You are on page 1of 5


From the words of the law there must be no departure.

plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal
meaning and applied without attempted interpretation.
This "plain-meaning rule" or verba legis, derived from the
maxim index animi sermo est (speech is the index of
intention), rests on the valid presumption that the words
employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its
intent or will and preclude the court from construing it
differently. The legislature is presumed to know the meaning
of the words, to have used words advisely, and to have
expressed its intent by the use of such words as are found in
the statute. Verba legis non est recedendum, or from the
words of a statute there should be no departure.
IBAA Employees Union v. Inciong
GR L52415, 23 October 1984 (132 SCRA 663)
On June 20, 1975, the Union filed a complaint against the
bank for the payment of holiday pay before the then
Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Commission,
Regional Office IV in Manila. Conciliation having failed, and
upon the request of both parties, the case was certified for
arbitration on 7 July 1975. On 25 August 1975, Labor Arbiter
Ricarte T. Soriano rendered a decision in the above-entitled
case, granting petitioners complaint for payment of holiday
pay. Respondent bank did not appeal from the said decision.
Instead, it complied with the order of the Labor Arbiter by
paying their holiday pay up to and including January 1976.
On 16 December 1975, Presidential Decree 850 was
promulgated amending, among others, the provisions of the
Labor Code on the right to holiday pay. Accordingly, on 16
February 1976, by authority of Article 5 of the same Code,
the Department of Labor (now Ministry of Labor)
promulgated the rules and regulations for the implementation
of holidays with pay. The controversial section thereof reads
as Status of employees paid by the month. Employees
who are uniformly paid by the month, irrespective of the
number of working days therein, with a salary of not less
than the statutory or established minimum wage shall be
presumed to be paid for all days in the month whether
worked or not. On 23 April 1976, Policy Instruction 9 was
issued by the then Secretary of Labor (now Minister)
interpreting the above-quoted rule. The bank, by reason of
the ruling laid down by the rule implementing Article 94 of the
Labor Code and by Policy Instruction 9, stopped the
payment of holiday pay to an its employees.
On 30 August 1976, the Union filed a motion for a writ of
execution to enforce the arbiters decision of 25 August
1975, which the bank opposed. On 18 October 1976, the
Labor Arbiter, instead of issuing a writ of execution, issued
an order enjoining the bank to continue paying its employees
their regular holiday pay. On 17 November 1976, the bank
appealed from the order of the Labor Arbiter to the NLRC.
On 20 June 1978, the NLRC promulgated its resolution en
banc dismissing the banks appeal, and ordering the
issuance of the proper writ of execution. On 21 February
1979, the bank filed with the Office of the Minister of Labor a
motion for reconsideration/appeal with urgent prayer to stay
execution. On 13 August 1979,s the NLRC issued an order
directing the Chief of Research and Information of the
Commission to compute the holiday pay of the IBAA
employees from April 1976 to the present in accordance with
the Labor Arbiter dated 25 August 1975. On 10 November
1979, the Office of the Minister of Labor, through Deputy
Minister Amado G. Inciong, issued an order setting aside the
resolution en banc of the NLRC dated 20 June 1978, and
dismissing the case for lack of merit. Hence, the petition for

certiorari charging Inciong with abuse

amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.



