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Statutory Construction

Justin Sucgang

STATUTES
Introduction Law- a rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory by legitimate power of the state. Statute- an act of the legislature, as an organized body, expressed in the form, and passed according to the procedure required to constitute it as part of the law of the land.1 Classification: According to scope: 1. Public- affects the public at large or the whole community a. General- applies to the whole state and operates upon all people or all class; does not omit any subject or place b. Special- relates to a particular persons or things or class or to a particular community c. Local- confined to a specific place or community 2. Private- applies to a specific person or subject According to duration: 1. Permanent- operation is not limited in duration but continues until repealed 2. Temporary- duration is for a limited period; ceases upon the happening of an event for which it was passed Other classifications: According to application: 1. Prospective 2. Retroactive According to operation: 1. Declaratory
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2. Curative 3. Mandatory 4. Directory 5. Substantive 6. Remedial 7. Penal According to form: 1. Affirmative 2. Negative Manner of referring:2 1. Public Act- passed by Philippine Commission and Philippine Legislature (1901-1935) 2. Commonwealth Act- passed during the Commonwealth (1936-1946) 3. Republic Act- passed by Congress of the Philippines (1946-1972;1987-present) 4. Batas Pambansa- passed by Batasang Pambansa Enacting statutes Legislative power- authority to make laws, and to alter and repeal them *This is held by the people, in their original, sovereign and unlimited power. But they have vested it in the Congress of the Philippines.3 Procedures in passing a law: *Apart from the provisions in the Constitution (Sec. 26 Par. 2, Art. VI)4, each house has its own
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Statutes are serially numbered and has a name

Section 1 (Const). The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.
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Presidential Decrees during martial law (Marcos) and Executive Orders during the revolutionary government (Aquino) are also considered statutes since they were passed by the president in the exercise of his legislative powers.

x x x (2) No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto

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detailed procedures embodied in their Rules (Sec. 16 Par. 3, Art. VI)5. 1. A bill is introduced by any member of the Congress, signed by the authors and filed with the Secretary of the house. May introduce in either house except appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of public debts, bills of local applications, and private bills (Sec. 24 Art. VI).6 2. First reading- Secretary reports the bill for first reading: - Reading the title and number of bill - Referral to appropriate committee for study and recommendation - Committee may hold public hearings and submit its report and recommendation for Calendar for second reading 3. Second reading- bill shall be read in full with the proposed amendments by the committee - Subject to debates, pertinent motions and amendments - After these, bill shall be voted upon 4. Third reading- final vote by yeas and nay7 *After a house has approved their own version, it will be transmitted to the other house, which will follow the same procedures. If without amendments, the bill is passed by Congress and is submitted to the President. If there are
shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal. x x x
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amendments, there will be a Conference Committee 5. Conference Committee- this is where the differences will be settled. The amendments introduced in this level will have to be approved by both Houses for passage.8 6. Approval and authentication - signing of the Senate President and the House Speaker and their respective secretaries (Enrolled Bill) 7. Submission to the President:9 A bill is passed in three ways: 1. When the president signs it 2. When the president does not sign nor communicate his veto of the bill within 30 days after his receipt 3. When the vetoed bill is repassed by Congress by two-thirds vote of all its members, voting separately. Enrolled bill- the bill as passed by Congress, authenticated by the House Speaker and Senate President and approved by the President Rule: The text of the act as passed and approved is deemed importing absolute verity and is binding on the courts. If there has been any mistake in the printing
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There are instances where the version of the conference committee is entirely different from those of the two Houses- for it may deal generally with the subject matter or precisely to the differences, or even introduce a new provision. However, this is still valid for the powers of said committee are broad. That is why some political scientists call this the Third House (Philippine Judges Association v. Prado).
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x x x (3) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, x x

x
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All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills, shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.
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If there is a presidential certification, the requirement of three readings on separate days, and printed copies in final form may be dispensed with (Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance).

Section 27. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same he shall sign it; otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the Members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof, otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it.

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of the bill before it was certified, the remedy is by amendment by enacting a curative legislation and not a judicial decree.10 Presumption: It carries on its face a solemn assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government that it was passed by the assembly. Hence, the respect due to coequal and independent departments requires the judiciary to act upon that assurance and to accept all bills duly authenticated.11 Journal Entry- a requirement by the Constitution to each house of the Congress (Sec. 16 Par.4 Art. VI)12 - conclusive with respect to matters that are required by the Constitution to be recorded therein - based from considerations of public policy *Enrolled bill v. Journal Entry -In case of conflict, the enrolled bill should prevail, particularly with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered into the legislative record.13 Exception: When the Speaker and Senate President withdraw their respective signatures from the signed bill where there is serious and substantial discrepancy between the text of the bill as deliberated and shown by the journal and that of the enrolled bill.14

Parts of a statute 1. Title - Bill must embrace only one subject expressed in its title15 - But must not be an index to, or be an exhaustive catalogue of the body of the act as to cover every single detail - It is enough that the title indicates the general subject, and reasonably covers all provisions of the act and not calculated to mislead the public Reasons: - Prevent hodgepodge or log-rolling legislation - Prevent fraud and surprise through introduction of provisions not germane to the statute (which have not received notice, action and study of the legislators) - Language that must be sufficient to notify the legislators and the public - Title serves as guide to ascertain legislative intent How construed: - Should be liberally construed - Not be given technical interpretation nor narrowly construed to cripple or impede the power of the legislature - If there is doubt, it should be resolved in favour of the one title-one subject (presumption of constitutionality) 2. Preamble - Prefatory statement or explanation (finding of facts, reciting the purpose, reason, or occasion for making the law). Hence, important role in construction - Usually found after the enacting clause and before the body in presidential decrees and executive orders

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Casco Phil. Chemical Co., Inc. v. Gimenez Morales v. Subido

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x x x(4) Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in its judgment, affect national security; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, be entered in the Journal. Each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings. x x x
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Morales v. Subido Astorga v. Villegas


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Art. VI Sec. 26 (1). Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. x x x

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Legislature seldom puts this because the reason for the law is contained in its explanatory note

Usually 15 days from the publication in the Official Gazette16 or in a newspaper of general circulation17 Kinds of statutes

3. Enacting Clause - Part written immediately after the title - States the authority by which the act is enacted - Contains the phrases, Be it enacted by... or Now, therefore, I... by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution, do hereby decree... 4. Purview/Body of the Statute - What the law is all about - Should embrace one subject matter - The provisions, although different and diverse, must be allied and germane to the subject and purpose of the bill - Usually divided into sections (numbered and contains a single proposition) - Usually includes a short title, policy, definition, administrative sections, sections prescribing standards of conduct, imposing sanctions for violations of its provisions, transitory provisions 5. Separability Clause - States that if any provision is declared invalid, the remainder shall not be affected Presumption: Legislature intended a statute to be effective as a whole and would not have passed it had it foreseen that some part of it is invalid. Exception: Where provisions cannot stand alone as to those left, after the void part, is not complete and workable 6. Repealing Clause 7. Effectivity Clause - When the law takes effect
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1. Legislative acts 2. Presidential issuances- those which the president issued in the exercise of his ordinance power (Chapter 2, Book III, AC) a. Sec. 2. Executive Orders. - Acts of the President providing for rules of a general or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers shall be promulgated in executive orders. b. Sec. 3. Administrative Orders. Acts of the President which relate to particular aspect of governmental operations in pursuance of his duties as administrative head shall be promulgated in administrative orders. c. Sec. 4. Proclamations. - Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations which shall have the force of an executive order. d. Sec. 5. Memorandum Orders. Acts of the President on matters of administrative detail or of subordinate or temporary interest which only concern a
Art. 2 (CC). Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication.
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Art. 18 (AC) Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, unless it is otherwise provided

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particular officer or office of the Government shall be embodied in memorandum orders. e. Sec. 6. Memorandum Circulars. Acts of the President on matters relating to internal administration, which the President desires to bring to the attention of all or some of the departments, agencies, bureaus or offices of the Government, for information or compliance, shall be embodied in memorandum circulars. f. Sec. 7. General or Special Orders.- Acts and commands of the President in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be issued as general or special orders. 3. Administrative rules and regulationsissued by administrative or executive offices in accordance with, and as authorized by, law have the force and effect of law or partake the nature of the statute Requirement for validity: 1. Provisions should be germane to the objects and purpose of the law. 2. Not in contradiction with, but conform to, the standards that the law prescribes 3. They be for the sole purpose of carrying into effect the general provisions of the law *The rule-making power of a public administrative agency is a delegated legislative power. It may not use its power to bridge the authority to enlarge its power beyond the scope intended. *The law passed by the legislature should be: (1) complete in itself, and (2) should fix a standard, in order for an administrative agency to fill in the details
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in the execution, enforcement and administration of said law. Administrative rule- promulgating a new law with force and effect of a valid law. Administrative interpretationsrendering an opinion or giving a statement of policy

*The rules are binding upon the Courts, but the interpretation is not. 4. Supreme Court rule-making powerthe Constitution granted the Supreme Court to promulgate its own rules (Sec. 5 Par. 5, Art. VIII)18 *Usually procedural only for only the legislative department may create substantive laws. 5. Local government units- power to enact ordinances19 Requirements of validity:20 1. Not contravene the Constitution or any statute 2. Not be unfair or oppressive 3. Not be partial or discriminatory 4. Not prohibit but may regulate trade 5. General and consistent with public policy 6. Not unreasonable Barangay/Municipal/City/Provincial ordinances

x x x (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.
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Local Government Code of 1991 Lagcao v. Labra

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Passed by majority vote of council members Submitted to the mayor (for municipal/city), if unacted for 10 days, considered passed; governor (for province), if unacted for 15 days, considered passed Vetoed ordinance may be passed by a vote of 2/3 of council members Subject to review by sangguniang bayan o panglunsod/sangguniang panlalawigan If no action in 30 days, ordinance will be presumed consistent with laws Validity of statutes

2. Determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. Requisites: 1. Actual case and controversy 2. Locus standi 3. Raised at the earliest possible time 4. Lis mota of the case Actual case and controversy - There must be a justiciable controversy (can be decided on grounds recognized by the law) Exceptions: Political questions- issues dependent upon wisdom not the legality of the law Locus standi - Legal standing to sue - The person has substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury 1. Citizen standing- suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government (Tanada v. Tuvera) 2. Taxpayers standing- public funds have been disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or Constitution (ITF v. COMELEC) Basis: Expenditure of public funds by an officer of the state for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds 3. Legislators standing- when their powers are impaired; questioning the validity of a presidential veto (Ople v. Torres) 4. Transcendental significance- the Court has adopted a liberal attitude (brushing aside technicalities of procedure) on standing where the petitioner has shown that an issue

Presumption of validity Basis: Before the legislature passes a bill, it has decided the measure to be constitutional. And when the President approves the bill, he has been convinced of its validity. Effect: To justify the nullification of the law, there must be clear and equivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and argumentative implication. *The final authority to declare unconstitutionality is the Supreme Court sitting en banc (Sec. 4 Par. 2, Art. VIII).21 Judicial Power22 1. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable
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x x x(2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law, which shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, and all other cases which under the Rules of Court are required to be heard en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, shall be decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.
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Sec. 1, Art. VIII (Const)

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has paramount importance to the public (Chavez v. PEA and AMARI) Raised at the earliest possible time - Question must be raised in the pleading, complaint, information or petition by the plaintiff or petitioner or in the answer by defendant or respondent. Exception: 1. Can be raised in a motion for reconsideration if the statute sought to be invalidated was not in existence when the complaint was filed.23 2. At any stage of the proceedings in a criminal case24 3. Where the determination of the question is necessary to the decision for civil cases25 4. Where it involves jurisdiction of the court below26 Lis mota of the case - The Court may not pass upon the validity of a statute if it can decide the case on some other grounds - If the only issue is the a constitutional question which is unavoidable, the Court should confront the question and decide the case on the merits Test of constitutionality 1. Must not contravene the Constitution or any statute 2. Must be general and consistent with public policy 3. Must not be unfair or oppressive 4. Must not be partial or discriminatory 5. Must not be unreasonable 6. Must not prohibit but may regulate trade Grounds for nullification
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1. Not within the legislative power to enact 2. When it allows something to be done which the fundamental law condemns or prohibits 3. Vagueness- lacking comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its application Basis: - Violates due process for failure to accord the people fair notice of what conduct to avoid. - Leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the government muscle Effects of unconstitutionality General rule: An unconstitutional act is not a law, confers no right, imposes no duties, affords no protection, creates no office; in legal contemplation, inoperative as though it had never been passed. *This is also known as the orthodox view. Not only the parties but all persons are bound by declaration of nullity; no one may invoke it nor may the courts be permitted to apply it subsequently *The orthodox view is expressed in Art. 7 (CC).27 However, it is not always the case that a law is constitutionally faulty per se (i.e., may be valid in its general import but invalid in its application to certain situations). A judicial declaration of nullity may not necessarily obliterate all the effects and consequences of a void act occurring prior to such declaration. A situation that is fait accompli may no longer be open for inquiry, let alone to be unsettled by a subsequent declaration of nullity of a statute. Modern view

Alonso v. PNB San Miguel Brewery v. Magno Id Id

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Art. 7 (CC). When the court declares a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern xxx

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The court does not annul or repeal statute if it violates Constitution; it simply refuses to recognize it and determines the rights of the parties just as if it had no existence The decision affects the parties only No judgment against the statute: opinion of the court may act as a precedent, but it does not strike out, repeal, supersede, revoke, or annul it

Exception: Invalidity Due to Change of Conditions Inapplicable to a statute that is declared invalid because of the change of circumstances affecting its validity (emergency laws). The declaration of their nullity should be applied prospectively, and affect only the parties involved in the case. Partial Invalidity General rule: Where the part of the statute is void as repugnant to the Constitution, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the invalid, may stand and be enforced (separability clause). Reason: Legislature intended a statute to be effective as a whole and would not have passed it had it foreseen that some part of it is invalid Exception: When the parts of the statute are so mutually dependent and connected, as conditions, considerations, inducements, or compensations for each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended them as a whole, the nullity of one part will vitiate the rest. Effectivity of statutes General rule: Statutes continue to be in force until changed or repealed by the legislature. *Not changed by change of sovereignty, conquest or colonization.

1. For statutes proper, usually 15 days from the publication in the Official Gazette28 or in a newspaper of general circulation,29 unless provided otherwise. But the ruling may seem in contradiction with the PVB Employees Union v. Vega, the phrase unless otherwise provided provided an exception as to the date of effectivity of a statute. 2. For issuances, rules and regulations, there should be a publication30 and filing in the the UP Law Center.31 3. For ordinances, Sec. 59 of the Local Government Code shall apply.32
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Art. 2 (CC). Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. 29 Sec. 18 (AC) Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, unless it is otherwise provided
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Id

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Sec. 3, Book VII (AC). Filing. - (1) Every agency shall file with the University of the Philippines Law Center three (3) certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Rules in force on the date of effectivity of this Code which are not filed within three (3) months from that date shall not thereafter be the basis of any sanction against any party or persons.
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Effectivity of Ordinances or Resolutions. (a) Unless otherwise stated in the ordinance or the resolution approving the local development plan and public investment program, the same shall take effect after ten (10) days from the date a copy thereof is posted in a bulletin board at the entrance of the provincial capitol or city, municipal, or barangay hall, as the case may be, and in at least two (2) other conspicuous places in the local government unit concerned. (b) The secretary to the sanggunian concerned shall cause the posting of an ordinance or resolution in the bulletin board at the entrance of the provincial capitol and the city, municipal, or barangay hall in at least two (2) conspicuous places in the local government unit concerned not later than five (5) days after approval thereof. The text of the ordinance or resolution shall be disseminated and posted in Filipino or English and in the language or dialect understood by the majority of the people in the local government unit concerned, and the secretary to the sanggunian shall record such fact in a book kept for the purpose, stating the dates of approval and posting. (c) The gist of all ordinances with penal sanctions shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the province where the local legislative body concerned belongs. In the absence of any newspaper of general circulation within the province, posting of such ordinances shall be made in all municipalities and cities of the province where the sanggunian of origin is situated. (d) In the case of highly urbanized cities, the main features of the ordinance or resolution duly enacted or adopted shall, in addition to being posted, be published once in a local newspaper of general

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Manner of computing time: When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise. If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have. In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included.33 Exception: Computation of the prescription of a crime. If the last fell on a Sunday or a legal holiday, a charge cannot be filed on the next working day since it shall be considered prescribed.

circulation within the city: Provided, That in the absence thereof the ordinance or resolution shall be published in any newspaper of general circulation.
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Art. 13 (CC)

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CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION


-Art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law, where that intention is rendered doubtful by reasons of ambiguity in its language or the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. Basis: Because of infirmities of language and the limited scope in legislative drafting. Interpretation- Art of finding the true meaning and sense of any form of words Construction- Drawing warranted conclusions not always included in direct expressions, or determining the application of words to facts in litigation.34 Purpose: Ascertaining the true intent of the legislature. Assumption: The legislature enacts a law with the end in view that it will, in cases of doubt, be construed in accordance with the settled principles of interpretation. *Rules of statutory construction are used to ascertain legislative intent. But they are not rules of law but mere axioms of experience, hence, not binding nor controlling on the courts. Legislative intent- is the essence of the law. It is the spirit which gives life to legislative enactment Legislative purpose- reason why a particular statute was enacted Legislative meaning- what the law, by its language means *The primary source of legislative intent should be the statute itself. Power to construe - The duty and power to interpret or construe a statute or the Constitution belongs to the judiciary (Sec. 4 Par. 2, Art. VIII).

It is the Court which has the final say as to what the law means. Limitations: The Court can only construe an applicable law in controversies which are ripe for judicial resolution. Neither moot nor academic (purpose has become stale or where no practical relief can be granted or which can have no practical effect). Exception: If the issue is capable of repetition yet evading review especially where public interest requires its resolutions.35

*The legislature has no power to overrule the interpretation made by the Court.36 Meaning: The legislature cannot, by law or resolution, modify or annul the judicial construction without modifying or repealing the very statute which has been subject of construction. Exceptions: 1. When the Supreme Court reverses itself 2. By amending the Constitution 3. By enacting a new statute

Endencia v. David After a judicial declaration interpreting a constitutional provision that taxing is a form of diminution of salary, Congress enacted a law to include justices and members of the judicial body in the scope of taxing power of the government. Held: Congress cannot, by law, modify an interpretation of the Constitution made by the court. Including the judicial officers to the scope of taxation is a form of interpretation of the Constitutional provision against diminution of salaries.

When to construe

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Pimentel v. Ermita

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Conclusions which are in the spirit, though not within the letter of the text.

