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Philippine British Assurance Co., Inc. vs.

Intermediate Appellate Court


No. L-72005. May 29, 1987.*
PHILIPPINE BRITISH ASSURANCE CO., INC.,
petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT; SYCWIN
COATING & WIRES, INC., and DOMINADOR
CACPAL, CHIEF DEPUTY SHERIFF OF
MANILA, respondents.
Remedial Law; Special Civil Actions; Certiorari;
Motions, General rule that a motion for
reconsideration is a condition sine qua non for
grant of a writ of certiorari, does not apply when
special circumstances warrant immediate action;
A motion for reconsideration may be dispensed
with in cases where execution had been ordered
and the need for relief was extremely urgent.It
is the submission of private respondent Sycwin
that without a previous motion for reconsideration of the questioned resolution, certiorari
would not lie. While as a general rule a motion for
reconsideration has been considered a condition
sine qua non for the granting of a writ of
certiorari, this rule does not apply when special
circumstances warrant immediate or more direct
action. It has been held further that a motion for
reconsideration may be dispensed with in cases
like this where execution had been ordered and
the need for relief was extremely urgent.
Same; Civil Procedure; Execution; Attachment;
Counterbond posted is intended to secure
payment of any judgment that the attaching
creditor may recover in the action; Execution of
any judgment including one pending appeal if
returned unsatisfied may be charged against the
counterbond.Under sections 5 and 12, Rule 57
above reproduced it is provided that the
counterbond is intended to secure the payment
of "any judgment" that the attaching creditor
may recover in the action. Under Section 17 of
same rule it provides that when "the execution be
returned unsatisfied in whole or in part" it is only
then that "payment of the judgment shall become
charged on such counterbond." The counterbond
was issued in accordance with the provisions of
Section 5, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court as
provided in the second paragraph aforecited
which is deemed reproduced as part of the
counterbond. In the third paragraph it is also
stipulated that the counterbond is to be "applied
for the payment of the judgment." Neither the

rules nor the provisions of the counterbond


limited its application to a final and executory
judgment. Indeed, it is specified that it applies to
the payment of any judgment that maybe
recovered by plaintiff. Thus, the only logical
conclusion is that an execution of any judgment
including one pending appeal if returned
unsatisfied maybe charged against such a
counterbond.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Courts; Statutory
Construction; Rule that when the law does not
distinguish, courts should not distinguish; The
rule, founded on logic, is a corollary of the
principle that general words and phrases of a
statute should ordinarily be accorded their
natural and general significance.lt is well
recognized rule that where the law does not
distinguish, courts should not distinguish. Ubi lex
non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos. The
rule, founded on logic, is a corollary of the
principle that general words and phrases in a
statute should ordinarily be accorded their
natural and general significance. The rule
requires that a general term or phrase should not
be reduced into parts and one part distin-guished
from the other so as to justify its exclusion from
the operation of the law. In other words, there
should be no distinction in the application of a
statute where none is indicated. For courts are
not authorized to distinguish where the law
makes no distinction. They should instead
administer the law not as they think it ought to
be but as they find it and without regard to
consequences.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Rule
that where the law does not make any exception,
courts may not except something therefor unless
compelling reasons exist to justify it; Phrase "any
land," interpreted.A corollary of the principle is
the rule that where the law does not make any
exception, courts may not except something
therefrom, unless there is compelling reason
apparent in the law to justify it. Thus where a
statute grants a person against whom possession
of "any land" is unlawfully withheld the right to
bring an action for unlawful detainer, this Court
held that the phrase "any land" includes all kinds
of land, whether agricultural, residential, or
mineral. Since the law in this case does not make
any distinction nor intended to make any
exception, when it speaks of "any judgment"
which maybe charged against the counterbond, it

should be interpreted to refer not only to a final


and executory judgment in the case but also a
judgment pending appeal.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Rule is that the
counterbond to lift attachment shall be charged
with the payment of any judgment that is
returned unsatisfied, and covers not only a final
and executory judgment but also execution of
judgment pending appealThe rule therefore, is
that the counterbond to lift attachment that is
issued in accordance with the provisions of
Section 5, Rule 57, of the Rules of Court, shall be
charged with the payment of any judgment that
is returned unsatisfied. It covers not only a final
and executory judgment but also the execution of
a judgment pending appeal.
PETITION for certiorari to review the resolution of
the Intermediate Appellate Court.

On December 28, 1984, the trial court rendered a


Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
"WHEREFORE, plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment is hereby GRANTED, and judgment is
rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendant Varian Industrial Corporation, and the
latter is hereby ordered:
1. To pay plaintiff the amount of P1,401,468.00,
the principal obligation with 12% interest per
annum from the date of default until fully paid;
2. To pay plaintiff 5% of the principal obligation as
li-quidated damages;
3. To pay plaintiff P30,000.00 as exemplary
damages;
______________

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.


GANCAYCO, J.:
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the
Resolution dated September 12, 1985 of the
Intermediate Appellate Court
in AC-G.R. No. CR-054091 granting private
respondent's motion for execution pending
appeal and ordering the issuance of the
corresponding writ of execution on the
counterbond to lift attachment filed by petitioner.
The focal issue that emerges is whether an order
of execution pending appeal of a judgment
maybe enforced on the said bond. In the
Resolution of September 25, 19852 this Court as
prayed for, without necessarily giving due course
to the petition, issued a temporary restraining
order enjoining the respondents from enforcing
the order complaint of.
The records disclose that private respondent
Sycwin Coating & Wires, Inc., filed a complaint for
collection of a sum of money against Varian
Industrial Corporation before the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City. During the pendency of the
suit, private respondent succeeded in attaching
some of the properties of Varian Industrial
Corporation upon the posting of a supersedeas
bond.3 The latter in turn posted a counterbond in
the sum of P1,400,000.004 thru petitioner
Philippine British Assurance Co., Inc., so the
attached properties were released.

1 Annex A, Petition, page 22, Rollo,


2 Page 61, Rollo.
3 Annex H, Petition, page 56, Rollo.
4 Annex D, page 36, Rollo.
4. To pay plaintiff 15% of P1,401,468.00, the
principal obligation, as and for attorney's fees;
and
5. To pay the costs of suit.
Accordingly, the counterclaim of the defendant is
hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED."5
Varian Industrial Corporation appealed the
decision to the respondent Court. Sycwin then
filed a petition for execution pending appeal
against the properties of Varian in respondent
Court. Varian was required to file its comment but
none was filed. In the Resolution of July 5, 1985,
respondent Court ordered the execution pending
appeal as prayed for.6 However, the writ of
execution was returned unsatisfied as Varian
failed to deliver the previously attached personal
properties upon demand. In a Petition dated
August 13, 1985 filed with respondent Court
Sycwin prayed that the surety (herein petitioner)
be ordered to pay the value of its bond.7 In
compliance with the Resolution of August 23,

1985 of the respondent Court herein petitioner


filed its comment.8 In the Resolution of
September 12, 1985,9 the respondent Court
granted the petition. Hence this action.
It is the submission of private respondent Sycwin
that without a previous motion for
reconsideration of the questioned resolution,
certiorari would not lie. While as a general rule a
motion for reconsideration has been considered a
condi-tion sine qua non for the granting of a writ
of certiorari, this rule does not apply when special
circumstances warrant immediate or more direct
action.10 It has been held further that a motion
for reconsideration may be dispensed with in
cases like
5 Annex B, Petition, page 29, Rollo.

Surety, in consideration of the above and of the


lifting or dissolution of the order of attachment,
hereby jointly and severally, bind ourselves in
favor of the above Plaintiff in the sum of PESOS
ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND ONLY
(P1,400,000.00), Philippine Currency, under the
condition that in case the Plaintiff recovers
judgment in the action, and Defendant will, on
demand, re-deliver the attached property so
released to the Officer of the Court and the same
shall be applied to the payment of the judgment,
or in default thereof, the defendant and Surety
will, on demand, pay to the Plaintiff the full value
of the property released.
EXECUTED at Manila, Philippines, this 28th day of
June, 1984."12

6 Annex C, Pages 31-35, Rollo, Annex C, Page 40,


Rollo.

