. 428 as additional requirement provides that previously mentioned therein with legal capacity to
elective official of Sangguniang Kabataan must not institute the action.
be more than 21 yrs. on the day of election
Held: the distinction is apparent: the member may be And is a conjunction pertinently defined as meaning
more than 21 years of age on election day or on the together with, joined with, along with, added to
day he registers as member of Katipunan ng Kabataan. or linked to
But the elective official, must not be more than 21 o Never to mean or
years of age on the day of election. o Used to denote joinder or union
and/or - means that effect should be give to both
Disjunctive and conjunctive words conjunctive and disjunctive term
Word or is a disjunctive term signifying o term used to avoid construction which by use
disassociation and independence of one thing from of disjunctive or alone will exclude the
each other. combination of several of the alternatives or
by the use of conjunctive and will exclude
Peo v. Martin the efficacy of any one of the alternatives
Statute: Sec. 40 of Commonwealth Act 61, punishes standing alone.
any individual who shall bring into or land in the
Philippines or conceals or harbors any alien not duly ASSOCIATED WORDS
admitted by any immigration officer
does not justify giving the word a disjunctive meaning, Noscitur a sociis
since the words bring into land, conceals and where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in
harbors being four separate acts each possessing its itself or equally susceptible of various meanings, its
distinctive, different and disparate meaning. correct construction may be made clear and specific by
considering the company of words in which it is found
CIR v. Manila Jockey Club or with which it is associated.
Statute: imposes amusement taxes on gross receipts of to remove doubt refer to the meaning of associated or
proprietor, lessee, or operator of amusement place companion words
Held: or implies that tax should be paid by either
proprietor, lessee, or operator, as the case may be, Buenaseda v. Flavier
single & not by all at the same time. Statute: Sec. 13(3), Art XI of the Constitution grants
Ombudsman power to Direct the officer concerned to
Use of or between 2 phrases connotes that either take appropriate action against a public official or
phrase serves as qualifying phrase. employee at fault, and recommend his removal,
or means and, WHEN THE SPIRIT OR suspension, demotion, fine censure or prosecution.
CONTEXT OF THE LAW SO WARRANTS suspension is a penalty or punitive measure not
Trinidad v. Bermudez (e.g. of or to mean and)
Statute: Sec. 2, Rule 112 of Rules of Court authorizing Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp.
municipal judges to conduct preliminary examination Stat: Sec. 458 of LGC authorized local government
or investigation units to prevent or suppress Gambling & other
prohibited games of chance.
or equivalent of that is to say Gambling refers only to illegal gambling, like
other prohibited games of chance, must be prevented
SMC v. Municipality of Mandaue (e.g. of or equivalent of or suppressed & not to gambling authorized by
that is to say) specific statutes.
Ordinance: imposes graduated quarterly fixed tax
based on the gross value in money or actual market Carandang v. Santiago
value of articles; phrase or actual market value Issue: Whether an offended party can file a separate
intended to explain gross value in money. and independent civil action for damages arising from
physical injuries during pendency of criminal action
or means successively for frustrated homicide.
Statute: Art. 344 of the Revised Penal Code - the Statute: Art. 33 of Civil Code in case of defamation,
offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of fraud, & physical injuries
lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a Held: Court ruled that physical injuries not as one
complaint by the offended party or her parents, defined in RPC, but to mean bodily harm or injury
grandparents or guardian.
such as physical injuries, frustrate homicide, or even Held: No. Outside of jurisdiction. Not necessary that
death. entire universe of money claims under jurisdiction of
labor arbiter but only those to 1.) unfair labor
Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh practices, 2.) claims concerning terms & conditions of
Issue: Whether proceedings in civil cases pending in employment 4.) claims relating to household services
court under the so called Republic of the Philippines 5.) activities prohibited to employers & employees.
established during the Japanese military occupation Statute: jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the
are affected by the proclamation of Gen. McArthur NLRC, as last amended by BP Blg. 227 including
issued on October 23, 1944 that all laws, regulations paragraph 3 all money claims of workers, including
and processes of any other government in the hose based on nonpayment or underpayment of
Philippines than that of the said Commonwealth are wages, overtime compensation, separation pay, and
null and void and without legal effect. other benefits provided by law or appropriate
Processes does not refer to judicial processes but to agreement, except claims for employees
the executive orders of the Chairman of the compensation, social security, medicare and
Philippine Executive Committee, ordinances maternity benefits.
promulgated by the President of so-called RP, and
others that are of the same class as the laws and Ebarle v. Sucaldito
regulations with which the word processes is Statute: EO 265 outlines the procedure which
associated. complainants charging government officials and
employees with commission of irregularities should be
guided, applies to criminal actions or complaints.
Commissioner of Customs v. Phil. Acetylene Co. EO 265 complaints against public officials and
Statute: Sec. 6 of RA 1394 provides that tax employees shall be promptly acted upon and disposed
provided for in Sec. 1 of this Act shall not be imposed of by the officials or authorities concerned in
against the importation into the Philippines of accordance with pertinent laws and regulations so that
machinery or raw materials to be used by new and the erring officials and employees can be soonest
necessary industry xxx; machinery equipment, spare removed or otherwise disciplines and the innocent,
parts, for use of industries exonerated or vindicated in like manner, and to the end
Issue: Is the word industries used in ordinary, also that other remedies, including court action, may
generic sense, which means enterprises employing be pursued forthwith by the interested parties, after
relatively large amounts of capital and/or labor? administrative remedies shall have been exhausted
Held: Since industries used in the law for the 2nd Held: executive order does not apply to criminal
time is classified together with the terms miners, actions. The term is closely overshadowed by the
mining industries, planters and farmers, obvious qualification - After administrative remedies shall
legislative intent is to confine the meaning of the term have been exhausted, which suggest civil suits
to activities that tend to produce or create or subject to previous administrative actions.
manufacture such as those miners, mining enterprises,
planters and farmers. Mottomul v. dela Paz
If used in ordinary sense, it becomes inconsistent and Issue: Whether the word court in Sec 5, Art 5434:
illogical Appeal shall not stay the award, order, ruling,
decision or judgment unless the officer or body
Peo. v. Santiago rendering the same or the court, on motion after
Issue: Whether defamatory statements through the hearing, and on such terms as it may deem just should
medium of an amplifier system constitutes slander or provide otherwise. The propriety of a stay granted by
libel? the officer or body rendering the award, order, ruling,
Libel: committed by means of writing, printing, decision or judgment may be raised only by motion in
lithography, engraving, radio, cinematographic the main case, refers to the CA or to the Court of
exhibiton. Agrarian Relations?
It is argued that amplifier similar to radio Held: Correct construction made clear with reference
Held: No. Radio should be considered as same terms to Sec. 1 of RA 5434, where the court, officers or
with writing and printing whose common bodies whose decision, award are appealable to the
characteristic is the permanent means of Court of Appeals, enumerated as follows: Court of
publication. Agrarian Relations, Sec. of Labor, Social Security
Commission etc; From grouping, the enumeration
San Miguel Corp. v. NLRC in Sec. 5 means Court of Agrarian Relations not CA.
Issue: Whether claim of an employee against his
employer for cash reward or submitting process to Ejusdem generis (or the same kind or species)
eliminate defects in quality & taste of San Miguel General rule: where a general word or phrase follows
product falls within jurisdiction of the labor arbiter of an enumeration of particular and specific words of the
NLRC? same class or where the latter follow the former, the
general word or phrase is to be construed to include,
or to be restricted to, persons, things or cases akin to,
resembling, or of the same kind or class as those Cu Unjieng Sons, Inc. v. Bord of Tax Appeals
specifically mentioned. Issue: whether losses due to the war were to be
Purpose: give effect to both particular or general deductible from gross income of 1945 when they were
words, by treating the particular words as indicating sustained, or in 1950 when Philippine War Damage
the class and the general words as indicating all that Commission advised that no payment would be made
is embraced in said class, although not specifically for said losses?
named by the particular words. Statute: In the case of a corporation, all losses
Principle: based on proposition that had the actually sustained and not charged off within the
legislature intended the general words to be used in taxable year and not compensated for by insurance or
their generic and unrestricted sense, it would have not otherwise.
enumerated the specific words. Contention: the assurances of responsible public
Presumption: legislators addressed specifically to the officials before the end of 1945 that property owners
particularization would be compensated for their losses as a result of the
war sufficed to place the losses within the phrase
Illustration compensated xxx otherwise than by insurance
Held: Rejected! Otherwise in the clause
Mutuc v. COMELEC compensated for by insurance or otherwise refers to
Statute: Act makes unlawful the distribution of compensation due under a title analogous or similar to
electoral propaganda gadgets, pens, lighters, fans, insurance. Inasmuch as the latter is a contract
flashlights, athletic goods, materials and the like establishing a legal obligation, it follows that in order
Held: and the like, does not embrace taped jingles for to be deemed compensated for xxx otherwise, the
campaign purposes losses sustained by a taxpayer must be covered by a
judicially enforceable right, springing from any of the
Murphy, Morris & Co. v. Collector of Customs juridical sources of obligations, namely, law, contract,
Statute: Dynamos, generators, exciters, and other quasi-contract, torts, or crimes, and not mere
machinery for the generation of electricity for lighting pronouncement of public officials
or for power;
Held: phrase other machinery would not include Cebu Institute of Technology v. Ople
steam turbines, pumps, condensers, because not same Issue: Whether teachers hired on contract basis are
kind of machinery with dynamos, generators and entitled to service incentive leave benefits as against
exciters. the claim that they are not so?
Statute: Rule V of IRR of Labor Code: This rule (on
Vera v. Cuevas service incentive leaves) shall apply to all employees,
Statute: all condensed skimmed milk and all milk in except filed personnel and other employees whose
whatever form shall be clearly and legibly marked on performance is unsupervised by the employer
its immediate containers with words: This milk is not including those who are engaged on task or contract
suitable for nourishment for infants less than 1 year of basis.
age Held: those who were employed on task or contract
Held: restricts the phrase all milk in whatever form, basis should be related with field personnel, apply
excluded filled milk. the principle, clearly teachers are not field personnel
and therefore entitled to service incentive leave
Graphilon v. Municipal Court of Cigara benefits.
Statute: the vice-mayor shall be entitled to assume the
office of the mayor during the absence, suspension or Cagayan Valley Enterprises v. CA
other temporary disability Issue: whether the phrase other lawful beverages
Held: anything which disables the mayor from which gives protection to manufacturer with the Phil.
exercising the power and prerogatives of his office, Patent Office its duly stamped or marked bottles used
since their temporary disability follows the words for soda water, mineral or aerated waters, cider, milk,
absence and suspension cream or other lawful beverages, includes hard
Peo. v. Magallanes liquor?
Where a law grants a court exclusive jurisdiction to Statute title: An Act to regulate the use of stamped or
hear and decide offenses or felonies committed by marked bottles, boxes, casks, kegs, barrels, & other
public officials and employees in relation to their similar containers.
office, the phrase IN RELATION TO THEIR Held: The title clearly shows intent to give protection
OFFICE qualifies or restricts the offense to one to all marked bottles of all lawful beverages regardless
which cannot exist without the office, or the office is a of nature of contents.
constituent element of the crime defined in the statute
or one perpetuated in the performance, though National Power Corp. v. Angas
improper or irregular, of his official functions Issue: whether the term judgment, refers to any
judgment directing the payment of legal interest.
Statute: Central Bank Circular # 416 by virtue of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Social Security
the authority granted to it under Sec. 1 of Act Number Commission
2655, as amended, otherwise known as Usury Law, the Issue: a religious institution invoking ejusdem generi
Monetary Board in a resolution prescribed that the rate whether employer be limited to undertaking an
of interest for loan or forbearance of any money, good activity which has an element of profit or gain?
or credit & the rate allowed in judgment in the absence Statute: any person, natural or juridical, domestic or
of express contract shall be 12% per annum. foreign, who carried in the Philippines any trade,
Held: Judgments should mean only judgments business, industry. and uses the services of another
involving loans or forbearance money, goods or credit, person, who under his orders as regard the
these later specific terms having restricted the meaning employment, except the Government, and any of its
judgments to those same class or the same nature as political subdivisions branches or instrumentalities and
those specifically enumerated. GOCCs.
Held: No. the rule of ejusdem generis applies only
Republic v. Migrino when there is uncertainty. The definition is sufficiently
Facts: retired military officer was investigated by the comprehensive to include charitable institutions and
PCGG for violation of Anti-Graft Act in relation to EO charities not for profit; it contained exceptions which
# 1 & 2 authorizing the PCGG to recover ill-gotten said institutions and entities are not included.
wealth from the former Presidents subordinates and
close associates Expressio unius est exclusion alterius
Issue: Does PCGG have jurisdiction to investigate The express mention of one person, thing or
such military officer for being in service during the consequence implies the exclusion of all others.
administration of the former President? Rule may be expressed in a number of ways:
Held: Subordinates refers only to one who enjoys o Expressum facit cessare tacitum - what is
close association or relation to the former President expressed puts an end to that which is implied
and his wife; term close associates restricted the where a statute, by its terms, is expressly
meaning of subordinates limited to certain matters, it may not, by
interpretation or construction, be extended to
Limitations of ejusdem generis other matters.
Requisites: o Exceptio firmat regulam in casibus non
o Statute contains an enumeration of particular exceptis - A thing not being excepted must be
& specific words, followed by general word regarded as coming within the purview of the
or phrase general rule
o Particular and specific words constitute a o Expressio unius est exclusion alterius - The
class or are the same kind expression of one or more things of a class
o Enumeration of the particular & specific implies the exclusion of all not expressed,
words is not exhaustive or is not merely by even though all would have been implied had
examples none been expressed; opposite the doctrine of
o There is no indication of legislative intent to necessary implication
give the general words or phrases a broader
meaning Negative-opposite doctrine
Rule of ejusdem generis, is not of universal Argumentum a contrario- what is expressed puts an
application; it should use to carry out, not defeat the end to what is implied.
intent of the law.
Chung Fook v. White
US v. Santo Nino Statute: case exempts the wife of a naturalized
Statute: It shall be unlawful to for any person to carry American from detention, for treatment in a hospital,
concealed about his person any bowie, knife, dagger, who is afflicted with a contagious disease.
kris or other deadly weapon. Provided prohibition Held: Court denied petition for writ of habeas corpus
shall not apply to firearms who have secured a license (filed by the native-born American citizen on behalf of
or who are entitled to carry the same under the wife detained in hospital), court resorted to negative-
provisions of this Act. opposite doctrine, stating that statute plainly relates to
Issue: does the deadly weapon include an unlicensed wife of a naturalized citizen & cannot interpolate
revolver? native-born citizen.
Held: Yes! Carrying such would be in violation of Analysis: courts application results to injustice (as
statute. By the proviso, it manifested its intention to should not discriminate against native-born citizens),
include in the prohibition weapons other than armas which is not intent of law, should have used doctrine
blancas therein specified. of necessary implication.

Cagayan Valley Enterprises, Inc. v. CA previous page, sa Application of expression unius rule
kabilang column Generally used in construction of statutes granting
powers, creating rights and remedies, restricting
common rights, imposing rights & forfeitures, as well Villanueva v. City of Iloilo
as statutes strictly construed. Statute: Local Autonomy Act, local governments are
given broad powers to tax everything, except those
Acosta v. Flor which are specifically mentioned therein. If a subject
Statute: specifically designates the persons who may matter does not come within the exceptions, an
bring actions for quo warranto, excludes others from ordinance imposing a tax on such subject matter is
bringing such actions. deemed to come within the broad taxing power,
exception firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis.
Escribano v. Avila
Statute: for libel, preliminary investigations of Samson v. Court of Appeals
criminal actions for written defamation xxx shall be Where the law provides that positions in the
conducted by the city fiscal of province or city or by government belong to the competitive service, except
municipal court of city or capital of the province where those declared by law to be in the noncompetitive
such actions may be instituted precludes all other service and those which are policy-determining,
municipal courts from conducting such preliminary primarily confidential or highly technical in nature and
investigations enumerates those in the noncompetitive as including
Peo. v. Lantin the clear intent is that assistant secretaries of governors
Statute: crimes which cannot be prosecuted de oficio and mayors fall under the competitive service, for by
namely adultery, concubinage, seduction, rape or acts making an enumeration, the legislature is presumed to
of lasciviousness; crimes such as slander can be have intended to exclude those not enumerated, for
prosecuted de oficio. otherwise it would have included them in the