If the legislature may declare what a law means, or what a specific portion of the Constitution means, especially after the courts have in actual case ascertained its meaning by interpretation and applied it in a decision, this would surely cause confusion. (Endencia v. David)

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Condition sine qua non: Before the court may use its power to construe, there must be ambiguity in the language of the statute. For where there is no ambiguity, there is no room for construction, only for application. Ambiguity- condition of admitting two or more meanings, of being understood in more than one way, or of referring to two or more things at the same time. *susceptibility to more than one interpretation More application, less construction - The first and fundamental duty of the court is to apply the law. - Construction comes only after there has been a showing of ambiguity, hence, application is impossible Verba legis (Plain meaning rule) - Where the statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without interpretation. - Where the law speaks in clear and categorical language, there is no room for interpretation. There is only room for application.37 - Law cannot be changed under the guise of interpretation.38 Maxim: index animi sermo est (speech is the index of intention) Presumption: The words employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its intention or will and preclude the court from construing it differently.
Silva v. Cabrera Cabrera wanted to construct an ice plant even if there is an existing one already owned by petitioner. The case was brought to the Public Service Commission, and the agency appointed Atty. Espellera to hear the case and receive evidence. The PSC rendered a decision allowing respondent to operate.
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Held: Where the law is clear, there is only room for application. Although the law granted the PSC to appoint an attorney to take testimony of the witnesses if residing distant from Manila, the law is clear that only the commission can hear, receive evidence, and render a decision. Quijano v. DBP Petitioner, a veteran, obtained a loan from DBP. He wanted to pay the subsisting obligation through the backpay certificate. Held: The law is clear, backpay certificate may only be used to pay for the loan if the subsisting obligation was obtained prior to the passage of RA 897. A subsisting obligation may only be considered after receipt of the loan, not on the day of awarding of application (since, there was still no obligation at that time). Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Limpan Investment The BIR found that respondent had tax deficiencies for more than two years. They brought the case to the Court of Tax Appeals where it held that the interest and surcharge should start from period where the decision became final. Held: The National Internal Revenue Code clearly stated that in computing the interest and surcharge of the tax deficiency, it should start from the date of notice and demand. The CTA, therefore, made an error where it fixed a new date. People v. Mapa Mapa claimed that he was a secret agent of Governor Leviste when he was charged for illegal possession of unlicensed firearms. Held: Although it was earlier held that secret agents may be exempted from possession of firearms since they do the work of peace officers, the Revised Administrative Code clearly enumerated those who may be exempted, and secret agents were not included. Chartered Bank Employees v. Ople Employees of Chartered Bank complained that they were not paid for the 10-day holiday. Employer said that a circular made by Sec. Ople clarified that regular employees are presumed to be paid for the whole year, thereby also counting holidays. Held: The Labor Code clearly stated that holidays should be paid by the employer to regular employees, hence, the circular is invalid. Moreover, it was also found out that the computation for the salaries did not

Cebu Portland Cement v. Municipality of Naga Crisologo v. Macadaeg

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include said holidays, hence, the employer is really liable for said payment. Melendres v. COMELEC Melendres lost to Concepcion in a barangay election. He filed an election protest to an MTC. Concepcion filed a petition to the COMELEC and moved to dismiss it upon knowing that no docket fee was paid. Hence, petitioner questioned the jurisdiction of the COMELEC. Held: Payment of docket vests jurisdiction to a court (Gatchalian v. CA). Non-payment of this means no protest must be given due course. The COMELEC is right when it dismissed it since its Rules of Procedure provided that protests should be filed 10 days after the proclamation; the payment was done 25 days after said proclamation.

of the purpose it serves and the evils it seeks to prevent. Ursuas use of a fictitious name in a single instance without any sign that he intended to be known by this name does not fall within the provision of CA 142.

Supreme Court rulings part of the legal system Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines.39 Maxim: legis interpretato legis vim obtinet (the authoritative interpretation of a statute acquires the force of the law by becoming a part thereof) - As of the date of the date of enactment - Interpretation establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent stare decisis et non quieta movere - When the Supreme Court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply to all future cases where the facts are substantially the same - Assures certainty and stability in the legal system
Perfecto v. Meer Held: Endencia v. David Following the ruling in Perfecto v. Meer that a tax on SC justices and other officials of the judiciary is a diminution of their salary, contrary to the Constitution, Congress enacted a law including subjecting them to income tax and declaring that it is not a diminution of their salary. Held: Congress cannot overrule, in a legislative action, a construction of a constitutional provision made by the Court. In declaring that subjecting court officials to income tax is not a diminution of their salary, they are invading the province of the Court to interpret laws. People v. Canton

Ratio legis (Spirit of the law) Moving away from the literal interpretation Maxims: ratio legis et anima legis (the reason of the law is its soul); ratione cessat lex et cessat lex (when the reason of the law ceases, the law ceases) Presumption: The letter of the law is its body; the spirit (reason), the soul; and the construction of the former should never be so rigid and technical as to destroy the latter.
People v. Nazario Nazario, a lessee of land used as fishpond, was taxed under a municipal ordinance. He contended that said ordinance was vague. Held: The law is not vague. The word owner should be construed as to include petitioner. Since the land is owned by the government, for he is a mere lessee, it cannot be said that the tax should shouldered by the latter for being the owner. Petitioner, being the operator of the pond, manager of the workers, and the one who gets profit from it should be responsible for the tax burden. Ursua v. CA Usua was charged with a case for allegedly using an alias in claiming a complaint. Since the messenger of his legal counsel was attending some personal matters, petitioner asked for the permission to use the messengers name. Later, it was found out that he signed using that messengers name. Held: The law penalizing the use of aliases should not be construed literally. It should be interpreted in light

39

Art. 8 (CC). Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines.

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

The metal detector beeped when Susan Canton passed through it. Initially she said that it was only money, but the lady frisker called her superior. She was brought inside a rest room and was frisked. Several grams of shabu was found in her abdominal, genital, and thigh areas. Held: Although the Constitution grants the right to privacy, the Terry search conducted to her is valid. The arrest without a warrant was justified since it was only carried out upon discovery and recovery of shabu in her as ruled in People v. Johnson. DAR v. Sutton Respondent inherited a land which they devoted for cattle breeding. Initially they availed of voluntary offer to sell because of incentives, but withdrew it after the Court promulgated the doctrine exempting agricultural lands used for poultry and livestock breeding in Luz Farms v. DAR Secretary. Petitioner only granted partial exemption on the basis of an administrative order issued. Held: The ruling of the Court should be enforced. In its interpretation in Luz Farm, it clearly declared the exemption of said lands used in poultry and livestock. The administrative order providing for a 1:1 ratio is unconstitutional. Although the DAR may issue orders and regulation, these are subject to judicial review.

People v. Licera Defendant was charged with illegal possession of firearms. He contended that he is exempted from this rule saying that he was a secret agent employed by Gov. Leviste of Batangas. Held: Although the then prevailing ruling was People v. Mapa, where secret agents are not anymore considered as peace officer, therefore, not exempted from permit to carry firearms, it was non-existent when Licera was charged. The then ruling was People v. Macarandang where the Court interpreted secret agents as peace officers. Hence, the latter should apply to this case since Licera relied on it in good faith.

*Only Supreme Court sitting en banc may modify or abandon an established principle of law, not any division (Sec. 4 Par. 3, Art. VIII)40 Exception: If the Court has stated in a decision not a principle of law but a mere obiter dictum (a thing said in passing), a division may validly reject or disregard it. *The Court has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles, precepts or doctrines. The power to issue guidelines is not judicial legislation, the Court merely defines what the law is. Examples: 1. Partylist: Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC 2. Psychological incapacity: Republic v. CA and Molina 3. Anti-subversion: People v. Ferrer 4. Rights when arrested: Morales v. Enrile
Floresca v. Philex Mining Several workers of respondent died when the mine collapsed. The petitioners asked for compensation which was given. After learning that there was negligence on the part of the company, petitioners sued and asked for damages under the Civil Code.
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*The interpretation of a statute remains to be part of the legal system until the Supreme Court overrules it and the new doctrine overruling the old is applied prospectively in favour of parties who relied on it in good faith. *Judicial ruling cannot be given retroactive effect if to do so will impair vested rights and the parties relied on it in good faith. Maxim: lex prospicit, non respicit (the law looks forward, not backward)
Columbia Pictures v. CA After being granted a petition for a search warrant in an alleged place where pirated movies were produced, the CA dismissed the case when the SC promulgated a new doctrine requiring the presentation of the master copy. Held: Although court interpretations are deemed part of the law during its enactment, it could not be applied retrospectively especially when it introduces a new ruling and vested rights were accrued before (production of master copy).

(3) Cases or matters heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon, and in no case without the concurrence of at least three of such Members. When the required number is not obtained, the case shall be decided en banc: Provided, that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a decision rendered en banc or in division may be modified or reversed except by the court sitting en banc.

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

Held: There was no judicial legislation when the Supreme Court held that petitioners can still claim damages in civil courts even if the Workmens Compensation Act expressed that its Commission shall have exclusive original jurisdiction. It just merely gives life to the law.

*The court should interpret the law as a whole


Acop v. Guingona Two police officers testified that the Kuratong Baleleng controversy was in fact a rub-out not a shoot-out. Sens. Drilon and Roco placed them under the witness protection program. Held: Although in Sec. 3 clearly said that only the relatives of police officers and not themselves are qualified for said protection, Sec. 4 provided that the Senate and the House may also give this protection to any person. The statute must be interpreted as a whole, giving life to all its parts, hence, Sec. 4 should be seen as an exception to the provision in Sec. 3.

Limitations on power to construe 1. Courts may not, under the guise of interpretation, enlarge the scope of a statute and include therein situations not provided nor intended by lawmakers.41 2. Neither should courts construe statutes which are perfectly vague for it is repugnant to the Constitution (see test of Constitutionality) 3. Courts do not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation. For any shortcoming of a statute is for the legislative alone to correct by appropriate enactment.42

41

Courts are not authorized to insert into the law what they think should be in it or to supply what they think the legislature would have supplied if its attention had been called to the omission. (People v. Garcia)
42

Lacson v. Roque

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

AIDS TO CONSTUCTION
*Where the meaning of the statute is ambiguous, the courts may avail of itself all legitimate aids to construction to ascertain the true intent of the legislature. Intrinsic- found in the printed page of the statute Extrinsic- extraneous facts and circumstances outside the printed page Intrinsic Aids 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Title Title Preamble Context of the whole text Punctuation marks Capitalization of letters Headnotes or epigraphs Language/ lingual text

Part written immediately after the titleWhereas clauses Although not an essential part of the statute, it is important if there is ambiguity in the meaning since it states the purpose, reason or justification for the enactment of the law Key of the statute- holds the purpose to be achieved, mischief to be remedied, and object to be accomplished (legislative intent) Found only in presidential decrees issued by the president in the exercise of his legislative power since Congress usually include an explanatory note

It may indicate the legislative intent to extend or restrict the scope of the law - Carries more weight because of the constitutional requirement of one bill-one subject expressed in the title43 - An indispensable part of a statute for what may inadequately be omitted in the text may be supplied by its title (City of Baguio v. Marcos). Exception: When the text of the statute is clear and free from doubt

People v. Purisima PD 9 was promulgated making the carrying of bladed weapons criminal. Several individuals in different provinces were caught and charged for this. Held: The Court, in using the whereas clauses, said that in order for this to be a crime, it should be in furtherance to rebellion, sedition and coup detat. Clearly, the acts should be within the intent of PD 1081 and GO 6 and 7.

Context of the whole text - Best source to ascertain legislative intent is the statute itself- words, phrases, sentences, sections, clauses, provisions - Taken as a whole and in relation to another; not from an isolated part or particular provision
PRC v. De Guzman Medicine students from Fatima University got unusually high scores in their board exam. This prompted the PRC to conduct an investigation. Afterwards, they did not allow said examinees to take their oath. Held: The law should be interpreted as a whole. Although it ordered the PRC to allow students, upon completion of all requirements to take oath in Sec. 22, the succeeding provision qualified this by saying that it should be done upon satisfactorily completing everything. With the use of a dictionary, the Court said that they should be capable of dispelling doubt or ignorance. Basbacio v. Office of the Secretary of Justice

Ebarle v. Sucaldito Gov. Ebarle sought to dismiss several criminal charges of graft and corruption due to non-compliance to EO 264 outlining the procedures for complaints against government officials with commission of irregularities. Held: The title of the statute clearly talks about commission of irregularities, meaning to say, administrative complaints. Hence, this is not applicable to criminal procedures. While both may be considered crimes, the EO is rather specific about this.

Preamble
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Art. VI Sec. 26(1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof. x x x

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

Petitioner was accused, together with his son-in-law, of murder and two counts of frustrated murder of a family whom they have land disputes. However, he was acquitted by the CA for insufficiency of evidence proving conspiracy. Hence, he petitioned for payment of compensation for being unjustly accused to the Secretary of Justice but was denied Held: The term unjustly should be construed in terms of the manner of conviction and not on his acquittal. There should be malice in the accusation which results to unjust imprisonment and conviction. Agreeing on the contention of the accused renders the provision with this qualifying word ineffective. Garcia v. SSS Garcia, the remaining member of the Board of Directors of Impact Corporation, was charged for nonremittance of SSS dues. Held: As the remaining director, she is liable for payment, not only of penalties, but also of the amount unremitted. Although there is a provision, when accepted literally will mean that liability pertains only to penalties, the law should be interpreted as a whole. The 3% penalty, under Sec.22(a) automatically 44 attaches itself to the amount unremitted. NAPOLCOM v. De Guzman With the passage of a new law, several Philippine Constabulary members received from petitioner a notice of retirement for reaching the age of 56. They contended that this age of retirement cannot be applied to them since the PC is part of the Integrated National Police whose mandatory age of retirement has been set to 60. Held: Although the INP traced its roots to the PC, the 60-year old mandatory age of retirement is only applicable to the local police component of the INP and not to the PC. When the whole law is examined, the INP and PC are not the same entity. Several provisions of the law distinguished PC from INP, hence, taken into its context, there is no need for the assailed provision to have a categorical restriction since other provisions have differentiated the two. The PC before the enactment of said law were already retirable at 56, while the local police at 60; and these were governed by different laws.

The semi-colon (;) indicates separation in the relation of the thought. But what follows it should be related to the one preceding it. Although both used for the same purpose, the semi-colon is more pronounced and is greater in degree than that of a comma (,). Neither is used to introduce a new idea. - A period (.) is a mark used to indicate the end of the sentence. - Aids of low degree and can never control against the intelligible meaning of the written words - Argument based upon these alone is not persuasive Reason: Punctuation marks are neither a part of the statute nor the English language. When used: If it gives the statute a meaning which is reasonable and in accord with the will of the legislature Capitalization of letters - Aids of low degree; almost have the same reasons as that of punctuation marks Headnotes of epigraphs - Index to the contents of the provisions in a section - Prefix to a section or chapters of a statute for ready reference - Not entitled to much weight Reason: Not part of the statute, they are mere catchwords of references Exception: When the text of a statute is clear Language - The original language when a statute is officially promulgated will prevail - Revised Penal Code is Spanish; Judiciary Act is English General rule: The English text shall control45

Punctuation mark
45 44

The case also talked about the principle of ejusdem generic, where general words cannot be given their generic meaning if followed by specific words: (1) managing head, (2) directors, (3) partners. The problem with this is that the specific word came first.

Book I, Chapter 4, Sec. 20 (AC). In the interpretation of a law or administrative issuance promulgated in all official languages, the English text shall control, unless otherwise specially provided. In case of ambiguity, omission or other mistake, the other texts may be consulted.

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

Extrinsic aids 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Intent or spirit of law Policy of law similar Purpose of law Dictionaries Consequences of various constructions Presumptions Legislative history Contemporaneous construction

The purpose is more important than the rules of grammar and logic But courts cannot assume some purpose not expressed

Intent or spirit of the law - Considered as the law itself, hence, it is the controlling factor, the leading star and guiding light in the interpretation of a statute - For what is within the spirit is within the statute although it is not within the letter thereof...
Fabella v. CA Several teachers were charged with administrative cases for joining mass actions demanding payment of bonuses and allowances. After an administrative hearing, a committee found them guilty and ordered their dismissal. Held: RA 4670 was not repealed by PD807. Hence, there should be a representative of the teachers in the committee hearing administrative cases. Mere membership of teachers in an organization does not make them authorized representatives. The intent of this provision is the right of the teachers to be heard and their protection of their rights when facing administrative charges. The committee, therefore, has no jurisdiction.

CEMCO Holding v. National Life Insurance CEMCO bought several shares of two companies. This resulted to its majority control of UCHC, and in turn, as one of the principal stockholders, an indirect acquisition of the majority shares of UCC itself. Respondent, feeling aggrieved because of loss of market value, charged CEMCO for non-compliance to the mandatory tender offer rule. Held: The purpose of said rule is to give minority stockholders a chance to exit the company under reasonable terms and sell their shares as that of the majority holders. Even if the acquisition is below the threshold, if it will result to a majority control, the tender offer rule should apply.

Dictionaries46 - Legal, scientific, general dictionaries - Used when statutes do not define the words or phrases used and the purpose or context in which the words are employed - But definitions are not binding to courts General rule: Dictionaries usually define words in their natural, plain and ordinary acceptance and significance Presumption: Lawmakers, ordinarily untrained philologists and lexicographers, use words in their common meaning Exception: When the statute has defined the words used and/or the legislature has intended a technical or special legal meaning to these words. Consequences of various constructions - The objective should always arrive at a reasonable and sensible interpretation in accord with the legislative intent General rule: Construction that will lead to injustice or hardship, result in absurdity, defeat the legislative intent or spirit, preclude accomplishment of legislative purpose or object, render certain words or phrases a surplusage, nullify the statute or make any of
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Policy of the law - A construction which would promote the policy of the law should be favoured than that would defeat it - In a statute of doubtful meaning, giving a construction that will promote public policy Purpose of the law - The purpose of the law or the mischief intended to be removed or suppressed are important factors to consider in construction of statutes

See PRC v. De Guzman summary above

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

its provisions nugatory should be rejected or avoided. Presumption: The legislature did not intend to cause injustice in enacting statutes. Exception: When the law is clear and unambiguous. Presumptions - Based on logic, experience and common sense. - In absence of compelling reasons to rule otherwise, doubt should be in favour of the presumption on that matter. Legislative history - The origin and history of the statute - Refers to all its antecedents from its inception until its enactment into law. - Covers the period and steps done from the time the bill us introduced until it is finally passed by the legislature a. Presidents message to legislature b. Explanatory note c. Legislative debates, views and deliberations d. Reports of commissions e. Prior laws from which statute is based f. Amendment of the statute g. Adopted statutes h. Conditions at the time of enactment i. History of the times Presidents message to legislature47 - The Presidents address usually contains proposed legislative measures. - It indicates his thinking on the proposed legislation which, when enacted into law, follows his line of thinking. Explanatory note - Short exposition or explanation accompanying a proposed legislation by its author or proponent.
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Contains reason or purpose of the bill Arguments advanced by the author in urging its passage Exception: The court may not use the explanatory note as basis for giving a statute a meaning that is inconsistent with what is expressed in the text of the statute. It is resorted only for clarification in case of doubt. Legislative debates, views and deliberations48 - Actual proceedings of the legislative body (committee reports of legislative investigations and public hearings, sponsorship speech, debates and deliberations) - The discussions on the bill may contain the meaning which was put to the provision - The views expressed by the legislators are not controlling in the interpretation as to the bills purpose, meaning or effect Reason: Statements made by a legislator during floor deliberations do not reflect the views of the entire house. It is impossible to determine with authority what construction was put upon by members of the Congress who passed the bill. Those who did not speak may not have agreed with those who did; and those who spoke might differ with each other (Manila Jockey Club v. Games and Amusement Board) Exceptions: 1. There are circumstances indicating a meaning other than that expressed by a legislator 2. Views expressed where conflicting 3. Intent deducible from such views is not clear 4. Statute is free from ambiguity 5. When the legislator is not a member of the congress that enacted it
Manila Jockey Club v. Games and Amusement Board

o o

Art. VII, Sec. 23 (Const). The President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session. He may also appear before it at any other time.