Sections 5, 12, and 17 of Rule 57 of the Revised


Rules of Court also provide: SEC. 5. Manner of
attaching property.The officer executing

7 Annex F, Pages 41-42, Rollo.

______________

8 Annex G, Pages 47-55, Rollo.

11 Luzon Surety Co., Inc. vs. De Marbella, et al, L16088, September 30, 1960, 09 Phil. 734 and
Socio vs. Vda. de Leary 12 SCRA 326, 329.

9 Annex A, Pages 22-23, Rollo.


10 Uy Chu vs. Imperial, et al., 44 Phil. 27,
Matutina vs. Buslon, et al, L-14637, Aug.
24,1960,109 Phil. 140.
this where execution had been ordered and the
need for relief was extremely urgent.11
The counterbond provides:
"WHERE AS, in the above-entitled case pending in
the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial
Region, Branch LXXXV, Quezon City, an order of
Attachment was issued against abovenamed
Defendant;
WHERE AS, the Defendant, for the purpose of
lifting and/or dissolving the order of attachment
issued against them in the above-entitled case,
have offered to file a counterbond in the sum of
PESOS ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND
ONLY (P1,400,000.00), Philippine Currency, as
provided for in Section 5, Rule 57 of the Revised
Rules of Court.
NOW, THEREFORE, we, VARIAN INDUSTRIAL
CORPORATION, as Principal and the PHILIPPINE
BRITISH ASSURANCE COMPANY, INC., a
corporation duly organized and existing under
and by virtue of the laws of the Philippines, as

12 Annex D, page 36, Rollo.


the order shall without delay attach, to await
judgment and execution in the action, all the
properties of the party against whom the order is
issued in the province, not exempt from
execution, or so much thereof as may be
sufficient to satisfy the applicant's demand,
unless the former makes a deposit with the clerk
or judge of the court from which the order issued,
or gives a counter-bond executed to the
applicant, in an amount sufficient to satisfy such
demand besides costs, or in an amount equal to
the value of the property which is about to be
attached, to secure payment to the applicant of
any judgment which he may recover in the
action. The officer shall also forthwith serve a
copy of the applicant's affidavit and bond, and of
the order of attachment, on the adverse party, if
he be found within the province.
SEC. 12. Discharge of attachment upon giving
counterbond.At any time after an order of
attachment has been granted, the party whose
property has been attached, or the person
appearing on his behalf, may, upon reasonable
notice to the applicant, apply to the judge who

granted the order, or to the judge of the court in


which the action is pending, for an order
discharging the attachment wholly or in part on
the security given. The judge shall, after hearing,
order the discharge of the attachment if a cash
deposit is made, or a counter-bond executed to
the attaching creditor is filed, on behalf of the
adverse party, with the clerk or judge of the court
where the application is made, in an amount
equal to the value of the property attached as
determined by the judge, to secure the payment
of any judgment that the attaching creditor may
recover in the action. Upon the filing of such
counter-bond, copy thereof shall forthwith be
served on the attaching creditor or his lawyer.
Upon the discharge of an attachment in
accordance with the provisions of this section the
property attached, or the proceeds of any sale
thereof, shall be delivered to the party making
the deposit or giving the counterbond aforesaid
standing in place of the property so released.
Should such counterbond for any reason be found
to be, or become, insufficient, and the party
furnishing the same fail to file an additional
counterbond, the attaching creditor may apply for
a new order of attachment.
SEC. 17. When execution returned unsatisfied,
recovery had upon bond.If the execution be
returned unsatisfied in whole or in part, the
surety or sureties on any counter-bond given
pursuant to the provisions of this rule to secure
the payment of the judgment shall become
charged on such counter-bond, and bound to pay
to the judg-ment creditor upon demand, the
amount due under the judgment, which amount
may be recovered from such surety or sureties
after notice and summary hearing in the same
action. (Italics supplied.) Under Sections 5 and
12, Rule 57 above reproduced it is provided that
the counterbond is intended to secure the
payment of "any judgment" that the attaching
creditor may recover in the action. Under Section
17 of same rule it provides that when "the
execution be returned unsatisfied in whole or in
part" it is only then that "payment of the
judgment shall become charged on such
counterbond."
The counterbond was issued in accordance with
the provisions of Section 5, Rule 57 of the Rules
of Court as provided in the second paragraph
aforecited which is deemed reproduced as part of
the counterbond. In the third paragraph it is also

stipulated that the counterbond is to be "applied


for the payment of the judgment." Neither the
rules nor the provisions of the counterbond
limited its application to a final and executory
judgment. Indeed, it is specified that it applies to
the payment of any judgment that maybe
recovered by plaintiff. Thus, the only logical
conclusion is that an execution of any judgment
including one pending appeal if returned
unsatisfied maybe charged against such a
counterbond.
It is well recognized rule that where the law does
not distinguish, courts should not distinguish. Ubi
lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos.
13 The rule, founded on logic, is a corollary of the
principle that general words and phrases in a
statute should ordinarily be accorded their
natural and general significance.14 The rule
requires that a general
13 Colgate-Palmolive Phil., Inc. v. Gimenez, G.R.
No. 14787, Jan. 28, 1961, 1 SCRA 267 (1961);
Libudan v. Gil, G.R. No. 21163, May 17, 1972, 45
SCRA 17 (1972); Dominador v. Derahunan, 49
Phil. 452 (1926); Guevarra v. Inocentes, G.R. No.
25577, March 15, 1966, 16 SCRA 379 (1966);
Director of Lands v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 32522,
Jan. 28 1963; Alfato v. Commission on Elections,
G.R. No. 52749, March 31, 1981, 103 SCRA 741
(1981); Statutory Construction by Ruben E.
Agpalo, 1986, pp. 143-144.
14 14 Loc Cham v. Ocampo, 77 Phil. 636 (1946),
term or phrase should not be reduced into parts
and one part distinguished from the other so as
to justify its exclusion from the operation of the
law.15 In other words, there should be no
distinction in the application of a statute where
none is indicated.16 For courts are not authorized
to distinguish where the law makes no distinction.
They should instead administer the law not as
they think it ought to be but as they find it and
without regard to consequences.17
A corollary of the principle is the rule that where
the law does not make any exception, courts may
not except something therefrom, unless there is
compelling reason apparent in the law to justify
it.18 Thus where a statute grants a person
against whom possession of "any land" is
unlawfully withheld the right to bring an action
for unlawful detainer, this Court held that the
phrase "any land" includes all kinds of land,

whether agricultural, residential, or mineral.19


Since the law in this case does not make any
distinction nor intended to make any exception,
when it speaks of "any judgment" which maybe
charged against the counterbond, it should be
interpreted to refer not only to a final and
executory judgment in the case but also a
judgment pending appeal.
All that is required is that the conditions provided
for by
___________

15 Social Security System v. City of Bacolod, G.R.


No. 35726, July 21, 1982, 115 SCRA 412 (1982);
Director of Lands v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 32522,
Jan. 28, 1983.

satisfaction of the judgment, and (3) that the


surety be given notice and a summary hearing on
the same action as to his liability for the
judgment under his counterbond.''
The rule therefore, is that the counterbond to lift
attachment that is issued in accordance with the
provisions of Section 5, Rule 57, of the Rules of
Court, shall be charged with the payment of any
judgment that is returned unsatisfied. It covers
not only a final and executory judgment but also
the execution of a judgment pending appeal.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED
for lack of merit and the restraining order issued
on September 25, 1985 is hereby dissolved with
costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

16 Lo Cham vs. Ocampo, supra.

Yap (Chairman), Narvasa; Melencio-Herrera,


Cruz and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.

17 Velasco v. Lopez, 1 Phil. 720 (1903).

Feliciano, J., on leave.

18 Tolentino v. Catoy, 82 Phil. 300 (1948).

Petition dismissed.