More short examples on p. 225 Firman General Insurance Corp. v. CA

Manila Lodge No. 761 v. CA The insurance company disclaimed liability since
Santos v. CA death resulting from murder was impliedly excluded in
Lerum v. Cruz the insurance policy as the cause of death is not
Central Barrio v. City Treasurer of Davao accidental but rather a deliberate and intentional act,
excluded by the very nature of a personal accident
Vera v. Fernandez insurance.
Statute: All claims for money against the decedent, Held: the principle expresssio unius est exclusio - the
arising from contracts, express or implied, whether the mention of one thing implies the exclusion of the other
same be due, not due, or contingent, all claims for thing - not having been expressly included in the
funeral expenses and expenses for the last sickness of enumeration of circumstances that would negate
the decedent, and judgment for money against liability in said insurance policy cannot be considered
decedent, must be filled within the time limit of the by implication to discharge the petitioner insurance
notice, otherwise barred forever. company to include death resulting from murder or
Held: The taxes due to the government, not being assault among the prohibited risks lead inevitably to
mentioned in the rule are excluded from the operation the conclusion that it did not intend to limit or exempt
of the rule. itself from liability for such death
Insurance company still liable for the injury, disability
Mendenilla v. Omandia and loss suffered by the insured. (sobra to, I swear!
Statute: changed the form of government of a Minurder na nga, ayaw pang bayaran! Sobra! Hindi
municipality into a city provides that the incumbent daw accidental eh di mas lalo ng kailangang bayaran
mayor, vice-mayor and members of the municipal dahil murder! Sus! Sus!)
board shall continue in office until the expiration of
their terms. Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos
Held: all other municipal offices are abolished. Issue: whether the solicitation for religious purposes,
i.e., renovation of church without securing permit fro
Butte v. Manuel Uy & Sons, Inc. Department of Social Services, is a violation of PD
Statute: Legislature deliberately selected a particular 1564, making it a criminal offense for a person to
method of giving notice, as when a co-owner is given solicit or receive contributions for charitable or public
the right of legal redemption within 30 days from welfare purposes.
notice in writing by the vendor in case the other co- Held: No. Charitable and religious specifically
owner sells his share is the co-owned property, enumerated only goes to show that the framers of the
Held: the method of giving notice must be deemed law in question never intended to include solicitations
excusive & a notice sent by vendee is ineffective. for religious purposes within its coverage.
Limitations of the rule Illustration of rule
1. It is not a rule of law, but merely a tool in statutory
construction Pangilinan v. Alvendia
2. Expressio unius est exclusion alterius, no more than Members of the family of the tenant includes the
auxiliary rule of interpretation to be ignored where tenants son, son-in-law, or grandson, even though
other circumstances indicate that the enumeration was they are not dependent upon him for support and living
not intended to be exclusive. separately from him BECAUSE the qualifying phrase
3. Does not apply where enumeration is by way of who are dependent upon him for support refers
example or to remove doubts only. solely to its last antecedent, namely, such other
person or persons, whether related to the tenant or not
Gomez v. Ventura
Issue: whether the prescription by a physician of Florentino v. PNB
opium for a patient whose physical condition did not Issue: whether holders of backpay certificates can
require the use of such drug constitutes compel government-owned banks to accept said
unprofessional conduct as to justify revocation of certificates in payment of the holders obligations to
physicians license to practice the bank.
Held: Still liable! Rule of expressio unius not Statute: obligations subsisting at the time of the
applicable approval of this amendatory act for which the
Court said, I cannot be seriously contended that aside applicant may directly be liable to the government or
from the five examples specified, there can be no other to any of its branches or instrumentalities, or to
conduct of a physician deemed unprofessional. Nor corporations owned or controlled by the government,
can it be convincingly argued that the legislature or to any citizens of the Philippines or to any
intended to wipe out all other forms of association or corporation organized under the laws of
unprofessional conduct therefore deemed grounds for the Philippines, who may be wiling to accept the same
revocation of licenses for such settlement
Held: the court, invoking the doctrine of last
4. Does not apply when in case a statute appears upon its antecedent, ruled that the phrase qualify only to its last
face to limit the operation of its provision to particular antecedent namely any citizen of the Philippines or
persons or things enumerating them, but no reason association or corporation organized under the laws of
exists why other persons or things not so enumerated the Philippines
should not have been included and manifest injustice The court held that backpay certificate holders can
will follow by not including them. compel government-owned banks to accept said
5. If it will result in incongruities or a violation of the certificates for payment of their obligations with the
equal protection clause of the Constitution. bank.
6. If adherence thereto would cause inconvenience,
hardship and injury to the public interest. Qualifications of the doctrine.
1. Subject to the exception that where the intention of the
Doctrine of casus omissus law is to apply the phrase to all antecedents embraced
A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration in the provision, the same should be made extensive to
must be held to have been omitted intentionally. the whole.
The maxim operates only if and when the omission has 2. Doctrine does not apply where the intention is not to
been clearly established, and in such a case what is qualify the antecedent at all.
omitted in the enumeration may not, by construction,
be included therein. Reddendo singular singuilis
Exception: where legislature did not intend to exclude Variation of the doctrine of last antecedent
the person, thing or object from the enumeration. If Referring each to each;
such legislative intent is clearly indicated, the court Referring each phrase or expression to its appropriate
may supply the omission if to do so will carry out the object, or let each be put in its proper place, that is, the
clear intent of the legislature and will not do violence word should be taken distributively.
to its language
Peo. v Tamani
Doctrine of last antecedent Issue: when to count the 15-day period within which to
Qualifying words restrict or modify only the words or appeal a judgment of conviction of criminal action
phrases to which they are immediately associated not date of promulgation of judgment or date of receipt of
those which are distantly or remotely located. notice of judgment.
Ad proximum antecedens fiat relatio nisi impediatur Statute: Sec. 6, Rule 122 of the Rules of Court
sententia relative words refer to the nearest Held: Should be from promulgation should be
antecedents, unless the context otherwise requires referring to judgment, while notice refer to order.
Rule: use of a comma to separate an antecedent from
the rest exerts a dominant influence in the application King v. Hernandez
of the doctrine of last antecedent.
Issue: Whether a Chinese holding a noncontrol of persons who have secured a license therefore or
position in a retail establishment, comes within the who are entitled to same under provisions of this Act.
prohibition against aliens intervening in the Held: through the Proviso it manifested the intention to
management, operation, administration or control include in the prohibition weapons other than armas
followed by the phrase whether as an officer, blancas as specified.
employee or laborer
Held: Following the principle, the entire scope of Proviso as additional legislation
personnel activity, including that of laborers, is Expressed in the opening statement of a section of a
covered by the prohibition against the employment of statute
aliens. Would mean exactly the reverse of what is necessarily
implied when read in connection with the limitation
Amadora v. CA Purpose:
Issue: whether Art 2180 of Civil Code, which states o To limit generalities
that lastly teachers or heads of establishments of arts o Exclude from the scope of the statute that
and trade shall be liable for damages caused by their which otherwise would be within its terms
pupils and students or apprentices so long as they
remain in their custody applies to all schools, What proviso qualifies
academic as well as non-academic General rule: qualifies or modifies only the phrase
Held: teachers pupils and students; heads of immediately preceding it; or restrains or limits the
establishments of arts and trades to apprentices generality of the clause that it immediately follows.
General rule: responsibility for the tort committed by Exception: unless it clearly appears that the legislature
the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such intended to have a wider scope
student (where school is academic)
Exception: responsibility for the tort committed by the Chinese Flour Importers Assn v. Price Stabilization Board
student will attach to the head, and only he, (who) Statute: Sec. 15 RA 426 - Any existing law, executive
shall be held liable (in case of the establishments of order or regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, no
arts and trades; technical or vocational in nature) government agency except the Import Control
Commission shall allocate the import quota among the
PROVISOS, EXCEPTIONS AND CLAUSES various importers. Provided, That the Philippine
Rehabilitation and Trade Administration shall have
Provisos, generally exclusive power and authority to determine and
to limit the application of the enacting clause, section regulate the allocation of wheat flour among
or provision of a statute, or except something, or to importers.
qualify or restrain its generality, or exclude some Issue: whether or not the proviso excluded wheat flour
possible ground of misinterpretation of it, as extending from the scope of act itself.
to cases not intended by legislature to be brought Held: NO! Proviso refer to the clause immediately
within its purview. preceding it and can have no other meaning than that
Rule: restrain or qualify the generality of the enacting the function of allocating the wheat flour instead of
clause or section which it refers. assigning to Import Control Commission was assigned
Purpose: limit or restrict the general language or to PRTA.
operation of the statute, not to enlarge it. If wheat flour is exempted from the provisions of the
Location: commonly found at the end of a statute, or Act, the proviso would have been placed in the section
provision & introduced, as a rule, by the word containing the repealing clause
Determined by: What determines whether a clause is a Collector of Internal Revenue v. Angeles
proviso is its substance rather than its form. If it When an earlier section of statute contains proviso, not
performs any of the functions of a proviso, then it will embodied in later section, the proviso, not embodied in
be regarded as such, irrespective of what word or a later section thereof, in the absence of legislative
phrase is used to introduce it. intent, be confined to qualify only the section to which
it has been appended.
Proviso may enlarge scope of law
It is still the duty of the courts to ascertain the Flores v. Miranda
legislative intention and it prevails over proviso. Issue: Petitioner that approval of the Public Service
Thus it may enlarge, than restrict Commission of the sale of public service vehicle was
not necessary because of proviso in Sec. 20 of
U.S. v. Santo Nino Commonwealth Act No. 146
Statute: it shall be unlawful for any person to carry Statute: It shall be unlawful for any public service
concealed about his person any bowie, knife, dagger, vehicle or for the owner, lessee or operator thereof,
kris or any other deadly weapon: Provided, that this without the previous approval and authority of the
provision shall not apply to firearms in the possession Commission previously had xxx to sell, alienate xxx
its property, franchise; Provided, however, that nothing
herein contained shall be construed to prevent the Exception and Proviso distinguished
transaction from being negotiated or completed before
its approval or to prevent the sale, alienation, or lease Exception:
by any public service of any of its property in the Exempts something absolutely from the operation of
ordinary course of business statute
Held: Takes out of the statute something that otherwise
o the proviso xxx means only that the sale would be a part of the subject matter of it.
without the required approval is still valid and Part of the enactment itself, absolutely excluding from
binding between the parties; also its operation some subject or thing that would
o the phrase in the ordinary course of business otherwise fall within the scope.
xxx could not have been intended to include Proviso:
sale of vehicle itself, but at most may refer Defeats its operation conditionally.
only to such property that may be conceivably Avoids by way of defeasance or excuse
disposed of by the carrier in the ordinary If the enactment is modified by engrafting upon it a
course of its business, like junked equipment. new provision, by way of amendment, providing
conditionally for a new case- this is the nature of
Mercado Sr. v. NLRC proviso.
Held: the proviso in par 2 of Art 280 relates only to
casual employees; not to project employees. Similar: in a way since one of the functions of proviso is to
Applying rule that proviso to be construed with except something from an enacting clause.
reference to immediately preceding part of the
provision which it is attached and not to other sections Illustration of exception
thereof, unless legislative intent was to restrict or
qualify. MERALCO v. Public Utilities Employees Association
Statute: No person, firm, or corporation, business
Exception to the rule establishment or place shall compel an employee or
Proviso construed to qualify only the immediately laborer to work on Sundays& legal holidays, unless
preceding part of the section to which it is attached; if paid an additional sum of at least 25% of his
no contrary legislative intent is indicated. renumeration: Provided, that this prohibition shall not
Where intent is to qualify or restrict the phrase apply to public utilities performing public service, e.g.
preceding it or the earlier provisions of the statute or supplying gas, electricity, power, water etc
even the statute itself as a whole, then the proviso will Issue: Is MERALCO liable to pay the 25% for
be construed in that manner, in order that the intent of employees who work during holidays and Sundays?
the law may be carried out Held: Negative. 2nd part is an exception although
introduced by Provided. As appellant is a public
Repugnancy between proviso and main provision utility that supplies electricity & provides means of
Where there is a conflict between the proviso and the transportation, it is evident that appellant is exempt
main provision, that which is located in a later portion from qualified prohibition established in the enactment
of the statute prevails, unless there is legislative intent clause.
to the contrary.
Latter provision, whether provision or not, is given Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance
preference for it is the latest expression of the intent of Statute: No bill shall be passed by either House shall
the legislation. become a law unless it has passed 3 readings on
separate days, & printed copies thereof in its final form
Exceptions, generally have been distributed to its Members 3 days before its
Exception consists of that which would otherwise be passage, except when the President certifies to the
included in the provision from which it is excepted. necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public
It is a clause which exempts something from the calamity or emergency.
operation of a statute by express words. Held: it qualifies only its nearest antecedent, which is
except, unless otherwise, and shall not apply the distribution of the printed bill in its final form 3
May not be introduced by words mentioned above, as days from its final passage.& not the 3 readings on
long as if such removes something from the operation separate days.
of a provision of law.
Function: to confirm the general rule; qualify the Pendon v. Diasnes
words or phrases constituting the general rule. Issue: whether a person convicted of a crime against
Exceptio firmat regulam in casibus exceptis - A thing property, who was granted absolute pardon by the
not being excepted, must be regarded as coming within President, is entitled to vote?
the purview of the general rule. Statute: A person shall not be qualified to vote who
Doubts: resolved in favor of general rule has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer one
year or more from imprisonment, such disability not
having been removed any plenary pardon or who has
been declared by final judgment guilty of any crime Never:
against property. o Divide by process of etymological
1st clause- 2 excpetions (a) Person penalized by less dissertation (why? Because there are
than 1 yr.; and (2) Person granted an absolute pardon instances when the intention of the legislative
2nd clause - creates exception to 1st but not to 2nd that a body is different from that of the definition in
person convicted of crime against property cannot vote its original sense)
unless theres pardon. o Separate the words (remember that the whole
Held: absolute pardon for any crime for which one point of this chapter is to construe it as a
year of imprisonment or more was meted out restores whole)
the prisoner to his political rights. o Separate context
If penalty less 1 yr, disqualification not apply, except o Base definitions on lexicographer (what is a
when against property- needs pardon. lexicographer? A person who studies
The 2nd clause creates the exception to the 1st lexicography. What is lexicography then?
Analyzes semantic relationships between
Gorospe v. CA (exception need not be introduced by except lexicon and language not important. Never
or unless) mind ) ang kulit!
Statute: Rule 27 of Rules of Court, service by The whole point of this part is to construe the whole
registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the statute and its part together (actually kahit ito nalang
addressee; but if fail to claim his mail from the post tandaan hanggang matapos kasi ito lang yung sinasabi
office within 5 days from ate of first notice of the ng book)
postmaster, service shall take effect at the expiration of
such time. Intent ascertained from statute as whole
Issue: Whether actual receipt the date of a registered Legislative meaning and intent should be
mail after 5 day period, is the date from which to count extracted/ascertained from statutes as a whole (hence
the prescriptive period to comply with certain the title)
requirements. o Why? Because the law is the best expositor of
Held: Service is completed on the 5th day after the 1st itself
notice, even if he actually received the mail months Optima Statuti Interpretatio est ipsum statutum - the
later. best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself
2nd part is separated by semicolon, and begins with o [remember this story to memorize the maxim:
but which indicates exception. Optima at Statuti Frutti where interpreting as
to why when cockroaches(IPIS) when added
Saving clause results to SUM (ipsum) a stadium (statutum)]
Provision of law which operates to except from the sorry blockmates, weird si cherry!
effect of the law what the clause provides, or save Do not inquire too much into the motives which
something which would otherwise be lost. influenced the legislative body unless the motive is
Used to save something from effect of repeal of statute stated or disclosed in the statute themselves.
Legislature, in repealing a statute, may preserve in the
Aisporna v. CA
form of a saving clause, the right of the state to
prosecute and punish offenses committed in violation pointed out that words, clauses, phrases should not be
of the repealed law. studied as detached/isolated expressions
o Consider every part in understanding the
Where existing procedure is altered or substituted by
another, usual to save proceedings under the old law meaning of its part to produce a harmonious
at the time the new law takes effect, by means of
o Meaning of the law is borne in mind and not
saving clause
to be extracted from a single word
Construed: in light of intent by legislature
o Most important: Every part of the statute must
Given strict or liberal meaning depending on nature of
be interpreted with reference to the context
Aboitiz Shipping Corp v. City of Cebu
CHAPTER SIX: Statute Construed as Whole and in
Described that if the words or phrases of statute be
Relation to other Statutes
taken individually it might convey a meaning different
form the one intended by the author.
Interpreting words or phrases separately may limit the
extent of the application of the provision
Statute is passed as a whole
Gaanan v. Intermediate Appellate Court
o It should have one purpose and one intent
Case of wire tapping
o Construe its parts and section in connection
with other parts There is a provision which states that it shall be
o Why? To produce a harmonious whole unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all
the parties to any private communication or spoken
word to tap any wire or cable or by using any other meaning and scope; (2) apply to an actual case; (3)
device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, courts should consider the whole act itself
or record such communication or spoken word by Why should every part of the statute be given effect? -
using such device commonly known as dictagraph Because it is enacted as an integrated measure not a
Issue: whether the phrase device or arrangement hodgepodge of conflicting provisions
includes party line and extension Ways on how the courts should construe a statute
Statcon: it should not be construed in isolation. Rather (according to Republic v. Reyes):
it should be interpreted in relation to the other words o Interpret the thought conveyed by the statute
(tap, to overhear) thus party line or telephone as whole
extension is not included because the words in the o Construe constituent parts together
provision limit it to those that have a physical o Ascertain legislative intent form whole part
interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate o Consider each and every provision in light of
installation of device to overhear. (Remember the the general purpose
maxim noscitus a sociis because in here they applied o Make every part effective, harmonious and
an association with other words in construing the sensible (adopt a construction which would
intention or limitation of the statute) give effect to every part of the of the statute)
Ut res magis valeat quam pereat - the
National Tobacco Administration v. COA construction is to be sought which
Issue: whether educational assistance given to gives effect to the whole of the
individuals prior to the enactment of RA 6758 should statute - of its every word.
be continued to be received?
Held: Yes. Proper interpretation of section12 RA 6758 Apparently conflicting provisions reconciled
depends on the combination of first and second included in the rule of construing statute as a whole, is
paragraph the reconciling and harmonizing conflicting provisions
First sentence states that such other additional because it is by this that the statute will be given effect
compensation not otherwise specified as may be as a whole.
determined by the DBM shall be deemed included in Why is it a must for courts to harmonize conflicting
the standardized salary rates herein prescribed. The provision? - Because they are equally the handiwork of
second sentence states such other additional the same legislature
compensation, whether in cash or in kind, being
received by incumbents only as of July 1, 1989 not RP v. CA
integrated into the standard shall continue to be Issue: whether or not an appeal of cases involving just
authorized. (you can ask cheery na lang to explain it, compensation should be made first by DARAB before
ang haba ng nasa book ) RTC under Sec. 57
statcon: do not isolate or detach the parts. Construing a Held: SC said that the contention of the Republic and
statute as a whole includes reconciling and the Land Bank in the affirmative side has no merit
harmonizing conflicting provisions because although DARAB is granted a jurisdiction
over agrarian reform matters, it does not have
Purpose or context as controlling guide jurisdiction over criminal cases.
construe whole statute and ascertain the meaning of
the words or phrases base on its context, the nature of Sajonas v. CA
the subject, and purpose or intention of the legislative Issue: what period an adverse claim annotated at the
body who enacted the statute back of a transfer certificate effective?
give it a reasonable construction Held: In construing the law Sec. 70 of PD 1529
Leeway are accepted on grammatical construction, (adverse claim shall be effective for a period of 30
letters of the statutes, rhetorical framework if it can days from the date of the registration) care should be
provide a clear and definite purpose of the whole taken to make every part effective
statute ( as long as it can produce a clear and definite
statutes, it is sometimes affected to be lax on the Special and general provisions in same statute
construction of grammar) special would overrule the general
Harmonize the parts of each other and it should be special must be operative; general affect only those it
consistent with its scope and object applies
except to general provision
Giving effect to statute as a whole
Why construe a statute as a whole? - Because it Construction as not to render provision nugatory
implies that one part is as important as the other another consequence of the rule: provision of a statute
What if the provision/section is unclear by itself? - should not be construed as to nullify or render another
One can make it clear by reading and construing it in nugatory in the same statute
relation to the whole statute Interpretatio fienda est et res magis valeat quam pereat
How do you properly and intelligently construe a - a law should be interpreted with a view to upholding
provision/statute? - 3 ways: (1) Understand its rather than destroying
o Do not construe a statute wherein one portion that may be created after the law took effect, and does
will destroy the other not embrace the city engineer. To rule otherwise is to
o Avoid a construction which will render to render the first conjunction and before the words
provision inoperative fire department a superfluity and without meaning at
Reason for the rule
because of the presumption that the legislature has Uytengsu v Republic
enacted a statute whose provisions are in harmony and Issue: whether the requirement the requirement for
consistent with each other and that conflicting naturalization that the applicant will reside
intentions is the same statute are never supported or continuously in the Philippines from the date of the
regarded filing of the petition up to the time of his admission to
Philippine citizenship refers to actual residence or
Qualification of rule merely to legal residence or domicile
What if the parts cannot be harmonized or reconciled Held: such requirement refers to actual or physical
without nullifying the other? - Rule is for the court to residence because to construe it otherwise is to render
reject the one which is least in accord with the general the clause a surplusage.
plan of the whole statute An applicant for naturalization must be actually
What if there is no choice? - the latter provision must residing in the Philippines from the filing of the
vacate the former; last in order is frequently held to petition for naturalization to its determination by the
prevail unless intent is otherwise court
What if the conflict cannot be harmonized and made to
stand together? - one must inquire into the Manila Lodge No. 761 v. CA
circumstances of their passage Issue: whether the reclaimed land is patrimonial or
public dominion?
Construction as to give life to law Held: to say that the land is patrimonial will render
provide sensible interpretation to promote the ends of nugatory and a surplusage the phrase of the law to the
which they were enacted effect that the City of Manila is hereby authorized to
construct them in a reasonable and practical way to lease or sell
give life to them A sale of public dominion needs a legislative
Interpretatio fienda es ut res magis valeat quam pereat authorization, while a patrimonial land does not.
- interpretation will give the efficacy that is to be
adopted. Statute and its amendments construed together
rule applies to the construction and its amendments
Construction to avoid surplusage Whatever changes the legislature made it should be
construe the statute to make no part or provision given effect together with the other parts.
thereof as surplasage
each and every part should be given due effect and Almeda v. Florentino
meaning Law the municipal board shall have a secretary who
do not construe a legal provision to be a useless shall be appointed by it to serve during the term of
surplusage and meaningless office of the members thereof
exert all efforts to provide the meaning. Why? Because Amendment the vice-mayor shall appoint all
of the presumption that the legislature used the word or employees of the board who may be suspended or
phrase for a purpose removed in accordance with law
Construction of both Law and Amendment the
Application of rule power of the vice-mayor to make appointment
pursuant to the amendatory act is limited to the
Mejia v.Balalong appointment of all employees of the board other than
Issue: how to constru next general election in Sec. the board secretary who is to be appointed by the
88 of the City Charter of Dagupan City? board itself
Held: the phrase refers to the next general election
after the city came into being and not the one after its STATUTE CONSTRUED IN RELATION TO
organization by Presidential Proclamation. CONSTITUTION AND OTHER STATUTES

Niere v. CFI of Negros Occidental Statute construed in harmony with the Constitution
Issue: does the city mayor have the power to appoint a Constitution- the fundamental law to which all laws
city engineer pursuant to Sec. 1 of the City Charter of are subservient
La Carlote General Rule: Do not interpret a statute independent
Held: no, the city mayor does not have such power. from the constitution
The phrase and other heads and other employees of Construe the statute in harmony with the fundamental
such departments as may be created whom the mayor law: Why? Because it is always presumed that the
can appoint, refers to the heads of city departments
legislature adhered to the constitutional limitations Vda de Urbano v. GSIS
when they enacted the statute there were no facts given in the book except that it was
It is also important to understand a statute in light of in this case that in pari materia was explained well.
the constitution and to avoid interpreting the former in The explanation are the same in the aforementioned
conflict with the latter
What if the statute is susceptible to two constructions, Other things to consider in constructing statutes which
one is constitutional and the other is unconstitutional? are in pari materia
A: The construction that should be adopted should be o History of the legislation on the subject
the one that is constitutional and the one that will o Ascertain the uniform purpose of the
render it invalid should be rejected. legislature
The Court should favor the construction that gives a o Discover the policy related to the subject
statute of surviving the test of constitutionality matter has been changed or modified
The Court cannot in order to bring a statute within the o Consider acts passed at prior sessions even
fundamental law, amend it by construction those that have been repealed
Distingue tempora et concordabis jura distinguish
Taada v. Tuvera times and you will harmonize laws
this is the case regarding Art. 2 of the Civil Code In cases of two or more laws with the same subject
especially the phrase unless otherwise provided. matter:
Statcon: one should understand that if the phrase refers o Question is usually whether the later act
to the publication itself it would violate the impliedly repealed the prior act.
constitution (since all laws should be made public) [if o Rule: the only time a later act will be repealed
malabo, vague, eh? huh? cherry will explain it na or amended is when the act itself states so
lang ] (that it supersedes all the prior acts) or when
there is an irreconcilable repugnancy between
Statutes in Pari Materia the two.
pari materia - refers to any the following: o In the case of implied the doubt will be
o same person or thing resolved against the repeal or amendment and
o same purpose of object in favor of the harmonization of the laws on
o same specific subject matter the subject (later will serve as a modification)
Later statutes may refer to prior laws.
What if the later law have no reference to the prior Reasons why laws on same subject are reconciled
law, does that mean they are not in pari materia? - No. 2 main reasons:
It is sufficient that they have the same subject matter. o The presumption that the legislature took into
When is a statute not in pari materia? - The conditions account prior laws when they enacted the new
above are the determinants of ascertaining if a statute one.
is in pari materia, thus even if two statutes are under
the same broad subject as along as their specific (orbiter dictum ni cherry: this chapter keeps pointing out that
subjects are not the same, they are NOT in pari the legislature are knowledgeable on the law, but I wonder how
material the actors fit? Im not discriminating but how did Lito Lapid, Loi
Ejercito, etc knew the prior laws? I heard they have
How statutes in Pari Materia construed researchers who do it for them. Why dont we vote those
Interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus researchers instead? Yun lang. I have been reading the whole
interpretandi modus every statute must be so presumption that the legislature is knowledgeable. Madaming
construed and harmonized with other statutes as to namamatay sa akala. Is agpalo still alive?hahaha )
form a uniform system of jurisprudence (parang ganun
din nung first part, construe it as a whole. But also bear o Because enactments of the same legislature
in mind that it should also be in harmony with other on the same subject are supposed to form part
existing laws) of one uniform system (Why? Because later
Construe statutes in pari materia together to attain the statutes are supplementary to the earlier
purpose of an express national policy
If possible construe the two statutes
Why should they be construed together? - Because of
wherein the provisions of both are
the assumption that when the legislature enacted the
given effect
statutes they were thinking of the prior statute. Prior
statutes relating to the same subject matter are to be
Where harmonization is impossible
compared with the new provisions.
Earlier law should give way to the later law because it
Again it is important to harmonize the statutes. Courts
is the current or later expression of the legislative
should not render them invalid without taking the
necessary steps in reconciling them
Illustration of the rule (in pari materia) Government, including government owned or
controlled corporations.
Lacson v. Roque Issue: interpretation of two statutes requiring that
Issue: the phrase unless sooner removed of a statute preference be made in the purchase and use of Phil.
that states the mayor shall hold office for four years Made materials and products
unless sooner removed Held: The SC relates the two statutes as in pari materia
statcon: the court held that the phrase should be and they should be construed to attain the same
construed in relation to removal statutes. Thus the objective that is to give preference to locally produced
phrase meant that although the mayor cannot be materials.
removed during his term of office, once he violates
those that are stated in removal statutes. Cabada v. Alunan III
Issue: whether or not an appeal lies from the decision
Chin Oh Foo v. Concepcion of regional appellate board (RAB) imposing
criminal case Article 12(1) exempting circumstance disciplinary action against a member of the PNP under
(imbecile or insane) Sec. 45 of RA 6975 regarding finality of disciplinary
Statcon: the phrase shall not be permitted to leave action
without first obtaining permission of the same court The court held that the gap in the law which is silent
should be reconciled with another statute that states on filing appeals from decisions of the RAB rendered
any patient confined in a mental institution may be within the reglementary period should be construed
released by the Director of Health once he is cured. and harmonized with other statutes, i.e. Sec 2(1),
The Director shall inform the judge that approved the Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution because the PNP
confinement. These two statutes refers to a person is part, as a bureau, of the reorganized DILG, as to
who was criminally charged but was proven to be an form a unified system of jurisprudence
imbecile or insane, thus they should be construed Statcon: if RAB fails to decide an appealed case within
together. Their construction would mean that in order 60 days from receipt of the notice of appeal, the
for the patient to be release there should be an appealed decision is deemed final and executory, and
approval of both the court and the Director of Health. the aggrieved party may forthwith appeal therefrom to
the Secretary of DILG. Likewise, if the RAB has
King v. Hernaez decided the appeal within 60-day reglementary period,
Statcon: relation of RA 1180 (Retail Trade its decision may still be appealed to the Secretary of
Nationalization Act) to Commonwealth Act 108 (Anti DILG
Dummy Law)
Manila Jockey Club Inc. v. CA
Dialdas v. Percides Issue: who was entitled to breakages (10% dividend of
Facts: a alien who operated a retail store in Cebu winning horse race tickets)
decided to close his Cebu store and transfer it to Statcon: There are two statutes that should be
Dumaguete. RTL (retail trade law) and Tax Code Sec. considered. RA 309 (amended by 6631 &6632) is
199 were the statutes taken into consideration in this silent on the matter but the practice is to use breakages
case. The former authorizes any alien who on May 15, for anti bookie drive and other sale promotions. E.O.
1954 is actually engaged in retail, to continue to 88 & 89 which allocated breakages therein specified.
engage therein until his voluntary retirement from such These two should be construed in pari materia, thus all
business, but not to establish or open additional stores breakages derived from all races should be distributed
for retail business. The latter provides that any and allocated in accordance with Executive Orders
business for which the privilege tax has been paid may because no law should be viewed in isolation.
be removed and continued in any other place without (supplementary)
payment of additional tax.
Issue: whether the transfer by the alien from Cebu to General and special statutes
Dumaguete can be considered as a voluntary General statutes- applies to all of the people of the
retirement from business. state or to a particular class of persons in the state with
Held: No. Although the trial court affirmed the equal force.
question, the SC ruled otherwise stating that RTC o Universal in application
overlooked the clear provision of Sec. 199. Special statutes- relates to particular persons or things
of a class or to particular portion or section of the state
C & C Commercial Corp v. National Waterworks and only
Sewerage Authority Considered as statutes in pari materia thus they should
Facts: R.A. 912 (2) states that in construction or repair be read together and harmonized (and given effect)
work undertaken by the Government, Philippine made What if there are two acts which contain one general
materials and products, whenever available shall be and one special?
used in construction or repair work. o If it produces conflict, the special shall
Flag Law (Commonwealth Act 138) gives native prevail since the legislative intent is more
products preference in the purchase of articles by
clear thus it must be taken as intended to used to avoid encumbering the statute books of
constitute an exception. unnecessary repetition
o Think of it as one general law of the land should be construed to harmonize and give effect to
while the other applies only to a particular the adopted statute.
What if the special law is passed before the general Supplemental statutes
law? It doesnt matter because the special law will still Intended to supply deficiencies in existing statutes
be considered as an exception unless expressly Supplemental statutes should be read with the original
repealed. statute and construed together

