Sie sind auf Seite 1von 84


Legislative power, generally
Laws, generally • Power to make, alter and repeal laws
• A whole body or system of law • Vested in congress – 1987 Constitution
• Rule of conduct formulated and made obligatory by • President – 1973 & Freedom (PD and EO
legitimate power of the state respectively)
• Includes RA, PD, EO (president in the ex of legislative • Sangguniang barangay, bayan, panglungsod,
power), Presidential issuances (ordinance power) panlalawigan – only within respective jurisdiction –
Jurisprudence, ordinances passed by sanggunians of ordinances
local government units. • Administrative or executive officer
• Delegated power
Statutes, generally • Issue rules and regulations to implement a
• An act of legislature (Philippine Commission, Phil. specific law
Legislature, Batasang Pambansa, Congress)
• PD’s of Marcos during the period of martial law 1973 Congress legislative power
Constitution • The determination of the legislative policy and its
• EO of Aquino revolutionary period Freedom formulation and promulgation as a defined and binding
Constitution rule of conduct.
• Legislative power - plenary except only to such
 Public – affects the public at large limitations as are found in the constitution
• general – applies to the whole state and
operates throughout the state alike upon all Procedural requirements, generally
people or all of a class. • Provided in the constitution (for Bills, RA)
• Special – relates to particular person or things • Provided by congress – enactment of laws
of a class or to a particular community,  Rules of both houses of congress (provided also
individual or thing. by the Constitution)
• Local Law – operation is confined to a
specific place or locality (e.g municipal Passage of bill
ordinance) • Proposed legislative measure introduced by a member
 Private – applies only to a specific person or of congress for enactment into law
subject. • Shall embrace only one subject which shall be
expressed in the title
Permanent and temporary statutes • Singed by authors
• Permanent - one whose operation is not limited in • File with the Secretary of the House
duration but continues until repealed. • Bills may originate from either lower or upper House
• Temporary - duration is for a limited period of time • Exclusive to lower house
fixed in the statute itself or whose life ceases upon the
 Appropriation
happening of an event.
o E.g. statute answering to an emergency  Revenue/ tariff bills
 Bills authorizing increase of public debt
Other classes of statutes  Bills of local application
• Prospective or retroactive – accdg. to application  Private bills
• Declaratory, curative, mandatory, directory, • After 3 readings, approval of either house (see Art 6
substantive, remedial, penal – accdg. to operation Sec 26 (1))
• According to form • Secretary reports the bill for first reading
o Affirmative • First reading – reading the number and title, referral to
o Negative the appropriate committee for study and
Manner of referring to statutes • Committee – hold public hearings and
• Public Acts – Phil Commission and Phil Legislature submits report and recommendation for
1901- 1935 calendar for second reading
• Commonwealth Acts – 1936- 1946 • Second reading – bill is read in full (with amendments
proposed by the committee) – unless copies are
• Republic Acts – Congress 1946- 1972, 1987 ~
distributed and such reading is dispensed with
• Batas Pambansa – Batasang Pambansa
o Bill will be subject to debates, motions and
• Identification of laws – serial number and/or title
o Bill will be voted on
o A bill approved shall be included in the • Indispensable
calendar of bills for 3rd reading • By signing of Speaker and Senate President
• Third reading – bill approved on 2nd reading will be •
submitted for final vote by yeas and nays,
Unimpeachability of legislative journals
• Bill approved on the 3rd reading will be transmitted to
the “Other House” for concurrence (same process as • Journal of proceedings
the first passage) • Conclusive with respect to other matters that are
o If the “Other House” approves without required by the Constitution
amendment it is passed to the President • Disputable with respect to all other matters
o If the “Other House” introduces amendments, • By reason of public policy, authenticity of laws should
and disagreement arises, differences will be rest upon public memorials of the most permanent
settled by the Conference Committees of both character
houses • Should be public
o Report and recommendation of the 2
Conference Committees will have to be Enrolled bill
approved by both houses in order to be • Bills passed by congress authenticated by the Speaker
considered pass and the Senate President and approved by the
• President President
o Approves and signs • Importing absolute verity and is binding on the courts
o Vetoes (within 30 days after receipt) o It carries on its face a solemn assurance that it
o Inaction was passed by the assembly by the legislative
and executive departments.
• If the President vetoes – send back to the House where
it originated with recommendation • Courts cannot go behind the enrolled act to discover
o 2/3 of all members approves, it will be sent to what really happened
the other house for approval o If only for respect to the legislative and
o 2/3 of the other house approves – it shall executive departments
become a law • Thus, if there has been any mistake in the printing of
o If president did not act on the bill with in 30 the bill before it was certified by the officer of the
days after receipt, bill becomes a law assembly and approved by the Chief Executive, the
remedy is by amendment by enacting a curative
• Summary : 3 ways of how a bill becomes a law.
legislation not by judicial decree.
 President signs
• Enrolled bill and legislative journals - Conclusive upon
 inaction of president with in 30 days after receipt the courts
 vetoed bill is repassed by congress by 2/3 votes of • If there is discrepancy between enrolled bill and
all its members, each house voting separately. journal, enrolled bill prevails.
Appropriations and revenue bills Withdrawal of authentication, effect of
• Same as procedure for the enactment of ordinary bills • Speaker and Senate President may withdraw if there is
• Only difference is that they can only originate from the discrepancy between the text of the bill as deliberated
Lower House but the Senate may propose/ concur with and the enrolled bill.
the amendments • Effect:
• Limitations of passage (as per Constitution) Art 6 Sec. o Nullifies the bill as enrolled
27 (2) o Losses absolute verity
o congress may not increase the appropriation
o Courts may consult journals
recommended by the President XXX
o particular appropriation limited
o procedure for Congress is the same to all PARTS OF STATUTES
other department/ agencies (procedure for
approving appropriations ) Title of statute
o special appropriations – national treasurer/ • Mandatory law - Every bill passed by Congress shall
revenue proposal embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in
o no transfer of appropriations xxx authority to the title thereof (Art 6, Sec 26 (1) 1987 Constitution)
augment • 2 limitations upon legislation
o discretionary funds – for public purposes o To refrain from conglomeration, under one
o general appropriations bills – when re-enacted statute, of heterogeneous subjects
o President my veto any particular item/s in an o Title of the bill should be couched in a
appropriation revenue, or tariff bill. language sufficient to notify the legislators
and the public and those concerned of the
Authentication of bills import of the single subject.
• Before passed to the President
Purposes of requirement (on 1 subject) • States the authority by which the act is enacted
• Principal purpose: to apprise the legislators of the
object, nature, and scope of the provision of the bill 
and to prevent the enactment into law of matters which • #1 - Phil Commission – “ By authority of the President
have not received the notice, action and study of the of the US, be it enacted by the US Philippine
legislators. Commission”
o To prohibit duplicity in legislation • #2 - Philippine Legislature- “ by authority of the US,
• In sum of the purpose be it enacted by the Philippine Legislature”
o To prevent hodgepodge/ log-rolling • #3 - When #2 became bicameral: “Be it enacted by the
legislation Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines
o To prevent surprise or fraud upon the in legislature assembled and by authority of the same”
legislature • #4 - Commonwealth- “Be it enacted by the National
o To fairly apprise the people, through Assembly of the Philippines
publication of the subjects of the legislation • #5 – when #4 became bicameral: “be it enacted by the
o Used as a guide in ascertaining legislative Senate and House of Representatives in congress
intent when the language of the act does not assembled” – same 1946-1972/1987-present.
clearly express its purpose; may clarify doubt • #6 – Batasang Pambansa: “Be it enacted by the
or ambiguity. Batasang Pambansa in session assembled”
• #7 – PD “ NOW THEREFORE, I ______ President of
How requirement construed the Philippines, by the powers vested in me by the
• Liberally construed Constitution do hereby decree as follows”
• If there is doubt, it should be resolved against the • #8 – EO “Now, therefore, I, ____ hereby order”
doubt and in favor of the constitutionality of the statute
When there is compliance with requirement • Defined – prefatory statement or explanation or a
• Comprehensive enough - Include general object finding of facts, reciting the purpose, reason, or
• If all parts of the law are related, and are germane to occasion for making the law to which it is prefixed”
the subject matter expressed in the title • Found after enacting clause and before the body of the
• Title is valid where it indicates in broad but clear law.
terms, the nature, scope and consequences of the law • Usually not used by legislations because content of the
and its operations preamble is written in the explanatory note.
• Title should not be a catalogue or index of the bill • But PDs and EOs have preambles.
• Principles apply to titles of amendatory acts.
o Enough if it states “an act to amend a specific Purview of statute
statute” • that part which tells what the law is about
• Need not state the precise nature of the • body of statute should embrace only one subject
amendatory act. should only one subject matter, even there provisions
• US Legislators have titles ending with the words “and should be allied and germane to the subject and
for other purposes” ( US is not subject to the same purpose of the bill.
Constitutional restriction as that embodied in the • Statue is usually divided into section. w/c contains a
Philippine Constitution) single proposition.
• Parts
When requirement not applicable o short title
• Apply only to bills which may thereafter be enacted o policy section
into law o definition section
• Does not apply to laws in force and existing at the time o administrative section
the 1935 Constitution took effect. o sections prescribing standards of conduct
• No application to municipal or city ordinances. o sections imposing sanctions for violation of
its provisions
Effect of insufficiency of title o transitory provision
• Statute is null and void o separability clause
• Where, the subject matter of a statute is not o effectivity clause
sufficiently expressed in its title, only so much of the
subject matter as is not expressed therein is void, Separability clause
leaving the rest in force, unless the invalid provisions • it states that if any provision of the act is declared
are inseparable from the others, in which case the
invalid, the remainder shall not be affected thereby.
nullity the former vitiates the latter
• It is not controlling and the courts may invalidate the
whole statute where what is left, after the void part, is
Enacting clause
not complete and workable
• Written immediately after the title
• Presumption – statute is effective as a whole
• its effect: to create in the place of such presumption o Power to repeal procedural rules
the opposite of separability. o No power to promulgate rules substantive in
nature (unlike the legislative department)
PRESIDENTIAL ISSUANCES, RULES AND • Substantive rules – if it affects or takes away vested
ORDINANCES rights; right to appeal
• Procedural rules – means of implementing existing
Presidential issuances right; where to file an appeal for transferring the venue
• are those which the president issues in the exercise of • Rules and regulations issued by the administrative or
ordinance power. executive officers in accordance with and authorized
• i.e. EO, AO (administrative orders), proclamations, by law, have the force and effect of law
MO (memorandum orders), MC (memorandum o Requisites for validity
circulars), and general or special orders.  Rules should be germane to the
• Have force and effect of laws. objects and purposes of the law
• EO  Regulations be not in contradiction
o acts of the President providing for rules of a with, but conform to, the standards
general or permanent character in the that the law prescribes
implementation or execution of  The be for the sole purpose of
constitutional/ statutory powers. carrying into effect the general
o do not have the force and effect of laws provisions of the law
enacted by congress o Law cannot be restricted or extended
o different from EO issued by the President in o Law prevails over regulations, if there are
the ex of her legislative power during the discrepancies
revolution Presidential decree under the • Rule-making power of public administrative agency is
freedom constitution a delegated legislative power – if it enlarges or restricts
• AO such statute is invalid
o acts of the President which relate to particular • Requisites for delegating a statute by legislative
aspects of governmental operations in branch to another branch of government to fill in
pursuance of his duties as administrative head details, execution, enforcement, or administration of
• Proclamations law…. the law must be:
o acts of the President fixing a date or declaring o Complete in itself
a statute or condition of public moment or o Fix a standard which may be express or
interest, upon the existence of which the implied
operation of a specific law or regulation is  Example of “standard” – simplicity
made to depend and dignity; public interest; public
• MO welfare; interest of law and order;
o acts of the President on matters of justice and equity and substantial
administrative details or of subordinate or merit of the case; adequate and
temporary interest which only concern a efficient instruction
particular officer or office of government • Example:
• MC o Change of “and/or” to “or” – invalid
o acts of the president on matters relating to o Change of “may”(permissive) to “shall”
internal administration which the President (mandatory) – invalid (Grego v COMELEC
desires to bring to the attention of all or some pp 22)
of the departments, agencies, bureaus, or
offices of the government, for information of Administrative rule and interpretation distinguished
compliance • Rule – “makes” new law with the force and effect of a
• General or Specific Order valid law; binding on the courts even if they are not in
o Acts and commands of the President in his agreement with the policy stated therein or with its
capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the AFP innate wisdom
• Interpretation – merely advisory for it is the courts that
Supreme Court circulars; rules and regulations finally determine what the law means
• See Art 8, Sec. 5(5) 1987 Constitution • Administrative construction is not necessarily binding
• See Art. 6, Sec. 30 1987 Constitution upon the courts; it may be set aside by judicial
• It has been held that a law which provides that a department (if there is an error of law, or abuse of
decision of a quasi-judicial body be appealable directly power or lack of jurisdiction or GAD – grave abuse of
to the SC, if enacted without the advice and discretion)
concurrence of the SC, ineffective
o Remedy or applicable procedure – go to CA Barangay ordinance
• Rules of Court – product of the rule-making power of
the SC
• Sangguniang barangay – smallest legislative body; • Final arbiter of unconstitutionality of law is the
may pass an ordinance by majority of all its members; Supreme Court EN BANC (majority who took part
subject to review by Sangguniang bayan/ panglungsod and voted thereon)
• Sangguniang bayan/ panglungsod – take action on the • Nonetheless, trial courts have jurisdiction to initially
ordinance within 30 days from submission; if there’s decide the issue of constitutionality of a law in
inaction, it is presumed to be consistent with the appropriate cases
municipal or city ordinance; if inconsistency is found,
it will remand to the Sangguniang barangay Requisites for exercise of judicial power
Municipal ordinance • The existence of an appropriate case
• Lodged in the Sangguniang bayan • Interest personal and substantial by the party raising
• Majority of the quorum voting, ordinance is passed the constitutional question
• Ordinance sent to Mayor within 10 days for approval • Plea that the function be exercised at the earliest
or veto; if there’s mayor’s inaction, ordinance is opportunity
presumed approved; if vetoed and overridden by 2/3 of • Necessity that the constitutional question be passed
all members, ordinance is approved upon in order to decide the case
• Approved ordinance is passed to Sangguniang
panlalawigan for review Appropriate case
o Within 30 days may invalidate in whole or in • Bona fide case – one which raises a justiciable
part and its action is final; if there’s inaction controversy
within 30 days, it is deemed valid • Judicial power is limited only to real, actual, earnest,
and vital controversy
City ordinance • Controversy is justiciable when it refers to matter
• Vested in Sangguniang panglungsod which is appropriate for court review; pertains to
• Majority of the quorum voting, ordinance is passed issues which are inherently susceptible of being
• Submitted to Mayor within 10 days decided on grounds recognized by law
o Approve • Courts cannot rule on “political questions” – questions
o Veto – 2/3 of all members – approved which are concerned with issues dependent upon the
o Inaction – deemed approved wisdom (v. legality) of a particular act or measure
• If city or component city – submit to Sangguniang being assailed
panlalawigan for review which shall take action within o “separation of powers”
30 days, otherwise, it will be deemed valid o However, Constitution expands the concept
of judicial review – judicial power includes
Provincial ordinance the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
• Sangguniang panlalawigan – majority of quorum controversies involving rights which are
voting, passage of ordinance legally demandable and enforceable and to
• Forwarded to the Governor who within 15 days from determine whether or not there has been GAD
receipt shall amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
o Approve the branch or the part of any branch/
o Veto – 2/3 of all members – approved instrumentality of the Government
o Inaction – deemed approved
Standing to sue
VALIDITY • Legal standing or locus standi – personal/ substantial
interest in the case such that the party has sustained or
Presumption of constitutionality will sustain direct injury as a result of governmental
act that is being challenged
• Every statute is presumed valid
• “interest” – an interest in issue affected by the decree
o Lies on how a law is enacted
o Due respect to the legislative who passed and • Citizen – acquires standing only if he can establish that
he has suffered some actual or threatened concrete
executive who approved
injury as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the
o Responsibility of upholding the constitution
rests not on the courts alone but on the
o E.g. taxpayer – when it is shown that public
legislative and executive branches as well
funds have been illegally disbursed
• Courts cannot inquire into the wisdom or propriety of
• Member of the Senate or of the House has legal
standing to question the validity of the Presidential
• To declare a law unconstitutional, the repugnancy of veto or a condition imposed on an item in an
the law to the constitution must be clear and appropriations bills
• SC may, in its discretion, take cognizance of a suit
• All reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor of which does not satisfy the requirement of legal
the constitutionality of law; to doubt is to sustain standing
o E.g. calling by the President for the o Orthodox view – unconstitutional act is not a
deployment of the Philippine Marines to join law; decision affect ALL
the PNP in visibility patrols around the metro o Modern view – less stringent; the court in
passing upon the question of
When to raise constitutionality unconstitutionality does not annul or repeal
• xxx at the earliest possible opportunity – i.e. in the the statute if it finds it in conflict with the
pleading Constitution; decisions affects parties ONLY
• it may be raised in a motion for reconsideration / new and no judgment against the statute; opinion
trial in the lower court; or of court may operate as a precedent; it does
• in criminal cases – at any stage of the proceedings or not repeal, supersede, revoke, or annul the
on appeal statute
• in civil cases, where it appears clearly that a
determination of the question is necessary to a Invalidity due to change of conditions
decision, and in cases where it involves the jurisdiction • Emergency laws
of the court below • It is deemed valid at the time of its enactment as an
exercise of police power
• It becomes invalid only because the change of
conditions makes its continued operation violative of
Necessity of deciding constitutionality the Constitution, and accordingly, the declaration of its
• where the constitutional question is of paramount nullity should only affect the parties involved in the
public interest and time is of the essence in the case and its effects applied prospectively
resolution of such question, adherence to the strict
procedural standard may be relaxed and the court, in Partial invalidity
its discretion, may squarely decide the case • General rule: that where part of a statute is void as
• where the question of validity, though apparently has repugnant to the Constitution, while another part is
become moot, has become of paramount interest and valid, the valid portion, if separable from the invalid,
there is undeniable necessity for a ruling, strong may stand and be enforced
reasons of public policy may demand that its • Exception – that when parts of a statute are so
constitutionality be resolved mutually dependent and connected, as conditions,
considerations, inducements, or compensations for
Test of constitutionality each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature
• … is what the Constitution provides in relation to what intended them as a whole, the nullity of one part will
can or may be done under the statute, and not by what vitiate the rest – such as in the case of Tatad v Sec of
it has been done under it. Department of Energy and Antonio v. COMELEC
o If not within the legislative power to enact
o If vague – unconstitutional in 2 respects EFFECT AND OPERATION
 Violates due process
 Leaves law enforcers unbridled When laws take effect
discretion in carrying out its • Art 2 CC - “xxx laws to be effective must be published
provisions either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of
o Where there’s a change of circumstances – general circulation in the country”
i.e. emergency laws o The effectivity provision refers to all statutes,
• Ordinances (test of validity are): including those local and private, unless there
o It must not contravene the Constitution or any are special laws providing a different
statute effectivity mechanism for particular statutes
o It must not be unfair or oppressive • Sec 18 Chapter 5 Book 1 of Administrative Code
o It must not be partial or discriminatory • Effectivity of laws
o It must not prohibit but may regulate trade o default rule – 15-day period
o It must be general and consistent with public o must be published either in the OG or
policy newspaper of general circulation in the
o It must not be unreasonable country; publication must be full
• The clause “unless it is otherwise provided” – solely
Effects of unconstitutionality refers to the 15-day period and not to the requirement
• It confers no rights of publication
• Imposes no duties
When Presidential issuances, rules and regulations take effect
• Affords no protection
• The President’s ordinance power includes the authority
• Creates no office
to issue EO, AO, Proclamations, MO, MC and general
• In general, inoperative as if it had never been passed or specific orders
• Requirement of publication applies except if it is
merely interpretative or internal in nature not Manner of computing time
concerning the public • See Art. 13 CC
• 2 types: • Where a statute requires the doing of an act within a
o Those whose purpose is to enforce or specified number of days, such as ten days from
implement existing law pursuant to a valid notice, it means ten calendar days and NOT ten
delegation or to fill in the details of a statute; working days
requires publication • E.g. 1 year from Oct. 4, 1946 is Oct. 4, 1947
o Those which are merely interpretative in • If last day falls on a Sunday or holiday, the act can still
nature or internal; does not require be done the following day
publication • Principle of “exclude the first, include the last” DOES
• Requirements of filing (1987 Administrative Code): NOT APPLY to the computation of the period of
o Every agency shall file with the UP Law prescription of a crime, in which rule, is that if the last
Center 3 certified copies of every rule day in the period of prescription of a felony falls on a
adopted by it. Rules in force on the date of Sunday or legal holiday, the information concerning
effectivity of this Code which are not filed said felony cannot be filed on the next working day, as
within 3 months from that date shall not the offense has by then already prescribed
thereafter be the basis of any sanction against
any party/ persons

When local ordinance takes effect CHAPTER TWO: Construction and Interpretation
• Unless otherwise stated, the same shall take effect 10
days from the date a copy is posted in a bulletin board NATURE AND PURPOSE
at the entrance of the provincial capitol or city,
municipality or barangay hall, AND in at least 2 other Construction defined
conspicuous places in the local government unit • Construction is the art or process of discovering and
concerned expounding the meaning and intention of the authors
• The secretary to the Sangguinian concerned shall cause of the law, where that intention rendered doubtfully
the posting not later than 5 days after approval; text reason of ambiguity in its language or of the fact that
will be disseminated in English or Tagalog; the the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law.
secretary to the Sangguinian concerned shall record • Construction is drawing of warranted conclusions
such fact in a book kept for that purpose, stating the beyond direct expression of the text expressions which
dates of approval and posting are in spirit though not within the text.
• Gist of ordinance with penal sanctions shall be • xxx inevitably, there enters into the construction of
published in a newspaper of general circulation within statutes the play of JUDICIAL JUDGMENT within
the respective province concerned; if NO newspaper of the limits of the relevant legislative materials
general circulation in the province, POSTING shall be • it involves the EXERCISE OF CHOICE BY THE
made in all municipalities and cities of the province JUDICIARY
where the Sanggunian of origin is situated
• For highly urbanized and independent component Construction and interpretation distinguished
cities, main features of the ordinance, in addition to the • They are so alike in practical results and so are used
posting requirement shall be published once in a local interchangeably; synonymous.
newspaper. In the absence of local newspaper, in any
newspaper of general circulation Construction Interpretation
o Highly urbanized city – minimum population - process of drawing - art of finding the true
of 200,000 and with latest annual income of warranted conclusions not meaning and sense of any
at least 50M Php always included in direct form of words
expressions, or determining
Statutes continue in force until repealed the application of words to
• Permanent/ indefinite – law once established continues facts in litigation
until changed by competent legislative power. It is not
changed by the change of sovereignty, except that of Rules of construction, generally
political nature • Rules of statutory construction are tools used to
• Temporary – in force only for a limited period, and ascertain legislative intent.
they terminate upon expiration of the term stated or • NOT rules of law but mere axioms of experience
upon occurrence of certain events; no repealing statute • In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to
is needed know the rules of statutory construction, in case of
doubt, be construed in accordance with the settled
Territorial and personal effect of statutes principles of interpretation.
• All people within the jurisdiction of the Philippines
• Legislature sometimes adopts rules of statutory • The purpose:
construction as part of the provisions of the statute: - o Continuous production of sugar
see examples page 49-50 o To grant the laborers a share in the increased
• Legislature also defines to ascertain the meaning of participation of planters in the sugar produce
vague, broad words/ terms • The legislative intent is, thus to make the act operative
irrespective of whether there exists a milling
Purpose of object of construction agreement between central and the sugar planters.
• The purpose is to ascertain and give effect to the intent
of the law. Matters inquired into in construing a statute
• The object of all judicial interpretation of a statute is to • “It is not enough to ascertain the intention of the
determine legislative intent, either expressly or statute; it is also necessary to see whether the intention
impliedly, by the language used; to determine the or meaning has been expressed in such a way as to
meaning and will of the law making body and discover give it legal effect or validity”
its true interpretations of law. • Thus: The object of inquiry is not only to know what
the legislature used sufficiently expresses that
Legislative intent, generally meaning. The legal act is made up of 2 elements:
• … is the essence of the law o internal – intention
• Intent is the spirit which gives life to legislative o external- expression
enactment. It must be enforced when ascertained, • Failure of the latter may defeat the former
although it may not be consistent with the strict letter
of the statute. It has been held, however, that that the
ascertainment of legislative intent depend more on a
determination of the purpose and object of the law. Where legislative intent is ascertained
• Intent is sometimes equated with the word “spirit.” • The primary source of legislative intent is the statute
• While the terms purpose, meaning, intent, and spirit itself.
are oftentimes interchangeably used by the courts, not • If the statute as a whole fails to indicate the legislative
entirely synonymous intent because of ambiguity, the court may look
beyond the statute such as:
Legislative purpose o Legislative history – what was in the
• A legislative purpose is the reason why a particular legislative mind at the time the statute was
statute was enacted by legislature. enacted; what the circumstances were; what
• Legislation “is an active instrument and government evil was meant to be redressed
which, for the purpose of interpretation means that o Purpose of the statute – the reason or cause
laws have ends to be achieved” which induced the enactment of the law, the
mischief to be suppressed, and the policy
Legislative meaning which dictated its passage
• Legislative meaning is what the law, by its language, o when all these means fail, look into the effect
means. of the law.
• What it comprehends;  If the 3rd means (effect of the law) is
• What it covers or embraces; first used, it will be judicial
• What its limits or confines are. legislation
• Intent and Meaning – synonymous
• If there is ambiguity in the language used in a statute, POWER TO CONSTRUE
its purpose may indicate the meaning of the language
and lead to what the legislative intent is Construction is a judicial function
• It is the court that has the final word as to what the law
Graphical illustration – means.
• It construes laws as it decide cases based on fact and
Federation of Free Farmers v CA. the law involved
• RA No. 809 Sec. 1 – “In absence of a written milling • Laws are interpreted in the context of a peculiar factual
agreements between the majority of the planters and situation of each case
the millers, the unrefined sugar as well as all by- • Circumstances of time, place, event, person and
products shall be divided between them” particularly attendant circumstances and actions
• RA 809 Sec. 9 – “The proceeds of any increase in before, during and after the operative fact have taken
participation granted by the planters under this act and their totality so that justice can be rationally and fairly
above their present share shall be divided between the dispensed.
planter and his laborer in the proportion of 60% • Moot and academic –
laborer and 40% planter” o Purpose has become stale
• To give literal import in interpreting the two section o No practical relief can be granted
will defeat the purpose of the Act o Relief has no practical effect
• General rule (on mootness) – dismiss the case modifying or repealing the very statute which has been
o Exception: the subject of construction. It can, and it has done so,
 If capable of repetition, yet evading by amending or repealing the statute, the consequence
review of which is that the previous judicial construction of
 Public interest requires its resolution the statute is modified or set aside accordingly.
 Rendering decision on the merits
would be of practical value When court may construe statute
• “The court may construe or interpret a statute under
Legislative cannot overrule judicial construction the condition that THERE IS DOUBT OR
• It cannot preclude the courts from giving the statute AMBIGUITY”
different interpretation • Ambiguity – a condition of admitting 2 or more
• Legislative – enact laws meanings. Susceptible of more than one interpretation.
• Executive- to execute laws • Only when the law is ambiguous or doubtful of
meaning may the court interpret or construe its intent.
• Judicial- interpretation and application
• If the legislature may declare what a law means – it
Court may not construe where statute is clear
will cause confusion…it will be violative of the
• A statute that is clear and unambiguous is not
fundamental principles of the constitution of
susceptible of interpretations.
separation powers.
• First and fundamental duty of court – to apply the law
• Legislative construction is called resolution or
declaratory act • Construction – very last function which the court
should exercise
• Law is clear – no room for interpretation, only room
for application
Endencia v David • Courts cannot enlarge or limit the law if it is clear and
• Explains why legislative cannot overrule Supreme free from ambiguity (even if law is harsh or onerous
Court’s decision • A meaning that does not appear nor is intended or
reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be
Perfecto v. Meer placed therein by construction
• Art. 8 Sec. 9 1935 Constitution – SC’s interpretation:
“shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by Manikan v. Tanodbayan
law, which shall not be diminished during their • Sec. 7 PD 1716-A – “sole police authority” of EPZA
continuance in office” – exempt from income tax officials may not be construed as an exception to, or
• Legislative passed RA 590 Sec. 13 – “no salary limitation on, the authority of the Tanodbayan to
whenever received by any public officer of the investigate complaints for violation of the anti-graft
Republic shall be considered exempt from the income law committed by the EPZA officials
tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be a • EPZA’s power – not exclusive; “sole” refers to police
diminution of his compensation fixed by the authority not emplyed to describe other power
Constitution or by law”
• Source of confusion Lapid v. CA
• Violative of principle on separation of powers • Issue: whether or not the decision of the Ombudsman
• RA 590 Sec 13 – unconstitutional imposing a penalty of suspension of one year without
pay is immediately executory
• Art 8 Sec. 9 1935 – repealed by Art. 15 Sec. 6 1973
Constitution – “no salary or any form of emolument of • Administrative Code and LGC – not suppletory to
any public officer or employee, including Ombudsman Act
constitutional officers, shall be exempt from payment • These three laws are related or deal with public
of income tax” officers, but are totally different statutes
• Thus, judiciary is not exempt from payment of tax
anymore • An administrative agency tasked to implement a
statute may not construe it by expanding its meaning
When judicial interpretation may be set aside where its provisions are clear and unambiguous
• “Interpretations may be set aside.” The interpretation
of a statute or a constitutional provision by the courts Land Bank v. CA
is not so sacrosanct as to be beyond modification or • DAR interpreted “deposits” to include trust accounts”
nullification. • SC held that “deposits” is limited only to cash and
• The Supreme Court itself may, in an appropriate case LBP bonds
change or overrule its previous construction.
• The rule that the Supreme Court has the final word in Libanan v. HRET
the interpretation or construction of a stature merely • Issue: whether ballots not signed at the back by the
means that the legislature cannot, by law or resolution, chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) are
modify or annul the judicial construction without spurious, since it violated Sec. 24 RA 7166
• Held: not spurious; only renders the BEI accountable • Monge v Angeles (1957) and Tupas v Damaso (1984)
– from the date of conveyance or foreclosure sale
Rulings of Supreme Court part of legal system • Belisario v. IAC (1988) – from the period after the
• Art. 8 CC – “Judicial decisions applying or expiration of the 1-year period of repurchase
interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part • The SC held that the doctrine that should apply is that
of the legal system of the Philippines” which was enunciated in Monge and Tupas because
• Legis interpretato legis vim obtinet – authoritative the transactions involved took place prior to Belisario
interpretation of the SC of a statute acquires the force and not that which was laid down in the latter case
of law by becoming a part thereof as of the date of its which should be applied prospectively
enactment , since the court’s interpretation merely
establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that Court may issue guidelines in construing statute
the statute thus construed intends to effectuate • In construing a statute, the enforcement of which may
• Stare decisis et non quieta novere – when the SC has tread on sensitive areas of constitutional rights, the
once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a court may issue guidelines in applying the statute, not
certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and to enlarge or restrict it but to clearly delineate what the
apply it to all future casese where the facts are law is.
substantially the same
o For stability and certainty Peo. v. Ferrer
• What acts that may be considered liable under the
• Supreme Court becomes, to the extent applicable, the
Anti-Subversion Act
criteria that must control the actuations not only of
those called upon to abide thereby but also of those
Morales v. Enrile
duty-bound to enforce obedience thereto.
• Rights of a person under custodial investigation
• SC rulings are binding on inferior courts

