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--------------------digest-------------------------People v.

Manantan GR L-14129, 31 July 1962 (5 SCRA 684) En Banc, Regala (p):7 concur, 1 took no part, 1 on leave Facts: In an information filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of that Province, Guillermo Manantan was charged with a violation of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. A preliminary investigation conducted by said court resulted in the finding of a probable cause that the crime charged was committed by the defendant. Thereafter, the trial started upon defendants plea of not guilty, the defense moved to dismiss the information on the ground that as justice of the peace, the defendant is not one of the officers enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. The lower court denied the motion to dismiss, holding that a justice of the peace is within the purview of Section 54. A second motion was filed by defense counsel who cited in support thereof the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in People vs. Macaraeg, where it was held that a justice of the peace is excluded from the prohibition of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. Acting on various motions and pleadings, the lower court dismissed the information against the accused upon the authority of the ruling in the case cited by the defense. Hence, the appeal by the Solicitor General. Issue: Whether the justice of the peace was excluded from the coverage of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code Held: Under the rule of Casus omisus pro omisso habendus est, a person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally. The maxim casus omisus can operate and apply only if and when the omission has been clearly established.The application of the rule of casus omisus does not proceed from the mere fact that a case is criminal in nature, but rather from a reasonable certainty that a particular person, object or thing has been omitted from a legislative enumeration. Substitution of terms is not omission. For in its most extensive sense the term judge includes all officers appointed to decide litigated questions while acting in that capacity, including justice of the peace, and even jurors, it is said, who are judges of facts. The intention of the Legislature did not exclude the justice of the peace from its operation. In Section 54, there is no necessity to include the justice of peace in the enumeration, as previously made in Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code, as the legislature has availed itself of the more generic and broader term judge, including therein all kinds of judges, like judges of the courts of First Instance, judges of the courts of Agrarian Relations, judges of the courts of Industrial Relations, and justices of the peace. The Supreme Court set aside the dismissal order entered by the trial court and remanded the case for trial on the merits

G.R. No. 14129 www.lawphil.netG.R. No. 14129 July 31, 1962

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellant, vs. GUILLERMO MANANTAN, defendant-appellee. Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellant. Padilla Law Office for defendant-appellee. REGALA, J.: This is an appeal of the Solicitor General from the order of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan dismissing the information against the defendant. The records show that the statement of the case and the facts, as recited in the brief of plaintiffappellant, is complete and accurate. The same is, consequently, here adopted, to wit: In an information filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan in the Court of First Instance of that Province, defendant Guillermo Manantan was charged with a violation Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. A preliminary investigation conducted by said court resulted in the finding a probable cause that the crime charged as committed by defendant. Thereafter, the trial started upon defendant's plea of not guilty, the defense moved to dismiss the information on the ground that as justice of the peace the defendant

is one of the officers enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. The lower court denied the motion to dismiss holding that a justice of the peace is within the purview Section 54. A second motion was filed by defense counsel who cited in support thereof the decision of the Court of Appeals in People vs. Macaraeg, (CA-G.R. No. 15613-R, 54 Off. Gaz., pp. 1873-76) where it was held that a justice of the peace is excluded from the prohibition of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. Acting on this second motion to dismiss, the answer of the prosecution, the reply of the defense, and the opposition of the prosecution, the lower court dismissed the information against the accused upon the authority of the ruling in the case cited by the defense. Both parties are submitting this case upon the determination of this single question of law: Is a justice the peace included in the prohibition of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code? Section 54 of the said Code reads: No justice, judge, fiscal, treasurer, or assessor of any province, no officer or employee of the Army, no member of the national, provincial, city, municipal or rural police force and no classified civil service officer or employee shall aid any candidate, or exert any influence in any manner in a election or take part therein, except to vote, if entitled thereto, or to preserve public peace, if he is a peace officer. Defendant-appellee argues that a justice of the peace is not comprehended among the officers enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. He submits the aforecited section was taken from Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code, which provided the following: SEC. 449. Persons prohibited from influencing elections. No judge of the First Instance, justice of the peace, or treasurer, fiscal or assessor of any province and no officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary, or any Bureau or employee of the classified civil service, shall aid any candidate or exert influence in any manner in any election or take part therein otherwise than exercising the right to vote. When, therefore, section 54 of the Revised Election Code omitted the words "justice of the peace," the omission revealed the intention of the Legislature to exclude justices of the peace from its operation. The above argument overlooks one fundamental fact. It is to be noted that under Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code, the word "judge" was modified or qualified by the phrase "of First instance", while under Section 54 of the Revised Election Code, no such modification exists. In other words, justices of the peace were expressly included in Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code because the kinds of judges therein were specified, i.e., judge of the First Instance and justice of the peace. In Section 54, however, there was no necessity therefore to include justices of the peace in the enumeration because the legislature had availed itself of the more generic and broader term, "judge." It was a term not modified by any word or phrase and was intended to comprehend all kinds of judges, like judges of the courts of First Instance, Judges of the courts of Agrarian Relations, judges of the courts of Industrial Relations, and justices of the peace.

