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Textbook: Statutory Construction by Agpalo


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Construction
The art or process of discovering and expounding the
meaning and intention of the authors of law, where that
intention is rendered doubtful by reason of the ambiguity in
its language or the fact that the given case is not explicitly
provided for in the law.
Purpose: to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the law,
to determine legislative intent.
Rules of Statutory Construction
These are tools used to ascertain legislative intent. They are
not rules but mere axioms of experience.
Legislative Intent
The essence of the law. The intent of the legislature is the
law, and the key to, and the controlling factor in, its
construction and interpretation.
The primary source of legislative intent is the statute itself.
Where the words or phrases of a statute are not obscure or
ambiguous, its meaning and the intention of the legislature
must be determined from the language employed.
Legislative Purpose
The reason why a particular statute was enacted by the
legislature.
Legislative Meaning
What the law, by its language, means: what it comprehends,
what it covers or embraces, what it limits or confines.
In construing a statute, it is not enough to ascertain the
intention or meaning of the statute; it is also necessary to
see whether the intention or meaning has been expressed in
such a way as to give it legal effect and validity.

The duty and power to interpret or construe a statute or the


Constitution belongs to the judiciary.
The SC construes the applicable law in controversies which
are ripe for judicial resolution.

The court does not interpret law in a vacuum.


The legislature has no power to overrule the interpretation or
construction of a statute or the Constitution by the Supreme
Court, for interpretation is a judicial function assigned to the
latter by the fundamental law.
The SC may, in an appropriate case, change or overrule its
previous construction.

A condition sine qua non before the court may construe or


interpret a statute, is that there be doubt or ambiguity in its
language. The province of construction lies wholly within the
domain of ambiguity. Where there is no ambiguity in the
words of a statute, there is no room for construction.

A statute is ambiguous when it is capable of being


understood by reasonably well-informed persons in either of
two senses.
Where the law is free from ambiguity, the court may not
introduce exceptions or conditions where none is provided.
A meaning that does not appear nor is intended or reflected
in the very language of the statute cannot be placed therein
be construction.
Where the two statutes that apply to a particular case, that
which was specifically designed for the said case must
prevail over the other.
When the SC has laid down a principle of law as applicable to
a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and
apply it to all future cases where the facts are substantially
the same.
Judicial rulings have no retroactive effect.
The court may issue guidelines in applying the statute, not to
enlarge or restrict it but to clearly delineate what the law
requires. This is not judicial legislation but an act to define
what the law is.

Limitations on power to construe


Courts may not enlarge nor restrict statutes.
Courts may not be influenced by questions of wisdom.
AIDS TO CONSTRUCTION

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Textbook: Statutory Construction by Agpalo
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To ascertain the true intent of the statute, the court may avail of
intrinsic aids, or those found in the printed page of the statute, and
extrinsic aids, those extraneous facts and circumstances outside the
printed page.

These are convenient index to the contents of the


provisions of a statute; they may be consulted in case of
doubt in interpretation.
They are not entitled to much weight.

1. Title
The title may indicate the legislative extent or restrict the
scope of the law, and a statute couched in a language of
doubtful import will be construed to conform to the
legislative intent as disclosed in its title.
When the text of the statute is clear and free form doubt,
it is improper to resort to its title to make it obscure.

7. Lingual text
Unless otherwise provided, where a statute is officially
promulgated in English and Spanish, the English text shall
govern, but in case of ambiguity, omission or mistake, the
Spanish may be consulted to explain the English text.
The language in which a statute is written prevails over
its translation.

2. Preamble
That part of the statute written immediately after its title,
which states the purpose, reason or justification for the
enactment of a law. It is usually expressed in the form of
whereas clauses.
It is not an essential part of the statute. But it may, when
the statute is ambiguous, be resorted to clarify the
ambiguity, as a key to open the minds of the lawmakers
as to the purpose of the statute.