Judicial rulings have no retroactive effect

RP v. CA/ Molina
• Lex prospicit not respicit - the law looks forward, not
• Guidelines for ascertaining psychological incapacity of
an erring spouse in a void marriage under Art. 36 FC
• Rationale: Retroactive application of a law usually
divest rights that have already become vested or
impairs he obligations of contract and hence is
Courts may not enlarge nor restrict statutes
• Courts are not authorized to insert into the law what
Peo v. Jabinal
they think should be in it or to supply what they the
• Peo v Macarandang – peace officer exempted from
legislature would have supplied if its intention had
issuance of license of firearms – included a secret
been called to the omission.
agent hired by a governor
• They should not by construction, revise even the most
• Peo. v. Mapa – abandoned doctrine of Macarandang in
arbitrary or unfair action of the legislature, nor rewrite
the law to conform to what they think should be the
• The present case, Jabinal was arraigned while the law.
Macarandang Doctrine was still prevailing, however,
• Neither should the courts construe statutes which are
the decision was promulgated when the Mapa doctrine
perfectly vague for it violates due process
was in place
o Failure to accord persons fair notice of the
• The Court held that Jabinal is acquitted using stare
conduct to avoid
decisis doctrine and retroactivity doctrine
o Leave law enforcers unbridled discretion in
Co. v. CA
carrying out its provisions
• On BP 22, Co is acquitted in relying on the Circular
• 2 leading stars on judicial construction
issued; Que doctrine, which convicted Que under BP
o Good faith
22, was not given retroactive application
o commonsense
Roa v. Collector of Customs • an utterly vague act on its face cannot be clarified by
• Used jus soli (place of birth) either a saving clause or by construction
• SC favored jus sanguinis (by blood)
Courts not to be influenced by questions of wisdom
• However, the abandonment of the principle of jus soli
did not divest the citizenship of those who, by virtue of • Courts do not sit to resolve the merit of conflicting
the principle before its rejection, became of were
declared citizens of the Philippines • Courts do not pass upon question of wisdom, justice or
expediency of legislation, for it’s not within their
Benzonan v. CA province to supervise legislation and keep it within the
• Issue: when to count the 5-year period to repurchase bounds of common sense.
land granted CA 141
• The court merely interpret regardless of whether or not • It recites that it authorizes court proceedings of claims
they wise or salutary. to parcels of land declared public by virtue of judicial
decisions rendered within forty years next preceding
CHAPTER THREE: Aids to Construction the approval of this act.
• That title written in capital letters by Congress itself;
IN GENERAL such kind of title then is not to be classed with words
or titles used by compilers of statues because it is the
Generally legislature speaking.
• Where the meaning of a statue is ambiguous, the court • Words by virtue of judicial decisions rendered in the
is warranted in availing itself of all illegitimate aids to title of the law stand in equal importance to the phrase
construction in order that it can ascertain the true intent in Sections 1 thereof by virtue of judicial proceedings
of the statute. instituted.
• The aids to construction are those found in the printed • The court ruled that examining Act no. 2874 in detail
page of the statute itself; know as the intrinsic aids, was intended to apply to public lands only for the title
and those extraneous facts and circumstances outside of the act, always indicative of legislative intent.
the printed page, called extrinsic aids. • No bill shall embrace more than one subject, which
subject shall be expressed in the title of the bill, the
Title words and for other purposes’ when found in the title
• It is used as an aid, in case of doubt in its language to have been held to be without force or effect
its construction and to ascertaining legislative will. whatsoever and have been altogether discarded in
• If the meaning of the statute is obscure, courts may construing the Act.
resort to the title to clear the obscurity.
• The title may indicate the legislative intent to extend or Ebarle v. Sucaldito
restrict the scope of law, and a statute couched in a • The issue is raised whether Executive order no. 264
language of doubtful import will be constructed to entitled “ Outlining the procedure by which complaints
conform to the legislative intent as disclosed in its title. charging government officials and employees with
• Resorted as an aid where there is doubt as to the commission of irregularities should be guided” applies
meaning of the law or as to the intention of the to criminal actions, to the end that no preliminary
legislature in enacting it, and not otherwise. investigation thereof can be undertaken or information
• Serve as a guide to ascertaining legislative intent file in court unless there is previous compliance with
carries more weight in this jurisdiction because of the the executive order.
constitutional requirement that “every bill shall • EO only applies to administrative and not to criminal
embrace only one subject who shall be expressed in complaints.
the title thereof. • The very title speaks of commission of irregularities.
• The constitutional injunction makes the title an
indispensable part of a statute. When resort to title not authorized
• The text of the statute is clear and free from doubt, it is
Baguio v. Marcos improper to resort to its title to make it obscure.
• The question raised is when to count the 40 yr period • The title may be resorted to in order to remove, but not
to file a petition for reopening of cadastral proceedings to create doubt.
(to settle and adjudicate the titles to the various lots
embraced in the survey) as authorized by RA 931 Preamble
covering the lands that have been or about to be • It is a part of the statute written immediately after its
declared land of public domain, by virtue of judicial title, which states the purpose, reason for the
proceedings instituted w/in the 40 years next preceding enactment of the law.
the approval of this act. • Usually express in whereas clauses.
• The question is asked if the proceeding be reopened • Generally omitted in statutes passed by:
originally instituted in court April 12, 1912 or • Phil. Commission
November 25, 1922, the counted date form which the • Phil. Legislature
decision therein rendered became final. Petition was • National Assembly
filed on July 25, 1961 • Congress of the Phil
• Title of the Law “An Act to authorize the filing in the • Batasang Pambansa
proper court under certain conditions of certain claims • These legislative bodies used the explanatory note to
of title to parcels of land that have been declared explain the reasons for the enactment of statutes.
public land, by virtue of the approval of this act.”
• Extensively used if Presidential decrees issued by the
• There was an apparent inconsistency between the title President in the exercise of his legislative power.
and body of the law.
• When the meaning of a statute is clear and
• It ruled that the starting date to count the period is the unambiguous, the preamble can neither expand nor
date the final decision was rendered. restrict its operation, much less prevail over its text.
Nor can be used as basis for giving a statute a was intended to apply for squatting in urban lands,
meaning. more particularly to illegal constructions.
• When the statute is ambiguous, the preamble can be
resorted to clarify the ambiguity. Context of whole text
• Preamble is the key of the statute, to open the minds of • To ascertain legislative intent is the statute itself taken
the lawmakers as to the purpose is achieved, the as a whole and in relation to one another considering
mischief to be remedied, and the object to be the whole context of the statute and not from an
accomplished, by the provisions of the legislature. isolated part of the provision.
• May decide the proper construction to be given to the • The meaning dictated by the context prevails.
statute. • Every section, provision, or clause of the statute must
• May restrict to what otherwise appears to be a broad be expounded by reference to each other in order to
scope of law. arrive at the effect contemplated by the legislature.
• It may express the legislative intent to make the law
apply retroactively in which case the law has to be Punctuation marks
given retroactive effect. • Semi- colon – used to indicate a separation in the
relation of the thought, what follows must have a
Illustration of rule relation to the same matter it precedes it.
• Comma and semi- colon are use for the same purpose
People v. Purisima to divide sentences, but the semi – colon makes the
• A person was charged w/ violation of PD 9 which division a little more pronounce. Both are not used to
penalizes, among others, the carrying outside of one’s introduce a new idea.
residence any bladed, blunt or pointed weapon not • Punctuation marks are aids of low degree and can
used as a necessary tool or implement for livelihood, never control against the intelligible meaning of
with imprisonment ranging from five to ten years. written words.
• Question rose whether the carrying of such weapon • An ambiguity of a statute which may be partially or
should be in relation to subversion, rebellion, wholly solved by a punctuation mark may be
insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos or considered in the construction of a statute.
public disorder as a necessary element of the crime. • The qualifying effect of a word or phrase may be
• The mere carrying of such weapon outside one’s confined to its last antecedent if the latter is separated
residence is sufficient to constitute a violation of the by a comma from the other antecedents.
law • An argument based on punctuation is not persuasive.
• Pursuant to the preamble which spelled out the events
that led to the enactment of the decree the clear intent Illustrative examples
and spirit of the decree is to require the motivation
mentioned in the preamble as in indispensable element Florentino v. PNB
of the crime. • “who may be willing to accept the same for such
• The severity of the penalty for the violation of the settlement” – this implies discretion
decree suggests that it is a serious offense, which may • SC held: only the last antecedent – “any citizen of the
only be justified by associating the carrying out of Philippines or any association or corporation organized
such bladed of blunt weapon with any of the purposes under the laws of the Philippines”
stated in its preamble. • xxx pursuant to which backpay certificate-holders can
compel government-owned banks to accept said
Peo v. Echavez certificates for payment of their obligations subsisting
• Issue: whether a person who squatted on a pastoral at the time of the amendatory act was approved
land could be held criminally liable for the violation of Nera v. Garcia
PD 772 “any person who, with the use of force, • “if the charge against such subordinate or employee
intimidation or threat, or taking advantage of the involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave misconduct
absence or tolerance of the land owner, succeeds in or neglect in the performance of his duty”
occupying or possessing the property of the latter • “dishonesty” and “oppression” – need not be
against his will for residential, commercial or any committed in the course of the performance of duty by
other purposes. the person charges
• The decree was promulgated to solve the squatting
problem which according to its preamble is still a Peo. v. Subido
major problem in urban communities all over the • Subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency
country and because many persons and entities found qualifies both non-payment of indemnity and non-
to have been unlawfully occupying public and private payment of fine
lands belong to the affluent class.
• The court said that crime may only be committed in Capitalization of letters
urban communities and not in agricultural and pastural • An aid of low degree in the construction of statute.
lands because the preamble of the decree shows that it
Headnotes or epigraphs • a law which grants retirable employees certain gratuity
• Secondary aids “in addition to other benefits which they are entitled
• They are prefixed to sections, or chapters of a statute under existing laws” CANNOT be construed as to
for ready reference or classification. authorize the grant of double gratuity
• Not entitled too much weight, and inferences drawn • “other benefits” may be
there from are of little value and they can never control o Refund of contributions
the plain terms of the enacting clauses, for they are not o Payment of the money value of accumulated
part of the law. vacation and sick leaves
• The provisions of each article are controlling upon the
subject thereof and operate as a general rule for
settling such questions as are embraced therein. Purpose of law or mischief to be suppressed
• When the text of a statute is clear and unambiguous, • Intended to be removed or suppressed and the causes
there is neither necessity nor propriety to resort to the which induced the enactment of the law are important
headings or epigraphs of a section for interpretation of factors to be considered in this construction.
the text, especially when they are mere reference aids o Purpose or object of the law
indicating the general nature of the text that follows. o Mischief intended to be removed
o Causes which induced the enactment of the
Lingual text law
• Rule is that, unless provided, where a statute is • Must be read in such a way as to give effect to the
promulgated in English and Spanish, English shall purpose projected in the statute.
govern but in case of ambiguity, Spanish may be
• The purpose of the general rule is not determinative of
consulted to explain the English text.
the proper construction to be given to the exceptions.
• A statute is officially promulgated in Spanish or in
• Purpose of statute is more important than the rules of
English, or in Filipino
grammar and logic in ascertaining the meaning
• “In the interpretation of a law or administrative
issuance promulgated in all the official languages, the Dictionaries
English text shall control, unless otherwise provided.
• A statute does not define word or phrases used.
• Generally define words in their natural plain and
Intent or spirit of law
ordinary acceptance and significance.
• It is the law itself.
Consequences of various constructions
• Controlling factor, leading star and guiding light in the
• Inquired as an additional aid to interpretation.
application and interpretation of a statute.
• A construction of a statute should be rejected that will
• A statute must be according to its spirit or intent.
cause injustice and hardship, result in absurdity, defeat
• The courts cannot assume an intent in no way legislative intent or spirit, preclude accomplishment of
expressed and then construe the statute to accomplish legislative purpose or object, render certain words or
the supposed intention; otherwise they would pass phrases a surplusage, nullify the statute or make any of
beyond the bounds of judicial power to usurp its provisions nugatory.
legislative power.
Policy of law
• Based on logic, experience, and common sense, and in
• Should be given effect by the judiciary. the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary,
• One way to accomplish this mandate is to give a doubts as to the proper and correct construction of a
statute of doubtful meaning, a construction that will statute will be resolved in favor of that construction
promote public policy. which is in accord with the presumption on the matter.
o Constitutionality of a statute
Tinio v. Francis o Completeness
• Policy of the law – to conserve the land of the o Prospective operation
homesteader o Right and justice
• xxx not be subject to encumbrance/ alienation from the o Effective, sensible, beneficial and reasonable
date of the approval of the application and for a term
operation as a whole
of 5 years from and after the date of the issuance of the
o Against inconsistency and implied repeal
patent or grant
o from the ORDER for the issuance of patent  unnecessary changes in law
o if literal interpretation is to be used, policy  impossibility
will be defeated  absurdity
 injustice and hardship
Cajiuat v. Mathay  inconvenience
• policy – against double pensions for the same services  ineffectiveness.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY • It may be used as a basis for giving a statute a meaning
that is inconsistent with what is expressed in the text of
Generally the statute.
• A statute is susceptible of several interpretations or
where there is ambiguity in the language, there is no Legislative debates, views and deliberations
better means of ascertaining the will and intention of • Courts may avail to themselves the actual proceedings
the legislature than that which is afforded by the of the legislative body to assist in determining the
history of the statute. construction of a statute of doubtful meaning.
• There is doubt to what a provision of a statute means,
What constitutes legislative history that meaning which was put to the provision during the
• History of a statute refers to all its antecedents from its legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill may be
inception until its enactment into law. adopted.
• Its history proper covers the period and the steps done • Views expressed are as to the bill’s purpose, meaning
from the time the bill is introduced until it is finally or effect are not controlling in the interpretation of the
passed by the legislature. law.
• What it includes: • It is impossible to determine with authority what
o President’s message if the bill is enacted in construction was put upon an act by the members of
response thereto, the legislative body that passed the bill.
o The explanatory note accompanying the bill • The opinions expressed by legislators in the course of
o Committee reports of legislative debates concerning the application of existing laws are
investigations not also given decisive weight, especially where the
o Public hearings on the subject of the bill legislator was not a member of the assembly that
o Sponsorship speech enacted the said laws.
o Debates and deliberations concerning the bill • When a statute is clear and free from ambiguity, courts
o Amendments and changes in phraseology in will not inquire into the motives which influence the
which it undergoes before final approval legislature or individual members, in voting for its
thereof. passage; no indeed as to the intention of the draftsman,
o If the statute is based from a revision, a prior or the legislators, so far as it has not been expressed
statute, the latter’s practical application and into the act.
judicial construction,
o Various amendments it underwent Reports of commissions
o Contemporary events at the • Commissions are usually formed to compile and
collate all laws on a particular subject and to prepare
President’s message to legislature the draft of the proposed code.
• The president shall address the congress at the opening
Prior laws from which statute is based
of its regular session or appear before it at any other
time. • Courts are permitted to prior laws on the same subject
and to investigate the antecedents of the statute
• Usually contains proposed legal measures.
• Indicates his thinking on the proposed legislation,
• This is applicable in the interpretation of codes,
when enacted into law, follows his line of thinking on
revised or compiled statutes, for the prior law which
the matter.
have been codified, compiled or revised will show the
legislative history that will clarify the intent of the law
Explanatory note
or shed light on the meaning and scope of the codified
• A short exposition of explanation accompanying a
or revised statute.
proposed legislation by its author or proponent.
• Where there is ambiguity in a statute or where a statute Peo. v. Manantan
is susceptible of more than one interpretation, courts
• Issue: whether or not justice of peace is included
may resort to the explanatory note to clarify the
• Contention of Manantan, who is a justice of peace, is
ambiguity and ascertain the purpose or intent of the
that the omission of “justice of peace” revealed the
intention of the legislature to exclude such from its
• Used to give effect to the purpose or intent as
disclosed in its explanatory note.
• Held: contention denied. In holding that the word
• A statute affected or changed an existing law and the
“judge” includes “justice of peace”, the Court said that
explanatory note to the bill which has eventually
“a review of the history of the Revised Election Code
enacted into a law states that the purpose is too simply
will help justify and clarify the above conclusion”
to secure the prompt action on a certain matter by the
officer concerned and not to change the existing law;
Director of Lands v. Abaya
the statute should be construed to carry out such
• When to count the 10-year period, either from the date
the decision was rendered or from the date judicial
proceedings instituted in cadastral cases
• Held: court resolved the issue by referring to 4 older its language is not sufficiently expressive of such
laws which have in common that counting of the construction.
period starts from the date of the institution of the • Frequently, words do not materially affect the sense
judicial proceeding and not from the date the judgment will be omitted from the statute as incorporated in the
is rendered code or revised statute, or that some general idea will
be expressed in brief phrases.

Salaysay v. Castro Adopted statutes

• “Actually holding” ~ “lastly elected” • Foreign statutes are adopted in this country or from
• Thus, a vice mayor acting as mayor is not included in local laws are patterned form parts of the legislative
the provision history of the latter.
• Local statutes are patterned after or copied from those
Change in phraseology by amendments of another country, the decision of the courts in such
• Intents to change the meaning of the provision. country construing those laws are entitled to great
• A statute has undergone several amendments, each weight in the interpretation of such local statutes.
amendment using different phraseology, the deliberate
selection of language differing from that of the earlier Limitations of rule
act on the subject indicates that a change in meaning of • A statute which has been adopted from that of a
the law was intended and courts should so construe foreign country should be construed in accordance
that statute as to reflect such change in meaning. with the construction given it in the country of origin
is not without limitations.
Commissioner of Customs v. CTA
• “national port” (new law) not the same as “any port” Principles of common law
(old law); otherwise, “national” will be a surplusage • Known as Anglo-American jurisprudence which is no
in force in this country, save only insofar as it is
Amendment by deletion founded on sound principles applicable to local
• Deletion of certain words or phrases in a statute conditions and is not in conflict with existing law,
indicates that the legislature intended to change the nevertheless, many of the principles of the common
meaning of the statute, for the presumption is that the law have been imported into this jurisdiction as a result
legislation would not have made the deletion had the of the enactment of laws and establishment of
intention been not effect a change in its meaning. institutions similar to those of the US.
• A statute containing a provision prohibiting the doing
of a certain thing is amended by deleting such

Gloria v. CA Conditions at time of enactment

• Issue: whether a public officer or employee, who has • In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to
been preventively suspended pending investigation of have taken into account the existing conditions of
the administrative charges against him, is entitled to things at the time of its enactment.
his salary and other benefits during such preventive • In the interpretations of a statute, consider the physical
suspension conditions of the country and the circumstances then
• Held: Court answered in the negative because such obtain understanding as to the intent of the legislature
provision with regard to payment of salaries during or as to the meaning of the statute.
suspension was deleted in the new law
History of the times
Buenaseda v. Flavier • A court may look to the history of the times,
• Ombusman and his deputy can only preventively examining the state of things existing when the statute
suspend respondents in administrative cases who are was enacted.
employed in his office, and not those who are • A statute should not be construed in a spirit as if it
employees in other department or offices of the were a protoplasm floating around in space.
government • In determining the meaning, intent, and purpose of a
law or constitutional provision, the history of the times
Exceptions to the rule (of amendment by deletion) of which I grew and to which it may be rationally
• An amendment of the statue indicates a change in supposed to bear some direct relationship, the evils
meaning from that which the statute originally had intended to be remedied and the good to be
applies only when the intention is clear to change the accomplished are proper subjects of inquiry.
previous meaning of the old law. • Law being a manifestation of social culture and
• Rules don’t apply when the intent is clear that the progress must be interpreted taking into consideration
amendment is precisely to plainly express the the stage of such culture and progress including all the
construction of the act prior to its amendment because concomitant circumstances.
• Law is not a watertight compartment sealed or shut off opinion that the government is entitled to have and
from the contact with the drama of life which unfolds receive the money in question, even though the sugar
before our eyes. was shipped from a private wharf

CONTEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION Weight accorded to usage and practice

• Common usage and practice under the statute, or a
Generally course of conduct indicating a particular undertaking
• Are the constructions placed upon statutes at the time of it, especially where the usage has been acquiesced
of, or after their enactment by the executive, legislative in by all the parties concerned and has extended over a
or judicial authorities, as well as by those who involve long period of time.
in the process of legislation are knowledgeable of the • Optimus interpres rerum usus – the best interpretation
intent and purpose of the law. of the law is usage.
• Contemporary construction is strongest in law.

Executive construction, generally; kinds of

• Is the construction placed upon the statute by an Construction of rules and regulations
executive or administrative officer. • This rule-making power, authorities sustain the
• Three types of interpretation principle that the interpretation by those charged with
o Construction by an executive or their enforcement is entitled to great weight by the
administrative officer directly called to court in the latter’s construction of such rules and
implement the law. regulations.
o Construction by the secretary of justice in his
capacity as the chief legal adviser of the Reasons why contemporaneous construction is given much
government. weight
o Handed down in an adversary proceeding in • It is entitled to great weight because it comes from the
the form of a ruling by an executive officer particular branch of government called upon to
exercising quasi-judicial power. implement the law thus construed.
• Are presumed to have familiarized themselves with all
Weight accorded to contemporaneous construction the considerations pertinent to the meaning and
• Where there is doubt as to the proper interpretation of purpose of the law, and to have formed an
a statute, the uniform construction placed upon it by independent, conscientious and competent expert
the executive or administrative officer charged with its opinion thereon
enforcement will be adopted if necessary to resolve the
• True expression of the legislative purpose, especially if
the construction is followed for a considerable period When contemporaneous construction disregarded
of time. • When there is no ambiguity in the law.
• If it is clearly erroneous, the same must be declared
Nestle Philippines, Inc. v. CA null and void.
• Reasons for why interpretation of an administrative
agency is generally accorded great respect Erroneous contemporaneous construction does not preclude
o Emergence of multifarious needs of a correction nor create rights; exceptions
modernizing society • The doctrine of estoppel does not preclude correction
o Also relates to experience and growth of of the erroneous construction by the officer himself by
specialized capabilities by the administrative his successor or by the court in an appropriate case.
agency • An erroneous contemporeaneous construction creates
o They have the competence, expertness, no vested right on the part of those relied upon, and
experience and informed judgment, and the followed such construction.
fact that they frequently are the drafters of the
law they interpret Legislative interpretation
• Take form of an implied acquiescence to, or approval
Philippine Sugar Central v. Collector of Customs of, an executive or judicial construction of a statute.
• Issue: whether the government can legally collect • The legislature cannot limit or restrict the power
duties “as a charge for wharfage” required by a statute granted to the courts by the constitution.
upon all articles exported through privately-owned
wharves Legislative approval
• Held: the court reasoned in the affirmative by saying • Legislative is presumed to have full knowledge of a
“the language of the Act could have been made more contemporaneous or practical construction of a statute
specific and certain, but in view of its history, its long by an administrative or executive officer charged with
continuous construction, and what has been done and its enforcement.
accomplished by and under it, we are clearly of the
• The legislature may approve or ratify such • General rule: if statute is clear, plain and free from
contemporaneous construction. ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and
• May also be showmen by the legislature appropriating applied without attempted interpretation
money for the officer designated to perform a task o Verba legis
pursuant to interpretation of a statute. o Index animi sermo – speech is the index of
• Legislative ratification is equivalent to a mandate. intention
o Words employed by the legislature in a
Reenactment statute correctly express its intent or will
• Most common act of approval. o Verba legis non est recedendum – from the
• The re-enactment of a statute, previously given a words of a statute there should be no
contemporaneous construction is persuasive indication departure
of the adoption by the legislature of the prior o Thus, what is not clearly provided in the law
construction. cannot be extended to those matters outside
• Re-enactment if accorded greater weight and respect its scope
than the contemporaneous construction of the statute • Judicial legislation – an encroachment upon legislative
before its ratification. prerogative to define the wisdom of the law
o Courts must administer the law as they find it
Stare decisis without regard to consequences
• Judicial interpretation of a statute and is of greater
weight than that of an executive or administrative National Federation of Labor v. NLRC
officer in the construction of other statutes of similar • Employees were claiming separation pay on the basis
import. of Art. 283 Labor Code which states that “employer
• It is an invaluable aid in the construction or MAY also terminate the employment of an employee”
interpretation of statutes of doubtful meaning. for reasons therein by serving notice thereof and
• Stare decisis et non quieta movere – one should follow paying separation pay to affected employees
past precedents and should not disturb what has been • There was compulsory acquisition by the government
settled. of the employer’s land (Patalon Coconut Estate) for
• Supreme Court has the constitutional duty not only of purposes of agrarian reform which forced the employer
interpreting and applying the law in accordance with to cease his operation
prior doctrines but also of protecting society from the • Issue: whether or not employer is liable for separation
improvidence and wantonness wrought by needless pay?
upheavals in such interpretations and applications • Held: NO, employer is not liable for separation pay!
• In order that it will come within the doctrine of stare o It is a unilateral and voluntary act by the
decisis, must be categorically stated on an issue employer if he wants to give separation pay
expressly raised by the parties; it must be a direct o This is gleaned from the wording “MAY” in
ruling, not merely an obiter dictum the statute
• Obiter dictum – opinion expressed by a court upon o “MAY” denotes that it is directory in nature
some question of law which is not necessary to the and generally permissive only
decision of the case before it; not binding as a o Plain-meaning rule is applicable
precedent o Ano yun, ipapasara ng government tapos
• The principle presupposes that the facts of the magbabayad pa ang employer ng separation
precedent and the case to which it is applied are pay?!? Ang daya-daya! Lugi na nga si
substantially the same. employer, kikita pa si employee?!? Unfair!
• Where the facts are dissimilar, then the principle of Cannot be! No! No!
stare decisis does not apply. o To depart from the meaning expressed by the
• The rule of stare decisis is not absolute. It does not words is to alter the statute, to legislate and
apply when there is a conflict between the precedent not interpret
and the law. o Maledicta est exposition quae corrumpit
• The duty of the court is to forsake and abandon any textum – dangerous construction which is
doctrine or rule found to be in violation of law in force against the text
• Inferior courts as well as the legislature cannot
abandon a precedent enunciated by the SC except by Dura lex sed lex
way of repeal or amendment of the law itself • Dura lex sed lex – the law may be harsh but it is still
the law
CHAPTER FOUR: Adherence to, or departure from, • Absoluta sentential expositore non indigent – when the
language of statute language of the law is clear, no explanation of it is
LITERAL INTERPRETATION • When the law is clear, it is not susceptible of
interpretation. It must be applied regardless of who
Literal meaning or plain-meaning rule may be affected, even if it may be harsh or onerous
• Hoc quidem perquam durum est, sed ital ex scripta est • Ratio legis – interpretation according to the spirit or
– it is exceedingly hard but so the law is written reason of the law
• A decent regard to the legislative will shoud inhibit the • Spirit or intention of a statute prevails over the letter
court from engaging in judicial legislation to change • A law should accordingly be so construed as to be in
what it thinks are unrealistic statutes that do not accordance with, and not repugnant to, the spirit of the
conform with ordinary experience or practice (respeto law
nalang sa ating mga mambabatas! Whatever?!? Haha • Presumption: undesirable consequences were never
joke only) intended by a legislative measure
• If there is a need to change the law, amend or repeal it,
remedy may be done through a legislative process, not Literal import must yield to intent
by judicial decree • Verba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservire –
• Where the law is clear, appeals to justice and equity as words ought to be more subservient to the intent and
justification to construe it differently are unavailing – not the intent to the words (ahhh parang intent is to
Philippines is governed by CIVIL LAW or POSITIVE woman as word is to man – so man is subservient to
LAW, not common law woman… logical!)
• Equity is available only in the absence of law and not • Guide in ascertaining intent – conscience and equity
its replacement – (so, pag may law, walang equity • So it is possible that a statute may be extended to cases
equity! Pero pag walang law, pwedeng mag-equity, not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as
gets?!?... important to!) they come within its spirit or intent
• Aequitas nunquam contravenit legis – equity never
acts in contravention of the law Limitation of rule
• Construe (intent over letter) only if there is ambiguity!
Construction to accomplish purpose
Statute must be capable of interpretation, otherwise inoperative • PURPOSE or REASON which induced the enactment
• If no judicial certainty can be had as to its meaning, of the statute – key to open the brain of the legislature/
the court is not at liberty to supply nor to make one legislative intent!
• Statutes should be construed in the light of the object
Santiago v. COMELEC to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be
• In this case, the Court adopted a literal meaning thus, suppressed
concluded that RA 6735 is inadequate to implement • As between two statutory interpretations, that which
the power of the people to amend the Constitution better serves the purpose of the law should prevail
(initiative on amendments) for the following reasons:
o Does not suggest an initiative on amendments Sarcos v. Castillo
on to the Constitution because it is silent as to • This case explains why legislative purpose to
amendments on the Constitution and the word determine legislative intent
“Constitution” is neither germane nor relevant • Frankfurter
to said section o Legislative words are not inert but derived
o Does not provide for the contents of a petition vitality from the obvious purposes at which
for initiative on the Constitution they are aimed
o Does not provide for subtitles for initiative on o Legislation – working instrument of
the Constitution government and not merely as a collection of
o RA is incomplete and does not provide a English words
sufficient standard • Benjamin Natham Cardozo
• Justice Puno (ano?!? Justice Tree?!) dissents: o Legislation is more than a composition
o Legislative intent is also shown by the o It is an active instrument of government
deliberations on the bill that became RA which means that laws have ends to be
6735… (there are 4 more reasons – see page achieved
130-131, which are not so important) • Holmes
• Interpretation of RA 6735 was not in keeping with the o Words are flexible
maxim interpretation fienda est ut res magis valeat o The general purpose is a more important aid
quam pereat – that interpretation as will give the thing
to the meaning than any rule which grammar
efficacy is to be adopted
or formal logic may lay down
o Courts are apt to err by sticking too closely to
What is within the spirit is within the law
the words of law where those words import a
• Don’t literally construe the law if it will render it
policy that goes beyond them
meaningless, lead to ambiguity, injustice or
Soriano v. Offshore Shipping and Manning Corp
• The spirit of the law controls its letter
• A literal interpretation is to be rejected if it would be
unjust or lead to absurd results
• Held: YES! Outside or inside without permit is
Illustration of rule prohibited

King v. Hernandez Bocobo v. Estanislao

• Issue: whether or not a Chinese (parang si RA and • Issue: whether the CFI and a municipal court in the
Serge) may be employed in a non-control position in a capital of a province have concurrent jurisdiction over
retail establishment, a wholly nationalized business the crime of libel
under RA 1180 Retail Trade Law (btw, wala na tong • RPC – grants jurisdiction with CFI
law na ‘to. It has been repealed by the Retail Trade • Judiciary Act grants jurisdiction with the municipal
Liberalization Act – my thesis! ) court in the capital of a province in offenses where the
• Held: No! (kasi duduraan ka lang ng mga intsik! Joke penalty is not more than prission correctional or fine
only!) the law has to be construed with the Anti- not exceeding 6,000Php (penalty for libel)
Dummy Law – prohibiting an alien from intervening • So ano na?!?
in the management, operation, administration or
control thereof Godines v. CA
• When the law says you cannot employ such alien, you • Patent Law – grants the patentee the exclusive right to
cannot employ an alien! The unscrupulous alien may make, use, and sell his patented machine, article or
resort to flout the law or defeat its purpose! product xxx
(maggulang daw mga intsik… ultimo tubig sa pasig • Doctrine of equivalents – when a device appropriates a
river, which is supposed to be free, bottles it and then prior invention by incorporating its innovative concept,
sells it! Huwat?!?) and albeit with some modification and change,
• It is imperative that the law be interpreted in a manner performs substantially the same function in
that would stave off any attempt at circumvention of substantially the same way to achieve substantially the
the legislative purpose same result (ano ba ‘to?!? Puro substantially?)

Bustamante v. NLRC Planters Association of Southern Negros, Inc. v. Ponferrada

• Issue: how to compute for backwages to which an • 2 apparently conflicting provisions should be
illegally dismissed employee would be entitled until construed as to realize the purpose of the law
his actual reinstatement (take note of this case.. it’s a • The purpose of the law is to INCREASE the worker’s
labor case… kiliti ni Golangco) benefits
• 3 ways: • Benefits under RA 6982 shall be IN ADDITION to the
o 1st – before Labor Code – to be deducted from benefits under RA 809 and PD 621
the amount of backwages is the earnings • “Substituted” cannot be given literal interpretation
elsewhere during the period of illegal
dismissal When reason of law ceases, law itself ceases
o 2nd – Labor Code Art. 279 – the amount of • The reason which induced the legislature to enact a
backwages is fixed without deductions or law is the heart of the law
qualifications but limited to not more than 3 • Cessante ratione legis, cessat et ipsa lex – when the
years reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases
o 3rd – amended Art. 279 – full backwages or • Ratio legis est anima – reason of the law is its soul
without deductions from the time the
laborer’s compensation was withheld until his Peo v. Almuete
actual reinstatement • Agricultural Tenancy Act is repealed by the
• The clear legislative intent of the amendment in RA Agricultural Land Reform Code
6715 (Labor Code) is to give more benefits to workers • Agricultural Tenancy Act – punishes prereaping or
than was previously given them under the Mercury prethreshing of palay on a date other than that
Drug rule or the 1st way previously set without the mutual consent of the
landlord and tenant
US v. Toribio o Share tenancy relationship
• The prohibition of the slaughter of carabaos for human • Agricultural Land Reform Code – abolished share
consumption so long as these animals are fit for tenancy relationship, thus does not punish prereaping
agricultural work/ draft purposes was a “reasonable or prethreshing of palay on a date other than that
necessary limitation” on private ownership previously set without the mutual consent of the
• Purpose or object of the law – to protect large cattle landlord and tenant anymore
against theft and to make easy recovery and return of o Leasehold system
such cattle to their owners, when lost, strayed or stolen
Commendador v. De Villa
• Issue: whether the slaughter of large cattle outside the
municipal slaughterhouse without a permit by the • Issue: whether PD 39, which withdrew the right to
municipal treasurer is prohibited? peremptorily challenge members of a military tribunal,
had been rendered inoperative by PD 2045 • Because the President is not a “local chief executive”
proclaiming the termination of a state of martial law but under Sec. 50 of the Local Government Code, the
• Held: YES! The termination of the martial law and the “President, Governor, Mayor have the executive power
dissolution of military tribunals created thereunder, the to appoint in order to fill vacancies in local councils or
reason for the existence of PD 39 ceased automatically to suspend local officials
and the decree itself ceased
Qualification of rule (of correcting clerical errors)
Vasquez v. Giap • Only those which are clearly clerical errors or obvious
• Where the mischief sought to be remedied by a statute mistakes, omissions, and misprints; otherwise, is to
has already been removed in a given situation, the rewrite the law and invade the domain of the
statute may no longer apply in such case legislature, it is judicial legislation in the guise of
• The law bans aliens from acquiring and owning lands, interpretation
the purpose is to preserve the nation’s lands for future
generations of Filipinos Construction to avoid absurdity
• A sale of land in favor of an alien, in violation of the • Reason: it is always presumed that the legislature
said law, no longer be questioned after the alien intended exceptions to its language which would avoid
becomes a Filipino citizen consequences of this character
Supplying legislative omission • Thus, statutes may be extended to cover cases not
• xxx if it is clearly ascertainable from the CONTEXT! within the literal meaning of the terms if their exact
• May supply legislative omission to make the statute and literal import would lead to absurd or mischievous
conform to obvious intent of the legislature or to results
prevent the act from being absurd • Interpretation talis in ambiguis simper fienda est ut
• Note: differentiate from judicial legislation evitetur inconveniens et absurdum – where there is
ambiguity, such interpretation as will avoid
inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted
Correcting clerical errors • Courts test the law by its results – if law appears to be
• As long as the meaning intended is apparent on the arbitrary, courts are not bound to apply it in slavish
face of the whole enactment and no specific provision disobedience to its language
is abrogated • Courts should construe a statute to effectuate, and not
• This is not judicial legislation to defeat, its provisions; nor render compliance with its
provisions impossible to perform
Illustration rule
Peo v. Duque
Rufino Lopez & Sons, Inc. v. CTA • Surplusage!!!
• Court change the phrase “collector of customs” to • Sec. 2 of Act No. 3326 – prescription of offenses
“commissioner of customs” to correct an obvious o Prescription shall begin to run from
mistake in law  The day of the commission of the
• Sec 7 – “commissioner of customs” – grants the CTA violation
jurisdiction to review decisions of the Commissioner  From the time of discovery AND
of Customs institution of judicial proceedings for
• Sec 11 – “collector of customs” – refers to the decision investigation and punishment
of the Collector of Customs that may be appealed to • But the prevailing rule is that prescriptive period is
the tax court tolled upon the institution of judicial proceedings – an
• “Commissioner” prevails – Commissioner of Customs act of grace by the State
has supervision and control over Collectors of • Court held that the phrase “institution of judicial
Customs and the decisions of the latter are reviewable proceedings for its investigation and punishment” may
by the Commissioner of Customs be either disregarded as surplusage or should be
deemed preceded by the word “until”
Lamp v. Phipps
• “Ordinary COURTS of law” to “Ordinary COURSE of Oliveros v. Villaluz
law” • Issue: whether or not the suspension order against an
elective official following an information for violation
Farinas v. Barba of the Anti-Graft law filed against him, applies not
• Issue: who is the appointing power to fill a vacancy only to the current term of office but also to another
created by the sanggunian member who did not belong term if the accused run for reelection and won
to any political party, under the provision of the Local • Sec 13 of the Anti-Graft Law – suspension unless
Government Code acquitted, reinstated!
• “local chief executive” – a misnomer • Held: only refers to the current term of the suspended
• It should be “authorities concerned” officer (and not to a future unknown and uncertain new
term unless supplemented by a new suspension order
in the event of reelection) for if his term shall have
expired at the time of acquittal, he would obviously be Construction to avoid injustice
no longer entitled to reinstatement; otherwise it will • Presumption – legislature did not intend to work a
lead to absurdities hardship or an oppressive result, a possible abuse of
authority or act of oppression, arming one person with
Peo v. Yu Hai a weapon to impose hardship on the other
• Issue: when does a crime punishable by arresto menor • Ea est accipienda interpretation quae vitio caret – that
prescribe? interpretation is to be adopted which is free from evil
• State says 10 years as provided for in Art 90 RPC or injustice
o Art. 26 (correctional offenses) – max fine of
200Php – correctional penalty – prescribes in Amatan v. Aujero
10 years (Art. 90) • Rodrigo Umpad was charged with homicide
• Court held that this is not right!!!! It is wrong! • Pursuant to some provision in criminal procedure, he
o Art. 9 (light offenses) – not more than 200Php entered into a plea bargaining agreement, which the
– light felonies – 2 months judge approved of, downgrading the offense charge of
o 1Php makes a difference of 9 years and 10 homicide to attempted homicide to which Umpad
months! (huwat?!?) pleaded guilty thereto.
o Arresto mayor (correctional penalty) • Hello?!? Namatay na nga tapos attempted lang?!?
prescribes in 5 years Mababaliw ako sayo, judge, whoever you are!!!
o Less grave – prescribe even shorter • Fiat justicia, ruat coelum – let the right be done,
o Also, prescriptive period cannot be though the heavens fall (ano daw?!?)
ascertained not until the court decides which • Stated differently, when a provision of the law is silent
of the alternative penalties should be imposed or ambiguougs, judges ought to invoke a solution
– imprisonment ba or fine lang… yun lang responsive to the vehement urge of conscience
po! (ahhh… ano daw ulit?!?)