It is a well known fact that a justice of the peace is sometimes addressed as "judge" in this jurisdiction. It is because a justice of the peace is indeed a judge. A "judge" is a public officer, who, by virtue of his office, is clothed with judicial authority (U.S. v. Clark, 25 Fed. Cas. 441, 422). According to Bouvier Law Dictionary, "a judge is a public officer lawfully appointed to decide litigated questions according to law. In its most extensive sense the term includes all officers appointed to decide litigated questions while acting in that capacity, including justices of the peace, and even jurors, it is said, who are judges of facts." A review of the history of the Revised Election Code will help to justify and clarify the above conclusion. The first election law in the Philippines was Act 1582 enacted by the Philippine Commission in 1907, and which was later amended by Act. Nos. 1669, 1709, 1726 and 1768. (Of these 4 amendments, however, only Act No. 1709 has a relation to the discussion of the instant case as shall be shown later.) Act No. 1582, with its subsequent 4 amendments were later on incorporated Chapter 18 of the Administrative Code. Under the Philippine Legislature, several amendments were made through the passage of Acts Nos. 2310, 3336 and 3387. (Again, of these last 3 amendments, only Act No. 3587 has pertinent to the case at bar as shall be seen later.) During the time of the Commonwealth, the National Assembly passed Commonwealth Act No. 23 and later on enacted Commonwealth Act No. 357, which was the law enforced until June 1947, when the Revised Election Code was approved. Included as its basic provisions are the provisions of Commonwealth Acts Nos. 233, 357, 605, 666, 657. The present Code was further amended by Republic Acts Nos. 599, 867, 2242 and again, during the session of Congress in 1960, amended by Rep. Acts Nos. 3036 and 3038. In the history of our election law, the following should be noted: Under Act 1582, Section 29, it was provided: No public officer shall offer himself as a candidate for elections, nor shall he be eligible during the time that he holds said public office to election at any municipal, provincial or Assembly election, except for reelection to the position which he may be holding, and no judge of the First Instance, justice of the peace, provincial fiscal, or officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary or of the Bureau of Education shall aid any candidate or influence in any manner or take part in any municipal, provincial, or Assembly election under the penalty of being deprived of his office and being disqualified to hold any public office whatsoever for a term of 5 year: Provide, however, That the foregoing provisions shall not be construe to deprive any person otherwise qualified of the right to vote it any election." (Enacted January 9, 1907; Took effect on January 15, 1907.) Then, in Act 1709, Sec. 6, it was likewise provided: . . . No judge of the First Instance, Justice of the peace provincial fiscal or officer or employee of the Bureau of Constabulary or of the Bureau of Education shall aid any candidate or influence in any manner to take part in any municipal provincial or Assembly election. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deprived of his office or employment and shall be disqualified to hold any public office or

employment whatever for a term of 5 years, Provided, however, that the foregoing provisions shall not be construed to deprive any person otherwise qualified of the right to vote at any election. (Enacted on August 31, 1907; Took effect on September 15, 1907.) Again, when the existing election laws were incorporated in the Administrative Code on March 10, 1917, the provisions in question read: SEC. 449. Persons prohibited from influencing elections. No judge of the First Instance, justice of the peace, or treasurer, fiscal or assessor of any province and no officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary or any Bureau or employee of the classified civil service, shall aid any candidate or exert influence in any manner in any election or take part therein otherwise than exercising the right to vote. (Emphasis supplied) After the Administrative Code, the next pertinent legislation was Act No. 3387. This Act reads: SEC. 2636. Officers and employees meddling with the election. Any judge of the First Instance, justice of the peace, treasurer, fiscal or assessor of any province, any officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary or of the police of any municipality, or any officer or employee of any Bureau of the classified civil service, who aids any candidate or violated in any manner the provisions of this section or takes part in any election otherwise by exercising the right to vote, shall be punished by a fine of not less than P100.00 nor more than P2,000.00, or by imprisonment for not less than 2 months nor more than 2 years, and in all cases by disqualification from public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage for a period of 5 years. (Approved December 3, 1927.) (Emphasis supplied.) Subsequently, however, Commonwealth Act No. 357 was enacted on August 22, 1938. This law provided in Section 48: SEC. 48. Active Interventation of Public Officers and Employees. No justice, judge, fiscal, treasurer or assessor of any province, no officer or employee of the Army, the Constabulary of the national, provincial, municipal or rural police, and no classified civil service officer or employee shall aid any candidate, nor exert influence in any manner in any election nor take part therein, except to vote, if entitled thereto, or to preserve public peace, if he is a peace officer. This last law was the legislation from which Section 54 of the Revised Election Code was taken. It will thus be observed from the foregoing narration of the legislative development or history of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code that the first omission of the word "justice of the peace" was effected in Section 48 of Commonwealth Act No. 357 and not in the present code as averred by defendant-appellee. Note carefully, however, that in the two instances when the words "justice of the peace" were omitted (in Com. Act No. 357 and Rep. Act No. 180), the word "judge" which preceded in the enumeration did not carry the qualification "of the First Instance." In other words, whenever the word "judge" was qualified by the phrase "of the First Instance",