8. Intent or spirit of law


Legislative intent or spirit is the controlling factor, the
influence most dominant if a statute needs construction.
The intent of the law is that which is expressed in the
words thereof, discovered in the four corners of the law
and aided if necessary by its legislative history.

3. Context of the whole text


The best source from which to ascertain the legislative
intent is the statute itself the words, the phrases, the
sentences, sections, clauses, provisions taken as a
whole and in relation to one another.

9. Policy of law
A statute of doubtful meaning must be
construction that will promote public policy.

given

10. Purpose of law or mischief to be suppressed


The purpose or object of the law or the mischief intended
to be suppressed are important factors to be considered
in its construction.

4. Punctuation marks
Punctuation marks are aids of low degree; they are not
parts of the statute nor the English language.
Where there is, however, an ambiguity in a statute which
may be partially or wholly solved by a punctuation mark,
it may be considered in the construction of a statute.

11. Dictionaries
While definitions given by lexicographers are not binding,
courts have adopted, in proper cases, such definitions to
support their conclusion as to the meaning of the
particular words used in a statute.

5. Capitalization of letters
An aid of low degree in the construction of statutes.

12. Consequences of various constructions


Construction of a statute should be rejected if it will cause
injustice, result in absurdity or defeat the legislative
intent.

6. Headnotes or epigraphs

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Textbook: Statutory Construction by Agpalo
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13. Presumptions
Based on logic, common sense; eg. Presumption of
constitutionality, completeness, prospective application,
right and justice, etc.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
Where a statute is susceptible of several interpretations, there is no
better means of ascertaining the will and intention of the legislature
than that which is afforded by the history of the statute. The history
of a statute refers to all its antecedents from its inception until its
enactment into law.
1. Presidents message to the legislature
This usually contains proposed legislative measures and
indicates the Presidents thinking on the proposed
legislation which, when enacted into law, follows his line
of thinking into the matter.
2. Explanatory note
A short exposition of explanation accompanying a
proposed legislation by its author or proponent. It
contains statements of the reason or purpose of the bill,
as well as arguments advanced by its author in urging its
passage.

Legislative history will clarify the intent of the law or shed


light on the meaning and scope of the codified or revised
statute.

6. Change in phraseology by amendments


Courts may investigate the history of the provisions to
ascertain legislative intent as to the meaning and scope
of the amended law.
7. Amendment by deletion
The amendment statute should be given a construction
different from that previous to its amendment.
8. Adopted statutes
Where local statutes are patterned after or copied from
those of another country, the decisions of courts in such
country construing those laws are entitled to great weight
in the interpretation of such local statutes.
9. Principles of common law
Courts may properly resort to common law principles in
construing doubtful provisions of a statute, particularly
where such a statute is modeled upon Anglo-American
precedents.

3. Legislative debates, views and deliberations


Where there is doubt as to what a provision of a statute
means, that meaning which was put to the provision
during the legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill
may be adopted.

10. Conditions at the time of the enactment


It is proper, in the interpretation of a statute, to consider
the physical conditions of the country and the
circumstances then obtaining which must of necessity
affect its operation in order to understand the intent of
the statute.

4. Reports of commissions
In construing the provisions of the code as thus enacted,
courts may properly refer to the reports of the
commission that drafted the code in aid of clarifying
ambiguities therein.

11. History of the times


The history of the times out of which the law grew and to
which it may be rationally supposed to bear some direct
relationship.

5. Prior laws from which the statute is based

CONTEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION
The constructions placed upon statutes at the time of, or
after, their enactment by the executive, legislature or judicial

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Textbook: Statutory Construction by Agpalo
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authorities, as well as those who, because of their


involvement in the process of legislation, are knowledgeable
of the intent and purpose of the law, such as draftsmen and
bill sponsors.
The contemporary construction is the strongest in law.