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In NAPOLCOM v. De Guzman, the records of the bicameral conference committee clearly showed the legislative intent to exclude the PC from the INP

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

A law was passed increasing the number of days the PCSO can conduct races. However, it did not specify when these days were. The GAB resolved it by reducing the number of days private entities can hold their activites. Held: The statement of individual members is not binding for it may only reflect the opinion of that member alone. It may not reflect the intent of all those who passed the law. CASCO Philippine Chemical Company v. Gimenez CASCO filed for refund for the tax they paid for the separate importation of urea and formaldehyde following the resolution issued by the Monetary Board. Held: Although the bill approved in Congress contained urea and formaldehyde, and the statements made by some members clearly expressed the exemption of separate importation, individual statements do not reflect the view and intent of Congress as a whole in passing said act. The enrolled bill stating urea and formaldehyde is conclusive. If there was a mistake in printing, a curative amendment must be passed.

This indicates the intent to change the meaning of the provision from that it had originally - Where there is a showing that a statute has undergone several amendments and each amendment used different phraseology, the deliberate change of words is an indication of the intent to change the meaning (Portillo v. Salvani) Presumption: There must be some purpose in making changes which should be ascertained and given effect. Amendment by deletion - Deleting certain words or phrases in a statute indicates the legislative intent to change its meaning Presumption: The legislature would not have made the deletion had the intention been not to effect a change in meaning. Exception to the rule that amendment indicates change: Does not apply where the intent is clear that the amendment is precisely to plainly express the construction of the act prior to its amendment because its language is not sufficiently expressive of such construction. 50 Reason: Remember that in codification, revision and compilation of laws, condensation and brevity is necessary. Words that do not materially affect the statute are omitted.
Tung Chin Hui v Rufus B. Rodriguez Petitioner was arrested for using a tampered passport which has been cancelled by Taiwanese authorities. He filed a petition for habeas corpus to an RTC and was granted. After the denial of a motion for reconsideration, respondents filed a notice of appeal of judgment. Petitioner filed an opposition since the appeal was filed long after the 48-hour period prescribed for habeas corpus cases by the pre-1997 Rules of Court.

Reports of commissions49 - Usually present in the codification of laws for they compile and collate all laws on a particular subject and prepare a draft of the proposed code Prior laws from which a statute is based - Part of the antecedent of the statute involved are prior laws on the same subject - Especially applicable in the interpretation of codes and revised or compiled statutes - Shows the legislative history that may clarify the intent of the law or shed light on its meaning and scope Amendments of statutes * Applies when the deleted words or phrases are not surplusage or when the intention is clear to change the previous meaning of the old law. Change in phraseology by amendment
50

49

In Civil Code and Revised Penal Code; Constitutional Commission

In Enrique v. CA, the MSPB law did not render the CSC law invalid since the two can be harmonized. The first duty of the court is to reconcile the conflicting provisions. Only if the repugnancy is irreconcilable that we can say that there has been an implied repeal.

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

Held: The 1997 Revised Rules of Court has deleted said provision found in the earlier code. Hence, the prevailing rule should be obeyed. Laguna Lake Development Authority v. CA LLDA was charged by law to maintain and protect the Laguna de bay. After the passage of the Local Government Code, several mayors who have territorial jurisdiction in some parts of the lake issued business permits to construct fish pens in said area. As a result, LLDA ordered the demolition of the fish pen. Held: It cannot be said that the latter law (LGC) has repealed the LLDA charter, it being the most recent one. The LLDA is more specific as compared to the local government code, which generally talks about the municipal waters. GSIS v. City Assessor of Iloilo Private respondent bought two parcels of land named to GSIS in an auction. Said lands were foreclosed for failure to pay real property tax. GSIS wanted to annul the judgment of entry of title in her name over the lands claiming that it was exempted from local taxes. Held: It cannot be said that the new GSIS charter has repealed the Local Government Code provision regarding collection of taxes. Although the titles of land are named under GSIS, it has already conveyed and alienated the lands to private persons. Hence, the lands are now subject to taxes. In this way, the two laws are reconciled. And even if it does repeal the LGC, it cannot be applied retroactively especially if a vested right will be prejudiced. Ty v. Trampe Ty, a registered owner of the land, received a notice of assessment respecting certain real properties. Held: There is no express repeal especially because the statute has provided a clause enumerating the laws it shall repeal. Before determining if there is an implied repeal, the Court should try to harmonize said laws. The assessors action was set aside since he should have coordinated with other city assessors before determining the tax increase.

Presumption: In adopting foreign statutes, the legislature is deemed to adopt also the previous judicial construction and practical application of said statute in that country. Exceptions: 1. Where there is material difference between the foreign and local law 2. Where the foreign construction is patently erroneous or has not been settled 3. Where foreign construction is not reasonable, not in harmony with justice, public policy and other local statutes 4. Where the local court has given its own construction to said statute Conditions at the time of enactment - Physical conditions of the country and the then circumstances that may affect the legislative intent - The Court should place itself in the situation of the legislature during that time Presumption: Statutes do not operate in a vacuum. In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to have taken into account the existing conditions of things at the time of enactment History of the time - Almost similar to taking into consideration the condition at the time of enactment - The law, being a manifestation of social culture and progress, must be interpreted taking into consideration the stage of such culture and progress including all concomitant circumstances Presumption: Law is not a watertight compartment sealed or shut off from the contact with the drama of life which unfolds before our eyes. It is not a cloistered realm but a busy state in which events are held up to our vision and touch our elbows.51

Adopted statutes - Foreign statutes adopted in this country form part of its legislative history. General rule: The interpretation and decision of foreign courts are given great weight if the local statute was patterned after or copied from those of another country.
51

Wortham v. Walker Tex

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Contemporaneous construction52 - Also called practical constructions - Constructions placed upon the statutes at the time of, or after, their enactment by the executive, legislative or judicial authorities Maxim: contemporanea exposition est optima et fortissimo in lege (the contemporary construction is strongest in law) *What is commonly understood as contemporaneous construction is that one placed upon the statute by an executive or administrative officer. *With the duty to enforce the laws come the interpretation of its ambiguous provisions. Weight given to contemporaneous construction - It is entitled to great weight and respect by the courts in the interpretation of ambiguous provisions of law. - Especially if the construction is followed for a considerable period of time (Molina v. Rafferty), weight given increases as the period in which it is followed and observed lengthens and its acceptability widens. - So long as it continues and Congress has not seen fit to repeal or change the law Presumption: Executive officials are presumed to have familiarized themselves with all considerations pertinent to the meaning and purpose of the law, and to have formed an independent, conscientious and competent expert opinion (Asturias Sugar Central, Inc. v. Commissioner of Customs) Reasons: 1. Respect due the government agency or officials charged with the implementation of the law

2. Competence, expertness, experience, and informed judgment, and the fact that they draft the law they interpret 3. Need for certainty and predictability in the law Exceptions: 1. No ambiguity in the law (Regalado v Yulo) 2. Construction, clearly erroneous is null and void (Molina v. Rafferty) 3. The court has previously given the statute a different interpretation (Asturias Sugar Central, Inc. v. Commissioner of Customs)
Enrique v. CA Petitioners were charged for helping examinees in the civil service exam in consideration of a payment. The CSC rendered a decision dismissing them. Held: Although there is a law creating a Merit System Protection Board under the CSC vesting it with jurisdiction to hear and decide administrative cases, CSC also has a concurrent original jurisdiction. The MSPB law did not amend the CSC law. Great weight is given to the CSC Memorandum Circular stressing the concurrent jurisdiction of the two bodies.

*But erroneous construction does not prevent correction: - The doctrine of estoppels does not preclude correction of the erroneous construction by the officer himself, his successor, or the Court.53 - A person who has relied upon such construction may not prevent the application of the new interpretation.54 - This who have benefited may not prevent correction; or excuse themselves from complying with the corrected one; or set up as a legal obstacle against recovery from them of what they received on the basis of an erroneous construction55

53

PLDT v. Collector of Internal Revenue Koppel (Phils.) v. Yatco Legaspi v. Mathay

52

In CEMCO Holdings, Inc. v. National Life Insurance, the contemporaneous construction of the SEC to the mandatory tender offer rule was sustained since it was tasked to implementation of the Securities Act.

54

55

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

General rule: Erroneous construction creates no vested rights on the part of those who relied upon them, and followed such construction. Reason: A vested right may not arise from a wrong interpretation of a law by an administrative or executive officer whose primary duty is to enforce, and not to construe the law.56 Exception: This is not absolute and admits exceptions in the interest of justice and fair play.57
ABS-CBN v. CTA A memorandum circular interpreting the National Internal Revenue Code was release. Following this, ABS-CBN dutifully paid the taxes according to the formula set. A new law was passed amending the assailed provision. A new order was released by the commissioner of internal revenue revoking the earlier circular for being erroneous for lack of legal basis. Because of this, they demanded petitioner to pay the deficiencies based on the new formula. Held: Although the government is not estopped to collect taxes because of mistakes of its collectors, it admits of certain exceptions in the interest of justice and fair play. The order cannot be retroactively applied if it will prejudice the taxpayer, especially if the latter has followed it in good faith.

Rules and regulations issued by executive or administrative officer pursuant to law have the force and effect of laws. The administrative agency has the power to interpret its own rules; this will become part of the rules

Kinds of executive interpretations 1. Interpretation by usage or practiceconstruction made by an executive officer directly called to implement the law (circular, directive, regulation, opinions and rulings) 2. Advisory opinions- one made by the Secretary of Justice in his capacity as chief legal adviser of the government upon request of administrative officials who enforce the law. 3. Ruling of quasi-judicial agenciesinterpretation handed down in an adversary proceeding *The common usage and practice under a statute is of great value to its construction. Maxim: optimus interpres rerum usum (the best interpreter of a law is usage)
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*Legislative interpretation 1. Prescribes rules of construction or indicating how its provisions should be construed in an interpretative or declaratory clause of a statute 2. The legislature may also define the terms used in the statute 3. It may also pass a resolution indicating its sense or intention in a statute 4. May also take the form of legislative approval: a. Re-enactment of a statute previously given a contemporaneous construction is a persuasive indication of legislative approval58 b. Using words similar in import to the language of an earlier law which has received a practical interpretation c. Amending a prior statute without providing anything which would restrict, change or nullify the previous contemporaneous construction placed upon it d. Appropriating money for the officer designated to perform a task pursuant to an interpretation of a statute e. With notice of a previous construction, the legislature did not do repudiate it, there is implied acquiescence to, or

58

Hilado v. Collector of Internal Revenue ABS-CBN v. CTA

57

To be applicable, earlier law must be re-enacted and not merely amended and the contemporaneous construction must be in the form of regulation to implement the law and duly published and not merely administrative ruling embodied in a letter to a specified individual and not published (Alexander Howden & Co., Ltd. v. Collector of Internal Revenue).

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

approval of, an executive or judicial construction of a statute Exception: The legislature, in indicating its construction of a law, cannot limit or restrict the power of the Court. - It may not make a definition conclusive to a statute which defined the term or to other statutes (City of Manila v. Manila Remnants Co, Inc) - It cannot validate a law which violates the constitution to prevent an attack of it in the courts (Endencia v. David) When used: While legislative interpretation is not controlling, the Court may resort it to clarify ambiguity in the language. Such interpretation is entitled to respect, especially if the executive department has similarly construed the state.59 60 Stare decisis - The decisions of the Supreme Court applying or interpreting a statute is controlling with respect to the interpretation of that statute and is of greater weight than that of an executive or administrative officer - Desirability of having stability in the law Reason: Interpretation given by the Supreme Court forms part of that statute itself and of the legal system and comes from that branch entrusted with the duty to construe or interpret the law.61 Maxim: stare decisis et non quite movere (one should follow past precedents and should not deserve what has been settled) Exception: It does not mean blind adherence to precedents. The doctrine, no matter how
59

sound, must be abandoned if found to be contrary to law. For it is more important for the court to be right. When applicable: 1. Direct ruling- ruling must be categorically stated on an issue expressly raised by the parties 2. Facts are substantially the same
Lazatin v. Desierto Congressman Lazatin was charged by the Fact Finding Bureau of the Office of the Ombudsman with malversation of public funds. The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) submitted its resolution to dismiss the charge for lack of evidence. The Ombudsman ordered the Office of Legal Affairs to review the OSP resolution. The latter recommended proceeding with the case. Lazatin claimed that, under the Constitution, it is not within the power of the Ombudsman to prosecute. The power is expressly given to the OSP. Held: Although not expressly enumerated, the Ombudsman is given other powers necessary to further its duties. As early as Acop v. Office of the Ombudsman, the Court already ruled that RA 6770 is not unconstitutional, although it subsumed the OSP under the Ombudsman. Several cases followed the precedent; hence, unless there is no clear and compelling reason to abandon the doctrine, it should be followed. Ting v. Velez-Ting Respondent filed for a declaration of nullity of marriage under Art. 36 of the Family Code. She claimed that her husband does not only give support to the family but also is a compulsive gambler, drunkard, and violent. The trial court and CA declared their marriage null and void after taking cognizance of the psychiatric finding presented by respondent. Held: The Court did not overrule the Santos and Molina doctrines. It merely liberalized it since instead of serving as guidelines, these became a straightjacket fitting all cases into it. The psychiatric reports shall not be conclusive to the courts and are not condition sine qua non for the nullity of marriage. The totality of evidence should be the basis.

For an orderly and harmonious interpretation and advancement of the law, the court should, when possible keep step with other departments (Yra v. Albana).
60

In case of an agreement between two departments- the executive and legislative- to the meaning of the law, and it devolves upon the judiciary to give it a deferential treatment (Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice).
61

Art. 8 (CC)

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When not used: 1. Ruling is an obiter dictum62 2. Facts are dissimilar 3. There is a conflict between the precedent and the law63 *Only Supreme Court can change or abandon a precedent enunciated by it. *Until it abandons or overrules a doctrine, the lower courts are duty bound to obey it. If lower courts feel that the doctrine is against their way of reasoning, they may state their personal opinion but must decide the case in accordance with the doctrine and not with their personal view.64
Tan Chong v. Secretary of Labor Two cases are involved having almost similar facts. Both petitioners had a Chinese father and a Filipino mother and were born in the Philippines: the first one in San Pablo, Laguna, the other in Jolo, Sulu. At first, they were declared Filipino citizens by the Court but the Solicitor General filed a motion for reconsideration. Held: The Court has cited a long list of cases pertaining to citizenship, in which its decisions vacillated. Stare decisis cannot apply when the precedent and the existing law are in conflict. Since the jus soli common law principle of the US did not extend to out jurisdiction and, only Spanish subjects residing from April 11, 1899 are considered citizens under the then prevailing Philippine Bill of 1902, the Court ruled that petitioners were not Filipino citizens on the ground that their father was of Chinese parentage.

62

Opinion express by a court upon some question of law which is not necessary to the decision of the case before it. It is a remark made, or opinion expressed, by a judge in his decision upon a cause by the way, that is, incidentally, and not directly upon the question before him, or upon a point not necessarily involved in the determination of the cause, or introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument (Delta Motors Corp. v. Secretary of Labor).
63

In Tung Chin Hui v Rufus B. Rodriguez, the Court held that the doctrine of stare decisis cannot be invoked since there is a new law that took effect, hence, the rulings of the previous cases shall no longer apply.
64

Canon 18, Canons of Judicial Ethics

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

ADHERENCE TO, OR DEPARTURE FROM, LANGUAGE OF STATUTE


Adherence to the language Literal meaning, Plain-meaning rule, Verba legis General rule: The intent of the legislature is found in the language of the statute. Maxims: - index animi sermo est (speech is the index of intention) - verba legis non est recedendum (from the words of the statute there should be no departure) - dura lex sed lex (the law may be harsh, but it is still the law) - hoc quidem perquam durum est, sed ital ex scripta est (it is exceedingly hard but so the law is written) Reasons: - A statute, being the will of the legislature, should be applied in exactly the way the legislature has expressed itself clearly in the law. - The duty of the court is limited to inquiring into the legislative intent and, once this is determined, to making said intent effective. Phrases: 1. What is not clearly provided in the law cannot be extended to those matters outside its scope.65 2. Where the statute is clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning, applied without attempted interpretation and must be taken to mean exactly as what it says. 3. Where the law is clear and free from doubt and ambiguity, there is no room for construction or interpretation.

4. Courts must administer the law, not as they think it ought to be but as they find it and without regard to consequences. 66 5. The law should be applied regardless whether it is unwise, hard or harsh. 6. If the law is clear and free from doubt, it is the sworn duty of the court to apply it without fear or favour, to follow its mandate, and not to tamper with it.67 7. What it decrees must be followed; what it commands must be obeyed.68 8. Where the law is clear, appeals to justice and equity as to justification to construe it differently are unavailing. 69
Globe Mackay v. NLRC Private respondent Salazar was found to be close to Saldivar and, in fact, living with him in an apartment. The latter was investigated for defrauding petitioner and use of an air-con without authorization. Because of this, she was suspended and, later on, dismissed. Held: The suspension is legal. However, there was no sufficient evidence for her dismissal. Hence, following the provision of the law, she was unjustly removed and is entitled to reinstatement and payment of back wages. The principle of strained relations cannot be accepted since her job as systems analyst is not one characterized as a position of trust. Loss of confidence cannot also be accepted since it must rest upon a valid basis. The report made by the companys internal auditor is one-sided because Saldivar has already resigned, depriving him opportunity to defend himself. Cecileville Realty & Service Corp. v. CA Petitioner owned a parcel of land while private respondent Pascual occupied a portion of it. Despite several demands, Pascual did not vacate the land. Held: The defense that Pascual was just helping his mother, a tenant, in cultivating the lands cannot be accepted. The law is clear, only the tenant, and not his
66

For whether a statute is wise or expedient is not for the courts to determine (Director of Lands v. Abaya).
67

Go v. Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines PNB v. Bitulok Sawmill, Inc.

68

69

65

Baranda v. Gustillo

For equity is available only in the absence of law and not its replacement. Equity is described as justice outside legality, which simply means that it cannot supplant although it may supplement the law. Aequitas nunquam contravenit legis. Equity never acts in contravention of justice (Aguila v. CFI Batangas).