the words "justice of the peace" would follow; however, if the law simply said "judge," the words "justice of the peace" were omitted. The above-mentioned pattern of congressional phraseology would seem to justify the conclusion that when the legislature omitted the words "justice of the peace" in Rep. Act No. 180, it did not intend to exempt the said officer from its operation. Rather, it had considered the said officer as already comprehended in the broader term "judge". It is unfortunate and regrettable that the last World War had destroyed congressional records which might have offered some explanation of the discussion of Com. Act No. 357 which legislation, as indicated above, has eliminated for the first time the words "justice of the peace." Having been completely destroyed, all efforts to seek deeper and additional clarifications from these records proved futile. Nevertheless, the conclusions drawn from the historical background of Rep. Act No. 180 is sufficiently borne out by reason hid equity. Defendant further argues that he cannot possibly be among the officers enumerated in Section 54 inasmuch as under that said section, the word "judge" is modified or qualified by the phrase "of any province." The last mentioned phrase, defendant submits, cannot then refer to a justice of the peace since the latter is not an officer of a province but of a municipality. Defendant's argument in that respect is too strained. If it is true that the phrase "of any province" necessarily removes justices of the peace from the enumeration for the reason that they are municipal and not provincial officials, then the same thing may be said of the Justices of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeals. They are national officials. Yet, can there be any doubt that Justices of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeals are not included in the prohibition? The more sensible and logical interpretation of the said phrase is that it qualifies fiscals, treasurers and assessors who are generally known as provincial officers. The rule of "casus omisus pro omisso habendus est" is likewise invoked by the defendantappellee. Under the said rule, a person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally. If that rule is applicable to the present, then indeed, justices of the peace must be held to have been intentionally and deliberately exempted from the operation of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. The rule has no applicability to the case at bar. The maxim "casus omisus" can operate and apply only if and when the omission has been clearly established. In the case under consideration, it has already been shown that the legislature did not exclude or omit justices of the peace from the enumeration of officers precluded from engaging in partisan political activities. Rather, they were merely called by another term. In the new law, or Section 54 of the Revised Election Code, justices of the peace were just called "judges." In insisting on the application of the rule of "casus omisus" to this case, defendant-appellee cites authorities to the effect that the said rule, being restrictive in nature, has more particular application to statutes that should be strictly construed. It is pointed out that Section 54 must be strictly construed against the government since proceedings under it are criminal in nature and the jurisprudence is settled that penal statutes should be strictly interpreted against the state.

Amplifying on the above argument regarding strict interpretation of penal statutes, defendant asserts that the spirit of fair play and due process demand such strict construction in order to give "fair warning of what the law intends to do, if a certain line is passed, in language that the common world will understand." (Justice Holmes, in McBoyle v. U.S., 283 U.S. 25, L. Ed. 816). The application of the rule of "casus omisus" does not proceed from the mere fact that a case is criminal in nature, but rather from a reasonable certainty that a particular person, object or thing has been omitted from a legislative enumeration. In the present case, and for reasons already mentioned, there has been no such omission. There has only been a substitution of terms. The rule that penal statutes are given a strict construction is not the only factor controlling the interpretation of such laws; instead, the rule merely serves as an additional, single factor to be considered as an aid in determining the meaning of penal laws. This has been recognized time and again by decisions of various courts. (3 Sutherland, Statutory Construction, p. 56.) Thus, cases will frequently be found enunciating the principle that the intent of the legislature will govern (U.S. vs. Corbet, 215 U.S. 233). It is to be noted that a strict construction should not be permitted to defeat the policy and purposes of the statute (Ash Sheep Co. v. U.S., 252 U.S. 159). The court may consider the spirit and reason of a statute, as in this particular instance, where a literal meaning would lead to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose of the law makers (Crawford, Interpretation of Laws, Sec. 78, p. 294). A Federal District court in the U.S. has well said: The strict construction of a criminal statute does not mean such construction of it as to deprive it of the meaning intended. Penal statutes must be construed in the sense which best harmonizes with their intent and purpose. (U.S. v. Betteridge 43 F. Supp. 53, 56, cited in 3 Sutherland Statutory Construction 56.) As well stated by the Supreme Court of the United States, the language of criminal statutes, frequently, has been narrowed where the letter includes situations inconsistent with the legislative plan (U.S. v. Katz, 271 U.S. 354; See also Ernest Brunchen, Interpretation of the Written Law (1915) 25 Yale L.J. 129.) Another reason in support of the conclusion reached herein is the fact that the purpose of the statute is to enlarge the officers within its purview. Justices of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and various judges, such as the judges of the Court of Industrial Relations, judges of the Court of Agrarian Relations, etc., who were not included in the prohibition under the old statute, are now within its encompass. If such were the evident purpose, can the legislature intend to eliminate the justice of the peace within its orbit? Certainly not. This point is fully explained in the brief of the Solicitor General, to wit: On the other hand, when the legislature eliminated the phrases "Judge of First Instance" and justice of the peace", found in Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code, and used "judge" in lieu thereof, the obvious intention was to include in the scope of the term not just one class of judges but all judges, whether of first Instance justices of the peace or special courts, such as judges of the Court of Industrial Relations. . . . .