1. Construction by an executive or administrative officer directly


called to implement the law
May be express interpretation embodied in a circular,
directive or regulation.
May be implied a practice or mode of enforcement of
not applying the statute to certain situations or of
applying it in a particular manner; interpretation by usage
or practice.
2. Construction by the Sec. of Justice as his capacity as the
chief legal adviser of the government
In the form of opinions issued upon request of
administrative or executive officials who enforce the law.
President or Executive Secretary has the power to modify
or alter or reverse the construction given by a
department secretary.
3. Interpretation handed down in an adversary proceeding in
the form of a ruling by an executive officer exercising quasijudicial power
Such rulings need not have the detachment of a judicial,
or semi-judicial decision, and may properly carry basis.
The contemporaneous construction is very probably the true
expression of the legislative purpose, especially if the
construction is followed for a considerable period of time. It
is thus entitled to great weight and respect by the courts in
the interpretation of the ambiguous provisions of law, and
unless it is shown to be clearly erroneous, it will control the
interpretation of statutes by the courts.
The best interpreter of law is usage.
Interpretation by those charged with their enforcement is
entitled to great weight by the courts.

Contemporaneous construction is entitled to great weight


because it comes from a particular branch of government
called upon to implement the laws thus construed.
Respect is due the government agency or officials charged
with the implementation of the law for their competence,
expertness, experience and informed judgment, and the fact
that they are frequently the drafters of the law they interpret.

The court may disregard contemporaneous construction


when there is no ambiguity in the law, where the
construction is clearly erroneous, where strong reason to
the contrary exists, and where the court has previously
given the statute a different interpretation.
If through the misapprehension of the law an executive or
administrative officer called upon to implement it has
erroneously applied and executed it, the error may be
corrected when the true construction is ascertained.
Erroneous contemporaneous construction creates no vested
right on the part of those who relied upon, and followed such
construction. The rule is not absolute and admits exceptions
in the interest of justice and fair play.
Legislative interpretation
Legislative interpretation of a statute is not controlling, but
the courts may resort to it to clarify ambiguity in the
language thereof.
Legislative approval
The legislature is presumed to have full knowledge of a
contemporaneous or practical construction of a statute.
Legislative ratification is equivalent to a mandate.
Reenactment
The most common act of legislative approval; the
reenactment
of
a
statute,
previously
given
a
contemporaneous construction, is a persuasive indication of
the adaptation by the legislature of the prior construction.
Stare Decisis

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Textbook: Statutory Construction by Agpalo
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The decision of the SC applying or interpreting a statute is


controlling with respect to the interpretation of that statute
and is of greater weight than that of an executive or
administrative officer in the construction of other statutes of
similar import.
Past decisions of the court must be followed in the
adjudication of cases: Stare decisis et non quieta movere,
one should follow past precedents and should not disturb
what has been settled.
Where the court resolved a question merely sub silencio, its
decision does not come within the maxim of stare decisis
Nor does an opinion expressed by the way, not up to the
point in the issue, fall within the maxim; it is merely an obiter
dictum
o An obiter dictum is an opinion expressed by a court upon
some question of law which is not necessary to the
decision of the case before it. It is a remark, by the
way; it is not binding as a precedent.
The rule of stare decisis is not absolute. If found contrary to
law, it must be abandoned.

LITERAL INTERPRETATION
If a statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given
its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation.
Verba legis non est recedendum, from the words of a statute there
should be no departure.
Dura lex sed lex
The law is harsh, but it is still the law. It must be applied
regardless of who may be affected, even if it may be harsh or
onerous.
When the language of the law is clear, no explanation of it is
required.

DEPARTURE FROM LITERAL INTERPRETATION


Statutes must be capable of construction or interpretation. If no
judicial certainty can be had as to its meaning, the court is not at
liberty to supply nor to make one.