Solid Homes Inc. v. Payawal Reenacted statutes

First statute provides that National Housing Authority statute which reenacts a previous statute or provision.
shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide Reproducing an earlier statute with the same or
cases involving unsound real estate (P.D. No. 959). substantially the same words.
Second statute grants RTC general jurisdiction over
such cases. Montelibano v. Ferrer
Issue: Which one will prevail? Issue: application of Sec. 3 fo the City Charter of
Held: The first statute will prevail because it is a Manila is valid in the criminal complaint directly file
special law, as compared to the latter which is general by an offended party in the city court of Bacolod?
law, thus it is an exception to the general jurisdiction Held: The court ruled that the criminal complaint filed
of the RTC directly by the offended party is invalid and it ordered
the city court to dismiss it.
Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp The provisions of the City Charter of Manila Bacolod
Facts: P.D. No. 1869 authorized PAGCOR to on the same subject are identically worded, hence they
centralize and regulate all games of chance. should receive the same construction.
LGC of 1991, a later law, empowers all government
units to enact ordinances to prevent and suppress RULE: two statutes with a parallel scope, purpose and
gambling and other games of chance. terminology should each in its own field, have a like
Stacon: These two should be harmonized rather than interpretation
annulling one and upholding the other. Court said that
the solution to this problem is for the government units Adoption of contemporaneous construction
to suppress and prevent all kinds of gambling except in construing the reenacted statute, the court should
those that are allowed under the previous law take into account prior contemporaneous construction
and give due weight and respect to it.
Leveriza v. Intermediate Appellate Court
RA 776 empowers the general manager of the Civil Qualification of the rule
Aeronautics Administration to lease real property rule that is aforementioned is applicable only when the
under its administration. statute is capable of the construction given to it and
Administrative Code authorizes the President to when that construction has become a settled rule of
execute a lease contract relating to real property conduct
belonging to the republic
How do you apply the rule? - In this case, the prior Adopted statutes
(special) law should prevail a statute patterned after a statute of a foreign country.
Court should take into consideration how the courts of
Reason for the rule other country construe the law and its practices
the special law is considered an exception to the
general law (as long as same subject)
CHAPTER SEVEN: Strict or Liberal Construction
Qualification of the rule
The rule aforementioned is not absolute. IN GENERAL
o If the legislature clearly intended the general Generally
enactment to cover the whole subject and to Whether a statute is to be given a strict or liberal
repeal all prior laws inconsistent therewith construction will depend upon the following:
o When the principle is that the special law The nature of the statute
merely establishes a general rule while the The purpose to be subserved
general law creates a specific and special rule The mischief to be remedied
Purpose: to give the statute the interpretation that will
Reference statutes best accomplish the end desired and effectuate
a statute which refers to other statutes and makes them legislative intent
applicable to the subject of legislation
Strict construction, generally
Construction according to the letter of the statute, Construction taking into consideration general welfare or
which recognizes nothing that is not expressed, takes growth civilization
the language used in its exact meaning, and admits no Construe to attain the general welfare
equitable consideration Salus populi est suprema lex the voice of the people
Not to mean that statutes are construed in its narrowest is the supreme law
meaning Statuta pro publico commodo late interpretantur
It simply means that the scope of the statute shall not statutes enacted for the public good are to be construed
be extended or enlarged by implication, intendment, or liberally
equitable consideration beyond the literal meaning of The reason of the law is the life of the law; the reason
its terms lies in the soil of the common welfare
It is a close and conservative adherence to the literal or The judge must go out in the open spaces of actuality
textual interpretation and dig down deep into his common soil, if not, he
The antithesis of liberal construction becomes subservient to formalism
Construe in the light of the growth of civilization and
Liberal construction, defined varying conditions
Equitable construction as will enlarge the letter of a o The interpretation that if the man is too long
statute to accomplish its intended purpose, carry out its for the bed, his head should be chopped off
intent, or promote justice rather than enlarge the old bed or purchase a
Not to mean enlargement of a provision which is clear, new one should NOT be given to statutes
unambiguous and free from doubt
It simply means that the words should receive a fair STATUTES STRICTLY CONSTRUED
and reasonable interpretation, so as to attain the intent,
spirit and purpose of the law Penal statutes, generally
Penal statutes are those that define crimes, treat of
Liberal construction applied, generally their nature and provide for their punishment
Where a statute is ambiguous, the literal meaning of o Acts of legislature which prohibit certain acts
the words used may be rejected if the result of and establish penalties for their violation
adopting said meaning would be to defeat the purpose Those which impose punishment for an offense
of the law committed against the state, and which the chief
Ut res magis valeat quam pereat that construction is executive has the power to pardon
to be sought which gives effect to the whole of the A statute which decrees the forfeiture in favor of the
statute its every word state of unexplained wealth acquired by a public
official while in office is criminal in nature
Liberal Construction Judicial Interpretation
Equitable construction as Act of the court in
will enlarge the letter of a engrafting upon a law Penal statutes, strictly construed
statute to accomplish its something which it believes Penal statutes are strictly construed against the State
intended purpose, carry out ought to have been and liberally construed in favor of the accused
its intent, or promote justice embraced therein o Penal statutes cannot be enlarged or extended
Legitimate exercise ofForbidden by the tripartite by intendment, implication, or any equitable
judicial power division of powers among consideration
the 3 departments of o No person should be brought within its terms
government if he is not clearly made so by the statute
A statute may not be liberally construed to read into it o No act should be pronounces criminal which
something which its clear and plain language rejects is not clearly made so

Construction to promote social justice Peo v. Atop

Social justice must be taken into account in the Sec. 11 of RA 7659, which amended Art. 335 of the
interpretation and application of laws RPC, provides that the death penalty for rape may be
Social justice mandate is addressed or meant for the imposed if the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-
three departments: the legislative, executive, and the parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity
judicial within the 3rd civil degree, or the common-law spouse
Social justice (included in the Constitution) was meant of the parent of the victim
to be a vital, articulate, compelling principle of public Is the common-law husband of the girls grandmother
policy included?
It should be observed in the interpretation not only of No! Courts must not bring cases within the provisions
future legislations, but also of laws already existing on of the law which are not clearly embraced by it.
November 15, 1935. o No act can be pronounced criminal which is
It was intended to change the spirit of our laws, present not clearly within the terms of a statute can be
and future. brought within them.
o Any reasonable doubt must be resolved in Suy v. People
favor of the accused Where a statute penalizes a store owner who sells
commodities beyond the retail ceiling price fixed by
Strict construction but not as to nullify or destroy the law, the ambiguity in the EO classifying the same
obvious purpose of the legislature commodity into 2 classes and fixing different ceiling
o If penal statute is vague, it must be construed prices for each class, should be resolved in favor of the
with such strictness as to carefully accused
SAFEGUARD the RIGHTS of the defendant
and at the same time preserve the obvious Peo v. Terreda
intention of the legislature Shorter prescriptive period is more favorable to the
o Courts must endeavor to effect substantial accused
Peo v. Manantan
Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos The rule that penal statutes are given a strict
PD 1564, which punishes a person who solicits or construction is not the only factor controlling the
receives contribution for charitable or public welfare interpretation of such laws
purposes without any permit first secured from the Instead, the rule merely serves as an additional single
Department of Social Services, DID NOT include factor to be considered as an aid in detrmining the
religious purposes in the acts punishable, the law meaning of penal laws
CANNOT be construed to punish the solicitation of
contributions for religious purposes, such as repair or Peo v. Purisima
renovation of the church The language of the a statute which penalizes the mere
carrying outside of residence of bladed weapons, i.e., a
Reason why penal statutes are strictly construedg knife or bolo, not in connection with ones work or
The law is tender in favor of the rights of the occupation, with a very heavy penalty ranging from 5-
individual; 10 years of imprisonment, has been narrowed and
The object is to establish a certain rule by conformity strictly construed as to include, as an additional
to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of element of the crime, the carrying of the weapon in
the court limited furtherance of rebellion, insurrection or subversion,
Purpose of strict construction is NOT to enable a guilty such being the evil sought to be remedied or prevented
person to escape punishment through technicality but by the statute as disclosed in its preamble
to provide a precise definition of forbidden acts
Azarcon v. Sandiganbayan
Acts mala in se and mala prohibita Issue: whether a private person can be considered a
General rule: to constitute a crime, evil intent must public officer by reason if his being designated by the
combine with an act BIR as a depository of distrained property, so as to
Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea the act itself make the conversion thereof the crime of malversation
does not make a man guilty unless his intention were Held: NO! the BIRs power authorizing a private
so individual to act as a depository cannot include the
Actus me invite factus non est meus actus an act done power to appoint him as public officer
by me against my will is not my act A private individual who has in his charge any of the
public funds or property enumerated in Art 222 RPC
Mala in se Mala prohibita and commits any of the acts defined in any of the
Criminal intent, apart from The only inquiry is, has the provisions of Chapter 4, Title 7 of the RPC, should
the act itself is required law been violated likewise be penalized with the same penalty meted to
RPC Special penal laws erring public officers. Nowhere in this provision is it
expressed or implied that a private individual falling
However, if special penal laws use such words as under said Art 222 is to be deemed a public officer
willfully, voluntarily, and knowingly intent must be
proved; thus good faith or bad faith is essential before Limitation of rule
conviction Limitation #1 Where a penal statute is capable of 2
interpretations, one which will operate to exempt an
Application of rule accused from liability for violation thereof and another
which will give effect to the manifest intent of the
Peo v. Yadao statute and promote its object, the latter interpretation
A statute which penalizes a person assisting a should be adopted
claimant in connection with the latters claim for
veterans benefit, does not penalize one who OFFERS US v. Go Chico
to assist A law punishes the display of flags used during the
insurrection against the US may not be so construed as
to exempt from criminal liability a person who
displays a replica of said flag because said replica is Statutes granting privileges
not the one used during the rebellion, for to so Statutes granting advantages to private persons or
construe it is to nullify the statute together entities have in many instances created special
Go Chico is liable though flags displayed were just privileges or monopolies for the grantees and have
replica of the flags used during insurrection against thus been viewed with suspicion and strictly construed
US Privilegia recipient largam interpretationem voluntati
consonam concedentis privileges are to be
Limitation #2 strict construction of penal laws interpreted in accordance with the will of him who
applies only where the law is ambiguous and there is grants them
doubt as to its meaning And he who fails to strictly comply with the will of the
grantor loses such privileges

Peo v. Gatchalian Butuan Sawmill, Inc. v. Bayview Theater, Inc

A statute requires that an employer shall pay a Where an entity is granted a legislative franchise to
minimum wage of not less than a specified amount and operate electric light and power, on condition that it
punishes any person who willfully violates any of its should start operation within a specified period, its
provisions failure to start operation within the period resulted in
The fact that the nonpayment of the minimum wage is the forfeiture of the franchise
not specifically declared unlawful, does not mean that
an employer who pays his employees less than the Legislative grants to local government units
prescribed minimum wage is not criminally liable, for Grants of power to local government are to be
the nonpayment of minimum wage is the very act construed strictly, and doubts in the interpretation
sought to be enjoined by the law should be resolved in favor of the national government
and against the political subdivisions concerned
Statutes in derogation of rights Reason: there is in such a grant a gratuitous donation
Rights are not absolute, and the state, in the exercise of of public money or property which results in an unfair
police power, may enact legislations curtailing or advantage to the grantee and for that reason, the grant
restricting their enjoyment should be narrowly restricted in favor of the public
As these statutes are in derogation of common or
general rights, they are generally strictly construed and Statutory grounds for removal of officials
rigidly confined to cases clearly within their scope and Statutes relating to suspension or removal of public
purpose officials are strictly construed
Examples: Reason: the remedy of removal is a drastic one and
o Statutes authorizing the expropriation of penal in nature. Injustice and harm to the public
private land or property interest would likely emerge should such laws be not
o Allowing the taking of deposition strictly interpreted against the power of suspension or
o Fixing the ceiling of the price of commodities removal
o Limiting the exercise of proprietary rights by
individual citizens Ochate v. Deling
o Suspending the period of prescription of Grounds for removal neglect of duty, oppression,
actions corruption or other forms of maladministration in
When 2 reasonably possible constructions, one which office
would diminish or restrict fundamental right of the o in office a qualifier of all acts.
people and the other if which would not do so, the o Must be in relation to the official as an officer
latter construction must be adopted so as to allow full and not as a private person
enjoyment of such fundamental right
Hebron v Reyes
Statutes authorizing expropriations Procedure for removal or suspension should be strictly
Power of eminent domain is essentially legislative in construed
nature Statute: local elective officials are to be removed or
May be delegated to the President, LGUs, or public suspended, after investigation, by the provincial board,
utility company subject to appeal to the President
Expropriation plus just compensation President has no authority on his own to conduct the
A derogation of private rights, thus strict construction investigation and to suspend such elective official
is applied
Statutes expropriating or authorizing the expropriation Naturalization laws
of property are strictly construed against the Naturalization laws are strictly construed against the
expropriating authority and liberally in favor of applicant and rigidly followed and enforced
property owners Naturalization is statutory than a natural right
Statutes imposing taxes and customs duties
Tax statutes must be construed strictly against the
government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer Lladoc v. CIR
Power to tax involves power to destroy Statute: exemption from taxation charitable
Taxing act are not to be extended by implication institutions, churches, parsonages or covenants
Tax statutes should be clearly, expressly, and appurtenant thereto, mosques, and non-profit
unambiguously imposed cemeteries, and all lands buildings, and improvements
Reason for strict construction: taxation is a destructive actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious or
power which interferes with the personal property charitable purposes
rights of the people and takes from them a portion of Exemption only refer to property taxes and not from
their property for the support of the government all kinds of taxes

Statutes granting tax exemptions La Carlota Sugar Central v. Jimenez

Law frowns against exemption from taxation because Statute: tax provided shall not be collected on foreign
taxes are the lifeblood of the nation exchange used for the payment of fertilizers when
Laws granting tax exemptions are thus construed imported by planters or farmers directly or through
strictissimi juris against the taxpayer and liberally in their cooperatives
favor of the taxing authority The importation of fertilizers by an entity which is
Burden of proof on the taxpayer claiming to be neither a planter nor a farmer nor a cooperative of
exempted planters or farmers is not exempt from payment of the
Basis for strict construction to minimize the different tax, even though said entity merely acted as agent of
treatment and foster impartiality, fairness, and equality planter or farmer as a sort of accommodation without
of treatment among taxpayers making any profit from the transaction, for the law
Tax exemptions are not favored in law, nor are they uses the word directly which means without anyone
presumed. intervening in the importation and the phrase through
their cooperatives as the only exemption
CIR v. Phil. Acetylene Co.
Issue: whether containers and packaging materials can
be credited against the millers deficiency tax See page 305
BIR claimed that there should be no tax credit
Power of taxation if a high prerogative of sovereignty,
Held: proviso should be strictly construed to apply
its relinquishment is never presumed and any reduction
only to raw materials and not to containers and
or diminution thereof with respect to its mode or its
packing materials which are not raw materials; hence,
rate must be strictly construed
the miller is entitled to tax credit
Restriction in the proviso is limited only to sales,
Phil. Telegraph and Telephone Corp. v. COA
millers excise taxes paid on raw materials used in the
On most favored treatment clause
milling process
2 franchisee are not competitors
Benguet Corporation v. Cenrtral Board of Assessment Appeals The first franchisee is will not enjoy a reduced rate of
PD 1955 withdrew all tax exemptions, except those tax on gross receipts
embodied in the Real Property Code, a law which
grants certain industries real estate tax exemptions Qualification of rule
under the Real Estate Code Strict construction does not apply in the case of tax
exemptions in favor of the government itself or its
Courts cannot expand exemptiom agencies
Provisions granting exemptions to government
agencies may be construed liberally in favor of non-tax
Esso Standard Eastern, Inc. v Acting Commissioner of Customs liability of such agencies
Where a statute exempts from special import tax, The express exemption should not be construed with
equipment for use of industries, the exemption does the same degree of strictness that applies to
not extend to those used in dispensing gasoline at retail exemptions contrary to policy of the state, since as to
in gasoline stations such property exemption is the rule and the taxation is
the exemption
CIR v. Manila Jockey Club, Inc. E.g. tax exemption in favor of NAPOCOR whether
Statute: racing club holding these races shall be direct or indirect taxes, exempted
exempt from the payment of any municipal or national
tax Statutes concerning the sovereign
Cannot be construed to exempt the racing club from Restrictive statutes which impose burdens on the
paying income tax on rentals paid to it for use of the public treasury or which diminish rights and interests
race tracks and other paraphernalia, for what the law are strictly construed.
exempts refers only to those to be paid in connection Unless so specified, the government does not fall
with said races within the terms of any legislation
latters intention is frequently defeated by the non-
Alliance of Government Workers v. Minister of Labor and observance of what the statute requires
PD 851 requires employers to pay a 13th month Exceptions and provisos
pay to their employees xxx Should be strictly but reasonably construed
employers does not embrace the RP, the law not All doubts should be resolved in favor of the general
having expressly included it within its scope provision rather than the exceptions
o However, always look at the intent of
Statutes authorizing suits against the government legislators if it will accord reason and justice
Art. XVI, Sec. 3, 1987 Constitution The State may not to apply the rule that an express
not be sued without its consent exception excludes all others
o General rule: sovereign is exempt from suit The rule on execution pending appeal must be strictly
o Exception: in the form of statute, state may construed being an exception to the general rule
give its consent to be sued Situations which allows exceptions to the requirement
Statute is to be strictly construed and of warrant of arrest or search warrant must be strictly
waiver from immunity from suit will construed; to do so would infringe upon personal
not be lightly inferred liberty and set back a basic right
Nullum tempus occurrit regi there can be no legal A preference is an exception to the general rule
right as against the authority that makes the law on A proviso should be interpreted strictly with the
which the right depends legislative intent
Reason for non-suability not to subject the state to o Should be strictly construed
inconvenience and loss of governmental efficiency o Only those expressly exempted by the proviso
should be freed from the operation of the
Mobil Phil. Exploration, Inc. v. Customs Arrastre Services statute
The law authorizing the Bureau of Customs to lease
arrastre operations, a proprietary function necessarily STATUTES LIBERALLY CONSTRUED
incident to its governmental function, may NOT be
construed to mean that the state has consented to be General social legislation
sued, when it undertakes to conduct arrastre services General welfare legislations
itself, for damage to cargo o To implement the social justice and
protection-to-labor provisions of the
State-immunity may not be circumvented by directing Constitution
the action against the officer of the state instead of the o Construed liberally
state itself o Resolve any doubt in favor of the persons
o The states immunity may be validly invoked whom the law intended to benefit
against the action AS LONG AS IT CAN BE o Includes the following labor laws, tenancy
SHOWN that the suit really affects the laws, land reform laws, and social security
property, rights, or interests of the state and laws
not merely those of the officer nominally
made party defendant Tamayo v. Manila Hotel
Even if the state consents, law should NOT be Law grants employees the benefits of holiday pay
interpreted to authorize garnishment of public funds to except those therein enumerated
satisfy a judgment against government property Statcon all employees, whether monthly paid or not,
o Reason: who are not among those excepted are entitled to the
Public policy forbids it holiday pay
Disbursement of public funds must
be covered by a corresponding Labor laws construed the workingmans welfare
appropriation as required by law should be the primordial and paramount consideration
Functions and service cannot be o Article 4 New Labor Code all doubts in the
allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted implementation and interpretation of the
by the diversion of public funds provisions of the Labor Code including its
from their legitimate and specific implementing rules and regulations shall be
objects, as appropriated by law resolved in favor of labor
Liberal construction applies only if statute is vague,
Statutes prescribing formalities of the will otherwise, apply the law as it is stated
Strictly construed, which means, wills must be
executed in accordance with the statutory General welfare clause
requirements, otherwise, it is entirely void 2 branches
The court is seeking to ascertain and apply the intent o One branch attaches to the main trunk of
of the legislators and not that of the testator, and the municipal authority relates to such
ordinances and regulations as may be
necessary to carry into effect and discharge Laws on prescription remedial measure interpreted
the powers and duties conferred upon local liberally affording protection to the taxpayers
legislative bodies by law
o Other branch is much more independent of
the specific functions enumerated by law
authorizes such ordinances as shall seem Statutes imposing penalties for nonpayment of tax
necessary and proper to provide for the health liberally construed in favor of government and strictly
and safety, promote the prosperity, improve construed against the taxpayer
the morals, peace, good order xxx of the LGU intention to hasten tax payments or to punish evasions
and the inhabitants thereof, and for the or neglect of duty in respect thereto
protection of the property therein liberal construction would render penalties for
Construed in favor of the LGUs delinquents nugatory
To give more powers to local governments in
promoting the economic condition, social welfare, and Election laws
material progress of the people in the community Election laws should be reasonably and liberally
Construed with proprietary aspects, otherwise would construed to achieve their purpose
cripple LGUs Purpose to effectuate and safeguard the will of the
Must be elastic and responsive to various social electorate in the choice of their representatives
conditions 3 parts
Must follow legal progress of a democratic way of life o Provisions for the conduct of elections which
election officials are required to follow
Grant of power to local governments o Provisions which candidates for office are
Old rule: municipal corporations, being mere creatures required to perform
of law, have only such powers as are expressly granted o Procedural rules which are designed to
to them and those which are necessarily implied or ascertain, in case of dispute, the actual winner
incidental to the exercise thereof in the elections
New rule: RA 2264 Local Autonomy Act
o Sec 12 implied power of a province, a city, Different rules and canons or statutory construction govern
or a municipality shall be liberally construed such provisions of the election law
in its favor. Any fair and reasonable doubt as
to the existence of the power should be Part 1:
interpreted in favor of the local government o Rules and regulations for the conduct of
and it shall be presumed to exist elections
Before election mandatory (part 1)
Statutes granting taxing power (on municipal corporations) After election directory (part 3)
Before 1973 Constitution inferences, implications, o Generally the provisions of a statute as to
and deductions have no place in the interpretation of the manner of conducting the details of an
the taxing power of a municipal corporation election are NOT mandatory; and
New Constitution Art. X, Sec 5 1987 Constitution irregularities in conducting an election and
each local government unit shall have the power to counting the votes, not preceding from any
create its own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, wrongful intent and which deprives no legal
fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and voter of his votes, will not vitiate an election
limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent or justify the rejection of the entire votes of a
with the basic policy of local autonomy precinct
o Statutes prescribing limitations on the taxing Against disenfranchisement
power of LGUs must be strictly construed Remedy against election official who
against the national government and liberally did not do his duty criminal action
in favor of the LGUs, and any doubt as to the against them
existence of the taxing power will be resolved Part 2:
in favor of the local government o Provisions which candidates for office are
required to perform are mandatory
Statutes prescribing prescriptive period to collect taxes o Non-compliance is fatal
Beneficial for both government and taxpayer Part 3:
o To the government tax officers are obliged o Procedural rules which are designed to
to act promptly in the making of the ascertain, in case of dispute, the actual winner
assessments in the elections are liberally construed
o To the taxpayer would have a feeling of o Technical and procedural barriers should not
security against unscrupulous tax agents who be allowed to stand if they constitute an
will always find an excuse to inspect the obstacle in the choice of their elective
books of taxpayers officials
For where a candidate has received popular mandate, Board of Administrators Veterans Admin v. Bautista
overwhelmingly and clearly expressed, all possible Veteran pension law is silent as to the effectivity of
doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidates pension awards, it shall be construed to take effect
eligibility, for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of from the date it becomes due and NOT from the date
the electorate the application for pension is approved, so as to grant
the pensioner more benefits and to discourage inaction
Amnesty proclamations on the part of the officials who administer the laws
Amnesty proclamations should be liberally construed
as to carry out their purpose Chavez v. Mathay
Purpose to encourage to return to the fold of the law While veteran or pension laws are to be construed
of those who have veered from the law liberally, they should be so construed as to prevent a
E.g. in case of doubt as to whether certain persons person from receiving double pension or
come within the amnesty proclamation, the doubt compensation, unless the law provides otherwise
should be resolved in their favor and against the state
Same rule applies to pardon since pardon and amnesty Santiago v. COA
is synonymous Explained liberal construction or retirement laws
Intention is to provide for sustenance, and hopefully
Statutes prescribing prescriptions of crimes even comfort when he no longer has the stamina to
Liberally construed in favor of the accused continue earning his livelihood
Reason time wears off proof and innocence He deserves the appreciation of a grateful government
Same as amnesty and pardon at best concretely expressed in a generous retirement
gratuity commensurate with the value and length of his
Peo v. Reyes service
Art. 91 RPC period of prescription shall commence
to run from the day the crime is discovered by the Ortiz v. COMELEC
offended, authorities, xxx Issue: whether a commissioner of COMELEC is
When does the period of prescription start day of deemed to have completed his term and entitled to full
discovery or registration in the Register of Deeds? retirement benefits under the law which grants him 5-
Held: From the time of registration year lump-sum gratuity and thereafter lifetime pension,
Notice need not be actual for prescription to run; who retires from the service after having completed
constructive notice is enough his term of office, when his courtesy resignation
submitted in response to the call of the President
More favorable to the accused if prescriptive period is
following EDSA Revolution is accepted
counted from the time of registration
Held: Yes! Entitled to gratuity
Adoption statutes Liberal construction
Adoption statutes are liberally construed in favor of Courtesy resignation not his own will but a mere
the child to be adopted manifestation of submission to the will of the political
Paramount consideration child and not the adopters authority and appointing power