The weakest link in our judicial system is the justice of the peace court, and to so construe the law as to allow a judge thereof to engage in partisan political activities would weaken rather than strengthen the judiciary. On the other hand, there are cogent reasons found in the Revised Election Code itself why justices of the peace should be prohibited from electioneering. Along with Justices of the appellate courts and judges of the Court of First Instance, they are given authority and jurisdiction over certain election cases (See Secs. 103, 104, 117-123). Justices of the peace are authorized to hear and decided inclusion and exclusion cases, and if they are permitted to campaign for candidates for an elective office the impartiality of their decisions in election cases would be open to serious doubt. We do not believe that the legislature had, in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code, intended to create such an unfortunate situation. (pp. 708, Appellant's Brief.) Another factor which fortifies the conclusion reached herein is the fact that the administrative or executive department has regarded justices of the peace within the purview of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. In Tranquilino O. Calo, Jr. v. The Executive Secretary, the Secretary of Justice, etc. (G.R. No. L12601), this Court did not give due course to the petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction against the respondents, for not setting aside, among others, Administrative Order No. 237, dated March 31, 1957, of the President of the Philippines, dismissing the petitioner as justice of the peace of Carmen, Agusan. It is worthy of note that one of the causes of the separation of the petitioner was the fact that he was found guilty in engaging in electioneering, contrary to the provisions of the Election Code. Defendant-appellee calls the attention of this Court to House Bill No. 2676, which was filed on January 25, 1955. In that proposed legislation, under Section 56, justices of the peace are already expressly included among the officers enjoined from active political participation. The argument is that with the filing of the said House Bill, Congress impliedly acknowledged that existing laws do not prohibit justices of the peace from partisan political activities. The argument is unacceptable. To begin with, House Bill No. 2676 was a proposed amendment to Rep. Act No. 180 as a whole and not merely to section 54 of said Rep. Act No. 180. In other words, House Bill No. 2676 was a proposed re-codification of the existing election laws at the time that it was filed. Besides, the proposed amendment, until it has become a law, cannot be considered to contain or manifest any legislative intent. If the motives, opinions, and the reasons expressed by the individual members of the legislature even in debates, cannot be properly taken into consideration in ascertaining the meaning of a statute (Crawford, Statutory Construction, Sec. 213, pp. 375-376), a fortiori what weight can We give to a mere draft of a bill. On law reason and public policy, defendant-appellee's contention that justices of the peace are not covered by the injunction of Section 54 must be rejected. To accept it is to render ineffective a policy so clearly and emphatically laid down by the legislature. Our law-making body has consistently prohibited justices of the peace from participating in partisan politics. They were prohibited under the old Election Law since 1907 (Act No. 1582 and

Act No. 1709). Likewise, they were so enjoined by the Revised Administrative Code. Another which expressed the prohibition to them was Act No. 3387, and later, Com. Act No. 357. Lastly, it is observed that both the Court of Appeals and the trial court applied the rule of "expressio unius, est exclusion alterius" in arriving at the conclusion that justices of the peace are not covered by Section 54. Said the Court of Appeals: "Anyway, guided by the rule of exclusion, otherwise known as expressio unius est exclusion alterius, it would not be beyond reason to infer that there was an intention of omitting the term "justice of the peace from Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. . . ." The rule has no application. If the legislature had intended to exclude a justice of the peace from the purview of Section 54, neither the trial court nor the Court of Appeals has given the reason for the exclusion. Indeed, there appears no reason for the alleged change. Hence, the rule of expressio unius est exclusion alterius has been erroneously applied. (Appellant's Brief, p. 6.) Where a statute appears on its face to limit the operation of its provisions to particular persons or things by enumerating them, but no reason exists why other persons or things not so enumerated should not have been included, and manifest injustice will follow by not so including them, the maxim expressio unius est exclusion alterius, should not be invoked. (Blevins v. Mullally 135 p. 307, 22 Cal. App. 519.) . FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, the order of dismissal entered by the trial court should be set aside and this case is remanded for trial on the merits. Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Barrera and Makalintal, JJ., concur. Padilla and Dizon, JJ., took no part. Reyes, J.B.L., J., is on leave.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation

G.R. No. 88979 February 7, 1992 LYDIA O. CHUA, petitioner, vs. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, THE NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION and THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, respondents.