What is within the spirit is within the law


When what the legislature had in mind is not accurately
reflected in the language of the statute, resort is had to the
principle that the spirit of the law controls its letter. Ratio
legis, interpretation according to the spirit of the law.
Literal import must yield to intent
The intention of the legislature and its purpose or object
controls the interpretation of particular language of a statute.
Words ought to be more subservient to the intent and not the
intent to the words.
Construction to accomplish purpose
Statutes should be construed in the light of the object to be
achieved and the evil or mischief to be suppressed, and they
should be given construction as will advance the object,
suppress the mischief, and secure the benefits intended.
When reason of law ceases, law itself ceases
Reason for the law is the heart of the law. When the reason of
the law ceases, the law itself ceases. The reason of the law is
its soul.
Supplying legislative omission
Where a literal import of the language of the statute shows
that words have been omitted that should have been in the
statute in order to carry out its intent and spirit, clearly
ascertainable from its context, the courts may supply the
omission to make the statute conform to the obvious intent
of the legislature or to prevent the act from being absurd.
Correcting clerical errors
In order to carry out the intent of the legislature, the court
may correct clerical errors, which, uncorrected, would render
the statute meaningless.
Construction to avoid absurdity

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Textbook: Statutory Construction by Agpalo
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Courts are not to give a statute a meaning that would lead to


absurdities. Where there is ambiguity, such interpretation as
will avoid inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted.
Constructing to avoid injustice
Presumed that undesirable consequences were never
intended as a legislative measure; that interpretation is to be
adopted which is free from evil or injustice.

Construction to avoid danger to public interest


Where great inconvenience will result, or great public interest
will be endangered or sacrificed, or great mischief done, from
a particular construction of the statute, such construction
should be avoided.
Construction in favor of right and justice
In case of doubt in the interpretation and application of the
law, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right
and justice to prevail.
The fact that the statute is silent, obscure or insufficient with
respect to a question before a court will not justify the latter
from declining judgment. That one is perceived to tip the
scales which the court believes will best promote the public
welfare in its probable operation.

Neither does false description neither preclude construction


nor vitiate the meaning of a statute which is otherwise
unclear.

Exemption from rigid application of the law


Every rule is not without an exception. Where rigorous
application may lead to injustice, the general rule should
yield to occasional exceptions.
Law does not require the impossible
The law obliges no one to perform an impossible thing.
Number and gender
1. When the context of the statute indicates, words in plural
include the singular, vice versa.
2. The masculine but not the feminine includes all genders,
unless the context indicates otherwise.
IMPLICATIONS
No statute can be enacted that can provide all the details involved
in its application. What is implied in a statute is as much a part
thereof as that which is expressed.

Surplusage and superfluity disregarded


The statute should be construed in accordance with the
evident intent of the legislature without regard to the
rejected word, phrase or clause.

Grant of jurisdiction
The jurisdiction to hear and decide cases is conferred only by the
Constitution or by statute. The grant of jurisdiction to try actions
carries with it all necessary and incidental powers to employ all
writs, processes and other means essential to make its jurisdiction
effective.

Redundant words may be rejected


While the general rule is that every effort should be made to
give some meaning to every part of the statute, there is no
obligation to give every redundant word or phrase a special
significance, contrary to the manifest intention of the
legislature.

Grant of power includes incidental power


Where a general power is conferred or duty enjoined, every
particular power necessary for the exercise of one of the
performance of the other is also conferred.

Obscure or missing words or false description may not


preclude construction

Grant of power excludes greater power


The foregoing principle implies the exclusion of those which are
greater than conferred.
What is implied should not be against the law

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The statutory grant of power does not include such incidental power
which cannot be exercised without violating the Constitution, the
statute granting power, or other laws of the same subject.
Authority to charge against public funds may not be implied
Unless a statute expressly so authorizes, no claim against public
finds may be allowed.
Illegality of act implied from prohibition
Where a statute prohibits the doing of an act, the act done in
violation thereof is by implication null and void. No man can be
allowed to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing or inequity. No
man should be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong. In Pari
Delicto
Exceptions to In Pari Delicto
1. It will not apply when its enforcement or application will
violate an avowed fundamental policy or public interest
2. When the transaction is not illegal per se but merely
prohibited, and the prohibition by law is designed for the
protection of one party
What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly
What the law prohibits cannot, in some other way, be legally
accomplished.
There should be no penalty for compliance with law
A person who complies with a statute cannot, by implication, be
penalized by it.
INTERPRETATION OF WORDS
Which meaning should be given to a word or phrase in a statute
depends upon what the legislature intended.
Statutory definition
The legislative definition controls the meaning of the
statutory word, irrespective of any other meaning the word or
phrase may have in its ordinary or usual sense.
When the term pr phrase is specifically defined in a particular
law, the definition must be adopted in applying and
enforecing such law.