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relatives, can demand for a home lot suitable for dwelling. RCBC v. IAC BF Homes filed a petition for rehabilitation and suspension of payments with the SEC. RCBC, as a creditor, requested the sheriff to extra-judicially foreclose its real estate mortgage. Despite the ongoing case in the SEC, RCBC filed an action for mandamus to compel the sheriff to execute a certificate of sale in its name. Later on, SEC appointed a management committee to assist BF Homes with the rehabilitation/liquidation. Held: Even if it would seem logical that suspension should succeed the application for rehabilitation, the law is clear. Only when a management committee is appointed will other actions and claims shall be suspended. Segovia v. Sandiganbayan Segovia, and other petitioners who were suspended, were designated to the Contracts Committee for a project of NAPOCOR in Mindanao. They had disqualified the two lowest bidders. Because of this, Urban, the second lowest bidder complained and charged them for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. As a result, they were suspended during the pendency of investigation. Held: The law clearly provided that all officials, during the pendency of a criminal prosecution, shall be meted with a preventive suspension. It is mandatory and not discretionary on the part of Sandiganbayan; this is to prevent them from influencing the process either by intimidating the witnesses or tampering with evidences. People v. Mapa Mapa claimed that he was a secret agent of Governor Leviste when he was charged for illegal possession of unlicensed firearms. Held: Although it was earlier held that secret agents may be exempted from possession of firearms since they do the work of peace officers, the Revised Administrative Code clearly enumerated those who may be exempted, and secret agents were not included. Gan v. Reyes Reyes filed an action for support, claiming that she and Gan had a lovechild. The trial court ruled in favour of Reyes and ordered the immediate execution of the support. Gan challenged the ruling and still withheld support.

Held: Child support is immediately executory and cannot be stayed by an appeal unless provided by the trial court. This has been clearly stated in the Rules of Civil Procedure. Largado v. Masaganda Private respondent Delos Reyes filed a petition to the Justice of the Peace asking for the guardianship of petitioners children. It was decided in his favour but upon appeal to the CFI, it was dismissed since the Judiciary Act of 1948 said the justices of the peace may not extend to the appointment of guardianship. Held: The decision of CFI is affirmed. The law was clear. Although it was contended that the term guardian was only due to an oversight, as opined by the Justice Secretary, the mistake cannot be corrected by executive fiat but by legislation, which Congress has done in enacting RA3090 correcting said statute. But this cannot be given retroactive effect.

Departure from literal interpretation Ratio legis - Interpretation according to the spirit of reason of the law General rule: The spirit or intention of a statute prevails over the letter of it. Maxims: - ratio legis et anima legis (the reason of the law is its soul); - ratione cessat lex et cessat lex (when the reason of the law ceases, the law ceases) - verba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservire (words ought to be more subservient to the intent and not the intent to the words)
People v. Almuete Defendants were accused of pre-threshing a portion of the harvest without notice to and consent of the landowner. They were charged for violating the Agricultural Tenancy Act. Held: The case was dismissed since the law from which the crime was founded has been effectively repealed by the Agricultural Land Reform Code. A similar case was also dismissed by the SC since the law was already in force at the time of the commission of the crime.

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When used: - A statute must be capable of construction or interpretation. The court must use every authorized means to ascertain the intent of the statute and give it an intelligible meaning. The court may even depart from the language of a statute if to do so will enable to effectuate legislative intent and purpose. - If a language is capable of more than one meaning is to be taken in such sense as to harmonize with the intention and object and effectuate the purpose of the enactment. When not used: Where a statute totally fails to express a meaning, a becoming sense of judicial modesty forbids the court from assuming and, consequently, from supplying a meaning to it. Hence, the statute is necessarily inoperative. Limitation: Applies only when there is ambiguity in the language employed in the law. Where the law is clear and free from ambiguity, the letter of the law is not disregarded on the pretext of pursuing its spirit.70 Phrases: 1. The thing which is within the intention of the statute is as much within the statute as if it is were within the letter, and a thing which is within the letter of the statute is not within the statute unless it be within the intention of the lawmaker.71 2. Intent is the spirit which gives life to a legislative enactment.72 How done: In correcting a clerical error or obvious mistake, the court is not indulging in a judicial legislation, it is merely endeavouring to rectify and correct a clearly clerical error in the wording

of the law in order to give due course and carry out the evident intent.73 Supplying legislative omission Where literal import of the language of a statute shows that words have been omitted that should have been in the statute to carry out its intent and spirit, clearly ascertainable from the context, the court may supply the omission to make the statute conform to the obvious intent of the legislature or to prevent the act from being absurd.74 Correcting clerical errors The court, in order to carry out the obvious intent of the legislature, may correct clerical errors, mistakes or misprints which, if uncorrected, may render the statute meaningless, empty or nonsensical or would defeat or impair the intended operation.75 Surplusage and superfluity disregarded Where a word, phrase or clause in a statute is devoid of meaning in relation to the context or intent of the statute, or where it suggests a meaning that nullifies the statute or renders it without sense, these may be rejected as surplusage and entirely ignored.76 Redundant words may be rejected Although it is a general rule to give every part of the statute a meaning, it is not the obligation of the court to give a redundant word or phrase a special significance. A use of word or phrase, treated as a mere reiteration or repetition of other language in the statute, may be rejected. Obscure or missing word or false description may be disregarded

73

Lamp v. Phipps Barret v. Union Bridge, Co. Griffin v. Greene Demafiles v. COMELEC

74 70

De Jesus v. City of Manila US v. Go Chico Torres v. Limjap

75

71

76

72

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Lingual imperfection in the drafting of the statute should never be permitted to hamstring judicial search for legislative intent. The court may disregard loose or obscure words in order to arrive at the real meaning.77 Number and gender of words A word in plural may include the singular, and vice versa.78 The masculine, but not the feminine, includes all genders, unless otherwise provided or implied in the context.

between two statutory interpretations, that which better serves the purpose of the law should prevail.82 Reason: Laws are not just mere composition, but have ends to be achieved and that the general purpose is a more important aid to the meaning of a law than any rule which grammar may lay down. When not used: cessante ratione legis, cessar et ipsa lex (when the reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases) 2. Construction to avoid absurdity Statutes may be extended to cover cases not within the literal meaning of the terms, if their exact and literal import would lead to absurd or mischievous result83 and nonsensical results. 84 Presumption: Congress could not have intended absurd interpretation of the law. Maxim: interpretatio talis in ambiguis simper fienda est ut evitetur inconveniens et absurdum (where there is ambiguity, such interpretation as will avoid inconvenience and absurdity is adopted)
Paras v. COMELEC Petitioner was then the incumbent barangay captain. A year after his election, almost more than 25% of his constituent filed a petition for recall. Petitioner contended that the move for a recall is barred since by next year, an SK election will be held, which he interprets as a regular local election (the LGC prohibits any more for recall a year after and before a local election). Held: To accept the literal interpretation of petitioner leads to absurdity. This will expressly prohibit any recall move and defeat the intent of Congress. The local election should be referred to as the one from which his position will be opened- in this case, barangay captain. Chartered Bank of India v. Imperial The Philippine National Bank filed a petition in the CFI Manila to compel Umberto de Poli et al. to deliver to
82

Rufino Lopez and Sons, Inc. v. CTA Petitioner imported a hexagonal wire netting from Germany and the Collector of Customs assessed it. Failing to secure a reassessment, petitioner appealed to the CTA. The case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Held: There was a clerical error in the statute. Following the literal interpretation, the statute has lodged with the CTA the appellate jurisdiction to decisions of the Commissioner of Customs, but no person affected by the decision of him may appeal to the CTA, only those made by the Collector of Customs. Collector in Section 11 should be read as Commissioner; this is not judicial legislation but only carrying out the intent of the legislature.

Construction according to the spirit: A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirit or intent.79 1. Construction to accomplish purpose Statutes should be construed in the light of the object to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be suppressed.80 Construction which gives effect to the evident purpose sough to be attained by the enactment of the statute must be followed.81 Hence, as
77

Salaysay v. Castro Santillon v. Miranda Rufino Lopez and Sons, Inc. v. CTA LVN Pictures, Inc. v. Philippine Musicians Guild

78

79

80

Salenillas v. CA Rufino Lopez and Sons, Inc. v. CTA People v. Duque

83 81

Sanciangco v. Rono
84

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them the goods and merchandise described in the mortgage. As a result, the sheriff has seized the goods described. Within 24 hours after the sheriff has taken possession of said goods, petitioners filed a petition to declare Umberto de Poli insolvent and was granted. The court ordered the sheriff to take possession of the goods and merchandise which had already been attached by him in the action instituted by the PNB against de Poli. Held: Although creditors should be treated equally in the distribution of goods of an insolvent, PNB is a preferred creditor for having a secured holding such as mortgage, lien or pledge. To construe a provision without reference to its first part, would result to an absurd and unreasonable situation where his rights are preserved but he cannot participate in the election of an assignee in an insolvency proceeding, or surrender a property delivered to him as security of said lien for the benefit of all creditors of the insolvent.

abolished because of its cost-cutting measure. The operation target of 60 passengers per flight was not reached, it was found out that only 25 average passengers were there for a flight. Because of this, he sued Eva Air for illegal dismissal in the labor arbiter and ruled in his favour. Eva Air elevated the case in the NLRC and posted a surety bond, but only amounting to th the sum of back wages and 13 month pay. Held: The Court held that to require Eva Air to post a bond inclusive of exemplary and moral damages and attorneys fee is unjust, excessive and has the effect of depriving their right to appeal. Salvacion v. Central Bank Petitioner was raped several times by private respondent Bartelli, a tourist. On the day of his hearing for petition for bail, Bartelli escaped from jail. Hence, a notice of garnishment was delivered to Chinabank. However, Chinabank contended that the account cannot be garnished since RA 1405 prohibits the garnishment of a foreign account. Held: Although the law is clear, it cannot be invoked since it will lead to injustice. The intention of the law is for economic reasons, to prevent withdrawal of dollar reserves since foreign investments were minimal. However, in Bartellis case, he was just a transient and will maintain the account for a short period of time. To uphold the law is to deny justice to a victim of a foreigner who will just stay temporarily by not availing of damages.

3. Construction to avoid injustice The interpretation to be adopted is that which is free from evil or injustice. Presumption: The legislature, in enacting a law, did not intend to work a hardship or an oppressive result. Maxim: interpretation quae vitio caret (that interpretation is to be adopted which is free from evil or injustice)
Casela v. CA Petitioners house was to be demolished after Magsaysay secured a writ of execution from the CAR. But he did not vacate the land and even instituted a petition for payment to his house and other improvements in the CFI. After two more writ of executions, CAR ruled that its earlier decision cannot anymore be executed since the 5-year reglementary period has already lapsed. Held: An interpretation that will lead to injustice should be avoided. Although 5 years have passed since the decision has become final, the time when the writ cannot be served should be deducted. This is because Magsaysay has not been sleeping on his rights and exhausted all legal means to eject Casela, in fact, he secured 3 writs of execution. Casela only wanted to delay and prolong the execution. Cosico v. NLRC The Assistant Station Manager position of Eva Air operations in Manila, which Cosico was holding, was

4. Construction in favour of right and justice Any doubt in the construction of a statute should be resolved in favour of right and justice. Maxim: jure nature aequum est neminem cum alterius detriment et injuria fiery locupletiorum (when the statutes are silent or obscure, the solution is that would response to the vehement urge of conscience)
Alonzo v. IAC Private respondents were siblings who inherited a piece of land. Two of them sold their part to spouses Alonzo. Later, the son of the spouses built a house after getting married. One of the siblings brought the action to recover said portion for not being informed of the sale (since the land is under a co-ownership). Held: Although the law requires a written notice of sale from the vendor, equity and justice should also be

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

considered. For several years, petitioners have been living in said area. It is improbable that private respondents would not notice that there are people not one of them living in their inherited land. The son of the petitioners has built his house receiving no complaint from the siblings. Hence, the prescription of the right of redemption has started sometime during the 1960s (time when lots were sold).

provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose.86 Maxims: ex necessitate legis (from the necessity of law) in ei quod plus sit, semper inest et minus (the greater includes the lesser)
Chua v. CSC Petitioner Chua, a coterminous to a project in the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for a span of 15 years, wanted to avail the RA6683 providing for early benefits and separation from government services. Respondent CSC did not grant her petition stating that she is not a career and non-career employee, her position is not included in its regular plantilla. Held: To extend the benefits to the non-career employees such as casual and emergency employees and exclude coterminous ones will violate the equal protection clause of the constitution since they are similarly situated. Hence, in order to give life to it, the doctrine of necessary implications should be applied, and coterminous employees, who have rendered years of service to the government should be deemed included.

5. Construction to avoid danger to public interest Where great inconvenience will result, or great public interest will be endangered or sacrificed, or great mischief done, from a particular construction of a statute, such construction is to be avoided. 6. Exemption from rigid application of law Equity as well as exceptional situations in a case may require a departure from established rules. Where the rigorous application of the law would result in preventing a fair and impartial injury into the actual facts of a case, the exigencies of justice demand that the general rule should yield to occasional exceptions wherever there are weighty reason for it. Maxim: summum jus, summa injuria (the rigor of the law would become the highest injustice) 7. Law does not require the impossible A statute may not be construed as to require compliance with what it prescribes cannot, at the time, be legally accomplished Maxim: nemo tenetur ad impossible (the law obliges no one to perform an impossibility) Impossibilium nulla obligation est (there is no obligation to do an impossible thing) 8. Implications Doctrine of necessary implications- what is implied in the statute is as much a part of it as that which is expressed.85 Every statute is understood, by implication, to contain all such

Limitations: 1. Since it excludes what is merely plausible, beneficial or desirable, this may not be used to justify the inclusion in a statute of what to the court to be wise and just, unless it is at the same time necessarily and logically within its terms. 2. May not be used to support an interpretation destructive of the object or purpose of the law. 3. May not be contrary to the Constitution or to existing laws. Necessary implications: 1. Remedy implied from a right The existence of a right in favour of a person implies a corresponding obligation on the part of another who violates such right, and entitles the former to a remedy to assure its observance and vindication.87
86

85

Go Chico v. Martinez Batungbakal v. National Development Co.

In re Dick
87

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Maxim: ubi jus, ibi remedium (where there is right, there is a remedy for its violaton) 2. Grant of jurisdiction Jurisdiction to hear and decide cases is granted by the Constitution or a statute. But it cannot be implied from the language of the statute, in the absence of a clear legislative intent. But the grant of it carries all necessary and incidental power to employ all writs, processes and other means essential to make the jurisdiction effective.88 Hence, where a court has jurisdiction over the main cause of action, it can grant reliefs incidental to it, even if these are outside of its jurisdiction. 3. Grant of power Where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, every particular power necessary for the exercise of one or the performance of the other is also conferred. These incidental powers are those which are necessarily included in, and are therefore of lesser degree than the power granted. - The power to establish an office includes the power to abolish it89 - The power to approve a license includes the power to revoke it90 - The power to deport includes the power to order the arrest of undesirable aliens91 - The power to regulate telephone service includes the power to establish and operate by themselves a telephone service92 - The power conferred to an administrative officer to issue
88

rules and regulations includes the authority to delegate to subordinate officer the performance of a particular function93 4. What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly94 Maxim: quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per oliquum 5. There should be no penalty for compliance with law If an act is faithfully done in compliance with the law, simple logic, fairness and reason countenance cannot allow an imposition of penalty Limitations to implications: 1. Grant of power excludes greater power 2. What is implied should not be against the law 3. Authority to charge against public funds may not be implied 4. Doctrine of pari delicto Maxims: ex dolo malo non oritur action (no man can be allowed to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing or inequity) nullus commodum capere potest de injuria sua propria (no man should be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong) in pari delicto potior est condition defendentis Exceptions: 1. If the violation is done against an avowed fundamental policy or public interest95 2. When the transaction is not illegal but merely prohibited and the prohibition is designed for the protection of one party96
93

Suanes v. Chief Accountant of the Senate Castillo v. Pajo Grodon v. Veridiano Qua Chee Gan v. Deportation Board
95

89

Esperanza v. Castillo Ligot v. Mathay Enrique Yuchengco, Inc. v. Velayo Barsobia v. Cuenco

90

94

91

92

PLDT v. City of Davao


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INTERPRETATION OF WORDS AND PHRASES


How to define words and phrases Words or phrases may have an ordinary, generic, restricted, technical, legal, commercial or trade meaning, which may be defined by the statute itself or have received a judicial construction. Which meaning should be given a word or phrase rests upon what the legislature intended. 1. Ordinary meaning 2. Statutory definition 3. General words a. Where the law does not distinguish 4. Commercial or trade meaning 5. Technical or legal meaning 6. Identical terms 7. Purpose of statute 8. Relation to other provisions ratio legis 9. Dictated by context a. Disjunctive and conjunctive words Ordinary meaning - The general rule is that words should be given their plain, ordinary, and common usage meaning97 - Natural, ordinary, commonly accepted and most obvious signification Presumption: Lawmakers employed words in their ordinary and common use and acceptation. Since the Court should not presume that the lawmaking body does not know the meaning of the words and the rules of grammar. Statutory definition - Statutes sometimes define particular words and phrases - In this case, the legislative definition controls the meaning of the word, irrespective of the ordinary or common meaning98 - But it is not a usurpation of the courts function to interpret the laws, since it merely
97

legislates what should form part of the law itself99 Limitations: 1. Controlling in the act concerned and not in other statutes even if the same word or term is used 2. If the application creates obvious incongruities in the language of the statute, destroys the purpose, or becomes illogical General words - Words of general significance in a statute is to be taken in its ordinary and comprehensive sense - A general word should not be given a restricted meaning where no restriction is indicated - If a word in a statute has both restricted and general meaning, the general must prevail over the restricted unless the nature of the subject matter or the context in which it is employed clearly indicates that the limited sense is intended Exception: If the word is given a different or restricted meaning Maxims: generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda (what is generally spoken shall be generally understood) generale dictum generaliter est interpretandum (a general statement is understood in a general sense)
People v. Santiago Santiago was accused of libel for besmirching the name of then Mayor Arsenio Lacson with malicious intent. He contended that it was only oral defamation, in which, action has already prescribed. Held: Amplifier, used by defendant, is not similar to radio. The latter involves transmission of electromagnetic waves without wires, while the former uses a conducting wire intervening between the transmitter and the receiver. Radio cannot be then interpreted to include amplifier. And using the associated words, it should be construed as to be characterized with permanence.

Mustang Lumber, Inc. v. CA People v. Buenviaje


99

98

De Ponce v. Sagario

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*Progressive interpretation - Generic term should include not only peculiar conditions obtaining at the time of its enactment but those that may normally arise after100 - Apply to all cases that come within the terms and its general purpose and policy, existing subsequent to its passage - Keeps legislation from becoming ephemeral and transitory Where the law does not distinguish - Corollary of the principle that general words and phrases in a statute should be accorded their natural and general significance101 - General term or phrase should not be reduced into parts and one part distinguished from the other so as to justify exemptions from the operation of law102 - Corollary to this is where the law does not make any exceptions, the court may not except something from it Maxim: ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguire debemos (where the law does not distinguish, courts should not distinguish) Presumption: The legislature made no classification in the use of a general word or expression Exception: Where there are facts or circumstances showing that the legislature intended a distinction or qualification
Ramirez v. CA Private respondent allegedly insulted and humiliated petitioner in a manner offensive to her dignity and personality. Because of this, she instituted a civil case for damages where she presented a verbatim transcript of the event because she recorded said conversation. With this, private respondent filed a criminal case against Ramirez for violating the antiwiretapping act or RA 4200. Petitioner contended that

she is exempted since she was a party to the conversation. Held: The law clearly provided that any person not authorized by all parties to any private communication is liable. It did not make any distinction whether or not a person to be penalized should or should not be a party to the conversation. Hence, even a person, party to a conversation, records it without the others knowledge is considered a violator.