PADILLA, J.:

Pursuant to the policy of streamlining and trimming the bureaucracy, Republic Act No. 6683 was approved on 2 December 1988 providing for benefits for early retirement and voluntary separation from the government service as well as for involuntary separation due to reorganization. Deemed qualified to avail of its benefits are those enumerated in Sec. 2 of the Act, as follows:
Sec. 2. Coverage. This Act shall cover all appointive officials and employees of the National Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, as well as the personnel of all local government units. The benefits authorized under this Act shall apply to all regular, temporary, casual and emergency employees, regardless of age, who have rendered at least a total of two (2) consecutive years of government service as of the date of separation. Uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines including those of the PC-INP are excluded from the coverage of this Act.

Petitioner Lydia Chua believing that she is qualified to avail of the benefits of the program, filed an application on 30 January 1989 with respondent National Irrigation Administration (NIA) which, however, denied the same; instead, she was offered separation benefits equivalent to one half (1/2) month basic pay for every year of service commencing from 1980. A recourse by petitioner to the Civil Service Commission yielded negative results. 1 Her letter for reconsideration dated 25 April 1989 pleaded thus:
xxx xxx xxx With due respect, I think the interpretation of the Honorable Commissioner of RA 6683 does not conform with the beneficent purpose of the law. The law merely requires that a government employee whether regular, temporary, emergency, or casual, should have two consecutive years of government service in order to be entitled to its benefits. I more than meet the requirement. Persons who are not entitled are consultants, experts and contractual(s). As to the budget needed, the law provides that the Department of Budget and Management will shoulder a certain portion of the benefits to be allotted to government corporations. Moreover, personnel of these NIA special projects art entitled to the regular benefits, such (sic) leaves, compulsory retirement and the like. There is no reason why we should not be entitled to RA 6683. xxx xxx xxx
2

Denying the plea for reconsideration, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) emphasized:
xxx xxx xxx We regret to inform you that your request cannot be granted. The provision of Section 3.1 of Joint DBM-CSC Circular Letter No. 89-1 does not only require an applicant to have two years of satisfactory service on the date of separation/retirement but further requires said applicant to be on a casual, emergency, temporary or regular employment status as of December 2, 1988, the date of enactment of R.A. 6683. The law does not contemplate contractual employees in the coverage.

Inasmuch as your employment as of December 31, 1988, the date of your separation from the service, is co-terminous with the NIA project which is contractual in nature, this Commission shall sustain its original decision. xxx xxx xxx
3

In view of such denial, petitioner is before this Court by way of a special civil action for certiorari, insisting that she is entitled to the benefits granted under Republic Act No. 6683. Her arguments:
It is submitted that R.A. 6683, as well as Section 3.1 of the Joint DBM-CSC Circular Letter No. 89-1 requires an applicant to be on a casual, emergency, temporary or regular employment status. Likewise, the provisions of Section 23 (sic) of the Joint DBM-CSC Circular Letter No. 88-1, implementing guidelines of R.A. No. 6683, provides: "2.3 Excluded from the benefits under R.A. No. 6683 are the following: a) Experts and Consultants hired by agencies for a limited period to perform specific activities or services with a definite expected output: i.e. membership in Task Force, Part-Time, Consultant/Employees. b) Uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines including those of the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police (PCINP). c) Appointive officials and employees who retire or elect to be separated from the service for optional retirement with gratuity under R.A. No. 1616, 4968 or with pension under R.A. No. 186, as amended by R.A. No. 6680 or P.D. No. 1146, an amended, or vice- versa. d) Officials and employees who retired voluntarily prior to the enactment of this law and have received the corresponding benefits of that retirement/separation. e) Officials and employees with pending cases punishable by mandatory separation from the service under existing civil service laws, rules and regulations; provided that if such officials and employees apply in writing within the prescriptive period for the availment of the benefits herein authorized, shall be allowed only if acquitted or cleared of all charges and their application accepted and approved by the head of office concerned." Based on the above exclusions, herein petitioner does not belong to any one of them. Ms. Chua is a full time employee of NIA entitled to all the regular benefits provided for by the Civil Service Commission. She held a permanent status as Personnel Assistant A, a position which belongs to the Administrative Service. . . . If casuals and emergency employees were given the benefit of R.A. 6683 with more reason that this petitioner who was holding a permanent status as Personnel Assistant A and has rendered almost 15 years of faithful, continuous service in the government should be similarly rewarded by 4 the beneficient (sic) purpose of the law.