While definitions in a statute must be given all the weight


due them, the terms must be given effect in their entiretyas
a harmonious, coordinated whole.
Statutory definitions are controlling in so far as the said act is
concerned.
A statutory definition does not apply where its application
creates incongruities.

Words construed in their ordinary sense


In the absence of legislative intent to the contrary, they should be
given their plain, ordinary and common usage meanings.
General words construed generally
A word of general significance in a statute is to be taken in its
ordinary and comprehensive sense, unless the word is
intended to be given a different or restricted meaning.
General words shall be understood in the general sense
The general must prevail over the restricted unless the
nature and the context indicates that the limited sense is
intended
Generic term includes things that arise thereafter
Progressive interpretation extends by construction the
application of a statute to all subjects or conditions within its
general purpose or scope that come into existence
subsequent to its passage; keeps legislation from becoming
ephemeral and transitory
Words with commercial or trade meaning
Words and phrases which are in common use among traders and
merchants, acquire trade or commercial meanings which are
generally accepted in the community in which they have been in
common use. In absence of intent to contrary, trade and commercial
terms in a statute are presumed to have been used in their trade
and commercial sense.
Words with technical or legal meaning
Should be interpreted according to the sense in which they have
been previously used, although the sense may vary from the strict
or literal meaning of the words.

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How identical terms in the same statute are construed


A word or phrase repeatedly used will bear the same meaning
throughout the statute; presumed to be used in the same sense
throughout the law.
Meaning of word qualified by purpose of statute
The meaning of a word may be qualified by the purpose which
induced the legislature to enact the statute.

(Ejusdem) While general words or expressions in a statute


are accorded their full, natural and generic sense, they will
not be given such meaning if they are used in association
with specific words or phrases.
o Where a statute describes things of particular
class or kind accompanied by words of a generic
character, the generic words will usually be limited
to things of a kindred nature with those
particularly
enumerated,
unless
there
be
something in the context of the statute to repel
such inference.
o Limitations:
1. A statute contains an enumeration of
particular and specific words, followed by a
general word or phrase
2. The particular and specific words constitute
a class or are of the same kind
3. The enumeration of a particular and
specific words is not exhaustive or is not
merely by example
4. There is no indication of legislative intent to
give the general words or phrases a
broader meaning

(Expressio) The express mention of one person, thing or


consequence implies the exclusion of all others. Limitation:
not applicable if there is some special reason for mentioning
one thing and none for mentioning another which is
otherwise within the statute, so that the absence of any
mention of such will not exclude it. Also, must be disregarded
if :
o It will cause inconvenience
o Where the legislative intent shows that the
enumeration is not exclusive

Words or phrases construed in relation to other provisions


A word or phrase should not be construed in isolation but must be
interpreted in relation to other provisions of law; construed as a
whole, each provision given effect.
Meaning of term dictated by context
The context in which the word or term is employed may dictate a
different sense. A word is to be understood in the context in which it
is used.
Where the law does not distinguish
Neither should the court
Disjunctive and conjunctive words
OR is a disjunctive term signifying disassociation and
independence of one thing from each of the other things
enumerated
AND is a conjunction meaning together with joined with
added to, linked to
The term AND/OR means that effect shall be given to both
conjunctive and disjunctive
ASSOCIATED WORDS
(Noscitur) Where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in
itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings, its correct
construction may be made clear and specific by considering
the company of words in which it is found and in which it is
associated.
o Where the law does not define a word used
therein, it will be construed as having a meaning

similar to that of words associated with or


accompanied by it.
Where most of the words in an enumeration are
used in their generic sense, the rest of the words
should be so similarly construed.