Issue: Whether the Ministry of Labor is correct in determining

that monthly paid employees are excluded from the benefits
of holiday pay.
From Article 92 of the Labor Code, as amended by
Presidential Decree 850, and Article 82 of the same Code, it
is clear that monthly paid employees are not excluded from
the benefits of holiday pay. However, the implementing rules
on holiday pay promulgated by the then Secretary of Labor
excludes monthly paid employees from the said benefits by
inserting, under Rule IV, Book Ill of the implementing rules,
Section 2, which provides that: employees who are
uniformly paid by the month, irrespective of the number of
working days therein, with a salary of not less than the
statutory or established minimum wage shall be presumed to
be paid for all days in the month whether worked or not.
Even if contemporaneous construction placed upon a statute
by executive officers whose duty is to enforce it is given
great weight by the courts, still if such construction is so
erroneous, the same must be declared as null and void. So
long, as the regulations relate solely to carrying into effect
the provisions of the law, they are valid. Where an
administrative order betrays inconsistency or repugnancy to
the provisions of the Act, the mandate of the Act must prevail
and must be followed. A rule is binding on the Courts so long
as the procedure fixed for its promulgation is followed and its
scope is within the statutory authority granted by the
legislature, even if the courts are not in agreement with the
policy stated therein or its innate wisdom. Further,
administrative interpretation of the law is at best merely
advisory, for it is the courts that finally determine what the
law means.
The Supreme Court granted the petition, set aside the order
of the Deputy Minister of Labor, and reinstated the 25 August
1975 decision of the Labor Arbiter Ricarte T. Soriano.
Chartered Bank Employees Association Vs.Ople
G.R. No. L-44717 August 28, 1985
On May 20, 1975, the Chartered Bank Employees
Association, in representation of its monthly paid
employees/members, instituted a complaint with the
Regional Office No. IV, Department of Labor, now Ministry of
Labor and Employment (MOLE) against Chartered Bank, for
the payment of ten (10) unworked legal holidays, as well as
for premium and overtime differentials for worked legal
holidays from November 1, 1974. The Minister of Labor
dismissed the Chartered Bank Employees Associations
claim for lack of merit basing its decision on Section 2, Rule
IV, Book Ill of the Integrated Rules and Policy Instruction No.
9, which respectively provide: Sec. 2. Status of employees
paid by the month. Employees who are uniformly paid by the
month, irrespective of the number of working days
therein, with a salary of not less than the statutory or
established minimum wage shall be presumed to be paid for
all days in the month whether worked or not.
TO: All Regional Directors
The rules implementing PD 850 have clarified the policy in
the implementation of the ten (10) paid legal holidays. Before
PD 850, the number of working days a year in a firm was
considered important in determining entitlement to the
benefit. Thus, where an employee was working for at least
313 days, he was considered definitely already paid. If he
was working for less than 313, there was no certainty

whether the ten (10) paid legal holidays were already paid to
him or not. The ten (10) paid legal holidays law, to start with,
is intended to benefit principally daily employees. In the case
of monthly, only those whose monthly salary did not yet
include payment for the ten (10) paid legal holidays are
entitled to the benefit.Under the rules implementing PD 850,
this policy has been fully clarified to eliminate controversies
on the entitlement of monthly paid employees. The new
determining rule is this: 'If the monthly paid employee is
receiving not less than P240, the maximum monthly
minimum wage, and his monthly pay is uniform from January
to December, he is presumed to be already paid the ten (10)
paid legal holidays. However, if deductions are made from
his monthly salary on account of holidays in months where
they occur, then he is still entitled to the ten (10) paid legal
holidays. These new interpretations must be uniformly and
consistently upheld.
Whether or not the Secretary of Labor erred and acted
contrary to law in promulgating Sec. 2, Rule IV, Book III of
the Integrated Rules and Policy Instruction No. 9.
Yes, The Secretary (Minister) of Labor had exceeded his
statutory authority granted by Article 5 of the Labor Code
authorizing him to promulgate the necessary implementing
rules and regulations.
While it is true that the Minister has the authority in the
performance of his duty to promulgate rules and regulations
to implement, construe and clarify the Labor Code, such
powers is limited by provisions of the statute sought to be
implemented, construed or clarified.
Ala Mode Garments, Inc. v. NLRC
Case No. 7G. R. No. 122165 (February 17, l997)
Respondents were both employees of Petitioner and holding
position as line leaders, tasked to supervise 36 sewers each.
On May 5 and 6, l993, all the line leaders did not report for
work. On May 6, l993, Private Respondents were not
allowed to enter the premises of the Petitioner, and then
required to submit written explanations as to their
absence. On May 10, l993, Private Respondents tendered
their explanation letters. Despite their explanation, they were
not allowed to resume their work and were advised to await
the decision of the management whether or not the real
reason for their absence was intended to sabotage the
operations of Petitioner. But other line leaders were allowed
to resume their work despite their absence on May 5and 6,
ISSUE: 1.W/N the failure of Petitioner to allow Private
Respondents from resuming their work constitutes dismissal
from the service?
2.W/N the Labor Arbiter erred in limiting the award
of backwages for only a period not exceeding three 3 years?
HELD :Under the old doctrine, the backwages that can be
awarded to illegally dismissed employees was not to exceed
newdoctrine allowed the awarding of full backwages and al
so prevented thecompany from deducting the earnings of the
illegally dismissed employees
elsewhere during
the pendency of their case. The Labor Arbiter was wrong in
awarding backwages for a period of not exceeding three