Peo v. Reyes Peo v. Purisima

• Dangerous Drugs Act • It was contended that PD 9(3) – is a malum
• RA 7659 prohibitum; thus intent to use such prohibited weapons
o X < 200 grams – max penalty is reclusion is immaterial by reason of public policy
perpetua • Court said that use the preamble to construe such act
o X > 200 grams – min penalty is reclusion whether penalized or not
perpetua • Moreover the court said that legislature did not intend
• Court ruled that: injustice, absurdity and contradiction
o X < 200 grams – penalty ranging from prision • Court gave an example…
correctional to reclusion temporal o So if I borrowed a bolo then I return this to
 134-199grams – reclusion temporal my lender, then in the course or my journey
 66-133 – prison mayor I’m caught, I’m penalized under the Decree
for 5-10 years imprisonment! (ang labo
 Less than 66 grams – prision
• StatCon – duty of the court to harmonize conflicting Ursua v. CA
provisions to give effect to the whole law; to effectuate
• Issue: whether or not the isolated use, at one instance,
the intention of legislature
of a name other than a person’s true name to secure a
copy of a document from a government agency,
constitutes violation of CA 142 – Anti-alias Law
Malonzo v. Zamora
• Held: NO! (isang beses lang naman eh.. hehehe joke
• Contention: the City Counsel of Caloocan cannot
validly pass an ordinance appropriating a supplemental
o The purpose of the Anti-alias Law is to
budget for the purpose of expropriating a certain parcel
of land, without first adopting or updating its house prevent confusion and fraud in business
rules of procedure within the first 90 days following
the election of its members, as required by Secs. 50 o Such isolated use of a different name is not
and 52 of the LGC prohibited by the law; otherwise, injustice,
absurdity and contradiction will result
• Court said this is absurd!!!! Contention is rejected!
o Adoption or updating of house rules would
Construction to avoid danger to public interest
necessarily entail work… local council’s
hands were tied and could not act on any
Co Kim Cham v. Valdez Tan Keh
other matter if we hold the absurd contention!
o So much inconvenience! Shiox! And this • Sa Consti ‘to ah! La lang… hehe (yihee, Serge!)
could not have been intended by the law
• “processes” in the proclamation that “all laws statute, or where it suggests a meaning that nullifies
regulations and processes” of the so-called RP during the statute or renders it without sense, the word, phrase
the Japanese occupation of the country “are null and or clause may be rejected as surplusage and entirely
void and without legal effect” MAY NOT be ignored
construed to embrace JUDICIAL PROCESSES as this • Surplusagium non noceat – surplusage does not vitiate
would lead to great inconvenience and public hardship a statute
and public interest would be endangered • Utile per inutile non vitiatur – nor is the useful vitated
o Criminals freed by the non-useful
o Vested right, impaired
Demafiles v. COMELEC
Construction in favor of right and justice • Issue: whether a pre-proclamation election case has
• Art. 10 CC: In case of doubt in the interpretation or become moot because the proclaimed winner had
application of laws, it is presumed that the law-making immediately taken his oath pursuant to Sec 2 RA 4870
body intended right and justice to prevail which provides that the “first mayor, vice-mayor and
• Art. 9 CC: The fact that a statute is silent, obscure, or councilors of the municipality of Sebaste shall be
insufficient with respect to a question before the court elected in the next general elections for local officials
will not justify the latter from declining to render and shall have qualified”
judgment thereon • It was contended that “shall have qualified” begins
• In balancing conflicting solutions, that one is immediately after their proclamation!
perceived to tip the scales which the court believes will • Court held that this is wrong!
best promote the public welfare is its probable o The said phrase is a jargon and does not
operation as a general rule or principle warrant the respondent’s reading that the term
of office of the first municipal officials of
Salvacion v. BSP Sebaste begins immediately after their
• Greg Bartelli raped his alleged niece 10 times and proclamation
detained her in his apartment for 4 days o The King in ‘Alice in Wonderland’: if there is
• Court gave a favorable judgment of more than 1MPhp no meaning in it, that saves a world of
• BSP rejected the writ of attachment alleging Sec 113 trouble, you know, as we need not try to find
of the Central Bank Circular No. 960 (applicable to any
transient foreigners) o Apply the general rule when such term begin
• Issue: whether the dollar bank deposit in a Philippine – the term of municipal officials shall begin
bank of a foreign tourist can be attached to satisfy the on the 1st day of January following their
moral damages awarded in favor of the latter’s 12- election
year-old rape victim
• BSP did not honor the writ of attachment pursuant to Redundant words may be rejected
RA6426 Sec 8 – “foreign currency deposits shall be • Self-explanatory, ano buzzzz?!?
exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other
order or process of any court, legislative body, Obscure or missing word or false description may not preclude
government agency or any administrative body construction
whatsoever” • Falsa demonstration non nocet, cum de corpore constat
• Court held that: ANO BA?!? Na-rape na nga ayaw – false description does not preclude construction nor
pang magbayad ng moral damages dahil lang sa isang vitiate the meaning of the statute which is otherwise
silly law?!? (hehe.. joke lang.. I’m so bored na eh!) clear
o Court applied the principles of right and
justice to prevail over the strict and literal Exemption from rigid application of law
words of the statute • Ibi quid generaliter conceditur – every rule is not
o The purpose of RA 6426 to exempt such without an exception
assets from attachment: at the time the said • Inest haec exception, si non aliquid sit contras jus
law was enacted, the country’s economy was basque – where anything is granted generally, this
in a shambles. But in the present time it is exception is implied
still in shambles... hehe joke lang… but in the • Compelling reasons may justify reading an exception
present time, the country has recovered to a rule even where the latter does not provide any;
economically. No reason why such assets otherwise the rigor of the law would become the
cannot be attached especially if it would highest injustice – summum jus, summa injuria
satisfy a judgment to award moral damages to
a 12-year-old rape victim! Law does not require the impossible
• Nemo tenetur ad impossible – the law obliges no one
Surplusage and superfluity disregarded to perform an impossibility
• Where a word, phrase or clause in a statute is devoid • Impossibilium nulla obligation est – no obligation to
of meaning in relation to the context or intent of the do an impossible thing
• Impossible compliance versus Substantial compliance • Every statutory grant of power, right or privilege is
(as required by law) deemed to include all incidental power, right or
Lim co Chui v Posadas • In eo quod plus sit, simper inest et minus – greater
• Publication in the Official Gazette weekly, for three includes the lesser
times and consecutively, to acquire jurisdiction over • Necessity –
naturalization case o includes such inferences as may be logically
• It was an impossibility to fulfill such requirement as be drawn from the purpose or object of the
the OG was not, at the time, published weekly statute, from what the legislature must be
• Thus, Court held that compliance with the other 2 presumed to have intended, and from the
requirements would be deemed sufficient to acquire necessity of making the statute effective and
jurisdiction over the naturalization case operative
o excludes what is merely plausible, beneficial,
Akbayan v. COMELEC or desirable
• This case is about the statutory grant of stand-by • must be consistent with the Constitution or to existing
power to the COMELEC as provided for in Sec. 28 laws
RA 8436 • an implication which is violative of the law is
• Petitioners were asking the respondent to exercise such unjustified or unwarranted
power so as to accommodate potential voters who
were not able to register for the upcoming election Chua v. Civil Service Commission
• COMELEC denied the petition alleging the • Issue: whether a coterminous employee, or one whose
impossibility of late registration to accommodate appointment is co-existent with the duration of a
potential voters government project, who has been employed as such
• Court ruled that the provision must be given such for more than 2 years, is entitled to early retirement
interpretation that is in accordance with logic, common benefits under Sec 2 RA 6683
sense, reasonableness and practicality • Court held that YES, Chua is entitled!
• Where time constraint and the surrounding o A coterminous employee is no different from
circumstances make it impossible or the COMELEC to a casual or temporary employee, and by
conduct special registration of voters, the COMELEC necessary implication, the inclusion of the
cannot be faulted for refusing to do so, for the law latter in the class of government employees
does not require the impossible to be done; there is no entitled to the benefits of the law necessarily
obligation to ho the impossible thing implies that the former should also be entitled
• COMELEC’s decision is sustained to such benefits
o Wrong application of the maxim “expresio
Number and gender of words uniusest exclusion alterius”
• When the context of a statute so indicates, words in
plural include the singular, and vice versa. Remedy implied from a right
• A plural word in a statute may thus apply to a singular • Ubi jus, ibi remedium - where there is a right, there is
person or thing, just as a singular word may embrace a remedy for violation thereof
two or more persons or things • Right -> Obligation -> Remedy
• Art. 996 CC – (law on succession) such article also • The fact that the statute is silent as to the remedy does
applies to a situation where there is only one child not preclude him from vindicating his right, for such
because “children” includes “child” remedy is implied from such right
• Election Code – “candidate” comprehends “some • Once a right is established, the way must be cleared for
candidates” or “all candidates” its enforcement, and technicalities in procedure,
• On gender – the masculine, but not the feminine, judicial as well as administrative, must give way
includes all genders, unless the context in which the • Where there is “wrong,” (deprivation or violation of a
word is used in the statute indicates otherwise right) there is a remedy
• If there’s no right, principle does not apply
Batungbakal v National Development Co
Doctrine of necessary implication • Petitioner was suspended and removed from office
• So-called gaps in the law develop as the law is which proved to be illegal and violative not only of the
enforced Administrative Code but of the Constitution itself
• StatCon rule: to fill in the gap is the doctrine of • Court ruled that to remedy the evil and wrong
necessary implication committed, there should be reinstatement and payment
• Doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as of backwages, among other things
much a part thereof as that which is expressed • However, there was a legal problem as to his
• Ex necessitate legis – from the necessity of the law reinstatement, for when he was suspended and
eventually dismissed, somebody was appointed to his • The incidental powers are those which are necessarily
position included in, and are therefore of lesser degree than the
• Issue: whether remedy is denied petitioner power granted
• Held: position was never “vacant”. Since there is no o Examples
vacancy, the present incumbent cannot be appointed  Power to establish an office includes
permanently. The incumbent is only holding a authority to abolish it, unless xxx
temporary position. Moreover, the incumbent’s being  Warrant issued shall be made upon
made to leave the post to give way to the employee’s probable cause determined by the
superior right may be considered as removal for cause judge xxx implies the grant of power
to the judge to conduct preliminary
Grant of jurisdiction investigations
• Conferred only by the Constitution or by statute  Power to approve a license includes
• Cannot be conferred by the Rules of Court by implication the power to revoke it
• Cannot be implied from the language of a statute, in • Power to revoke is limited
the absence of clear legislative intent to that effect by the authority to grant
license, from which it is
Pimentel v. COMELEC derived
• COMELEC has appellate jurisdiction over election  Power to deport includes the power
cases filed with and decided by the RTC involving to arrest undesirable aliens after
municipal elective officials DOES NOT IMPLY the investigation
grant of authority upon the COMELEC to issue writs  Power to appoint vested in the
of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus concerning said President includes the power to
election cases make temporary appointments ,
unless xxx
Peo v. Palana  Power to appropriate money
• Statute grants a special court jurisdiction over criminal includes power to withdraw
cases involving offenders under 16 at the time of the unexpended money already
filing of the action, a subsequent statute defining a appropriated
youthful offender as one who is over 9 but below 21  Etc… see page 171-172
years of age may not be so construed as to confer by
implication upon said special court the authority to try Grant of power excludes greater power
cases involving offenders 16 but below 21 years of age • The principle that the grant of power includes all
incidental powers necessary to make the exercise
What may be implied from grant of jurisdiction thereof effective implies the exclusion of those which
• The grant of jurisdiction to try actions carries with it are greater than that conferred
all necessary and incidental powers to employ all o Power of supervision DOES NOT INCLUDE
writs, processes and other means essential to make its power to suspend or removal
jurisdiction effective o Power to reorganize DOES NOT INCLUDE
• Where a court has jurisdiction over the main cause of the authority to deprive the courts certain
action, it can grant reliefs incidental thereto, even if jurisdiction and to transfer it to a quasi-
they would otherwise be outside its jurisdiction judicial tribunal
o E.g. forcible entry and detainer is cognizable o Power to regulate business DOES NOT
in MTC… MTC can order payment of rentals INCLUDE power to prohibit
even though the amount exceeds the
jurisdictional amount cognizable by them, the What is implied should not be against the law
same merely incidental to the principal action • Power to appoint includes power to suspend or remove
• Statutes conferring jurisdiction to an administrative –
agency must be liberally construed to enable the o Constitutional restriction of CIVIL SERVICE
agency to discharge its assigned duties in accordance EMPLOYEES, that it must be a cause
with the legislative purpose provided for by law precludes such
o E.g. the power granted the NHA to hear and implication (unless the appointment was
decide claims involving refund and any other made outside the civil service law
claims filed xxx, include attorney’s fees and • Power to appoint a public officer by the President
other damages includes power to remove
o Provided that such removal is made with just
Grant of power includes incidental power
• Where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, o Except is such statute provides that term of
every particular power necessary for the exercise of office to be at the pleasure of the appointing
one or the performance of the other is also conferred officer, power to appoint carries with it power
to remove anytime
• Power to investigate officials DOES NOT INCLUDE prohibition by law is designed for protection of one
the power to delegate the authority to take testimony of party, the court may grant relief in favor of the latter
witnesses whose appearance may be required by the
compulsory process of subpoena. Nor does such What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly
power to investigate include the power to delegate the • Quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per
authority to administer oath obliquum – what cannot, by law, be done directly
cannot be done indirectly
Authority to charge against public funds may not be implied
• It is well-settled that unless a statute expressly so Peo v. Concepcion
authorizes, no claim against public funds may be • Where a corporation is forbidden from doing an act,
allowed the prohibition extends to the board of directors and to
o Statute grants leave privileges to each director separately and individually
APPOINTIVE officials, this cannot be • Where the board of directors is prohibited from
construed to include ELECTIVE officials granting loans to its director, a loan to a partnership of
o “employer” to pay 13th month pay, does not which the wife of a director is a partner falls within the
imply that it includes “government prohibition

Peoples Bank and Trust Co. v. PNB

Illegality of act implied from prohibition • Where a statute prohibits the payment of the principal
• In pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis - where a obligation during a fixed period, the interest thereon
statute prohibits the doing of an act, the act done in during the existence of the restriction is not
violation thereof is by implication null and void demandable
• Prohibited act cannot serve as foundation of a cause of
action for relief Cruz v. Tantuico
• Ex dolo malo non oritur actio – no man can be allowed • Law exempts retirement benefits of a public officer or
to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing or inequity employee from attachment, garnishment etc
• Nullus coomodum capere potest de injuria sua propria • Earlier law authorizes the government to withhold an
– no man should be allowed to take advantage of his amount due such officer or employee to pay his
own wrong indebtedness to the government SHOULD NOT BE
• Public policy requires that parties to an act prohibited CONSTRUED to withhold so much of his retirement
by statute be left where they are, to make the statute benefits as this amount to attachment garnishment etc.
effective and to accomplish its object
o Party to an illegal contract cannot come to Tantuico, Jr. v Domingo
court of law and ask that his illegal object be • Law exempts retirement benefits of a public officer or
carried out employee from attachment, garnishment etc
o A citizen who sold his land to an alien in • Government cannot withhold payment of retirement
violation of the constitutional restriction benefits of a public officer until his accountabilities
cannot annul the same and recover the land, with the government shall have been cleared, as such
for both seller and buyer are guilty of having action is doing indirectly what the government is
violated the Constitution prohibited from doing directly

Two (2) Exceptions to the rule There should be no penalty from compliance with law
• A person who complies with what a statute requires
• Pari delicto doctrine will not apply when its cannot, by implication, be penalized thereby
enforcement or application will violate an avowed
fundamental policy or public interest • For “simple logic and fairness and reason cannot
countenance an exaction or a penalty for an act
Delos Santos v. Roman Catholic Church faithfully done in compliance with the law” 
• Homestead Law – to give and preserve in the
homesteader and his family a piece of land for his
house and cultivation
• The law prohibits the alienation of a homestead within
5 years following the issuance of the patent and
provides that any contract of a conveyance in
contravention thereof shall be null and void
• The seller or his heirs, although in pari delicto, may
recover the land subject of such illegal sale CHAPTER FIVE: Interpretation of words and phrases

Barsobia v. Cuenco IN GENERAL

• Another exception is that when the transaction is not Generally
illegal per se but merely prohibited and the
• A word or phrase used in a statute may have an • Held: while “immigrant” in ordinary definition- “an
ordinary, generic, restricted, technical, legal, alien who comes to the Philippines for permanent
commercial or trading meaning residence”; The Immigration Act makes own
• May be defined in the statute – if this is done, use such definition of term, which is “any alien departing from
definition because this is what the legislature intended any place outside the Philippines destined for the
• Task: Philippines, other than a non-immigrant.
o ascertain intent from statute • (so kelangan part siya nung “other than a non-
o ascertain intent from extraneous & relevant immigrant”.) -> yep yep, Serge! But more importantly,
circumstance the definition emphasizes an immigrant, who is an
o construe word or phrase to effectuate such alien, who comes to the Philippines either to reside
• General rule in interpreting the meaning and scope of a distinction 
term used in the law:
o Review of the WHOLE law involved as well • definition of terms given weight in construction
as the INTENDMENT of law (not of an • terms & phrases, being part & parcel of whole statute,
isolated part or a particular provision alone) given effect in their ENTIRTY, as harmonious,
coordinated, and integrated unit
Statutory definition • words & phrases construed in light of context of
• When statute defines words & phrase- legislative WHOLE statute.
definition controls the meaning of statutory word,
irrespective of any other meaning word have in Qualification of rule
ordinary usual sense. • Statutory definition of word or term controlling only as
• Where a statute defines a word or phrase, the word or used in the Act;
phrase, should not by construction, be given a different • not conclusive as to the meaning of same word or term
meaning. in other statutes
• Legislature restricted meaning as it adopted specific • Especially to transactions that took place prior to
definition, thus, this should be used enactment of act.
• Term or phrase specifically defined in particular law,
• Statutory definition controlling statutory words does
definition must be adopted.
not apply when:
• No usurpation of court function in interpreting but it o application creates incongruities
merely legislates what should form part of the law
o destroy its major purposes
o becomes illogical as result of change in its
Victorias Milling Co. v. Social Security Commission factual basis.
<compensation; RA 1161, Sec. 8(f)>
Ernest v. CA < RA 4166 & EO 900, 901>
• “compensation” to include all renumerations, except
bonuses, allowances & overtime pay • “sugarcane planter” is defined as a planter-owner of
sugarcane plantation w/in particular sugar mill district,
• Definition was amended: deleted “exceptions”
who has been allocated export and/or domestic &
• Legislative Intent: the amendment shows legislative reserve sugar quotas.
intent that bonuses & overtime pay now included in
• Statutory definition excludes emergency, non-quota,
employee’s renumeration.
non-district and accommodation planters, they having
• Principle: by virtue of express substantial change in no sugar quota. However, in 1955, quota system
phraseology, whatever prior judicial or executive abolished
construction should give way to mandate of new law.
• With change in situation, illogical to continue adhering
to previous definition that had lost their legal effect.
Peo. v. Venviaje < Chiropractic>
• Issue: Whether person who practiced chiropractic Amadora v. CA
without having been duly licensed, may be criminally
liable for violation of medical law. • However, where statute remains unchanged,
• Held: Though term “practice of medicine,” interpreted according to its clear and original mandate;
chiropractic may in ordinary sense fall within its until legislature taking into account changes subjected
meaning; statutorily defined - includes manipulations to be regulated, sees fit to enact necessary amendment.
employed in chiropractic; thus, one who practices
chiropractic without license is criminally liable. Words construed in their ordinary sense
• General rule: In the absence of legislative intent, words
and phrases should be given their plain, ordinary, and
Chang Yung Fa v. Gianzon< alien> common usage meaning.
• Issue: whether alien who comes into country as • Should be read and considered in their natural,
temporary visitor is an “immigrant?” ordinary, commonly accepted, and most obvious
signification, according to good and approved usage
and without resulting to forced or subtle construction.
• Statute: Sec. 68 PD 705 - penalizes the cutting,
Central Azucarera Don Pedro v. Central Bank gathering & or collecting timber or other forest
• A statute “exempts certain importations from tax and products without a license.
foreign exchange, which are actually used in the • Is “lumber” included in “timber”
manufacture or preparation of local products, forming • Reversing 1st ruling, SC says lumber is included in
part thereof.” timber.
• “Forming part thereof” not to mean that the imported
products have to be mixed mechanically, chemically,
• “The Revised Forestry Code contains no definition of
timber or lumber. Timber is included in definition of
materially into the local product & lose its identity.
forestry products par (q) Sec.3. Lumber - same
• Means that the imported article is needed to
definitions as “processing plants”
accomplish the locally manufactured product for
export. • Processing plant is any mechanical set-up, machine or
combination of machine used for processing of logs &
CIR v. Manila Business Lodge 761 other forest raw materials into lumber veneer, plywood
• “business” (if unqualified) in tax statute: plain and etc… p. 183.
ordinary meaning to embrace activity or affair where • Simply means, lumber is a processed log or forest raw
profit is the purpose & livelihood is the motive. material. The Code uses lumber in ordinary common
• In this case, a fraternal social club selling liquor at its usage. In 1993 ed. of Webster’s International
clubhouse in a limited scale only to its members, Dictionary, lumber is defined as timber or logs after
without intention to obtain profit being prepared for the market. Therefore, lumber is a
• Not engaged in business. processed log or timber. Sec 68 of PD 705 makes no
distinction between raw & processed timber.
Phiippinel Association of Government Retirees v. GSIS
< “present value”> General words construed generally
• Statute: “for those who are at least 65 yrs of age, lump • Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda - what is
sum payment of present value of annuity for the first 5 generally spoken shall be generally understood;
years, and future annuity to be paid monthly. Provided general words shall be understood in a general sense.
however, that there shall be no discount from annuity • Generale dictum generaliter est interpretandum - a
for the first 5 yrs. of those who are 65 yrs or over, on general statement is understood in a general sense
the day the law took effect.” • In case word in statute has both restricted and general
• Vocabulary: meaning, GENERAL must prevail; Unless nature of
o lump sum - amount of money given in single the subject matter & context in which it is employed
payment clearly indicates that the limited sense is intended.
o annuity - amount of money paid to somebody •General words should not be given a restricted
yearly or at some other regular interval meaning when no restriction is indicated.
• Should there be discount from the present value of his • Rationale: if the legislature intended to limit the
annuity? meaning of a word, it would have been easy for it
• NO. Used in ordinary sense as said law grants to the to have done so.
retired employee substantial sum for his sustenance
considering his age. Any doubt in this law should be Application of rule
ruled in his favor.
Gatchalian v. COMELEC
Matuguina Integrated Wood Products Inc. v. CA • “foreigner”- in Election Code, prohibiting any
• Whether transferee of a forest concession is liable for foreigner from contributing campaign funds includes
obligations arising from transferor’s illegal juridical person
encroachment into another forest concessionaire, • “person”- comprehends private juridical person
which was committed prior to the transfer • “person”- in penal statute, must be a “person in law,”
• Sec. 61 of PD 705 “the transferee shall assume all the an artificial or natural person
obligations of the transferor.”
• Court held that the transferee is NOT liable and Vargas v. Rillaroza
explained: “Obligations” construed to mean • “judge” without any modifying word or phrase
obligations incurred by transferor in the ordinary accompanying it is to be construed in generic sense to
course of business. Not those as a result of comprehend all kinds of judges; inferior courts or
transgressions of the law, as these are personal justices of SC.
obligations of transferor.
• Principle: Construe using ordinary meaning & avoid C & C Commercial Corp v. NAWASA
absurdity. • “government” - without qualification should be
understood in implied or generic sense including
Mustang Lumber, Inc. v CA
Central Bank v. CA Asiatic Petroleum Co. v. CIR
• “National Government” - refers only to central • No tax shall be collected on articles which, before its
government, consisting of executive, legislative and taking effect, shall have been “disposed of”
judiciary, as well as constitutional bodies ( as •Lay: parting away w/ something
distinguished from local government & other •Merchant: to sell (this must be used)
governmental entities) Versus->
• “The Government of the Republic of the Philippines” San Miguel Corp. v. Municipal Council of Mandaue
or “Philippine Government” – including central •“gross value of money”
governments as well as local government & GOCCs. •Merchant: “gross selling price” which is the total amount
of money or its equivalent which purchaser pays to the
Republic Flour Mills v. Commissioner of Customs vendor to receive the goods.
• “product of the Philippines” – any product produced in
the country, e.g. bran (ipa) & pollard (darak) produced Words with technical or legal meaning
from wheat imported into the country are “products of •General rule: words that have, or have been used in, a
the Philippines” technical sense or those that have been judicially
construed to have a certain meaning should be
Generic term includes things that arise thereafter interpreted according to the sense in which they have
• Progressive interpretation - A word of general been PREVIOUSLY used, although the sense may
signification employed in a statute, in absence of vary from the strict or literal meaning of the words
legislative intent, to comprehend not only peculiar •Presumption: language used in a statute, which has a
conditions obtaining at its time of enactment but those technical or well-known meaning, is used in that sense
that may normally arise after its approval as well by the legislature
• Progressive interpretation extends to the application of
statute to all subjects or conditions within its general Manila Herald Publishing Co. v. Ramos
purpose or scope that come into existence subsequent •Sec 14 of Rule 59 of Rules of Court which prescribes the
from its passage steps to be taken when property attached is claimed by
• Rationale: to keep statute from becoming ephemeral a person other than the defendant or his agent
(short-lived) and transitory (not permanent or lasting). • Statute: “nothing herein contained shall prevent such
• Statutes framed in general terms apply to new cases third person from vindicating his claim to the property
and subjects that arise. by any proper action.”
• General rule in StatCon: Legislative enactments in • Issue: “proper action” limits the 3rd party’s remedy to
general comprehensive operation, apply to persons, intervene in the action in which the writ of attachment
subjects and businesses within their general purview is issued
and scope coming into existence subsequent to their •Held: “action” has acquired a well-defined meaning as an
passage. “ordinary suit in a court of justice by which one party
prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection of
Geotina v. CA a right or prevent redress or wrong…
• “articles of prohibited importation” - used in Tariff and
Customs Code embrace not only those declared While…
prohibited at time of adoption, but also goods and •Sec 2 Rule 2 of Rules of Court; “Commencement of
articles subject of activities undertaken in subsequent Action”
laws. •Statute: “Civil action may be commenced by filing a
complaint with the proper court”
Gatchalian v. COMELEC •Word: commencement - indicates the origination of entire
• “any election” - not only the election provided by law proceeding
at that time, but also to future elections including
election of delegates to Constitutional Convention • It was appropriate to use proper action (in 1st statute)
than intervention, since asserted right of 3rd party
Words with commercial or trade meaning claimant necessarily flows out of pending suit; if the
word ‘intervention’ is used, it becomes strange.
•Words or phrases common among merchants and traders,
acquire commercial meanings.
Malanyaon v. Lising
•When any of words used in statute, should be given such
• Sec. 13 of Anti-Graft Law
trade or commercial meaning as has been generally
understood among merchants. • Statute: “ if a public officer is acquitted, he shall be
entitled to reinstatement and to his salaries and
•Used in the following: tariff laws, laws of commerce, laws
benefits which he failed to receive during the
for the government of the importer.
•The law to be applicable to his class, should be construed
• Issue: Will a public officer whose case has been
as universally understood by importer or trader.
dismissed not “acquitted” be entitled to benefits in
Sec. 13?
• Held: No. Acquittal (legal meaning) - finding of not
guilty based on the merit.
• Dismissal does not amount to acquittal except when, Word or phrase construed in relation to other provisions
the dismissal comes after the prosecution has • General rule: word, phrase, provision, should not be
presented all its evidence and is based on construed in isolation but must be interpreted in
insufficiency of such evidence. relation to other provisions of the law.
• This is a VARIATION of the rule that, statute should
Rura v. Lopena be construed as a whole, and each of its provision must
•Probation law - Disqualified from probation those: “who be given effect.
have been previously convicted by final judgment of
an offense punished by imprisonment of not less than 1 Claudio v. COMELEC
month & a fine of no less than Php 200.” • Statute (LGC): “No recall shall take place within 1 yr
•Issue: “previously convicted” from the date of the official’s assumption of office or 1
•Held: it refers to date of conviction, not date of year immediately preceding a regular election”
commission of crime; thus a person convicted on same • Issue: Does the 1st limitation embraces the entire recall
date of several offenses committed in different dates is proceedings (e.g. preparatory recall assemblies) or
not disqualified. only the recall election?
• Held: the Court construed “recall” in relation to Sec.69
which states that, “the power of recall… shall be
exercised by the registered voters of an LGU to which
How identical terms in the statute construed the local elective official belongs.”
• General rule: a word or phrase repeatedly used in a • Hence, not apply to all recall proceedings since power
statute will bear the same meaning throughout the statute; vested in electorate is power to elect an official to
unless a different intention is clearly expressed. office and not power to initiate recall proceedings.
• Rationale: word used in statute in a given sense
presumed to be used in same sense throughout the law. • Word or provision should not be construed in isolation
Though rigid and peremptory, this is applicable where in form but should be interpreted in relation to other
the statute the words appear so near each other physically, provisions of a statute, or other statutes dealing on
particularly where the word has a technical meaning and same subject in order to effectuate what has been
that meaning has been defined in the statute. intended.

De la Paz v. Court of Agrarian Relations <“Riceland”> Garcia v. COMELEC

• share tenancy - average produce per hectare for the 3 • History of statute:
agricultural years next preceding the current harvest o In the Constitution, it requires that legislature
• leasehold - according to normal average harvest of the shall provide a system of initiative and
3 preceding yrs referendum whereby people can directly
• “Year”- agricultural year not calendar year approve or reject any act or law or part
• “Agricultural year” - represents 1 crop; if in 1 calendar thereof passed by Congress or local
yr 2 crops are raised that’s 2 agricultural years. legislative body.
o Local Govt. Code, a later law, defines local
initiative as “process whereby registered
Krivenko v. Register of Deeds voters of an LGU may directly propose,
• Statute: In Sec.1 , Art. XIII of 1935 Constitution - enact, or amend any ordinance.”
“public agricultural lands shall not be alienated”  It is claimed by respondents that
except in favor of Filipinos, SAME as Sec. 5 “no since resolution is not included in
private agricultural land shall be transferred or this definition, then the same cannot
assigned.” be subject of an initiative.
• both have same meaning being based on same policy • Issue: whether a local resolution of a municipal
of nationalization and having same subject. council can be subject to an initiative and referendum?
• Held: We reject respondent’s narrow and literal
Meaning of word qualified by purpose of statute reading of above provision for it will collide with the
• Purpose may indicate whether to give word, phrase, Constitution and will subvert the intent of the
ordinary, technical, commercial restricted or expansive lawmakers in enacting the provisions of the Local
meaning. Government Code (LGC) of 1991 on initiative &
• In construing, court adopts interpretation that accords referendum
best with the manifest purpose of statute; even • The subsequent enactment of the LGC did not change
disregard technical or legal meaning in favor of the scope of its coverage. In Sec. 124 of the same
construction which will effectuate intent or purpose. code. It states: (b) Initiative shall extend only to
subjects or matters which are within the legal powers
of the Sanggunians to enact.”
• This provision clearly does not limit the application of • Held: Considering the purpose of the law, which is to
local initiative to ordinances, but to all “subjects or tax all merchants except those expressly exempted, it
matters which are within the legal powers of the is reasonable and fair to conclude that legislature used
Sanggunians to enact, which undoubtedly includes in commercial use and not in limited sense of total
resolutions.” destruction of thing sold.

Gelano v. C.A. Mottomul v. de la Paz

• In Corporation Law, authorizes a dissolved corporation • Issue: Whether the word “court” refers to the Court of
to continue as a body corporate for 3 yrs. for the Appeals or the trial court?
purpose of defending and prosecuting suits by or • Statute: RA 5343 Effect of Appeal- Appeal shall not
against it, and during said period to convey all its stay the award, order, ruling, decision or judgment
properties to a “trustee” for benefits of its members, unless the officer or body rendering the same or the
stockholders, creditors and other interested persons, court, on motion, after hearing & on such terms as it
the transfer of the properties to the trustee being for the may deem just should provide otherwise.
protection of its creditors and stockholders. • Held: It refers to the TRIAL COURT. If the adverse
• Word “trustee” - not to be understood in legal or party intends to appeal from a decision of the SEC and
technical sense, but in GENERAL concept which pending appeal desires to stay the execution of the
would include a lawyer to whom was entrusted the decision, then the motion must be filed with and be
prosecution of the cases for recovery of sums of heard by the SEC before the adverse party perfects its
money against corporation’s debtors. appeal to the Court of Appeals.
• Purpose of the law: the need for immediacy of
Republic v. Asuncion execution of decisions arrived at by said bodies was
• Issue: Whether the Sandiganbayan is a regular court imperative.
within the meaning of R.A. 6975?
• Statute: RA 6975 which makes criminal actions Meaning of term dictated by context
involving members of the PNP come “within the • The context in which the word or term is employed
exclusive jurisdiction of the regular courts. may dictate a different sense
• Used “regular courts” & “civil courts” interchangeably • Verba accipienda sunt secundum materiam- a word is
• Court martial - not courts within the Philippine to be understood in the context in which it is used.
Judicial System; they pertain to the executive
department and simply instrumentalities of the People v. Chavez
executive power. • Statute: Family home extrajudicially formed shall be
• Regular courts - those within the judicial department exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment,
of the government namely the SC and lower courts except for “non payment of debts”
which includes the Sandiganbayan. • Word “debts” – means obligations in general.
• Held: Courts considered the purpose of the law which
is to remove from the court martial, the jurisdiction Krivenko v. Register of Deeds
over criminal cases involving members of the PNP and • Statute: lands were classified into timber, mineral and
to vest it in the courts within the judicial system. agricultural
• Word “agricultural” – used in broad sense to include
Molina v. Rafferty all lands that are neither timber, nor mineral, such
• Issue: Whether “Agricultural products” includes being the context in which the term is used.
domesticated animals and fish grown in ponds.
• Statute: Phrase used in tax statute which exempts such Santulan v. Executive. Secretary.
products from payment of taxes, purpose is to • Statute: A riparian owner of the property adjoining
encourage the development of such resources. foreshore lands, marshy lands or lands covered with
• Held: phrase not only includes vegetable substances water bordering upon shores of banks of navigable
but also domestic and domesticated animals, animal lakes shall have preference to apply for such lands
products, and fish or bangus grown in ponds. Court adjoining his property.
gave expansive meaning to promote object of law. • Fact: Riparian - one who owns land situated on the
banks of river.
Munoz & Co. v. Hord • Held: Used in a more broader sense referring to a
• Issue: “Consumption” limited or broad meaning property having a water frontage, when it mentioned
• Statute: word is used in statute which provides that “foreshore lands,” “marshy lands,” or “lands covered
“except as herein specifically exempted, there shall be with water.”
paid by each merchant and manufacturer a tax at the
rate of 1/3 of 1% on gross value of money in all goods, Peo. v. Ferrer
wares and merchandise sold, bartered, or exchanged • (case where context may limit the meaning)
for domestic consumption. • Word: “Overthrow”
• Statute: Anti-Subversion Act “knowingly & willfully • Held: no distinction between essential or non-essential
and by overt acts.” formalities
• Rejects the metaphorical “peaceful” sense & limits its
meaning to “overthrow” by force or violence. Colgate-Palmolive Phils v. Gimenez
• Statute: does not distinguish between “stabilizer and
flavors” used in the preparation of food and those used
in the manufacture of toothpaste or dental cream
Peo. v. Nazario
• Statute: Municipal tax ordinance provides “any owner
or manager of fishponds” shall pay an annual tax of a Oliva v. Lamadrid
fixed amount per hectare and it appears that the owner • Statute: allows the redemption or repurchase of a
of the fishponds is the government which leased them homestead property w/in 5 years from its conveyance
to a private person who operates them • Held: “conveyance” not distinguished - voluntary or
• Word: “Owner” – does not include government as the involuntary.
ancient principle that government is immune from
taxes. Escosura v. San Miguel Brewery Inc.
• Statute: grants employee “leaves of absence with pay”
Where the law does not distinguish • Held: “with pay” refers to full pay and not to half or
• Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguere debemus - less than full pay; to all leaves of absence and not
where the law does not distinguish, courts should not merely to sick or vacation leaves.
• Corollary principle: General words or phrases in a Olfato v. COMELEC
statute should ordinarily be accorded their natural and • Statute: makes COMELEC the sole judge of “all pre-
general significance proclamation controversies”
• General term or phrase should not be reduced into • Held : “all” – covers national, provincial, city or
parts and one part distinguished from the other to municipal
justify its exclusion from operation.
• Corollary principle: where the law does not make any Phil. British Assurance Co. v. Intermediate Apellate Court
exception, courts may not except something therefrom, • Statute: A counterbond is to secure the payment of
unless there a compelling reason to justify it. “any judgment,” when execution is returned
• Application: when legislature laid down a rule for one unsatisfied
class, no difference to other class. • Held: “any judgment” includes not only final and
Presumption: that the legislature made no qualification in executory but also judgment pending appeal whose
the general use of a term. execution ordered is returned unsatisfied.

Robles v. Zambales Chromite Co. Ramirez v. CA

• Statute: grants a person against whom the possession • Statute: “Act to Prohibit & Penalize Wire Tapping and
of “any land” is unlawfully withheld the right to bring Other related Violations of Private Communications
an action for unlawful detainer. and Other Purposes”
• Held: any land not exclusive to private or not • “It shall be unlawful, not being authorized by all the
exclusively to public; hence, includes all kinds of land. parties to any private communication or spoken word,
to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device
Director of Lands v. Gonzales or arrangement…”
• Statute: authorizes the director of lands to file petitions • Issue: Whether violation thereof refers to the taping of
for cancellation of patents covering public lands on the a communication other than a participant to the
ground therein provided. communication or even to the taping by a participant
• Held: not distinguished whether lands belong to who did not secure the consent of the party to the
national or local government conversations.
• Held: Law did not distinguish whether the party sought
SSS v. City of Bacolod to be penalized ought to be party other than or
• Issue: exempts the payment of realty taxes to different from those involved in the private
“properties owned by RP” communication. The intent is to penalize all persons
• Held: no distinction between properties held in unauthorized to make any such recording, underscored
sovereign, governmental, or political capacity and by “any”
those possessed in proprietary or patrimonial character.
Ligget & Myers Tobacco Co. v. CIR
Velasco v. Lopez • Statute: imposes a “specific tax” on cigarettes
• Statute: certain “formalities” be followed in order that containing Virginia tobacco …. Provided that of the
act may be considered valid. length exceeds 71 millimeters or the weight per
thousand exceeds 1¼ kilos, the tax shall be increased • Facts: an elective Barangay. Captain was elected
by 100%. President of Association of Barangay Councils and
• Issue: whether measuring length or weight of cigars, pursuant thereto appointed by the President as member
filters should be excluded therefrom, so that tax would of the Sanggunian Panlungsod. He ran for Congress
come under the general provision and not under the but lost.
• Issue: He then wants to resume his duties as member
• Held: Not having distinguished between filter and non- of sangguiniang panlungsod. He was merely forced
filter cigars, court should not distinguish. on leave when he ran for Congress.
• Held: the Secretary of Local Government denied his
request; being an appointive sanggunian member, he
Tiu San v. Republic was deemed automatically resigned when he filed his
• Issue: whether the conviction of an applicant for certificate of candidacy.
naturalization for violation of a municipal ordinance
would disqualify him from taking his oath as a citizen. Garvida v. Sales, Jr.
• Statute: An applicant may be allowed to take his oath • Issue: whether petitioner who was over 21 but below
as a citizen after 2 years from the promulgation of the 22 was qualified to be an elective SK member
decision granting his petition for naturalization if he • Statute: Sec.424 of the LGC provides that a member of
can show that during the intervening period “he has the Katipunan ng Kabataan must not be 21 yrs old.
not been convicted of any offense or violation of • Sec. 428 as additional requirement provides that
government rules” elective official of Sangguniang Kabataan must not
• Held: law did not make any distinction between mala be more than 21 yrs. “on the day of election”
in se and mala prohibita. Conviction of the applicant • Held: the distinction is apparent: the member may be
from violation of municipal ordinance is more than 21 years of age on election day or on the
comprehended within the statute and precludes day he registers as member of Katipunan ng
applicant from taking his oath. Kabataan. But the elective official, must not be more
than 21 years of age on the day of election.
Peralta v. CSC
• Issue: whether provision of RA 2625, that government Disjunctive and conjunctive words
employees are entitled to 15 days vacation leaves of • Word “or” is a disjunctive term signifying
absence with full pay and 15 days sick leaves with full disassociation and independence of one thing from
pay, exclusives of Saturday, Sundays or holidays in each other.
both cases, applies only to those who have leave
credits and not to those who have none. Peo v. Martin
• Held: Law speaks of granting of a right and does not • Statute: Sec. 40 of Commonwealth Act 61, punishes
distinguish between those who have accumulated and “any individual who shall bring into or land in the
those who have none. Philippines or conceals or harbors any alien not duly
admitted by any immigration officer…
Pilar v. COMELEC • does not justify giving the word a disjunctive meaning,
• Statute: RA 7166 provides that “Every candidate shall, since the words “bring into” “land”, “conceals” and
within 30 days after the day of the election file xxx “harbors” being four separate acts each possessing its
true and itemized statement of all contributions and distinctive, different and disparate meaning.
expenditures in connection with the election.
• Held: Law did not distinguish between a candidate CIR v. Manila Jockey Club
who pushed through and one who withdrew it. • Statute: imposes amusement taxes on gross receipts of
• “Every candidate” refers to one who pursued and even “proprietor, lessee, or operator of amusement place”
to those who withdrew his candidacy. • Held: “or” implies that tax should be paid by either
proprietor, lessee, or operator, as the case may be,
Sanciagco v. Rono single & not by all at the same time.
• (where the distinction appears from the statute, the
courts should make the distinction) • Use of “or” between 2 phrases connotes that either
• Statute: Sec 13 of BP Blg. 697 which provides that: phrase serves as qualifying phrase.
“Any person holding public appointive or position • “or” means “and”, WHEN THE SPIRIT OR
shall ipso facto cease in office or position as of the CONTEXT OF THE LAW SO WARRANTS
time he filed his certificate of candidacy”
• Governors, mayors, members of various sanggunians Trinidad v. Bermudez (e.g. of “or” to mean “and”)
or barangay officials shall upon the filing of • Statute: Sec. 2, Rule 112 of Rules of Court authorizing
candidacy, be considered on forced leave of absence municipal judges to conduct “preliminary examination
from office or investigation”
• “or” equivalent of “that is to say” • Stat: Sec. 458 of LGC authorized local government
units to prevent or suppress “Gambling & other
SMC v. Municipality of Mandaue (e.g. of “or” equivalent of prohibited games of chance.”
“that is to say”) • “Gambling” – refers only to illegal gambling, like
• Ordinance: imposes graduated quarterly fixed tax other prohibited games of chance, must be prevented
• “based on the gross value in money or actual market or suppressed & not to gambling authorized by
value” of articles; phrase “or actual market value” specific statutes.
intended to explain “gross value in money.”
Carandang v. Santiago
• “or” means successively • Issue: Whether an offended party can file a separate
• Statute: Art. 344 of the Revised Penal Code - “the and independent civil action for damages arising from
offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of physical injuries during pendency of criminal action
lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a for frustrated homicide.
complaint by the offended party or her parents, • Statute: Art. 33 of Civil Code “in case of defamation,
grandparents or guardian….” fraud, & physical injuries…”
• Although these persons are mentioned disjunctively, • Held: Court ruled that “physical injuries” not as one
provision must be construed as meaning that the right defined in RPC, but to mean bodily harm or injury
to institute a criminal proceeding is exclusively and such as physical injuries, frustrate homicide, or even
successively reposed in said persons in the order death.
mentioned, no one shall proceed if there is any person
previously mentioned therein with legal capacity to Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh
institute the action. • Issue: Whether proceedings in civil cases pending in
court under the so called Republic of the Philippines
• “And” is a conjunction pertinently defined as meaning established during the Japanese military occupation
“together with,” “joined with,” “along with,” “added to are affected by the proclamation of Gen. McArthur
or linked to” issued on October 23, 1944 that “all laws, regulations
o Never to mean “or” and processes of any other government in the
o Used to denote joinder or union Philippines than that of the said Commonwealth are
• “and/or” - means that effect should be give to both null and void and without legal effect.”
conjunctive and disjunctive term • “Processes” does not refer to judicial processes but to
o term used to avoid construction which by use the executive orders of the Chairman of the
of disjunctive “or” alone will exclude the Philippine Executive Committee, ordinances
combination of several of the alternatives or promulgated by the President of so-called RP, and
by the use of conjunctive “and” will exclude others that are of the same class as the laws and
the efficacy of any one of the alternatives regulations with which the word “processes” is
standing alone. associated.