19 Social Security System v. City of Bacolod,


supra; see also Robles v. Zambales Chromite Co.,
104 Phil. 688 (1958); Government v. Municipality
of Binalonan, 32 Phil. 634(1915); Director of
Lands v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 32522, Jan. 28, 1983;
Oliva v. Lamadrid, G.R. No. 23196, Oct. 31, 1967,
21 SCRA 737 (1967); Escosura v. San Miguel
Brewery, Inc., 114 Phil. 225 (1962); Alfato v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 52749, March
31, 1981, 103 SCRA 741 (1981); Liggett & Myers
Tobacco v. Collector of Internal Revenue, G.R. No.
9415, April 22, 1957, 101 Phil. 106 (1957); Tiu
San v. Republic, 96 Phil. 817 (1955); Agpalo,
supra, pp. 143-147.

Note.An appeal taken for purposes of delay by


the petitioner is a ground for issuing a writ of
execution pending appeal, and the intention to
delay can be inferred from repeated
continuances; but to assail an order allowing
execution pending appeal, the remedy is to
tender a supersedeas bond and not certiorari.
(Javellana vs. Querubin, 17 SCRA 873.) Philippine
British Assurance Co., Inc. vs. Intermediate
Appellate Court, 150 SCRA 520, No. L-72005 May
29, 1987

Philippine British Assurance Co., Inc. us.


Intermediate Appellate Court
law are complied with, as outlined in the case of
Towers Assurance Corporation v. Ororama
Supermart,20
"Under Section 17, in order that the judgment
creditor might recover from the surety on the
counterbond, it is necessary (1) that the
execution be first issued against the principal
debtor and that such execution was returned
unsatisfied in whole or in part; (2) that the
creditor make a demand upon the surety for the

___________
20 80 SCRA 262, 264 (1977); See also Leelin
Marketing Corp. v. C & S Agro Dev. Co., 121 SCRA
725, 730-731 (1983); Dizon vs. Valdez, 23 SCRA
200, 203 (1968).

G.R. No. 115245. July 11, 1995.*


JUANITO C. PILAR, petitioner, vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.
Election Law; Section 14 of RA No. 7166 states
that every candidate has the obligation to file his
statement of contributions and expenditures.
Section 14 of R.A. No. 7166 states that every

candidate has the obligation to file his statement


of contributions and expenditures.

Petitioners withdrawal of his candidacy did not


extinguish his liability for the administrative fine.

Same: Same; The rule is well recognized that


where the law does not distinguish courts should
not distinguish.Well-recognized is the rule that
where the law does not distinguish, courts should
not distinguish. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos
distinguere debemos (Philippine British Assurance
Co. Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 150
SCRA 520 [1987]; cf. Olfato v. Commission on
Elections, 103 SCRA 741 [1981]). No distinction is
to be made in the application of a law where none
is indicated.

MELO, J., Dissenting Opinion:

Same; Same; The term every candidate must


be deemed to refer not only to a candidate who
pursued his campaign but also to one who
withdrew his candidacy.In the case at bench, as
the law makes no distinction or qualification as to
whether the candidate pursued his candidacy or
withdrew the same, the term every candidate
must be deemed to refer not only to a candidate
who pursued his campaign, but also to one who
withdrew his candidacy.
Same; Same: Section 13 of Resolution No. 2348
categorically refers to all candidates who filed
their certificate of candidacy."The COMELEC,
the body tasked with the enforcement and
administration of all laws and regulations relative
to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative,
referendum, and recall (The Constitution of the
Republic of the Philippines, Art. IX(C), Sec. 2[1]),
issued Resolution No. 2348 in implementation or
interpretation of the provisions of Republic Act
No. 7166 on election contributions and
expenditures. Section 13 of Resolution No. 2348
categorically refers to all candidates who filed
their certificates of candidacy.
Same; Same; Petitioners withdrawal of his
candidacy did not extinguish his liability for the
administrative fine.Lastly, we note that
_______________
* EN BANC.
under the fourth paragraph of Section 73 of the
B.P. Blg. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code of the
Philippines, it is provided that [t]he filing or
withdrawal of certificate of candidacy shall not
affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative
liabilities which a candidate may have incurred.

Election Law; Section 14 of R.A. No. 7166 states


that every candidate has the obligation to file his
statement of contributions and expenditures; The
term candidate is used to designate a person
who actually submits himself and is voted for at
our election.But is an aspirant for public office
who had a sudden change of heart, so to speak,
still considered a candidate to begin with? I am of
the impression that he is not and is thus not
bound to render an accounting subsequent to
election for the simple reason that the term
candidate is used to designate a person who
actually submits himself and is voted for at our
election (Santos vs. Miranda, 35 Phil. 643, 648
(1916) citing State vs. Hirsch, 125 Ind., 207; 9
L.R.A. 107; Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary,
1972 2nd ed., p. 84). Certainly, one who
withdraws his certificate of candidacy 3 days
after the filing thereof, can not be voted for at an
election. And considering the shortness of the
period of 3 days from the filing to the withdrawal
of the certificate of candidacy, petitioner cannot
be accused, as indeed there is no such charge, of
utilizing his aborted candidacy for purposes to
raise funds or to extort money from other
candidates in exchange for the withdrawal.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court.
Certiorari.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Diosdado G. Gozar for petitioner.
QUIASON, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of
the Revised Rules of Court assailing the
Resolution dated April 28, 1994 of the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in UND No.
94-040.
I
On March 22, 1992, petitioner Juanito C. Pilar filed
his certificate of candidacy for the position of
member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the
Province of Isabela.
On March 25, 1992, petitioner withdrew his
certificate of candidacy.

In M.R. Nos. 93-2654 and 94-0065 dated


November 3, 1993 and February 13, 1994
respectively, the COMELEC imposed upon
petitioner the fine of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00) for failure to file his statement of
contributions and expenditures.
In M.R. No. 94-0594 dated February 24, 1994, the
COMELEC denied the motion for reconsideration
of petitioner and deemed final M.R. Nos. 93-2654
and 94-0065 (Rollo, p. 14).
Petitioner went to the COMELEC En Banc (UND
No. 94-040), which denied the petition in a
Resolution dated April 28, 1994 (Rollo, pp. 10-13).
Hence, this petition for certiorari.
We dismiss the petition.
II
Section 14 of R.A. No. 7166 entitled An Act
Providing for Synchronized National and Local
Elections and for Electoral Reforms, Authorizing
Appropriations Therefor, and for Other Purposes
provides as follows:
Statement of Contributions and Expenditures:
Effect of Failure to File Statement. Every
candidate and treasurer of the political party
shall, within thirty (30) days after the day of the
election, file in duplicate with the offices of the
Commission the full, true and itemized statement
of all contributions and expenditures in
connection with the election.
No person elected to any public office shall enter
upon the duties of his office until he has filed the
statement of contributions and expenditures
herein required.
The same prohibition shall apply if the political
party which nominated the winning candidate
fails to file the statement required herein within
the period prescribed by this Act.
Except candidates for elective barangay office,
failure to file the statements or reports in
connection with electoral contributions and
expenditures as required herein shall constitute
an administrative offense for which the offenders
shall be liable to pay an administrative fine
ranging from One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) to
Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), in the
discretion of the Commission.

The fine shall be paid within thirty (30) days


from receipt of notice of such failure; otherwise, it
shall be enforceable by a writ of execution issued
by the Commission against the properties of the
offender.
It shall be the duty of every city or municipal
election registrar to advise in writing, by personal
delivery or registered mail, within five (5) days
from the date of election all candidates residing
in his jurisdiction to comply with their obligation
to file their statements of contributions and
expenditures.
For the commission of a second or subsequent
offense under this Section, the administrative fine
shall be from Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) to
Sixty Thousand Pesos (P60,000.00), in the
discretion of the Commission. In addition, the
offender shall be subject to perpetual
disqualification to hold public office (Italics
supplied).
To implement the provisions of law relative to
election contributions and expenditures, the
COMELEC promulgated on January 13, 1992
Resolution No. 2348 (Re: Rules and Regulations
Governing Electoral Contributions and
Expenditures in Connection with the National and
Local Elections on May 11, 1992). The pertinent
provisions of said Resolution are:
Sec. 13. Statement of contributions and
expenditures: Reminders to candidates to file
statements.Within five (5) days from the day of
the election, the Law Department of the
Commission, the regional election director of the
National Capital Region, the provincial election
supervisors and the election registrars shall
advise in writing by personal delivery or
registered mail all candidates who filed their
certificates of candidacy with them to comply
with their obligation to file their statements of
contributions and expenditures in connection with
the elections. Every election registrar shall also
advise all candidates residing in his jurisdiction to
comply with said obligation (Italics supplied).
Sec. 17. Effect of failure to file statement.(a)
No person elected to any public office shall enter
upon the duties of his office until he has filed the
statement of contributions and expenditures
herein required.