The reason of the law is the soul of the law.
Paras v. COMELEC Case Digest
G.R. No. 123169 (November 4, 1996)
A petition for recall was filed against Paras, who is the
incumbent Punong Barangay. The recall election was
deferred due to Petitioners opposition that under Sec. 74 of
RA No. 7160, no recall shall take place within one year from
the date of the officials assumption to office or one
year immediately preceding a regular local election. Since
the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election was set on the first
Monday of May 2006, no recall may be instituted.
W/N the SK election is a local election.
No. Every part of the statute must be interpreted with
reference to its context, and it must be considered
together and
general intent. The evident intent of Sec. 74 is to subject an
elective local official to recall once during his term, as
provided in par. (a) and par. (b). The spirit, rather than the
law, determines
construction. Thus, interpreting
regular local election to include SK election will unduly
circumscribe the Code for there will never be a recall election
rendering inutile the provision. In interpreting a statute, the
Court assumed that the legislature intended to enact an
be avoided under which a statute or provision being con
strued is defeated, meaningless, inoperative or nugatory.
Literally: [the] mind of legislator, that is: his intent. Mens
legislatoris is the ground upon which historical interpretation
of Law is given. So, for those who support his interpretation
of the Law on the will of the people who wrote the legal
text, mens legislatoris is the main source of the meaning of
In the other hand, however, we have the ratio legis, or [the]
reason of the law. There's a logical meaning which flows
from the Law itself, and that meaning comes from the literal
words in it, from the context in which the law (or the section
of the law) has been set in, and the status that the object of
the Law had before the Law was given. All those factors
(what the Law literally says, where the Law has been
located (among other Laws), and what has the Law came
the ratio
The fight of those two conceptions have been very hard in
Continental Law. Common Law has historically free from that
matter, but the increasing place the Law is taking in Common
Law, is making take care about that point.
Prasnik v. Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-8639 (March 23, 1956)
Petitioner seeks to adopt four children which he claims to
be his and Paz Vasquez children without the benefit of
marriage. The Solicitor General opposed this stating
that Art. 338 of the Civil Code allows a natural child to be
adopted by his father refers only to a child who
has not been acknowledged as natural child. It maintains
that in order that a natural child may be adopted by his
natural father or mother there should not be an

acknowledgment of the status of the natural child for it will go

against Art. 335.
W/N the Civil Code allows for the adoption of acknowledged
natural children of the father or mother.
The law intends to allow adoption whether the child be
recognized or not. If the intention were to allow adoption only
to unrecognized children, Article 338 would be of no useful
purpose. The rights of an acknowledged natural child are
much less than those of a legitimated child. Contending that
this is unnecessary would deny the illegitimate children the
chance to acquire these rights. The trend when it comes
to adoption of children tends to go toward the liberal. The
law does not prohibit the adoption of an acknowledged
natural child which when compared to a natural child is
equitable. An acknowledged natural child is a natural child
also and following the words of the law, they should be
allowed adoption.
Matabuena v. Cervantes
G.R. No. L-28771 (March 31, 1971)
Felix Matabuena cohabitated with Respondent. During
this period, Felix Matabuena donated to Respondent a
parcel of land. Later the two were married. After the death
of Felix Matabuena, his sister, Petitioner, sought the
nullification of the donation citing Art.133 of the Civil Code
Every donation between the spouses during the marriage
shall be void.
The trial court ruled that this case was not covered by the
prohibition because the donation was made at the time the
deceased and Respondent were not yet married and were
simply cohabitating.
W/N the prohibition applies to donations between live-in
Yes. It is a fundamental principle in statutory construction
that what is within the spirit of the law is as much a part of
the law as what is written. Since the reason
for the ban on donations between spouses during the m
arriage is to prevent the possibility of undue influence and
improper pressure being exerted by one spouse on the
other, there is no reason why this prohibition shall not apply
also to common-law relationships. The court, however,
said that the lack of the donation made by
the deceased to Respondent does not necessarily mean
that the Petitioner will have exclusive rights to the disputed
property because the relationship between Felix
and Respondent were legitimated by marriage.
The law is harsh, but it is the law
People of the Philippines v. Moro Macarandang
G.R. No. L-12088 (December 23, 1959)
FACTS: Defendant was accused and convicted of illegal
possession of firearms in Lanao. Defendant, admitting the
ownership and possession of the firearm and ammunitions,
invokes as his legal excuse the appointment issued to him
by Governor Dimakuta as secret agent shown in the
Governors letter which he presented as and evidence. He
was granted this appointment for having shown good faith by
previously surrendering to the office of the Governor a
firearm. He has then been appointed as SECRET AGENT to
assist on the maintenance of peace and order campaigns