Commissioner of Customs v. Phil. Acetylene Co.
Noscitur a sociis • Statute: Sec. 6 of RA 1394 provides that “tax
provided for in Sec. 1 of this Act shall not be imposed
• where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in
against the importation into the Philippines of
itself or equally susceptible of various meanings, its
machinery or raw materials to be used by new and
correct construction may be made clear and specific by
necessary industry xxx; machinery equipment, spare
considering the company of words in which it is found
parts, for use of industries…”
or with which it is associated.
• Issue: Is the word “industries” used in ordinary,
• to remove doubt refer to the meaning of associated or
generic sense, which means enterprises employing
companion words
relatively large amounts of capital and/or labor?
Buenaseda v. Flavier • Held: Since “industries” used in the law for the 2nd
• Statute: Sec. 13(3), Art XI of the Constitution grants time “is classified together” with the terms miners,
Ombudsman power to “Direct the officer concerned to mining industries, planters and farmers, obvious
take appropriate action against a public official or legislative intent is to confine the meaning of the term
employee at fault, and recommend his removal, to activities that tend to produce or create or
suspension, demotion, fine censure or prosecution. manufacture such as those miners, mining enterprises,
• “suspension” – is a penalty or punitive measure not planters and farmers.
preventive • If used in ordinary sense, it becomes inconsistent and
Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp.
Peo. v. Santiago
• Issue: Whether defamatory statements through the provide otherwise. The propriety of a stay granted by
medium of an amplifier system constitutes slander or the officer or body rendering the award, order, ruling,
libel? decision or judgment may be raised only by motion in
• Libel: committed by means of “writing, printing, the main case,” refers to the CA or to the Court of
lithography, engraving, radio, cinematographic Agrarian Relations?
exhibiton.” • Held: Correct construction made clear with reference
• It is argued that “amplifier” similar to radio to Sec. 1 of RA 5434, where the court, officers or
• Held: No. Radio should be considered as same terms bodies whose decision, award are appealable to the
with writing and printing whose common Court of Appeals, enumerated as follows: Court of
characteristic is the “permanent means of Agrarian Relations, Sec. of Labor, Social Security
publication.” Commission etc…; From grouping, the enumeration
in Sec. 5 means Court of Agrarian Relations not CA.
San Miguel Corp. v. NLRC
• Issue: Whether claim of an employee against his Ejusdem generis (or the same kind or species)
employer for cash reward or submitting process to • General rule: where a general word or phrase follows
eliminate defects in quality & taste of San Miguel an enumeration of particular and specific words of the
product falls within jurisdiction of the labor arbiter of same class or where the latter follow the former, the
NLRC? general word or phrase is to be construed to include,
• Held: No. Outside of jurisdiction. Not necessary that or to be restricted to, persons, things or cases akin to,
entire universe of money claims under jurisdiction of resembling, or of the same kind or class as those
labor arbiter but only those to 1.) unfair labor specifically mentioned.
practices, 2.) claims concerning terms & conditions of • Purpose: give effect to both particular or general
employment 4.) claims relating to household services words, by treating the particular words as indicating
5.) activities prohibited to employers & employees. the class and the general words as indicating all that
• Statute: “jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters and the is embraced in said class, although not specifically
NLRC, as last amended by BP Blg. 227 including named by the particular words.
paragraph 3 “all money claims of workers, including • Principle: based on proposition that had the
hose based on nonpayment or underpayment of legislature intended the general words to be used in
wages, overtime compensation, separation pay, and their generic and unrestricted sense, it would have not
other benefits provided by law or appropriate enumerated the specific words.
agreement, except claims for employees • Presumption: legislators addressed specifically to the
compensation, social security, medicare and particularization
maternity benefits.”
Ebarle v. Sucaldito
• Statute: EO 265 outlines the procedure which Mutuc v. COMELEC
complainants charging government officials and • Statute: Act makes unlawful the distribution of
employees with commission of irregularities should be electoral propaganda gadgets, pens, lighters, fans,
guided, applies to criminal actions or complaints. flashlights, athletic goods, materials and the like”
• EO 265 – “complaints against public officials and • Held: and the like, does not embrace taped jingles for
employees shall be promptly acted upon and disposed campaign purposes
of by the officials or authorities concerned in
accordance with pertinent laws and regulations so that Murphy, Morris & Co. v. Collector of Customs
the erring officials and employees can be soonest • Statute: Dynamos, generators, exciters, and other
removed or otherwise disciplines and the innocent, machinery for the generation of electricity for lighting
exonerated or vindicated in like manner, and to the end or for power;
also that other remedies, including court action, may • Held: phrase “other machinery” would not include
be pursued forthwith by the interested parties, after steam turbines, pumps, condensers, because not same
administrative remedies shall have been exhausted” kind of machinery with dynamos, generators and
• Held: executive order does not apply to criminal exciters.
actions. The term is closely overshadowed by the
qualification - “After administrative remedies shall Vera v. Cuevas
have been exhausted,” which suggest civil suits • Statute: all condensed skimmed milk and all milk in
subject to previous administrative actions. whatever form shall be clearly and legibly marked on
its immediate containers with words: “This milk is not
Mottomul v. dela Paz suitable for nourishment for infants less than 1 year of
• Issue: Whether the word ‘court’ in Sec 5, Art 5434: age”
Appeal shall not stay the award, order, ruling, • Held: restricts the phrase “all milk in whatever form,”
decision or judgment unless the officer or body excluded filled milk.
rendering the same or the court, on motion after
hearing, and on such terms as it may deem just should Graphilon v. Municipal Court of Cigara
• Statute: the vice-mayor shall be entitled to assume the
office of the mayor during the absence, suspension or Cagayan Valley Enterprises v. CA
other temporary disability • Issue: whether the phrase “other lawful beverages”
• Held: anything which disables the mayor from which gives protection to manufacturer with the Phil.
exercising the power and prerogatives of his office, Patent Office its duly stamped or marked bottles used
since “their temporary disability” follows the words for “soda water, mineral or aerated waters, cider, milk,
“absence” and “suspension” cream or other lawful beverages,” includes hard
Peo. v. Magallanes liquor?
• Where a law grants a court exclusive jurisdiction to • Statute title: “An Act to regulate the use of stamped or
hear and decide “offenses or felonies committed by marked bottles, boxes, casks, kegs, barrels, & other
public officials and employees in relation to their similar containers.”
office,” the phrase “IN RELATION TO THEIR • Held: The title clearly shows intent to give protection
OFFICE” qualifies or restricts the offense to one to all marked bottles of all lawful beverages regardless
which cannot exist without the office, or the office is a of nature of contents.
constituent element of the crime defined in the statute
or one perpetuated in the performance, though National Power Corp. v. Angas
improper or irregular, of his official functions • Issue: whether the term judgment, refers to any
judgment directing the payment of legal interest.
• Statute: Central Bank Circular # 416 – “by virtue of
Cu Unjieng Sons, Inc. v. Bord of Tax Appeals the authority granted to it under Sec. 1 of Act Number
• Issue: whether losses due to the war were to be 2655, as amended, otherwise known as Usury Law, the
deductible from gross income of 1945 when they were Monetary Board in a resolution prescribed that the rate
sustained, or in 1950 when Philippine War Damage of interest for loan or forbearance of any money, good
Commission advised that no payment would be made or credit & the rate allowed in judgment in the absence
for said losses? of express contract shall be 12% per annum.
• Statute: “In the case of a corporation, all losses • Held: Judgments should mean only judgments
actually sustained and not charged off within the involving loans or forbearance money, goods or credit,
taxable year and not compensated for by insurance or these later specific terms having restricted the meaning
otherwise.” “judgments” to those same class or the same nature as
• Contention: the assurances of responsible public those specifically enumerated.
officials before the end of 1945 that property owners
would be compensated for their losses as a result of the Republic v. Migrino
war sufficed to place the losses within the phrase • Facts: retired military officer was investigated by the
“compensated xxx otherwise” than by insurance PCGG for violation of Anti-Graft Act in relation to EO
• Held: Rejected! “Otherwise” in the clause # 1 & 2 authorizing the PCGG to recover ill-gotten
“compensated for by insurance or otherwise” refers to wealth from the former President’s “subordinates and
compensation due under a title analogous or similar to close associates”
insurance. Inasmuch as the latter is a contract • Issue: Does PCGG have jurisdiction to investigate
establishing a legal obligation, it follows that in order such military officer for being in service during the
to be deemed “compensated for xxx ‘otherwise,’ the administration of the former President?
losses sustained by a taxpayer must be covered by a • Held: “Subordinates” refers only to one who enjoys
judicially enforceable right, springing from any of the close association or relation to the former President
juridical sources of obligations, namely, law, contract, and his wife; term “close associates” restricted the
quasi-contract, torts, or crimes,” and not mere meaning of “subordinates”
pronouncement of public officials
Limitations of ejusdem generis
Cebu Institute of Technology v. Ople • Requisites:
• Issue: Whether teachers hired on contract basis are o Statute contains an enumeration of particular
entitled to service incentive leave benefits as against & specific words, followed by general word
the claim that they are not so? or phrase
• Statute: Rule V of IRR of Labor Code: “This rule (on o Particular and specific words constitute a
service incentive leaves) shall apply to all employees, class or are the same kind
except “filed personnel and other employees whose o Enumeration of the particular & specific
performance is unsupervised by the employer words is not exhaustive or is not merely by
including those who are engaged on task or contract examples
basis.” o There is no indication of legislative intent to
• Held: “those who were employed on task or contract give the general words or phrases a broader
basis” should be related with “field personnel,” apply meaning
the principle, clearly teachers are not field personnel
and therefore entitled to service incentive leave
• Rule of ejusdem generis, is not of universal Negative-opposite doctrine
application; it should use to carry out, not defeat the • Argumentum a contrario- what is expressed puts an
intent of the law. end to what is implied.

US v. Santo Nino Chung Fook v. White

• Statute: It shall be unlawful to for any person to carry • Statute: case exempts the wife of a naturalized
concealed about his person any bowie, knife, dagger, American from detention, for treatment in a hospital,
kris or other deadly weapon. Provided prohibition who is afflicted with a contagious disease.
shall not apply to firearms who have secured a license • Held: Court denied petition for writ of habeas corpus
or who are entitled to carry the same under the (filed by the native-born American citizen on behalf of
provisions of this Act.” wife detained in hospital), court resorted to negative-
• Issue: does “the deadly weapon” include an unlicensed opposite doctrine, stating that statute plainly relates to
revolver? wife of a naturalized citizen & cannot interpolate
• Held: Yes! Carrying such would be in violation of “native-born” citizen.
statute. By the proviso, it manifested its intention to • Analysis: court’s application results to injustice (as
include in the prohibition weapons other than armas should not discriminate against native-born citizens),
blancas therein specified. which is not intent of law, should have used doctrine
of necessary implication.
Cagayan Valley Enterprises, Inc. v. CA – previous page, sa
kabilang column  Application of expression unius rule
• Generally used in construction of statutes granting
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Social Security powers, creating rights and remedies, restricting
Commission common rights, imposing rights & forfeitures, as well
as statutes strictly construed.
• Issue: a religious institution invoking ejusdem generi
whether ‘employer” be limited to undertaking an
Acosta v. Flor
activity which has an element of profit or gain?
• Statute: “any person, natural or juridical, domestic or • Statute: specifically designates the persons who may
foreign, who carried in the Philippines any trade, bring actions for quo warranto, excludes others from
business, industry…. and uses the services of another bringing such actions.
person, who under his orders as regard the
employment, except the Government, and any of its Escribano v. Avila
political subdivisions branches or instrumentalities and • Statute: for libel, “preliminary investigations of
GOCCs”. criminal actions for written defamation xxx shall be
conducted by the city fiscal of province or city or by
• Held: No. the rule of ejusdem generis applies only
municipal court of city or capital of the province where
when there is uncertainty. The definition is sufficiently
such actions may be instituted precludes all other
comprehensive to include charitable institutions and
municipal courts from conducting such preliminary
charities not for profit; it contained exceptions which
said institutions and entities are not included.
Peo. v. Lantin
Expressio unius est exclusion alterius
• The express mention of one person, thing or • Statute: crimes which cannot be prosecuted de oficio
consequence implies the exclusion of all others. namely adultery, concubinage, seduction, rape or acts
• Rule may be expressed in a number of ways: of lasciviousness; crimes such as slander can be
o Expressum facit cessare tacitum - what is prosecuted de oficio.
expressed puts an end to that which is implied
where a statute, by its terms, is expressly
More short examples on p. 225
limited to certain matters, it may not, by
Manila Lodge No. 761 v. CA
interpretation or construction, be extended to
Santos v. CA
other matters.
Lerum v. Cruz
o Exceptio firmat regulam in casibus non Central Barrio v. City Treasurer of Davao
exceptis - A thing not being excepted must be
regarded as coming within the purview of the Vera v. Fernandez
general rule • Statute: All claims for money against the decedent,
o Expressio unius est exclusion alterius - The arising from contracts, express or implied, whether the
expression of one or more things of a class same be due, not due, or contingent, all claims for
implies the exclusion of all not expressed, funeral expenses and expenses for the last sickness of
even though all would have been implied had the decedent, and judgment for money against
none been expressed; opposite the doctrine of decedent, must be filled within the time limit of the
necessary implication notice, otherwise barred forever.
• Held: The taxes due to the government, not being company to include death resulting from murder or
mentioned in the rule are excluded from the operation assault among the prohibited risks lead inevitably to
of the rule. the conclusion that it did not intend to limit or exempt
itself from liability for such death
Mendenilla v. Omandia • Insurance company still liable for the injury, disability
• Statute: changed the form of government of a and loss suffered by the insured. (sobra ‘to, I swear!
municipality into a city provides that the incumbent Minurder na nga, ayaw pang bayaran! Sobra! Hindi
mayor, vice-mayor and members of the municipal daw accidental… eh di mas lalo ng kailangang bayaran
board shall continue in office until the expiration of dahil murder! Sus! Sus!)
their terms.
• Held: all other municipal offices are abolished. Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos
• Issue: whether the solicitation for religious purposes,
Butte v. Manuel Uy & Sons, Inc. i.e., renovation of church without securing permit fro
• Statute: Legislature deliberately selected a particular Department of Social Services, is a violation of PD
method of giving notice, as when a co-owner is given 1564, making it a criminal offense for a person to
the right of legal redemption within 30 days from solicit or receive contributions for charitable or public
notice in writing by the vendor in case the other co- welfare purposes.
owner sells his share is the co-owned property, • Held: No. Charitable and religious specifically
• Held: the method of giving notice must be deemed enumerated only goes to show that the framers of the
excusive & a notice sent by vendee is ineffective. law in question never intended to include solicitations
for religious purposes within its coverage.

Villanueva v. City of Iloilo

• Statute: Local Autonomy Act, local governments are Limitations of the rule
1. It is not a rule of law, but merely a tool in statutory
given broad powers to tax everything, except those
which are specifically mentioned therein. If a subject
matter does not come within the exceptions, an 2. Expressio unius est exclusion alterius, no more than
ordinance imposing a tax on such subject matter is auxiliary rule of interpretation to be ignored where
deemed to come within the broad taxing power, other circumstances indicate that the enumeration was
exception firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis. not intended to be exclusive.
3. Does not apply where enumeration is by way of
Samson v. Court of Appeals example or to remove doubts only.
• Where the law provides that positions in the
government belong to the competitive service, except Gomez v. Ventura
those declared by law to be in the noncompetitive • Issue: whether the prescription by a physician of
service and those which are policy-determining, opium for a patient whose physical condition did not
primarily confidential or highly technical in nature and require the use of such drug constitutes
enumerates those in the noncompetitive as including “unprofessional conduct” as to justify revocation of
SECRETARIES OF GOVERNORS AND MAYORS, physician’s license to practice
the clear intent is that assistant secretaries of governors • Held: Still liable! Rule of expressio unius not
and mayors fall under the competitive service, for by applicable
making an enumeration, the legislature is presumed to • Court said, I cannot be seriously contended that aside
have intended to exclude those not enumerated, for from the five examples specified, there can be no other
otherwise it would have included them in the conduct of a physician deemed ‘unprofessional.’ Nor
enumeration can it be convincingly argued that the legislature
intended to wipe out all other forms of
Firman General Insurance Corp. v. CA ‘unprofessional’ conduct therefore deemed grounds for
• The insurance company disclaimed liability since revocation of licenses
death resulting from murder was impliedly excluded in
the insurance policy as the cause of death is not 4. Does not apply when in case a statute appears upon its
accidental but rather a deliberate and intentional act, face to limit the operation of its provision to particular
excluded by the very nature of a personal accident persons or things enumerating them, but no reason
insurance. exists why other persons or things not so enumerated
• Held: the principle “expresssio unius est exclusio - the should not have been included and manifest injustice
mention of one thing implies the exclusion of the other will follow by not including them.
thing - not having been expressly included in the 5. If it will result in incongruities or a violation of the
enumeration of circumstances that would negate equal protection clause of the Constitution.
liability in said insurance policy cannot be considered 6. If adherence thereto would cause inconvenience,
by implication to discharge the petitioner insurance hardship and injury to the public interest.
Qualifications of the doctrine.
Doctrine of casus omissus 1. Subject to the exception that where the intention of the
• A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration law is to apply the phrase to all antecedents embraced
must be held to have been omitted intentionally. in the provision, the same should be made extensive to
• The maxim operates only if and when the omission has the whole.
been clearly established, and in such a case what is 2. Doctrine does not apply where the intention is not to
omitted in the enumeration may not, by construction, qualify the antecedent at all.
be included therein.
• Exception: where legislature did not intend to exclude Reddendo singular singuilis
the person, thing or object from the enumeration. If • Variation of the doctrine of last antecedent
such legislative intent is clearly indicated, the court • Referring each to each;
may supply the omission if to do so will carry out the • Referring each phrase or expression to its appropriate
clear intent of the legislature and will not do violence object, or let each be put in its proper place, that is, the
to its language word should be taken distributively.

Doctrine of last antecedent Peo. v Tamani

• Qualifying words restrict or modify only the words or • Issue: when to count the 15-day period within which to
phrases to which they are immediately associated not appeal a judgment of conviction of criminal action—
those which are distantly or remotely located. date of promulgation of judgment or date of receipt of
• Ad proximum antecedens fiat relatio nisi impediatur notice of judgment.
sententia – relative words refer to the nearest • Statute: Sec. 6, Rule 122 of the Rules of Court
antecedents, unless the context otherwise requires • Held: Should be from ‘promulgation’ should be
• Rule: use of a comma to separate an antecedent from referring to ‘judgment,’ while notice refer to order.
the rest exerts a dominant influence in the application
of the doctrine of last antecedent. King v. Hernandez
• Issue: Whether a Chinese holding a noncontrol
Illustration of rule position in a retail establishment, comes within the
prohibition against aliens intervening “in the
Pangilinan v. Alvendia management, operation, administration or control”
• Members of the family of the tenant includes the followed by the phrase “whether as an officer,
tenant’s son, son-in-law, or grandson, even though employee or laborer…
they are not dependent upon him for support and living • Held: Following the principle, the entire scope of
separately from him BECAUSE the qualifying phrase personnel activity, including that of laborers, is
“who are dependent upon him for support” refers covered by the prohibition against the employment of
solely to its last antecedent, namely, “such other aliens.
person or persons, whether related to the tenant or not”
Amadora v. CA
Florentino v. PNB • Issue: whether Art 2180 of Civil Code, which states
• Issue: whether holders of backpay certificates can that “lastly teachers or heads of establishments of arts
compel government-owned banks to accept said and trade shall be liable for damages caused by their
certificates in payment of the holder’s obligations to pupils and students or apprentices so long as they
the bank. remain in their custody” applies to all schools,
• Statute: “obligations subsisting at the time of the academic as well as non-academic
approval of this amendatory act for which the • Held: teachers  pupils and students; heads of
applicant may directly be liable to the government or establishments of arts and trades to  apprentices
to any of its branches or instrumentalities, or to • General rule: responsibility for the tort committed by
corporations owned or controlled by the government, the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such
or to any citizens of the Philippines or to any student (where school is academic)
association or corporation organized under the laws of • Exception: responsibility for the tort committed by the
the Philippines, who may be wiling to accept the same student will attach to the head, and only he, (who)
for such settlement” shall be held liable (in case of the establishments of
• Held: the court, invoking the doctrine of last arts and trades; technical or vocational in nature)
antecedent, ruled that the phrase qualify only to its last
antecedent namely “any citizen of the Philippines or PROVISOS, EXCEPTIONS AND CLAUSES
association or corporation organized under the laws of
the Philippines” Provisos, generally
• The court held that backpay certificate holders can • to limit the application of the enacting clause, section
compel government-owned banks to accept said or provision of a statute, or except something, or to
certificates for payment of their obligations with the qualify or restrain its generality, or exclude some
bank. possible ground of misinterpretation of it, as extending
to cases not intended by legislature to be brought • Held: NO! Proviso refer to the clause immediately
within its purview. preceding it and can have no other meaning than that
• Rule: restrain or qualify the generality of the enacting the function of allocating the wheat flour instead of
clause or section which it refers. assigning to Import Control Commission was assigned
• Purpose: limit or restrict the general language or to PRTA.
operation of the statute, not to enlarge it. • If wheat flour is exempted from the provisions of the
• Location: commonly found at the end of a statute, or Act, the proviso would have been placed in the section
provision & introduced, as a rule, by the word containing the repealing clause
• Determined by: What determines whether a clause is a Collector of Internal Revenue v. Angeles
proviso is its substance rather than its form. If it • When an earlier section of statute contains proviso, not
performs any of the functions of a proviso, then it will embodied in later section, the proviso, not embodied in
be regarded as such, irrespective of what word or a later section thereof, in the absence of legislative
phrase is used to introduce it. intent, be confined to qualify only the section to which
it has been appended.
Proviso may enlarge scope of law
• It is still the duty of the courts to ascertain the Flores v. Miranda
legislative intention and it prevails over proviso. • Issue: Petitioner that approval of the Public Service
• Thus it may enlarge, than restrict Commission of the sale of public service vehicle was
not necessary because of proviso in Sec. 20 of
U.S. v. Santo Nino Commonwealth Act No. 146
• Statute: it shall be unlawful for any person to carry • Statute: It shall be unlawful for any public service
concealed about his person any bowie, knife, dagger, vehicle or for the owner, lessee or operator thereof,
kris or any other deadly weapon: Provided, that this without the previous approval and authority of the
provision shall not apply to firearms in the possession Commission previously had xxx to sell, alienate xxx
of persons who have secured a license therefore or its property, franchise; Provided, however, that nothing
who are entitled to same under provisions of this Act. herein contained shall be construed to prevent the
• Held: through the Proviso it manifested the intention to transaction from being negotiated or completed before
its approval or to prevent the sale, alienation, or lease
include in the prohibition weapons other than armas
by any public service of any of its property in the
blancas as specified.
ordinary course of business”
Proviso as additional legislation • Held:
o the proviso xxx means only that the sale
• Expressed in the opening statement of a section of a
statute without the required approval is still valid and
binding between the parties; also
• Would mean exactly the reverse of what is necessarily
o the phrase “in the ordinary course of business
implied when read in connection with the limitation
xxx could not have been intended to include
• Purpose:
sale of vehicle itself, but at most may refer
o To limit generalities
only to such property that may be conceivably
o Exclude from the scope of the statute that
disposed of by the carrier in the ordinary
which otherwise would be within its terms course of its business, like junked equipment.
What proviso qualifies Mercado Sr. v. NLRC
• General rule: qualifies or modifies only the phrase • Held: the proviso in par 2 of Art 280 relates only to
immediately preceding it; or restrains or limits the casual employees; not to project employees.
generality of the clause that it immediately follows.
• Applying rule that proviso to be construed with
• Exception: unless it clearly appears that the legislature reference to immediately preceding part of the
intended to have a wider scope provision which it is attached and not to other sections
thereof, unless legislative intent was to restrict or
Chinese Flour Importers Assn v. Price Stabilization Board qualify.
• Statute: Sec. 15 RA 426 - Any existing law, executive
order or regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, no Exception to the rule
government agency except the Import Control • Proviso construed to qualify only the immediately
Commission shall allocate the import quota among the preceding part of the section to which it is attached; if
various importers. Provided, That the Philippine no contrary legislative intent is indicated.
Rehabilitation and Trade Administration shall have • Where intent is to qualify or restrict the phrase
exclusive power and authority to determine and preceding it or the earlier provisions of the statute or
regulate the allocation of wheat flour among even the statute itself as a whole, then the proviso will
importers.” be construed in that manner, in order that the intent of
• Issue: whether or not the proviso excluded wheat flour the law may be carried out
from the scope of act itself.
Repugnancy between proviso and main provision • Held: Negative. 2nd part is an exception although
• Where there is a conflict between the proviso and the introduced by “Provided.” As appellant is a public
main provision, that which is located in a later portion utility that supplies electricity & provides means of
of the statute prevails, unless there is legislative intent transportation, it is evident that appellant is exempt
to the contrary. from qualified prohibition established in the enactment
• Latter provision, whether provision or not, is given clause.
preference for it is the latest expression of the intent of
the legislation. Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance
• Statute: No bill shall be passed by either House shall
Exceptions, generally become a law unless it has passed 3 readings on
• Exception consists of that which would otherwise be separate days, & printed copies thereof in its final form
included in the provision from which it is excepted. have been distributed to its Members 3 days before its
• It is a clause which exempts something from the passage, except when the President certifies to the
operation of a statute by express words. necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public
• “except,” “unless otherwise,” and “shall not apply” calamity or emergency.
• May not be introduced by words mentioned above, as • Held: it qualifies only its nearest antecedent, which is
long as if such removes something from the operation the distribution of the printed bill in its final form 3
of a provision of law. days from its final passage.& not the 3 readings on
• Function: to confirm the general rule; qualify the separate days.
words or phrases constituting the general rule.
• Exceptio firmat regulam in casibus exceptis - A thing Pendon v. Diasnes
not being excepted, must be regarded as coming within • Issue: whether a person convicted of a crime against
the purview of the general rule. property, who was granted absolute pardon by the
• Doubts: resolved in favor of general rule President, is entitled to vote?
• Statute: A person shall not be qualified to vote “who
has been sentenced by final judgment to suffer one
Exception and Proviso distinguished year or more from imprisonment, such disability not
having been removed any plenary pardon” or “who has
Exception: been declared by final judgment guilty of any crime
• Exempts something absolutely from the operation of against property.”
statute • 1st clause- 2 excpetions – (a) Person penalized by less
• Takes out of the statute something that otherwise than 1 yr.; and (2) Person granted an absolute pardon
would be a part of the subject matter of it. • 2nd clause - creates exception to 1st but not to 2nd that a
• Part of the enactment itself, absolutely excluding from person convicted of crime against property cannot vote
its operation some subject or thing that would unless there’s pardon.
otherwise fall within the scope. • Held: absolute pardon for any crime for which one
Proviso: year of imprisonment or more was meted out restores
• Defeats its operation conditionally. the prisoner to his political rights.
• Avoids by way of defeasance or excuse • If penalty less 1 yr, disqualification not apply, except
• If the enactment is modified by engrafting upon it a when against property- needs pardon.
new provision, by way of amendment, providing • The 2nd clause creates the exception to the 1st
conditionally for a new case- this is the nature of
proviso. Gorospe v. CA (exception need not be introduced by “except”
or “unless”)
Similar: in a way since one of the functions of proviso is to
• Statute: Rule 27 of Rules of Court, “service by
except something from an enacting clause.
registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the
addressee; but if fail to claim his mail from the post
Illustration of exception
office within 5 days from ate of first notice of the
postmaster, service shall take effect at the expiration of
MERALCO v. Public Utilities Employees’ Association
such time.”
• Statute: No person, firm, or corporation, business • Issue: Whether actual receipt the date of a registered
establishment or place shall compel an employee or mail after 5 day period, is the date from which to count
laborer to work on Sundays& legal holidays, unless the prescriptive period to comply with certain
paid an additional sum of at least 25% of his requirements.
renumeration: Provided, that this prohibition shall not
apply to public utilities performing public service, e.g.
• Held: Service is completed on the 5th day after the 1st
notice, even if he actually received the mail months
supplying gas, electricity, power, water etc…
• Issue: Is MERALCO liable to pay the 25% for
employees who work during holidays and Sundays? • 2nd part is separated by semicolon, and begins with
‘but’ which indicates exception.
o [remember this story to memorize the maxim:
Saving clause Optima at Statuti Frutti where interpreting as
• Provision of law which operates to except from the to why when cockroaches(IPIS) when added
effect of the law what the clause provides, or save results to SUM (ipsum) a stadium (statutum)]
something which would otherwise be lost. – sorry blockmates, weird si cherry! 
• Used to save something from effect of repeal of statute • Do not inquire too much into the motives which
• Legislature, in repealing a statute, may preserve in the influenced the legislative body unless the motive is
form of a saving clause, the right of the state to stated or disclosed in the statute themselves.
prosecute and punish offenses committed in violation
of the repealed law. Aisporna v. CA
• Where existing procedure is altered or substituted by • pointed out that words, clauses, phrases should not be
another, usual to save proceedings under the old law studied as detached/isolated expressions
at the time the new law takes effect, by means of o Consider every part in understanding the
saving clause meaning of its part to produce a harmonious
• Construed: in light of intent by legislature whole
• Given strict or liberal meaning depending on nature of o Meaning of the law is borne in mind and not
statute. to be extracted from a single word
o Most important: Every part of the statute must
CHAPTER SIX: Statute Construed as Whole and in be interpreted with reference to the context
Relation to other Statutes
Aboitiz Shipping Corp v. City of Cebu
STATUTE CONSTRUED AS WHOLE • Described that if the words or phrases of statute be
taken individually it might convey a meaning different
Generally form the one intended by the author.
• Statute is passed as a whole • Interpreting words or phrases separately may limit the
o It should have one purpose and one intent extent of the application of the provision
o Construe its parts and section in connection
with other parts Gaanan v. Intermediate Appellate Court
o Why? To “produce” a harmonious whole • Case of wire tapping
• There is a provision which states that “ it shall be
• Never: unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all
o Divide by process of etymological the parties to any private communication or spoken
dissertation (why? Because there are word to tap any wire or cable or by using any other
instances when the intention of the legislative device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept,
body is different from that of the definition in or record such communication or spoken word by
its original sense) using such device commonly known as dictagraph…”
o Separate the words (remember that the whole • Issue: whether the phrase device or arrangement
point of this chapter is to construe it as a includes party line and extension
whole) • Statcon: it should not be construed in isolation. Rather
o Separate context it should be interpreted in relation to the other words
o Base definitions on lexicographer (what is a (tap, to overhear) thus party line or telephone
lexicographer? A person who studies extension is not included because the words in the
lexicography. What is lexicography then? provision limit it to those that have a physical
Analyzes semantic relationships between interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate
lexicon and language – not important. Never installation of device to overhear. (Remember the
mind ) – ang kulit! maxim noscitus a sociis because in here they applied
• The whole point of this part is to construe the whole an association with other words in construing the
statute and its part together (actually kahit ito nalang intention or limitation of the statute)
tandaan hanggang matapos kasi ito lang yung sinasabi
ng book) National Tobacco Administration v. COA
• Issue: whether educational assistance given to
Intent ascertained from statute as whole individuals prior to the enactment of RA 6758 should
• Legislative meaning and intent should be be continued to be received?
extracted/ascertained from statutes as a whole (hence • Held: Yes. Proper interpretation of section12 RA 6758
the title…) depends on the combination of first and second
o Why? Because the law is the best expositor of paragraph
itself • First sentence states that “such other additional
• Optima Statuti Interpretatio est ipsum statutum - the compensation not otherwise specified as may be
best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself determined by the DBM shall be deemed included in
the standardized salary rates herein prescribed.” The
second sentence states “such other additional • Why is it a must for courts to harmonize conflicting
compensation, whether in cash or in kind, being provision? - Because they are equally the handiwork of
received by incumbents only as of July 1, 1989 not the same legislature
integrated into the standard shall continue to be
authorized.” (you can ask cheery na lang to explain it, RP v. CA
ang haba ng nasa book  ) • Issue: whether or not an appeal of cases involving just
• statcon: do not isolate or detach the parts. Construing a compensation should be made first by DARAB before
statute as a whole includes reconciling and RTC under Sec. 57
harmonizing conflicting provisions • Held: SC said that the contention of the Republic and
the Land Bank in the affirmative side has no merit
Purpose or context as controlling guide because although DARAB is granted a jurisdiction
• construe whole statute and ascertain the meaning of over agrarian reform matters, it does not have
the words or phrases base on its context, the nature of jurisdiction over criminal cases.
the subject, and purpose or intention of the legislative
body who enacted the statute Sajonas v. CA
• give it a reasonable construction • Issue: what period an adverse claim annotated at the
• Leeway are accepted on grammatical construction, back of a transfer certificate effective?
letters of the statutes, rhetorical framework if it can • Held: In construing the law Sec. 70 of PD 1529
provide a clear and definite purpose of the whole (adverse claim shall be effective for a period of 30
statute ( as long as it can produce a clear and definite days from the date of the registration…) care should be
statutes, it is sometimes affected to be lax on the taken to make every part effective
construction of grammar)
• Harmonize the parts of each other and it should be Special and general provisions in same statute
consistent with its scope and object • special would overrule the general
• special must be operative; general affect only those it
Giving effect to statute as a whole applies
• Why construe a statute as a whole? - Because it • except to general provision
implies that one part is as important as the other
• What if the provision/section is unclear by itself? - Construction as not to render provision nugatory
One can make it clear by reading and construing it in • another consequence of the rule: provision of a statute
relation to the whole statute should not be construed as to nullify or render another
• How do you properly and intelligently construe a nugatory in the same statute
provision/statute? - 3 ways: (1) Understand its • Interpretatio fienda est et res magis valeat quam pereat
meaning and scope; (2) apply to an actual case; (3) - a law should be interpreted with a view to upholding
courts should consider the whole act itself rather than destroying
• Why should every part of the statute be given effect? - o Do not construe a statute wherein one portion
Because it is enacted as an integrated measure not a will destroy the other
hodgepodge of conflicting provisions o Avoid a construction which will render to
• Ways on how the courts should construe a statute provision inoperative
(according to Republic v. Reyes):
o Interpret the thought conveyed by the statute Reason for the rule
as whole • because of the presumption that the legislature has
o Construe constituent parts together enacted a statute whose provisions are in harmony and
o Ascertain legislative intent form whole part consistent with each other and that conflicting
o Consider each and every provision in light of intentions is the same statute are never supported or
the general purpose regarded
o Make every part effective, harmonious and
sensible (adopt a construction which would Qualification of rule
give effect to every part of the of the statute) • What if the parts cannot be harmonized or reconciled
 Ut res magis valeat quam pereat - the without nullifying the other? - Rule is for the court to
construction is to be sought which reject the one which is least in accord with the general
gives effect to the whole of the plan of the whole statute
statute - of its every word. • What if there is no choice? - the latter provision must
vacate the former; last in order is frequently held to
Apparently conflicting provisions reconciled prevail unless intent is otherwise
• included in the rule of construing statute as a whole, is • What if the conflict cannot be harmonized and made to
the reconciling and harmonizing conflicting provisions stand together? - one must inquire into the
because it is by this that the statute will be given effect circumstances of their passage
as a whole.
Construction as to give life to law
• provide sensible interpretation to promote the ends of • Held: to say that the land is patrimonial will render
which they were enacted nugatory and a surplusage the phrase of the law to the
• construct them in a reasonable and practical way to effect that the City of Manila “is hereby authorized to
give life to them lease or sell”
• Interpretatio fienda es ut res magis valeat quam pereat • A sale of public dominion needs a legislative
- interpretation will give the efficacy that is to be authorization, while a patrimonial land does not.
Statute and its amendments construed together
Construction to avoid surplusage • rule applies to the construction and its amendments
• construe the statute to make no part or provision • Whatever changes the legislature made it should be
thereof as surplasage given effect together with the other parts.
• each and every part should be given due effect and
meaning Almeda v. Florentino
• do not construe a legal provision to be a useless • Law – “the municipal board shall have a secretary who
surplusage and meaningless shall be appointed by it to serve during the term of
• exert all efforts to provide the meaning. Why? Because office of the members thereof”
of the presumption that the legislature used the word or • Amendment – “the vice-mayor shall appoint all
phrase for a purpose employees of the board who may be suspended or
removed in accordance with law”
Application of rule • Construction of both Law and Amendment – the
power of the vice-mayor to make appointment
Mejia v.Balalong pursuant to the amendatory act is limited to the
• Issue: how to constru “next general election” in Sec. appointment of all employees of the board other than
88 of the City Charter of Dagupan City? the board secretary who is to be appointed by the
• Held: the phrase refers to the next general election board itself
after the city came into being and not the one after its
organization by Presidential Proclamation. STATUTE CONSTRUED IN RELATION TO
Niere v. CFI of Negros Occidental
Statute construed in harmony with the Constitution
• Issue: does the city mayor have the power to appoint a
city engineer pursuant to Sec. 1 of the City Charter of • Constitution- the fundamental law to which all laws
La Carlote are subservient
• Held: no, the city mayor does not have such power. • General Rule: Do not interpret a statute independent
The phrase “and other heads and other employees of from the constitution
such departments as may be created” whom the mayor • Construe the statute in harmony with the fundamental
can appoint, refers to the heads of city departments law: Why? Because it is always presumed that the
that may be created after the law took effect, and does legislature adhered to the constitutional limitations
not embrace the city engineer. To rule otherwise is to when they enacted the statute
render the first conjunction “and” before the words • It is also important to understand a statute in light of
“fire department” a superfluity and without meaning at the constitution and to avoid interpreting the former in
all conflict with the latter
• What if the statute is susceptible to two constructions,
Uytengsu v Republic one is constitutional and the other is unconstitutional?
• Issue: whether the requirement the requirement for A: The construction that should be adopted should be
naturalization that the applicant “will reside the one that is constitutional and the one that will
continuously in the Philippines from the date of the render it invalid should be rejected.
filing of the petition up to the time of his admission to • The Court should favor the construction that gives a
Philippine citizenship” refers to actual residence or statute of surviving the test of constitutionality
merely to legal residence or domicile • The Court cannot in order to bring a statute within the
• Held: such requirement refers to actual or physical fundamental law, amend it by construction
residence because to construe it otherwise is to render
the clause a surplusage. Tañada v. Tuvera
• An applicant for naturalization must be actually • this is the case regarding Art. 2 of the Civil Code
residing in the Philippines from the filing of the especially the phrase “unless otherwise provided”.
petition for naturalization to its determination by the • Statcon: one should understand that if the phrase refers
court to the publication itself it would violate the
constitution (since all laws should be made public) [if
Manila Lodge No. 761 v. CA malabo, vague, eh? huh? – cherry will explain it na
• Issue: whether the reclaimed land is patrimonial or lang ]
public dominion?
Statutes in Pari Materia there is an irreconcilable repugnancy between
• pari materia - refers to any the following: the two.
o same person or thing o In the case of “implied” the doubt will be
o same purpose of object resolved against the repeal or amendment and
o same specific subject matter in favor of the harmonization of the laws on
• Later statutes may refer to prior laws. the subject (later will serve as a modification)
• What if the later law have no reference to the prior
law, does that mean they are not in pari materia? - No. Reasons why laws on same subject are reconciled
It is sufficient that they have the same subject matter. • 2 main reasons:
• When is a statute not in pari materia? - The conditions o The presumption that the legislature took into
above are the determinants of ascertaining if a statute account prior laws when they enacted the new
is in pari materia, thus even if two statutes are under one.
the same broad subject as along as their specific
subjects are not the same, they are NOT in pari (orbiter dictum ni cherry: this chapter keeps pointing out that
material the legislature are knowledgeable on the law, but I wonder how
the actors fit? Im not discriminating but how did Lito Lapid,
How statutes in Pari Materia construed Loi Ejercito, etc knew the prior laws? I heard they have
• Interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus researchers who do it for them. Why don’t we vote those
interpretandi modus – every statute must be so researchers instead? Yun lang. I have been reading the whole
construed and harmonized with other statutes as to presumption that the legislature is knowledgeable. Madaming
form a uniform system of jurisprudence (parang ganun namamatay sa akala. Is agpalo still alive?hahaha )
din nung first part, construe it as a whole. But also bear
in mind that it should also be in harmony with other o Because enactments of the same legislature
existing laws) on the same subject are supposed to form part
• Construe statutes in pari materia together to attain the of one uniform system (Why? Because later
purpose of an express national policy statutes are supplementary to the earlier
• Why should they be construed together? - Because of enactments)
the assumption that when the legislature enacted the  If possible construe the two statutes
statutes they were thinking of the prior statute. Prior wherein the provisions of both are
statutes relating to the same subject matter are to be given effect
compared with the new provisions.
• Again it is important to harmonize the statutes. Courts Where harmonization is impossible
should not render them invalid without taking the • Earlier law should give way to the later law because it
necessary steps in reconciling them is the “current” or later expression of the legislative