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(Negative-Opposite) What is expressed puts an end to what


is implied.

(Causus) A person, object or thing omitted from an


enumeration must be held to have been omitted
intentionally. ONLY when the omission has been clearly
established.
o Does not apply where it is shown that the legislature
did not intend to exclude the person, thing or object
from the enumeration.

(Last Antecedent) Qualifying words restrict or modify only the


words or phrases to which they are immediately associated,
and not those to which they are distantly or remotely
associated.
o Does not apply when the intention is not to qualify the
antecedent at all
(Reddendo) Antecedents and consequences should be read
distributive to the effect that each word is to be applied to
the subject to which it appears by context most appropriately
related and most applicable.

PROVISO
Its office is to limit the application of the enacting clause, section or
provision of a statute; introduced by the word Provided
It may enlarge the scope of the law
It may assume the role of an additional legislation
It modifies only the phrase immediately preceding it or
restrains or limit the generality of the clause following it
It should be construed to harmonize, and not to repeal or
destroy the main provision of the statute
Exception introduced by except, unless otherwise and
shall not apply is a clause which exempts something from
the operation of a statute by express words.
o An exception exempts something absolutely from the
operation of a statute; a proviso defeats its operation
conditionally.

An exception takes out of the statute something that


otherwise would be a part of the subject matter of it.
A proviso avoids them by way of an excuse.
One of the functions of a proviso is to except
something from an enacting clause. In this sense is it
similar with exception.

SAVING CLAUSE
A clause in the provision of law which operates to except from the
effect of law what the clause provides, or to save something which
would otherwise be lost. Must be construed in the light of the
legislative intent.
STATUTES CONSTRUED AS A WHOLE
A statute is passed as a whole and not in parts or sections and is
animated by one general purpose and intent.
The intent or the meaning of the statute should be
ascertained from the statute takes as a whole.
Statutes must receive a reasonable construction, reference
being had to their controlling purpose.
One part is as important as the other.
Where a statute is susceptible of more than one
interpretation, the court should adopt such reasonable and
beneficial construction as will render the provision operative
and harmonious. Constructions that would render it
inoperative must be avoided; must be reconciled, parts must
be a coordinated and harmonious whole.
Conflicting provisions should be reconciled and harmonized;
they must be reconciled instead of declaring them invalid.
Where there is a particular or special provision and a
general provision in the same statute and the latter in its
most comprehensive sense would overrule the former, the
particular or special provision must be taken to affect only
the other parts of the statute to which it may properly apply.
A law should be interpreted with a view to upholding it rather
than destroying it.
All laws are presumed to be consistent with each other.

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If provisions cannot be reconciled despite efforts, the courts


should choose one that will best effectuate the legislative
intent.
The interpretation that will give the thing efficacy is to be
adopted; legislative did not do a vain thing in its enactment.
Construction should avoid surplusage.

Statutes must
Constitution.

be

construed

in

harmony

with

the

Statutes in pari materia (relating to the same specific


subject matter) must be construed together to attain
national policy.
Legislature is presumed to be aware of prior law.
Where there are two acts, one of which is special and
particular and the other general which, if standing alone,
would include the same subject matter and thus conflicting
with the special act, the special must prevail since it evinces
the legislative intent more clearly than that of a general
statute and must be taken as intended to constitute an
exception to the general rule. A special law is considered an
exception to the general law on the same subject; the legislature is
passing a law of special character has its attention directed to the
special facts and circumstances which the special act is intended to
meet.
Reference statutes
Refers to other statutes and makes them applicable to the subject of
legislation.
Supplemental statutes
Intended to supply deficiencies in an existing statute and to add,
complete or extend the statute without changing or modifying its
original text.
Reenacted statutes
One in which the provisions of an earlier statute are reproduced in
the same or substantially the same words.