and is authorized to hold and carry in his possession 1 Riot

ISSUE: W/N a Secret Agent tasked to assist in the
maintenance of peace and order falls among those
authorized to possess firearms.
HELD: Yes. It may be true that the Governor has no authority
to issue any firearm license or permit but section 879 of the
Revised Administrative Code provides the peace officers
are exempted from the requirements relating to the issuance
of license to possess firearms. The appointment sufficiently
put him in the category of peace officer equivalent even to
a Municipal Police expressly covered by section879.
Wherefore the decision appealed from is reversed and the
Defendant acquitted.
People of the Philippines v. Mapa
Case No. 213G.R. No. L-22301 (August 30, 1967)
FACTS: Defendant was accused of illegal possession of
firearms. He invokes in his defense that he was an appointed
Secret Agent of the provincial Governor ofBatangas. He
sought to be acquitted as the case of People v.
Macarandang used the same defense providing evidences of
his appointment.
ISSUE: W/N a Secret Agent falls among those authorized to
possess firearms.
HELD: No. The court held that the law cannot be any
clearer. The law does not contain any exception for secret
agent therefore holding this position would not constitute a
sufficient defense to a prosecution for a crime of illegal
possession of firearm and ammunitions. Wherefore the
conviction of the accused must stand. The Courts ruling
overturned that of People v. Macarandang.
People of the Philippines vs. M. Mapa (2)
G.R. No. L-22301, August 30, 1967
The accused was convicted in violation of Sec. 878 in
connection to Sec. 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code
as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 56 and further
amended by R.A. 4. On August 13, 1962, the accused was
discovered to have in its possession and control a homemade revolver cal. 22 with no license permit. In the court
proceeding, the accused admitted that he owns the gun and
affirmed that it has no license. The accused further stated
that he is a secret agent appointed by Gov. Leviste of
Batangas and showed evidences of appointment. In his
defense, the accused presented the case of People vs.
Macarandang, stating that he must acquitted because he is a
secret agent and which may qualify into peace officers
equivalent to municipal police which is covered by Art. 879.
Whether or not holding a position of secret agent of the
Governor is a proper defense to illegal possession of
The Supreme Court in its decision affirmed the lower courts
decision. It stated that the law is explicit that except as
thereafter specifically allowed, "it shall be unlawful for any
person to . . . possess any firearm, detached parts of
firearms or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or
implement used or intended to be used in the manufacture of
firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition." The next section
provides that "firearms and ammunition regularly and lawfully
issued to officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines [of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines], the Philippine Constabulary,
guards in the employment of the Bureau of Prisons,

municipal police, provincial governors, lieutenant governors,

provincial treasurers, municipal treasurers, municipal
mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners and jails," are not
covered "when such firearms are in possession of such
officials and public servants for use in the performance of
their official duties.
The Court construed that there is no provision for the secret
agent; including it in the list therefore the accused is not
People v. Santayana
No. L-22291 (November 15, 1976)
Accused was found guilty of the crime of illegal possession
of firearms andsentenced to an indeterminate penalty from
one year and one day to two years,and to pay the costs.
ISSUE: W/N the appointment of the Appellant as a special
agent of the CIS, whichapparently authorizes him to carry
and possess firearms, exempts him from securing alicense
or permit corresponding thereto.
HELD: Yes. At the time of appellants apprehension, the
doctrine then prevailing wasenunciated in the case of People
vs. Macarandang wherein it was held that theappointment of
a civilian as secret agent to assist in the maintenance of
peace andorder campaigns and detection of crimes
sufficiently puts him within the category ofa peace officer
equivalent even to a member of the municipal police
expresslycovered by Section 879.
When one or more things of a class are expressly mentioned
others of the same class are excluded.
Acosta vs. Flor
5 Phil 18 (1905)
Facts: Appellant Pedro Acosta and Appellee David Flor were
candidates for the Office of the Municipal President of Laoag,
Ilocos Norte. Appellee won the elections. Appellant then filed
an action praying that Flor be excluded from the exercise of
the office on account of irregularities allegedly committed
during the elections. During the trial, Acosta failed to prove
that he was entitled to the office in question. The court
dismissed the action.