Veteran and pension laws In Re Application for Gratuity Benefits of Associate Justice
Efren I Plana
Veteran and pension laws are enacted to compensate a
class of men who suffered in the service for the Issue: whether Justice Plana is entitled to gratuity and
hardships they endured and the dangers they retirement pay when, at the time of his courtesy
encountered in line of duty resignation was accepted following EDSA Revolution
o Expression of gratitude to and recognition of and establishment of a revolutionary government
those who rendered service to the country by under the Freedom Constitution, he lacked a few
extending to them regular monetary benefit months to meet the age requirement for retirement
Veteran and pension laws are liberally construed in under the law but had accumulated a number of leave
of credits which, if added to his age at the time, would
favor of grantee
exceed the age requirement
Held: yes, entitled to gratuity! Liberal construction
Del Mar v. Phil. Veterans Admin applied
Where a statute grants pension benefits to war
veterans, except those who are actually receiving a In Re Pineda
similar pension from other government funds Explained doctrine laid down in the previous case
Statcon government funds refer to funds of the The crediting of accumulated leaves to make up for
same government and does not preclude war veterans lack of required age or length of service is not done
receiving similar pensions from the US Government discriminately
from enjoying the benefits therein provided xxx only if satisfied that the career of the retiree was
marked by competence, integrity, and dedication to the
public service
In Re Martin o Where the resolution of the emotion is
Issue: whether a justice of the SC, who availed of the addressed solely to the sound and judicious
disability retirement benefits pursuant to the provision discretion of the court
that if the reason for the retirement be any permanent o Where the injustice to the adverse party is not
disability contracted during his incumbency in office commensurate with the degree of his
and prior to the date of retirement he shall receive only thoughtlessness in not complying with the
a gratuity equivalent to 10 years salary and allowances prescribed procedure
aforementioned with no further annuity payable Liberal construction of RC does not mean they may be
monthly during the rest of the retirees natural life is ignored; they are required to be followed except only
entitled to a monthly lifetime pension after the 10-year for the most persuasive reasons
Held: Yes! 10-year lump sum payment is intended to Other statutes
assist the stricken retiree meeting his hospital and Curative statutes to cure defects in prior law or to
doctors bills and expenses for his support validate legal proceedings which would otherwise be
The retirement law aims to assist the retiree in his old void for want of conformity with certain legal
age, not to punish him for having survived requirements; retroactive
Redemption laws remedial in nature construed
Cena v. CSC liberally to carry out purpose, which is to enable the
Issue: whether or not a government employee who has debtor to have his property applied to pay as many
reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but debtors liability as possible
who has rendered less than 15 years of government Statutes providing exemptions from execution are
service, may be allowed to continue in the service to interpreted liberally in order to give effect to their
complete the 15-year service requirement to enable beneficial and humane purpose
him to retire with benefits of an old-age pension under Laws on attachment liberally construed to promote
Sec 11(b) PD 1146 their objects and assist the parties obtaining speedy
However, CSC Memorandum Circular No 27 provides justice
that any request for extension of compulsory retirees Warehouse receipts instrument of credit liberally
to complete the 15-years service requirement for construed in favor of a bona fide holders of such
retirement shall be allowed only to permanent receipts
appointees in the career service who are regular Probation laws liberally construed
members of the GSIS and shall be granted for a period o Purpose: to give first-hand offenders a second
not exceeding 1 year chance to maintain his place in society
Held: CSC Memorandum Circular No 27 through the process of reformation
unconstitutional! It is an administrative regulation Statute granting powers to an agency created by the
which should be in harmony with the law; liberal Constitution should be liberally construed for the
construction of retirement benefits advancement of the purposes and objectives for which
it was created
Rules of Court
RC are procedural to be construed liberally CHAPTER EIGHT: Mandatory and Directory Statutes
Purpose of RC the proper and just determination of a
litigation IN GENERAL
Procedural laws are no other than technicalities, they
are adopted not as ends in themselves but as means Generally
conducive to the realization of the administration of Mandatory and directory classification of statutes
law and justice importance: what effect should be given to the
RC should not be interpreted to sacrifice substantial mandate of a statute
rights at the expense of technicalities
Mandatory and directory statutes, generally
Case v. Jugo Mandatory statute commands either positively that
Lapses in the literal observance of a rule of procedure something be done in a particular way, or negatively
will be overlooked when they do not involve public that something be not done; it requires OBEDIENCE,
policy; when they arose from an honest mistake or otherwise void
unforeseen accident; when they have not prejudiced Directory statute permissive or discretionary in
the adverse party and have not deprived the court of its nature and merely outlines the act to be done in such a
authority way that no injury can result from ignoring it or that its
Literal stricture have been relaxed in favor of liberal purpose can be accomplished in a manner other than
construction that prescribed and substantially the same result
o Where a rigid application will result in obtained; confer direction upon a person; non-
manifest failure or miscarriage of justice performance of what it prescribes will not vitiate the
o Where the interest of substantial justice will proceedings therein taken
be served
When statute is mandatory or directory Language used
No absolute test to determine whether a statute is Generally mandatory command words
directory or mandatory o Shall or Shall not
Final arbiter legislative intent o Must or Must not
Legislative intent does not depend on the form of the o Ought or Ought not
statute; must be given to the entire statute, its object, o Should or Should not
purpose, legislative history, and to other related o Can or Cannot
statutes Generally directory permissive words
Mandatory in form but directory in nature possible o May or May not
Whether a statute is mandatory or directory depends
on whether the thing directed to be done is of the Use of shall or must
essence of the thing required, or is a mere matter of Generally, shall and must is mandatory in nature
form, what is a matter of essence can often be If a different interpretation is sought, it must rest upon
determined only by judicial construction something in the character of the legislation or in the
o Considered directory compliance is a matter context which will justify a different meaning
of convenience; where the directions of a The import of the word ultimately depends upon a
statute are given merely with a view to the consideration of the entire provision, its nature, object
proper, orderly and prompt conduct of and the consequences that would follow from
business; no substantial rights depend on it construing it one way or the other
o Considered mandatory a provision relating
to the essence of the thing to be done, that is, Loyola Grand Villa Homeowners (South) Assn., Inc. v. CA
to matters of substance; interpretation shows must construed as directory
that the legislature intended a compliance Corporation Code Sec 46 reads every corporation
with such provision to be essential to the formed under this Code MUST within one month after
validity of the act or proceeding, or when receipt of official notice of the issuance of its
some antecedent and prerequisite conditions certification of incorporation with the SEC, adopt a
must exist prior to the exercise of the power, code of by-laws for its government not inconsistent
or must be performed before certain other with this Code
powers can be exercised PD 902-A which is in pari material with the
Corporation Code states that the non-filing of the by-
Test to determine nature of statute laws does not imply the demise of the corporation;
Test is to ascertain the consequences that will follow in that there should be a notice and hearing before the
case what the statute requires is not done or what it certificate of registration may be cancelled by the
forbids is performed failure to file the by-laws
Does the law give a person no alternative choice? if
yes, then it is mandatory One test whether mandatory or directory compliance
Depends on the effects of compliance must be made whether non-compliance with what is
o If substantial rights depend on it and injury required will result in the nullity of the act; if it results
can result from ignoring it; intended for the in the nullity, it is mandatory
protection of the citizens and by a disregard
of which their rights are injuriously affected Director of Land v. CA
mandatory Law requires in petitions for land registration that
o Purpose is accomplished in a manner other upon receipt of the order of the court setting the time
than that prescribed and substantially the for initial hearing to be published in the OG and once
same results obtained - directory in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Statutes couched in mandatory form but compliance is Philippines
merely directory in nature Law expressly requires that the initial hearing be
o If strict compliance will cause hardship or published in the OG AND in the newspaper of general
injustice on the part of the public who is not circulation reason: OG is not as widely read of the
at fault newspaper of general circulation
o If it will lead to absurd, impossible, or shall is imperative/ mandatory
mischievous consequences Without initial hearing being published in a newspaper
If an officer is required to do a of general circulation is a nullity
positive act but fails because such
actions will lead to the Use of may
aforementioned, he will only be An auxiliary verb showing opportunity or possibility
subject to administrative sanction for
Generally, directory in nature
his failure to do what the law
Used in procedural or adjective laws; liberally
Example: Sec 63 of the corporation Code shares of
stock so issued are personal property and MAY be
transferred by delivery of the certificate or certificated MANDATORY STATUTES
endorsed by the owner
o may is merely directory and that the Statutes conferring power
transfer of the shares may be effected in a Generally regarded as mandatory although couched in
manner different from that provided for in a permissive form
law Should construe as imposing absolute and positive
duty rather than conferring privileges
When shall is construed as may and vice versa Power is given for the benefit of third persons, not for
Rule: may should be read shall the public official
o where such construction is necessary to give Granted to meet the demands of rights, and to prevent
effect to the apparent intention of the a failure of justice
legislature Given as a remedy to those entitled to invoke its aid
o where a statute provides for the doing os
some act which is required by justice r public Statutes granting benefits
duty Considered mandatory
o where it vests a public body or officer with Failure of the person to take the required steps or to
power and authority to take such action which meet the conditions will ordinarily preclude him from
concerns for the public interest or rights of availing of the statutory benefits
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt the
Rule: shall should be read may laws aid the vigilant, not those who slumber on their
o When so required by the context or by the rights
intention of the legislature
Potior est in tempoe, potior est in jure he who is first
o When no public benefit or private right
in time is preferred in right
requires that it be given an imperative
Statutes prescribing jurisdictional requirements
Considered mandatory
Diokno v. Rehabilitiation Finance Corp
Sec. 2 RA 304 reads banks or other financial
o Requirement of publication
institutions owned or controlled by the Government
o Provision in the Tax Code to the effect that
SHALL, subject to availability of funds xxx accept at a
before an action for refund of tax is filed in
discount at not more than 20% for 10 years of such
court, a written claim therefore shall be
backpay certificate
presented with the CIR within the prescribed
Shall implies discretion because of the phrase
period is mandatory and failure to comply
subject to availability of funds
with such requirement is fatal to the action
Govermnent v. El Hogar Filipino
Statutes prescribing time to take action or to appeal
Corporation Codes reads SHALL, upon such
Generally mandatory
violation being proved, be dissolved by quo warranto
Held as absolutely indispensable to the prevention of
needless delays and to the orderly and speedy
Shall construed as may
discharge or business, and are necessary incident to the
proper, efficient, and orderly discharge of judicial
Berces, Sr. v. Guingona
Sec. 68 Ra 7160 (LGC) provides that an appeal from Strict not substantial compliance
an adverse decision against a local elective official to
Not waivable, nor can they be the subject of
the President SHALL not prevent a decision from
agreements or stipulation of litigants
becoming final and executor
Shall is not mandatory because there is room to
Reyes v. COA
construe said provision as giving discretion to the
Sec. 187 RA 7160 process of appeal of dissatisfied
reviewing officials to stay the execution of the
taxpayer on the legality of tax ordinance
appealed decision
o Appeal to the Sec of Justice within 30 days of
effectivity of the tax ordinance
Use of negative, prohibitory or exclusive terms
o If Sec of Justice decides the appeal, a period
A negative statute is mandatory; expressed in negative
of 30 days is allowed for an aggrieved party
words or in a form of an affirmative proposition to go to court
qualified by the word only
o If the Sec of Justice does not act thereon, after
only exclusionary negation the lapse of 60 days, a party could already
Prohibitive or negative words can rarely, if ever, be proceed to seek relief in court
discretionary Purpose of mandatory compliance: to prevent delays
and enhance the speedy and orderly discharge of
judicial functions
Unless the requirements of law are complied with, the After election directory, in support of the result
decision of the lower court will become final and unless of a character to affect an obstruction to the free
preclude the appellate court from acquiring jurisdiction and intelligent casting of the votes, or to the
to review it ascertainment of the result, or unless it is expressly
Interest reipiciae ut sit finis litium public interest declared by the statute that the particular act is
requires that by the very nature of things there must be essential to the validity of an election, or that its
an end to a legal controversy omission shall render it void (whew, and haba!)
When the voters have honestly cast their ballots, the
Gachon v. Devera, Jr same should not be nullified simply because the
Issue: whether Sec 6 of the Rule on Summary officers appointed under the law to direct the elections
Procedure, which reads should the defendant fail to and guard the purity of the ballot have not done their
answer the complaint within the period above duty
provided, the Court, motu proprio, or on motion of the For where a candidate has received popular mandate,
plaintiff, SHALL render judgment as may be overwhelmingly and clearly expressed, all possible
warranted by the facts alleged in the complaint and doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidates
limited to what is prayed for therein, is mandatory or eligibility, for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of
directory, such that an answer filed out of time may be the electorate
Held: mandatory Delos Reyes v. Rodriguez
o Must file the answer within the reglementary The circumstance that the coupon bearing the number
period of the ballot is not detached at the time the ballot is
o Reglementary period shall be non- voted, as required by law, does not justify the court in
extendible rejecting the ballot
o Otherwise, it would defeat the objective of
expediting the adjudication of suits Election laws on qualification and disqualification
The rule of before-mandatory and after-directory in
Statutes prescribing procedural requirements election laws only applies to procedural statutes;
Construed mandatory Not applicable to provisions of the election laws
Procedure relating to jurisdictional, or of the essence prescribing the time limit to file certificate of
of the proceedings, or is prescribed for the protection candidacy and the qualifications and disqualifications
or benefit of the party affected of elective office considered mandatory even after
Where failure to comply with certain procedural election
requirements will have the effect of rendering the act
done in connection therewith void, the statute Statutes prescribing qualifications for office
prescribing such requirements is regarded as Eligibility to a public office is of a continuing nature
mandatory even though the language is used therein is and must exist at the commencement of the term and
permissive in nature during the occupancy of the office
Statutes prescribing the eligibility or qualifications of
De Mesa v. Mencias persons to a public office are regarded as mandatory
Sec 17, Rule 3 RC after a party dies and the claim is Example in the book lawyer-judge; judge-disbarment
not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon as lawyer
proper notice, the legal representative of the deceased Statutes relating to assessment of taxes
to appear and to be substituted xxx. If legal Intended for the security of the citizens, or to insure
representative fails to appear xxx, the court MAY the equality of taxation, or for certainty as to the nature
order the opposing party to produce the appointment of and amount of each others tax MANDATORY
a legal representative xxx o E.g. Statutes requiring the assessor to notify
Although MAY was used, provision is mandatory the taxpayer of the assessment of his property
Procedural requirement goes to the very jurisdiction of within a prescribed period
the court, for unless and until a legal representative is Those designed merely for the information or direction
for him is duly named and within the jurisdiction of of officers or to secure methodical and systematic
the trial court, no adjudication in the cause could have modes of proceedings - DIRECTORY
been accorded any validity or the binding effect upon
any party, in representation of the deceased, without Statutes concerning public auction sale
trenching upon the fundamental right to a day in court Construed mandatory
which is the very essence of the constitutionally Procedural steps must be strictly followed
enshrined guarantee of due process Otherwise, void

Election laws on conduct of election

Construed as mandatory
Before election mandatory
DIRECTORY STATUTES would defeat the purpose of due process; dismissal
will constitute miscarriage of justice; speedy trial
Statutes prescribing guidance for officers would be turned into denial of justice
Regulation designed to secure order, system, and o Failure of judge to take action within the said
dispatch in proceedings, and by a disregard of which period merely deprives him of their right to
the rights of parties interested may not be injuriously collect their salaries or to apply for leaves, but
affected directory does not deprive them of the jurisdiction to
o Exception unless accompanied by negative act on the cases pending before them
words importing that the acts required shall
not be done in any other manner or time than Constitutional time provision directory
that designated
Marcelino v. Cruz
Statutes prescribing manner of judicial action Sec 15(1) Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution the maximum
Construed directory period within which a case or matter shall be decided
Procedure is secondary in importance to substantive or resolved from the date of its submission shall be
right o 24 months SC
Generally, non-compliance therewith is not necessary o 12 months lower collegiate courts
to the validity of the proceedings o 3 months all other lower courts
Sec 15(1) Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution directory
Statutes requiring rendition of decision within prescribed period Reasons:
Sec 15(1) Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution the maximum o Statutory provisions which may be thus
period within which a case or matter shall be decided departed from with impunity, without
or resolved from the date of its submission shall be affecting the validity of statutory proceedings,
o 24 months SC are usually those which relate to the mode or
o 12 months lower collegiate courts time of doing that which is essential to effect
o 3 months all other lower courts the aim and purpose of the legislature or some
Sec 7 Art. IX-A, 1987 Constitution incident of the essential act thus directory
o 60 days from the date of its submission for o Liberal construction departure from strict
resolution for all Constitutional compliance would result in less injury to the
Commissions general public than would its strict
Before the Constitution took effect - Statutes requiring application
rendition of decision within prescribed period o Courts are not divested of their jurisdiction
Directory for failure to decide a case within the 90-day
o Except period
intention to the contrary is manifest o Only for the guidance of the judges manning
time is of the essence of the thing to our courts
be done o Failure to observe said rule constitutes a
language of the statute contains ground for administrative sanction against the
negative words defaulting judge
designation of the time was intended A certification to this effect is
as a limitation of power, authority or required before judges are allowed to
right draw their salaries
always look at intent to ascertain whether to give the
statute a mandatory or directory construction CHAPTER NINE: Prospective and Retroactive Statutes
o basis: EXPEDIENCY less injury results to
the general public by disregarding than IN GENERAL
enforcing the little of the law and that judges
would otherwise abstain from rendering Prospective and retroactive statutes, defined
decisions after the period to render them had Prospective
lapsed because they lacked jurisdiction tot do o operates upon facts or transactions that occur
so after the statute takes effect
o looks and applies to the future.
Querubin v. CA Retroactive
Statute: appeals in election cases shall be decided o Law which creates a new obligation, imposes
within 3 months after the filing of the case in the office a new duty or attaches a new disability in
of the clerk of court respect to a transaction already past.
Issue: whether or not CA has jurisdiction in deciding o A statute is not made retroactive because it
the election case although the required period to draws on antecedent facts for its operation, or
resolve it has expired part of the requirements for its action and
Held: yes, otherwise is to defeat the administration of application is drawn from a time antedating
justice upon factors beyond the control of the parties; its passage.
Umali vs. Estanislao
A law may be made operative partly on facts that Prospectivity applies to:
occurred prior to the effectivity of such law without o Statutes
being retroactive. o Administrative rulings and circulars
Statute: RA 7167- granting increased personal o Judicial decisions
exemptions from income tax to be available The principle of prospectivity of statutes, original or
thenceforth, that is, after said Act became effective and amendatory, has been applied in many cases. These
on or before the deadline for filing income tax returns, include:
with respect to compensation income earned or
received during the calendar year prior to the date the Buyco v. PNB
law took effect. Statute: RA 1576 which divested the PNB of authority
to accept back pay certificates in payment of loans
Castro v. Sagales Held: does not apply to an offer of payment made
A retroactive law (in a legal sense) before effectivity of the act.
o one which takes away or impairs vested rights
acquired under existing laws
o creates a new obligation and imposes a new Lagardo v. Masaganda
duty Held: RA 2613, as amended by RA 3090 ON June
o attaches a new disability in respect of 1991, granting inferior courts jurisdiction over
transactions or considerations already past guardianship cases, could not be given retroactive
effect in the absence of a saving clause.
Laws operate prospectively, generally
It is a settled rule in statutory construction that statutes Larga v. Ranada Jr.
are to be construed as having only prospective Held: Sec. 9 & 10 of E.O. 90 amending Sec 4 of P.D.
operation, unless the intendment of the legislature is to 1752 could have no retroactive application.
give them a retroactive effect, expressly declare or
necessarily implied from the language used. Peo v. Que Po Lay
No court will hold a statute to be retroactive when the Held: a person cannot be convicted of violating
legislature has not said so. Circular 20 of the Central Bank, when the alleged
Art. 4 of the Civil Code which provides that Laws violation occurred before publication of the Circular
shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is on the Official Gazette.
Lex prospicit, non respicit the law looks forward, not Baltazar v. CA
backward Held: It denied retroactive application to PD 27
Lex de future, judex de praeterito the law provides decreeing the emancipation of tenants from the
for the future, the judge for the past. bondage of the soil, & PD 316, prohibiting ejectment
If the law is silent as to the date of its application and of tenants from rice & corn farmholdings pending
that it is couched in the past tense does not necessarily promulgation of rules & regulations implementing PD
imply that it should have retroactive effect. 27