The same prohibition shall apply if the political


party which nominated the winning candidates
fails to file the statement required within the
period prescribed by law.
(b) Except candidates for elective barangay
office, failure to file statements or reports in
connection with the electoral contributions and
expenditures as required herein shall constitute
an administrative offense for which the offenders
shall be liable to pay an administrative
fine ranging from One Thousand Pesos (P1,000)
to Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000), in the
discretion of the Commission.
The fine shall be paid within thirty (30) days
from receipt of notice of such failure; otherwise, it
shall be enforceable by a writ of execution issued
by the Commission against the properties of the
offender.
For the commission of a second or subsequent
offense under this section, the administrative fine
shall be from Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000) to
Sixty Thousand Pesos (P60,000), in the discretion
of the Commission. In addition, the offender shall
be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold
public office.
Petitioner argues that he cannot be held liable for
failure to file a statement of contributions and
expenditures because he was a non-candidate,
having withdrawn his certificate of candidacy
three days after its filing. Petitioner posits that it
is x x x clear from the law that the candidate
must have entered the political contest, and
should have either won or lost (Rollo, p. 39).
Petitioners argument is without merit.
Section 14 of R.A. No. 7166 states that every
candidate has the obligation to file his statement
of contributions and expenditures.
Well-recognized is the rule that where the law
does not distinguish, courts should not
distinguish. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos
distinguere debemos (Philippine British Assurance
Co. Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 150
SCRA 520 [1987]; cf. Olfato v. Commission on
Elections, 103 SCRA 741 [1981]). No distinction is
to be made in the application of a law where none
is indicated (Lo Cham v. Ocampo, 77 Phil. 636
[1946]).

In the case at bench, as the law makes no


distinction or qualification as to whether the
candidate pursued his candidacy or withdrew the
same, the term every candidate must be
deemed to refer not only to a candidate who
pursued his campaign, but also to one who
withdrew his candidacy.
The COMELEC, the body tasked with the
enforcement and administration of all laws and
regulations relative to the conduct of an election,
plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall (The
Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines,
Art. IX(C), Sec. 2[1]), issued Resolution No. 2348
in implementation or interpretation of the
provisions of Republic Act No. 7166 on election
contributions and expenditures. Section 13 of
Resolution No. 2348 categorically refers to all
candidates who filed their certificates of
candidacy.
Furthermore, Section 14 of the law uses the word
shall. As a general rule, the use of the word
shall in a statute implies that the statute is
mandatory, and imposes a duty which may be
enforced, particularly if public policy is in favor of
this meaning or where public interest is involved.
We apply the general rule (Baranda v. Gustilo,
165 SCRA 757 [1988]; Diokno v. Rehabilitation
Finance Corporation, 91 Phil. 608 [1952]).
The state has an interest in seeing that the
electoral process is clean, and ultimately
expressive of the true will of the electorate. One
way of attaining such objective is to pass
legislation regulating contributions and
expenditures of candidates, and compelling the
publication of the same. Admittedly, contributions
and expenditures are made for the purpose of
influencing the results of the elections (B.P. Blg.
881, Sec. 94; Resolution No. 2348, Sec. 1). Thus,
laws and regulations prescribe what contributions
are prohibited (B.P. Blg. 881, Sec. 95; Resolution
No. 2348, Sec. 4), or unlawful (B.P. Blg. 881, Sec.
96), and what expenditures are authorized (B.P.
Blg. 881, Sec. 102; R.A. No. 7166, Sec. 13;
Resolution No. 2348, Sec. 7) or lawful (Resolution
No. 2348, Sec. 8).
Such statutes are not peculiar to the Philippines.
In corrupt and illegal practices acts of several
states in the United States, as well as in federal
statutes, expenditures of candidates are
regulated by requiring the filing of statements of
expenses and by limiting the amount of money

that may be spent by a candidate. Some statutes


also regulate the solicitation of campaign
contributions (26 Am Jur 2d, Elections 287).
These laws are designed to compel publicity with
respect to matters contained in the statements
and to prevent, by such publicity, the improper
use of moneys devoted by candidates to the
furtherance of their ambitions (26 Am Jur 2d,
Elections 289). These statutes also enable
voters to evaluate the influences exerted on
behalf of candidates by the contributors, and to
furnish evidence of corrupt practices for
annulment of elections (Sparkman v. Saylor
[Court of Appeals of Kentucky], 180 Ky. 263, 202
S.W. 649 [1918]).
State courts have also ruled that such provisions
are mandatory as to the requirement of filing
(State ex rel. Butchofsky v. Crawford [Court of
Civil Appeals of Texas], 269 S.W. 2d 536 [1954];
Best v. Sidebottom, 270 Ky. 423, 109 S.W. 2d 826
[1937]; Sparkman v. Saylor, supra.)
It is not improbable that a candidate who
withdrew his candidacy has accepted
contributions and incurred expenditures, even in
the short span of his campaign. The evil sought to
be prevented by the law is not all too remote.
It is noteworthy that Resolution No. 2348 even
contemplates the situation where a candidate
may not have received any contribution or made
any expenditure. Such a candidate is not excused
from filing a statement, and is in fact required to
file a statement to that effect. Under Section 15
of Resolution No. 2348, it is provided that [i]f a
candidate or treasurer of the party has received
no contribution, made no expenditure, or has no
pending obligation, the statement shall reflect
such fact.
Lastly, we note that under the fourth paragraph
of Section 73 of the B.P. Blg. 881 or the Omnibus
Election Code of the Philippines, it is provided
that [t]he filing or withdrawal of certificate of
candidacy shall not affect whatever civil, criminal
or administrative liabilities which a candidate
may have incurred. Petitioners withdrawal of his
candidacy did not extinguish his liability for the
administrative fine.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.

Narvasa (C.J.), Feliciano, Regalado, Davide, Jr.,


Romero, Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza and
Francisco, JJ., concur.
Padilla, J., I join Mr. Justice Melo in his
dissenting opinion.
Melo, J., Please see dissent.
Kapunan, J., On leave.
DISSENTING OPINION
MELO, J.:
The majority opinion is to the effect that every
candidate, including one who has withdrawn his
certificate of candidacy, is obliged to file his
statement of contributions and expenditures in
line with Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166 visa-vis the pertinent portions of Comelec Resolution
No. 2348. I must concede that the use of the
word shall in the main statute as well as the
implementing rules generally suggest
mandatoriness as to cover all candidates.
But is an aspirant for public office who had a
sudden change of heart, so to speak, still
considered a candidate to begin with? I am of the
impression that he is not and is thus not bound to
render an accounting subsequent to election for
the simple reason that the term candidate is
used to designate a person who actually submits
himself and is voted for at our election (Santos
vs. Miranda, 35 Phil. 643, 648 (1916) citing State
vs. Hirsch, 125 Ind., 207; 9 L.R.A. 107; Moreno,
Philippine Law Dictionary, 1972 2nd ed., p. 84).
Certainly, one who withdraws his certificate of
candidacy 3 days after the filing thereof, can not
be voted for at an election. And considering the
shortness of the period of 3 days from the filing
to the withdrawal of the certificate of candidacy,
petitioner cannot be accused, as indeed there is
no such charge, of utilizing his aborted candidacy
for purposes to raise funds or to extort money
from other candidates in exchange for the
withdrawal.
I, therefore, vote to grant the petition.
Petition dismissed. Pilar vs. Commission on
Elections, 245 SCRA 759, G.R. No. 115245 July 11,
1995
People vs. Evangelista