- Particular and specific words constitute a class or are the

same kind
- Enumeration of the particular & specific words is not
exhaustive or is not merely by examples
- There is no indication of legislative intent to give the
general words or phrases a broader meaning
- Rule of ejusdem generis, is not of universal application; it
should use to carry out, not defeat the intent of the law.
Amelito R. Mutuc vs. Comelec
G.R. No. L-32717 November 26, 1970
Petitioner Mutuc was a candidate for delegate to the
Constitutional Convention. He filed a special civil action
against the respondent COMELEC when the latter informed
him through a telegram that his certificate of candidacy was
given due course but he was prohibited from using jingles in
his mobile units equipped with sound systems and loud
speakers. The petitioner accorded the order to be violative of
his constitutional right to freedom of speech. COMELEC
justified its prohibition on the premise that the Constitutional
Convention act provided that it is unlawful for the candidates
to purchase, produce, request or distribute sample ballots,
or electoral propaganda gadgets such as pens, lighters, fans
(of whatever nature), flashlights, athletic goods or materials,
wallets, bandanas, shirts, hats, matches, cigarettes, and the
like, whether of domestic or foreign origin. COMELEC
contended that the jingle or the recorded or taped voice of
the singer used by petitioner was a tangible propaganda
material and was, under the above statute, subject to
Whether or not the usage of the jingle by the petitioner form
part of the prohibition invoked by the COMELEC.
The Court held that the general words following any
enumeration being applicable only to things of the same kind
or class as those specifically referred to. The COMELECs
contention that a candidates jingle form part of the
prohibition, categorized under the phrase and the like,
could not merit the courts approval by principle of Ejusdem
Generis. It is quite apparent that what was contemplated in
the Act was the distribution of gadgets of the kind referred to
as a means of inducement to obtain a favorable vote for the
candidate responsible for its distribution.

Issue: Whether or not can maintain the action.

Ruling: No. Acosta cannot file the action for usurpation of
public office. If the legislature had intended to give all citizens
alike the right to maintain such action for such, it would have
plainly said so in order to avoid doubt on a subject of such a
farreaching importance. A simple provision would have
sufficed for this purpose. Far from it, the legislature has, on
the contrary, especially and specifically provided in Sections
199, 200 and 201 of the Code of Civil Procedure those who
must and may bring such an action; and it was very clear
that it was its intention to give such right to those expressly
mentioned in said sections and to no other, following the
wellknown rule of law, EXPRESSION UNIUS EST
A rule of interpretation that where a class of things is
followed by general wording that is not itself expansive, the
general wording is usually restricted things of the same
type as the listed items.
Limitations of Ejusdem Generis
-Statute contains an enumeration of particular & specific
words, followed by general word or phrase

Furthermore, the COMELEC failed to observe construction

of the statute which should be in consonance to the express
terms of the constitution. The intent of the COMELEC for the
prohibition may be laudable but it should not be sought at the
cost of the candidates constitutional rights.
US v. Santo Nino
STATUTE: It shall be unlawful to for any person to carry
concealed about his person any bowie, knife, dagger, kris or
other deadly weapon. Provided prohibition shall not apply to
firearms who have secured a license or who are entitled to
carry the same under the provisions of this Act.
ISSUE: does the deadly weapon include an unlicensed
HELD: Yes! Carrying such would be in violation of statute.
By the proviso, it manifested its intention to include in the
prohibition weapons other than armas blancas therein
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Social Security

invoking ejusdem
generi whether employer be limited to undertaking an
activity which has an element of profit or gain?

not for profit; it contained exceptions which said institutions

and entities are not included.

STATUTE: any person, natural or juridical, domestic or

foreign, who carried in the Philippines any trade, business,
industry. and uses the services of another person, who
under his orders as regard the employment, except the
Government, and any of its political subdivisions branches or
instrumentalities and GOCCs.
HELD: No. the rule of ejusdem generis applies only when
there is uncertainty. The definition is sufficiently
comprehensive to include charitable institutions and charities

A case omitted is to be held as intentionally omitted.

It is a rule of statutory construction. If a person, object, or
thing is omitted from being enumerated in a statute, it must
be held or considered to have been omitted intentionally.