Grego v. Comelec Nilo v CA

A statute despite the generality of its language, must Held: removed personal cultivation as the ground for
not be so construed as to overreach acts, events, or ejectment of a tenant cant be given retroactive effect
matters which transpired before its passage in absence of statutory statement for retroactivity.
Statute: Sec.40 of the LGC disqualifying those
removed from office as a result of an administrative Applied to administrative rulings & circulars:
case from running for local elective positions cannot
be applied retroactively. ABS-CBN Broadcasting v. CTA
Held: It cannot disqualify a person who was Held: a circular or ruling of the CIR cannot be given
administratively removed from his position prior to the retroactive effect adversely to a taxpayer.
effectivity of said Code from running for an elective
position. Sanchez v. COMELEC
Rationale: a law is a rule established to guide actions Held: the holding of recall proceedings had no
with no binding effect until it is enacted. retroactive application

Nova constitution futuris formam imponere debet non Romualdez v. CSC

praeteretis A new statute should affect the future, Held: CSC Memorandum Circular No. 29 cannot be
not the past. given retrospective effect so as to entitle to permanent
appointment an employee whose temporary
appointment had expired before the Circular was
Applied to judicial decisions for even though not laws, Provision is recognition to the universally accepted
are evidence of what the laws mean and is the basis of principle that no penal law can have a retroactive
Art.8 of the Civil Code wherein laws of the effect, no act or omission shall be held to be a crime,
Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the nor its author punished, except by virtue of a law in
Philippines. force at the time the act was committed.
Nullum crimen sine poena, nulla poena sine legis
Presumption against retroactivity there is no crime without a penalty, there is no penalty
Presumption is that all laws operate prospectively, without a law.
unless the contrary clearly appears or is clearly, plainly
and unequivocally expressed or necessarily implied. Ex post facto law
In case of doubt: resolved against the retroactive Constitution provides that no ex post facto law shall be
operation of laws enacted. It also prohibits the retroactive application of
If statute is susceptible of construction other than that penal laws which are in the nature of ex post facto
of retroactivity or will render it unconstitutional- the laws.
statute will be given prospective effect and operation. Ex post facto laws are any of the following:
Presumption is strong against substantive laws o Law makes criminal an act done before the
affecting pending actions or proceedings. No passage of the law and which was innocent
substantive statute shall be so construed retroactively when done, and punishes such act
as to affect pending litigations. o Law which aggravates a crime, makes it
greater than it was, when committed
Words or phrases indicating prospectivity o Law which changes the punishment & inflicts
Indicating prospective operation: a greater punishment than that annexed to the
o A statute is to apply hereafter or crime when committed
thereafter o Law which alters the legal rules of evidence,
o from and after the passing of this Act authorizes conviction upon less or different
o shall have been made testimony than the law required at the time of
o from and after a designated date the commission of the offense
Shall implies that the law makes intend the o Law which assumes to regulate civil rights
enactment to be effective only in future. and remedies only, but in effect imposes
Statutes have no retroactive but prospective effect: penalty or deprivation of a right for
o It shall take effect upon its approval something which when done was lawful
o Shall take effect on the date the President o Law which deprives a person accused of a
shall have issued a proclamation or E.O., as crime of some lawful protection to which he
provided in the statute has become entitled, such as protection of a
former conviction or acquittal, or
Retroactive statutes, generally proclamation of amnesty.
The Constitution does not prohibit the enactment of Test if ex post facto clause is violated: Does the law
retroactive statutes which do not impair the obligation sought to be applied retroactively take from an accused
of contract, deprive persons of property without due any right vital for protection of life and liberty?
process of law, or divest rights which have become Scope: applies only to criminal or penal matters
vested, or which are not in the nature of ex post facto It does NOT apply to laws concerning civil
laws. proceedings generally, or which affect or regulate civil
Statutes by nature which are retroactive: or private rights or political privilege
o Remedial or curative statutes
o Statutes which create new rights Alvia v. Sandiganbayan
o Statute expressly provides that it shall apply Law: as of the date of the effectivity of this decree, any
retroactively case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is not an ex
o Where it uses words which clearly indicate its post facto law because it is not a penal statute nor
intent dilutes the right of appeal of the accused.
Problem in construction is when it is applied
retroactively, to avoid frontal clash with the Bill of attainder
Constitution and save the law from being declared Constitution provides that no bill of attainder shall be
unconstitutional. enacted.
Bill of attainder legislative act which inflicts
STATUTES GIVEN PROSPECTIVE EFFECT punishment without judicial trial
Essence: substitution of a legislative for a judicial
Penal statutes, generally determination of guilt
Penal laws operate prospectively. Serves to implement the principle of separation of
Art. 21 of the RPC provides that no felony shall be powers by confining the legislature to rule-making &
punishable by any penalty not prescribed by law prior thereby forestalling legislative usurpation of judicial
to its commission. functions.
History: Bill of Attainder was employed to suppress Exceptions to the rule:
unpopular causes & political minorities, and this is the o When accused is habitual delinquent
evil sought to be suppressed by the Constitution. o When statute provides that it shall not apply
How to spot a Bill of Attainder: to existing actions or pending cases
o Singling out of a definite minority o Where accused disregards the later law &
o Imposition of a burden on it invokes the prior statute under which he was
o A legislative intent prosecuted.
o retroactive application to past conduct suffice General rule: An amendatory statute rendering an
to stigmatize illegal act prior to its enactment no longer illegal is
Bill of Attainder is objectionable because of its ex post given retroactive effect does not apply when
facto features. amendatory act specifically provides that it shall only
Accordingly, if a statute is a Bill of Attainder, it is also apply prospectively.
an ex post facto law.
Statutes substantive in nature
When penal laws applied retroactively Substantive law
Penal laws cannot be given retroactive effect, except o creates, defines or regulates rights concerning
when they are favorable to the accused. life, liberty or property, or the powers of
Art.22 of RPC penal laws shall have a retroactive agencies or instrumentalities for
effect insofar as they favor the person guilty of a administration of public affairs.
felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is o that part of law which creates, defines &
defined in Rule 5 Art 62 of the Code , although at the regulates rights, or which regulates rights or
time of the application of such laws a final sentence duties which give rise to a cause of action
has been pronounced and the convict is serving the o that part of law which courts are established
same. to administer
This is not an ex post facto law. o when applied to criminal law: that which
Exception to the general rule that all laws operate declares which acts are crimes and prescribe
prospectively. the punishment for committing them
Rule is founded on the principle that: the right of the o Cannot be construed retroactively as it might
state to punish and impose penalty is based on the affect previous or past rights or obligations
principles of justice. Substantive rights
Favorabilia sunt amplianda, adiiosa restrigenda o One which includes those rights which one
Conscience and good law justify this exception. enjoys under the legal system prior to the
disturbance of normal relations.
Exception was inspired by sentiments of humanity and
accepted by science. Cases with substantive statutes:
2 laws affecting the liability of accused:
Tolentino v. Azalte
o In force at the time of the commission of the
crime during the pendency of the criminal In the absence of a contrary intent, statutes which lays
action, a statute is passed down certain requirements to be complied with be fore
reducing the degree of penalty a case can be brought to court.
eliminating the offense itself
removing subsidiary imprisonment Espiritu v. Cipriano
in case of insolvency to pay the civil Freezes the amount of monthly rentals for residential
liability houses during a fixed period
prescription of the offense
such statute will be applied Spouses Tirona v. Alejo
retroactively and the trial Law: Comprehensive Land Reform Law granting
court before the finality of complainants tenancy rights to fishponds and pursuant
judgment or the appellate to which they filed actions to assert rights which
court on appeal from such subsequently amended to exempt fishponds from
judgment should take such coverage of statute
statute in consideration. Held: Amendatory law is substantive in nature as it
o Enacted during or after the trial of the exempts fishponds from its coverage.
criminal action
Test for procedural laws:
Director v. Director of Prisons o if rule really regulates procedure, the judicial
When there is already a final judgment & accused is process for enforcing rights and duties
serving sentence, remedy is to file petition of habeas recognized by substantive law & for justly
corpus, alleging that his continued imprisonment is administering remedy and redress for a
illegal pursuant to said statute & praying that he be disregard or infraction of them
forthwith released. o If it operates as a means of implementing an
existing right
Test for substantive laws: This rule is true though it may result in the reversal of
o If it takes away a vested right a judgment which as correct at the time it was rendered
o If rule creates a right such as right to appeal by the trial court. The rule is subject to the limitation
concerning constitutional restrictions against
Fabian v. Desierto impairment of vested rights
Where to prosecute an appeal or transferring the venue
of appeal is procedural Statutes affecting vested rights
Example: A vested right or interest may be said to mean some
o Decreeing that appeals from decisions of the right or interest in property that has become fixed or
Ombudsman in administrative actions be established and is no longer open to doubt or
made to the Court of Appeals controversy
o Requiring that appeals from decisions of the Rights are vested when the right to enjoyment, present
NLRC be filed with the Court of Appeals or prospective, has become the property of some
Generally, procedural rules are retroactive and are particular person or persons, as a present interest
applicable to actions pending and undermined at the The right must be absolute, complete and
time of the passage of the procedural law, while unconditional, independent of a contingency
substantive laws are prospective A mere expectancy of future benefit or a contingent
interest in property founded on anticipated continuance
Effects on pending actions of existing laws does not constitute a vested right
Statutes affecting substantive rights may not be given Inchoate rights which have not been acted on are not
retroactive operation so as to govern pending vested

Iburan v. Labes
Where court originally obtains and exercises A statute may not be construed and applied
jurisdiction, a later statute restricting such jurisdiction retroactively under the following circumstances:
or transferring it to another tribunal will not affect o if it impairs substantive right that has become
pending action, unless statute provides & unless vested;
prohibitory words are used. o as disturbing or destroying existing right
embodied in a judgment;
Lagardo v. Masagana o creating new substantive right to fundamental
Where court has no jurisdiction over a certain case but cause of action where none existed before and
nevertheless decides it, from which appeal is taken, a making such right retroactive;
statute enacted during the pendency of the appeal o by arbitrarily creating a new right or liability
vesting jurisdiction upon such trial court over the already extinguished by operation of law
subject matter or such case may not be given Law creating a new right in favor of a class of persons
retroactive effect so as to validate the judgment of the may not be so applied if the new right collides with or
court a quo, in the absence of a saving clause. impairs any vested right acquired before the
establishment of the new right nor, by the terms of
Republic v. Prieto which is retroactive, be so applied if:
Where a complaint pending in court is defective o it adversely affects vested rights
because it did not allege sufficient action, it may not be o unsettles matter already done as required by
validated by a subsequent law which affects existing law
substantive rights and not merely procedural matters. o works injustice to those affected thereby

Rule against the retroactive operation of statutes in Benguet Consolidated Mining Co v. Pineda
general applies more strongly with respect to While a person has no vested right in any rule of law
substantive laws that affect pending actions or entitling him to insist that it shall remain unchanged
proceedings. for his benefit, nor has he a vested right in the
continued existence of a statute which precludes its
Qualification of rule change or repeal, nor in any omission to legislate on a
A substantive law will be construed as applicable to particular matter, a subsequent statute cannot be so
pending actions if such is the clear intent of the law. applied retroactively as to impair his right that accrued
To promote social justice or in the exercise of police under the old law.
power, is intended to apply to pending actions Statutes must be so construed as to sustain its
As a rule, a case must be decided in the light of the law constitutionality, and prospective operation will be
as it exists at the time of the decision of the appellate presumed where a retroactive application will produce
court, where the statute changing the law is intended to invalidity.
be retroactive and to apply to pending litigations or is
retroactive in effect
Peo v. Patalin Illustration of rule
The abolition of the death penalty and its subsequent
re-imposition. Those accused of crimes prior to the re- People v. Zeta
imposition of the death penalty have acquired vested Existing law: authorizing a lawyer to charge not more
rights under the law abolishing it. than 5% of the amount involved as attorneys fees in
Courts have thus given statutes strict constriction to the prosecution of certain veterans claim.
prevent their retroactive operation in order that the Facts: A lawyer entered into a contract for
statutes would not impair or interfere with vested or professional services on contingent basis and actually
existing rights. Accused-appellant s rights to be rendered service to its successful conclusion. Before
benefited by the abolition of the death penalty accrued the claim was collected, a statute was enacted.
or attached by virtue of Article 22 of the Revised Penal New statute: Prohibiting the collection of attorneys
Code. This benefit cannot be taken away from them. fees for services rendered in prosecuting veterans
Statutes affecting obligations of contract Issue: For collecting his fees pursuant to the contract
Any contract entered into must be in accordance with, for professional services, the lawyer was prosecuted
and not repugnant to, the applicable law at the time of for violation of the statute.
execution. Such law forms part of, and is read into, the Held: In exonerating the lawyer, the court said: the
contract even without the parties expressly saying so. statute prohibiting the collection of attorneys fees
Laws existing at the time of the execution of contracts cannot be applied retroactively so as to adversely
are the ones applicable to such transactions and not affect the contract for professional services and the
later statutes, unless the latter provide that they shall fees themselves.
have retroactive effect. The 5% fee was contingent and did not become
Later statutes will not, however, be given retroactive absolute and unconditional until the veterans claim
effect if to do so will impair the obligation of had been collected by the claimant when the statute
contracts, for the Constitution prohibits the enactment was already in force did no alter the situation.
of a law impairing the obligations of contracts. For the distinction between vested and absolute rights
Any law which enlarges, abridges, or in any manner is not helpful and a better view to handle the problem
changes the intention of the parties necessarily impairs is to declare those statutes attempting to affect rights
the contract itself which the courts find to be unalterable, invalid as
A statute which authorizes any deviation from the arbitrary and unreasonable, thus lacking in due
terms of the contract by postponing or accelerating the process.
period of performance which it prescribes, imposing The 5% fee allowed by the old law is not
conditions not expressed in the contract, or dispensing unreasonable. Services were rendered thereunder to
with those which are however minute or apparently claimants benefits. The right to fees accrued upon
immaterial in their effect upon the contract, impairs the such rendition. Only the payment of the fee was
obligation, and such statute should not therefore be contingent upon the approval of the claim; therefore,
applied retroactively. the right was contingent. For a right to accrue is one
As between two feasible interpretations of a statute, thing; enforcement thereof by actual payment is
the court should adopt that which will avoid the another. The subsequent law enacted after the
impairment of the contract. rendition of the services should not as a matter of
If the contract is legal at it inception, it cannot be simple justice affect the agreement, which was entered
rendered illegal by a subsequent legislation. into voluntarily by the parties as expressly directed in
A law by the terms of which a transaction or the previous law. To apply the new law to the case of
agreement would be illegal cannot be given retroactive defendant-appellant s as to deprive him of the agreed
effect so as to nullify such transactions or agreement fee would be arbitrary and unreasonable as destructive
executed before said law took effect. of the inviolability of contracts, and therefore invalid
as lacking in due process; to penalize him for
U.S. Tobacco Corp. v. Lina collecting such fees, repugnant to our sense of justice.
The importation of certain goods without import
license which was legal under the law existing at the Repealing and amendatory acts
time of shipment is not rendered illegal by the fact that Statutes which repeal earlier or prior laws operate
when the goods arrived there was already another law prospectively, unless the legislative intent to give them
prohibiting importation without import license. To rule retroactive effect clearly appears.
otherwise in any of these instances is to impair the Although a repealing state is intended to be retroactive,
obligations of contract. it will not be so construed if it will impair vested rights
or the obligations of contracts, or unsettle matters that
had been legally done under the old law.
Repealing statutes which are penal in nature are
generally applied retroactively if favorable to the
accused, unless the contrary appears or the accused is
otherwise not entitled to the benefits of the repealing Held: The Court favored Buyco. All statutes are
act. construed as having prospective operation, unless the
While an amendment is generally construed as purpose of the legislature is to give them retroactive
becoming a part of the original act as if it had always effect.
been contained therein , it may not be given a This principle also applies to amendments. RA 1576
retroactive effect unless it is so provided expressly or does not contain any provision regarding its retroactive
by necessary implication and no vested right or effect. It simply states its effectivity upon approval.
obligations of contract are thereby impaired. The amendment therefore, has no retroactive effect,
The general rule on the prospective operation of and the present case should be governed by the law at
statutes also applies to amendatory acts the time the offer in question was made
The rule is familiar that after an act is amended, the
San Jose v. Rehabilitation Finance Corp original act continues to be in force with regard to all
RA 401 which condoned the interest on pre-war debts rights that had accrued prior to such amendment.
from January 1, 1942 to December 31, 1945 amended
by RA 671 on June 16, 1951 by virtually reenacting Insular Government v. Frank
the old law and providing that if the debtor, however, Where a contract is entered into by the parties on the
makes voluntary payment of the entire pre-war unpaid basis of the law then prevailing, the amendment of said
principal obligation on or before December 31, 1952, law will not affect the terms of said contract.
the interest on such principal obligation The rule applies even if one of the contracting parties
corresponding from January 1, 1946 to day of payment is the government
are likewise condoned
Held: a debtor who paid his pre-war obligation STATUTES GIVEN RETROACTIVE EFFECT
together with the interests on March 14, 1951 or before
the amendment was approved into law, is not entitled Procedural laws
to a refund of the interest paid from January 1, 1946 to The general law is that the law has no retroactive
March 14, 1951 the date the debtor paid the obligation. effect.
Reason: Exceptions:
o makes voluntary payment denotes a o procedural laws
present or future act; thereby not retroactively o curative laws, which are given retroactive
o unpaid principal obligation and condone operation
imply that amendment does not cover Procedural laws
refund of interests paid after its approval. o adjective laws which prescribe rules and
forms of procedure of enforcing rights or
CIR v. La Tondena obtaining redress for their invasion
Statute: imposes tax on certain business activities is o they refer to rules of procedure by which
amended by eliminating the clause providing a tax on courts applying laws of all kinds can properly
some of such activities, and the amended act is further administer injustice
amended, after the lapse of length of time, by restoring o they include rules of pleadings, practice and
the clause previously eliminated, which requires that evidence
the last amendment should not be given retroactive o Applied to criminal law, they provide or
effect so as to cover the whole period. regulate the steps by which one who commits
a crime is to be punished.
Imperial v. CIR o Remedial statutes or statutes relating to
An amendment which imposes a tax on a certain modes of procedure- which do not create new
business which the statute prior to its amendment does or take away vested rights, but only operate in
not tax, may not be applied retroactively so as to furtherance of the remedy or confirmation of
require payment of the tax on such business for the the rights already existing, do not come
period prior to the amendment within the legal conception of a retroactive
law, or the general rule against the retroactive
Buyco v. Philippine National Bank operation of statutes.
Issue: can Buyco compel the PNB to accept his o A new statute which deals with procedure
backpay certificate in payment of his indebtedness to only is presumptively applicable to all actions
the bank those which have accrued or are pending.
April 24, 1956- RA 897 gave Buyco the right to have o Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts
said certificate applied in payment of is obligation thus will be construed as applicable to actions
at that time he offered to pay with his backpay pending and undetermined at the time of their
certificate. passage.
June 16, 1956, RA 1576 was enacted amending the The retroactive application of procedural laws is not:
charter of the PNB and provided that the bank shall o violative of any right of a person who may
have no authority to accept backpay certificate in feel that he is adversely affected;
payment of indebtedness to the bank. o nor constitutionally objectionable.
Rationale: no vested right may attach to, nor arise Were it not so, the purpose of the Decree, which is to
from, procedural laws. facilitate the immediate resolution of mining
A person has no vested right in any particular remedy, controversies by granting jurisdiction to a body or
and a litigant cannot insist on the application to the agency more adept to the technical complexities of
trial of his case, whether civil or criminal, of any other mining operations, would be thwarted and rendered
than the existing rules of procedure meaningless.
Litigants in a mining controversy cannot be permitted
Alday v. Camillon to choose a forum of convenience.
Provision: BP 129- nor record or appeal shall be Jurisdiction is imposed by law and not by any of the
required to take an appeal. (procedural in nature and parties to such proceedings.
should be applied retroactively) Furthermore, PD 1281 is a special law and under a
Issue: Whether an appeal from an adverse judgment well-accepted principle in stat con, the special law will
should be dismissed for failure of appellant to file a prevail over a stature or law of general application.
record on appeal within 30 days as required under the
old rules. Subido, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan
Such question is pending resolution at the time the BP Court ruled that RA 7975, in further amending PD
Blg took effect, became academic upon effectivity of 1606 as regards the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction,
said law because the law no longer requires the filing a mode of appeal, and other procedural matters, is
of a record on appeal and its retroactive application clearly a procedural law, i.e. one which prescribes
removed the legal obstacle to giving due course to the rules and forms of procedure enforcing rights or
appeal. obtaining redress for their invasion, or those which
refer to rules of procedure by which courts applying
Castro v. Sagales laws of all kinds can properly administer justice.
A statute which transfers the jurisdiction to try certain The petitioners suggest that it is likewise curative or
cases from a court to a quasi-judicial tribunal is a remedial statute, which cures defects and adds to the
remedial statute that is applicable to claims that means of enforcing existing obligations.
accrued before its enactment but formulated and filed As a procedural and curative statute, RA 7975 may
after it took effect. validly be given retroactive effect, there being no
Held: The court that has jurisdiction over a claim at the impairment of contractual or vested rights.
time it accrued cannot validly try to claim where at the
time the claim is formulated and filed, the jurisdiction Martinez v. People
to try it has been transferred by law to a quasi-judicial Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be
tribunal. construed as applicable to actions pending and
Rationale: for even actions pending in one court may undermined at the time of their passage.
be validly be taken away and transferred to another Where at the time the action was filed, the Rules of
and no litigant can acquire a vested right to be heard Court: a petition to be allowed to appeal as pauper
by one particular court. shall not be entertained by the appellate court
The subsequent amendment thereto deleting the
An administrative rule: which is interpretative of a pre- sentence implies that the appellate court is no longer
existing statue and not declarative of certain rights prohibited from entertaining petitions to appear as
with obligations thereunder is given retroactive effect pauper litigants, and may grant the petition then
as of the date of the effectivity of the statute. pending action, so long as its requirements are
complied with.
Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development Corp. v. CA
Issue: whether a trial court has been divested of Exceptions to the rule
jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending case The rule does not apply where:
involving a mining controversy upon the promulgation o the statute itself expressly or by necessary
of PD 1281 which vests upon the Bureau of Mines implication provides that pending actions are
Original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide excepted from it operation, or where to apply
mining controversies. it to pending proceedings would impair
Held: Yes. PD 1281 is a remedial statute. vested rights
It does not create new rights nor take away rights that o Courts may deny the retroactive application
are already vested. It only operates in furtherance of a of procedural laws in the event that to do so
remedy or confirmation of rights already in existence. would not be feasible or would work
It does not come within the legal purview of a injustice.
prospective law. As such, it can be given retrospective o Nor may procedural laws be applied
application of statutes. retroactively to pending actions if to do so
Being procedural in nature, it shall apply to all actions would involve intricate problems of due
pending at the time of its enactment except only with process or impair the independence of the
respect to those cases which had already attained h courts.
character of a final and executor judgment.
Tayag v. CA Agpalo
Issue: whether an action for recognition filed by an o curative statutes are healing acts curing
illegitimate minor after the death of his alleged parent defects and adding to the means of enforcing
when Art 285 of the Civil Code was still in effect and existing obligations
has remained pending Art 175 of the Family Code took o and are intended to supply defects abridge
effect can still be prosecuted considering that Art 175, superfluities in existing laws& curb certain
which is claimed to be procedural in nature and evils
retroactive in application, does not allow filing of the o by their very nature, curative statutes are
action after the death of the alleged parent. retroactive and reach back to the past events
Held: The rule that a statutory change in matters of to correct errors or irregularities & to render
procedure may affect pending actions and proceedings, valid & effective attempted acts which would
unless the language of the act excludes them from its be otherwise ineffective for the purpose the
operation, is not so pervasive that it may be used to parties intended
validate or invalidate proceedings taken before it goes Curative statutes are forms of retroactive legislations
into effect, since procedure must be governed by the which reach back on past events to correct errors or
law regulating it at the time the question of procedure irregularities & to render valid & effective attempted
arises especially where vested rights maybe acts which would be otherwise ineffective for the
prejudiced. purpose the parties intended.
Accordingly, Art 175 of the Family Code finds no Erectors, Inc. v. NLRC (hahhha for the petitioner)
proper application to the instant case since it will Statute: EO 111, amended Art 217 of the Labor Code
ineluctably affect adversely a right of private to widen the workers, access to the government for
respondent and, consequentially, of the minor child she redress of grievances by giving the Regional Directors
represents, both of which have been vested with the & the Labor Arbiters concurrent jurisdiction over cases
filing of the complaint in court. The trial court is, involving money claims
therefore, correct in applying the provisions of Art 285 Issue: Amendment created a situation where the
of the Civil Code and in holding that private jurisdiction of the RDs and LAs overlapped.
respondents cause of action has not yet prescribed. Remedy: RA 6715further amended Art 217 by
delineating their respective jurisdictions. Under RA
Curative statutes 6715, the RD has exclusive jurisdiction over cases
curative remedial statutes are healing acts involving claims, provided:
they are remedial by curing defects and adding to the o the claim is presented by an employer or
means of enforcing existing obligations person employed in domestic or household
the rule to curative statutes is that if the thing omitted services or household help under the Code.
or failed to be done, and which constitutes the defect o the claimant no longer being employed does
sought to be removed or made harmless, is something not seek reinstatement
which the legislature might have dispensed with by a o the aggregate money claim of the employee
previous statute, it may do so by a subsequent one or househelper doesnt exceed P5,000.
curative statutes are intended to supply defects, All other cases are within the exclusive jurisdiction of
abridge superfluities in existing laws, and curb certain the Labor Arbiter.
evils. They are designed and intended, but has failed Held: EO 111 & RA 6715 are therefore curative
of expected legal consequence by reason of some statutes.
statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. A curative statute is enacted to cure defects in a prior
They make valid that which, before the enactment of law or to validate legal proceedings, instruments or
the statute, was invalid. acts of public authorities which would otherwise be
Their purpose is to give validity to acts done that void for want of conformity with certain existing legal
would have been invalid under existing laws, as if requirements
existing laws have been complied with
Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee
Frivaldo v. COMELEC Statutes intended to validate what otherwise void or
(rested the definition of curative statutes) invalid marriages, being curative, will be given
retroactive effect.
o those which undertake to cure errors& Santos v. Duata
irregularities, thereby validating judicial Statute which provides that a contract shall presumed
judicial or administrative proceedings, acts of an equitable mortgage in any of the cases therein
public officers, or private deeds or contracts enumerated, and designed primarily to curtail evils
which otherwise would not produce their brought about by contracts of sale with right of
intended consequences by reason of some repurchase, is remedial in nature & will be applied
statutory disability or failure to comply with retroactively to cases arising prior to the effectivity of
some technical requirement the statute.