The NIA and the Civil Service Commission reiterate in their comment petitioner's exclusion from the benefits of Republic Act No. 6683, because: 1. Petitioner's employment is co-terminous with the project per appointment papers kept by the Administrative Service in the head office of NIA (the service record was issued by the Watershed Management and Erosion Control Project (WMECP), Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija). The project, funded by the World Bank, was completed as of 31 December 1988, after which petitioner's position became functus officio. 2. Petitioner is not a regular and career employee of NIA her position is not included in its regular plantilla. She belongs to the non-career service (Sec. 6, P.D. No. 807) which is inherently short-lived, temporary and transient; on the other hand, retirement presupposes employment for a long period. The most that a non-career personnel can expect upon the expiration of his employment is financial assistance. Petitioner is not even qualified to retire under the GSIS law. 3. Assuming arguendo that petitioner's appointment is permanent, security of tenure is available only for the term of office (i.e., duration of project). 4. The objective of Republic Act No. 6683 is not really to grant separation or retirement benefits but reorganization 5 to streamline government functions. The application of the law must be made consistent with the purpose for which it was enacted. Thus, as the expressed purpose of the law is to reorganize the government, it will not have any application to special projects such as the WMECP which exists only for a short and definite period. This being the nature of special projects, there is no necessity for offering its personnel early retirement benefits just to induce voluntary separation as a step to reorganization. In fact, there is even no need of reorganizing the WMECP considering its short and limited life-span. 6 5. The law applies only to employees of the national government, government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters and local government units. Due to the impossibility of reconciling the conflicting interpretations of the parties, the Court is called upon to define the different classes of employees in the public sector (i.e. government civil servants). Who are regular employees? The Labor Code in Art. 280 (P.D. No. 492, as amended) deems an employment regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer. No equivalent definition can be found in P.D.No. 807 (promulgated on 6 October 1975, which superseded the Civil Service Act of 1965 R.A. No. 2260) or in the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292 promulgated on 25 July 1987). The Early Retirement Law itself (Rep. Act No. 6683) merely includes such class of employees (regular employees) in its coverage, unmindful that no such specie is employed in the public sector.

The appointment status of government employees in the career service is classified as follows: 1. permanent one issued to a person who has met the requirements of the position to which appointment is made, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Act and the Rules and Standards promulgated in pursuance thereof; 7 2. temporary In the absence of appropriate eligibles and it becomes necessary in the public interest to fill a vacancy, a temporary appointment should be issued to a person who meets all the requirements for the position to which he is being appointed except the appropriate civil service eligibility: Provided, That such temporary appointment shall not exceed twelve months, but the appointee may be replaced sooner if a qualified civil service eligible becomes available. 8 The Administrative Code of 1987 characterizes the Career Service as:
(1) Open Career positions for appointment to which prior qualification in an appropriate examination is required; (2) Closed Career positions which are scientific, or highly technical in nature; these include the faculty and academic staff of state colleges and universities, and scientific and technical positions in scientific or research institutions which shall establish and maintain their own merit systems; (3) Positions in the Career Executive Service; namely, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Assistant Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career Executive Service Board, all of whom are appointed by the President. (4) Career officers, other than those in the Career Executive Service, who are appointed by the President, such as the Foreign Service Officers in the Department of Foreign Affairs; (5) Commission officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces which shall maintain a separate merit system; (6) Personnel of government-owned or controlled corporations, whether performing governmental or proprietary functions, who do not fall under the non-career service; and (7) Permanent laborers, whether skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled.
9

The Non-Career Service, on the other hand, is characterized by:


. . . (1) entrance on bases other than those of the usual tests of merit and fitness utilized for the career service; and (2) tenure which is limited to a period specified by law, or which is coterminous with that of the appointing authority or subject to his pleasure, or which is limited to the duration of a particular project for which purpose employment was made.

Included in the non-career service are:


1. elective officials and their personal or confidential staff; 2. secretaries and other officials of Cabinet rank who hold their positions at the pleasure of the President and their personal confidential staff(s); 3. Chairman and Members of Commissions and boards with fixed terms of office and their personal or confidential staff; 4. contractual personnel or those whose employment in the government is in accordance with a special contract to undertake a specific work or job requiring special or technical skills not available in the employing agency, to be accomplished within a specific period, which in no case shall exceed one year and performs or accomplishes the specific work or job, under his own responsibility with a minimum of direction and supervision from the hiring agency. 5. emergency and seasonal personnel.
10

There is another type of non-career employee:


Casual where and when employment is not permanent but occasional, unpredictable, sporadic and brief in nature (Caro v. Rilloroza, 102 Phil. 70; Manuel v. P.P. Gocheco Lumber Co., 96 Phil. 945)

Consider petitioner's record of service:


Service with the government commenced on 2 December 1974 designated as a laborer holding emergency status with the NIA Upper Pampanga River Project, R & R 11 Division. From 24 March 1975 to 31 August 1975, she was a research aide with temporary status on the same project. On 1 September 1975 to 31 December 1976, she was with the NIA-FES III; R & R Division, then on 1 January 1977 to 31 May 1980, she was with NIA UPR IIS (Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems) DRD. On 1 June 1980, she went to NIA W.M.E.C.P. (Watershed Management & Erosion Control Project) retaining the status of temporary employee. While with this project, her designation was changed to personnel assistant on 5 November 1981; starting 9 July 1982, the status became permanent until the completion of the project on 31 December 12 1988. The appointment paper attached to the OSG's comment lists her status as coterminus with the Project.