G.R. No. 110898. February 20, 1996.*


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs.
HON. JUDGE ANTONIO C. EVANGELISTA, as
Presiding Judge of Branch XXI, 10th Judicial
Region, RTC of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan
de Oro City, and GRILDO S. TUGONON,
respondents.
Criminal Law; Probation; Statutes; Until its
amendment by P.D. 1990 in 1986, it was possible
under P.D. 968 (The Probation Law) for the
accused to take his chances on appeal by
allowing probation to be granted even after an
accused had appealed his sentence and failed to
obtain an acquittal, just so long as he had not yet
started to serve the sentence.Until its
amendment by P.D. No. 1990 in 1986, it was
possible under P.D. No. 968, otherwise known as
the Probation Law, for the accused to take his
chances on appeal by allowing probation to be
granted even after an accused had appealed his
sentence and failed to obtain an acquittal, just so
long as he had not yet started to serve the
sentence. Accordingly, in Santos To v. Pao, it was
held that the fact that the accused had appealed
did not bar him from applying for probation
especially because it was as a result of the appeal
that his sentence was reduced and made the
probationable limit. The law was, however,
amended by P.D. No. 1990 which took effect on
January 15, 1986 precisely to put a stop to the
practice of appealing from judgments of
conviction even if the sentence is probationable
for the purpose of securing an acquittal and
applying for probation only if the accused fails in
his bid.
Same; Same; Same; A person who files his
application for probation after the effectivity of
P.D. 1990 is covered by the prohibition that no
application for probation shall be entertained or
granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal
from the judgment of conviction and that the
filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver
of the right to appeal.Since private respondent
filed his application for probation on December
28, 1992, after P.D. No. 1990 had taken effect, it
is covered by the prohibition that no application
for probation shall be entertained or granted if
the defendant has perfected the appeal from the
judgment of conviction and that the filing of the
application shall be deemed a waiver of the right
to ap-peal. Having appealed from the judgment

of the trial court and having applied for probation


only after the Court of Appeals had affirmed his
conviction, private respondent was clearly
precluded from the benefits of probation.
Same; Same; Same; Statutory Construction; If the
law makes no distinction, neither should the
Court.Private respondent argues, however, that
a distinction should be drawn between
meritorious appeals (like his appeal
notwithstanding the appellate courts affirmance
of his conviction) and unmeritorious appeals. But
the law does not make any distinction and so
neither should the Court. In fact if an appeal is
truly meritorious the accused would be set free
and not only given probation.
Same; Same; Same; Same; The perfection of the
appeal referred in the law refers to the appeal
taken from a judgment of conviction by the trial
court and not that of the appellate court.The
ruling of the RTC that [h]aving not perfected an
appeal against the Court of Appeals decision,
[private respondent] is, therefore, not covered by
[the amendment in] P.D. 1990 is an obvious
misreading of the law. The perfection of the
appeal referred in the law refers to the appeal
taken from a judgment of conviction by the trial
court and not that of the appellate court, since
under the law an application for probation is filed
with the trial court which can only grant the same
after it shall have convicted and sentenced [the]
defendant, and upon application by said
defendant within the period for perfecting an
appeal.
PETITION for review of a decision of the Presiding
Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de
Oro City, Br. 21.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.


The Solicitor General for petitioner.
Carlito P. Somido for private respondent.
MENDOZA, J.:

Private respondent Grildo S. Tugonon was


charged with frustrated homicide in the Regional
Trial Court of Misamis Oriental (Branch 21), the
information against him alleging

That on or about the 26th day of May, 1988, at


more or less 9:00 oclock in the evening at
Barangay Poblacion, Municipality of Villanueva,
Province of Misamis Oriental, Republic of the
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused with
intent to kill and with the use of a knife, which he
was then conveniently provided of, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously assault,
attack and stab Roque T. Bade thereby inflicting
upon him the following injuries, to wit:
Stab wound, right iliac area, 0.5 cm. penetrating
non perforating lacerating posterior peritoneum,
0.5 cm.

possessed all the qualifications and none of the


disqualifications for probation under P.D. No. 968,
as amended; (2) the Court of Appeals had in fact
reduced the penalty imposed on him by the trial
court; (3) in its resolution, the Court of Appeals
took no action on a petition for probation which
he had earlier filed with it so that the petition
could be filed with the trial court; (4) in the trial
courts decision, two mitigating circumstances of
incomplete self-defense and voluntary surrender
were appreciated in his favor; and (5) in Santos To
v. Pao,3 the Supreme Court upheld the right of
the accused to probation notwithstanding the fact
that he had appealed from his conviction by the
trial court.

thus performing all the acts of execution which


would produce the crime of Homicide as a
consequence but which, nevertheless, did not
produce it by reason of causes independent of
the will of the accused, that is by timely medical
attendance which prevented his death.

On February 2, 1993, the RTC ordered private


respondent to report for interview to the
Provincial Probation Officer. The Provincial
Probation Officer on the other hand was required
to submit his report with recommendation to the
court within 60 days.4

CONTRARY TO and in violation of Article 249 in


relation to Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code.

On February 18, 1993, Chief Probation and Parole


Officer Isias B. Valdehueza recommended denial
of private respondents application for probation
on the ground that by appealing the sentence of
the trial court, when he could have then applied
for probation, private respondent waived the right
to make his application. The Probation Officer
thought the present case to be distinguishable
from Santos To v. Pao in the sense that in this
case the original sentence imposed on private
respondent by the trial court (1 year of
imprisonment) was probationable and there was
no reason for private respondent not to have filed
his application for probation then, whereas in
Santos To v. Pao the penalty only became
probationable after it had been reduced as a
result of the appeal.

After trial he was found guilty and sentenced to


one year of prision correccional in its minimum
period and ordered to pay to the offended party
P5,000.00 for medical expense, without
subsidiary imprisonment, and the costs. The RTC
appreciated in his favor the privileged mitigating
circumstances of incomplete self-defense and the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender.
On appeal the Court of Appeals affirmed private
respondents conviction but modified his
sentence by imposing on him an indeterminate
penalty of 2 months of arresto mayor, as
minimum, to 2 years and 4 months of prision
correccional, as maximum.1
On December 21, 1992, respondent Judge
Antonio C. Evangelista of the RTC set the case for
repromulgation on January 4, 1993.
_______________
1 Decision dated January 23, 1992, per Associate
Justice Lorna S. Lombos-dela Fuente and
concurred in by Associate Justices Alfredo M.
Marigomen and Jainal D. Rasul, Petition, Annex D,
Rollo, pp. 44-49.
On December 28, 1992, private respondent filed
a petition for probation,2 alleging that (1) he

_______________

2 Petition, Annex F, Rollo, pp. 51-53.


3 120 SCRA 8 (1983).
4 Petition, Annex I, Rollo, p. 56.
On April 16, 1993 Valdehueza reiterated5 his
respectful recommendation that private
respondents application for probation be denied
and that a warrant of arrest be issued for him to
serve his sentence in jail.

The RTC set aside the Probation Officers


recommendation and granted private
respondents application for probation in its order
of April 23, 1993.6 Hence this petition by the
prosecution.

Santos To v. Pao, it was held that the fact that


the accused had appealed did not bar him from
applying for probation especially because it was
as a result of the appeal that his sentence was
reduced and made the probationable limit.

The issue in this case is whether the RTC


committed a grave abuse of its discretion by
granting private respondents application for
probation despite the fact that he had appealed
from the judgment of his conviction of the trial
court.

The law was, however, amended by P.D. No. 1990


which took effect on January 15, 19868 precisely
to put a stop to the practice of appealing from
judgments of conviction even if the sentence is
probationable for the purpose of securing an
acquittal and applying for probation only if the
accused fails in his bid. Thus, as amended by P.D.
No. 1990, 4 of the Probation Law now reads:

The Court holds that it did.