Tatad v. Garcia Jr.
Abad v. Phil American General Inc. Issue: Where there is doubt as to whether government
Where at the time action is filed in court the latter has agency under the then existing law, has the authority to
no jurisdiction over the subject matter but a subsequent enter intoa negotiated contract for the construction of a
statute clothes it with jurisdiction before the matter is government project under the build-lease-and transfer
decided. scheme
The statute is in the nature of a curative law with Held: The subsequent enactment of a statute which
retroactive operation to pending proceedings and cures recognizes direct negotiation of contracts under such
the defect of lack of jurisdiction of the court at the arrangement is a curative statute.
commencement of the action. As all doubts and procedural lapses that might have
attended the negotiated contract have been cured by
the subsequent statute
Legarda v. Masaganda
Where a curative statute is enacted after the court has Limitations of rule
rendered judgment, which judgment is naturally void remedial statutes will not be given retroactive effect if
as the court has at the time no jurisdiction over the to do so would impair the obligations of contract or
subject of the action, the enactment of the statute disturb vested rights
conferring jurisdiction to the court does not validate only administrative or curative features of the statute
the void judgment for the legislature has no power to as will not adversely affect existing rights will be
make a judgment rendered without jurisdiction of a given retroactive operation
valid judgment. the exception to the foregoing limitations of the rule is
a remedial or curative statute which is enacted as a
Frivaldo v. COMELEC police power measure
(an example considered curative & remedial as well as Statutes of this type may be given retroactive effect
one which creates new rights & new remedies, even though they impair vested rights or the
generally held to e retroactive in nature- PD 725, obligations of contract, if the legislative intent is to
which liberalizes the procedure of repatriation) give them retrospective operation
Held: PD 725 & the re-acquisition of the Filipino Rationale: The constitutional restriction against
citizenship by administrative repatriation pursuant to impairment against obligations of contract or vested
said decree is retroactive. rights does not preclude the legislature from enacting
statutes in the exercise of its police power
De Castro v. Tan
Held: what has been given retroactive effect in Police power legislations
Frivaldo is not only the law itself but also Phil. as a rule, statutes which are enacted in the exercise of
Citizenship re-acquired pursuant to said law to the date police power to regulate certain activities, are
of application for repatriation, which meant that his applicable not only to those activities or transactions
lack of Filipino citizenship at the time he registered as coming into being after their passage, but also to those
a voter, one of the qualification is as a governor, or at already in existence
the time he filed his certificate of candidacy for Rationale: the non-impairment of the obligations of
governorship, one of the qualification is as a governor, contract or of vested rights must yield to the legitimate
was cured by the retroactive application of his exercise of power, by the legislature, to prescribe
repatriation. regulations to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, good order, safety and general welfare of
Republic v. Atencio the people
Curative statute: one which confirms, refines and Any right acquired under a statute or under a contract
validate the sale or transfer of a public land awarded to is subject to the condition that it may be impaired by
a grantee, which a prior law prohibits its sale within a the state in the legitimate exercise of its police power,
certain period & otherwise invalid transaction under since the reservation of the essential attributes of
the old law. sovereign power is deemed read into every statute or
contract as a postulate of the legal order
Municipality of San Narciso, Quezon v. Mendez
Statute: Sec. 442(d) of the Local Government Code of Statutes relating to prescription
1991, provides that municipal districts organized General rule: a statute relating to prescription of
pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders action, being procedural in nature, applies to all
& which have their respective sets of elective actions filed after its effectivity. In other words, such a
municipal officials holding at the time of the statute is both:
effectivity of the code shall henceforth be considered o prospective in the sense that it applies to
as a regular municipalities causes that accrued and will accrue after it
This is a curative statute as it validates the creation of took effect, and
municipalities by EO which had been held to be an o retroactive in the sense that it applies to
invalid usurpation of legislative power. causes that accrued before its passage
However, a statute of limitations will not be given Held: a statute of limitations is procedural in nature
retroactive operation to causes of action that accrued and no vested right can attach thereto or arise
prior to its enactment if to do so will remove a bar of therefrom.
limitation which has become complete or disturb When the legislature provided that actions already
existing claims without allowing a reasonable time to commenced before the effectivity of this Act shall not
bring actions thereon be affected by the period herein prescribed, it
intended to apply the statute to all existing actions filed
Nagrampa v. Nagrampa after the effectivity of the law.
Statute: Art. 1116 of the Civil Code: prescription Because the statute shortened the period within which
already running before the effectivity of this Code to bring an action & in order to violate the
shall be governed by laws previously in force; but if constitutional mandate, claimants are injuriously
since the time this Code took effect the entire period affected should have a reasonable period of 1 yr. from
herein required for prescription should elapse, the time new statute took effect within which to sue on
present Code shall be applicable even though by the such claims.
former laws a longer period might be required.
Held: The provision is retroactive since it applied to a Corales v. Employees Compensation Commission
cause that accrued prior to its effectivity which when Same issue on Billones but Court arrived at a different
filed has prescribed under the new Civil Code even conclusion.
though the period of prescription prescribed under the Issue: Whether a claim for workmens compensation
old law has not ended at the time the action is filed in which accrued under the old Workmens
court Compensation Act (WCA) but filed under after March
The fact that the legislature has indicated that the 31, 1975 is barred by the provision of the New Labor
statute relating to prescription should be given Code which repealed the WCA.
retroactive effect will not warrant giving it if it will WCA requires that workmens compensation claims
impair vested rights accruing prior to the effectivity of this Code shall be
Statute of limitations prescribing a longer period to file filed with the appropriate regional offices of the
an action than that specified under the law may not be Department of Labor not later than March 31, 1975,
construed as having retroactive application if it will otherwise shall be barred forever.
revive the cause that already prescribed under the old Held: Provision doesnt apply to workmens
statute for it will impair vested rights against whom the compensation that accrued before Labor Code took
cause is asserted. effect, even if claims were not filed not later than
Statute which shorten the period of prescription & March 31, 1975.
requires that causes which accrued prior to its Rationale: prescriptive period for claims which
effectivity be prosecuted or filed not later than a accrued under WCA as amended 10 yrs. which is a
specific date may not be construed to apply to existing right found on statute & hence a vested right, that
causes which pursuant to the old law under which they cannot be impaired by the retroactive application of
accrued, will not prescribe until a much longer period the Labor Code.
than that specified in the later enactment because the
right to bring an action is founded on law which has
become vested before the passage of the new statute of Comparison of Billones and Corales
Billones Corales
Apparently conflicting decisions on prescription
While Court said that such Court considered the right to
Billones v. CIR right to bring an action prosecute the action that
Issue: whether Sec. 7A of Common wealth Act 144, accrued under the old law is accrued under the old law as
amended by RA 1993, to the effect that any action to not vested right, it did not say one founded on law & a
enforce an cause (i.e. non payment of wages or that the right is one protected vested right.
overtime compensation) under this Act shall be by the due process clause of
commenced within 3 years after such cause of action the Constitution.
accrued, otherwise it shall be forever barred. Provided,
however, that actions already commenced before the For BOTH cases: In solving Court construed the statute of
effective day of this Act shall not be affected by the how to safeguard the right to limitations as inapplicable to
period herein prescribed. bring action whose the action that accrued before
As statute shortened the period of prescription from 6 prescriptive period to institute the law took effect.
to 3 yrs. from the date the cause of action accrued, it it has been shortened by law? (It is generally held that the
was contended that to give retroactive effect would Gave the claimants whose court has no power to read
impair vested rights since it would operate to preclude rights have been affected, one into the law something which
the prosecution of claims that accrued more than 3 but year from the date the law the law itself did not provide
less than 6 yrs. took effect within which to expressly or impliedly.
sue their claims. Corales case seems to be on
firmer grounds.
Prescription in criminal and civil cases Authority to amend is part of the legislative power to
General rule: laws on prescription of actions apply as enact, alter and repeal laws.
well to crimes committed before the enactment as The SC in the exercise of its rule-making power or of
afterwards. There is, however, a distinction between a its power to interpret the law, has no authority to
statute of limitations in criminal actions and that of amend or change the law, such authority being the
limitations in civil suits, as regards their construction. exclusive to the legislature.
In CIVIL SUIT- statute is enacted by the legislature as
an impartial arbiter, between two contending parties. How amendment effected
In the construction of such statute, there is no Amendment the change or modification, by deletion,
intendment to be made in favor of either party. Neither alteration, of a statute which survives in its amended
grants right to the other; there is therefore no grantor form.
against whom no ordinary presumptions of The amendment of a statute is effected by the
construction are to be made. enactment of an amendatory act modifying or altering
CRIMINAL CASES: the state is the grantor, some provisions of a statute either expressly or
surrendering by act of grace its right to prosecute or impliedly.
declare that the offense is no longer subject of Express amendment done by providing in the
prosecution after the prescriptive period. Such statutes amendatory act that specific sections or provisions of a
are not only liberally construed but are applied statute be amended as recited therein or as common
retroactively if favorable to the accused. indicated, to read as follows.

Statutes relating to appeals Amendment by implication

The right to appeal from an adverse judgment, other Every statute should be harmonized with other laws on
than that which the Constitution grants, is statutory and the same subject, in the absence of a clear
may be restricted or taken away inconsistency.
A statute relating to appeals is remedial or procedural Legislative intent to amend a prior law on the same
in nature and applies to pending actions in which no subject is shown by a statement in the later act that any
judgment has yet been promulgated at the time the provision of law that is inconsistent therewith is
statute took effect. modified accordingly.
Such statute, like other statutes, may not however be Implied Amendment- when a part of a prior statute
construed retroactively so as to impair vested rights. embracing the same subject as the later may not be
Hence, a statute which eliminates the right to appeal enforced without nullifying the pertinent provision of
and considers the judgment rendered in a case final the latter in which event, the prior act is deemed
and unappealable, destroys the right to appeal a amended or modified to the extent of repugnancy.
decision rendered after the statute went into effect, but
NOT the right to prosecute an appeal that has been Quimpo v. Mendoza
perfected before the passage of the law, for in the latter Where a statute which requires that the annual
case, the right of the appellant to appeal has become realty tax on lands or buildings be paid on or
vested under the old law and may not therefore be before the specified date, subject to penalty of a
impaired. percentage of the whole amount of tax in case of
Stature shortening the period for taking appeals is to be delayed payment, is amended by authorizing
given prospective effect and may not be applies to payment of the tax in four equal installments to
pending proceedings in which judgment has already become due on or before specified dates.
been rendered at the time of its enactment except if The penalty provision of the earlier statute is
theres clear legislative intent. modified by implication that the penalty for late
payment of an installment under the later law will
Berliner v. Roberts be collected and computed only on the installment
Where a statute shortened the period for taking appeals that became due and unpaid, and not on the whole
form thirty days to fifteen days from notice of amount of annual tax as provided in the old
judgment, an appeal taken within thirty days but statute.
beyond fifteen days from notice of judgment Legislative intent to change the basis is clear when
promulgated before the statute took effect is deemed the later law allowed payment in four installments.
seasonably perfected.
People v. Macatanda
CHAPTER TEN: Amendment, Revision, Codification and A statute punishing an act which is also a crime
Repeal under the RPC provides a penalty as prescribed in
the said Code, such statute is not a special law but
AMENDMENT an amendment by implication.

Power to Amend When amendment takes effect

The legislature has the authority to amend, subject to 15 days following its publication in the Official
constitutional requirements, any existing law. Gazette or newspaper of general circulation, unless a
date is specified therein after such publication.
Amendment Operates Prospectively
How amendment is construed, generally An amendment will not be construed as having a
Statute and amendment read as a whole retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided or the
Amendment act is ordinarily construed as if the legislative intent to give it a retroactive effect is
original statute has been repealed and a new necessarily implied from the language used and only if
independent act in the amended form had been no vested right is impaired.
Amended act is regarded as if the statute has been
originally enacted in it amended form. Imperial v. Collector of Internal Revenue
Read in a connection with other sections as if all had A statute amending a tax law is silent as to
been enacted in the same statute. whether it operates retroactively, the amendment
Where an amendment leaves certain portions of an act will not be giving retroactive effect so as to
unchanged, such portions are continued in force, with subject to tax past transactions not subject to tax
the same meaning and effect they have before the under the original act.
Where an amendatory act provides that an existing Diu v. Court of Appeals
statute shall be amended to read as recited in the Statutes relating to procedure in courts are
amendatory act, such portions of the existing law as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at
are retained either literally or substantially the time of their passage.