Vda de Urbano v. GSIS

• there were no facts given in the book except that it was
in this case that in pari materia was explained well. Illustration of the rule (in pari materia)
The explanation are the same in the aforementioned
Lacson v. Roque
• Other things to consider in constructing statutes which • Issue: the phrase unless sooner removed of a statute
are in pari materia that states “the mayor shall hold office for four years
o History of the legislation on the subject unless sooner removed”
o Ascertain the uniform purpose of the • statcon: the court held that the phrase should be
construed in relation to removal statutes. Thus the
phrase meant that although the mayor cannot be
o Discover the policy related to the subject
removed during his term of office, once he violates
matter has been changed or modified
those that are stated in removal statutes.
o Consider acts passed at prior sessions even
those that have been repealed Chin Oh Foo v. Concepcion
• Distingue tempora et concordabis jura – distinguish
times and you will harmonize laws • criminal case  Article 12(1) exempting circumstance
(imbecile or insane)
• In cases of two or more laws with the same subject
matter: • Statcon: the phrase “shall not be permitted to leave
o Question is usually whether the later act without first obtaining permission of the same court”
should be reconciled with another statute that states
impliedly repealed the prior act.
“any patient confined in a mental institution may be
o Rule: the only time a later act will be repealed
released by the Director of Health once he is cured.
or amended is when the act itself states so
The Director shall inform the judge that approved the
(that it supersedes all the prior acts) or when
confinement”. These two statutes refers to a person
who was criminally charged but was proven to be an is part, as a bureau, of the reorganized DILG, as to
imbecile or insane, thus they should be construed form a unified system of jurisprudence
together. Their construction would mean that in order • Statcon: if RAB fails to decide an appealed case within
for the patient to be release there should be an 60 days from receipt of the notice of appeal, the
approval of both the court and the Director of Health. appealed decision is deemed final and executory, and
the aggrieved party may forthwith appeal therefrom to
King v. Hernaez the Secretary of DILG. Likewise, if the RAB has
• Statcon: relation of RA 1180 (Retail Trade decided the appeal within 60-day reglementary period,
Nationalization Act) to Commonwealth Act 108 (Anti its decision may still be appealed to the Secretary of
Dummy Law) DILG

Dialdas v. Percides Manila Jockey Club Inc. v. CA

• Facts: a alien who operated a retail store in Cebu • Issue: who was entitled to breakages (10% dividend of
decided to close his Cebu store and transfer it to winning horse race tickets)
Dumaguete. RTL (retail trade law) and Tax Code Sec. • Statcon: There are two statutes that should be
199 were the statutes taken into consideration in this considered. RA 309 (amended by 6631 &6632) is
case. The former authorizes any alien who on May 15, silent on the matter but the practice is to use breakages
1954 is actually engaged in retail, to continue to for anti bookie drive and other sale promotions. E.O.
engage therein until his voluntary retirement from such 88 & 89 which allocated breakages therein specified.
business, but not to establish or open additional stores These two should be construed in pari materia, thus all
for retail business. The latter provides that any breakages derived from all races should be distributed
business for which the privilege tax has been paid may and allocated in accordance with Executive Orders
be removed and continued in any other place without because no law should be viewed in isolation.
payment of additional tax. (supplementary)
• Issue: whether the transfer by the alien from Cebu to
Dumaguete can be considered as a voluntary General and special statutes
retirement from business. • General statutes- applies to all of the people of the
• Held: No. Although the trial court affirmed the state or to a particular class of persons in the state with
question, the SC ruled otherwise stating that RTC equal force.
overlooked the clear provision of Sec. 199. o Universal in application
• Special statutes- relates to particular persons or things
C & C Commercial Corp v. National Waterworks and of a class or to particular portion or section of the state
Sewerage Authority only
• Facts: R.A. 912 (2) states that in construction or repair • Considered as statutes in pari materia thus they should
work undertaken by the Government, Philippine made be read together and harmonized (and given effect)
materials and products, whenever available shall be • What if there are two acts which contain one general
used in construction or repair work. and one special?
• Flag Law (Commonwealth Act 138) gives native o If it produces conflict, the special shall
products preference in the purchase of articles by prevail since the legislative intent is more
Government, including government owned or clear thus it must be taken as intended to
controlled corporations. constitute an exception.
• Issue: interpretation of two statutes requiring that o Think of it as one general law of the land
preference be made in the purchase and use of Phil. while the other applies only to a particular
Made materials and products case
• Held: The SC relates the two statutes as in pari materia • What if the special law is passed before the general
and they should be construed to attain the same law? It doesn’t matter because the special law will still
objective that is to give preference to locally produced be considered as an exception unless expressly
materials. repealed.

Cabada v. Alunan III Solid Homes Inc. v. Payawal

• Issue: whether or not an appeal lies from the decision • First statute provides that National Housing Authority
of regional appellate board (RAB) imposing shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide
disciplinary action against a member of the PNP under cases involving unsound real estate (P.D. No. 959).
Sec. 45 of RA 6975 regarding finality of disciplinary • Second statute grants RTC general jurisdiction over
action such cases.
• The court held that the “gap” in the law which is silent • Issue: Which one will prevail?
on filing appeals from decisions of the RAB rendered • Held: The first statute will prevail because it is a
within the reglementary period should be construed special law, as compared to the latter which is general
and harmonized with other statutes, i.e. Sec 2(1), law, thus it is an exception to the “general jurisdiction”
Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution because the PNP of the RTC
Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corp • Held: The court ruled that the criminal complaint filed
• Facts: P.D. No. 1869 authorized PAGCOR to directly by the offended party is invalid and it ordered
centralize and regulate all games of chance. the city court to dismiss it.
• LGC of 1991, a later law, empowers all government • The provisions of the City Charter of Manila Bacolod
units to enact ordinances to prevent and suppress on the same subject are identically worded, hence they
gambling and other games of chance. should receive the same construction.
• Stacon: These two should be harmonized rather than
annulling one and upholding the other. Court said that • RULE: two statutes with a parallel scope, purpose and
the solution to this problem is for the government units terminology should each in its own field, have a like
to suppress and prevent all kinds of gambling except interpretation
those that are allowed under the previous law
Adoption of contemporaneous construction
Leveriza v. Intermediate Appellate Court • in construing the reenacted statute, the court should
• RA 776 empowers the general manager of the Civil take into account prior contemporaneous construction
Aeronautics Administration to lease real property and give due weight and respect to it.
under its administration.
• Administrative Code authorizes the President to Qualification of the rule
execute a lease contract relating to real property • rule that is aforementioned is applicable only when the
belonging to the republic statute is capable of the construction given to it and
• How do you apply the rule? - In this case, the prior when that construction has become a settled rule of
(special) law should prevail conduct

Reason for the rule Adopted statutes

• the special law is considered an exception to the • a statute patterned after a statute of a foreign country.
general law (as long as same subject) • Court should take into consideration how the courts of
other country construe the law and its practices
Qualification of the rule
• The rule aforementioned is not absolute.
• Exceptions: CHAPTER SEVEN: Strict or Liberal Construction
o If the legislature clearly intended the general
enactment to cover the whole subject and to IN GENERAL
repeal all prior laws inconsistent therewith
o When the principle is that the special law Generally
merely establishes a general rule while the • Whether a statute is to be given a strict or liberal
general law creates a specific and special rule construction will depend upon the following:
 The nature of the statute
Reference statutes  The purpose to be subserved
• a statute which refers to other statutes and makes them  The mischief to be remedied
applicable to the subject of legislation • Purpose: to give the statute the interpretation that will
• used to avoid encumbering the statute books of best accomplish the end desired and effectuate
unnecessary repetition legislative intent
• should be construed to harmonize and give effect to
the adopted statute. Strict construction, generally
• Construction according to the letter of the statute,
Supplemental statutes which recognizes nothing that is not expressed, takes
• Intended to supply deficiencies in existing statutes the language used in its exact meaning, and admits no
• Supplemental statutes should be read with the original equitable consideration
statute and construed together • Not to mean that statutes are construed in its narrowest
Reenacted statutes • It simply means that the scope of the statute shall not
• statute which reenacts a previous statute or provision. be extended or enlarged by implication, intendment, or
• Reproducing an earlier statute with the same or equitable consideration beyond the literal meaning of
substantially the same words. its terms
• It is a close and conservative adherence to the literal or
Montelibano v. Ferrer textual interpretation
• Issue: application of Sec. 3 fo the City Charter of • The antithesis of liberal construction
Manila is valid in the criminal complaint directly file
by an offended party in the city court of Bacolod? Liberal construction, defined
• Equitable construction as will enlarge the letter of a • Construe in the light of the growth of civilization and
statute to accomplish its intended purpose, carry out its varying conditions
intent, or promote justice o The interpretation that “if the man is too long
• Not to mean enlargement of a provision which is clear, for the bed, his head should be chopped off
unambiguous and free from doubt rather than enlarge the old bed or purchase a
• It simply means that the words should receive a fair new one” should NOT be given to statutes
and reasonable interpretation, so as to attain the intent,
spirit and purpose of the law STATUTES STRICTLY CONSTRUED

Liberal construction applied, generally Penal statutes, generally

• Where a statute is ambiguous, the literal meaning of • Penal statutes are those that define crimes, treat of
the words used may be rejected if the result of their nature and provide for their punishment
adopting said meaning would be to defeat the purpose o Acts of legislature which prohibit certain acts
of the law and establish penalties for their violation
• Ut res magis valeat quam pereat – that construction is • Those which impose punishment for an offense
to be sought which gives effect to the whole of the committed against the state, and which the chief
statute – its every word executive has the power to pardon
• A statute which decrees the forfeiture in favor of the
Liberal Construction Judicial Interpretation state of unexplained wealth acquired by a public
Equitable construction as Act of the court in official while in office is criminal in nature
will enlarge the letter of a engrafting upon a law
statute to accomplish its something which it believes
intended purpose, carry out ought to have been Penal statutes, strictly construed
its intent, or promote justice embraced therein • Penal statutes are strictly construed against the State
Legitimate exercise ofForbidden by the tripartite and liberally construed in favor of the accused
judicial power division of powers among o Penal statutes cannot be enlarged or extended
the 3 departments of by intendment, implication, or any equitable
government consideration
• A statute may not be liberally construed to read into it o No person should be brought within its terms
something which its clear and plain language rejects if he is not clearly made so by the statute
o No act should be pronounces criminal which
Construction to promote social justice is not clearly made so
• Social justice must be taken into account in the
interpretation and application of laws Peo v. Atop
• Social justice mandate is addressed or meant for the • Sec. 11 of RA 7659, which amended Art. 335 of the
three departments: the legislative, executive, and the RPC, provides that the death penalty for rape may be
judicial imposed if the “offender is a parent, ascendant, step-
• Social justice (included in the Constitution) was meant parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity
to be a vital, articulate, compelling principle of public within the 3rd civil degree, or the common-law spouse
policy of the parent of the victim”
• It should be observed in the interpretation not only of • Is the common-law husband of the girl’s grandmother
future legislations, but also of laws already existing on included?
November 15, 1935. • No! Courts must not bring cases within the provisions
• It was intended to change the spirit of our laws, present of the law which are not clearly embraced by it.
and future. o No act can be pronounced criminal which is
not clearly within the terms of a statute can be
Construction taking into consideration general welfare or brought within them.
growth civilization o Any reasonable doubt must be resolved in
• Construe to attain the general welfare favor of the accused
• Salus populi est suprema lex – the voice of the people
is the supreme law • Strict construction but not as to nullify or destroy the
obvious purpose of the legislature
• Statuta pro publico commodo late interpretantur –
o If penal statute is vague, it must be construed
statutes enacted for the public good are to be construed
liberally with such strictness as to carefully
SAFEGUARD the RIGHTS of the defendant
• The reason of the law is the life of the law; the reason
and at the same time preserve the obvious
lies in the soil of the common welfare
intention of the legislature
• The judge must go out in the open spaces of actuality o Courts must endeavor to effect substantial
and dig down deep into his common soil, if not, he
becomes subservient to formalism
Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos Peo v. Manantan
• PD 1564, which punishes a person who solicits or • The rule that penal statutes are given a strict
receives contribution for “charitable or public welfare construction is not the only factor controlling the
purposes” without any permit first secured from the interpretation of such laws
Department of Social Services, DID NOT include • Instead, the rule merely serves as an additional single
“religious purposes”” in the acts punishable, the law factor to be considered as an aid in detrmining the
CANNOT be construed to punish the solicitation of meaning of penal laws
contributions for religious purposes, such as repair or
renovation of the church Peo v. Purisima
• The language of the a statute which penalizes the mere
Reason why penal statutes are strictly construedg carrying outside of residence of bladed weapons, i.e., a
• The law is tender in favor of the rights of the knife or bolo, not in connection with one’s work or
individual; occupation, with a very heavy penalty ranging from 5-
• The object is to establish a certain rule by conformity 10 years of imprisonment, has been narrowed and
to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of strictly construed as to include, as an additional
the court limited element of the crime, the carrying of the weapon in
• Purpose of strict construction is NOT to enable a guilty furtherance of rebellion, insurrection or subversion,
person to escape punishment through technicality but such being the evil sought to be remedied or prevented
to provide a precise definition of forbidden acts by the statute as disclosed in its preamble

Acts mala in se and mala prohibita Azarcon v. Sandiganbayan

• General rule: to constitute a crime, evil intent must • Issue: whether a private person can be considered a
combine with an act public officer by reason if his being designated by the
• Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea – the act itself BIR as a depository of distrained property, so as to
does not make a man guilty unless his intention were make the conversion thereof the crime of malversation
so • Held: NO! the BIR’s power authorizing a private
individual to act as a depository cannot include the
• Actus me invite factus non est meus actus – an act done power to appoint him as public officer
by me against my will is not my act
• A private individual who has in his charge any of the
public funds or property enumerated in Art 222 RPC
Mala in se Mala prohibita
and commits any of the acts defined in any of the
Criminal intent, apart from The only inquiry is, has the
provisions of Chapter 4, Title 7 of the RPC, should
the act itself is required law been violated
likewise be penalized with the same penalty meted to
RPC Special penal laws erring public officers. Nowhere in this provision is it
expressed or implied that a private individual falling
• However, if special penal laws use such words as under said Art 222 is to be deemed a public officer
“willfully, voluntarily, and knowingly” intent must be
proved; thus good faith or bad faith is essential before Limitation of rule
conviction • Limitation #1 – Where a penal statute is capable of 2
interpretations, one which will operate to exempt an
Application of rule accused from liability for violation thereof and another
which will give effect to the manifest intent of the
Peo v. Yadao statute and promote its object, the latter interpretation
• A statute which penalizes a “person assisting a should be adopted
claimant” in connection with the latter’s claim for
veterans benefit, does not penalize “one who OFFERS US v. Go Chico
to assist” • A law punishes the display of flags “used during” the
insurrection against the US may not be so construed as
to exempt from criminal liability a person who
Suy v. People displays a replica of said flag because said replica is
• Where a statute penalizes a store owner who sells not the one “used” during the rebellion, for to so
commodities beyond the retail ceiling price fixed by construe it is to nullify the statute together
law, the ambiguity in the EO classifying the same • Go Chico is liable though flags displayed were just
commodity into 2 classes and fixing different ceiling replica of the flags “used during” insurrection against
prices for each class, should be resolved in favor of the US
• Limitation #2 – strict construction of penal laws
Peo v. Terreda applies only where the law is ambiguous and there is
• Shorter prescriptive period is more favorable to the doubt as to its meaning
Peo v. Gatchalian
• A statute requires that an employer shall pay a Butuan Sawmill, Inc. v. Bayview Theater, Inc
minimum wage of not less than a specified amount and • Where an entity is granted a legislative franchise to
punishes any person who willfully violates any of its operate electric light and power, on condition that it
provisions should start operation within a specified period, its
• The fact that the nonpayment of the minimum wage is failure to start operation within the period resulted in
not specifically declared unlawful, does not mean that the forfeiture of the franchise
an employer who pays his employees less than the
prescribed minimum wage is not criminally liable, for Legislative grants to local government units
the nonpayment of minimum wage is the very act • Grants of power to local government are to be
sought to be enjoined by the law construed strictly, and doubts in the interpretation
should be resolved in favor of the national government
Statutes in derogation of rights and against the political subdivisions concerned
• Rights are not absolute, and the state, in the exercise of • Reason: there is in such a grant a gratuitous donation
police power, may enact legislations curtailing or of public money or property which results in an unfair
restricting their enjoyment advantage to the grantee and for that reason, the grant
• As these statutes are in derogation of common or should be narrowly restricted in favor of the public
general rights, they are generally strictly construed and
rigidly confined to cases clearly within their scope and Statutory grounds for removal of officials
purpose • Statutes relating to suspension or removal of public
• Examples: officials are strictly construed
o Statutes authorizing the expropriation of • Reason: the remedy of removal is a drastic one and
private land or property penal in nature. Injustice and harm to the public
o Allowing the taking of deposition interest would likely emerge should such laws be not
o Fixing the ceiling of the price of commodities strictly interpreted against the power of suspension or
o Limiting the exercise of proprietary rights by removal
individual citizens
o Suspending the period of prescription of Ochate v. Deling
actions • Grounds for removal – “neglect of duty, oppression,
• When 2 reasonably possible constructions, one which corruption or other forms of maladministration in
would diminish or restrict fundamental right of the office”
people and the other if which would not do so, the o “in office” – a qualifier of all acts.
latter construction must be adopted so as to allow full o Must be in relation to the official as an officer
enjoyment of such fundamental right and not as a private person