The employment status of personnel hired under foreign assisted projects is considered co-terminous, that is, they are considered employees for the duration of the project or until the completion or cessation of said project (CSC Memorandum Circular No. 39, S. 1990, 27 June 1990). Republic Act No. 6683 seeks to cover and benefits regular, temporary, casual and emergency employees who have rendered at least a total of two (2) consecutive years government service. Resolution No. 87-104 of the CSC, 21 April 1987, provides:

WHEREAS, pursuant to Executive Order No. 966 dated June 22, 1984, the Civil Service Commission is charged with the function of determining creditable services for retiring officers and employees of the national government; WHEREAS, Section 4 (b) of the same Executive Order No. 966 provides that all previous services by an officer/employee pursuant to a duly approved appointment to a position in the Civil Service are considered creditable services, while Section 6 (a) thereof states that services rendered on contractual, emergency or casual status are non-creditable services; WHEREAS, there is a need to clarify the aforesaid provisions inasmuch as some contractual, emergency or casual employment are covered by contracts or appointments duly approved by the Commission. NOW, therefore, the Commission resolved that services rendered on contractual, emergency or casual status, irrespective of the mode or manner of payment therefor shall be considered as creditable for retirement purposes subject to the following conditions: (emphasis provided) 1. These services are supported by approved appointments, official records and/or other competent evidence. Parties/agencies concerned shall submit the necessary proof of said services; 2. Said services are on full time basis and rendered prior to June 22, 1984, the effectivity date of Executive Order No. 966; and 3. The services for the three (3) years period prior to retirement are continuous and fulfill the service requirement for retirement.

What substantial differences exist, if any, between casual, emergency, seasonal, project, co-terminous or contractual personnel? All are tenurial employees with no fixed term, non-career, and temporary. The 12 May 1989 CSC letter of denial 13 characterized herein petitioner's employment as co-terminous with the NIA project which in turn was contractual in nature. The OSG says petitioner's status is co-terminous with the Project. CSC Memorandum Circular No. 11, series of 1991 (5 April 1991) characterizes the status of a co-terminous employee
(3) Co-terminous status shall be issued to a person whose entrance in the service is characterized by confidentiality by the appointing authority or that which is subject to his pleasure or co-existent with his tenure. The foregoing status (co-terminous) may be further classified into the following: a) co-terminous with the project When the appointment is co-existent with the duration of a particular project for which purpose employment was made or subject to the availability of funds for the same; b) co-terminous with the appointing authority when appointment is coexistent with the tenure of the appointing authority. c) co-terminous with the incumbent when appointment is co-existent with the appointee, in that after the resignation, separation or termination

of the services of the incumbent the position shall be deemed automatically abolished; and d) co-terminous with a specific period, e.g. "co-terminous for a period of 3 years" the appointment is for a specific period and upon expiration thereof, the position is deemed abolished. It is stressed, however, that in the last two classifications (c) and (d), what is termed coterminous is the position, and not the appointee-employee. Further, in (c) the security of tenure of the appointee is guaranteed during his incumbency; in (d) the security of tenure is limited to a specific period.

A co-terminous employee is a non-career civil servant, like casual and emergency employees. We see no solid reason why the latter are extended benefits under the Early Retirement Law but the former are not. It will be noted that Rep. Act No. 6683 expressly extends its benefits for early retirement to regular, temporary, casual and emergency employees. But specifically excluded from the benefits are uniformed personnel of the AFP including those of the PC-INP. It can be argued that, expressio unius est exclusio alterius. The legislature would not have made a specific enumeration in a statute had not the intention been to restrict its meaning and confine its terms and benefits to those expressly mentioned 14 or casus omissus pro omisso habendus est A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally. 15 Yet adherence to these legal maxims can result in incongruities and in a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The case of Fegurin, et al. v. NLRC, et al., 16 comes to mind where, workers belonging to a work pool, hired and re-hired continuously from one project to another were considered non-project-regular and permanent employees. Petitioner Lydia Chua was hired and re-hired in four (4) successive projects during a span of fifteen (15) years. Although no proof of the existence of a work pool can be assumed, her service record cannot be disregarded. Art. III, Sec. 1 of the 1987 Constitution guarantees: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws."
. . . In Felwa vs. Salas, L-26511, Oct. 29, 1966, We ruled that the equal protection clause applies only to persons or things identically situated and does not bar a reasonable classification of the subject of legislation, and a classification is reasonable where (1) it is based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (2) these are germane to the purpose of the law; (3) the classification applies not only to present conditions but also to future conditions which are substantially identical to those of the present; (4) the 17 classification applies only to those who belong to the same class.