Estrada v. Caseda Effect of Amendment on Vested Rights

Where a statute which provides that it shall be in After a statute is amended, the original act continues to
force for a period of four years after its approval, be in force with regard to all rights that had accrued
the four years is to be counted from the date the prior to the amendment or to obligations that were
original statute was approved and not from the contracted under the prior act and such rights and
date the amendatory act was amended. obligations will continue to be governed by the law
before its amendment.
Meaning of law changed by amendment Not applied retroactively so as to nullify such rights.
An amended act should be given a construction
different from the law prior to its amendment, for its is Effect of amendment on jurisdiction
presumed that the legislature would not have amended Jurisdiction of a court to try cases is determined by the
it had not it not wanted to change its meaning. law in force at the time the action is instituted.
Prior to the introduction of the amendment, the statute Jurisdiction remains with the court until the case is
had a different meaning which the amendment finally decided therein.
changed in all the particulars touching which a
material change in the language of the later act exists. Rillaroza v. Arciaga
Deliberate selection of language in the amendatory act Absence of a clear legislative intent to the
different from that of the original act indicates that the contrary, a subsequent statute amending a prior act
legislature intended a change in the law or in its with the effect of divesting the court of
meaning. jurisdiction may not be construed to operate but to
oust jurisdiction that has already attached under
Victorias Milling Co. v. SSS the prior law.
A statutory definition of term containing a general
rule and an exception thereto is amended by Iburaan v. Labes
eliminating the exception, the legislative intent is Where a court originally obtains and exercises
clear that the term should now include the jurisdiction pursuant to an existing law, such
exception within the scope of the general rule. jurisdiction will not be overturned and impaired
by the subsequent amendment of the law, unless
Parras v. Land Registration Commissions express prohibitory words or words of similar
Section of a statute requiring the exact payment of import are used.
publication fees in land registration proceedings,
except in cases where the value of the land does Applies to quasi-judicial bodies
not exceed P50,000 is amended by deleting the
excepting clause, it means that the statute as Erectors, Inc v. NLRC
amended now requires payment of the publication PD 1691 and 1391 vested Labor Arbiters with
fees regardless of the value of the land involved original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases
Suppression of the excepting clause amount to the involving employer-employee relations, including
withdrawal of the exemption allowed under the money claims arising out of any law or contract
original act. involving Filipino workers for overseas
Facts: An overseas worker filed a money claim
against his recruiter, and while the case is
pending, EO 797 was enacted, which vested the subject and an expression of the whole law
POEA with original and exclusive jurisdiction thereon, which thereby indicates intent on the part of
over all cases, including money claims, arising out the legislature to abrogate those provisions of the old
of law or contract involving Filipino workers for laws that are not reproduced in the revised statute or
overseas employment. code.
Issue: whether the decision of the labor arbiter in Possible only if the revised statute or code was
favor of the overseas worker was invalid intended to cover the whole subject to is a complete
Held: the court sustained the validity of the and perfect system in itself.
decision and ruled that the labor arbiter still had Rule: a subsequent statute is deemed to repeal a prior
the authority to decide the cease because EO 797b law if the former revises the whole subject matter of
did not divest the labor arbiter his authority to the former statute.
hear and decide the case filed by the overseas When both intent and scope clearly evince the idea of
worker prior to its effectivity. a repeal, then all parts and provision of the prior act
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined that are omitted from the revised act are deemed
by the law in force at the time of the repealed.
commencement of the action; laws should only be
applied prospectively unless the legislative intent Mecano v. Commission on Audit
to give them retroactive effect is expressly Claim for reimbursement by a government official
declared or is necessarily implied from the of medical and hospitalization expenses pursuant
language used. to Section 699 of the Revised Administration
Code of 1917, which authorizes the head of office
Effect of nullity of prior or amendatory act to case a reimbursement of payment of medical
Where a statute which has been amended is invalid, and hospital expenses of a government official in
nothing in effect has been amended case of sickness or injury caused by or connected
The amendatory act, complete by itself, will be directly with the performance of his official duty.
considered as an original or independent act. CoA denied the claim on the ground that AC of
1987 which revised the old AC, repealed Sec. 699
Government v. Agoncillo because it was omitted the revised code.
Where the amendatory act is declared SC ruled that the legislature did not intend, in
unconstitutional, it is as if the amendment did not enacting the new Code, to repeal Sec. 699 of the
exist, and the original statute before the attempted old code.
amend remains unaffected and in force. All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulation, or
portions thereof, inconsistent with this Code are
REVISION AND CODIFICATION hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
New code did not expressly repeal the old as the
Generally new Code fails to identify or designate the act to
Purpose: to restate the existing laws into one statute be repealed.
and simply complicated provisions, and make the laws Two categories of repeal by implication
on the subject easily found. Provisions in the two acts on the same subject
Construction to harmonize different provisions matter that are in irreconcilable conflict.
Presumption: author has maintained a consisted Later act to the extent of the conflict
philosophy or position. constitutes an implied repeal of the earlier
The different provisions of a revised statute or code If the later act covers the whole subject of the
should be read and construed together. earlier one and is clearly intended as a statute, it
Rule: a code enacted as a single, comprehensive will operate to repeal the earlier law.
statute, and is to be considered as such and not as a There is no irreconcilable conflict between the two
series of disconnected articles or provisions. codes on the matter of sickness benefits because the
provision has not been restated in the New Code.
Lichauco & Co. v. Apostol The whereas clause is the intent to cover only those
A irreconcilable conflict between parts of a aspects of government that pertain to administration,
revised statute or a code, that which is best in organization and procedure, and understandably
accord with the general plan or, in the absence of because of the many changes that transpired in the
circumstances upon which to base a choice, that government structure since the enactment of the old
which is later in physical position, being the latest code.
expression of legislative will, will prevail.
Change in phraseology
What is omitted is deemed repealed It is a well settled rule that in the revision or
all laws and provisions of the old laws that are omitted codification of statutes, neither an alteration in
in the revised statute or code are deemed repealed, phraseology nor the admission or addition of words in
unless the statute or code provides otherwise the later statute shall be held necessarily to alter the
Reason: revision or codification is, by its very nature construction of the former acts.
and purpose, intended to be a complete enactment on
Words which do not materially affect the sense will be the two acts are the same, from the time of the first
omitted from the statute as incorporated in the revise enactment.
statute or code, or that some general idea will be Two categories of repeals by implication
expressed in brief phrases. Where provisions in the two acts on the same
If there has been a material change or omission, which subject matter are in an irreconcilable conflict and
clearly indicates an intent to depart from the previous the later act to the extent of the conflict constitutes
construction of the old laws, then such construction as an implied repeal of the earlier.
will effectuate such intent will be adopted. If the later act covers the whole subject of the
earlier one and is clearly intended as a substitute,
Continuation of existing laws. it will operate similarly as a repeal of the earlier
A codification should be construed as the continuation act.
of the existing statutes.
The codifiers did not intend to change the law as it Irreconcilable inconsistency
formerly existed. Implied repeal brought about by irreconcilable
The rearrangement of sections or parts of a statute, or repugnancy between two laws takes place when the
the placing of portions of what formerly was a single two statutes cover the same subject matter; they are so
section in seprate sections, does not operate to change clearly inconsistent and incompatible with each other
the operation, effect of meaning of the statute, unless that they cannot be reconciled or harmonized and both
the changes are of such nature as to manifest clearly cannot be given effect, once cannot be enforced
and unmistakably a legislative intent to change the without nullifying the other.
former laws. Implied repeal earlier and later statutes should
embrace the same subject and have the same object.
REPEAL In order to effect a repeal by implication, the later
statute must be so irreconcilably inconsistent and
Power to repeal repugnant with the existing law that they cannot be
Power to repeal a law is as complete as the power to made to reconcile and stand together.
enact one. It is necessary before such repeal is deemed to exist
The legislature cannot in and of itself enact that is be shown that the statutes or statutory
irrepealable laws or limit its future legislative acts. provisions deal with the same subject matter and that
the latter be inconsistent with the former.
Repeal, generally the fact that the terms of an earlier and later provisions
Repeal: total or partial, express or implied of law differ is not sufficient to create repugnance as to
Total repeal revoked completely constitute the later an implied repeal of the former.
Partial repeal leaves the unaffected portions of the Agujetas v. Court of Appeals
statute in force. Fact that Sec 28 of RA 7166 pertaining to
A particular or specific law, identified by its number of canvassing by boards of canvassers is silent as to
title, is repealed is an express repeal. how the board of canvassers shall prepare the
All other repeals are implied repeals. certificate of canvass and as to what will be its
Failure to add a specific repealing clause indicates that basis, w/c details are provided in the second
the intent was not to repeal any existing law, unless an paragraph of Sec231 of the Omnibus Election
irreconcilable inconsistency and repugnancy exist in Code, an earlier statute, respective boards of
the terms of the new and old laws, latter situation falls canvassers shall prepare a certificate of canvass
under the category of an implied repeal. duly signed and affixed with the imprint of the
Repealed only by the enactment of subsequent laws. thumb of the right hand of each member,
The change in the condition and circumstances after supported by a statement of the votes and received
the passage of a law which is necessitated the by each candidate in each polling place and on the
enactment of a statute to overcome the difficulties basis thereof shall proclaim as elected the
brought about by such change does not operate to candidates who obtained the highest number of
repeal the prior law, nor make the later statute so votes coast in the provinces, city, municipality or
inconsistent with the prior act as to repeal it. barangay, and failure to comply with this
requirement shall constitute an election offense
Repeal by implication Did not impliedly repeal the second paragraph of
Where a statute of later date clearly reveals an Sec 231 of OEC and render the failure to comply
intention on the part of the legislature to abrogate a with the requirement no longer an election
prior act on the subject, that intention must be given offense.
There must be a sufficient revelation of the legislative Irreconcilable inconsistency between to laws
intent to repeal. embracing the same subject may also exist when the
Intention to repeal must be clear and manifest later law nullifies the reason or purpose of the earlier
General rule: the latter act is to be construed as a act, so that the latter law loses all meaning and
continuation not a substitute for the first act so far as function.
Smith, Bell & Co. v. Estate of Maronilla When both intent and scope clearly evince the
A prior law is impliedly repealed by a later act idea of a repeal, then all parts and provisions
where the reason for the earlier act is beyond of the prior act that are omitted from the
peradventure removed. revised act are deemed repealed.
Before there can be an implied repeal under
Repeal by implication based on the cardinal rule that this category, it must be the clear intent of the
in the science of jurisprudence, two inconsistent laws legislature that later act be the substitute of
on the same subject cannot co-exist in one jurisdiction. the prior act.
There cannot be two conflicting law on the same Opinion 73 s.1991 of the Secretary of Justice:
subject. Either reconciled or later repeals prior law. what appears clear is the intent to cover only
Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant (a later those aspects of government that pertain to
law repeals the prior law on the subject which is administration, organization and procedure,
repugnant thereto) understandably because of the many changes
that transpired in the government structure
Mecano v. Commission on Audit since the enactment of RAC.
Issue: whether Sec. 699 of the Revised Repeals of statutes by implication are not
Administrative Code has been repealed by the favored. Presumption is against the
1987 Administrative Code. inconsistency and repugnancy for the
1987 Administration Code provides that: All legislature is presumed to know the existing
laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, or laws on the subject and not to have enacted
portions thereof, inconsistent with this code are inconsistent or conflicting statutes.
hereby repealed or modified accordingly
Court ruled that the new Code did not repeal Sec Ty v. Trampe
699: Issue: whether PD 921 on real estate taxes has
Implied repeal by irreconcilable inconsistency been repealed impliedly by RA 7160, otherwise
takes place when two statutes cover the same know as the Local Government Code of 1991 on
subject matter, they are so clearly inconsistent the same subject.
and incompatible with each other that they Held: that there has been no implied repeal
cannot be reconciled or harmonized, and both Court: it is clear that the two law are not
cannot be given effect, that one law cannot be coextensive and mutually inclusive in their scope
enforced without nullifying the other. and purpose.
The new Code does not cover not attempt to RA 7160 covers almost all governmental
the cover the entire subject matter of the old functions delegated to local government units
Code. all over the country.
There are several matters treated in the old PD 921 embraces only Metropolitan Manila
Code that are not found in the new Code. Area and is limited to the administration of
(provisions on notary public; leave law, financial services therein.
public bonding law, military reservations, Sec.9 PD921 requires that the schedule of
claims for sickness benefits under section 699 values of real properties in the Metropolitan
and others) Manila Area shall be prepared jointly by the
CoA failed to demonstrate that the provisions city assessors states that the schedules shall
of the two Codes on the matter of the subject be prepared by the provincial, city and
claim are in an irreconcilable conflict. municipal assessors of the municipalities
There can no conflict because the provision within Metropolitan Manila Area for the
on sickness benefits of the nature being different classes of real property situated in
claimed by petitioner has not been restated in their respective local government units for
old Code. enactment by ordinance of the sanggunian
The contention is untenable. concerned.
The fact that a later enactment may relate to
the same subject matter as that of an earlier Hagad v. Gozo-Dadole
statute is not of itself sufficient to cause an Sec.19 RA 6670, the Ombudsman Act grants
implied repeal of the prior act new statute disciplinary authority to the Ombudsman to
may merely be cumulative or a continuation discipline elective and appointive officials, except
of the old one. those impeachable officers, has been repealed, RA
Second Category: possible only if the revised 7160, the Local Government Code, insofar as
statute or code was intended to cover the local elective officials in the various officials
whole subject to be a complete and perfect therein named.
system in itself. Held: both laws should be given effect because
Rule: a subsequent is deemed to repeal a there is nothing in the Local Government Code to
prior law if the former revises the whole indicate that it has repealed, whether expressly or
subject matter of the former statute. impliedly.
The two statutes on the specific matter in promulgated by the Ministry of Education,
question are not so inconsistent, let alone Culture and Sports.
irreconcilable, as to compel us to uphold one Issue: whether Sec. 42 of BP 232 impliedly
and strike down the other. repealed Sec. 3(a) of PD 451
Two laws must be incompatible, and a clear Held: there was implied repeal because there are
finding thereof must surface, before the irreconcilable differences between the two laws.
inference of implied repeal may be drawn.
Interpretare et concordare leges legibus, est Implied repeal by revision or codification
optimus interpretandi modus, i. e (every Revised statute is in effect a legislative declaration that
statute must be so construed and harmonized whatever is embraced in the new statute shall prevail
with other statutes as to form uniform system and whatever is excluded there from shall be
of jurisprudence. discarded.
the legislature should be presumed to have Must be intended to cover the whole subject to be a
known the existing laws on the subject and complete and perfect system in itself in order that the
not to have enacted conflicting statutes. prior statutes or part thereof which are not repeated in
the new statute will be deemed impliedly repealed.
Initia, Jr v. CoA
implied repeal will not be decreed unless there is People v. Benuya
an irreconcilable inconsistency between two Where a statute is revised or a series of legislative
provisions or laws is RA 7354 in relation to PD acts on the same subject are revised or
1597. consolidated into one, covering the entire field of
RA 7354 in part of the Postmaster General, subject matter, all parts and provisions of the
subject to the approval of the Board of former act or acts
Directors of the Philippines Postal that are omitted from the revised act are
Corporation, shall have the power to deemed repealed.
determine the staffing pattern and the
number of personnel, define their duties and Joaquin v. Navarro
responsibilities, and fix their salaries and Where a new statute is intended to furnish the
emoluments in accordance with the approved exclusive rule on a certain subject, it repeals by
compensation structure of the Corporation. implication the old law on the same subject,
Sec.6 PD 1597 exemptions Where a new statute covers the whole subject
notwithstanding, agencies shall report to the matter of an old law and adds new provisions and
President, through the Budget Commission, makes changes, and where such law, whether it be
on their position classification and in the form of an amendment or otherwise, is
compensation plans, policies, rates and other evidently intended to be a revision of the old act,
related details following such specifications it repeals the old act by implication.
as may be prescribed by the President.
Issue: whether Sec6 of PD1597, the two laws People v. Almuete
being reconcilable. Revision of the Agricultural Tenancy Act by the
While the Philippine Postal Corporation is Agricultural Land Reform Code.
allowed to fix its own personnel compensation Sec 39 of ATC (RA 1199) it shall be unlawful
structure through its board of directors, the latter for either the tenant or landlord without mutual
is required to follow certain standards in consent, to reap or thresh a portion of the crop at
formulating said compensation system, and the any time previous to the date set, for its
role of DBM is merely to ensure that the action threshing.
taken by the board of directors complies the An action for violation of this penal provision is
requirements of the law. pending in court, the Agricultural Land Reform
Code superseded the Agricultural Tenancy Act,
Cebu Institute of Technology v. Ople abolished share tenancy, was not reproduced in
Sec. 3(a) PD 451 and Sec. 42 of BP 232 illustrates the Agricultural Land Reform Code.
repeal by implication. The effect of such non-reenactment is a repeal of
Sec 3(a) provides: no increase in tuition or Section 39.
other school fees or charges shall be approved It is a rule of legal hermeneutics that an act which
unless 60% of the proceed is allocated to purports to set out in full all that it intends to
increase in salaries or wages of the member contain, operates as a repeal of anything omitted
of the faculty. which was contained in the old act and not
BP 232: each private school shall determine included in the act as revised.
its rate of tuition and other school fees or A substitute statute, and evidently intended as the
charges. The rates or charges adopted by substitute for it, operates to repeal the former
schools pursuant to this provision shall be statute.
collectible, and their application or use
authorized, subject to rules and regulations
Tung Chin Hui v. Rodriguez The enactment of a statute on a subject, whose purpose
Issue: whether Sec.18 Rule 41 of the pre-1007 or object is diametrically opposed to that of an earlier
Rules of Court, which provided the appeal in law on the same subject which thereby deprives it of
habeas corpus cases to be taken within 48 hours its reason for being, operates to repeal by implication
from notice of judgment, has been replaced by the the prior law, even though the provisions of both laws
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides in are not inconsistent.
Sec. 3 Rule 41 thereof, that appeal from judgment
or final order shall be taken within 15 days from All laws or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this
receipt thereof, in view of the fact that the Sec. 18 Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly,
was repealed, in accordance with the well-settled construed.
rule of statutory construction that provisions of an Nature of repealing clause
old law that were not reproduced in the revision Not express repealing clauses because it fails to
thereof covering the same subject are deemed identify or designate the act or acts that are
repealed and discarded intended to be repealed.
Held: SC in this case to abrogate those provisions A clause, which predicates the intended repeal
of the old laws that are not reproduced in the upon the condition that a substantial conflict must
revised statute or Code. be found on existing and prior acts of the same
subject matter.
Repeal by reenactment The presumption against implied repeal and the
Where a statute is a reenactment of the whole subject rule on strict construction regarding implied repeal
in substitution of the previous laws on the matter, the apply ex proprio vigore.
latter disappears entirely and what is omitted in the Legislature is presumed to know the existing law
reenacted law is deemed repealed. so that if repeal of particular or specific law or
laws is intended, the proper step is to so express it.
Parras v. Land Registration Commission
Where a law amends a specific section of a prior Valdez v. Tuason
act by providing that the same is amended so as to such a clause repeals nothing that would not be
read as follows, which then quotes the amended equally repealed without it.
provision, what is not included in the reenactment Either with or without it, the real question to be
is deemed repealed. determined is whether the new statute is in
The new statute is a substitute for the original fundamental and irreconcilable conflict with the
section and all matters in the section that are prior statute on the subject.
omitted in the amendment are considered Significance of the repealing clause: the presence of
repealed. such general repealing clause in a later statute clearly
indicates the legislative intent to repeal all prior
Other forms of implied repeal inconsistent laws on the subject matter whether or not
The most powerful implication of repeal is that which the prior law is a special law.
arises when the later of two laws is expressed in the A later general law will ordinarily not repeal a
form of a universal negative. prior special law on the same subject, as the latter
There is a clear distinction between affirmative and is generally regarded as an exception to the
negative statutes in regard to their repealing effects former.
upon prior legislation. With such clause contained in the subsequent
Affirmative statute does not impliedly repeal the general law, the prior special law will be deemed
prior law unless an intention to effect a repeal is repealed, as the clause is a clear legislative intent
manifest, to bring about that result.
A negative statute repeals all conflicting
provisions unless the contrary intention is Repeal by implication not favored
disclosed. Presumption is against inconsistency or repugnancy
Legislative intent to repeal is also shown where it and, accordingly, against implied repeal
enacts something in general term and afterwards it Legislature is presumed to know the existing laws on
passes another on the same subject, which though the subject and not to have enacted inconsistent or
expressed in affirmative language introduces special conflicting statutes.
conditions or restrictions A construction which in effect will repeal a statute
The subsequent statute will usually be considered altogether should, if possible, be rejected.
as repealing by implication the former regarding In case of doubt as to whether a later statute has
the matter covered by the subsequent act. impliedly repealed a prior law on the same subject, the
The express repeal of a provision of law from which doubt should be resolved against implied repeal.
an executive official derives his authority to enforce
another provision of the same law operates to repeal by US v. Palacio
implication the latter and to deprive the official of the Repeals by implication are not favored, and will
authority to enforce it. not be decreed unless it is manifest that the
legislature so intended.
As laws are presumed to be passed with Manila Trading & Supply Co. v. Phil. Labor Union
deliberation and with full knowledge of all an act passed April 16th and in force April 21st was
existing ones on the subject held to prevail over an act passed April 9 th and in
It is but reasonable to conclude that in passing a effect July 4th of the same year.
statute it was not intended to interfere with or And an act going into effect immediately has been
abrogate any former law relating to some matter held to prevail over an act passed before but going
Unless the repugnancy between the two is not into effect later.
only irreconcilable, but also clear and convincing, Whenever two statutes of different dates and of
and flowing necessarily form the language used, contrary tenor are of equal theoretical application to a
the later act fully embraces the subject matter of particular case, the statute of later date must prevail,
the earlier, or unless the reason for the earlier act being a later expression of legislative will.
is beyond peradventure removed.
Every effort must be used to make all acts stand Philippine National Bank v. Cruz
and if, by any reasonable construction, they can be As between the order of preference of credit set
reconciled, the later act will not operate as a repeal forth in Articles 2241 to 2245 of the CC and that
of the earlier. of Article 110 of the Labor Code, giving first
preference to unpaid wages and other monetary
NAPOCOR v. Angas claims of labor, the former must yield to the
Illustrates the application of the principle that latter, being the law of the later enactment.
repeal or amendment by implication is not The later law repeals an earlier one because it is the
favored. later legislative will.
Issue: whether Central Bank Circular 416 has Presumption: the lawmakers knew the older law
impliedly repealed or amended Art 2209 of the and intended to change it.
Civil Code In enacting the older law, the legislators could not
Held: in answering the issue in the negative, the have known the newer one and could not have
court ruled that repeals or even amendments by intended to change what they did not know.
implication are not favored if two laws can be CC: laws are repealed only by subsequent ones,
fairly reconciled. The statutes contemplate not the other way around.
different situations and apply to different
transactions involving loan or forbearance of David v. COMELEC
money, goods or credits, as well as judgments Sec. 1 of RA 6679 provides that the term of
relating to such load or forbearance of money, barangay officials who were to be elected on the
goods, or credits, the Central Bank Circular second Monday of May 1994 is 5 years
applies. The later act RA 7160 Sec 43 (c) states that the
In cases requiring the payment of indemnities as term of office of barangay officials who were to
damages, in connection with any delay in the be elected also on the 2nd Monday of May 1994 is
performance of an obligation other than those 3 years.
involving loan or forbearance of money, goods or There being a clear inconsistency between the two
credits, Art 2209 of the CC applies laws, the later law fixing the term barangay
Courts are slow to hold that one statute has repealed officials at 3 years shall prevail.
another by implication and they will not make such
adjudication if they can refrain from doing so, or if General law does not repeal special law, generally
they can arrive at another result by any construction A general law on a subject does not operate to repeal a
which is just and reasonable. prior special law on the same subject, unless it clearly
Courts will not enlarge the meaning of one act in order appears that the legislature has intended by the later
to decide that is repeals another by implication, nor general act to modify or repeal the earlier special law.
will they adopt an interpretation leading to an Presumption against implied repeal is stronger when of
adjudication of repeal by implication unless it is two laws, one is special and the other general and this
inevitable and a clear and explicit reason thereof can applies even though the terms of the general act are
be adduced. broad enough to include the matter covered by the
special statute.
As between two laws, one passed later prevails Generalia specialibus non derogant a general law
Leges posteriors priores contrarias abrogant (later does not nullify a specific or special law
statute repeals prior ones which are not repugnant The legislature considers and makes provision for all
thereto.) the circumstances of the particular case.
Applies even if the later act is made to take effect Reason why a special law prevails over a general law:
ahead of the earlier law. the legislature considers and makes provision for all
As between two acts, the one passed later and going the circumstances of the particular case.
into effect earlier will prevail over one passed earlier General and special laws are read and construed
and going into effect later. together, and that repugnancy between them is
reconciled by constituting the special law as an
exception to the general law.
General law yields to the special law in the specific there shall be paid by the grantee to the Philippine
law in the specific and particular subject embraced in Government, annually, xxx an amount equal to
the latter. one-half of one per centum of the gross earnings
Applies irrespective of the date of passage of the of the grantee xxx.
special law. Sec 259 of Internal Revenue Code, as amended by
RA 39, provides that there shall be collected in
Application of rule respect to all existing and future franchises, upon
the gross earnings or receipts from the business
Sto. Domingo v. De los Angeles covered by the law granting a franchise tax of 5%
The court invariably ruled that the special law is of such taxes, charges, and percentages as are
not impliedly repealed and constitutes an specified in the special charters of the corporation
exception to the general law whenever the upon whom suc franchises are conferred,
legislature failed to indicate in unmistakable terms whichever is higher, unless the provisions hereof
its intent to repeal or modify the prior special act. preclude the imposition of a higher tax xxx.
Issue: whether Section 259 of the Tax Code has
repealed Section 13 of Act 1497, stand upon a
different footing from general laws.
NAPOCOR v. Arca Once granted, a charter becomes a private contract
Issue: whether Sec. 2 of Com. Act 120 creating and cannot be altered nor amended except by
the NAPOCOR, a government-owned corporation, consent of all concerned, unless the right to alter
and empowering it to sell electric power and to or repeal is expressly reserved.
fix the rates and provide for the collection of the Reason: the legislature, in passing a special
charges for any services rendered: Provided, the charter, has its attention directed to the special
rates of charges shall not be subject to revision by facts and circumstances in the particular case in
the Public Service Act has been repealed by RA granting a special charter, for it will not be
2677 amending the Public Service Act and considered that the legislature, by adopting a
granting the Public Service Commission the general law containing the provisions repugnant to
jurisdiction to fix the rate of charges of public the provisions of the charter, and without any
utilities owned or operated by the government or mention of its intention to amend or modify the
government-owned corporations. charter, intended to amend, repeal or modify the
Held: a special law, like Com. Act 120, providing special act.
for a particular case or class of cases, is not The purpose of respecting the tax rates
repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its incorporated in the charters, as shown by the
terms, like RA 2677, although the general statute clause.
are broad enough to include the cases embraced in
the special law, in the absence of a clear intent to LLDA v. CA
repeal. Issue: which agency of the government, LLDA or
There appears no such legislative intent to repeal the towns and municipalities compromising the
or abrogate the provisions of the earlier law. region should exercise jurisdiction over the
The explanatory note to House Bill 4030 the later Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the
became RA 2677, it was explicit that the issuance of permits for fishery privileges is
jurisdiction conferred upon the Republic Service concerned.
Commission over the public utilities operated by The LLDA statute specifically provides that the
government-owned or controlled corporations is LLDA shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue
to be confined to the fixing of rates of such public permits for the use of all surface water for any
services projects in or affecting the said region, including
The harnessing and then distribution and sale of the operation of fish pens.
electric power to the consuming public, the RA 7160 the LGC of 1991 grants the
contingency intended to be met by the legal municipalities the exclusive authority to grant
provision under consideration would not exist. fishery privileges in municipal waters.
The authority of the Public Service Commission Held: two laws should be harmonized, and that the
under RA 2677 over the fixing of rate of charges LLA statute, being a special law, must be taken as
of public utilities owned or operated by GOCCs an exception to RA 7160 a general law,
can only be exercised where the charter of the
government corporation concerned does not Garcia v. Pascual
contain any provision to the contrary. Clerks of courts municipal courts shall be
appointed by the municipal judge at the expense
Philippine Railway Co. v. Collector of Internal Revenue of the municipality and where a later law was
PRC was granted a legislative franchise to operate enacted providing that employees whose salaries
a railway line pursuant to Act No. 1497 Sec. 13 are paid out of the municipal funds shall be
which read: In consideration of the premises and appointed by the municipal mayor, the later law
of the operation of this concession or franchise, cannot be said to have repealed the prior law as to
vest in the municipal mayor the power to appoint provided in this code tax exemptions or incentives
municipal cleck of court, as the subsequent law granted to or presently enjoyed by all persons,
should be construed to comprehend only except local water districts, cooperatives, and non-
subordinate officials of the municipality and not stock and non-profit hospitals and educational
those of the judiciary. institutions, are withdrawn upon the effectivity of
the Code.
Gordon v. CA
A city charter giving real estate owner a period of Gaerlan v. Catubig
one year within which to redeem a property sold Issue: whether Sec. 12 of RA 170 as amended, the
by the city for nonpayment of realty tax from the City Charter of Dagupan City, which fixed the
date of such auction sale, being a special law, minimum age qualification for members of the
prevails over a general law granting landowners a city council at 23 years has been repealed by Sec.6
period of two years to make the redemption. of RA 2259
Held: there was an implied repeal of Sec. 12 of the
Sto. Domingo v. Delos Angeles charter of Dagupan City because the legislative
The Civil Service law on the procedure for the intent to repeal the charter provision is clear from
suspension or removal of civil service employees the fact that Dagupan City, unlike some cities, is
does not apply with respect to the suspension or not one of those cities expressly excluded by the
removal of members of the local police force. law from its operation and from the circumstance
that it provides that all acts or parts thereof which
When special or general law repeals the other. are inconsistent therewith are repealed.
There is always a partial repeal where the later act is a The last statute is so broad in its terms and so
special law. clear and explicit in its words so as to show that it
was intended to cover the whole subject and
Valera v. Tuason therefore to displace the prior statute.
A subsequent general law on a subject has
repealed or amended a prior special act on the Bagatsing v. Ramirez
same subject by implication is a question of A charter of a city, which is a special law, may be
legislative intent. impliedly modified or superseded by a later
Intent to repeal may be shown in the act itself the statute, and where a statute is controlling, it must
explanatory note to the bill before its passage into be read into the charter, notwithstanding any of its
law, the discussions on the floor of the legislature, particular provisions.
A subsequent general law similarly applicable to
Intent to repeal the earlier special law where the later all cities prevails over any conflicting charter
general act provides that all laws or parts thereof provision, for the reason that a charter must not be
which are inconsistent therewith are repealed or inconsistent with the general laws and public
modified accordingly policy of the state.
If the intention to repeal the special law is clear, then Statute remains supreme in all matters not purely
the rule that the special law will be considered as an local.
exception to the general law does not apply; what A charter must yield to the constitution and
applies is the rule that the special law is deemed general laws of the state.
impliedly repealed.
A general law cannot be construed to have repealed a
special law by mere implication admits of exception. Philippine International Trading Corp v. CoA
CoA contended that the PITC charter had been
City Government of San Pablo v. Reyes impliedly repealed by the Sec. 16 RA 6758
Sec. 1 PD 551 provides that any provision of law Held: that there was implied repeal, the legislative
or local ordinance to the contrary, the franchise intent to do so being manifest.
tax payable by all grantees of franchise to PITC should now be considered as covered by
generate, distribute, and sell electric current for laws prescribing a compensation and position
light, heat, and power shall be 25 of their gross classification system in the government including
receipts. RA 6758.
Sec. 137 of the LGC states: Notwithstanding any
exemption granted by any law or other special Effects of repeal, generally
law, the province may impose a tax on business Appeal of a statute renders it inoperative as of the date
enjoying a franchise at a rate not exceeding 50% the repealing act takes effect.
of 1% of the gross annul receipts. Repeal is by no means equivalent to a declaration that
Held: the phrase is all-encompassing and clear the repealed statute is invalid from the date of its
that the legislature intended to withdraw all tax enactment.
exemptions enjoyed by franchise holders and this The repeal of a law does not undo the consequences of
intent is made more manifest by Sec. 193 of the the operation of the statute while in force, unless such
Code, when it provides that unless otherwise result is directed by express language or by necessary
implication, except as it may affect rights which
become vested when the repealed act was in force. On actions, pending or otherwise
Rule: repeal of a statute defeats all actions and
Ramos v. Municipality of Daet proceedings, including those, which are still pending,
BP 337 known as the LGC was repealed by RA which arose out of or are based on said statute.
7160 known as LGC of 1991, which took effect The court must conform its decision to the law then
on January 1, 1992. existing and may, therefore, reverse a judgment which
Sec. 5 (d) of the new code provides that rights and was correct when pronounced in the subordinate
obligations existing on the date of the effectivity tribunal, if it appears that pending appeal a statute
of the new code and arising out of contracts or any which was necessary to support the judgment of the
other source of prestation involving a local lower court has been withdrawn by an absolute repeal.
government unit shall be governed by the original
terms and conditions of said contracts or the law On vested rights
in force at the time such rights were vested. repeal of a statute does not destroy or impair rights that
accrued and became vested under the statute before its
On jurisdiction, generally repeal.
Neither the repeal nor the explanation of the law The statute should not be construed so as to affect the
deprives the court or administrative tribunal of the rights which have vested under the old law then in
authority to act on the pending action and to finally force, or as requiring the abatement of actions
decide it. instituted for the enforcement of such rights.
General rule: where a court or tribunal has already Rights accrued and vested while a statute is in force
acquired and is exercising jurisdiction over a ordinarily survive its repeal.
controversy, its jurisdiction to proceed to final The constitution forbids the state from impairing, by
determination of the cause is not affected by the new enactment or repeal of a law, vested rights or the
legislation repealing the statute which originally obligations of contract, except in the legitimate
conferred jurisidiction. exercise of police power.
Rule: once the court acquires jurisdiction over a
controversy, it shall continue to exercise such Buyco v. PNB
jurisdiction until the final determination of the case Where a statute gives holders of backpay
and it is not affected by subsequent legislation vesting certificates the right to use said certificates to pay
jurisdiction over such proceedings in another tribunal their obligations to government financial
admits of exceptions. institutions, the repeal of the law disallowing such
Repeal or expiration of a statute under which a court or payment will not deprive holders thereof whose
tribunal originally acquired jurisdiction to try and rights become vested under the old law of the
decide a case, does not make its decision subsequently right to use the certificates to pay their obligations
rendered thereon null and void for want of authority, to such financial institutions.
unless otherwise provided.
In the absence of a legislative intent to the contrary, Un Pak Leung v. Nigorra
the expiration or repeal of a statute does not render A statute gives an appellant the right to appeal
legal what, under the old law, is an illegal transaction, from an adverse decision, the repeal of such
so as to deprive the court or tribunal the court or statute after an appellant has already perfected his
tribunal of the authority to act on a case involving such appeal will not destroy his right to prosecute the
illegal transaction. appeal not deprive the appellate court of the
Where a law declares certain importations to be illegal, authority to decide the appealed case.
subject to forfeiture by the Commissioner of Customs
pursuant to what the latter initiated forfeiture Republic v. Migrino
proceedings, the expiration of the law during the Issue: whether prosecution for unexplained wealth
pendency of the proceedings does not divest the under RA 1379 has already prescribed.
Commissioner of Customs of the jurisdiction to Held: in his pleadings, private respondent
continue to resolve the case, nor does it have the effect contends that he may no longer be prosecuted
of making the illegal importation legal or of setting because of the prescription.
aside the decision of the commissioner on the matter. It must be pointed out that Sec. 2 RA 1379 should
be deemed amended or repealed by Art. XI, Sec.
On jurisdiction to try criminal case 15 of the 1987 Constitution.
Once a jurisdiction to try a criminal case is acquired,
that jurisdiction remains with the court until the case is On contracts
finally determined. Where a contract is entered into by the parties on the
A subsequent statute amending or repealing a prior act basis of the law then obtaining, the repeal or
under which the court acquired jurisdiction over the amendment of said law will not affect the terms of the
case with the effect of removing the courts contract nor impair the right of the parties thereunder.
jurisdiction may not operate to oust jurisdiction that
has already attached. Effect of repeal of tax laws
Rule favoring a prospective construction of statutes is affected, the latter will continue to be prosecuted
applicable to statutes which repeal tax laws. in accordance with the old law.
Such statute is not made retroactive, a tax assessed
before the repeal is collectible afterwards according to Distinction as to effect of repeal and expiration of law
the law in force when the assessment or levy was In absolute repeal, the crime is obliterated and the
made. stigma of conviction of an accused for violation of the
penal law before its repeal is erased.
Effect of repeal and reenactment
Simultaneous repeal and reenactment of a statute does Effect of repeal of municipal charter
not affect the rights and liabilities which have accrued The repeal of a charter destroys all offices under it, and
under the original statute, since the reenactment puts an end to the functions of the incumbents.
neutralizes the repeal and continues the law in force The conversation of a municipality into a city by the
without interruption. passage of a charter or a statute to that effect has the
The repeal of a penal law, under which a person is effect of abolishing all municipal offices then existing
charged with violation thereof and its simultaneous under the old municipality offices then the existing
reenactment penalizing the same act done by him under the old municipality, save those excepted in the
under the old law, will not preclude the accuseds charter itself.
prosecution, nor deprive the court of the jurisdiction to
try and convict him. Repeal or nullity of repealing law, effect of
When a law which expressly repeals a prior law is
People v. Almuete itself repealed, the law first repealed shall not thereby
Where the reenactment of the repealed law is not revived unless expressly so provided
simultaneous such that the continuity of the Where a repealing statute is declared unconstitutional,
obligation and the sanction for its violation form it will have no effect of repealing the former statute,
the repealed law to the reenacted law is broken, the former or old statute continues to remain in force.
the repeal carries with it the deprivation of the
court of its authority to try, convict, and sentence CHAPTER ELEVEN: Constitutional Construction
the person charged with violation of the old law to
its repeal. Constitution defined
fundamental law which sets up a form of government
Effect of repeal of penal laws and defines and delimits the powers thereof and those
Where the repeal is absolute, so that the crime no of its officers, reserving to the people themselves
longer exists, prosecution of the person charged under plenary sovereignty
the old law cannot be had and the action should be written charter enacted and adopted by the people by
dismissed. which a government for them is established
Where the repeal of a penal law is total and absolute permanent in nature thus it does not only apply to
and the act which was penalized by a prior law ceases existing conditions but also to future needs
to be criminal under the new law, the previous offense basically it is the fundamental laws for the governance
is obliterated. and administration of a nation
That a total repeal deprives the courts of jurisdiction to absolute and unalterable except by amendments
try, convict, and sentence, persons, charged with
all other laws are expected to conform to it
violations of the old law prior to the repeal.
Repeal of a statute which provides an indispensable Origin and history of the Philippine Constitutions
element in the commission of a crime as defined in the
1935 Constitution
RPC likewise operates to deprive the court of the
authority to decide the case, rule rests on the same
People v. Linsangan explained as to how this Constitution
principle as that concerning the effect of a repeal of a
came about:
penal law without qualification.
Tydings-Mcduffie Law- allowed the Filipinos to adopt
Reason: the repeal of a penal law without
a constitutions but subject to the conditions prescribed
disqualification is a legislative act of rendering legal
in the Act.
what is previously decreed as illegal, so that the person
o Required 3 steps:
who committed it is as if he never committed an
drafting and approval of the
constitution must be authorized
it must be certified by the President
where the repealing act reenacts the statute and
of the US
penalizes the same act previously penalized under
it must be ratified by the people of
the repealed law, the act committed before
the Philippines at a plebiscite
reenactment continues to be a crime, and pending
cases are not thereby affected. 1973 Constitution
Where the repealing act contains a saving clause o adopted in response to popular clamor to meat
providing that pending actions shall not be the problems of the country
o March 16, 1967: Congress passed Resolution Held: No. the keywords provinces, cities,
No.2, which was amended by Resolution No. municipalities and geographical areas connotes that a
4, calling a convention to propose region consists of more than one unit. In its ordinary
amendments to the Constitution sense region means two or more provinces, thus Ifugao
1987 Constitution cannot be constituted the Cordillera Autonomous
o after EDSA Revolution Region
o also known as the 1987 Charter
Primary purpose of constitutional construction Marcos v. Chief of Staff
primary task of constitutional construction is to Issues:
ascertain the intent or purpose of the framers of the o the meaning or scope of the words any court
constitution as expressed in its language in Section 17 Article 17 of the 1935
purpose of our Constitution: to protect and enhance the Constitution
peoples interests o Who are included under the terms inferior
court in section 2 Article 7
Constitution construed as enduring for ages Held: Section 17 of Article 17 prohibits any members
Constitution is not merely for a few years but it also of the Congress from appearing as counsel in any
needs to endure through a long lapse of ages criminal case x x x. This is not limited to civil but also
WHY? Because it governs the life of the people not to a military court or court martial since the latter is
only at the time of its framing but far into the also a court of law and justice as is any civil tribunal.
indefinite future Inferior courts are meant to be construed in its
it must be adaptable to various crisis of human affairs restricted sense and accordingly do not include court
but it must also be solid permanent and substantial martials or military courts for they are agencies of
Its stability protects the rights, liberty, and property of executive character and do not belong to the judicial
the people (rich or poor) branch unlike the term inferior court is.
It must be construed as a dynamic process intended to
stand for a great length of time to be progressive and Another RULE: words used in one part are to receive
not static the same interpretation when used in other parts unless
What it is NOT: the contrary is applied/specified.
o It should NOT change with emergencies or
conditions Lozada v COMELEC
o It should NOT be inflexible the term Batasang Pambansa, which means the
o It should NOT be interpreted narrowly regular national assembly, found in many sections of
Words employed should not be construed to yield the 1973 Constitution refers to the regular, not to the
fixed and rigid answers because its meaning is applied interim Batasang Pambansa
to meet new or changed conditions as they arise
Courts should construe the constitution so that it would words which have acquired a technical meaning before
be consistent with reason, justice and the public they are used in the constitution must be taken in that
interest sense when such words as thus used are construed