Statutes authorizing expropriations Hebron v Reyes

• Power of eminent domain is essentially legislative in • Procedure for removal or suspension should be strictly
nature construed
• May be delegated to the President, LGUs, or public • Statute: local elective officials are to be removed or
utility company suspended, after investigation, by the provincial board,
• Expropriation plus just compensation subject to appeal to the President
• A derogation of private rights, thus strict construction • President has no authority on his own to conduct the
is applied investigation and to suspend such elective official
• Statutes expropriating or authorizing the expropriation
of property are strictly construed against the Naturalization laws
expropriating authority and liberally in favor of • Naturalization laws are strictly construed against the
property owners applicant and rigidly followed and enforced
• Naturalization is statutory than a natural right
Statutes imposing taxes and customs duties
Statutes granting privileges • Tax statutes must be construed strictly against the
• Statutes granting advantages to private persons or government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer
entities have in many instances created special • Power to tax involves power to destroy
privileges or monopolies for the grantees and have • Taxing act are not to be extended by implication
thus been viewed with suspicion and strictly construed • Tax statutes should be clearly, expressly, and
• Privilegia recipient largam interpretationem voluntati unambiguously imposed
consonam concedentis – privileges are to be • Reason for strict construction: taxation is a destructive
interpreted in accordance with the will of him who power which interferes with the personal property
grants them rights of the people and takes from them a portion of
• And he who fails to strictly comply with the will of the their property for the support of the government
grantor loses such privileges
Statutes granting tax exemptions
• Law frowns against exemption from taxation because La Carlota Sugar Central v. Jimenez
taxes are the lifeblood of the nation • Statute: tax provided shall not be collected on foreign
• Laws granting tax exemptions are thus construed exchange used for the payment of “fertilizers when
strictissimi juris against the taxpayer and liberally in imported by planters or farmers directly or through
favor of the taxing authority their cooperatives”
• Burden of proof – on the taxpayer claiming to be • The importation of fertilizers by an entity which is
exempted neither a planter nor a farmer nor a cooperative of
• Basis for strict construction – to minimize the different planters or farmers is not exempt from payment of the
treatment and foster impartiality, fairness, and equality tax, even though said entity merely acted as agent of
of treatment among taxpayers planter or farmer as a sort of accommodation without
making any profit from the transaction, for the law
• Tax exemptions are not favored in law, nor are they
uses the word “directly” which means without anyone
intervening in the importation and the phrase “through
their cooperatives” as the only exemption
• Issue: whether containers and packaging materials can
CIR v. Phil. Acetylene Co.
be credited against the miller’s deficiency tax
• See page 305
• BIR claimed that there should be no tax credit
• Held: proviso should be strictly construed to apply
• Power of taxation if a high prerogative of sovereignty,
only to raw materials and not to containers and
its relinquishment is never presumed and any reduction
packing materials which are not raw materials; hence,
or diminution thereof with respect to its mode or its
the miller is entitled to tax credit
rate must be strictly construed
• Restriction in the proviso is limited only to sales,
miller’s excise taxes paid ‘on raw materials used in the Phil. Telegraph and Telephone Corp. v. COA
milling process’
• On “most favored treatment clause”
• 2 franchisee are not competitors
Benguet Corporation v. Cenrtral Board of Assessment Appeals
• The first franchisee is will not enjoy a reduced rate of
• PD 1955 withdrew all tax exemptions, except those
tax on gross receipts
embodied in the Real Property Code, a law which
grants certain industries real estate tax exemptions
Qualification of rule
under the Real Estate Code
• Strict construction does not apply in the case of tax
exemptions in favor of the government itself or its
• Courts cannot expand exemptiom
• Provisions granting exemptions to government
Esso Standard Eastern, Inc. v Acting Commissioner of Customs agencies may be construed liberally in favor of non-tax
liability of such agencies
• Where a statute exempts from special import tax,
equipment “for use of industries,” the exemption does • The express exemption should not be construed with
not extend to those used in dispensing gasoline at retail the same degree of strictness that applies to
in gasoline stations exemptions contrary to policy of the state, since as to
such property exemption is the rule and the taxation is
CIR v. Manila Jockey Club, Inc. the exemption
• Statute: “racing club holding these races shall be • E.g. tax exemption in favor of NAPOCOR – whether
exempt from the payment of any municipal or national direct or indirect taxes, exempted
Statutes concerning the sovereign
• Cannot be construed to exempt the racing club from
paying income tax on rentals paid to it for use of the • Restrictive statutes which impose burdens on the
race tracks and other paraphernalia, for what the law public treasury or which diminish rights and interests
exempts refers only to those to be paid in connection are strictly construed.
with said races • Unless so specified, the government does not fall
within the terms of any legislation
Lladoc v. CIR
• Statute: exemption from taxation charitable Alliance of Government Workers v. Minister of Labor and
institutions, churches, parsonages or covenants Employment
appurtenant thereto, mosques, and non-profit • PD 851 – requires “employers” to pay a 13th month
cemeteries, and all lands buildings, and improvements pay to their employees xxx
actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious or • “employers” does not embrace the RP, the law not
charitable purposes having expressly included it within its scope
• Exemption only refer to property taxes and not from
all kinds of taxes Statutes authorizing suits against the government
• Art. XVI, Sec. 3, 1987 Constitution – “The State may not to apply the rule that “an express
not be sued without its consent” exception excludes all others”
o General rule: sovereign is exempt from suit • The rule on execution pending appeal must be strictly
o Exception: in the form of statute, state may construed being an exception to the general rule
give its consent to be sued • Situations which allows exceptions to the requirement
 Statute is to be strictly construed and of warrant of arrest or search warrant must be strictly
waiver from immunity from suit will construed; to do so would infringe upon personal
not be lightly inferred liberty and set back a basic right
• Nullum tempus occurrit regi – there can be no legal • A preference is an exception to the general rule
right as against the authority that makes the law on • A proviso should be interpreted strictly with the
which the right depends legislative intent
o Should be strictly construed
• Reason for non-suability – not to subject the state to
inconvenience and loss of governmental efficiency o Only those expressly exempted by the proviso
should be freed from the operation of the
Mobil Phil. Exploration, Inc. v. Customs Arrastre Services statute
• The law authorizing the Bureau of Customs to lease
arrastre operations, a proprietary function necessarily STATUTES LIBERALLY CONSTRUED
incident to its governmental function, may NOT be
construed to mean that the state has consented to be General social legislation
sued, when it undertakes to conduct arrastre services • General welfare legislations
itself, for damage to cargo o To implement the social justice and
protection-to-labor provisions of the
• State-immunity may not be circumvented by directing Constitution
the action against the officer of the state instead of the o Construed liberally
state itself o Resolve any doubt in favor of the persons
o The state’s immunity may be validly invoked whom the law intended to benefit
against the action AS LONG AS IT CAN BE o Includes the following – labor laws, tenancy
SHOWN that the suit really affects the laws, land reform laws, and social security
property, rights, or interests of the state and laws
not merely those of the officer nominally
made party defendant Tamayo v. Manila Hotel
• Even if the state consents, law should NOT be • Law grants employees the benefits of holiday pay
interpreted to authorize garnishment of public funds to except those therein enumerated
satisfy a judgment against government property • Statcon – all employees, whether monthly paid or not,
o Reason: who are not among those excepted are entitled to the
 Public policy forbids it holiday pay
 Disbursement of public funds must
be covered by a corresponding • Labor laws construed – the workingman’s welfare
appropriation as required by law should be the primordial and paramount consideration
 Functions and service cannot be o Article 4 New Labor Code – “all doubts in the
allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted implementation and interpretation of the
by the diversion of public funds provisions of the Labor Code including its
from their legitimate and specific implementing rules and regulations shall be
objects, as appropriated by law resolved in favor of labor”
• Liberal construction applies only if statute is vague,
Statutes prescribing formalities of the will otherwise, apply the law as it is stated
• Strictly construed, which means, wills must be
executed in accordance with the statutory General welfare clause
requirements, otherwise, it is entirely void • 2 branches
• The court is seeking to ascertain and apply the intent o One branch attaches to the main trunk of
of the legislators and not that of the testator, and the municipal authority – relates to such
latter’s intention is frequently defeated by the non- ordinances and regulations as may be
observance of what the statute requires necessary to carry into effect and discharge
the powers and duties conferred upon local
Exceptions and provisos legislative bodies by law
• Should be strictly but reasonably construed o Other branch is much more independent of
• All doubts should be resolved in favor of the general the specific functions enumerated by law –
provision rather than the exceptions authorizes such ordinances as shall seem
o However, always look at the intent of necessary and proper to provide for the health
legislators if it will accord reason and justice and safety, promote the prosperity, improve
the morals, peace, good order xxx of the LGU • intention to hasten tax payments or to punish evasions
and the inhabitants thereof, and for the or neglect of duty in respect thereto
protection of the property therein • liberal construction would render penalties for
• Construed in favor of the LGUs delinquents nugatory
• To give more powers to local governments in
promoting the economic condition, social welfare, and Election laws
material progress of the people in the community • Election laws should be reasonably and liberally
• Construed with proprietary aspects, otherwise would construed to achieve their purpose
cripple LGUs • Purpose – to effectuate and safeguard the will of the
• Must be elastic and responsive to various social electorate in the choice of their representatives
conditions • 3 parts
• Must follow legal progress of a democratic way of life o Provisions for the conduct of elections which
election officials are required to follow
Grant of power to local governments o Provisions which candidates for office are
• Old rule: municipal corporations, being mere creatures required to perform
of law, have only such powers as are expressly granted o Procedural rules which are designed to
to them and those which are necessarily implied or ascertain, in case of dispute, the actual winner
incidental to the exercise thereof in the elections
• New rule: RA 2264 “Local Autonomy Act”
o Sec 12 – “implied power of a province, a city,  Different rules and canons or statutory construction govern
or a municipality shall be liberally construed such provisions of the election law
in its favor. Any fair and reasonable doubt as
to the existence of the power should be • Part 1:
interpreted in favor of the local government o Rules and regulations for the conduct of
and it shall be presumed to exist” elections
 Before election – mandatory (part 1)
Statutes granting taxing power (on municipal corporations)  After election – directory (part 3)
• Before 1973 Constitution – inferences, implications, o Generally – the provisions of a statute as to
and deductions have no place in the interpretation of the manner of conducting the details of an
the taxing power of a municipal corporation election are NOT mandatory; and
• New Constitution – Art. X, Sec 5 1987 Constitution – irregularities in conducting an election and
“each local government unit shall have the power to counting the votes, not preceding from any
create its own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, wrongful intent and which deprives no legal
fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and voter of his votes, will not vitiate an election
limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent or justify the rejection of the entire votes of a
with the basic policy of local autonomy” precinct
o Statutes prescribing limitations on the taxing  Against disenfranchisement
power of LGUs must be strictly construed  Remedy against election official
against the national government and liberally who did not do his duty – criminal
in favor of the LGUs, and any doubt as to the action against them
existence of the taxing power will be resolved
• Part 2:
in favor of the local government
o Provisions which candidates for office are
required to perform are mandatory
Statutes prescribing prescriptive period to collect taxes
o Non-compliance is fatal
• Beneficial for both government and taxpayer
o To the government – tax officers are obliged • Part 3:
o Procedural rules which are designed to
to act promptly in the making of the
assessments ascertain, in case of dispute, the actual winner
o To the taxpayer – would have a feeling of in the elections are liberally construed
o Technical and procedural barriers should not
security against unscrupulous tax agents who
will always find an excuse to inspect the be allowed to stand if they constitute an
books of taxpayers obstacle in the choice of their elective
• Laws on prescription – remedial measure – interpreted
liberally affording protection to the taxpayers • For where a candidate has received popular mandate,
overwhelmingly and clearly expressed, all possible
doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidates
eligibility, for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of
Statutes imposing penalties for nonpayment of tax the electorate
• liberally construed in favor of government and strictly
Amnesty proclamations
construed against the taxpayer
• Amnesty proclamations should be liberally construed the pensioner more benefits and to discourage inaction
as to carry out their purpose on the part of the officials who administer the laws
• Purpose – to encourage to return to the fold of the law
of those who have veered from the law Chavez v. Mathay
• E.g. in case of doubt as to whether certain persons • While veteran or pension laws are to be construed
come within the amnesty proclamation, the doubt liberally, they should be so construed as to prevent a
should be resolved in their favor and against the state person from receiving double pension or
• Same rule applies to pardon since pardon and amnesty compensation, unless the law provides otherwise
is synonymous
Santiago v. COA
Statutes prescribing prescriptions of crimes • Explained liberal construction or retirement laws
• Liberally construed in favor of the accused • Intention is to provide for sustenance, and hopefully
• Reason – time wears off proof and innocence even comfort when he no longer has the stamina to
• Same as amnesty and pardon continue earning his livelihood
• He deserves the appreciation of a grateful government
Peo v. Reyes at best concretely expressed in a generous retirement
• Art. 91 RPC – “period of prescription shall commence gratuity commensurate with the value and length of his
to run from the day the crime is discovered by the service
offended, authorities, xxx”
• When does the period of prescription start – day of Ortiz v. COMELEC
discovery or registration in the Register of Deeds? • Issue: whether a commissioner of COMELEC is
• Held: From the time of registration deemed to have completed his term and entitled to full
retirement benefits under the law which grants him 5-
• Notice need not be actual for prescription to run;
year lump-sum gratuity and thereafter lifetime pension,
constructive notice is enough
who “retires from the service after having completed
• More favorable to the accused if prescriptive period is his term of office,” when his courtesy resignation
counted from the time of registration submitted in response to the call of the President
following EDSA Revolution is accepted
Adoption statutes
• Held: Yes! Entitled to gratuity
• Adoption statutes are liberally construed in favor of
• Liberal construction
the child to be adopted
• Courtesy resignation – not his own will but a mere
• Paramount consideration – child and not the adopters
manifestation of submission to the will of the political
authority and appointing power
Veteran and pension laws
• Veteran and pension laws are enacted to compensate a In Re Application for Gratuity Benefits of Associate Justice
class of men who suffered in the service for the Efren I Plana
hardships they endured and the dangers they
• Issue: whether Justice Plana is entitled to gratuity and
encountered in line of duty
retirement pay when, at the time of his courtesy
o Expression of gratitude to and recognition of
resignation was accepted following EDSA Revolution
those who rendered service to the country by
and establishment of a revolutionary government
extending to them regular monetary benefit under the Freedom Constitution, he lacked a few
• Veteran and pension laws are liberally construed in months to meet the age requirement for retirement
favor of grantee under the law but had accumulated a number of leave
of credits which, if added to his age at the time, would
exceed the age requirement
Del Mar v. Phil. Veterans Admin • Held: yes, entitled to gratuity! Liberal construction
• Where a statute grants pension benefits to war applied
veterans, except those who are actually receiving a
similar pension from other government funds In Re Pineda
• Statcon – “government funds” refer to funds of the • Explained doctrine laid down in the previous case
same government and does not preclude war veterans
• The crediting of accumulated leaves to make up for
receiving similar pensions from the US Government lack of required age or length of service is not done
from enjoying the benefits therein provided
• xxx only if satisfied that the career of the retiree was
marked by competence, integrity, and dedication to the
Board of Administrators Veterans Admin v. Bautista
public service
• Veteran pension law is silent as to the effectivity of In Re Martin
pension awards, it shall be construed to take effect
• Issue: whether a justice of the SC, who availed of the
from the date it becomes due and NOT from the date
disability retirement benefits pursuant to the provision
the application for pension is approved, so as to grant
that “if the reason for the retirement be any permanent
disability contracted during his incumbency in office
and prior to the date of retirement he shall receive only thoughtlessness in not complying with the
a gratuity equivalent to 10 years salary and allowances prescribed procedure
aforementioned with no further annuity payable • Liberal construction of RC does not mean they may be
monthly during the rest of the retiree’s natural life” is ignored; they are required to be followed except only
entitled to a monthly lifetime pension after the 10-year for the most persuasive reasons
• Held: Yes! 10-year lump sum payment is intended to Other statutes
assist the stricken retiree meeting his hospital and • Curative statutes – to cure defects in prior law or to
doctor’s bills and expenses for his support validate legal proceedings which would otherwise be
• The retirement law aims to assist the retiree in his old void for want of conformity with certain legal
age, not to punish him for having survived requirements; retroactive
• Redemption laws – remedial in nature – construed
Cena v. CSC liberally to carry out purpose, which is to enable the
• Issue: whether or not a government employee who has debtor to have his property applied to pay as many
reached the compulsory retirement age of 65 years, but debtor’s liability as possible
who has rendered less than 15 years of government • Statutes providing exemptions from execution are
service, may be allowed to continue in the service to interpreted liberally in order to give effect to their
complete the 15-year service requirement to enable beneficial and humane purpose
him to retire with benefits of an old-age pension under • Laws on attachment – liberally construed to promote
Sec 11(b) PD 1146 their objects and assist the parties obtaining speedy
• However, CSC Memorandum Circular No 27 provides justice
that “any request for extension of compulsory retirees • Warehouse receipts – instrument of credit – liberally
to complete the 15-years service requirement for construed in favor of a bona fide holders of such
retirement shall be allowed only to permanent receipts
appointees in the career service who are regular • Probation laws – liberally construed
members of the GSIS and shall be granted for a period o Purpose: to give first-hand offenders a second
not exceeding 1 year chance to maintain his place in society
• Held: CSC Memorandum Circular No 27 through the process of reformation
unconstitutional! It is an administrative regulation • Statute granting powers to an agency created by the
which should be in harmony with the law; liberal Constitution should be liberally construed for the
construction of retirement benefits advancement of the purposes and objectives for which
it was created
Rules of Court
• RC are procedural – to be construed liberally CHAPTER EIGHT: Mandatory and Directory Statutes
• Purpose of RC – the proper and just determination of a
litigation IN GENERAL
• Procedural laws are no other than technicalities, they
are adopted not as ends in themselves but as means Generally
conducive to the realization of the administration of • Mandatory and directory classification of statutes –
law and justice importance: what effect should be given to the
• RC should not be interpreted to sacrifice substantial mandate of a statute
rights at the expense of technicalities
Mandatory and directory statutes, generally
Case v. Jugo • Mandatory statute – commands either positively that
• Lapses in the literal observance of a rule of procedure something be done in a particular way, or negatively
will be overlooked when they do not involve public that something be not done; it requires OBEDIENCE,
policy; when they arose from an honest mistake or otherwise void
unforeseen accident; when they have not prejudiced • Directory statute – permissive or discretionary in
the adverse party and have not deprived the court of its nature and merely outlines the act to be done in such a
authority way that no injury can result from ignoring it or that its
• Literal stricture have been relaxed in favor of liberal purpose can be accomplished in a manner other than
construction that prescribed and substantially the same result
o Where a rigid application will result in obtained; confer direction upon a person; non-
manifest failure or miscarriage of justice performance of what it prescribes will not vitiate the
o Where the interest of substantial justice will proceedings therein taken
be served
o Where the resolution of the emotion is When statute is mandatory or directory
addressed solely to the sound and judicious • No absolute test to determine whether a statute is
discretion of the court directory or mandatory
o Where the injustice to the adverse party is not • Final arbiter – legislative intent
commensurate with the degree of his
• Legislative intent does not depend on the form of the o Must or Must not
statute; must be given to the entire statute, its object, o Ought or Ought not
purpose, legislative history, and to other related o Should or Should not
statutes o Can or Cannot
• Mandatory in form but directory in nature – possible • Generally directory – permissive words
• Whether a statute is mandatory or directory depends o May or May not
on whether the thing directed to be done is of the
essence of the thing required, or is a mere matter of Use of “shall” or “must”
form, what is a matter of essence can often be • Generally, “shall” and “must” is mandatory in nature
determined only by judicial construction • If a different interpretation is sought, it must rest upon
o Considered directory – compliance is a matter something in the character of the legislation or in the
of convenience; where the directions of a context which will justify a different meaning
statute are given merely with a view to the • The import of the word ultimately depends upon a
proper, orderly and prompt conduct of consideration of the entire provision, its nature, object
business; no substantial rights depend on it and the consequences that would follow from
o Considered mandatory – a provision relating construing it one way or the other
to the essence of the thing to be done, that is,
to matters of substance; interpretation shows Loyola Grand Villa Homeowners (South) Assn., Inc. v. CA
that the legislature intended a compliance • “must” construed as directory
with such provision to be essential to the
• Corporation Code Sec 46 reads “ every corporation
validity of the act or proceeding, or when
formed under this Code MUST within one month after
some antecedent and prerequisite conditions
receipt of official notice of the issuance of its
must exist prior to the exercise of the power,
certification of incorporation with the SEC, adopt a
or must be performed before certain other
code of by-laws for its government not inconsistent
powers can be exercised
with this Code”
Test to determine nature of statute • PD 902-A which is in pari material with the
• Test is to ascertain the consequences that will follow in Corporation Code states that the non-filing of the by-
case what the statute requires is not done or what it laws does not imply the “demise” of the corporation;
forbids is performed that there should be a notice and hearing before the
certificate of registration may be cancelled by the
• Does the law give a person no alternative choice? – if
failure to file the by-laws
yes, then it is mandatory
• Depends on the effects of compliance
• One test whether mandatory or directory compliance
o If substantial rights depend on it and injury
must be made – whether non-compliance with what is
can result from ignoring it; intended for the
required will result in the nullity of the act; if it results
protection of the citizens and by a disregard
in the nullity, it is mandatory
of which their rights are injuriously affected
– mandatory
Director of Land v. CA
o Purpose is accomplished in a manner other
• Law requires in petitions for land registration that
than that prescribed and substantially the
“upon receipt of the order of the court setting the time
same results obtained - directory
for initial hearing to be published in the OG and once
• Statutes couched in mandatory form but compliance is in a newspaper of general circulation in the
merely directory in nature
o If strict compliance will cause hardship or
• Law expressly requires that the initial hearing be
injustice on the part of the public who is not
published in the OG AND in the newspaper of general
at fault
circulation – reason: OG is not as widely read of the
o If it will lead to absurd, impossible, or
newspaper of general circulation
mischievous consequences
• “shall” is imperative/ mandatory
 If an officer is required to do a
• Without initial hearing being published in a newspaper
positive act but fails because such
of general circulation is a nullity
actions will lead to the
aforementioned, he will only be
Use of “may”
subject to administrative sanction for
• An auxiliary verb showing opportunity or possibility
his failure to do what the law
requires • Generally, directory in nature
• Used in procedural or adjective laws; liberally
• Example: Sec 63 of the corporation Code – “shares of
Language used stock so issued are personal property and MAY be
• Generally mandatory – command words transferred by delivery of the certificate or certificated
o Shall or Shall not endorsed by the owner
o “may” is merely directory and that the
transfer of the shares may be effected in a Statutes conferring power
manner different from that provided for in • Generally regarded as mandatory although couched in
law a permissive form
• Should construe as imposing absolute and positive
When “shall” is construed as “may” and vice versa duty rather than conferring privileges
• Rule: “may” should be read “shall” • Power is given for the benefit of third persons, not for
o where such construction is necessary to give the public official
effect to the apparent intention of the • Granted to meet the demands of rights, and to prevent
legislature a failure of justice
o where a statute provides for the doing os • Given as a remedy to those entitled to invoke its aid
some act which is required by justice r public
duty Statutes granting benefits
o where it vests a public body or officer with • Considered mandatory
power and authority to take such action which • Failure of the person to take the required steps or to
concerns for the public interest or rights of meet the conditions will ordinarily preclude him from
individuals availing of the statutory benefits
• Rule: “shall” should be read “may” • Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt – the
o When so required by the context or by the laws aid the vigilant, not those who slumber on their
intention of the legislature rights
o When no public benefit or private right
requires that it be given an imperative
• Potior est in tempoe, potior est in jure – he who is first
in time is preferred in right
Statutes prescribing jurisdictional requirements
Diokno v. Rehabilitiation Finance Corp
• Considered mandatory
• Sec. 2 RA 304 reads “banks or other financial
institutions owned or controlled by the Government • Examples
SHALL, subject to availability of funds xxx accept at a o Requirement of publication
discount at not more than 20% for 10 years of such o Provision in the Tax Code to the effect that
backpay certificate” before an action for refund of tax is filed in
• “Shall” implies discretion because of the phrase court, a written claim therefore shall be
“subject to availability of funds” presented with the CIR within the prescribed
period is mandatory and failure to comply
Govermnent v. El Hogar Filipino with such requirement is fatal to the action
• Corporation Codes reads “SHALL, upon such Statutes prescribing time to take action or to appeal
violation being proved, be dissolved by quo warranto
• Generally mandatory
• Held as absolutely indispensable to the prevention of
• “Shall” construed as “may”
needless delays and to the orderly and speedy
discharge or business, and are necessary incident to the
Berces, Sr. v. Guingona
proper, efficient, and orderly discharge of judicial
• Sec. 68 Ra 7160 (LGC) provides that an appeal from functions
an adverse decision against a local elective official to
• Strict not substantial compliance
the President “SHALL not prevent a decision from
becoming final and executor” • Not waivable, nor can they be the subject of
agreements or stipulation of litigants
• “Shall” is not mandatory because there is room to
construe said provision as giving discretion to the
Reyes v. COA
reviewing officials to stay the execution of the
appealed decision • Sec. 187 RA 7160 – process of appeal of dissatisfied
taxpayer on the legality of tax ordinance
Use of negative, prohibitory or exclusive terms o Appeal to the Sec of Justice within 30 days of
effectivity of the tax ordinance
• A negative statute is mandatory; expressed in negative
o If Sec of Justice decides the appeal, a period
words or in a form of an affirmative proposition
qualified by the word “only” of 30 days is allowed for an aggrieved party
to go to court
• “only” exclusionary negation
o If the Sec of Justice does not act thereon, after
• Prohibitive or negative words can rarely, if ever, be
the lapse of 60 days, a party could already
proceed to seek relief in court
• Purpose of mandatory compliance: to prevent delays
and enhance the speedy and orderly discharge of
MANDATORY STATUTES judicial functions
• Unless the requirements of law are complied with, the • After election – directory, in support of the result
decision of the lower court will become final and unless of a character to affect an obstruction to the free
preclude the appellate court from acquiring jurisdiction and intelligent casting of the votes, or to the
to review it ascertainment of the result, or unless it is expressly
• Interest reipiciae ut sit finis litium – public interest declared by the statute that the particular act is
requires that by the very nature of things there must be essential to the validity of an election, or that its
an end to a legal controversy omission shall render it void (whew, and haba!)
• When the voters have honestly cast their ballots, the
Gachon v. Devera, Jr same should not be nullified simply because the
officers appointed under the law to direct the elections
• Issue: whether Sec 6 of the Rule on Summary
and guard the purity of the ballot have not done their
Procedure, which reads “ should the defendant fail to
answer the complaint within the period above
provided, the Court, motu proprio, or on motion of the • For where a candidate has received popular mandate,
plaintiff, SHALL render judgment as may be overwhelmingly and clearly expressed, all possible
warranted by the facts alleged in the complaint and doubts should be resolved in favor of the candidates
limited to what is prayed for therein,” is mandatory or eligibility, for to rule otherwise is to defeat the will of
directory, such that an answer filed out of time may be the electorate
Delos Reyes v. Rodriguez
• Held: mandatory
o Must file the answer within the reglementary • The circumstance that the coupon bearing the number
of the ballot is not detached at the time the ballot is
voted, as required by law, does not justify the court in
o Reglementary period shall be ‘non-
rejecting the ballot
o Otherwise, it would defeat the objective of
Election laws on qualification and disqualification
expediting the adjudication of suits
• The rule of “before-mandatory and after-directory” in
election laws only applies to procedural statutes;
Statutes prescribing procedural requirements
• Not applicable to provisions of the election laws
• Construed mandatory
prescribing the time limit to file certificate of
• Procedure relating to jurisdictional, or of the essence candidacy and the qualifications and disqualifications
of the proceedings, or is prescribed for the protection of elective office – considered mandatory even after
or benefit of the party affected election
• Where failure to comply with certain procedural
requirements will have the effect of rendering the act Statutes prescribing qualifications for office
done in connection therewith void, the statute • Eligibility to a public office is of a continuing nature
prescribing such requirements is regarded as and must exist at the commencement of the term and
mandatory even though the language is used therein is during the occupancy of the office
permissive in nature
• Statutes prescribing the eligibility or qualifications of
persons to a public office are regarded as mandatory
De Mesa v. Mencias
• Example in the book – lawyer-judge; judge-disbarment
• Sec 17, Rule 3 RC – “after a party dies and the claim is as lawyer
not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon Statutes relating to assessment of taxes
proper notice, the legal representative of the deceased • Intended for the security of the citizens, or to insure
to appear and to be substituted xxx. If legal the equality of taxation, or for certainty as to the nature
representative fails to appear xxx, the court MAY and amount of each other’s tax – MANDATORY
order the opposing party to produce the appointment of o E.g. Statutes requiring the assessor to notify
a legal representative xxx”
the taxpayer of the assessment of his property
• Although MAY was used, provision is mandatory within a prescribed period
• Procedural requirement goes to the very jurisdiction of • Those designed merely for the information or direction
the court, for “unless and until a legal representative is of officers or to secure methodical and systematic
for him is duly named and within the jurisdiction of modes of proceedings - DIRECTORY
the trial court, no adjudication in the cause could have
been accorded any validity or the binding effect upon Statutes concerning public auction sale
any party, in representation of the deceased, without
• Construed mandatory
trenching upon the fundamental right to a day in court
• Procedural steps must be strictly followed
which is the very essence of the constitutionally
enshrined guarantee of due process • Otherwise, void

Election laws on conduct of election

• Construed as mandatory
• Before election – mandatory
DIRECTORY STATUTES • Held: yes, otherwise is to defeat the administration of
justice upon factors beyond the control of the parties;
Statutes prescribing guidance for officers would defeat the purpose of due process; dismissal
• Regulation designed to secure order, system, and will constitute miscarriage of justice; speedy trial
dispatch in proceedings, and by a disregard of which would be turned into denial of justice
the rights of parties interested may not be injuriously o Failure of judge to take action within the said
affected – directory period merely deprives him of their right to
o Exception – unless accompanied by negative collect their salaries or to apply for leaves, but
words importing that the acts required shall does not deprive them of the jurisdiction to
not be done in any other manner or time than act on the cases pending before them
that designated
Constitutional time provision directory
Statutes prescribing manner of judicial action
• Construed directory Marcelino v. Cruz
• Procedure is secondary in importance to substantive • Sec 15(1) Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution – the maximum
right period within which a case or matter shall be decided
• Generally, non-compliance therewith is not necessary or resolved from the date of its submission shall be
to the validity of the proceedings o 24 months – SC
o 12 months – lower collegiate courts
Statutes requiring rendition of decision within prescribed period o 3 months – all other lower courts
• Sec 15(1) Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution – the maximum • Sec 15(1) Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution – directory
period within which a case or matter shall be decided • Reasons:
or resolved from the date of its submission shall be o Statutory provisions which may be thus
o 24 months – SC departed from with impunity, without
o 12 months – lower collegiate courts affecting the validity of statutory proceedings,
o 3 months – all other lower courts are usually those which relate to the mode or
• Sec 7 Art. IX-A, 1987 Constitution – time of doing that which is essential to effect
o 60 days from the date of its submission for the aim and purpose of the legislature or some
resolution – for all Constitutional incident of the essential act – thus directory
Commissions o Liberal construction – departure from strict
• Before the Constitution took effect - Statutes requiring compliance would result in less injury to the
rendition of decision within prescribed period – general public than would its strict
Directory application
o Except o Courts are not divested of their jurisdiction
 intention to the contrary is manifest for failure to decide a case within the 90-day
 time is of the essence of the thing to period
be done o Only for the guidance of the judges manning
 language of the statute contains our courts
negative words o Failure to observe said rule constitutes a
 designation of the time was intended ground for administrative sanction against the
as a limitation of power, authority or defaulting judge
right  A certification to this effect is
• always look at intent to ascertain whether to give the required before judges are allowed to
statute a mandatory or directory construction draw their salaries
o basis: EXPEDIENCY – less injury results to
CHAPTER NINE: Prospective and Retroactive Statutes
the general public by disregarding than
enforcing the little of the law and that judges
would otherwise abstain from rendering
decisions after the period to render them had
Prospective and retroactive statutes, defined
lapsed because they lacked jurisdiction tot do
so • Prospective –
o operates upon facts or transactions that occur
Querubin v. CA after the statute takes effect
• Statute: appeals in election cases “shall be decided o looks and applies to the future.
within 3 months after the filing of the case in the office • Retroactive –
of the clerk of court” o Law which creates a new obligation, imposes
• Issue: whether or not CA has jurisdiction in deciding a new duty or attaches a new disability in
the election case although the required period to respect to a transaction already past.
resolve it has expired o A statute is not made retroactive because it
draws on antecedent facts for its operation, or
part of the requirements for its action and • Nova constitution futuris formam imponere debet non
application is drawn from a time antedating praeteretis – A new statute should affect the future,
its passage. not the past.
Umali vs. Estanislao
• A law may be made operative partly on facts that
occurred prior to the effectivity of such law without
being retroactive. • Prospectivity applies to:
• Statute: RA 7167- granting increased personal o Statutes
exemptions from income tax to be available o Administrative rulings and circulars
thenceforth, that is, after said Act became effective and o Judicial decisions
on or before the deadline for filing income tax returns,
• The principle of prospectivity of statutes, original or
with respect to compensation income earned or
amendatory, has been applied in many cases. These
received during the calendar year prior to the date the
law took effect.
Buyco v. PNB
Castro v. Sagales
• Statute: RA 1576 which divested the PNB of authority
• A retroactive law (in a legal sense)
to accept back pay certificates in payment of loans
o one which takes away or impairs vested rights
• Held: does not apply to an offer of payment made
acquired under existing laws
before effectivity of the act.
o creates a new obligation and imposes a new
o attaches a new disability in respect of
Lagardo v. Masaganda
transactions or considerations already past
• Held: RA 2613, as amended by RA 3090 ON June
1991, granting inferior courts jurisdiction over
Laws operate prospectively, generally
guardianship cases, could not be given retroactive
• It is a settled rule in statutory construction that statutes effect in the absence of a saving clause.
are to be construed as having only prospective
operation, unless the intendment of the legislature is to Larga v. Ranada Jr.
give them a retroactive effect, expressly declare or
• Held: Sec. 9 & 10 of E.O. 90 amending Sec 4 of P.D.
necessarily implied from the language used.
1752 could have no retroactive application.
• No court will hold a statute to be retroactive when the
legislature has not said so. Peo v. Que Po Lay
• Art. 4 of the Civil Code which provides that “Laws • Held: a person cannot be convicted of violating
shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is Circular 20 of the Central Bank, when the alleged
provided.” violation occurred before publication of the Circular
• Lex prospicit, non respicit – the law looks forward, not on the Official Gazette.
• Lex de future, judex de praeterito – the law provides Baltazar v. CA
for the future, the judge for the past. • Held: It denied retroactive application to PD 27
• If the law is silent as to the date of its application and decreeing the emancipation of tenants from the
that it is couched in the past tense does not necessarily bondage of the soil, & PD 316, prohibiting ejectment
imply that it should have retroactive effect. of tenants from rice & corn farmholdings pending
promulgation of rules & regulations implementing PD
Grego v. Comelec 27
• A statute despite the generality of its language, must
not be so construed as to overreach acts, events, or Nilo v CA
matters which transpired before its passage • Held: removed ‘personal cultivation’ as the ground for
• Statute: Sec.40 of the LGC disqualifying those ejectment of a tenant can’t be given retroactive effect
removed from office as a result of an administrative in absence of statutory statement for retroactivity.
case from running for local elective positions cannot
be applied retroactively. • Applied to administrative rulings & circulars:
• Held: It cannot disqualify a person who was
administratively removed from his position prior to the ABS-CBN Broadcasting v. CTA
effectivity of said Code from running for an elective • Held: a circular or ruling of the CIR cannot be given
position. retroactive effect adversely to a taxpayer.
• Rationale: a law is a rule established to guide actions
with no binding effect until it is enacted. Sanchez v. COMELEC
• Held: the holding of recall proceedings had no
retroactive application
• Held: CSC Memorandum Circular No. 29 cannot be
given retrospective effect so as to entitle to permanent Penal statutes, generally
appointment an employee whose temporary • Penal laws operate prospectively.
appointment had expired before the Circular was • Art. 21 of the RPC provides that “no felony shall be
issued. punishable by any penalty not prescribed by law prior
• Applied to judicial decisions for even though not laws, to its commission.
are evidence of what the laws mean and is the basis of • Provision is recognition to the universally accepted
Art.8 of the Civil Code wherein laws of the principle that no penal law can have a retroactive
Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the effect, no act or omission shall be held to be a crime,
Philippines. nor its author punished, except by virtue of a law in
force at the time the act was committed.
Presumption against retroactivity • Nullum crimen sine poena, nulla poena sine legis –
• Presumption is that all laws operate prospectively, there is no crime without a penalty, there is no penalty
unless the contrary clearly appears or is clearly, plainly without a law.
and unequivocally expressed or necessarily implied.
• In case of doubt: resolved against the retroactive Ex post facto law
operation of laws
• Constitution provides that no ex post facto law shall be
• If statute is susceptible of construction other than that enacted. It also prohibits the retroactive application of
of retroactivity or will render it unconstitutional- the penal laws which are in the nature of ex post facto
statute will be given prospective effect and operation. laws.
• Presumption is strong against substantive laws
affecting pending actions or proceedings. No • Ex post facto laws are any of the following:
substantive statute shall be so construed retroactively o Law makes criminal an act done before the
as to affect pending litigations. passage of the law and which was innocent
when done, and punishes such act
Words or phrases indicating prospectivity o Law which aggravates a crime, makes it
• Indicating prospective operation: greater than it was, when committed
o A statute is to apply “hereafter” or o Law which changes the punishment & inflicts
“thereafter” a greater punishment than that annexed to the
o “from and after the passing of this Act” crime when committed
o “shall have been made” o Law which alters the legal rules of evidence,
o “from and after” a designated date authorizes conviction upon less or different
testimony than the law required at the time of
• “Shall” implies that the law makes intend the the commission of the offense
enactment to be effective only in future. o Law which assumes to regulate civil rights
• Statutes have no retroactive but prospective effect: and remedies only, but in effect imposes
o “It shall take effect upon its approval” penalty or deprivation of a right for
o Shall take effect on the date the President something which when done was lawful
shall have issued a proclamation or E.O., as o Law which deprives a person accused of a
provided in the statute crime of some lawful protection to which he
has become entitled, such as protection of a
Retroactive statutes, generally former conviction or acquittal, or
• The Constitution does not prohibit the enactment of proclamation of amnesty.
retroactive statutes which do not impair the obligation • Test if ex post facto clause is violated: Does the law
of contract, deprive persons of property without due sought to be applied retroactively take from an accused
process of law, or divest rights which have become any right vital for protection of life and liberty?
vested, or which are not in the nature of ex post facto • Scope: applies only to criminal or penal matters
laws. • It does NOT apply to laws concerning civil
• Statutes by nature which are retroactive: proceedings generally, or which affect or regulate civil
o Remedial or curative statutes or private rights or political privilege
o Statutes which create new rights
o Statute expressly provides that it shall apply Alvia v. Sandiganbayan
retroactively • Law: as of the date of the effectivity of this decree, any
o Where it uses words which clearly indicate its case cognizable by the Sandiganbayan is not an ex
intent post facto law because it is not a penal statute nor
• Problem in construction is when it is applied dilutes the right of appeal of the accused.
retroactively, to avoid frontal clash with the
Constitution and save the law from being declared Bill of attainder
• Constitution provides that no bill of attainder shall be judgment should take such
enacted. statute in consideration.
• Bill of attainder – legislative act which inflicts o Enacted during or after the trial of the
punishment without judicial trial criminal action
• Essence: substitution of a legislative for a judicial
determination of guilt Director v. Director of Prisons
• Serves to implement the principle of separation of • When there is already a final judgment & accused is
powers by confining the legislature to rule-making & serving sentence, remedy is to file petition of habeas
thereby forestalling legislative usurpation of judicial corpus, alleging that his continued imprisonment is
functions. illegal pursuant to said statute & praying that he be
• History: Bill of Attainder was employed to suppress forthwith released.
unpopular causes & political minorities, and this is the
evil sought to be suppressed by the Constitution. • Exceptions to the rule:
• How to spot a Bill of Attainder: o When accused is habitual delinquent
o Singling out of a definite minority o When statute provides that it shall not apply
o Imposition of a burden on it to existing actions or pending cases
o A legislative intent o Where accused disregards the later law &
o retroactive application to past conduct suffice invokes the prior statute under which he was
to stigmatize prosecuted.
• Bill of Attainder is objectionable because of its ex post • General rule: An amendatory statute rendering an
facto features. illegal act prior to its enactment no longer illegal is
given retroactive effect does not apply when
• Accordingly, if a statute is a Bill of Attainder, it is also amendatory act specifically provides that it shall only
an ex post facto law. apply prospectively.
When penal laws applied retroactively Statutes substantive in nature
• Penal laws cannot be given retroactive effect, except • Substantive law
when they are favorable to the accused. o creates, defines or regulates rights concerning
• Art.22 of RPC “penal laws shall have a retroactive life, liberty or property, or the powers of
effect insofar as they favor the person guilty of a agencies or instrumentalities for
felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is administration of public affairs.
defined in Rule 5 Art 62 of the Code , although at the o that part of law which creates, defines &
time of the application of such laws a final sentence
regulates rights, or which regulates rights or
has been pronounced and the convict is serving the
duties which give rise to a cause of action
o that part of law which courts are established
• This is not an ex post facto law. to administer
• Exception to the general rule that all laws operate o when applied to criminal law: that which
prospectively. declares which acts are crimes and prescribe
• Rule is founded on the principle that: the right of the the punishment for committing them
state to punish and impose penalty is based on the o Cannot be construed retroactively as it might
principles of justice. affect previous or past rights or obligations
• Favorabilia sunt amplianda, adiiosa restrigenda – • Substantive rights
Conscience and good law justify this exception. o One which includes those rights which one
• Exception was inspired by sentiments of humanity and enjoys under the legal system prior to the
accepted by science. disturbance of normal relations.
• 2 laws affecting the liability of accused: • Cases with substantive statutes:
o In force at the time of the commission of the
crime – during the pendency of the criminal Tolentino v. Azalte
action, a statute is passed • In the absence of a contrary intent, statutes which lays
 reducing the degree of penalty down certain requirements to be complied with be fore
 eliminating the offense itself a case can be brought to court.
 removing subsidiary imprisonment
in case of insolvency to pay the civil Espiritu v. Cipriano
liability • Freezes the amount of monthly rentals for residential
 prescription of the offense houses during a fixed period
• such statute will be applied
retroactively and the trial Spouses Tirona v. Alejo
court before the finality of • Law: Comprehensive Land Reform Law granting
judgment or the appellate complainants tenancy rights to fishponds and pursuant
court on appeal from such to which they filed actions to assert rights which
subsequently amended to exempt fishponds from substantive laws that affect pending actions or
coverage of statute proceedings.
• Held: Amendatory law is substantive in nature as it
exempts fishponds from its coverage. Qualification of rule
• A substantive law will be construed as applicable to
• Test for procedural laws: pending actions if such is the clear intent of the law.
o if rule really regulates procedure, the judicial • To promote social justice or in the exercise of police
process for enforcing rights and duties power, is intended to apply to pending actions
recognized by substantive law & for justly • As a rule, a case must be decided in the light of the law
administering remedy and redress for a as it exists at the time of the decision of the appellate
disregard or infraction of them court, where the statute changing the law is intended to
o If it operates as a means of implementing an be retroactive and to apply to pending litigations or is
existing right retroactive in effect
• Test for substantive laws: • This rule is true though it may result in the reversal of
o If it takes away a vested right a judgment which as correct at the time it was rendered
o If rule creates a right such as right to appeal by the trial court. The rule is subject to the limitation
concerning constitutional restrictions against
Fabian v. Desierto impairment of vested rights
• Where to prosecute an appeal or transferring the venue
of appeal is procedural Statutes affecting vested rights
• Example: • A vested right or interest may be said to mean some
o Decreeing that appeals from decisions of the right or interest in property that has become fixed or
Ombudsman in administrative actions be established and is no longer open to doubt or
made to the Court of Appeals controversy
o Requiring that appeals from decisions of the • Rights are vested when the right to enjoyment, present
NLRC be filed with the Court of Appeals or prospective, has become the property of some
• Generally, procedural rules are retroactive and are particular person or persons, as a present interest
applicable to actions pending and undermined at the • The right must be absolute, complete and
time of the passage of the procedural law, while unconditional, independent of a contingency
substantive laws are prospective • A mere expectancy of future benefit or a contingent
interest in property founded on anticipated continuance
Effects on pending actions of existing laws does not constitute a vested right
• Statutes affecting substantive rights may not be given • Inchoate rights which have not been acted on are not
retroactive operation so as to govern pending vested

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

• Rule against the retroactive operation of statutes in Benguet Consolidated Mining Co v. Pineda
general applies more strongly with respect to
• While a person has no vested right in any rule of law
entitling him to insist that it shall remain unchanged U.S. Tobacco Corp. v. Lina
for his benefit, nor has he a vested right in the • The importation of certain goods without import
continued existence of a statute which precludes its license which was legal under the law existing at the
change or repeal, nor in any omission to legislate on a time of shipment is not rendered illegal by the fact that
particular matter, a subsequent statute cannot be so when the goods arrived there was already another law
applied retroactively as to impair his right that accrued prohibiting importation without import license. To rule
under the old law. otherwise in any of these instances is to impair the
• Statutes must be so construed as to sustain its obligations of contract.
constitutionality, and prospective operation will be
presumed where a retroactive application will produce

Peo v. Patalin Illustration of rule

• The abolition of the death penalty and its subsequent
re-imposition. Those accused of crimes prior to the re- People v. Zeta
imposition of the death penalty have acquired vested • Existing law: authorizing a lawyer to charge not more
rights under the law abolishing it. than 5% of the amount involved as attorney’s fees in
• Courts have thus given statutes strict constriction to the prosecution of certain veteran’s claim.
prevent their retroactive operation in order that the • Facts: A lawyer entered into a contract for
statutes would not impair or interfere with vested or professional services on contingent basis and actually
existing rights. Accused-appellant ‘s rights to be rendered service to its successful conclusion. Before
benefited by the abolition of the death penalty accrued the claim was collected, a statute was enacted.
or attached by virtue of Article 22 of the Revised Penal • New statute: Prohibiting the collection of attorney’s
Code. This benefit cannot be taken away from them. fees for services rendered in prosecuting veteran’s
Statutes affecting obligations of contract • Issue: For collecting his fees pursuant to the contract
• Any contract entered into must be in accordance with, for professional services, the lawyer was prosecuted
and not repugnant to, the applicable law at the time of for violation of the statute.
execution. Such law forms part of, and is read into, the • Held: In exonerating the lawyer, the court said: the
contract even without the parties expressly saying so. statute prohibiting the collection of attorney’s fees
• Laws existing at the time of the execution of contracts cannot be applied retroactively so as to adversely
are the ones applicable to such transactions and not affect the contract for professional services and the
later statutes, unless the latter provide that they shall fees themselves.
have retroactive effect. • The 5% fee was contingent and did not become
• Later statutes will not, however, be given retroactive absolute and unconditional until the veteran’s claim
effect if to do so will impair the obligation of had been collected by the claimant when the statute
contracts, for the Constitution prohibits the enactment was already in force did no alter the situation.
of a law impairing the obligations of contracts. • For the “distinction between vested and absolute rights
• Any law which enlarges, abridges, or in any manner is not helpful and a better view to handle the problem
changes the intention of the parties necessarily impairs is to declare those statutes attempting to affect rights
the contract itself which the courts find to be unalterable, invalid as
• A statute which authorizes any deviation from the arbitrary and unreasonable, thus lacking in due
terms of the contract by postponing or accelerating the process.”
period of performance which it prescribes, imposing • The 5% fee allowed by the old law is “not
conditions not expressed in the contract, or dispensing unreasonable. Services were rendered thereunder to
with those which are however minute or apparently claimant’s benefits. The right to fees accrued upon
immaterial in their effect upon the contract, impairs the such rendition. Only the payment of the fee was
obligation, and such statute should not therefore be contingent upon the approval of the claim; therefore,
applied retroactively. the right was contingent. For a right to accrue is one
• As between two feasible interpretations of a statute, thing; enforcement thereof by actual payment is
the court should adopt that which will avoid the another. The subsequent law enacted after the
impairment of the contract. rendition of the services should not as a matter of
• If the contract is legal at it inception, it cannot be simple justice affect the agreement, which was entered
rendered illegal by a subsequent legislation. into voluntarily by the parties as expressly directed in
• A law by the terms of which a transaction or the previous law. To apply the new law to the case of
agreement would be illegal cannot be given retroactive defendant-appellant s as to deprive him of the agreed
effect so as to nullify such transactions or agreement fee would be arbitrary and unreasonable as destructive
executed before said law took effect. of the inviolability of contracts, and therefore invalid
as lacking in due process; to penalize him for require payment of the tax on such business for the
collecting such fees, repugnant to our sense of justice.” period prior to the amendment