Commercial or trade meaning - Words and phrases, which are common use among merchants and traders, acquire trade or commercial meanings which are generally accepted in the community in which they have common use - Hence, the understanding of the trader determines the construction to be given - Usually applicable to tariff laws and laws of commerce Exception: Legislative intent to the contrary Examples: 1. Dispose of is to sell103 2. Gross value in money is gross selling price104 Technical or legal meaning - Words used in technical sense, or have been judicially construed to have a certain meaning, or has a well-known legal meaning105 Exception: Legislative intent or qualification to the contrary Examples: 1. Proper action is an ordinary suit which prosecutes another for the enforcement of a right106 2. Acquitted is the finding of not guilty based on merit, hence, different from dismissal (insufficiency of evidence)107

103

Asiatic Petroleum Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue San Miguel Corp. v. Municipal Council of Mandaue Krivenko v. Register of Deeds Manila Herald Publishing Co, Inc. v. Ramos Manlayaon v. Lising

104

100

Geotina v. CA Lo Cham v. Ocampo SSS v. City of Bacolod

105

101

106

102

107

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3. Previously convicted refers to the date of conviction and not date of commission of crime108 Identical terms - The general rule is words or phrases repeatedly used in a statute will bear the same and consistent meaning throughout the whole statute109 When applied: 1. Particularly applies where words appear so near each other physically 2. The word has a technical meaning defined in the statute Exception: Unless a different intention appears or is clearly expressed Presumption: Words used in a statute is used in the same sense throughout the whole law Qualified by purpose of statute - The purpose is that which induced the legislature to enact the statute - Hence, the court should adopt that interpretation that accords best with the manifest purpose of the statute or promotes or realizes its object110 - Construction should be rejected if it negates the purpose of the law Construed in relation to other provisions - Words and phrases must be interpreted in relation to other provisions, and not in isolation - Variation of construction as a whole
Adasa v. Abalos Petitioner was charged of receiving and encashing a check issued in the name of respondent without his consent and knowledge. After finding a probable cause, he was charged with by city prosecutor. In his arraignment, he pleaded not guilty. Dissatisfied with the finding of the latter, he filed a petition for review before the DOJ, of which the DOJ ordered the prosecutor to withdraw said case. Respondent filed a
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motion for reconsideration arguing that the DOJ should dismiss outright the petition since there has been an arraignment. Held: The word may in the phrase may reverse, affirm or modify in Sec. 12 of the DOJ circular should be read as shall in relation to Sec. 7 which positively prohibits a giving due course if there has already been an arraignment. Since there are no irreconcilable differences or contradiction between said provisions. Gachon v. Devera, Jr. A complaint of forcible entry was filed by the private respondents. Claiming to be an oversight, they filed a petition for extension of time to file an answer with the MTCC but was denied since it was a prohibited pleading. After the reglementary period, they filed for admission of answer and an amended answer. The MTCC denied the motions and considered the case submitted for resolution. It resolved in favour of private respondents. Held: All other provisions in the Rules of Summary Procedure used the word shall in matters pertinent to pleadings and answers. The policy beyond this is to prevent needless delays and an orderly and speedy discharge of judicial business. Hence, respondent judge may render a judgment, motu proprio.

Dictated by context - The context dictates how words should be construed. o Broad sense to a word of ordinarily limited meaning (e.g. riparian refers not only those living near the river but have a water frontage)111 o Limited meaning of a word of broad signification (e.g. overthrow in the AntiSubversion Act is limited to those by force or violence)112 o Generic in one part, limited in another (e.g. owner may be real or the manager)113 Maxim: verba accipienda sunt secundum materiam (a word is to be understood in the context in which it is used)

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Santulan v. Executive Secretary People v. Ferrer People v. Nazario

Rura v. Lopena Krivenko v. Register of Deeds Luzon Stevedoring Co. v. Natividad

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Disjunctive and conjunctive words Disjunctive words signify disassociation and independence of one thing from each other enumerated (e.g. or). Exception: When the spirit or context of the law warrants, it may be given a meaning as that of: (1) and; (2) that is to say (given that which precedes it the same significance as that which follows it); or (3) successively (in the order of). Conjunctive words means together with, joined with, along or together with, added to or linked to used to conjoin word with word, phrase with phrase, clause with clause. Exception: When the literal interpretation would pervert the plain intention of the legislators as gleaned from the context or extraneous factors, it may: (1) mean or; (2) restrict the meaning of a broad word (if there is a broad and the other restrictive). And/or means the effect shall be given to both the conjunctive and disjunctive, that is taken according to the one that will best effectuate the purpose intended by the legislature Reason: To avoid construction that excludes the combination of several alternatives or the efficacy of one standing alone.

that of words associated or accompanied by it114 Where most of the word in an enumeration of words in a statute are used in their generic and ordinary sense, the rest of the words should similarly be construed

People v. Delantar Defendant Delantar was charged because of facilitating and inducing his stepdaughter to sexual servitude. Because of their relationship, it was claimed that the crime was attended with an aggravating circumstance of relationship. Held: His relationship with the victim is not included in those enumerated. It was not proven that he was the real or biological father. At the most, he was said to be the guardian. But the word guardian envisaged by the law is that of having a legal relationship considering the other words in the list. Carandang v. Santiago Petitioner survived the attack of respondent Santiago. As a result, respondent was charged with frustrated homicide. Carandang filed a civil case to recover damages against respondents and his parents. Respondents argued that frustrated homicide was not included as basis for a civil case under Art. 33 invoked by the petitioner. Held: The term physical injuries under Art. 33 should not be construed as a specific crime falling under the Revised Penal Code. Other words associating itdefamation and fraud- do not have a specific definition and provisions in the RPC. Hence, it should be understood in its generic sense, any bodily injury.

Using associated words 1. Noscitur a sociis 2. Ejusdem generis 3. Expressio unius est exlclusio alterius (negative-opposite doctrine) 4. Casus omissus 5. Doctrine of last antecedent (reddendo singular singulis) Noscitur a sociis - Where the law does not define a word, it will be construed as having a meaning similar to

Ejusdem generis - While general words are accorded their generic sense, as a rule, they will not be given such meaning if they are used in association with specific words. - When a general word follows an enumeration of particular and specific words of the same class, the general word is to be restricted to persons, things or cases of the same kind as those specifically mentioned. Presumption: Had the legislature intended the general words to be used in their generic and unrestricted sense, it would not have enumerated
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Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh

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specific words since the minds of the legislators are addressed to the particularization. Requisites: 1. Enumeration of particular and specific words, followed by a general word 2. The specific words constitute a class or of the same kind 3. Enumeration is not exhaustive or be an example 4. No indication of legislative intent to give the general words or phrases a broader meaning Limitations: 1. The specific words do not constitute a readily discernible class and are patently not of the same kind 2. There is the regulatory intent to give the general phrase a broader meaning 3. The most important is that the statutory provision is not itself restrictive 4. Where the law is clear and free from ambiguity
Vera v. Cuevas Petitioner, the commissioner of internal revenue, ordered the withdrawal of the private respondents filled milk products from the market which do not bear the inscription required by Sec. 169 of the Tax Code. Held: The broad phrase all milk in said provisions should be understood within the meaning of skimmed milk since the headnote (skimmed milk) and the text (condensed skimmed milk) talk about this. Hence, the inscription is not required upon this kind of milk.

Presumption: The legislature would not have made specified enumerations in the statute had the intention been not to restrict its meaning and confine its terms to those expressly mentioned. Variations: 1. What is expressed puts an end to that which is implied (i.e. if the statute is expressly limited, it may not be extended to other matters) 2. A thing that is not excepted must be regarded as coming within the purview of the general rule (exceptio firmat regulam in casibus no exeptis) Limitations: 1. Not applicable where words are used by example only or to remove doubts 2. When the enumeration was not intended to be exclusive 3. If there is no reason why other persons or things not so enumerated should not have been included and manifest injustice will follow by non-inclusion (violation of equal protection clause) 4. When it defeats the plainly indicated purpose of the legislature 5. If it leads to inconvenience, hardship and injury to public service
Malinias v. COMELEC Petitioners, candidate for governor and congressman, charged private respondents, their election rivals. They claimed that private respondents prohibited them to attend the canvassing under Sec. 25 of RA 6646 and even entered the canvassing room violating Sec. 232 of BP 881. Held: Both RA 6646 and BP 881 specifies all election offenses in Sec. 27 and Sec. 261 and 262, respectively. The alleged violations are not included in said enumeration of criminal election offenses. At the most, they highlight the recognize rights of a political party and candidate. This is more true since criminal offenses should be strictly interpreted in favour of the accused. But it does not mean that these are without sanctions because administrative penalties may be imposed. People v. Lopez Judge Eusebio Lopez was charged for being biased in the trial of Guillermo Francisco, who was accused of treason for collaborating with the Imperial Japanese

Expressio unius est exlclusio alterius - Express mention of one person, thing or consequence implies the exclusion of all the others - Also known as negative-opposite doctrine - Canon of restrictive interpretation based on the rules of logic and the natural workings of the human mind (particularization) - Opposite of doctrine of necessary implication - Generally used in the construction of statutes granting powers, creating rights and remedies, restricting common rights, and imposing penalties and forfeitures, as well as those strictly constured

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force. He dissented to the judgment made by his two associate justices in their division- he justified the actions of the alleged political collaborators and even called them patriots. As a result, he was asked to be disqualified by the prosecution. The other associate justices resolved to disqualify him. Held: There is no law effectively disqualifying a judge for partiality. Sec. 1 of Rule 124 does not include failure to administer impartially as one of the grounds of disqualification. If this be the case, then many justices will be disqualified since human nature tells us that everyone has his own biases. And even if it may be a ground, only the challenged judge himself may determine whether he is fit to render a fair judgment. Pimentel III v. COMELEC Petitioner and private respondent Zubiri were fighting th for the 12 place for the senatorial position. Pimentel assailed the canvassing of the Municipal COCs by the Special Provincial Board of Canvassers (SPBOC) for Maguindanao, created because of the alleged irregularity in the PBOC chaired by Lintang Bedol. Held: As a general rule, pre-proclamation cases for national positions are prohibited under Sec. 15 of RA 7166 to avoid delay in the proclamation of the winner. But it allows an exception if the authenticity of COCs questioned are now lodged in the COMELEC en banc or the Congress sitting as National Board of Canvassers. Because the pre-proclamation cases at the provincial level is not mentioned in the exceptions, it is still prohibited. E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co, Ltd. v. Benito Petitioner agreed to develop certain parcel of lands owned by respondents in Cagayan de Oro, and agreed that litigations that may arise shall be tried in Makati. Private respondent filed a case against petitioner for breach of contract for failure to make any developments. Summons was served upon the defendant through its branch manager. They moved to dismiss the case on the ground of improper submission of summons. Held: The Rules of Court initially provided that service of summons may be made to a manager, secretary, cashier, agent, etc. until it was amended by the Rules of Civil Procedure saying that only a general manager, corporate secretary, treasurer may be summoned; the word agent was deleted from the list. Hence, the new law strictly provided who may be summoned to ensure that the corporation will receive prompt and proper notice of actions against it.

Because of this, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction. Primero v. CA Orlando Primero was charged and convicted of acts of lasciviousness with illegal possession of deadly weapon, a bayonet. Held: Where there is no reason why a thing not enumerated should not be included that will lead to manifest injustice, expressio unius est exclusio alterius cannot be applied. Although a bayonet is not expressly mentioned as bladed, pointed or blunt weapon under PD 9, it cannot be convincingly argued that it is not a bladed, pointed or blunt weapon. If a fan knife, balisong or club, less deadly than a bayonet are prohibited under the law, there is no reason why a more dangerous weapon such as a bayonet should be exempted.

Casus omissus pro omisso habendus est - A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted intentionally - Applies only if and when the omission has been clearly established Exception: When the legislature did not intend to exclude the person, thing, or object from the enumeration Doctrine of last antecedent - As a general rule, qualifying words restrict or modify only the words or phrases to which they are immediately associated, not those that are distantly or remotely located115 - The use of a comma (,) to separate an antecedent from the rest exerts a dominant influence in the application of this doctrine (i.e. qualifying effect or a modifying word will be confined to its immediate antecedent if the latter is separated by a comma from the other antecedents)116 Maxim: ad proximum antecedens fiat relation nisi impediatur sententia (relative words refer to the nearest antecedent, unless the context otherwise requires)
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Felipe v. De la Cruz Nera v. Garcia

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Exceptions: 1. Where the intention of the law is to apply the phrase to all antecedents embraced in the provision, the same should be made extensive to the whole. *Slight indication of this intent is sufficient to extend the relative term117 2. The intention is not to qualify the antecedent at all.118
Cadayona v. CA Petitioner was suspended by the Civil Service Commission. As a result, he filed a motion for reconsideration with the CA. The latter dismissed it because three annexes were not certified true copies. Held: The doctrine of last antecedent cannot be applied qualifying other supporting papers with certified true copies. Only the judgment, final order or resolution are required to be certified true copies. The court cited several provisions showing that only the three need be certified true copies. To rule otherwise would be too harsh and would not promote a just, speedy and underlying disposition of the case. Florentino and Zandueta v. PNB Petitioners filed a mandamus to compel PNB to accept their backpay certificate to pay their debts. However, PNB refused arguing that there was a qualification of who may be willing to accept the same as settlement in the statutory provision. Held: Said qualification should refer to the last antecedent any association or corporation organized under Philippine laws. The purpose of the statute is the recognition of the government of the contribution of veterans to the resistance movement. Hence, its agencies must accept said certificates. To impose this on private corporations would tantamount to deprivation of property because of the lower rate it has.

to which it appears by context most appropriately related and most applicable)


Amadora v. CA The son of petitioners was shot by a classmate inside the schools auditorium while doing a physics report. They filed a civil action for damages under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code against the school, principal, the dean of the boys and the physics teacher. Held: Teachers should apply to pupils and students (academic), heads of arts and trades to apprentices. This is because of the closer tutelage found in heads of arts and trades than the heads in academic institutions, in which the teachers practice close supervision.

Provisos, Exceptions and Saving Clauses 1. Provisos 2. Exceptions 3. Saving clause Provisos - Limit the application of the enacting clause, section, or provision of a statute, or to except something from it, or qualify or restrain its generality, or to exclude some other ground of exclude some possible ground of misrepresentation Exception: If there is a contrary legislative intent *Commonly found at the end of a section, provision, and introduced by the following: 1. Provided 2. But nothing herein *But the use of provided does not necessarily make the provision a proviso. What determines whether a clause is a proviso is not is its substance then its form. Roles: 1. Limit or restrain the general language 2. Enlarge, restrict or limit a phrase of limited import had there been no proviso qualifying it. 3. Give additional legislation

Redendo singal singulis (referring each to each) - Referring each phrase to its appropriate object - Let each be put in its proper place - Words should be taken distributively (Each word is to be applied to the subject
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Ochate v. Deling Heras Teehankee v. Director of Prisons

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4. Qualifies or modifies the phrase immediately preceding it. *If there is a repugnancy between a proviso and the main provision, the first step is harmonizing the two. If there is an irreconcilable conflict, that which is located in a later portion of the statute prevails since it is the latest expression of legislative intent. Exceptions - Clause which exempts or removes something from the operation of a statute by express words119 - Words used: except, unless, otherwise, shall not apply - But it need not always be introduced by these words. - Confirms the general rule - Express mention of exceptions excludes other exceptions; and conversely, those which are not within the enumerated exceptions are deemed included in the general rule Maxim: exceptio firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis (a thing that is not excepted must be regarded as coming within the purview of the general rule) Differences of an exception to a proviso120 Exception Proviso Exempts something Defeats the operation absolutely from the conditionally operation of law, by express words Takes out of the statute Avoids something by something that would way of defeasance or be a part of it excuse otherwise Part of the enactment When the enactment is itself modified by engrafting a new provision, by way of amendment It is said that one of the function of a proviso is to
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except something from an enacting clause, in this sense, they are similar Saving clause - Operates to except from the effect of the law what it provides121 or to save something which would otherwise be lost122 - Usually used to except or save something from the effect of a repeal - In construing it, the intent of the legislature shall be considered or the purpose which the legislature had in mind in enacting said law

Pendon v. Diasnes
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Bautista v. Fule Ibanez de Aldecoa v. Hongkong & Shanghai Bank

Rowell v. Janurin
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STATUTE CONSTRUED AS WHOLE AND IN RELATION TO OTHER STATUTES


Construction of a statute as a whole A statute is passed as a whole and not in parts or sections and is animated by one general purpose and intent. Hence, it should be construed as a harmonious whole. Maxim: ut res magis valeat quam pereat (that construction is to be sought which gives effect to the whole of the statute) *Unsafe way of construction: Dividing a statute by a process of etymological dissertation, into separate words, and then apply each, separated from its context, some particular definitions given by lexicographers, and then reconstruct the statute upon the basis of these definitions.123 Importance in construction The intent of the statute is ascertained from it taken as a whole. And this purpose (intent) controls its construction- how each word and phrases may be given meaning. Intent is ascertained from statute as a whole - The intent or meaning of it should be ascertained from the statute taken as a whole and not from isolated parts of it. - A statute should be construed with reference to every other part and every word and phrase in connection with its context. Maxim: optima statuti interpretatrix est ipsum statutum (the best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself) Purpose or context as controlling guide - The meaning attached to any word or phrase in a statute is usually ascertained from the context, the nature of the subject treated and the purpose or intention of the body which enacted it

Construction of a statute as a whole Because a statute is enacted as a whole and not in parts, every part is as important as the other. Hence, in order to properly and intelligently construe a provision or section of a statute, understand its meaning and scope, and apply it to an actual case, the courts should consider the whole act itself.124 (i.e. a provision unclear by itself may be made clear by reading and construing it in relation to the whole statute) Presumption: The legislature has enacted a statute whose provisions are in harmony and consistent with each other and that conflicting interpretation in the same statute are never supposed or regarded. Exception: If one part of a statute cannot be reconciled or harmonized with another without nullifying one in favour of another, the court should construe it by choosing the one which will best effectuate the legislative intent How done:125 1. Take the thought conveyed by the statute as a whole 2. Construe the constituent parts together 3. Ascertain the legislative intent from the whole act 4. Consider each and every provision in the light of its general purpose 5. Endeavor to make every part effective, harmonious and sensible Apparently conflicting provisions reconciled - All provisions, even if apparently contradicting, should be allowed to stand and given effect by reconciling them - The courts should endeavour to reconcile statutes instead of declaring outright the invalidity of one against the other
Radiola-Toshiba v. IAC A levy on attachment was done in favour of the petitioners on the real properties of private

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Maddumba v. Ozaeta Republic v. Reyes

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Sotto v. Sotto

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respondent spouses. Four months later, 3 creditors filed for an involuntary insolvency of the spouses. Held: The lien on the disputed properties overrode the insolvency proceeding and was not dissolved. Sec. 32 provided a cut-off period where levy on attachment shall be dissolved (1 month and 30 days for judgments entered in actions commenced prior to the proceeding). Sec. 79, where respondents relied, talks about the right of the plaintiff and does not dissolve the attachment. Construction should give effect to the every word of the whole statute. Aquino v. Quezon City This consolidated two cases involving the non-payment of real property tax. In the first case, Spouses Aquino withheld the payment of real property tax as a protest to the government of Marcos. In the second, Solomon Torrado paid taxes on the improvements but not on the land itself because the Treasurer cannot find the index card for the land. Because of non-payment, the QC government sold the delinquent properties. The petitioners contend that they were not notified of the transactions. Held: The Real Property Tax Code should be construed as a whole. Although it required a Notice of Delinquency in Secs. 65 and 67, the respondents have complied with it satisfactorily. Posting and publication is not indispensable so long as there was personal service. On the other hand, sec. 73 gives an option to the Treasurer where to send the notices: (a) address shown in tax rolls, (b) residence, if known to the treasurer or barrio captain. Torrado indicated in his address, Butuan City, and the Treasurer twice mailed in this address (notice of delinquency and notice of sold property). It is immaterial if they have received the notice so long as there was strict compliance to the provisions of the law by the Treasurer. Aisporna v. CA Mapalad Aisporna was charged with a violation of the Insurance Act for selling insurance policies without license. She claimed that she was just helping her husband, the registered insurance agent. Held: The statute must be construed as a whole. Sec. 189(1), though prohibiting the any person to act as agent without authorization from the Insurance Commissioner, Sec. 189(2) defined who an agent isselling policies for compensation. This definition should be applied in relation to other paragraphs. Hence, without proof of compensation, Aisporna may not be held liable. Sajonas v. CA

Spouses Sajonas decided to buy on instalment from Spouses Uychocdes a piece of land. A deed of absolute sale with adverse claim was issued to them. But there was a compromise agreement between the vendor spouses and the Spouses Pilares (their creditor). A notice of levy of execution was inscribed in the title. Held: Sec. 70 of PD1529 provided that an adverse claim shall be effective for 30 days from the date of registration, this is to protect the interest of a person over a piece of land. This will not be automatically cancelled after the lapse of said time, 30 days. Hence, it will continue until cancellation.