Applying the criteria set forth above, the Early Retirement Law would violate the equal protection clause were we to sustain respondents' submission that the benefits of said law are to be denied a class of government employees who are similarly situated as those covered by said law. The maxim of Expressio unius est exclusio alterius should

not be the applicable maxim in this case but the doctrine of necessary implication which holds that:
No statute can be enacted that can provide all the details involved in its application. There is always an omission that may not meet a particular situation. What is thought, at the time of enactment, to be an all-embracing legislation may be inadequate to provide for the unfolding events of the future. So-called gaps in the law develop as the law is enforced. One of the rules of statutory construction used to fill in the gap is the doctrine of necessary implication. The doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as much a part thereof as that which is expressed. Every statute is understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms. Ex necessitate legis. And every statutory grant of power, right or privilege is deemed to include all incidental power, right or privilege. This is so because the greater 18 includes the lesser, expressed in the Maxim, in eo plus sit, simper inest et minus.

During the sponsorship speech of Congressman Dragon (re: Early Retirement Law), in response to Congressman Dimaporo's interpellation on coverage of state university employees who are extended appointments for one (1) year, renewable for two (2) or three (3) years, 19 he explained:
This Bill covers only those who would like to go on early retirement and voluntary separation. It is irrespective of the actual status or nature of the appointment one received, but if he opts to retire under this, then he is covered.

It will be noted that, presently Pending in Congress, is House Bill No. 33399 (a proposal to extend the scope of the Early Retirement Law). Its wording supports the submission that Rep. Act No. 6683 indeed overlooked a qualified group of civil servants. Sec. 3 of said House bill, on coverage of early retirement, would provide:
Sec. 3. Coverage. It will cover all employees of the national government, including government-owned or controlled corporations, as well as the personnel of all local government units. The benefits authorized under this Act shall apply to all regular, temporary, casual, emergency and contractual employees, regardless of age, who have rendered at least a total of two (2) consecutive years government service as of the date of separation. The term "contractual employees" as used in this Act does not include experts and consultants hired by agencies for a limited period to perform specific activities or services with definite expected output. Uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including those of the PCINP are excluded from the coverage of this Act. (emphasis supplied)

The objective of the Early Retirement or Voluntary Separation Law is to trim the bureaucracy, hence, vacated positions are deemed abolished upon early/voluntary retirement of their occupants. Will the inclusion of co-terminous personnel (like the petitioner) defeat such objective? In their case, upon termination of the project and separation of the project personnel from the service, the term of employment is considered expired, the office functus officio. Casual, temporary and contractual personnel serve for shorter periods, and yet, they only have to establish two (2) years of continuous service to qualify. This, incidentally, negates the OSG's argument that co-

terminous or project employment is inherently short-lived, temporary and transient, whereas, retirement presupposes employment for a long period. Here, violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution becomes glaring because casuals are not even in the plantilla, and yet, they are entitled to the benefits of early retirement. How can the objective of the Early Retirement Law of trimming the bureaucracy be achieved by granting early retirement benefits to a group of employees (casual) without plantilla positions? There would, in such a case, be no abolition of permanent positions or streamlining of functions; it would merely be a removal of excess personnel; but the positions remain, and future appointments can be made thereto. Co-terminous or project personnel, on the other hand, who have rendered years of continuous service should be included in the coverage of the Early Retirement Law, as long as they file their application prior to the expiration of their term, and as long as they comply with CSC regulations promulgated for such purpose. In this connection, Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 1990 (5 March 1990) implementing Rep. Act No. 6850, 20 requires, as a condition to qualify for the grant of eligibility, an aggregate or total of seven (7) years of government service which need not be continuous, in the career or non-career service, whether appointive, elective, casual, emergency, seasonal, contractual or co-terminous including military and police service, as evaluated and confirmed by the Civil Service Commission. 21 A similar regulation should be promulgated for the inclusion in Rep. Act No. 6683 of co-terminous personnel who survive the test of time. This would be in keeping with the coverage of "all social legislations enacted to promote the physical and mental well-being of public servants" 22 After all, co-terminous personnel, are also obligated to the government for GSIS contributions, medicare and income tax payments, with the general disadvantage of transience. In fine, the Court believes, and so holds, that the denial by the respondents NIA and CSC of petitioner's application for early retirement benefits under Rep. Act No. 6683 is unreasonable, unjustified, and oppressive, as petitioner had filed an application for voluntary retirement within a reasonable period and she is entitled to the benefits of said law. While the application was filed after expiration of her term, we can give allowance for the fact that she originally filed the application on her own without the assistance of counsel. In the interest of substantial justice, her application must be granted; after all she served the government not only for two (2) years the minimum requirement under the law but for almost fifteen (15) years in four (4) successive governmental projects. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Let this case be remanded to the CSC-NIA for a favorable disposition of petitioner's application for early retirement benefits under Rep. Act No. 6683, in accordance with the pronouncements in this decision. SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Bidin, Grio-Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero and Nocon, JJ., concur.