Until its amendment by P.D. No. 1990 in 1986, it
was possible under P.D. No. 968, otherwise known
as the Probation Law, for the accused to take his
chances on appeal by allowing probation to be
granted even after an accused had appealed his
sentence and failed to obtain an acquittal, just so
long as he had not yet started to serve the
sentence.7 Accordingly, in
_______________
5 Petition, Annex N, Rollo, pp. 66-67.
6 Petition, Annex A, Rollo, pp. 28-33.
7 P.D. No. 968, 4, as amended by P.D. No. 1287
provided:
Sec. 4. Grant of Probation.___Subject to the
provisions of this Decree, the court may, after it
shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant
but before he begins to serve his sentence and
upon his application, suspend the execution of
said sentence and place the defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms
and conditions as it may deem best.
The prosecuting officer concerned shall be
notified by the court of the filing of the
application for probation and he may submit his
comment on such application within ten days
from receipt of the notification.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence
imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. An
application for probation shall be filed with the
trial court, with notice to the appellate court if an
appeal has been taken from the sentence of
conviction. The

4. Grant of Probation.Subject to the provisions


of this Decree, the trial court may, after it shall
have convicted and sentenced a defendant, and
upon application by said defendant within the
period for perfecting an appeal, suspend the
execution of the sentence and place the
defendant on probation for such period and upon
such terms and conditions as it may deem best;
Provided, That no application for probation shall
be entertained or granted if the defendant has
perfected the appeal from the judgment of
conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence
imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine only. An
application for probation shall be filed with the
trial court. The filing of the application shall be
deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.
An order granting or denying probation shall not
be appealable. (Emphasis added)
_______________
filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver
of the right to appeal, or the automatic
withdrawal of a pending appeal. In the latter
case, however, if the application is filed on or
after the date of the judgment of the appellate
court, said application shall be acted upon by the
trial court on the basis of the judgment of the
appellate court.
An order granting or denying probation shall not
be appealable. (Emphasis added)
8 P.D. No. 1990 was promulgated on October 5,
1985 and was published in the Official Gazette on
December 30, 1985. Under its effectivity clause it
shall take effect after 15 days following its
publication in the Official Gazette.

Since private respondent filed his application for


probation on December 28, 1992, after P.D. No.
1990 had taken effect,9 it is covered by the
prohibition that no application for probation shall
be entertained or granted if the defendant has
perfected the appeal from the judgment of
conviction and that the filing of the application
shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.
Having appealed from the judgment of the trial
court and having applied for probation only after
the Court of Appeals had affirmed his conviction,
private respondent was clearly precluded from
the benefits of probation.
Private respondent argues, however, that a
distinction should be drawn between meritorious
appeals (like his appeal notwithstanding the
appellate courts affirmance of his conviction) and
unmeritorious appeals. But the law does not
make any distinction and so neither should the
Court. In fact if an appeal is truly meritorious the
accused would be set free and not only given
probation. Private respondents original sentence
(1 year of prision correccional in its minimum
period) and the modified sentence imposed by
the Court of Appeals (2 months of arresto mayor,
as minimum, to 2 years and 4 months of prision
correccional, as maximum) are probationable.
Thus the fact that he appealed meant that
private respondent was taking his chances which
the law precisely frown upon. This is precisely the
evil that the amendment in P.D. No. 1990 sought
to correct, since in the words of the preamble to
the amendatory law, probation was not intended
as an escape hatch and should not be used to
obstruct and delay the administration of justice,
but should be availed of at the first opportunity
by offenders who are willing to be reformed and
rehabilitated.
The ruling of the RTC that [h]aving not perfected
an appeal against the Court of Appeals decision,
[private respondent] is, therefore, not covered by
[the amendment in] P.D.
_______________
9 P.D. No. 1990, 3 provides that the provisions
of Section 4 of P.D. No. 968, as above amended,
shall not apply to those who have already filed
their respective applications for probation at the
time of the effectivity of this Decree.
1990 is an obvious misreading of the law. The
perfection of the appeal referred in the law refers

to the appeal taken from a judgment of


conviction by the trial court and not that of the
appellate court, since under the law an
application for probation is filed with the trial
court which can only grant the same after it
shall have convicted and sentenced [the]
defendant, and upon application by said
defendant within the period for perfecting an
appeal. Accordingly, in Llamado v. Court of
Appeals,10 it was held that the petitioner who
had appealed his sentence could not
subsequently apply for probation.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the
order of April 23, 1993 of the Regional Trial Court
of Misamis Oriental (Branch 21) granting
probation to private respondent Grildo S. Tugonon
is SET ASIDE.
SO ORDERED.
Regalado (Chairman), Romero and Puno, JJ.,
concur.
Petition granted. Judgment granting probation set
aside.
Notes.Order of the court granting or denying
probation is not appealable. (Heirs of the Late
Francisco Abueg vs. Court of Appeals, 219 SCRA
78 [1993])
The act of an accused, who is immediately
committed to jail after judgment of conviction
despite his being out on bail, of filing an
application for probation instead of challenging
the legality of the trial courts act of issuing such
commitment order forecloses his right to appeal.
(Cal vs. Court of Appeals, 251 SCRA 523 [1995])
o0o People vs. Evangelista, 253 SCRA
714, G.R. No. 110898 February 20, 1996
De Villa vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 87416. April 8, 1991.*
CECILIO S. DE VILLA, petitioner, vs. THE
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES, HONORABLE JOB B.
MADAYAG, and ROBERTO Z. LORAYES,
respondents.
Courts; Jurisdiction; Criminal Procedure;
Information; Since the information alleges that
the offense was committed in Makati, the same is

controlling, and it sufficiently vests jurisdiction


upon the RTC of Makati.In the case of People v.
Hon. Manzanilla (156 SCRA 279 [1987] cited in
the case of Lim v. Rodrigo, 167 SCRA 487 [1988]),
the Supreme Court ruled that jurisdiction or
venue is determined by the allegations in the
information. The information under
consideration specifically alleged that the offense
was committed in Makati, Metro Manila and
therefore, the same is controlling and sufficient to
vest jurisdiction upon the Regional Trial Court of
Makati. The Court acquires jurisdiction over the
case and over the person of the accused upon
the filing of a complaint or information in court
which initiates a criminal action (Republic v.
Sunga, 162 SCRA 191 [1988]).
Same; Same; Criminal Law; Batas Pambansa Blg.
22; Bouncing Checks; Venue; In offenses
involving violations of the Bouncing Checks Law
(BP 22), the determinative factor in determining
venue, is the place of the issuance of the check.
Moreover, it has been held in the case of Que v.
People of the Philippines (154 SCRA 160 [1987]
cited in the case of People v. Grospe, 157 SCRA
154 [1988]) that the determinative factor (in
determining venue) is the place of the issuance of
the check. On the matter of venue for violation
of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, the Ministry of
Justice, citing the case of People v. Yabut (76
SCRA 624 [1977], laid down the following
guidelines in Memorandum Circular No. 4 dated
December 15, 1981, the pertinent portion of
which reads: (1) Venue of the offense lies at the
place where the check was executed and
delivered; (2) the place where the check was
written, signed or dated does not necessarily fix
the place where it was executed, as what is of
decisive importance is the delivery thereof which
is the final act essential to its consummation as
an obligation; x x x (Res. No. 377, s. 1980, Filtex
Mfg. Corp. vs. Manuel Chua, October 28, 1980).
(See The Law on Bouncing Checks Analyzed by
Judge Jesus F. Guerrero, Philippine Law Gazette,
Vol. 7. Nos. 11 & 12, October-De-cember, 1983, p.
14). It is undisputed that the check in question
was executed and delivered by the petitioner to
herein private respondent at Makati, Metro
Manila.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Foreign
checks, provided they are either drawn and
issued in the Philippines though payable outside
thereof, are within the coverage of the Bouncing