Special and general provisions in a statute - Where there is a particular or special provision and a general provision in the same statute, the former is construed as an exception to the latter126 Construction as not to render provision nugatory - A portion of a statute should not be construed to destroy the other Maxim: interpretatio fienda est ut res magis valeat quam pereat (a law should be interpreted with a view to upholding rather than destroying it)
Paras v. COMELEC Held: A statute should be construed in relation with other provisions. Sec. 74(b) must be construed in relation to paragraph A, which is the time when a recall may take place (i.e. second year of the term).

Construction as to give life to the law - Laws must receive sensible interpretation to promote the ends of which they are enacted.127 - They should be given reasonable and practical constructions will give life to them128 - It should not be construed as to allow the doing of an act prohibited by law129
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Lichauco & Co. v. Apostol Lo Cham v. Ocampo Arabay, Inc. v CFI Zamboanga Uy Ha v. City Mayor of Manila

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Presumption: The legislature did not to a vain thing in the enactment of a statute Construction to avoid surplusage - The statute should be construed as to make no part of it a useless surplusage - All efforts should be exerted to give some meaning to every word or phrase in a statute Presumption: The legislature is presumed to have used the word or phrase for a purpose, and not to insert a provision which is unnecessary.
Manila Lodge No. 761 v. CA The Philippine Commission enacted Act No. 1360 to reclaim a certain portion of Manila Bay. This gave ownership to the City of Manila but setting aside a portion in the northern part where a hotel shall be built. The City of Manila sold it to BPOE, the latter selling it to Manila Lodge. BPOE sold it again to TDC and petitioned to cancel the right of Manila to repurchase the land. The trial court and the CA resolved in favour of the City of Manila and held that the contested land is a public park or plaza. Held: The City of Manila cannot sell the land because it is a public park (several arguments were given to support this). This needs authorization from Congress when a provision said, hereby authorized, which means Congress only empowered the City. To construe that the City does not need legislative permission to sell land is to render the said phrase superfluous.

construed in harmony with, and not in violation of it.130 Presumption: The legislature in enacting a law is presumed to have adhered to the constitutional limitations. It was the intention of the legislature to enact a valid, sensible, and just law. Construction to avoid conflict with the constitution A statute should not be construed in such a way that will give rise to a constitutional doubt. - If a statute is reasonably susceptible of two constructions, one constitutional and one unconstitutional, that construction in favour of its constitutionality shall be avoided and the construction that will render it invalid rejected.131 - Every intendment of the law should lean towards its validity, and the court should favour that construction which gives it the greater chance of surviving the test of constitutionality.132 - Courts may be even justified in disregarding the more usual and apparent import of the language used in the statute and in straining the ordinary meaning of words to avert any collusion or repugnancy between what the statute provides and what the Constitution requires.133
Paras v. COMELEC Held: A statute should be construed in relation to the Constitution. To construe SK election as a local election is to render the Art. X Sec. 3 of the Constitution nugatory. This would hinder the system of recall granted by the Constitution. In re: Guarina Mario Guarina wanted to be admitted to the Bar without taking an examination since he is a fiscal of Batanes. He relied on Act No. 1597 Sec. 2 stating that

Statute and its amendments construed together - Changes made by the legislature, in the form of amendments, should be given effect together with the other parts of the amended act Presumption: It is not presumed that the legislature, in making such changes, was indulging in mere semantic exercise. There must be some purpose in making them. Construction in relation to the Constitution As the fundamental law of the land, all statutes should be subservient to the Constitution. Hence, any statute should be

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PLDT v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Alba v. Evangelista

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132

San Miguel Corp. v. Avelino Mutuc v. COMELEC

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provincial fiscals may be licensed to practice law without taking the exam. Held: Said provision should be construed in relation to the organic act (Philippine Bill of 1902). PB of 1902 prohibited Congress from depriving jurisdiction from the court. Since prior to PB of 1902, the Organic Act (Act No. 136) and the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. 190) granted the Court the jurisdiction to deny admission to the Bar, the word may should be construed as permissive so as not to decrease the discretion of the Court regarding admission to the Bar. Asociacion de Agricultores de Talisay-Silay v. TalisaySIlay Milling Co. RA 809 was enacted, allowing the increase of shares of planters and labourers in the income. Respondents disagree stating that there was a contract already between them and the planters. Held: RA 809 is not unconstitutional since it is in keeping with the social justice principle of the Constitution and a police power measure for the promotion of labor conditions. It seeks to reduce the inequality received by the Central and the labourers.

Construction in relation to other statutes Statutes in pari materia - Two or more statutes relate to the same specific subject matter. - Relate to the same person or thing, or have the same purpose or object, or cover the same specific or particular subject matter134 Presumption: Laws are consistent with each other. Whenever a legislature enacts a law, it has in mind the previous statutes relating to the same subject matter, and in the absence of any express repeal or amendment, the new statute is deemed enacted in accord with the legislative policy embodied in those prior statutes. Maxim: interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus (every statute must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence)
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General rule: A statute will not be construed as repealing a prior act on the same subject. In case of doubt, it will be resolved against implied amendment or repeal and in favour of harmonization of all laws on the subject matter135 Exceptions: 1. Unless there is an irreconcilable repugnancy between them and harmonization or reconciliation is not possible 2. The new law evidently intended to supersede all prior acts on the matter to comprise itself the sole and complete system of legislation on the subject If harmonization is impossible: - If there has been an implied repeal, the latter statute should be construed as to modify the prior law no further than may be necessary to effect the specific purpose of the latter enactment136 - If cannot be possibly harmonized, the earlier one must yield to the later one, it being the latest expression of legislative will137 Phrases: - Statutes must be construed not only to be consistent with itself but also to harmonize with other laws on the same subject matter, as to form a complete, coherent, intelligible, and uniform system of jurisprudence138 - The best method of interpretation is that which makes laws consistent with each other - Two or more statutes on the same subject were enacted at different times and under dissimilar circumstances or conditions, their interpretation should be in accordance with the circumstance or conditions peculiar to each (distinguire
City of Naga v. Agna Lacson v. Roque Id at 135 Republic v. Asuncion

Construing statutes in pari materia Ask the question: Does the later act impliedly amended or repealed the earlier statute?
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136

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tempora et concordabis jura or distinguish times and you will harmonize laws)139
City of Naga v. Agna Respondents wanted to claim refund for the tax they paid to Naga after the enactment of Ordinance No. 360, changing the scheme of taxation. They contend that the ordinance did not take effect in 1970 but a year after its approval. Held: The statutes in pari materia, talk about the enactment and effectivity of tax ordinances. Since it involved only a change in taxation, it fell under Sec. 2309 of the Revised Administrative Code. But if it creates an entirely new tax, Sec. 2 of RA 2264 (Local Autonomy Act) shall govern (effective 15 days after the passage). Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. SC Johnson Respondent was obliged to pay their parent company royalties based on a percentage of net sales. It is also subjected to 25% withholding tax on royalty payments. They filed for refund to the BIR for overpaying arguing that a preferential rate of 10% should apply to them. Respondent court ruled in favour of SC Johnson saying that the RP-US Tax Treaty is related to the RP-West Germany Tax Treaty. Held: The two treaties are not in pari materia. This is because the German Tax Treaty expressly allows crediting against German income and corporation tax unlike with that of the US. The US does not have a similar matching credit scheme and no commitment on the grantee to give some form of tax relief to the grantor. Thus, the most favoured nation preferential tax rate should not apply.

- embraces a class of subjects or places and does not omit any subject or place naturally belonging to such class141 Special statute- relates to a particular person or things of a class or to a particular portion or section of the state only142 General rule: The special must prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly than that of a general statute and must be taken as intended to constitute an exception to the general act143 *The circumstance that the special law is passed before or after the general act does not change the principle Reason: The legislature has its attention directed to the special facts and circumstances which the special act is intended to meet. It considers and makes provisions for all the circumstances of a particular case.144 Exceptions: 1. Where the legislature clearly intended the later general enactment to cover the whole subject and to repeal all prior inconsistent laws 2. Where the special law merely establishes a general rule while the general law creates a specific and special rule
Lichauco & Co. v. Apostol Petitioner wanted to import draft and bovine cattle for the manufacture of serum from Pnom-Pehn. But respondent did not admit the cattles. Held: Sec. 1770 of the Administrative Code has not been repealed by Act No. 3052. Unless there is an irreconcilable repugnancy, there can be no implied repeal. Sec. 1770 (AC) deals with a special contingency (any animal from which the Department Head declares that a dangerous communicable disease prevails in a
141

Statutes in pari materia 1. General and special statutes 2. Reference statutes 3. Supplemental statutes 4. Reenacted statutes 5. Adopted statutes 1. General and special statutes General statute- applies to all people of the state or to all of a particular class of persons in the state with equal force140
139

Valera v. Tuason Id at 140 Lichauco & Sons v. Apostol Manila Railroad Co. v. Rafferty

142

Commissioner of Customs v. Superior Gas & Equipment Co.


143

140

US v. Serapio
144

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

foreign country) not subject to Act No. 3052, amending sec. 1762 (permitting a draft or bovine cattle for the manufacture of serum). Butuan Sawmill v. City of Butuan The City of Butuan, acting on its charter RA 523 in 1950, passed an ordinance taxing businesses engaging electric light, heat and power. Butuan Sawmill, which was given a legislative franchise by virtue of RA 399 in 1949, disputed the constitutionality of the taxing ordinance because it impairs the obligation of contract. Held: Although the charter of Butuan was approved later than the grant of franchise, the latter was special and the former general. The charter gave taxing power to Butuan but businesses of electric light, heart and power should serve as exemptions. Also, the Local Autonomy Act did not authorize Butuan to tax the franchised business since it would result to double taxation because a franchise tax is already paid.

the statute without changing or modifying its original text 4. Reenacted statutes - The provisions of an earlier statute are reproduced in the same or substantially the same words - Two statutes with a parallel scope, purpose and terminology should, each in its own field, have a like interpretation, unless in particular instances there is something peculiar in the question under consideration, or dissimilar in the terms of the act relation to it, requiring a different conclusion - If a statute has been construed by the court of last resort and the same is re-enacted, the legislature may be regarded as adopting such construction (adoption of contemporaneous construction) - Applies only when the statute is capable of the construction given to it when the construction has become a settled rule of conduct - Reenactment may also be done by reference
ESSO Standard Eastern v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Petitioner asked for refund for overpaid taxes arising from the disallowance of the margin fees paid to the Central Bank on its profits to its New York head office. They claim that margin fees are taxes, hence, should be deductible from ESSOs gross income under Sec. 30(c) of the NIRC. Held: The margin fee was not a re-enacted statute of a revenue measure. It is in keeping with the police power of the State to discourage imports and encourage exports. It cannot also be considered as a necessary expense deductible to the net income because it is paid to its head office as a separate income, and not as an appropriate and helpful in the development of the business. Tax exemptions are strictly construed against the taxpayer. Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority v. Marcos MCIAA was created by virtue of RA 6958 and enjoyed tax exemption under Sec. 14 of its Charter. The City Treasurer demanded for payment of real estate tax. It was contended that, aside from Sec. 14, the Local Government Code exempted the National Government and its agencies, and the MCIAA is an instrumentality

2. Reference statutes - Refers to other statutes and makes them applicable to the subject of legislation. - Incorporation in a statute of another statute by reference - Used to avoid encumbering the statute books of unnecessary repetition - Recognized as an approved method of legislation in the absence of constitutional restrictions - Adoption by reference of a statute previously repealed revives that statute but does not include subsequent changes or modification
People v. Martin Hermin Arceo and Simeona Martin were charged with possession of counterfeit science stamps. The CFI dismissed it since RA 5448 did not punish said crime because no mention was made regarding a science stamp. The penalties mentioned in RA 5448 refers only to the administrative and not criminal. Held: Since the statutes are in pari materia, sec. 4(2) of RA 5448 referred to the manner and time of collection, and the penalties provided in Sec. 240 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). This made the provision complete and as effective and fool proof as the earlier statute, hence, it must be criminal in nature.

3. Supplemental statutes - Intended to supply deficiencies in an existing statute and to add, to complete, or extend

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

of the government performing governmental functions. Held: Congress did not expand the scope of the exemption to include instrumentalities or agencies of the government-owned and controlled corporations. The reproduction of the source of exemption in Sec. 40(a) of PD 464 (Real Property Tax Code) in the Local Government Code excluded the GOCCs.

5. Adopted statute - A statute patterned after, or copied from a statute of a foreign country - In construing adopted statutes, the court must take into consideration: o construction of the law by the courts of the country from which it is taken, o law itself o practices under it Exception: construction given to the statute subsequent to its adoption, but it has persuasive effect
Banas v. CA Banas sold a land to Ayala Investment for P2,308,770. In the Deed of Sale, it was agreed that he shall be paid in instalment for four years. On the same day, he discounted the promissory note with Ayala. He was issued 9 checks all dated with that day drawn against BPI. In the first year, he reported P461,754 as his income, and a uniform income of P230,877 for the succeeding years. He was charged for tax evasion but applied for tax amnesty under PD 1740. He filed for another tax amnesty under PD 1840. But he still insisted that he was paid in instalment. Held: To avail of the tax amnesty, there should be a disclosure of untaxed income. When he discounted the check, he lost his entitlement of payment through instalment since he immediately received cash. The law was adopted from the US where it held that an instalment obligation discounted at a bank, it would result to a taxable disposition. Hence, he should have declared the whole income in that year.

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

STRICT OR LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION


Strict construction - Scope of the statute shall not be enlarged or extended by implication, intendment, or equitable consideration beyond the literal meaning - Close and conservative adherence to the literal or textual interpretation Limitations: It does not mean that the statute should be given its narrowest meaning. Nor does it mean that words should be restricted as not to have their full meaning. Liberal construction - Equitable construction as will enlarge the letter of the statute to accomplish its intended purpose, carry out its intent, and promote justice - Expand the meaning of the statute to meet cases which are clearly within the spirit or reason of it Exceptions: If the statute is plain, clear and unambiguous, enlargement of the provision is prohibited. Nor does it mean that the words be forced out of their natural meaning. *Liberal construction is not engrafting upon a law something which the Court believes ought to be there. Liberal construction is a valid exercise of judicial power, the latter is judicial legislation that is forbidden by the doctrine of separation of powers. 145 *In interpreting the law, the following should be taken into account: 1. Social justice - The constitutional mandate on social justice is addressed not only to the legislative branch but also to the two other departments of the government - If the provision is susceptible of two interpretations, they now have to be construed to promote and achieve social justice.
145

2. General welfare or growth of civilization Maxim: salus populi est suprema lex (public good is the highest in law) statuta pro public commodo late interpretantur (statutes enacted for the public good are to be construed liberally) - Statutes and judicial decisions alike come into being out of the same common roots, the supreme good of society - Statutes are not isolated from the drama of life as it unfolds, hence, they must be interpreted in the light of the growth of civilization and varying conditions. Statutes strictly construed 1. Penal statutes 2. Statutes in derogation of rights a. Statutes authorizing expropriations b. Statutes imposing taxes and custom duties c. Statutory grounds for removing officials 3. Statutes granting privileges a. Legislative grants to local government units b. Naturalization laws c. Statutes granting tax exemptions d. Statutes prescribing formalities of will 4. Statutes concerning the sovereign a. Statutes authorizing suits against the government 5. Exceptions and provisos 1. Penal statutes - Those which define crimes, treat of their nature, and provide for their punishment - Strictly construed against the State and liberally in favour of the accused146 Reason: a. The law is tender in favour of rights of an individual; the object is to establish a certain rule by conformity to which

Tanada v. Yulo

146

People v. Subido

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

mankind would be safe, and the discretion of the court limited. b. It is not to enable a guilty person to escape punishment through a technicality but to provide a precise definition of forbidden acts147 General rule: Penal statute shall not be construed to make the commission of certain prohibited acts criminal without regard to the intent of the doer Maxim: actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea (the act itself does not make a man guilty unless his intention were so) actus me invite factus non est meus actus (an act done by me against my will is not my act) Exception: If acts are only mala prohibita and the statutes plainly prohibits an act without implying that it be done knowingly of wilfully. Limitations to construction in favour of the accused: 1. Not to be construed as to defeat the obvious purpose of the legislature 2. Only when the law is ambiguous and there is doubt in its meaning
Buenaseda v. Flavier Petitioners challenged the power of the Ombudsman to issue preventive suspension to employees working in government offices other than the Office of the Ombudsman. This is because of the provision, The
Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation.

solicitations for religious purpose are considered charitable also, not all charitable actions are religious in nature. Hence, penal laws should be construed in favour of the accused. People v. Salarza, Jr. Zareen Smith claimed that she was raped by the defendant after a drinking session. Held: Accused was acquitted since the elements of rape are not satisfied. It is impossible that force or intimidation attended the act since there was consent when she thought that the one having sex with her is her lover and passively acceded to the act. Salarza did nothing to mislead her and even told him who he was and never used force. Zareen was not deprived of reason or unconscious since she knew that someone was undressing her. She admitted that she had sex with her boyfriend many times and knew that he was fond of foreplay and doesnt have sex when drunk. Hence, she should have known that the man whom she was having sex with was not her lover.