Repealing and amendatory acts Buyco v. Philippine National Bank

• Statutes which repeal earlier or prior laws operate • Issue: can Buyco compel the PNB to accept his
prospectively, unless the legislative intent to give them backpay certificate in payment of his indebtedness to
retroactive effect clearly appears. the bank
• Although a repealing state is intended to be retroactive, • April 24, 1956- RA 897 gave Buyco the right to have
it will not be so construed if it will impair vested rights said certificate applied in payment of is obligation thus
or the obligations of contracts, or unsettle matters that at that time he offered to pay with his backpay
had been legally done under the old law. certificate.
• Repealing statutes which are penal in nature are • June 16, 1956, RA 1576 was enacted amending the
generally applied retroactively if favorable to the charter of the PNB and provided that the bank shall
accused, unless the contrary appears or the accused is have no authority to accept backpay certificate in
otherwise not entitled to the benefits of the repealing payment of indebtedness to the bank.
act. • Held: The Court favored Buyco. All statutes are
• While an amendment is generally construed as construed as having prospective operation, unless the
becoming a part of the original act as if it had always purpose of the legislature is to give them retroactive
been contained therein , it may not be given a effect.
retroactive effect unless it is so provided expressly or • This principle also applies to amendments. RA 1576
by necessary implication and no vested right or does not contain any provision regarding its retroactive
obligations of contract are thereby impaired. effect. It simply states its effectivity upon approval.
• The general rule on the prospective operation of The amendment therefore, has no retroactive effect,
statutes also applies to amendatory acts and the present case should be governed by the law at
the time the offer in question was made
San Jose v. Rehabilitation Finance Corp • The rule is familiar that after an act is amended, the
• RA 401 which condoned the interest on pre-war debts original act continues to be in force with regard to all
from January 1, 1942 to December 31, 1945 amended rights that had accrued prior to such amendment.
by RA 671 on June 16, 1951 by virtually reenacting
the old law and providing that “if the debtor, however, Insular Government v. Frank
makes voluntary payment of the entire pre-war unpaid • Where a contract is entered into by the parties on the
principal obligation on or before December 31, 1952, basis of the law then prevailing, the amendment of said
the interest on such principal obligation law will not affect the terms of said contract.
corresponding from January 1, 1946 to day of • The rule applies even if one of the contracting parties
payment are likewise condoned” is the government
• Held: a debtor who paid his pre-war obligation
together with the interests on March 14, 1951 or before STATUTES GIVEN RETROACTIVE EFFECT
the amendment was approved into law, is not entitled
to a refund of the interest paid from January 1, 1946 to Procedural laws
March 14, 1951 the date the debtor paid the obligation. • The general law is that the law has no retroactive
• Reason: effect.
o “makes voluntary payment” – denotes a • Exceptions:
present or future act; thereby not retroactively o procedural laws
o “unpaid principal obligation” and “condone” o curative laws, which are given retroactive
– imply that amendment does not cover operation
refund of interests paid after its approval. • Procedural laws
o adjective laws which prescribe rules and
CIR v. La Tondena forms of procedure of enforcing rights or
• Statute: imposes tax on certain business activities is obtaining redress for their invasion
amended by eliminating the clause providing a tax on o they refer to rules of procedure by which
some of such activities, and the amended act is further courts applying laws of all kinds can properly
amended, after the lapse of length of time, by restoring administer injustice
the clause previously eliminated, which requires that o they include rules of pleadings, practice and
the last amendment should not be given retroactive evidence
effect so as to cover the whole period. o Applied to criminal law, they provide or
regulate the steps by which one who commits
Imperial v. CIR a crime is to be punished.
• An amendment which imposes a tax on a certain o Remedial statutes or statutes relating to
business which the statute prior to its amendment does modes of procedure- which do not create new
not tax, may not be applied retroactively so as to or take away vested rights, but only operate in
furtherance of the remedy or confirmation of • Issue: whether a trial court has been divested of
the rights already existing, do not come jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending case
within the legal conception of a retroactive involving a mining controversy upon the promulgation
law, or the general rule against the retroactive of PD 1281 which vests upon the Bureau of Mines
operation of statutes. Original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide
o A new statute which deals with procedure mining controversies.
only is presumptively applicable to all actions • Held: Yes. PD 1281 is a remedial statute.
– those which have accrued or are pending. • It does not create new rights nor take away rights that
o Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts are already vested. It only operates in furtherance of a
will be construed as applicable to actions remedy or confirmation of rights already in existence.
pending and undetermined at the time of their • It does not come within the legal purview of a
passage. prospective law. As such, it can be given retrospective
• The retroactive application of procedural laws is not: application of statutes.
o violative of any right of a person who may • Being procedural in nature, it shall apply to all actions
feel that he is adversely affected; pending at the time of its enactment except only with
o nor constitutionally objectionable. respect to those cases which had already attained h
• Rationale: no vested right may attach to, nor arise character of a final and executor judgment.
from, procedural laws. • Were it not so, the purpose of the Decree, which is to
• A person has no vested right in any particular remedy, facilitate the immediate resolution of mining
and a litigant cannot insist on the application to the controversies by granting jurisdiction to a body or
trial of his case, whether civil or criminal, of any other agency more adept to the technical complexities of
than the existing rules of procedure mining operations, would be thwarted and rendered
Alday v. Camillon • Litigants in a mining controversy cannot be permitted
• Provision: BP 129- “nor record or appeal shall be to choose a forum of convenience.
required to take an appeal.” (procedural in nature and • Jurisdiction is imposed by law and not by any of the
should be applied retroactively) parties to such proceedings.
• Issue: Whether an appeal from an adverse judgment • Furthermore, PD 1281 is a special law and under a
should be dismissed for failure of appellant to file a well-accepted principle in stat con, the special law will
record on appeal within 30 days as required under the prevail over a stature or law of general application.
old rules.
• Such question is pending resolution at the time the BP Subido, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan
Blg took effect, became academic upon effectivity of • Court ruled that RA 7975, in further amending PD
said law because the law no longer requires the filing a 1606 as regards the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction,
of a record on appeal and its retroactive application mode of appeal, and other procedural matters, is
removed the legal obstacle to giving due course to the clearly a procedural law, i.e. one which prescribes
appeal. rules and forms of procedure enforcing rights or
obtaining redress for their invasion, or those which
Castro v. Sagales refer to rules of procedure by which courts applying
• A statute which transfers the jurisdiction to try certain laws of all kinds can properly administer justice.
cases from a court to a quasi-judicial tribunal is a • The petitioners suggest that it is likewise curative or
remedial statute that is applicable to claims that remedial statute, which cures defects and adds to the
accrued before its enactment but formulated and filed means of enforcing existing obligations.
after it took effect. • As a procedural and curative statute, RA 7975 may
• Held: The court that has jurisdiction over a claim at the validly be given retroactive effect, there being no
time it accrued cannot validly try to claim where at the impairment of contractual or vested rights.
time the claim is formulated and filed, the jurisdiction
to try it has been transferred by law to a quasi-judicial Martinez v. People
tribunal. • Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be
• Rationale: for even actions pending in one court may construed as applicable to actions pending and
be validly be taken away and transferred to another undermined at the time of their passage.
and no litigant can acquire a vested right to be heard • Where at the time the action was filed, the Rules of
by one particular court. Court: “a petition to be allowed to appeal as pauper
shall not be entertained by the appellate court”
• An administrative rule: which is interpretative of a pre- • The subsequent amendment thereto deleting the
existing statue and not declarative of certain rights sentence implies that the appellate court is no longer
with obligations thereunder is given retroactive effect prohibited from entertaining petitions to appear as
as of the date of the effectivity of the statute. pauper litigants, and may grant the petition then
pending action, so long as its requirements are
Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development Corp. v. CA complied with.
They make valid that which, before the enactment of
Exceptions to the rule the statute, was invalid.
• The rule does not apply where: • Their purpose is to give validity to acts done that
o the statute itself expressly or by necessary would have been invalid under existing laws, as if
implication provides that pending actions are existing laws have been complied with
excepted from it operation, or where to apply
it to pending proceedings would impair Frivaldo v. COMELEC
vested rights • (rested the definition of curative statutes)
o Courts may deny the retroactive application
of procedural laws in the event that to do so • Tolentino
would not be feasible or would work o those which undertake to cure errors&
injustice. irregularities, thereby validating judicial
o Nor may procedural laws be applied judicial or administrative proceedings, acts of
retroactively to pending actions if to do so public officers, or private deeds or contracts
would involve intricate problems of due which otherwise would not produce their
process or impair the independence of the intended consequences by reason of some
courts. statutory disability or failure to comply with
some technical requirement
Tayag v. CA
• Issue: whether an action for recognition filed by an • Agpalo
illegitimate minor after the death of his alleged parent o curative statutes are healing acts curing
when Art 285 of the Civil Code was still in effect and defects and adding to the means of enforcing
has remained pending Art 175 of the Family Code took existing obligations
effect can still be prosecuted considering that Art 175, o and are intended to supply defects abridge
which is claimed to be procedural in nature and superfluities in existing laws& curb certain
retroactive in application, does not allow filing of the evils
action after the death of the alleged parent. o by their very nature, curative statutes are
• Held: The rule that a statutory change in matters of retroactive and reach back to the past events
procedure may affect pending actions and proceedings, to correct errors or irregularities & to render
unless the language of the act excludes them from its valid & effective attempted acts which would
operation, is not so pervasive that it may be used to be otherwise ineffective for the purpose the
validate or invalidate proceedings taken before it goes parties intended
into effect, since procedure must be governed by the • Curative statutes are forms of retroactive legislations
law regulating it at the time the question of procedure which reach back on past events to correct errors or
arises especially where vested rights maybe irregularities & to render valid & effective attempted
prejudiced. acts which would be otherwise ineffective for the
• Accordingly, Art 175 of the Family Code finds no purpose the parties intended.
proper application to the instant case since it will Erectors, Inc. v. NLRC (hahhha for the petitioner)
ineluctably affect adversely a right of private • Statute: EO 111, amended Art 217 of the Labor Code
respondent and, consequentially, of the minor child she to widen the workers, access to the government for
represents, both of which have been vested with the redress of grievances by giving the Regional Directors
filing of the complaint in court. The trial court is, & the Labor Arbiters concurrent jurisdiction over cases
therefore, correct in applying the provisions of Art 285 involving money claims
of the Civil Code and in holding that private • Issue: Amendment created a situation where the
respondent’s cause of action has not yet prescribed.” jurisdiction of the RDs and LAs overlapped.
• Remedy: RA 6715further amended Art 217 by
Curative statutes delineating their respective jurisdictions. Under RA
• curative remedial statutes are healing acts 6715, the RD has exclusive jurisdiction over cases
• they are remedial by curing defects and adding to the involving claims, provided:
means of enforcing existing obligations o the claim is presented by an employer or
• the rule to curative statutes is that if the thing omitted person employed in domestic or household
or failed to be done, and which constitutes the defect services or household help under the Code.
sought to be removed or made harmless, is something o the claimant no longer being employed does
which the legislature might have dispensed with by a not seek reinstatement
previous statute, it may do so by a subsequent one o the aggregate money claim of the employee
• curative statutes are intended to supply defects, or househelper doesn’t exceed P5,000.
abridge superfluities in existing laws, and curb certain All other cases are within the exclusive jurisdiction of
evils. They are designed and intended, but has failed the Labor Arbiter.
of expected legal consequence by reason of some • Held: EO 111 & RA 6715 are therefore curative
statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. statutes.
• A curative statute is enacted to cure defects in a prior was cured by the retroactive application of his
law or to validate legal proceedings, instruments or repatriation.
acts of public authorities which would otherwise be
void for want of conformity with certain existing legal Republic v. Atencio
requirements • Curative statute: one which confirms, refines and
validate the sale or transfer of a public land awarded to
Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee a grantee, which a prior law prohibits its sale within a
• Statutes intended to validate what otherwise void or certain period & otherwise invalid transaction under
invalid marriages, being curative, will be given the old law.
retroactive effect.
Municipality of San Narciso, Quezon v. Mendez
Santos v. Duata • Statute: Sec. 442(d) of the Local Government Code of
• Statute which provides that a contract shall presumed 1991, provides that municipal districts organized
an equitable mortgage in any of the cases therein pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders
enumerated, and designed primarily to curtail evils & which have their respective sets of elective
brought about by contracts of sale with right of municipal officials holding at the time of the
repurchase, is remedial in nature & will be applied effectivity of the code shall henceforth be considered
retroactively to cases arising prior to the effectivity of as a regular municipalities
the statute. • This is a curative statute as it validates the creation of
• municipalities by EO which had been held to be an
invalid usurpation of legislative power.
Abad v. Phil American General Inc.
• Where at the time action is filed in court the latter has Tatad v. Garcia Jr.
no jurisdiction over the subject matter but a subsequent • Issue: Where there is doubt as to whether government
statute clothes it with jurisdiction before the matter is agency under the then existing law, has the authority to
decided. enter intoa negotiated contract for the construction of a
• The statute is in the nature of a curative law with government project under the build-lease-and transfer
retroactive operation to pending proceedings and cures scheme
the defect of lack of jurisdiction of the court at the • Held: The subsequent enactment of a statute which
commencement of the action. recognizes direct negotiation of contracts under such
arrangement is a curative statute.
• As all doubts and procedural lapses that might have
Legarda v. Masaganda attended the negotiated contract have been cured by
• Where a curative statute is enacted after the court has the subsequent statute
rendered judgment, which judgment is naturally void
as the court has at the time no jurisdiction over the Limitations of rule
subject of the action, the enactment of the statute • remedial statutes will not be given retroactive effect if
conferring jurisdiction to the court does not validate to do so would impair the obligations of contract or
the void judgment for the legislature has no power to disturb vested rights
make a judgment rendered without jurisdiction of a • only administrative or curative features of the statute
valid judgment. as will not adversely affect existing rights will be
given retroactive operation
Frivaldo v. COMELEC • the exception to the foregoing limitations of the rule is
• (an example considered curative & remedial as well as a remedial or curative statute which is enacted as a
one which creates new rights & new remedies, police power measure
generally held to e retroactive in nature- PD 725, • Statutes of this type may be given retroactive effect
which liberalizes the procedure of repatriation) even though they impair vested rights or the
• Held: PD 725 & the re-acquisition of the Filipino obligations of contract, if the legislative intent is to
citizenship by administrative repatriation pursuant to give them retrospective operation
said decree is retroactive. • Rationale: The constitutional restriction against
impairment against obligations of contract or vested
De Castro v. Tan rights does not preclude the legislature from enacting
• Held: what has been given retroactive effect in statutes in the exercise of its police power
Frivaldo is not only the law itself but also Phil.
Citizenship re-acquired pursuant to said law to the date Police power legislations
of application for repatriation, which meant that his • as a rule, statutes which are enacted in the exercise of
lack of Filipino citizenship at the time he registered as police power to regulate certain activities, are
a voter, one of the qualification is as a governor, or at applicable not only to those activities or transactions
the time he filed his certificate of candidacy for coming into being after their passage, but also to those
governorship, one of the qualification is as a governor, already in existence
• Rationale: the non-impairment of the obligations of right to bring an action is founded on law which has
contract or of vested rights must yield to the legitimate become vested before the passage of the new statute of
exercise of power, by the legislature, to prescribe limitations
regulations to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, good order, safety and general welfare of Apparently conflicting decisions on prescription
the people
• Any right acquired under a statute or under a contract Billones v. CIR
is subject to the condition that it may be impaired by • Issue: whether Sec. 7A of Common wealth Act 144,
the state in the legitimate exercise of its police power, amended by RA 1993, to the effect that “any action to
since the reservation of the essential attributes of enforce an cause (i.e. non payment of wages or
sovereign power is deemed read into every statute or overtime compensation) under this Act shall be
contract as a postulate of the legal order commenced within 3 years after such cause of action
accrued, otherwise it shall be forever barred. Provided,
Statutes relating to prescription however, that actions already commenced before the
• General rule: a statute relating to prescription of effective day of this Act shall not be affected by the
action, being procedural in nature, applies to all period herein prescribed.
actions filed after its effectivity. In other words, such a • As statute shortened the period of prescription from 6
statute is both: to 3 yrs. from the date the cause of action accrued, it
o prospective in the sense that it applies to was contended that to give retroactive effect would
causes that accrued and will accrue after it impair vested rights since it would operate to preclude
took effect, and the prosecution of claims that accrued more than 3 but
o retroactive in the sense that it applies to less than 6 yrs.
causes that accrued before its passage • Held: a statute of limitations is procedural in nature
• However, a statute of limitations will not be given and no vested right can attach thereto or arise
retroactive operation to causes of action that accrued therefrom.
prior to its enactment if to do so will remove a bar of • When the legislature provided that “actions already
limitation which has become complete or disturb commenced before the effectivity of this Act shall not
existing claims without allowing a reasonable time to be affected by the period herein prescribed,” it
bring actions thereon intended to apply the statute to all existing actions filed
after the effectivity of the law.
Nagrampa v. Nagrampa • Because the statute shortened the period within which
• Statute: Art. 1116 of the Civil Code: “prescription to bring an action & in order to violate the
already running before the effectivity of this Code constitutional mandate, claimants are injuriously
shall be governed by laws previously in force; but if affected should have a reasonable period of 1 yr. from
since the time this Code took effect the entire period time new statute took effect within which to sue on
herein required for prescription should elapse, the such claims.
present Code shall be applicable even though by the
former laws a longer period might be required.” Corales v. Employee’s Compensation Commission
• Held: The provision is retroactive since it applied to a • Same issue on Billones but Court arrived at a different
cause that accrued prior to its effectivity which when conclusion.
filed has prescribed under the new Civil Code even • Issue: Whether a claim for workmen’s compensation
though the period of prescription prescribed under the which accrued under the old Workmen’s
old law has not ended at the time the action is filed in Compensation Act (WCA) but filed under after March
court 31, 1975 is barred by the provision of the New Labor
• The fact that the legislature has indicated that the Code which repealed the WCA.
statute relating to prescription should be given • WCA requires that “workmen’s compensation claims
retroactive effect will not warrant giving it if it will accruing prior to the effectivity of this Code shall be
impair vested rights filed with the appropriate regional offices of the
• Statute of limitations prescribing a longer period to file Department of Labor not later than March 31, 1975,
an action than that specified under the law may not be otherwise shall be barred forever.”
construed as having retroactive application if it will • Held: Provision doesn’t apply to workmen’s
revive the cause that already prescribed under the old compensation that accrued before Labor Code took
statute for it will impair vested rights against whom the effect, even if claims were not filed not later than
cause is asserted. March 31, 1975.
• Statute which shorten the period of prescription & • Rationale: prescriptive period for claims which
requires that causes which accrued prior to its accrued under WCA as amended 10 yrs. which is “a
effectivity be prosecuted or filed not later than a right found on statute” & hence a vested right, that
specific date may not be construed to apply to existing cannot be impaired by the retroactive application of
causes which pursuant to the old law under which they the Labor Code.
accrued, will not prescribe until a much longer period
than that specified in the later enactment because the
Comparison of Billones and Corales vested under the old law and may not therefore be
Billones Corales • Stature shortening the period for taking appeals is to be
given prospective effect and may not be applies to
While Court said that such Court considered the right to pending proceedings in which judgment has already
right to bring an action prosecute the action that been rendered at the time of its enactment except if
accrued under the old law is accrued under the old law as there’s clear legislative intent.
not vested right, it did not say one founded on law & a
that the right is one protected vested right. Berliner v. Roberts
by the due process clause of • Where a statute shortened the period for taking appeals
the Constitution. form thirty days to fifteen days from notice of
judgment, an appeal taken within thirty days but
For BOTH cases: In solving Court construed the statute of beyond fifteen days from notice of judgment
how to safeguard the right to limitations as inapplicable to promulgated before the statute took effect is deemed
bring action whose the action that accrued before seasonably perfected.
prescriptive period to institute the law took effect.
it has been shortened by law? (It is generally held that the CHAPTER TEN: Amendment, Revision, Codification and
Gave the claimants whose court has no power to read Repeal
rights have been affected, one into the law something which
year from the date the law the law itself did not provide AMENDMENT
took effect within which to expressly or impliedly.
sue their claims. Corales case seems to be on ♥ Power to Amend
firmer grounds.  The legislature has the authority to amend, subject to
Prescription in criminal and civil cases constitutional requirements, any existing law.
• General rule: laws on prescription of actions apply as  Authority to amend is part of the legislative power to
well to crimes committed before the enactment as enact, alter and repeal laws.
afterwards. There is, however, a distinction between a  The SC in the exercise of its rule-making power or of
statute of limitations in criminal actions and that of its power to interpret the law, has no authority to
limitations in civil suits, as regards their construction. amend or change the law, such authority being the
• In CIVIL SUIT- statute is enacted by the legislature as exclusive to the legislature.
an impartial arbiter, between two contending parties.
In the construction of such statute, there is no ♥ How amendment effected
intendment to be made in favor of either party. Neither  Amendment – the change or modification, by deletion,
grants right to the other; there is therefore no grantor alteration, of a statute which survives in its amended
against whom no ordinary presumptions of form.
construction are to be made.
 The amendment of a statute is effected by the
• CRIMINAL CASES: the state is the grantor, enactment of an amendatory act modifying or altering
surrendering by act of grace its right to prosecute or some provisions of a statute either expressly or
declare that the offense is no longer subject of impliedly.
prosecution after the prescriptive period. Such statutes
 Express amendment – done by providing in the
are not only liberally construed but are applied
amendatory act that specific sections or provisions of a
retroactively if favorable to the accused.
statute be amended as recited therein or as common
indicated, “to read as follows.”
Statutes relating to appeals
• The right to appeal from an adverse judgment, other
♥ Amendment by implication
than that which the Constitution grants, is statutory and
 Every statute should be harmonized with other laws on
may be restricted or taken away
the same subject, in the absence of a clear
• A statute relating to appeals is remedial or procedural
in nature and applies to pending actions in which no
 Legislative intent to amend a prior law on the same
judgment has yet been promulgated at the time the
statute took effect. subject is shown by a statement in the later act that any
provision of law that is inconsistent therewith is
• Such statute, like other statutes, may not however be
modified accordingly.
construed retroactively so as to impair vested rights.
Hence, a statute which eliminates the right to appeal  Implied Amendment- when a part of a prior statute
embracing the same subject as the later may not be
and considers the judgment rendered in a case final
and unappealable, destroys the right to appeal a enforced without nullifying the pertinent provision of
the latter in which event, the prior act is deemed
decision rendered after the statute went into effect, but
NOT the right to prosecute an appeal that has been amended or modified to the extent of repugnancy.
perfected before the passage of the law, for in the latter
case, the right of the appellant to appeal has become Quimpo v. Mendoza
 Where a statute which requires that the annual
realty tax on lands or buildings be paid on or
before the specified date, subject to penalty of a  Deliberate selection of language in the amendatory act
percentage of the whole amount of tax in case of different from that of the original act indicates that the
delayed payment, is amended by authorizing legislature intended a change in the law or in its
payment of the tax in four equal installments to meaning.
become due on or before specified dates.
 The penalty provision of the earlier statute is Victorias Milling Co. v. SSS
modified by implication that the penalty for late  A statutory definition of term containing a general
payment of an installment under the later law will rule and an exception thereto is amended by
be collected and computed only on the installment eliminating the exception, the legislative intent is
that became due and unpaid, and not on the whole clear that the term should now include the
amount of annual tax as provided in the old exception within the scope of the general rule.
 Legislative intent to change the basis is clear when Parras v. Land Registration Commissions
the later law allowed payment in four installments.  Section of a statute requiring the exact payment of
publication fees in land registration proceedings,
People v. Macatanda except in cases where the value of the land does
 A statute punishing an act which is also a crime not exceed P50,000 is amended by deleting the
under the RPC provides a penalty as prescribed in excepting clause, it means that the statute as
the said Code, such statute is not a special law but amended now requires payment of the publication
an amendment by implication. fees regardless of the value of the land involved
 Suppression of the excepting clause amount to the
♥ When amendment takes effect withdrawal of the exemption allowed under the
 15 days following its publication in the Official original act.
Gazette or newspaper of general circulation, unless a
date is specified therein after such publication.

♥ How amendment is construed, generally ♥ Amendment Operates Prospectively

 Statute and amendment – read as a whole  An amendment will not be construed as having a
 Amendment act is ordinarily construed as if the retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided or the
original statute has been repealed and a new legislative intent to give it a retroactive effect is
independent act in the amended form had been necessarily implied from the language used and only if
adopted. no vested right is impaired.
 Amended act is regarded as if the statute has been
originally enacted in it amended form.
 Read in a connection with other sections as if all had Imperial v. Collector of Internal Revenue
been enacted in the same statute.  A statute amending a tax law is silent as to
 Where an amendment leaves certain portions of an act whether it operates retroactively, the amendment
unchanged, such portions are continued in force, with will not be giving retroactive effect so as to
the same meaning and effect they have before the subject to tax past transactions not subject to tax
amendment. under the original act.
 Where an amendatory act provides that an existing
statute shall be amended to read as recited in the Diu v. Court of Appeals
amendatory act, such portions of the existing law as  Statutes relating to procedure in courts are
are retained either literally or substantially applicable to actions pending and undetermined at
the time of their passage.
Estrada v. Caseda
 Where a statute which provides that it shall be in ♥ Effect of Amendment on Vested Rights
force for a period of four years after its approval,  After a statute is amended, the original act continues to
the four years is to be counted from the date the be in force with regard to all rights that had accrued
original statute was approved and not from the prior to the amendment or to obligations that were
date the amendatory act was amended. contracted under the prior act and such rights and
obligations will continue to be governed by the law
♥ Meaning of law changed by amendment before its amendment.
 An amended act should be given a construction  Not applied retroactively so as to nullify such rights.
different from the law prior to its amendment, for its is
presumed that the legislature would not have amended ♥ Effect of amendment on jurisdiction
it had not it not wanted to change its meaning.  Jurisdiction of a court to try cases is determined by the
 Prior to the introduction of the amendment, the statute law in force at the time the action is instituted.
had a different meaning which the amendment  Jurisdiction remains with the court until the case is
changed in all the particulars touching which a finally decided therein.
material change in the language of the later act exists.
Rillaroza v. Arciaga
 Absence of a clear legislative intent to the ♥ Generally
contrary, a subsequent statute amending a prior act  Purpose: to restate the existing laws into one statute
with the effect of divesting the court of and simply complicated provisions, and make the laws
jurisdiction may not be construed to operate but to on the subject easily found.
oust jurisdiction that has already attached under ♥ Construction to harmonize different provisions
the prior law.  Presumption: author has maintained a consisted
philosophy or position.
Iburaan v. Labes  The different provisions of a revised statute or code
 Where a court originally obtains and exercises should be read and construed together.
jurisdiction pursuant to an existing law, such  Rule: a code enacted as a single, comprehensive
jurisdiction will not be overturned and impaired statute, and is to be considered as such and not as a
by the subsequent amendment of the law, unless series of disconnected articles or provisions.
express prohibitory words or words of similar
import are used. Lichauco & Co. v. Apostol
 A irreconcilable conflict between parts of a
 Applies to quasi-judicial bodies revised statute or a code, that which is best in
accord with the general plan or, in the absence of
Erectors, Inc v. NLRC circumstances upon which to base a choice, that
 PD 1691 and 1391 vested Labor Arbiters with which is later in physical position, being the latest
original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases expression of legislative will, will prevail.
involving employer-employee relations, including
money claims arising out of any law or contract ♥ What is omitted is deemed repealed
involving Filipino workers for overseas  all laws and provisions of the old laws that are omitted
employment in the revised statute or code are deemed repealed,
 Facts: An overseas worker filed a money claim unless the statute or code provides otherwise
against his recruiter, and while the case is  Reason: revision or codification is, by its very nature
pending, EO 797 was enacted, which vested and purpose, intended to be a complete enactment on
POEA with original and exclusive jurisdiction the subject and an expression of the whole law
over all cases, including money claims, arising out thereon, which thereby indicates intent on the part of
of law or contract involving Filipino workers for the legislature to abrogate those provisions of the old
overseas employment. laws that are not reproduced in the revised statute or
 Issue: whether the decision of the labor arbiter in code.
favor of the overseas worker was invalid  Possible only if the revised statute or code was
 Held: the court sustained the validity of the intended to cover the whole subject to is a complete
decision and ruled that the labor arbiter still had and perfect system in itself.
the authority to decide the cease because EO 797b  Rule: a subsequent statute is deemed to repeal a prior
did not divest the labor arbiter his authority to law if the former revises the whole subject matter of
hear and decide the case filed by the overseas the former statute.
worker prior to its effectivity.
 When both intent and scope clearly evince the idea of
 Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined a repeal, then all parts and provision of the prior act
by the law in force at the time of the that are omitted from the revised act are deemed
commencement of the action; laws should only be repealed.
applied prospectively unless the legislative intent
to give them retroactive effect is expressly Mecano v. Commission on Audit
declared or is necessarily implied from the
 Claim for reimbursement by a government official
language used.
of medical and hospitalization expenses pursuant
to Section 699 of the Revised Administration
♥ Effect of nullity of prior or amendatory act Code of 1917, which authorizes the head of office
 Where a statute which has been amended is invalid, to case a reimbursement of payment of medical
nothing in effect has been amended and hospital expenses of a government official in
 The amendatory act, complete by itself, will be case of sickness or injury caused by or connected
considered as an original or independent act. directly with the performance of his official duty.
 CoA denied the claim on the ground that AC of
Government v. Agoncillo 1987 which revised the old AC, repealed Sec. 699
 Where the amendatory act is declared because it was omitted the revised code.
unconstitutional, it is as if the amendment did not  SC ruled that the legislature did not intend, in
exist, and the original statute before the attempted enacting the new Code, to repeal Sec. 699 of the
amend remains unaffected and in force. old code.
 “All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulation, or ♥ Repeal, generally
portions thereof, inconsistent with this Code are  Repeal: total or partial, express or implied
hereby repealed or modified accordingly.”  Total repeal – revoked completely
 New code did not expressly repeal the old as the  Partial repeal – leaves the unaffected portions of the
new Code fails to identify or designate the act to statute in force.
be repealed.  A particular or specific law, identified by its number of
 Two categories of repeal by implication title, is repealed is an express repeal.
 Provisions in the two acts on the same subject  All other repeals are implied repeals.
matter that are in irreconcilable conflict.  Failure to add a specific repealing clause indicates that
☺ Later act to the extent of the conflict the intent was not to repeal any existing law, unless an
constitutes an implied repeal of the earlier irreconcilable inconsistency and repugnancy exist in
 If the later act covers the whole subject of the the terms of the new and old laws, latter situation falls
earlier one and is clearly intended as a statute, it under the category of an implied repeal.
will operate to repeal the earlier law.  Repealed only by the enactment of subsequent laws.
 There is no irreconcilable conflict between the two  The change in the condition and circumstances after
codes on the matter of sickness benefits because the the passage of a law which is necessitated the
provision has not been restated in the New Code. enactment of a statute to overcome the difficulties
 The whereas clause is the intent to cover only those brought about by such change does not operate to
aspects of government that pertain to administration, repeal the prior law, nor make the later statute so
organization and procedure, and understandably inconsistent with the prior act as to repeal it.
because of the many changes that transpired in the
government structure since the enactment of the old ♥ Repeal by implication
code.  Where a statute of later date clearly reveals an
intention on the part of the legislature to abrogate a
♥ Change in phraseology prior act on the subject, that intention must be given
 It is a well settled rule that in the revision or effect.
codification of statutes, neither an alteration in  There must be a sufficient revelation of the legislative
phraseology nor the admission or addition of words in intent to repeal.
the later statute shall be held necessarily to alter the  Intention to repeal must be clear and manifest
construction of the former acts.  General rule: the latter act is to be construed as a
 Words which do not materially affect the sense will be continuation not a substitute for the first act so far as
omitted from the statute as incorporated in the revise the two acts are the same, from the time of the first
statute or code, or that some general idea will be enactment.
expressed in brief phrases.  Two categories of repeals by implication
 If there has been a material change or omission, which  Where provisions in the two acts on the same
clearly indicates an intent to depart from the previous subject matter are in an irreconcilable conflict and
construction of the old laws, then such construction as the later act to the extent of the conflict constitutes
will effectuate such intent will be adopted. an implied repeal of the earlier.
 If the later act covers the whole subject of the
♥ Continuation of existing laws. earlier one and is clearly intended as a substitute,
 A codification should be construed as the continuation it will operate similarly as a repeal of the earlier
of the existing statutes. act.
 The codifiers did not intend to change the law as it
formerly existed. ♥ Irreconcilable inconsistency
 The rearrangement of sections or parts of a statute, or  Implied repeal brought about by irreconcilable
the placing of portions of what formerly was a single repugnancy between two laws takes place when the
section in seprate sections, does not operate to change two statutes cover the same subject matter; they are so
the operation, effect of meaning of the statute, unless clearly inconsistent and incompatible with each other
the changes are of such nature as to manifest clearly that they cannot be reconciled or harmonized and both
and unmistakably a legislative intent to change the cannot be given effect, once cannot be enforced
former laws. without nullifying the other.
 Implied repeal – earlier and later statutes should
REPEAL embrace the same subject and have the same object.
 In order to effect a repeal by implication, the later
♥ Power to repeal statute must be so irreconcilably inconsistent and
 Power to repeal a law is as complete as the power to repugnant with the existing law that they cannot be
enact one. made to reconcile and stand together.
 The legislature cannot in and of itself enact  It is necessary before such repeal is deemed to exist
irrepealable laws or limit its future legislative acts. that is be shown that the statutes or statutory
provisions deal with the same subject matter and that and incompatible with each other that they
the latter be inconsistent with the former. cannot be reconciled or harmonized, and both
 the fact that the terms of an earlier and later provisions cannot be given effect, that one law cannot be
of law differ is not sufficient to create repugnance as to enforced without nullifying the other.
constitute the later an implied repeal of the former. ☺ The new Code does not cover not attempt to
Agujetas v. Court of Appeals the cover the entire subject matter of the old
 Fact that Sec 28 of RA 7166 pertaining to Code.
canvassing by boards of canvassers is silent as to ☺ There are several matters treated in the old
how the board of canvassers shall prepare the Code that are not found in the new Code.
certificate of canvass and as to what will be its (provisions on notary public; leave law,
basis, w/c details are provided in the second public bonding law, military reservations,
paragraph of Sec231 of the Omnibus Election claims for sickness benefits under section 699
Code, an earlier statute, “respective boards of and others)
canvassers shall prepare a certificate of canvass ☺ CoA failed to demonstrate that the provisions
duly signed and affixed with the imprint of the of the two Codes on the matter of the subject
thumb of the right hand of each member, claim are in an irreconcilable conflict.
supported by a statement of the votes and received ☺ There can no conflict because the provision
by each candidate in each polling place and on the on sickness benefits of the nature being
basis thereof shall proclaim as elected the claimed by petitioner has not been restated in
candidates who obtained the highest number of old Code.
votes coast in the provinces, city, municipality or ☺ The contention is untenable.
barangay, and failure to comply with this ☺ The fact that a later enactment may relate to
requirement shall constitute an election offense” the same subject matter as that of an earlier
 Did not impliedly repeal the second paragraph of statute is not of itself sufficient to cause an
Sec 231 of OEC and render the failure to comply implied repeal of the prior act new statute
with the requirement no longer an election may merely be cumulative or a continuation
offense. of the old one.
☺ Second Category: possible only if the revised
 Irreconcilable inconsistency between to laws statute or code was intended to cover the
embracing the same subject may also exist when the whole subject to be a complete and perfect
later law nullifies the reason or purpose of the earlier system in itself.
act, so that the latter law loses all meaning and ♦ Rule: a subsequent is deemed to repeal a
function. prior law if the former revises the whole
subject matter of the former statute.
Smith, Bell & Co. v. Estate of Maronilla ☺ When both intent and scope clearly evince the
 A prior law is impliedly repealed by a later act idea of a repeal, then all parts and provisions
where the reason for the earlier act is beyond of the prior act that are omitted from the
peradventure removed. revised act are deemed repealed.
☺ Before there can be an implied repeal under
 Repeal by implication – based on the cardinal rule that this category, it must be the clear intent of the
in the science of jurisprudence, two inconsistent laws legislature that later act be the substitute of
on the same subject cannot co-exist in one jurisdiction. the prior act.
☺ Opinion 73 s.1991 of the Secretary of Justice:
 There cannot be two conflicting law on the same
what appears clear is the intent to cover only
subject. Either reconciled or later repeals prior law.
those aspects of government that pertain to
 Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant (a later administration, organization and procedure,
law repeals the prior law on the subject which is understandably because of the many changes
repugnant thereto) that transpired in the government structure
since the enactment of RAC.
Mecano v. Commission on Audit ☺ Repeals of statutes by implication are not
 Issue: whether Sec. 699 of the Revised favored. Presumption is against the
Administrative Code has been repealed by the inconsistency and repugnancy for the
1987 Administrative Code. legislature is presumed to know the existing
 1987 Administration Code provides that: “All laws on the subject and not to have enacted
laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, or inconsistent or conflicting statutes.
portions thereof, inconsistent with this code are
hereby repealed or modified accordingly Ty v. Trampe
 Court ruled that the new Code did not repeal Sec  Issue: whether PD 921 on real estate taxes has
699: been repealed impliedly by RA 7160, otherwise
☺ Implied repeal by irreconcilable inconsistency know as the Local Government Code of 1991 on
takes place when two statutes cover the same the same subject.
subject matter, they are so clearly inconsistent  Held: that there has been no implied repeal
 Court: it is clear that the two law are not emoluments in accordance with the approved
coextensive and mutually inclusive in their scope compensation structure of the Corporation.”
and purpose. ☺ Sec.6 PD 1597 – “ exemptions
☺ RA 7160 covers almost all governmental notwithstanding, agencies shall report to the
functions delegated to local government units President, through the Budget Commission,
all over the country. on their position classification and
☺ PD 921 embraces only Metropolitan Manila compensation plans, policies, rates and other
Area and is limited to the administration of related details following such specifications
financial services therein. as may be prescribed by the President.”
☺ Sec.9 PD921 requires that the schedule of  Issue: whether Sec6 of PD1597, the two laws
values of real properties in the Metropolitan being reconcilable.
Manila Area shall be prepared jointly by the  While the Philippine Postal Corporation is
city assessors states that the schedules shall allowed to fix its own personnel compensation
be prepared by the provincial, city and structure through its board of directors, the latter
municipal assessors of the municipalities is required to follow certain standards in
within Metropolitan Manila Area for the formulating said compensation system, and the
different classes of real property situated in role of DBM is merely to ensure that the action
their respective local government units for taken by the board of directors complies the
enactment by ordinance of the sanggunian requirements of the law.
Cebu Institute of Technology v. Ople
Hagad v. Gozo-Dadole  Sec. 3(a) PD 451 and Sec. 42 of BP 232 illustrates
 Sec.19 RA 6670, the Ombudsman Act grants repeal by implication.
disciplinary authority to the Ombudsman to ☺ Sec 3(a) provides: “no increase in tuition or
discipline elective and appointive officials, except other school fees or charges shall be approved
those impeachable officers, has been repealed, RA unless 60% of the proceed is allocated to
7160, the Local Government Code, insofar as increase in salaries or wages of the member
local elective officials in the various officials of the faculty.”
therein named. ☺ BP 232: “each private school shall determine
 Held: both laws should be given effect because its rate of tuition and other school fees or
there is nothing in the Local Government Code to charges. The rates or charges adopted by
indicate that it has repealed, whether expressly or schools pursuant to this provision shall be
impliedly. collectible, and their application or use
☺ The two statutes on the specific matter in authorized, subject to rules and regulations
question are not so inconsistent, let alone promulgated by the Ministry of Education,
irreconcilable, as to compel us to uphold one Culture and Sports.”
and strike down the other.  Issue: whether Sec. 42 of BP 232 impliedly
☺ Two laws must be incompatible, and a clear repealed Sec. 3(a) of PD 451
finding thereof must surface, before the  Held: there was implied repeal because there are
inference of implied repeal may be drawn. irreconcilable differences between the two laws.
☺ Interpretare et concordare leges legibus, est
optimus interpretandi modus, i. e (every ♥ Implied repeal by revision or codification
statute must be so construed and harmonized  Revised statute is in effect a legislative declaration that
with other statutes as to form uniform system whatever is embraced in the new statute shall prevail
of jurisprudence. and whatever is excluded there from shall be
☺ the legislature should be presumed to have discarded.
known the existing laws on the subject and  Must be intended to cover the whole subject to be a
not to have enacted conflicting statutes. complete and perfect system in itself in order that the
prior statutes or part thereof which are not repeated in
Initia, Jr v. CoA the new statute will be deemed impliedly repealed.
 implied repeal will not be decreed unless there is
an irreconcilable inconsistency between two People v. Benuya
provisions or laws is RA 7354 in relation to PD  Where a statute is revised or a series of legislative
1597. acts on the same subject are revised or
☺ RA 7354 – in part of the Postmaster General, consolidated into one, covering the entire field of
subject to the approval of the Board of subject matter, all parts and provisions of the
Directors of the Philippines Postal former act or acts
Corporation, shall have the power to ☺ that are omitted from the revised act are
“determine the staffing pattern and the deemed repealed.
number of personnel, define their duties and
responsibilities, and fix their salaries and Joaquin v. Navarro
 Where a new statute is intended to furnish the  Where a law amends a specific section of a prior
exclusive rule on a certain subject, it repeals by act by providing that the same is amended so as to
implication the old law on the same subject, read as follows, which then quotes the amended
 Where a new statute covers the whole subject provision, what is not included in the reenactment
matter of an old law and adds new provisions and is deemed repealed.
makes changes, and where such law, whether it be  The new statute is a substitute for the original
in the form of an amendment or otherwise, is section and all matters in the section that are
evidently intended to be a revision of the old act, omitted in the amendment are considered
it repeals the old act by implication. repealed.