Checks Law.However, petitioner argues that the


check in question was drawn against the dollar
account of petitioner with a foreign bank, and is
therefore, not covered by the Bouncing Checks
Law (B.P. Blg. 22). But it will be noted that the law
does not distinguish the currency involved in the
case. As the trial court correctly ruled in its order
dated July 5, 1988: Under the Bouncing Checks
Law (B.P. Blg. 22), foreign checks, provided they
are either drawn and issued in the Philippines
though payable outside thereof x x x are within
the coverage of said law.
Statutes; Where the law does not make any
exception, courts may not except something
unless compelling reasons exist to justify it.It is
a cardinal principle in statutory construction that
where the law does not distinguish courts should
not distinguish. Parenthetically, the rule is that
where the law does not make any exception,
courts may not except something unless
compelling reasons exist to justify it (Phil. British
Assurance Co., Inc. v. IAC, 150 SCRA 520 [1987]).
Same; Courts may avail themselves of the actual
proceedings of the legislative body to assist in
determining the construction of a statute of
doubtful meaning.More importantly, it is well
established that courts may avail themselves of
the actual proceedings of the legislative body to
assist in determining the construction of a statute
of doubtful meaning (Palanca v. City of Manila, 41
Phil. 125 [1920]). Thus, where there is doubts as
to what a provision of a statute means, the
meaning put to the provision during the
legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill
may be adopted (Arenas v. City of San Carlos, 82
SCRA 318 [1978]).
PETITION for certiorari to review the decision of
the Court of Appeals. Melo, J.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
San Jose, Enriquez, Lacas, Santos & Borje for
petitioner.
Eduardo R. Robles for private respondent.
PARAS, J.:
This petition for review on certiorari seeks to
reverse and set aside the decision** of the Court
of Appeals promulgated on February 1, 1989 in
CA-G.R. SP No. 16071 entitled Cecilio S. de Villa
vs. Judge Job B. Madayag, etc. and Roberto Z.

Lorayes, dismissing the petition for certiorari


filed therein.

Accuseds motion to dismiss dated July 5, 1988,


is denied for lack of merit.

The factual backdrop of this case, as found by the


Court of Appeals, is as follows:

Under the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. Blg. 22),


foreign checks, provided they are either drawn
and issued in the Philippines though payable
outside thereof, or made payable and dishonored
in the Philippines though drawn and issued
outside thereof, are within the coverage of said
law. The law likewise applied to checks drawn
against current accounts in foreign currency.

On October 5, 1987, petitioner Cecilio S. de Villa


was charged before the Regional Trial Court of the
National Capital Judicial Region (Makati, Branch
145) with violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22,
allegedly committed as follows:
That on or about the 3rd day of April 1987, in the
municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, did, then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or
draw and issue to ROBERTO Z. LORAYEZ, to apply
on account or for value a Depositors Trust
Company Check No. 3371 antedated March 31,
1987, payable to herein complainant in the total
amount of U.S. $2,500.00 equivalent to
P50,000.00, said accused well knowing that at
the time of issue he had no sufficient funds in or
credit with drawee bank for payment of such
check in full upon its presentment which check
when presented to the drawee bank within ninety
(90) days from the date thereof was subsequently
dishonored for the reason INSUFFICIENT FUNDS
and despite receipt of notice of such dishonor
said accused failed to pay said ROBERTO Z.
LORAYEZ the amount of P50,000.00 of said check
or to make arrangement for full payment of the
same within five (5) banking days after receiving
said notice.
After arraignment and after private respondent
had testified on direct examination, petitioner
moved to dismiss the Information on the following
grounds: (a) Respondent court has no jurisdiction
over the offense charged; and (b) That no offense
was committed since the check involved was
payable in dollars, hence, the obligation created
is null and void pursuant to Republic Act No. 529
(An Act to Assure Uniform Value of Philippine Coin
and Currency).
_______________
** Penned by Associate Justice Jose A. R. Melo and
concurred in by Associate Justices Manuel C.
Herrera and Jorge S. Imperial.
On July 19, 1988, respondent court issued its
first questioned orders stating:

Petitioner moved for reconsideration but his


motion was subsequently denied by respondent
court in its order dated September 6, 1988, and
which reads:
Accuseds motion for reconsideration, dated
August 9, 1988, which was opposed by the
prosecution, is denied for lack of merit.
The Bouncing Checks Law is applicable to checks
drawn against current accounts in foreign
currency (Proceedings of the Batasang Pambansa,
February 7, 1979, p. 1376, cited in Makati RTC
Judge (now Manila City Fiscal) Jesus F. Guerreros
The Ramifications of the Law on Bouncing
Checks, p. 5). (Rollo, Annex A, Decision, pp.
20-22).
A petition for certiorari seeking to declare the
nullity of the aforequoted orders dated July 19,
1988 and September 6, 1988 was filed by the
petitioner in the Court of Appeals wherein he
contended:
(a) That since the questioned check was drawn
against the dollar account of petitioner with a
foreign bank, respondent court has no jurisdiction
over the same or with accounts outside the
territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines and that
Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 could have not
contemplated extending its coverage over dollar
accounts;
(b) That assuming that the subject check was
issued in connection with a private transaction
between petitioner and private respondent, the
payment could not be legally paid in dollars as it
would violate Republic Act No. 529; and
(c) That the obligation arising from the issuance
of the questioned check is null and void and is
not enforceable within the Philip-

pines either in a civil or criminal suit. Upon such


premises, petitioner concludes that the dishonor
of the questioned check cannot be said to have
violated the provisions of Batas Pambansa Bilang
22. (Rollo, Annex A, Decision, p. 22).
On February 1, 1989, the Court of Appeals
rendered a decision, the decretal portion of which
reads:
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby dismissed.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED. (Rollo, Annex A, Decision, p. 5)
A motion for reconsideration of the said decision
was filed by the petitioner on February 7, 1989
(Rollo, Petition, p. 6) but the same was denied by
the Court of Appeals in its resolution dated March
3, 1989 (Rollo, Annex B, p. 26).
Hence, this petition.
In its resolution dated November 13, 1989, the
Second Division of this Court gave due course to
the petition and required the parties to submit
simultaneously their respective memoranda
(Rollo, Resolution, p. 81).
The sole issue in this case is whether or not the
Regional Trial Court of Makati has jurisdiction over
the case in question.
The petition is without merit.
Jurisdiction is the power with which courts are
invested for administering justice, that is, for
hearing and deciding cases (Velunta v. Philippine
Constabulary, 157 SCRA 147 [1988]).
Jurisdiction in general, is either over the nature of
the action, over the subject matter, over the
person of the defendant, or over the issues
framed in the pleadings (Balais, v. Balais, 159
SCRA 37 [1988]).
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined
by the statute in force at the time of
commencement of the action (De la Cruz v. Moya,
160 SCRA 538 [1988]).
The trial courts jurisdiction over the case, subject
of this review, can not be questioned.
Sections 10 and 15(a), Rule 110 of the Rules of
Court specifically provide that:

Sec. 10. Place of the commission of the offense.


The complaint or information is sufficient if it can
be understood therefrom that the
offense was committed or some of the essential
ingredients thereof occured at some place within
the jurisdiction of the court, unless the particular
place wherein it was committed constitutes an
essential element of the offense or is necessary
for identifying the offense charged.
Sec. 15. Place where action is to be instituted.
(a) Subject to existing laws, in all criminal
prosecutions the action shall be instituted and
tried in the court of the municipality or territory
where the offense was committed or any of the
essential ingredients thereof took place.
In the case of People v. Hon. Manzanilla (156
SCRA 279 [1987] cited in the case of Lim v.
Rodrigo, 167 SCRA 487 [1988]), the Supreme
Court ruled that jurisdiction or venue is
determined by the allegations in the information.
The information under consideration specifically
alleged that the offense was committed in Makati,
Metro Manila and therefore, the same is
controlling and sufficient to vest jurisdiction upon
the Regional Trial Court of Makati. The Court
acquires jurisdiction over the case and over the
person of the accused upon the filing of a
complaint or information in court which initiates a
criminal action (Republic v. Sunga, 162 SCRA 191
[1988]).
Moreover, it has been held in the case of Que v.
People of the Philippines (154 SCRA 160 [1987]
cited in the case of People v. Grospe, 157 SCRA
154 [1988]) that the determinative factor (in
determining venue) is the place of the issuance of
the check.
On the matter of venue for violation of Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22, the Ministry of Justice, citing
the case of People v. Yabut (76 SCRA 624 [1977],
laid down the following guidelines in
Memorandum Circular No. 4 dated December 15,
1981, the pertinent portion of which reads:
(1) Venue of the offense lies at the place where
the check was executed and delivered; (2) the
place where the check was written, signed or
dated does not necessarily fix the place where it
was executed, as what is of decisive importance
is the delivery thereof which is the final act