In construing reenacted statutes, court should take into


account prior contemporaneous construction.
Adopted statutes
Statute patterned after, or copied from a statute of a foreign
country.
STRICT CONSTRUCTION
Construction according to the letter; scope of statute is not
extended or enlarged.
1. Penal statutes
2. Statutes in derogation of rights
3. Statutes authorizing expropriations
4. Statutes granting privileges
5. Legislative grants to local government units
6. Statutory grounds for removing officials
7. Naturalization laws
8. Statutes imposing taxes and custom duties
9. Statutes granting tax exemptions
10. Statutes concerning the sovereign
11. Statutes authorizing suits against the government
12. Statutes prescribing formalities of will
13. Exceptions and provisos
LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION
Giving a liberal interpretation to save from obliteration; reading into
its something which its clear and plain language rejects.
1. General social legislation
2. General welfare clause
3. Grant of power to local governments
4. Statutes granting taxing power
5. Statutes prescribing prescriptive period to collect taxes
6. Statutes imposing penalties for nonpayment of taxes
7. Election laws
8. Amnesty proclamations
9. Statutes prescribing prescriptions of crimes
10. Adoption statutes
11. Veteran and pension laws
12. Rules of Court
13. Other statutes
o Curative statutes

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o
o
o

Redemption laws
Instruments of credit
Probation law

MANDATORY STATUTES
A statute which commands either positively that something be
done, or performed in a particular way, or negatively that something
not be done, leaving the person concerned no choice on the matter
except to obey. Contains words of command or prohibition. Uses:
shall, must, ought, should; prohibitions such as cannot, shall not,
ought not
1. Statutes conferring power
2. Statutes granting benefits
3. Statutes prescribing jurisdictional requirements
4. Statutes prescribing time to take action or appeal
5. Statutes prescribing procedural requirements
6. Election laws on conduct of election
7. Election laws on qualification and disqualification
8. Statutes prescribing qualifications for office
9. Statutes relating to assessment of taxes
10. Statutes concerning public auction sale
DIRECTORY STATUTES
Permissive or discretionary in nature and merely outlines the act to
be done in such a way that no injury can result from ignoring it or
that its purpose can be accomplished in a manner other than that
prescribed and substantially the same result obtained. Uses: may
1. Statutes prescribing guidance for officers
2. Statutes prescribing manner of judicial action
3. Statutes requiring rendition of decisions within prescribed
period
Statutes are to be construed as having only prospective
application, unless the intendment of the legislature to give
them a retroactive effect is expressly declared or is
necessarily implied from the language used. Presumption is
prospectivity.
Prospectivity words/in futuro: hereafter, thereafter, shall have
been made, from and after, shall take effect upon its
approval

The Constitution does not prohibit the enactment of


retroactive statutes which do not impair the obligation of
contracts, deprive persons of property without due process
of law, or divest rights that have become vested, or which
are not in the nature of ex post facto laws.
PROSPECTIVE STATUTES
Operates upon facts or transactions that occur after the statute
takes effect, one that looks and applies to the future.
1. Penal statutes, generally
2. Ex post facto law
3. Bill of attainder
4. Statutes substantive in nature
5. Statutes affecting vested rights
6. Statutes affecting obligations of contracts
7. Repealing an amendatory acts
RETROACTIVE STATUTES
Creates a new obligation, imposes a new duty or attaches a new
disability in respect to a transaction already past.
1. Procedural laws
2. Curative statutes
3. Police power legislations
4. Statutes relating to prescription
5. Statutes relating to appeals
AMENDMENT
Change or modification by addition or deletion, or alteration of a
statute which survives in its amended form.
REVISION
Purpose is to restate existing laws into one statutes, simplify
complicated provisions, and make the laws on the subject easily
found.
REPEAL
A statute repealed is rendered revoked completely