People v. Almuete ♥ Other forms of implied repeal

 Revision of the Agricultural Tenancy Act by the  The most powerful implication of repeal is that which
Agricultural Land Reform Code. arises when the later of two laws is expressed in the
 Sec 39 of ATC (RA 1199) “it shall be unlawful form of a universal negative.
for either the tenant or landlord without mutual  There is a clear distinction between affirmative and
consent, to reap or thresh a portion of the crop at negative statutes in regard to their repealing effects
any time previous to the date set, for its upon prior legislation.
threshing.”  Affirmative statute does not impliedly repeal the
 An action for violation of this penal provision is prior law unless an intention to effect a repeal is
pending in court, the Agricultural Land Reform manifest,
Code superseded the Agricultural Tenancy Act,  A negative statute repeals all conflicting
abolished share tenancy, was not reproduced in provisions unless the contrary intention is
the Agricultural Land Reform Code. disclosed.
 The effect of such non-reenactment is a repeal of  Legislative intent to repeal is also shown where it
Section 39. enacts something in general term and afterwards it
 It is a rule of legal hermeneutics that an act which passes another on the same subject, which though
purports to set out in full all that it intends to expressed in affirmative language introduces special
contain, operates as a repeal of anything omitted conditions or restrictions
which was contained in the old act and not  The subsequent statute will usually be considered
included in the act as revised. as repealing by implication the former regarding
 A substitute statute, and evidently intended as the the matter covered by the subsequent act.
substitute for it, operates to repeal the former  The express repeal of a provision of law from which
statute. an executive official derives his authority to enforce
another provision of the same law operates to repeal by
implication the latter and to deprive the official of the
Tung Chin Hui v. Rodriguez authority to enforce it.
 Issue: whether Sec.18 Rule 41 of the pre-1007  The enactment of a statute on a subject, whose purpose
Rules of Court, which provided the appeal in or object is diametrically opposed to that of an earlier
habeas corpus cases to be taken within 48 hours law on the same subject which thereby deprives it of
from notice of judgment, has been replaced by the its reason for being, operates to repeal by implication
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides in the prior law, even though the provisions of both laws
Sec. 3 Rule 41 thereof, that appeal from judgment are not inconsistent.
or final order shall be taken within 15 days from
receipt thereof, in view of the fact that the Sec. 18 ♥ “All laws or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this
was repealed, in accordance with the well-settled Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly,”
rule of statutory construction that provisions of an construed.
old law that were not reproduced in the revision  Nature of repealing clause
thereof covering the same subject are deemed  Not express repealing clauses because it fails to
repealed and discarded identify or designate the act or acts that are
 Held: SC in this case to abrogate those provisions intended to be repealed.
of the old laws that are not reproduced in the  A clause, which predicates the intended repeal
revised statute or Code. upon the condition that a substantial conflict must
be found on existing and prior acts of the same
♥ Repeal by reenactment subject matter.
 Where a statute is a reenactment of the whole subject  The presumption against implied repeal and the
in substitution of the previous laws on the matter, the rule on strict construction regarding implied repeal
latter disappears entirely and what is omitted in the apply ex proprio vigore.
reenacted law is deemed repealed.  Legislature is presumed to know the existing law
so that if repeal of particular or specific law or
Parras v. Land Registration Commission laws is intended, the proper step is to so express it.
 Issue: whether Central Bank Circular 416 has
Valdez v. Tuason impliedly repealed or amended Art 2209 of the
 “such a clause repeals nothing that would not be Civil Code
equally repealed without it.  Held: in answering the issue in the negative, the
 Either with or without it, the real question to be court ruled that repeals or even amendments by
determined is whether the new statute is in implication are not favored if two laws can be
fundamental and irreconcilable conflict with the fairly reconciled. The statutes contemplate
prior statute on the subject. different situations and apply to different
 Significance of the repealing clause: the presence of transactions involving loan or forbearance of
such general repealing clause in a later statute clearly money, goods or credits, as well as judgments
indicates the legislative intent to repeal all prior relating to such load or forbearance of money,
inconsistent laws on the subject matter whether or not goods, or credits, the Central Bank Circular
the prior law is a special law. applies.
 A later general law will ordinarily not repeal a  In cases requiring the payment of indemnities as
prior special law on the same subject, as the latter damages, in connection with any delay in the
is generally regarded as an exception to the performance of an obligation other than those
former. involving loan or forbearance of money, goods or
 With such clause contained in the subsequent credits, Art 2209 of the CC applies
general law, the prior special law will be deemed  Courts are slow to hold that one statute has repealed
repealed, as the clause is a clear legislative intent another by implication and they will not make such
to bring about that result. adjudication if they can refrain from doing so, or if
they can arrive at another result by any construction
♥ Repeal by implication not favored which is just and reasonable.
 Presumption is against inconsistency or repugnancy  Courts will not enlarge the meaning of one act in order
and, accordingly, against implied repeal to decide that is repeals another by implication, nor
 Legislature is presumed to know the existing laws on will they adopt an interpretation leading to an
the subject and not to have enacted inconsistent or adjudication of repeal by implication unless it is
conflicting statutes. inevitable and a clear and explicit reason thereof can
 A construction which in effect will repeal a statute be adduced.
altogether should, if possible, be rejected.
 In case of doubt as to whether a later statute has ♥ As between two laws, one passed later prevails
impliedly repealed a prior law on the same subject, the  Leges posteriors priores contrarias abrogant (later
doubt should be resolved against implied repeal. statute repeals prior ones which are not repugnant
US v. Palacio  Applies even if the later act is made to take effect
 Repeals by implication are not favored, and will ahead of the earlier law.
not be decreed unless it is manifest that the  As between two acts, the one passed later and going
legislature so intended. into effect earlier will prevail over one passed earlier
 As laws are presumed to be passed with and going into effect later.
deliberation and with full knowledge of all
existing ones on the subject
 It is but reasonable to conclude that in passing a Manila Trading & Supply Co. v. Phil. Labor Union
statute it was not intended to interfere with or  an act passed April 16th and in force April 21st was
abrogate any former law relating to some matter held to prevail over an act passed April 9 th and in
 Unless the repugnancy between the two is not effect July 4th of the same year.
only irreconcilable, but also clear and convincing,  And an act going into effect immediately has been
and flowing necessarily form the language used, held to prevail over an act passed before but going
the later act fully embraces the subject matter of into effect later.
the earlier, or unless the reason for the earlier act  Whenever two statutes of different dates and of
is beyond peradventure removed. contrary tenor are of equal theoretical application to a
 Every effort must be used to make all acts stand particular case, the statute of later date must prevail,
and if, by any reasonable construction, they can be being a later expression of legislative will.
reconciled, the later act will not operate as a repeal
of the earlier. Philippine National Bank v. Cruz
 As between the order of preference of credit set
NAPOCOR v. Angas forth in Articles 2241 to 2245 of the CC and that
 Illustrates the application of the principle that of Article 110 of the Labor Code, giving first
repeal or amendment by implication is not preference to unpaid wages and other monetary
favored. claims of labor, the former must yield to the
latter, being the law of the later enactment.
 The later law repeals an earlier one because it is the NAPOCOR v. Arca
later legislative will.  Issue: whether Sec. 2 of Com. Act 120 creating
 Presumption: the lawmakers knew the older law the NAPOCOR, a government-owned corporation,
and intended to change it. and empowering it “to sell electric power and to
 In enacting the older law, the legislators could not fix the rates and provide for the collection of the
have known the newer one and could not have charges for any services rendered: Provided, the
intended to change what they did not know. rates of charges shall not be subject to revision by
 CC: laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, the Public Service Act has been repealed by RA
not the other way around. 2677 amending the Public Service Act and
granting the Public Service Commission the
David v. COMELEC jurisdiction to fix the rate of charges of public
 Sec. 1 of RA 6679 provides that the term of utilities owned or operated by the government or
barangay officials who were to be elected on the government-owned corporations.
second Monday of May 1994 is 5 years  Held: a special law, like Com. Act 120, providing
for a particular case or class of cases, is not
 The later act RA 7160 Sec 43 (c) states that the repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its
term of office of barangay officials who were to
terms, like RA 2677, although the general statute
be elected also on the 2nd Monday of May 1994 is
are broad enough to include the cases embraced in
3 years.
the special law, in the absence of a clear intent to
 There being a clear inconsistency between the two repeal.
laws, the later law fixing the term barangay
 There appears no such legislative intent to repeal
officials at 3 years shall prevail.
or abrogate the provisions of the earlier law.
 The explanatory note to House Bill 4030 the later
♥ General law does not repeal special law, generally
became RA 2677, it was explicit that the
 A general law on a subject does not operate to repeal a jurisdiction conferred upon the Republic Service
prior special law on the same subject, unless it clearly Commission over the public utilities operated by
appears that the legislature has intended by the later government-owned or controlled corporations is
general act to modify or repeal the earlier special law. to be confined to the fixing of rates of such public
 Presumption against implied repeal is stronger when of services
two laws, one is special and the other general and this  The harnessing and then distribution and sale of
applies even though the terms of the general act are electric power to the consuming public, the
broad enough to include the matter covered by the contingency intended to be met by the legal
special statute. provision under consideration would not exist.
 Generalia specialibus non derogant – a general law  The authority of the Public Service Commission
does not nullify a specific or special law under RA 2677 over the fixing of rate of charges
 The legislature considers and makes provision for all of public utilities owned or operated by GOCC’s
the circumstances of the particular case. can only be exercised where the charter of the
 Reason why a special law prevails over a general law: government corporation concerned does not
the legislature considers and makes provision for all contain any provision to the contrary.
the circumstances of the particular case.
 General and special laws are read and construed Philippine Railway Co. v. Collector of Internal Revenue
together, and that repugnancy between them is  PRC was granted a legislative franchise to operate
reconciled by constituting the special law as an a railway line pursuant to Act No. 1497 Sec. 13
exception to the general law. which read: “In consideration of the premises and
 General law yields to the special law in the specific of the operation of this concession or franchise,
law in the specific and particular subject embraced in there shall be paid by the grantee to the Philippine
the latter. Government, annually, xxx an amount equal to
 Applies irrespective of the date of passage of the one-half of one per centum of the gross earnings
special law. of the grantee xxx.”
 Sec 259 of Internal Revenue Code, as amended by
♥ Application of rule RA 39, provides that “there shall be collected in
respect to all existing and future franchises, upon
Sto. Domingo v. De los Angeles the gross earnings or receipts from the business
 The court invariably ruled that the special law is covered by the law granting a franchise tax of 5%
not impliedly repealed and constitutes an of such taxes, charges, and percentages as are
exception to the general law whenever the specified in the special charters of the corporation
legislature failed to indicate in unmistakable terms upon whom suc franchises are conferred,
its intent to repeal or modify the prior special act. whichever is higher, unless the provisions hereof
preclude the imposition of a higher tax xxx.
 Issue: whether Section 259 of the Tax Code has
repealed Section 13 of Act 1497, stand upon a Sto. Domingo v. Delos Angeles
different footing from general laws.  The Civil Service law on the procedure for the
 Once granted, a charter becomes a private contract suspension or removal of civil service employees
and cannot be altered nor amended except by does not apply with respect to the suspension or
consent of all concerned, unless the right to alter removal of members of the local police force.
or repeal is expressly reserved.
 Reason: the legislature, in passing a special ♥ When special or general law repeals the other.
charter, has its attention directed to the special  There is always a partial repeal where the later act is a
facts and circumstances in the particular case in special law.
granting a special charter, for it will not be
considered that the legislature, by adopting a Valera v. Tuason
general law containing the provisions repugnant to  A subsequent general law on a subject has
the provisions of the charter, and without any repealed or amended a prior special act on the
mention of its intention to amend or modify the same subject by implication is a question of
charter, intended to amend, repeal or modify the legislative intent.
special act.  Intent to repeal may be shown in the act itself the
 The purpose of respecting the tax rates explanatory note to the bill before its passage into
incorporated in the charters, as shown by the law, the discussions on the floor of the legislature,
 Intent to repeal the earlier special law where the later
LLDA v. CA general act provides that all laws or parts thereof
 Issue: which agency of the government, LLDA or which are inconsistent therewith are repealed or
the towns and municipalities compromising the modified accordingly
region should exercise jurisdiction over the  If the intention to repeal the special law is clear, then
Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the the rule that the special law will be considered as an
issuance of permits for fishery privileges is exception to the general law does not apply; what
concerned. applies is the rule that the special law is deemed
 The LLDA statute specifically provides that the impliedly repealed.
LLDA shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue  A general law cannot be construed to have repealed a
permits for the use of all surface water for any special law by mere implication admits of exception.
projects in or affecting the said region, including
the operation of fish pens. City Government of San Pablo v. Reyes
 RA 7160 the LGC of 1991 grants the  Sec. 1 PD 551 provides that any provision of law
municipalities the exclusive authority to grant or local ordinance to the contrary, the franchise
fishery privileges in municipal waters. tax payable by all grantees of franchise to
 Held: two laws should be harmonized, and that the generate, distribute, and sell electric current for
LLA statute, being a special law, must be taken as light, heat, and power shall be 25 of their gross
an exception to RA 7160 a general law, receipts.
 Sec. 137 of the LGC states: Notwithstanding any
Garcia v. Pascual exemption granted by any law or other special
 Clerks of courts municipal courts shall be law, the province may impose a tax on business
appointed by the municipal judge at the expense enjoying a franchise at a rate not exceeding 50%
of the municipality and where a later law was of 1% of the gross annul receipts.
enacted providing that employees whose salaries  Held: the phrase is all-encompassing and clear
are paid out of the municipal funds shall be that the legislature intended to withdraw all tax
appointed by the municipal mayor, the later law exemptions enjoyed by franchise holders and this
cannot be said to have repealed the prior law as to intent is made more manifest by Sec. 193 of the
vest in the municipal mayor the power to appoint Code, when it provides that unless otherwise
municipal cleck of court, as the subsequent law provided in this code tax exemptions or incentives
should be construed to comprehend only granted to or presently enjoyed by all persons,
subordinate officials of the municipality and not except local water districts, cooperatives, and non-
those of the judiciary. stock and non-profit hospitals and educational
institutions, are withdrawn upon the effectivity of
Gordon v. CA the Code.
 A city charter giving real estate owner a period of
one year within which to redeem a property sold Gaerlan v. Catubig
by the city for nonpayment of realty tax from the  Issue: whether Sec. 12 of RA 170 as amended, the
date of such auction sale, being a special law, City Charter of Dagupan City, which fixed the
prevails over a general law granting landowners a minimum age qualification for members of the
period of two years to make the redemption.
city council at 23 years has been repealed by Sec.6 other source of prestation involving a local
of RA 2259 government unit shall be governed by the original
 Held: there was an implied repeal of Sec. 12 of the terms and conditions of said contracts or the law
charter of Dagupan City because the legislative in force at the time such rights were vested.
intent to repeal the charter provision is clear from
the fact that Dagupan City, unlike some cities, is ♥ On jurisdiction, generally
not one of those cities expressly excluded by the  Neither the repeal nor the explanation of the law
law from its operation and from the circumstance deprives the court or administrative tribunal of the
that it provides that all acts or parts thereof which authority to act on the pending action and to finally
are inconsistent therewith are repealed. decide it.
 The last statute is so broad in its terms and so  General rule: where a court or tribunal has already
clear and explicit in its words so as to show that it acquired and is exercising jurisdiction over a
was intended to cover the whole subject and controversy, its jurisdiction to proceed to final
therefore to displace the prior statute. determination of the cause is not affected by the new
legislation repealing the statute which originally
Bagatsing v. Ramirez conferred jurisidiction.
 A charter of a city, which is a special law, may be  Rule: once the court acquires jurisdiction over a
impliedly modified or superseded by a later controversy, it shall continue to exercise such
statute, and where a statute is controlling, it must jurisdiction until the final determination of the case
be read into the charter, notwithstanding any of its and it is not affected by subsequent legislation vesting
particular provisions. jurisdiction over such proceedings in another tribunal
 A subsequent general law similarly applicable to admits of exceptions.
all cities prevails over any conflicting charter  Repeal or expiration of a statute under which a court or
provision, for the reason that a charter must not be tribunal originally acquired jurisdiction to try and
inconsistent with the general laws and public decide a case, does not make its decision subsequently
policy of the state. rendered thereon null and void for want of authority,
 Statute remains supreme in all matters not purely unless otherwise provided.
local.  In the absence of a legislative intent to the contrary,
 A charter must yield to the constitution and the expiration or repeal of a statute does not render
general laws of the state. legal what, under the old law, is an illegal transaction,
so as to deprive the court or tribunal the court or
tribunal of the authority to act on a case involving such
Philippine International Trading Corp v. CoA illegal transaction.
 CoA contended that the PITC charter had been  Where a law declares certain importations to be illegal,
impliedly repealed by the Sec. 16 RA 6758 subject to forfeiture by the Commissioner of Customs
 Held: that there was implied repeal, the legislative pursuant to what the latter initiated forfeiture
intent to do so being manifest. proceedings, the expiration of the law during the
 PITC should now be considered as covered by pendency of the proceedings does not divest the
laws prescribing a compensation and position Commissioner of Customs of the jurisdiction to
classification system in the government including continue to resolve the case, nor does it have the effect
RA 6758. of making the illegal importation legal or of setting
aside the decision of the commissioner on the matter.
♥ Effects of repeal, generally
 Appeal of a statute renders it inoperative as of the date ♥ On jurisdiction to try criminal case
the repealing act takes effect.  Once a jurisdiction to try a criminal case is acquired,
 Repeal is by no means equivalent to a declaration that that jurisdiction remains with the court until the case is
the repealed statute is invalid from the date of its finally determined.
enactment.  A subsequent statute amending or repealing a prior act
 The repeal of a law does not undo the consequences of under which the court acquired jurisdiction over the
the operation of the statute while in force, unless such case with the effect of removing the courts’
result is directed by express language or by necessary jurisdiction may not operate to oust jurisdiction that
implication, except as it may affect rights which has already attached.
become vested when the repealed act was in force.
♥ On actions, pending or otherwise
Ramos v. Municipality of Daet  Rule: repeal of a statute defeats all actions and
 BP 337 known as the LGC was repealed by RA proceedings, including those, which are still pending,
7160 known as LGC of 1991, which took effect which arose out of or are based on said statute.
on January 1, 1992.  The court must conform its decision to the law then
 Sec. 5 (d) of the new code provides that rights and existing and may, therefore, reverse a judgment which
obligations existing on the date of the effectivity was correct when pronounced in the subordinate
of the new code and arising out of contracts or any tribunal, if it appears that pending appeal a statute
which was necessary to support the judgment of the  Simultaneous repeal and reenactment of a statute does
lower court has been withdrawn by an absolute repeal. not affect the rights and liabilities which have accrued
under the original statute, since the reenactment
♥ On vested rights neutralizes the repeal and continues the law in force
 repeal of a statute does not destroy or impair rights that without interruption.
accrued and became vested under the statute before its  The repeal of a penal law, under which a person is
repeal. charged with violation thereof and its simultaneous
 The statute should not be construed so as to affect the reenactment penalizing the same act done by him
rights which have vested under the old law then in under the old law, will not preclude the accused’s
force, or as requiring the abatement of actions prosecution, nor deprive the court of the jurisdiction to
instituted for the enforcement of such rights. try and convict him.
 Rights accrued and vested while a statute is in force
ordinarily survive its repeal. People v. Almuete
 The constitution forbids the state from impairing, by  Where the reenactment of the repealed law is not
enactment or repeal of a law, vested rights or the simultaneous such that the continuity of the
obligations of contract, except in the legitimate obligation and the sanction for its violation form
exercise of police power. the repealed law to the reenacted law is broken,
the repeal carries with it the deprivation of the
Buyco v. PNB court of its authority to try, convict, and sentence
 Where a statute gives holders of backpay the person charged with violation of the old law to
certificates the right to use said certificates to pay its repeal.
their obligations to government financial
institutions, the repeal of the law disallowing such ♥ Effect of repeal of penal laws
payment will not deprive holders thereof whose  Where the repeal is absolute, so that the crime no
rights become vested under the old law of the longer exists, prosecution of the person charged under
right to use the certificates to pay their obligations the old law cannot be had and the action should be
to such financial institutions. dismissed.
 Where the repeal of a penal law is total and absolute
Un Pak Leung v. Nigorra and the act which was penalized by a prior law ceases
 A statute gives an appellant the right to appeal to be criminal under the new law, the previous offense
from an adverse decision, the repeal of such is obliterated.
statute after an appellant has already perfected his  That a total repeal deprives the courts of jurisdiction to
appeal will not destroy his right to prosecute the try, convict, and sentence, persons, charged with
appeal not deprive the appellate court of the violations of the old law prior to the repeal.
authority to decide the appealed case.  Repeal of a statute which provides an indispensable
element in the commission of a crime as defined in the
Republic v. Migrino RPC likewise operates to deprive the court of the
 Issue: whether prosecution for unexplained wealth authority to decide the case, rule rests on the same
under RA 1379 has already prescribed. principle as that concerning the effect of a repeal of a
 Held: “in his pleadings, private respondent penal law without qualification.
contends that he may no longer be prosecuted  Reason: the repeal of a penal law without
because of the prescription. disqualification is a legislative act of rendering legal
 It must be pointed out that Sec. 2 RA 1379 should what is previously decreed as illegal, so that the person
be deemed amended or repealed by Art. XI, Sec. who committed it is as if he never committed an
15 of the 1987 Constitution. offence
 Exception:
♥ On contracts  where the repealing act reenacts the statute and
 Where a contract is entered into by the parties on the penalizes the same act previously penalized under
basis of the law then obtaining, the repeal or the repealed law, the act committed before
amendment of said law will not affect the terms of the reenactment continues to be a crime, and pending
contract nor impair the right of the parties thereunder. cases are not thereby affected.
 Where the repealing act contains a saving clause
♥ Effect of repeal of tax laws providing that pending actions shall not be
 Rule favoring a prospective construction of statutes is affected, the latter will continue to be prosecuted
applicable to statutes which repeal tax laws. in accordance with the old law.
 Such statute is not made retroactive, a tax assessed
before the repeal is collectible afterwards according to ♥ Distinction as to effect of repeal and expiration of law
the law in force when the assessment or levy was  In absolute repeal, the crime is obliterated and the
made. stigma of conviction of an accused for violation of the
penal law before its repeal is erased.
♥ Effect of repeal and reenactment
♥ Effect of repeal of municipal charter • primary task of constitutional construction is to
 The repeal of a charter destroys all offices under it, and ascertain the intent or purpose of the framers of the
puts an end to the functions of the incumbents. constitution as expressed in its language
 The conversation of a municipality into a city by the • purpose of our Constitution: to protect and enhance the
passage of a charter or a statute to that effect has the people’s interests
effect of abolishing all municipal offices then existing
under the old municipality offices then the existing Constitution construed as enduring for ages
under the old municipality, save those excepted in the • Constitution is not merely for a few years but it also
charter itself. needs to endure through a long lapse of ages
• WHY? Because it governs the life of the people not
♥ Repeal or nullity of repealing law, effect of only at the time of its framing but far into the
 When a law which expressly repeals a prior law is indefinite future
itself repealed, the law first repealed shall not thereby • it must be adaptable to various crisis of human affairs
revived unless expressly so provided but it must also be solid permanent and substantial
 Where a repealing statute is declared unconstitutional, • Its stability protects the rights, liberty, and property of
it will have no effect of repealing the former statute, the people (rich or poor)
the former or old statute continues to remain in force. • It must be construed as a dynamic process intended to
stand for a great length of time to be progressive and
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Constitutional Construction not static
• What it is NOT:
Constitution defined o It should NOT change with emergencies or
• fundamental law which sets up a form of government conditions
and defines and delimits the powers thereof and those o It should NOT be inflexible
of its officers, reserving to the people themselves o It should NOT be interpreted narrowly
plenary sovereignty
• Words employed should not be construed to yield
• written charter enacted and adopted by the people by
fixed and rigid answers because its meaning is applied
which a government for them is established
to meet new or changed conditions as they arise
• permanent in nature thus it does not only apply to
• Courts should construe the constitution so that it would
existing conditions but also to future needs
be consistent with reason, justice and the public
• basically it is the fundamental laws for the governance interest
and administration of a nation
• absolute and unalterable except by amendments How language of constitution construed
• all other laws are expected to conform to it • primary source in order to ascertain the constitution is
the LANGUAGE itself
Origin and history of the Philippine Constitutions • The words that are used are broad because it aims to
• 1935 Constitution cover all contingencies
• Words must be understood in their common or
People v. Linsangan – explained as to how this Constitution ordinary meaning except when technical terms are
came about: employee
• Tydings-Mcduffie Law- allowed the Filipinos to adopt o WHY? Because the fundamental law if
a constitutions but subject to the conditions prescribed essentially a document of the people
in the Act.
• Do not construe the constitution in such a way that its
o Required 3 steps:
meaning would change
 drafting and approval of the • What if the words used have both general and
constitution must be authorized restricted meaning?
 it must be certified by the President • Rule: general prevails over the restricted unless the
of the US contrary is indicated.
 it must be ratified by the people of
the Philippines at a plebiscite Ordillo v. COMELEC
• 1973 Constitution • Issue: whether the sole province of Ifugao can be
o adopted in response to popular clamor to meat validly constituted in the Cordillera Autonomous
the problems of the country Region under Section 15, Article 10
o March 16, 1967: Congress passed Resolution • Held: No. the keywords provinces, cities,
No.2, which was amended by Resolution No. municipalities and geographical areas connotes that a
4, calling a convention to propose region consists of more than one unit. In its ordinary
amendments to the Constitution sense region means two or more provinces, thus Ifugao
• 1987 Constitution cannot be constituted the Cordillera Autonomous
o after EDSA Revolution Region
o also known as the 1987 Charter
Primary purpose of constitutional construction Marcos v. Chief of Staff
• Issues: • Held: History shows that at that time the term of
o the meaning or scope of the words any court President Marcos was to terminate on December 30,
in Section 17 Article 17 of the 1935 1973, the new constitution was approved on November
Constitution 30, 1972 still during his incumbency and as being the
o Who are included under the terms inferior only incumbent president at the time of the approval it
court in section 2 Article 7 just means that the term incumbent president refers to
• Held: Section 17 of Article 17 prohibits any members Mr. Marcos
of the Congress from appearing as counsel in any • Justice Antonio concurring opinion states: the only
criminal case x x x. This is not limited to civil but also rational way to ascertain the meaning and intent is to
to a military court or court martial since the latter is read its language in connection with the known
also a court of law and justice as is any civil tribunal. conditions of affairs out of which the occasion for its
• Inferior courts are meant to be construed in its adoption had arisen and then construe it.
restricted sense and accordingly do not include court
martials or military courts for they are agencies of In re Bermudez
executive character and do not belong to the judicial • incumbent president referred to in section 5 of Article
branch unlike the term inferior court is. 18 of the 1987 constitution refers to incumbent
President Aquino and VP Doy Laurel
• Another RULE: words used in one part are to receive
the same interpretation when used in other parts unless Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary
the contrary is applied/specified. • issue: whether EO 284, which authorizes a cabinet
member, undersecretary and assistant secretary to hold
Lozada v COMELEC not more than two positions in the government and
• the term “Batasang Pambansa,” which means the GOCCs and to receive corresponding compensation
regular national assembly, found in many sections of therefore, violates Sec. 13, Art. 7 of the 1987
the 1973 Constitution refers to the regular, not to the Constitution
interim Batasang Pambansa • court examined the history of the times, the conditions
under which the constitutional provisions was framed
• words which have acquired a technical meaning before and its object
they are used in the constitution must be taken in that • held: before the adoption of the constitutional
sense when such words as thus used are construed provision, “there was a proliferation of newly-created
agencies, instrumentalities and GOCCs created by PDs
Aids to construction, generally and other modes of presidential issuances where
• apart from its language courts may refer to the Cabinet members, their deputies or assistants were
following in construing the constitution: designated to head or sit as members of the board with
o history the corresponding salaries, emoluments, per diems,
o proceedings of the convention allowances and other prerequisites of office
o prior laws and judicial decisions • since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987
o contemporaneous constructions Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the
o consequences of alternative interpret-tations President, Vice President, members of the Cabinet,
their deputies and assistants with respect to holding
• these aids are called extraneous aids because though multiple government offices or employment in the
their effect is not in precise rules their influence Government during their tenure, the exception to this
describes the essentials of the process (remember prohibition must be read with equal severity
preamble?  ganito lang din yun) • on its face, the language of Sec 13 Art. 7 is prohibitory
so that it must be understood as intended to be a
positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of
holding multiple government offices or employment

Realities existing at time of adoption; object to be accomplished Proceedings of the convention

• History basically helps in making one understand as to • RULE: If the language of the constitutional provision
how and why certain laws were incorporated into the is plain it is not necessary to resort to extrinsic aids
constitution. • EXCEPTION: when the intent of the framer doesn’t
• In construing constitutional law, the history must be appear in the text or it has more than one construction.
taken into consideration because there are certain • Intent of a constitutional convention member doesn’t
considerations rooted in the historical background of necessarily mean it is also the people’s intent
the environment at the time of its adoption (Legaspi v. • The proceedings of the convention are usually inquired
Minister of Finance) into because it sheds light into what the framers of the
constitution had in mind at that time. (refers to the
Aquino v. COMELEC debates, interpretations and opinions concerning
• Issue: what does the term “incumbent president in sec. particular provisions)
3 of Article 17 of the 1973 Constitution refer to?
Luz Farms v. Secretary of DAR ascertain the intent or purpose of the provision as
• Whether the term “agriculture” as used in the approved
Constitution embraces raising livestock, poultry and • HOWEVER mere deletion, as negative guides, cannot
swine prevail over the positive provisions nor is it
• Transcript of the deliberations of the Constitutional determinative of any conclusion.
Commission of 1986 on the meaning of “agriculture” • Certain provisions in our constitution (from 1935 to
clearly shows that it was never the intention of the the present) are mere reenactments of prior
framers of the Constitution to include livestock and constitutions thus these changes may indicate an intent
poultry industry in the coverage of the constitutionally- to modify or change the meaning of the old provisions.
mandated agrarian reform program of the Government
• Agricultural lands do not include commercial Galman v. Pamaran
industrial, and residential lands • the phrase” no person shall be x x x compelled in a
• Held: it is evident in the foregoing discussion that Sec criminal case be a witness against himself” is changed
2 of RA 6657 which includes “private agricultural in such a way the words criminal cases had been
lands devoted to commercial livestock, poultry and deleted simply means that it is not limited to criminal
swine raising” in the definition of “commercial farms” cases only.
is INVALID, to the extent of the aforecited agro-
industrial activities are made to be covered by the Consequences of alternative constructions
agrarian reform program of the State • consequences that may follow from alternative
construction of doubtful constitutional provisions
Montejo v. COMELEC constitute an important factor to consider in construing
• Whether the COMELEC has the power to transfer, by them.
resolution, one or more municipalities from one • if a provision has more than one interpretation, that
congressional district to another district within a construction which would lead to absurd, impossible
province, pursuant to Sec 2 of the Ordinance appended or mischievous consequences must be rejected.
to the 1987 Constitution • e.g. directory and mandatory interpretation: Art. 8 Sec
• The Court relied on the proceedings of the 15(1) requires judges to render decision within specific
Constitutional Commission on “minor adjustments” periods from date of submission for decision of cases
which refers only to the instance where a municipality (construed as directory because if otherwise it will
which has been forgotten (ano ba ‘to…kinalimutan ang cause greater injury to the public)
municipality) is included in the enumeration of the
composition of the congressional district and not to the Constitution construed as a whole
transfer of one municipality from one district to • provision should not be construed separately from the
another, which has been considered a substantive or rest it should be interpreted as a whole and be
major adjustment harmonized with conflicting provisions so as to give
them all force and effect.
Contemporaneous construction and writings • sections in the constitution with a particular subject
• may be used to resolve but not to create ambiguities should be interpreted together to effectuate the whole
• In construing statutes, contemporaneous construction purpose of the Constitution.
are entitled to great weight however when it comes to
the constitution it has no weight and will not be Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance
allowed to change in any way its meaning. • VAT Law, passage of bill
• Writings of delegates – has persuasive force but it • involved are article 6 Sec. 24 and RA 7716 (VAT
depends on two things: Law)
o if opinions are based on fact known to them • contention of the petitioner: RA 7716 did not originate
and not established it is immaterial exclusively from the HOR as required by the
o on legal hermeneutics, their conclusions may Constitution because it is the result of the
not be a shade better in the eyes of the law. consolidation of two distinct bills.
• Court: rejected such interpretation. (guys alam niyo na
Previous laws and judicial rulings naman to, that it should originate from HOR but it
• framers of the constitution is presumed to be aware of could still be modified by the Senate) 
prevailing judicial doctrines concerning the subject of
constitutional provisions. THUS when courts adopt
principles different from prior decisions it is presumed
that they did so to overrule said principle Mandatory or directory
• RULE: constitutional provisions are to be construed as
Changes in phraseology mandatory unless a different intention is manifested.
• Before a constitution is ratified it undergoes a lot of • Why? Because in a constitution, the sovereign itself
revisions and changes in phraseology (ex. deletion of speaks and is laying down rules which for the time
words) and these changes may be inquired into to
being at least are to control alike the government and “That in all things, GOD may be glorified”
the governed.
• failure of the legislature to enact the necessary
required by the constitution does not make the
legislature is illegal.

Prospective or retroactive
• RULE: constitution operates prospectively only unless
the words employed are clear that it applies

Magtoto v. Manguera
• Sec 20 of Article IV of the 1973 Constitution: “no
person shall be compelled to be a witness against
himself. x x x Any confession obtained in violation of
this section shall be inadmissible in evidence”
• Court held that this specific portion of the mandate
should be given a prospective application

Co v. Electric Tribunal
• Sec. 1(3) Art. 4 of the 1987 Constitution states that
those born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino
mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the age of majority” are citizens of the
Philippines has a retroactive effect as shown to the
clear intent of the framers through the language used

Applicability of rules of statutory construction

• Doctrines used in Sarmiento v. Mison is a good
example in which the SC applied a number of rules of
statutory construction.
• Issue: whether or not the appointment of a
Commissioner of Customs is subject to confirmation
by the Commission on appointments

Generally, constitutional provisions are self-executing

• RULE: constitutional provisions are self executing
except when provisions themselves expressly require
legislations to implement them.
are complete by themselves and becomes operative
without the aid of supplementary legislation.
• Just because legislation may supplement and add or
prescribe a penalty does not render such provision
ineffective in the absence of such legislation.
• In case of Doubt? Construe such provision as self
executing rather than non-self executing.

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS

• Issue: w/n the sale at public bidding of the majority
ownership of the Manila Hotel a qualified entity can
match the winning bid of a foreigner
• Held: resolution depends on whether the issue is self
executing or not. The court ruled that the qualified
Filipino entity must be given preference by granting it
the option to match the winning bid because the
provision is self executing.

- The End -