Held: Preventive suspension is not a penalty and just a matter of procedure. Hence, it must be liberally construed. To do otherwise is to render the Ombudsman powerless in his investigation since he can issue preventive suspension only to those working directly under his office. Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos Petitioners, officers of the Samahang Katandaan ng Nayon ng Tikay, were charged with violation of PD 1564 or the Solicitation Permit Law by Judge Angeles. They were asking for money to renovate their chapel. Held: The court distinguished religious and charitable purposes and held that solicitations for religious purposes are not covered by said law. Although

2. Statutes in derogation of rights - In the exercise of the police power, the legislature may enact laws curtailing or restricting rights of the people - Because they are in derogation of common or general rights, they are strictly construed and confined within their scope a. Statutes authorizing expropriations - Same as the above but based on the power of eminent domain - Strictly construed against the expropriating authority and liberally in favour of the property owners b. Statutes imposing taxes and custom duties - Power to tax is incident of sovereignty and is unlimited in range. That is why it is regarded that the power to tax involves the power to destroy - Taxation is a destructive power which interferes with personal and property rights of the people - Strictly construed against the government and liberally in favour of the taxpayer c. Statutory grounds for removal of officials

147

People v. Purisima

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Those referring to suspension or removal of public officials are to be construed strictly - Must be confined within the limits prescribed: causes, manner, conditions Reason: Removal is a drastic action that would result to injustice and harm to public interest
Collector of Internal Revenue v. La Tondena Respondent La Tondena was in the business of alcohol. In making the Manila Rum, it uses a low test alcohol which it subjects and re-rectifies to further distillation. At first, they were exempted and given an allowance of not exceeding 7% since there was a loss in the process of distillation. But after the passage of RA 1608, respondent was ordered to pay taxes for these losses since the tax in alcohol is attached not as soon as it has existed but on the finished product. Held: The law should not be given a retroactive effect. Hence, it must be strictly construed against the Government. It was clear that during said years, the prevailing rule was to exempt La Tondena as a result of said losses. City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila The City of Manila asked the CFI in Manila to expropriate the land for the purpose of constructing a public improvement. The respondents contend that it was one of the owners of the parcels of land. Held: Expropriation statutes are strictly construed against the expropriating authority. This is because of a derogation of the right. The right to ascertain upon trial whether the right exists for the exercise of eminent domain, it intended that the courts should inquire into, and hear proof upon, those questions. Caneda v. CA Mateo Caballero, an old widower executed a last will and testament before 3 attesting witnesses. He passed away even before the commencement of the hearing of the petition. As a result, a legate was appointed as special administrator. Petitioner contended that they are related to the testator and challenged the appointment of a special administrator. The lower court rendered a decision stating the validity of the will. However, petitioners allege that the will did not contain any attestation clause and lacks several requirement or element.

Held: The testator himself signed the will and all pages. It is not important that every page must be signed by the witnesses. But he lacks the element of a will. To be valid, it should be executed in accordance with statutory provisions.

4. Statutes granting privileges - Viewed with suspicion because grants of advents created special privileges or monopolies for the grantees - Strict construction requires that those who invoke the grant should strictly comply with the provisions Maxim: privilegia recipient largam interpretationem voluntati consonam concedentis (privileges are to be interpreted in accordance to the will of him who grants them) a. Legislative grants to local government units - Grants of public nature and should be construed strictly against the grantee - Gratuitous donation of public money or property which would result in an unfair advantage to the grantee b. Naturalization laws - Strictly construed against the applicant for citizenship and should be rigidly enforced and followed Reason: The right of an alien to become a citizen is a statutory and not a natural one. It does not become vested until he files a petition and establishes by competent and satisfactory evidence that he has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications specified by law.148 c. Statutes granting tax exemptions - The law frowns against exemption from taxation - It must be strictly construed against the taxpayer and liberally in favour of the taxing authority Reason: Minimize the different treatment and foster impartiality, fairness, and equality of treatment among taxpayers.149 Exceptions:
148

Mo Yuen Tsi v. Republic Resins, Inc. v. Auditor General

149

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1. Where the provision of the law is clear and unambiguous 2. There is no qualification for the granting of exemption 3. Exemptions in favour of government itself or its agencies d. Statutes prescribing formalities of will - Strictly construed as to make noncompliance to the statutory requirements shall invalidate the will - This is not a matter of right of the testator but of the privilege given by the legislature, hence, the intent of the legislature and not of the testator should apply
Esso Eastern Oil v. Acting Commissioner of Custom Esso wanted to refund the amount it paid for special import used in its oil retail business, claiming that they use it in their business operation. Held: Esso is not entitled to tax exemption since it was found out that the pump parts were not actuallu used in its business but are being leased to dealers which Esso was tied up to. For tax exemption to be availed, there must be actual use of that part in business operation. Mere presumption of tax exemption is not favoured. Martinez v. CA Martinez was charged with libel as a result of the alleged derogatory imputations against then VicePresident Laurel in his article. After the DOJ Secretary issued an opinion that said article was not libellous, the prosecutor was directed to cause the dismissal of the information filed. Laurel appealed. Martinez moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that no appeal lies from the dismissal of a criminal case. Held: Petition is denied since the procedural recourse of Laurel was correct. The order of dismissal was a final order, hence nothing more could be done in tbe lower court. What was required was the trial judges own judgment and not that of the opinion of the DOJ secretary. The dismissal order, being a violation of the private complainants right to due process, is erroneous and the Court may remand the case to the trial court.

rights and interest of the government are strictly construed The statutes, no matter how broad, will not cover the sovereign until it is specifically mentioned150 The government does not fall within the terms of any legislation151 a. Statutes authorizing suits against the government152 - The sovereign is exempt from suit, in the absence of its consent to be sued, is a universal rule - To justify a suit against the government, there must be a law conferring the right to maintain the action that must be plain and positive153 Reasons: 1. Classical - There can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which rights depend (nullum tempus occurit regi) 2. Practical- To allow the State to be sued without its consent is to make it subject to inconvenience and loss of governmental efficiency, with a more adverse result greater than if the doctrine is abandoned

5. Exceptions and provisions General rule: All doubts should be resolved in favor of the general provision rather than the exception - Exceptions should be strictly but reasonably construed, and extends only so far as their language fairly warrants - Provisos should be strictly construed since the legislature sets forth in the general enactment its policy and only those exempted

150

Alliance of Government Workers v. Minister of Labor and Employment


151

4. Statutes concerning the sovereign - Restrictive statutes which impose burdens on the public treasury or which diminish the

Id.

152

Sec. 3 Art. XVI (Const). The State may not be sued without its consent.
153

Compana General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Government

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

by the proviso should be freed from the operation of the statute

Statutes liberally construed 1. General social legislation 2. Grant of power to local governments a. General welfare clause b. Statutes granting taxing power to local government 3. Statutes prescribing prescriptive period to collect taxes 4. Statutes imposing penalties for nonpayment of taxes 5. Election laws 6. Amnesty proclamations 7. Statutes prescribing prescriptions of crimes 8. Adoption statutes 9. Veteran and pension laws 10. Rules of Court 11. Other statutes a. Curative statutes b. Redemption law c. Warehouse receipt laws d. Probation law e. Statutes granting powers to an agency created by the Constitution 1. General social legislation - These are statutes enacted to implement the social justice and protection-to-labor provisions of the Constitution, and are construed liberally - The doubt should be resolved in favour of the persons whom the law intended to benefit - For it is only by liberal construction that the constitutional mandate may be realized Limitation: Holds true only when there is doubt or ambiguity in the law and not when it is clear and free from doubt.
Santos v. ECC Petitioners husband, who worked as welder for the Philippine Navy, died of liver cirrhosis. She then filed a with the GSIS a claim for death benefit, pursuant to PD 626. The GSIS denied the claim reasoning out that liver

cirrhosis is not an occupational disease. If it were so, it should have been a disease in the lungs, not in the liver. The Employees Compensation Commissione affirmed the decision. Held: Although not listed in Annex A enumerating the occupational disease, liver cirrhosis may result from inhalation of chemicals as a result of gas fumes and heat. This was his state of work as a welder, and inhalation of small amounts, if prolonged would result to this disease. But even so, the doubt should be resolved in favour of the working man. GSIS v. CA The surviving spouse of Senior Superintendent Jaime Liwanag filed for claim of death benefit. He died of Hepatits B. After being denied by the GSIS, she filed with the CA a petition where she used as evidence several PNP reports about the death of her husband. The CA ruled in her favour. Held: Because Hepatitis B was not on the list of occupational diseases, the burden of proof lies with private respondent. Hence, she should have substantiated her claim and not solely rely on the sweeping rapports from the PNP based on a laymans report and not on medical findings. Although general welfare legislations are construed in favour of the worker, this holds true only when there is doubt and ambiguity. The law was clear that causal relation must be backed up by substantial evidence. Sun Life Insurance v. CA Felix Lim had a personal accident insurance policy from petitioner. Two months after the issuance of the policy, he died by gunshot. Suicide was ruled out after the testimony of his secretary that after pointing the gun at her, he pointed it at his temple after removing the magazine to assure her that there was no bullet. His wife sued Sun Life and asked to pay her the face value of the policy since the latter claimed that there was no accident. Held: As the secretary testified, Lim did not wilfully place his life at risk. Although Lim was negligent, it should not prevent his wife from recovering the insurance policy he obtained. The firing of gun was the additional, unexpected, independent and unforeseen occurrence that led to his death. Insurance contracts as a rule should be construed in favour of the insured. Guerrero v. CA Spouses Guerrero allowed Apolinario rake care of their cows and to do chores and harvest in the plantation owned by them. As such, he shared 1/3 from the proceeds of copra he processed and sold to the

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

market. Twice he was refrained from harvesting by the Guerreros under threat that his house shall be destroyed. He was ordered reinstated as tenant by the CA. Held: The Agricultural Tenancy Act and the Land Reform Act did not repeal the Code of Agrarian Reform. Even if the shared tenancy scheme has been phased out, it did not intend to make a reversion from tenants to hired labourers with no tenurial rights. The sharing of harvests taken together with other factors characteristic of a tenant strengthens Benitezs claim.

governments should be construed strictly against the National Governments and liberally in favour of them 3. Statutes prescribing prescriptive period to collect taxes - These are beneficial both to the government and to the taxpayer, since: o Tax officers would be obliged to act promptly in making assessments o Citizens would have a feeling of security against tax agents who takes advantage and harass taxpayers - Liberally construed in a way conducive to bring out the beneficial purpose of affording protection to taxpayers156 4. Statutes imposing penalties for non-payment of taxes - Liberally construed in favour of the government and strictly interpreted against the taxpayer - This is to hasten payments of taxes and punish evasions. If condoned, government services will suffer - If possible, it should be interpreted to avoid tax evasions 5. Election laws - Reasonable and liberally construed to achieve the purpose- to safeguard the will of the electorate in choosing their representatives - It has three parts: o Provisions for the conduct of elections which election officials are required to follow are mandatory before the elections and directory after elections. These are liberally construed so as not to vitiate the election. o Provisions which candidates for office are required to comply are mandatory and failure to comply is fatal o Provisions designed to determine the will of the electorate are liberally construed,
156

2. Grant of power to local governments - The trend is from a limited self-government to full autonomy.154 a. General welfare clauses - Has two branches: o The first branch relates to the municipal authority to create ordinances and regulations as may be necessary to carry into effect the powers and duties conferred upon the local legislative bodies by law o The second branch authorizes such ordinances necessary to provide for the general welfare (healthy, safety, peace and order, promote prosperity and improve the morals) - Construed liberally in favour of the local governments because the general welfare clauses are elastic and must be responsive to various social conditions b. Statutes granting taxing power to local governments155 - The local governments are now empowered to create their own sources of revenues, hence, statutes limiting the taxing power of local
154

Sec. 25 Art. II (Const). The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.
155

Sec. 5 Art. X (Const). Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local governments.

Republic v. Ablaza

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

technical and procedural barriers should not be allowed to stand if they constitute an obstacle in the choice of elective officials157 6. Amnesty proclamations - Liberally construed in favour of the persons within the amnesty grant to encourage the return to the fold of law those who have veered away from it - The same goes with pardon since the two are synonymous 7. Statutes prescribing prescription of crimes - Is in the nature of amnesty and should be liberally construed in favour of the accused - Its existence is a recognition and notification by the legislature of the fact that time assigned to it destroys proofs of guilt 8. Adoption statutes - Liberally construed in favour of the child adopted - This is in consonance in the concept that adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, hold the interest and welfare of the child to be of paramount consideration158 9. Veterans and pension laws - Liberally construed in favour of the persons intended to be benefited - Veterans laws are expression of gratitude to and recognition of those who rendered service to the country by extending monetary benefits159 - Pension and retirement laws intend to provide for sustenance and comfort, when the former employee has no longer the stamina to continue earning his livelihood after devoting the best years of his life to public service160
157

10. Rules of Court - Liberally construed because of being procedural in nature. - It should not be interpreted to sacrifice substantial rights of the litigant at the altar of technicalities to the consequent impairment of the principles of justice.161
Arcilla v. Arcilla In the annulment of sale, the petitioners did not attend the pre-trial and filed after the prescribed period. As a result, the trial court continued with the litigation and allowed the presentation of evidence without notice to the other party. Held: Alhtough the Rules of Court are procedural, it should not be ignored, belittled or dismissed. They are required to be followed except for the most persuasive reasons.

Ginete v. Arcange Malkano v. Agrava Board of Administrators v. Philippine Veterans Bank Santiago v. COA

11. Other statutes a. Curative statutes - Enacted to cure defects in a prior law or to validate legal proceedings which would otherwise be void for want of conformity with certain legal requirements. - Intended to supply defects. Abridge superfluities and curb certain evils, and are retroactive b. Redemptive laws - Liberally construed to allow the debtor to have his property appliqud to pay as many debtors liabilities as possible - The doubt should resolve in favour of exemption from execution or attachment c. Warehouse receipt laws - Given liberal construction in favour of the holder of such receipts because they play an important role in modern commerce d. Probation law

158

159

160

161

Cabunilas v. CA

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Liberally construed by extending the benefits to any one not specifically disqualified162 - This is because of the goal of the probation to give first-hand offenders a second chance to maintain his place in society e. Statutes granting power to an agency created by the Constitution

162

Santos To v. Pano

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

MANDATORY AND DIRECTORY STATUTES


Mandatory statutes Positive- Commands that something be done, or performed in a particular way Negative- Prohibition; that something be not done, leaving the person concerned no choice on the matter except to obey163 - acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void164 Directory statutes 1. permissive or discretionary in nature and merely outlines the act to be done in such a way that no injury can result from ignoring it or that its purpose can be accomplished in a manner other than that prescribed and will have substantially the same result 2. statute which merely operates to confer discretion upon a person, namely, to act according to the dictates of his own judgment and conscience, and not controlled by the judgment and conscience of others How to determine I. Language used II. Departure from the language I. Language used General rules: 1. Statutes using words of commands (shall, must, ought, should) or prohibition (cannot, shall not, ought not) connotes compulsion and are regarded as mandatory and imperative165 2. Negative words or those in form of an affirmative proposition qualified by the word only have the force of exclusionary negation166
163

3. This indicates the legislative intent to make the statute mandatory and can rarely be directory167 4. Statutes using permissive words (may) or words importing permissiveness are generally directory.168 5. May as an auxiliary verb shows opportunity or possibility, it implies a possible existence of something169
Republic v. Toledano and Spouses Clouse Private respondents, who were American citizens, wanted to adopt the minor Alcala. The lower court granted their request, but the Office of the SolicitorGeneral filed a petition claiming that the spouses Clouse are disqualified from adopting because of their citizenship. Held: Art. 184(3) of the Family Code clearly barred aliens from adopting when it said the following persons may not adopt. As for Alvin Clouse, he is not a former Filipino citizen and the minor is neither his relative or legitimate child. It may be argued that Evelyn Alcala is qualified by being a former Filipino citizen who wished to adopt her younger brother Joseph. But, Art. 185 (FC) orders a mandatory joint adoption for spouses. As such, adoption cannot be granted since her husband has disqualifications. But, they may still adopt the minor according to the rules on inter-country adoption. Bunye v. Escareal Several officials of Muntinlupa were issued a preventive suspension by the Sandiganbayan. This is in connection with the alleged forcible taking of the New Alabang Public Market. Defendants claimed that Muntinlupa Government has a 25-year lease contract with them, and their own cooperative introduced improvements. Held: Sec. 13 of the RA 3019 clearly provided that public officials charged shall be suspended from office. Even if there would be massive vacancies in several offices in Muntinlupa, a preventive suspension must still be issued.

II. Departure from the language


167

Brehn v. Republic McGee v. Republic Stanley v. Miller Legazpi v. Estrella Buyco v. PNB Id at 145 Valdez v. Tuason
168

164

165

169

166

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ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

There is no universal rule to distinguish mandatory from directory statutes. Neither is there an absolute test for determining whether a statute is to be considered mandatory or directory. Hence, shall may be construed as may and vice versa. To determine the construction, the legislative intent must be ascertained from all surrounding circumstance: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Entire statute Object Purpose Legislative history Consequences

convicted. The mayor appealed to the Office of the President and prayed for stay of execution order. The OP issued a stay for execution. Held: Since implied repeals are not favoured, construction should be to harmonize the laws. The phrase in Sec. 68 (LGC), an appeal shall not prevent a decision from becoming final or executor, is held to be discretionary. The OP issued the order so as not to prejudice the public because suspension would disrupt the service of the mayor.