How language of constitution construed Aids to construction, generally

primary source in order to ascertain the constitution is apart from its language courts may refer to the
the LANGUAGE itself following in construing the constitution:
The words that are used are broad because it aims to o history
cover all contingencies o proceedings of the convention
Words must be understood in their common or o prior laws and judicial decisions
ordinary meaning except when technical terms are o contemporaneous constructions
employee o consequences of alternative interpret-tations
o WHY? Because the fundamental law if these aids are called extraneous aids because though
essentially a document of the people their effect is not in precise rules their influence
Do not construe the constitution in such a way that its describes the essentials of the process (remember
meaning would change preamble? ganito lang din yun)
What if the words used have both general and
restricted meaning?
Rule: general prevails over the restricted unless the
contrary is indicated.
Realities existing at time of adoption; object to be accomplished
History basically helps in making one understand as to
Ordillo v. COMELEC
how and why certain laws were incorporated into the
Issue: whether the sole province of Ifugao can be
validly constituted in the Cordillera Autonomous
Region under Section 15, Article 10 In construing constitutional law, the history must be
taken into consideration because there are certain
considerations rooted in the historical background of Intent of a constitutional convention member doesnt
the environment at the time of its adoption (Legaspi v. necessarily mean it is also the peoples intent
Minister of Finance) The proceedings of the convention are usually inquired
into because it sheds light into what the framers of the
Aquino v. COMELEC constitution had in mind at that time. (refers to the
Issue: what does the term incumbent president in sec. debates, interpretations and opinions concerning
3 of Article 17 of the 1973 Constitution refer to? particular provisions)
Held: History shows that at that time the term of
President Marcos was to terminate on December 30, Luz Farms v. Secretary of DAR
1973, the new constitution was approved on November Whether the term agriculture as used in the
30, 1972 still during his incumbency and as being the Constitution embraces raising livestock, poultry and
only incumbent president at the time of the approval it swine
just means that the term incumbent president refers to Transcript of the deliberations of the Constitutional
Mr. Marcos Commission of 1986 on the meaning of agriculture
Justice Antonio concurring opinion states: the only clearly shows that it was never the intention of the
rational way to ascertain the meaning and intent is to framers of the Constitution to include livestock and
read its language in connection with the known poultry industry in the coverage of the constitutionally-
conditions of affairs out of which the occasion for its mandated agrarian reform program of the Government
adoption had arisen and then construe it. Agricultural lands do not include commercial
industrial, and residential lands
In re Bermudez Held: it is evident in the foregoing discussion that Sec
incumbent president referred to in section 5 of Article 2 of RA 6657 which includes private agricultural
18 of the 1987 constitution refers to incumbent lands devoted to commercial livestock, poultry and
President Aquino and VP Doy Laurel swine raising in the definition of commercial farms
is INVALID, to the extent of the aforecited agro-
Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary industrial activities are made to be covered by the
issue: whether EO 284, which authorizes a cabinet agrarian reform program of the State
member, undersecretary and assistant secretary to hold
not more than two positions in the government and Montejo v. COMELEC
GOCCs and to receive corresponding compensation Whether the COMELEC has the power to transfer, by
therefore, violates Sec. 13, Art. 7 of the 1987 resolution, one or more municipalities from one
Constitution congressional district to another district within a
court examined the history of the times, the conditions province, pursuant to Sec 2 of the Ordinance appended
under which the constitutional provisions was framed to the 1987 Constitution
and its object The Court relied on the proceedings of the
held: before the adoption of the constitutional Constitutional Commission on minor adjustments
provision, there was a proliferation of newly-created which refers only to the instance where a municipality
agencies, instrumentalities and GOCCs created by PDs which has been forgotten (ano ba tokinalimutan ang
and other modes of presidential issuances where municipality) is included in the enumeration of the
Cabinet members, their deputies or assistants were composition of the congressional district and not to the
designated to head or sit as members of the board with transfer of one municipality from one district to
the corresponding salaries, emoluments, per diems, another, which has been considered a substantive or
allowances and other prerequisites of office major adjustment
since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987
Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the Contemporaneous construction and writings
President, Vice President, members of the Cabinet, may be used to resolve but not to create ambiguities
their deputies and assistants with respect to holding In construing statutes, contemporaneous construction
multiple government offices or employment in the are entitled to great weight however when it comes to
Government during their tenure, the exception to this the constitution it has no weight and will not be
prohibition must be read with equal severity allowed to change in any way its meaning.
on its face, the language of Sec 13 Art. 7 is prohibitory Writings of delegates has persuasive force but it
so that it must be understood as intended to be a depends on two things:
positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of o if opinions are based on fact known to them
holding multiple government offices or employment and not established it is immaterial
o on legal hermeneutics, their conclusions may
Proceedings of the convention not be a shade better in the eyes of the law.
RULE: If the language of the constitutional provision
is plain it is not necessary to resort to extrinsic aids Previous laws and judicial rulings
EXCEPTION: when the intent of the framer doesnt framers of the constitution is presumed to be aware of
appear in the text or it has more than one construction. prevailing judicial doctrines concerning the subject of
constitutional provisions. THUS when courts adopt
principles different from prior decisions it is presumed Mandatory or directory
that they did so to overrule said principle RULE: constitutional provisions are to be construed as
mandatory unless a different intention is manifested.
Changes in phraseology Why? Because in a constitution, the sovereign itself
Before a constitution is ratified it undergoes a lot of speaks and is laying down rules which for the time
revisions and changes in phraseology (ex. deletion of being at least are to control alike the government and
words) and these changes may be inquired into to the governed.
ascertain the intent or purpose of the provision as failure of the legislature to enact the necessary
approved required by the constitution does not make the
HOWEVER mere deletion, as negative guides, cannot legislature is illegal.
prevail over the positive provisions nor is it
determinative of any conclusion. Prospective or retroactive
Certain provisions in our constitution (from 1935 to RULE: constitution operates prospectively only unless
the present) are mere reenactments of prior the words employed are clear that it applies
constitutions thus these changes may indicate an intent retroactively
to modify or change the meaning of the old provisions.
Magtoto v. Manguera
Galman v. Pamaran Sec 20 of Article IV of the 1973 Constitution: no
the phrase no person shall be x x x compelled in a person shall be compelled to be a witness against
criminal case be a witness against himself is changed himself. x x x Any confession obtained in violation of
in such a way the words criminal cases had been this section shall be inadmissible in evidence
deleted simply means that it is not limited to criminal Court held that this specific portion of the mandate
cases only. should be given a prospective application

Consequences of alternative constructions Co v. Electric Tribunal

consequences that may follow from alternative Sec. 1(3) Art. 4 of the 1987 Constitution states that
construction of doubtful constitutional provisions those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino
constitute an important factor to consider in construing mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon
them. reaching the age of majority are citizens of the
if a provision has more than one interpretation, that Philippines has a retroactive effect as shown to the
construction which would lead to absurd, impossible clear intent of the framers through the language used
or mischievous consequences must be rejected.
e.g. directory and mandatory interpretation: Art. 8 Sec Applicability of rules of statutory construction
15(1) requires judges to render decision within specific Doctrines used in Sarmiento v. Mison is a good
periods from date of submission for decision of cases example in which the SC applied a number of rules of
(construed as directory because if otherwise it will statutory construction.
cause greater injury to the public) Issue: whether or not the appointment of a
Commissioner of Customs is subject to confirmation
Constitution construed as a whole by the Commission on appointments
provision should not be construed separately from the
rest it should be interpreted as a whole and be Generally, constitutional provisions are self-executing
harmonized with conflicting provisions so as to give RULE: constitutional provisions are self executing
them all force and effect. except when provisions themselves expressly require
sections in the constitution with a particular subject legislations to implement them.
should be interpreted together to effectuate the whole SELF EXECUTING PROVISIONS- provisions which
purpose of the Constitution. are complete by themselves and becomes operative
without the aid of supplementary legislation.
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance Just because legislation may supplement and add or
VAT Law, passage of bill prescribe a penalty does not render such provision
involved are article 6 Sec. 24 and RA 7716 (VAT ineffective in the absence of such legislation.
Law) In case of Doubt? Construe such provision as self
contention of the petitioner: RA 7716 did not originate executing rather than non-self executing.
exclusively from the HOR as required by the
Constitution because it is the result of the Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS
consolidation of two distinct bills. Issue: w/n the sale at public bidding of the majority
Court: rejected such interpretation. (guys alam niyo na ownership of the Manila Hotel a qualified entity can
naman to, that it should originate from HOR but it match the winning bid of a foreigner
could still be modified by the Senate) Held: resolution depends on whether the issue is self
executing or not. The court ruled that the qualified
Filipino entity must be given preference by granting it
the option to match the winning bid because the
provision is self executing.

- The End -

That in all things, GOD may be glorified