Mandatory statutes 1. Conferring power 2. Granting benefits 3. Prescribing jurisdictional requirements a. Prescribing time to take action or to appeal b. Prescribing procedural requirements 4. Election laws on conduct of election 5. Election laws on qualifications and disqualifications 6. Prescribing qualifications for office 7. Assessment of taxes 8. Public auction sale 1. Statutes conferring power - Confer upon a public body or officer power to performs acts which concern the public interests or rights of individuals - The power is given not for the benefit of the public officer but for third persons to meet the demands of rights and to prevent a failure of justice 2. Statutes granting benefits - Requires certain steps to be taken or certain conditions to be met before persons concerned can avail of the benefits conferred by law - Failure of persons to take the required steps or to meet the conditions will prevent him from availing of this benefits Maxim: vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt (law aids the vigilant, and not those who slumber on their rights) potior est in tempore, potior est in jure (he who is first in time is preferred in right)

Directory if... a. No substantial rights depend on it b. No injury can result from ignoring it c. The purpose of the legislature can be accomplished in a manner other than that prescribed and substantially the same results obtained d. Where the directions of the statute are given merely with a view to the proper, orderly, and prompt conduct of business e. Compliance with the statute is a matter of convenience rather than substance Mandatory if... 170 a. The doing of an act is required by justice or public duty b. It vests a public body or officer with power and authority to take such action which concerns the public interests or rights of individuals c. If it will cause hardship or injustice on the part of the public d. If it will lead to absurd, impossible or mischievous consequences e. Non-compliance with what is required will result in the nullity of the act
Berces, Sr. v. Guingona, Jr. Petitioner filed two administrative cases against the mayor of Tiwi, Albay; of which the latter was
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Diokno v. Rehabilitation Finance Corp.

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

San Carlos Milling Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue SCMC, by virtue of Sec. 86 of the Tax Code, wanted to have its overpaid tax in 1983 be credited against its 1984 tax dues. The Commissoner of Internal Revenue denied its request and merely treated it as an ordinary claim for refund/tax credit subject to further investigation. Held: The word may in said provision should not be construed as to give the taxpayer an absolute right to arbitrarily avail it. It does not mean automatic and immediate tax credit, since this would strip off the government of its power to control taxation. There should still be an investigation by the CIR to verify the amount.

Esam Gandi was apprehended in the airport and detained for possession of Marijuana. After posting bail, he filed a motion for reinvestigation claiming that he was arrested without a warrant. This petition was denied since he filed it beyond the 5-day reglementary period. CA ruled that said period is discretionary only. Held: Rule 112 Sec. 7 is mandatory. He may only exercise his right to reinvestigation during the 5-day reglementary period. The reason behind is to make the process of preliminary investigation speedy. Besides, his posting of bail means a waiver to a preliminary investigation. Llenares v. Valdeavella and Zoreta Llenares filed an action of ejectment claiming that she owned 12 parcels of land after acquiring from a sheriffs sale under a writ of execution. The lower court ruled in favour of the defendants since there was insufficiency in the levy of land or in notice of sale. Held: With the admission that the attempted levy was not made in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure, the petition has no merit. Proper levy and notice of sale are indispensable to a valid sale on execution.

3. Statutes prescribing jurisdictional requirements - Requirements by which courts or tribunals acquire jurisdiction to hear and decide cases must be strictly complied with (e.g. publication before a court hear a petition for land registration, written claim of refund to Commissioner of Internal Revenues before actions for refund) a. Statutes prescribing time to take action or to appeal - If a decision is adverse to a litigant, it absolutely indispensable to take action or appeal at the prescribed time in a the prescribed manner - This is to prevent needless delays and for the orderly and speedy discharge of business - Failure to do this will leave the appellate court without jurisdiction Maxim: reipublicae ut sit finis litium (public interest requires an end to a legal controversy) b. Statutes prescribing procedural requirements - Every act which is jurisdictional, or is an essence of the proceeding, or for the protection or benefit of the party affected
People v. CA

4. Election laws on conduct of election General rule: All provisions governing the conduct of elections and prescribing steps for the election officials are mandatory before the elections. If sought to enforce after election day, they become directory only if this will deprive innocent voters, without fault on their part, of their votes Reason: These steps were adopted to assist the voters in their participation in the affairs of the government and not to defeat that object. When voters have honestly cast their ballots, the same should not be nullified simply because the officers have failed to do their duty. To make these mandatory would nullify the votes affected. Interested people will just be tempted and conspire to create irregularities that will result to the vitiation of the election. 5. Election laws on qualification and disqualification - Laws prescribing the time limit to file certificates of candidacy and qualifications and disqualifications to elective office

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

If a candidate failed to comply with said requirements, he is disqualified to run, even if he received the highest number of votes.171 Said votes will be considered void and will not be counted.

6. Statutes prescribing qualifications for office - Eligibility to hold office is a continuing requirements and must exist not only from the beginning of the term but also during the occupancy of the office - A person not qualified at the time he assumed office, or if he loses such qualification during his incumbency will be ousted from office.172 7. Statutes relating to assessment of taxes - Assessment of taxes, intended to ensure the security of citizens, the equality of taxation, the certainty as to the nature and amount of each others tax, are mandatory - But those designed for the methodical and systematic modes of proceedings are merely directory Test: If the law is to protect citizens and to prevent sacrifice of their property, it is mandatory 8. Statutes concerning public auction sale - Prescribed steps in public auction of properties are to be followed strictly Reason: In derogation of the property rights and due process

So long as these do not limit their power (jurisdiction) or render its exercise in disregard of the requisitions ineffectual - That is why statutes jurisdictional in nature are mandatory, because it limits the power of the officer and render their actions invalid (compare this to statutes prescribing jurisdictional requirements under mandatory statutes) Exception: If accompanied by negative words (i.e. no, shall not, never, etc.) 2. Statutes prescribing manner of jurisdictional action - These are the steps in judicial action followed by judges in the exercise of their functions - The purpose is to provide an orderly conduct of public business. - But, the procedure is only secondary in importance to substantive rights, and nonobservance of the former should not be permitted to affect the latter. 3. Statutes requiring renditions of decision within the prescribed period173 - A judgment made after the prescribed date of promulgation is not rendered invalid. But the officer who failed to comply with the law may be dealt with administratively, as consequence of his delay.174 - Failure of judges to comply merely deprives them not of their jurisdiction but their right to collect their salaries175

Directory statutes 1. Prescribing guidance for officer 2. Prescribing manner of judicial action 3. Rendition of decision within prescribed period 1. Statutes prescribing guidance for officers - Intended to guide public officers in the conduct of business

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Sec. 15(1) Art. VIII (Const). All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other lower courts. See also Sec. 7. Art. IX(A). Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members, any case or matter brought before it within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution.
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Gafor v. COMELEC Aguila v. Genato

Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions v. Secretary of Labor Dimson v. Elepano

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JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

PROSPECTIVE AND RETROACTIVE STATUTES


Prospective statutes - Operates upon facts or transactions that occur after the statute takes effect - One that looks and applies to the future176 - Indicated by the words hereafter, thereafter, from and after the passing of this Act, shall have been made, from and after, shall. Retroactive statutes - Takes away or impairs vested rights acquired under existing laws, creates new obligation, imposes a new duty or attaches a new disability in respect to transactions already past - But a statute is not made retroactive because it draws on antecedent facts for its operation or part of the requirements for its application is drawn from a time antedating its passage177 - The constitution does not prohibit the enactment of a retroactive statute which does not impair obligations of contract or divest rights that have become vested General rule: Statutes are to be construed as having only a prospective operation178 Exception: The intendment if the legislature is to give them retroactive effect is expressly declared or implied from the language used Presumption: All laws operate prospectively. And in case of doubt, it shall be resolved against the retroactive operations of law. Reason: Law is a rule to guide actions with no binding effect until it is enacted. Maxims: lex prospicit, non respicit (the law looks forward, not backward) lex de future, judex de praeterito (law provides for the future, the judge for the past)
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nova constitutio futuris formam imponere debet non praeteritis (a new statute should affect the future, not the past)

Prospective statutes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Penal statutes Ex post facto Bill of attainder Statutes substantive in nature Statutes affecting vested rights Statutes affecting obligations of contract 7. Repealing and amendatory acts

Retroactive statutes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Procedural Curative Police power legislations Statutes relating to prescription Statutes relating to appeals

Laceste v. Santos Camacho v. Court of Industrial Relation

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Art. 4 (CC). Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided.

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

AMENDMENT, REVISION, CODIFICATION AND REPEAL


*The legislature has the authority to amend, subject to constitutional requirements, any existing law. Amendment - change or modification, by addition, deletion, or alteration of a statute - effected by the enactment of an amendatory act or modifying or altering some provisions of the statute o Express- an amendatory act that specific provisions of a statute are amended as recited therein o Implied- a part of a prior statute embracing the same subject as the later act may not be enforced without nullifying the pertinent provision of the latter. The prior act is deemed amended to the extent of the repugnancy. General rule: Implied amendment is never presumed nor favoured. Every statute should be harmonized with other laws on the same subject.179 Exception: A clear inconsistency and irreconcilable repugnancy between statutes.180 Effectivity - Amended takes effect 15 days following the publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation181 - An amended is a part of the original act that is already in force and effect, hence, it becomes effective as part of the amended law at the time the amendatory act takes effect General rule: Amended act operates prospectively Exceptions: 1. If the legislature clearly intended its retroactive effect
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2. No vested rights impaired 3. Procedural laws are applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of passage Effects Presumption: The legislature would not have amended it had it not wanted to change its meaning - Meaning of law changes because an amended act should be given a different construction from that of the original. - As if the original statute has been repealed and a new and independent act in the amended form had been adopted - As if the statute has been originally enacted in its amended form - The provisions of the original act not affected by the amendment remain in force, while those omitted are deemed repealed182 - Jurisdiction of a court is determined by the law in force at the time the action is instituted. And once the court has acquired jurisdiction, that will remain with it until the case is decided.183 o If a statute amends a prior act with the effect of divesting the court of jurisdiction, it may not be construed as to oust jurisdiction that may have already attached under prior law. This would be a subversion of the judicial process.184 o This rule also applies to quasi-judicial bodies.185 - An invalid law does not exist. If a prior statute which has been amended is declared invalid, nothing has been amended. If the amendatory act is complete by itself, it will be considered as an original or independent act.186 If the amendatory act is declared
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Parras v. Land Registration Commission Rillaroza v. Arciaga Government v. Gale Erectors, Inc. v. NLRC People v. Lim

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Estrada v. Caeda Garcia Valdez v. Tuason Art. 2 (CC), as amended by EO 200

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180

185

181

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JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

invalid, it would be as if the amendment did not exist; the prior act remains unaffected and in force.187 Revision and Codification - The purpose is to restate the existing laws into one statute, simplify complicated provisions, and make laws on the subject easily found - It is a continuation of the existing statutes Presumption: The author has maintained a consistent philosophy or position. The code is enacted as a single, comprehensive statute, and is to be considered as such and not as series of disconnected articles or provisions. In cases of irreconcilable conflict 1. Interpretation which is best in accord with the general plan 2. Later in physical position, being the latest expression of legislative will 3. What is omitted is deemed repealed because the codification is intended to be a complete enactment on the subject. But this is limited only if revision or codification is intended to be a complete enactment on the subject, expression of the whole law, or if it revises the whole subject matter of the former statute188 4. A change in phraseology does not automatically result to change in construction of the old laws, neither an alteration nor omission or addition of words in the later statute shall be held to alter the construction of the former acts. This is because in codifications, condensation is a necessity; general ideas will be expressed in brief phrases.
Mecano v. COA Petitioner was hospitalized for cholecystitis. He filed for refund or reimbursement of the hospital expenses he incurred. COA denied his request since the Administrative Code of 1987 repealed the RAC, and the same section from which Mecano based his action has not been reproduced.
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Held: The later code did not cover not attempted to cover the entire subject matter. There are several matters treated in the old Code that are not found in the new one. The fact that a later law may relate to the same subject matter is insufficient to cause an implied repeal since it may just be cumulative of the prior legislation.

Repeal - The power to enact a law necessarily includes the power to repeal it for the legislature cannot enact an irrepealable laws to limit the future legislative acts - Only the legislature can repeal laws. The Supreme Court can only promulgate rules of procedure and cannot exercise such power to alter, change or repeal substantive laws - Every legislative body may modify or abolish the acts passed by itself or its predecessor and may be exercised at the same session which the original act was passed, and even where the bill is in its progress and before it becomes a law Total repeal is rendered revoked completely, while a partial repeal leaves the unaffected portions of the statute in force. A declaration in a statute that a particular and specific law (identified by its number and title) is repealed is an express repeal. All other repeals are implied repeals. A law is repealed only by the enactment if subsequent laws. Violations, non-observance, disuse, customs and practices on the contrary do not render a prior law repealed. Repeal by implication - Where a statute of a later date clearly reveals an intention on the part of the legislature to abrogate a prior act - This intention must be clear and manifest - Categories: o Two acts on the same subject and have the same object are in an irreconcilable conflict, the later act to the extent of the

Government v. Agoncillo Mecano v. COA

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

conflict constitutes an implied repeal of the former o The later act covers the whole subject of the earlier one and is intended as a substitute Basis: A cardinal rule in science of jurisprudence that two inconsistent laws on the same subject cannot co-exist in one jurisdiction189 Maxim: leges posteriors priores contrarias abrogant (the later statute repeals prior ones which are repugnant to it) But implied repeals are not favoured since the presumption is against inconsistency or repugnancy Presumption: The legislature knows the existing laws in the subject and could not have enacted inconsistent or conflicting statutes. Exception: There is an irreconcilable repugnancy
Iloilo Palay and Corn Planters Association v. Feliciano Respondent Manager of the Rice and Corn Administration urged the president to import rice. Petitioners alleged that RA 3452 prohibited the importation of rice by the government, only private parties may do so. The government responded and said that RA 2207 allowed the President to import rice should there be shortage or national emergency. Held: RA 2207 covers three periods, and only prohibits importation when there is sufficiency of rice supply and normalcy of times. Ra 3452 covers only the first and second situation (i.e. shortage is not enough to constitute a national emergency). Hence, the two laws can be harmonized. Ban on importation disappears when the country is confronted of rice shortage. People v. Santayana Santayana was designated as a special agent of the CIS and was issued a firearm. He was apprehended in Plaza Miranda and was charged for illegal possession of firearms since he had no permit to carry. CFI Manila tried and convicted him. It was alleged that the CFI Manila had no jurisdiction and the Municipal Court should have tried him. Held: The two provisions may be harmonized by holding that the CFI Manila and the Municipal Court have concurrent jurisdiction since the penalty that may be imposed both fall under the said courts. Aside from this, the Macarandang ruling was still prevailing at the
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time of his apprehension. The Mapa doctrine were it did not exempt special agents from permit to carry weapons were promulgated during the pendency of Santayanas case. C&C Commercial v. NAWASA RA 912 mandates that Filipino corporations should be prioritized. NAWASA awarded the bid to a foreign company in constructing water pipes in several provinces. NAWASA argues that it was not under the term government required to prioritize Filipino companies in projects as provided in RA 912. Held: CA 138 and RA 912 are statutes in pari material and be construed together. The former included purchases by government-owned companies (like NAWASA), while the later only talked about construction or repair work done by the government. Primicias v. Municipality of Urdaneta Primicias was apprehended and charged for violation of a local ordinance prohibiting overtaking. Held: The ordinance is invalid since RA 4136 explicitly repealed Act 3922. The ordinance violated several requirements of RA 4136, specifically the clearness, definiteness and certainty of the prohibitions. No distinctions has been made between the vehicles covered, the thouroughfares, required under Sec. 38. RA 4136 specifically mentioned that no ordinances may be passed specifying maximum allowable speed other than those provided in it.

Hence, a general law does not repeal a special one. The special shall be considered as an extension to the general law. But, there is always a partial repeal where the later act is a special law. Presumption: The legislature considers and makes provisions for all circumstances of the particular case Exception: Where the words used in a general law is so broad and so clear and explicit as to show the intention to cover the whole subject
Villegas v. Subido After the retirement of the Asst. City Treasurer, Civil Service Commissioner Subido authorized Jose Gloria to assume the position. Mayor Villegas ordered Gloria to refrain from exercising his duties since the appointment power is lodged with him under the Decentralization Act. During the pendency of the case,

Garcia Valdez v. Tuason

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

the President nominated Gloria and was duly confirmed. Held: The City Charter of Manil gave the President the power to appoint the Asst. City Treasurer. The Revised Administrative Code (RAC) only allowed appointment of employees by local officials, and not officers. The Charter is considered as an exception to the general rule found in the RAC. CEPALCO v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Petitioner was granted a franchise in 1961 to maintain an electric light, heat and power system in Cagayan de Oro. It was successively amended to include other municipalities. Later, the Local Tax Code was enacted empowering local government units to impose new taxes. CEPALCO refused to pay the additional tax to the province of Misamis Oriental claiming that its franchise expressly provided that it would only pay 3% from its gross earnings. Held: The Local Tax Code is more general in scope and application, while the franchise grant to CEPALCO is specific.

Where it enacts something in general terms and afterwards it passes another on the same subject, which though expressed in affirmative language introduces special condition or restrictions

1. Implied repeal by revision or codification - Legislative intent is shown by enactment of a statute revising or codifying the former laws on the whole subject matter - Legislative declaration that whatever is embraced in the new statute shall prevail and whatever is excluded shall be discarded 2. Repeal by re-enactment - A re-enacted statute of the whole subject matter, if complete and comprehensive is regarded as the whole law on the subject. - When a specific section of a prior act by providing that it should be read as follows, then quote the amended provisions, what is not included in the re-enactment is deemed repealed 3. Other forms of repeal - The most powerful is that which arises when the later law is expressed in the form of a universal negative, since a negative statute repeals all conflicting provisions

Effects of repeal 1. Renders inoperative as of the date the repealing act takes effect. It is a declaration that the repealed statute is invalid from the date of enactment 2. But it does not undo the consequences of the operation of the statute while in force, unless directly expressed by the language or necessary implications. It cannot render illegal what was legal before 3. Cannot oust jurisdiction from a court, nor render its decision void 4. Defeats all actions and proceedings still pending which arose from the repealed statute since an appellate court will dispose of a question according to the law prevailing at the time of rendition of the appealed judgment 5. Does not destroy or impair vested rights under the statute prior its repeal. Rights accrued and vested while a statute is in force survives repeal 6. It will not affect the terms of contract entered into by parties on the basis of the repealed law. And will apply even if one of the contracting parties is the government.190 7. It does not preclude collection of taxes under the repealed law 8. But will deprive the court of its jurisdiction if a penal law is repealed since the act is not anymore considered criminal 9. Repeal of a municipal charter destroys all offices under it, and puts an end to the functions of an incumbent, except those saved by the charter

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Insular Government v. Frank

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.

10. Simultaneous repeal and re-enactment does not affect the rights and liabilities accrued under the original statute since the re-enactment simply neutralizes the repeal 11. A law which expressly repeals a prior law is repealed, the first law shall not be revived unless expressly stated
Tac-an v. CA Tac-an caused the Acopiado brothers to thumb mark a deed of quit claim as payment for his services as lawyer. The brothers later dismissed his services since their relatives did not want to give the land as payment. One of the brothers sold his share of land,

hence, Tac-an filed an action to annul the sale. He asked the governor to sign the deed. It was signed but was later withdrawn for deceit and false representation on his part. Held: The signature/approval of the Governor is needed since the brothers were non-Christians and Subanons. The Administrative Code of Mindanao and Sulu was still in force at that time and was not repealed.

Distinctions to expiration of law - Unlike in expiration of law, absolute repeal obliterates the crime and erases the stigma of conviction.

JUSTIN SUCGANG | BLOCK 2


ATTY. WIGBERTO TANADA, JR.