essential to its consummation as an obligation; x


x x (Res. No. 377, s. 1980, Filtex Mfg. Corp. vs.
Manuel Chua, October 28, 1980). (See The Law
on Bouncing Checks Analyzed by Judge Jesus F.
Guerrero, Philippine Law Gazette, Vol. 7. Nos. 11
& 12, October-December, 1983, p. 14).
It is undisputed that the check in question was
executed and delivered by the petitioner to
herein private respondent at Makati, Metro
Manila.
However, petitioner argues that the check in
question was drawn against the dollar account of
petitioner with a foreign bank, and is therefore,
not covered by the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P.
Blg. 22).
But it will be noted that the law does not
distinguish the currency involved in the case. As
the trial court correctly ruled in its order dated
July 5, 1988:
Under the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. Blg. 22),
foreign checks, provided they are either drawn
and issued in the Philippines though payable
outside thereof x x x are within the coverage of
said law.
It is a cardinal principle in statutory construction
that where the law does not distinguish courts
should not distinguish. Parenthetically, the rule is
that where the law does not make any exception,
courts may not except something unless
compelling reasons exist to justify it (Phil. British
Assurance Co., Inc. v. IAC, 150 SCRA 520 [1987]).
More importantly, it is well established that courts
may avail themselves of the actual proceedings
of the legislative body to assist in determining the
construction of a statute of doubtful meaning
(Palanca v. City of Manila, 41 Phil. 125 [1920]).
Thus, where there is doubts as to what a
provision of a statute means, the meaning put to
the provision during the legislative deliberation or
discussion on the bill may be adopted (Arenas v.
City of San Carlos, 82 SCRA 318 [1978]).
The records of the Batasan, Vol. III, unmistakably
show that the intention of the lawmakers is to
apply the law to whatever currency may be the
subject thereof. The discussion on the floor of the
then Batasang Pambansa fully sustains this view,
as follows:
x x x

xxx

x x x.

THE SPEAKER. The Gentleman from Basilan is


recognized.
MR.TUPAY. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker.
THE SPEAKER. The Gentleman may proceed.
MR. TUPAY. Mr. Speaker, it has been mentioned
by one of
the Gentlemen who interpellated that any check
may be involved, like U.S. dollar checks, etc. We
are talking about checks in our country. There are
U.S. dollar checks, checks in our currency, and
many others.
THE SPEAKER. The Sponsor may answer that
inquiry.
MR. MENDOZA. The bill refers to any check, Mr.
Speaker, and this check may be a check in
whatever currency. This would not even be
limited to U.S. dollar checks. The check may be in
French francs or Japanese yen or deutschunorhs.
(sic.) If drawn, then this bill will apply.
MR. TUPAY. So, it include U.S. dollar checks.
MR. MENDOZA. Yes, Mr. Speaker.
xxx

xxx

(p. 1376, Records of the Batasan, Volume III;


Italics supplied, for emphasis).
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is
DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Melencio-Herrera (Chairman), Padilla,
Sarmiento and Regalado, JJ., concur.
Petition dismissed.
Note.Jurisdiction to try a criminal case is
determined from the allegations in the
information. (People vs. Masilang, 142 SCRA 673.)
De Villa vs. Court of Appeals, 195 SCRA 722, G.R.
No. 87416 April 8, 1991
[No. L-14787. January 28, 1961]
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE PHILIPPINES, INC.,
petitioner vs. HON. PEDRO M. GIMENEZ as
AUDITOR GENERAL and ISMAEL MATHAY as
AUDITOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.

1.STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; RULE THAT


GENERAL TERMS MAY BE RESTRICTED BY
SPECIFIC WORDS; To WHAT CASES APPLICABLE.
The principle that "general terms may be
restricted' by specific words, with the result that
the general language will be limited by the
specific language, which indicates the statute's
object and purpose" is applicable only to cases
where, except for one general term, all the items
in an enumeration belong to or fall under one
specific class.
2.ID.; RULE THAT GENERAL TERMS ARE LIMITED
BY PARTICULAR RECITALS; INTENTION OF THE
RULE.The rule of construction that general and
unlimited terms are restrained and limited by
particular recitals when used in connection with
them, does not require the rejection of general
terms entirely. It is intended merely as an aid in
ascertaining the intention of the legislature and is
to be taken in connection with other rules of
construction.
PETITION for review by certiorari of a decision of
the Auditor General.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Ross, Selph & Carrascoso for petitioner.
Asst. Solicitor General Jose P. Alejandro and
Solicitor Emerito Salva for respondents.
GUTIRREZ, DAVID, J.:
The petitioner Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc.,
is a corporation duly organized and existing
under Philippine laws engaged in the
manufacture of toilet preparations and household
remedies. On several occasions, it imported from
abroad various materials such as irish moss
extract. sodium benzoate, sodium saccharinate,
precipitated calcium carbonate and dicalcium
phosphate, for use as stabilizers and flavoring of
the dental cream it manufactures. For every
importation made of these materials, the
petitioner
paid to the Central Bank of the Philippines the
17% special excise tax on the foreign exchange
used for the payment of the cost, transportation
and other charges incident thereto, pursuant to
Republic Act No. 601, as amended, commonly
known as the Exchange Tax Law.

On March 14, 1956, the petitioner filed with the


Central Bank three applications for refund of the
17% special excise tax it had paid in the
aggregate sum of P113,343.99. The claim for
refund was based on section 2 of Republic Act
601, which provides that "foreign exchange used
for the payment of the cost, transportation and/or
other charges incident to the importation into the
Philippines of * * * stabilizer and flavors * * * shall
be refunded to any importer making application
therefor, upon satisfactory proof of actual
importation under the rules and regulations to be
promulgated pursuant to section seven thereof."
After the applications were processed by the
Officer in-Charge of the Exchange Tax
Administration of the Central Bank, that official
advised the petitioner that of the total sum of
P113,343.99 claimed by it for refund, the amount
of P23,958.13 representing the 17% special
excise tax on the foreign exchange used to
import irish moss extract, sodium benzoate and
precipitated calcium carbonate had been
approved. The auditor of the Central Bank,
however, refused to pass in audit its claims for
refund even for the reduced amount fixed by the
Officer-in-Charge of the Exchange Tax
Administration, on the theory that toothpaste
stabilizers and flavors are not exempt under
section 2 of the Exchange Tax Law.
Petitioner appealed to the Auditor General, but
the latter on December 4, 1958 affirmed the
ruling of the auditor of the Central Bank,
maintaining that the term "stabilizer and flavors"
mentioned in section 2 of the Exchange Tax Law
refers only to those used in the preparation or
manufacture of food or food products. Not
satisfied, the petioner brought the case to this
Court thru the present petition for review.
The decisive issue to be resolved is whether or
not the foreign exchange used by petitioner for
the importation of dental cream stabilizers and
flavors is exempt from the 17% special excise tax
imposed by the Exchange Tax Law (Republic Act
No. 601) so as to entitle it to refund under section
2 thereof, which reads as follows:
"SEC. 2. The tax collected under the preceding
section on foreign exchange used for the
payment of the cost, transportation and/or other
charges incident to importation into the
Philippines of rice, flour, canned milk, cattle and
beef, canned fish, soya beans, butter, fat,

chocolate, malt syrup, tapioca, stabilizer and


flavors, vitamin concentrate, fertilizer poultry
feed; textbooks, reference books, and
suplementary readers approved by the Board on
Textbooks and/or established public or private
educational institutions; newsprint imported by or
for publishers for use in the publication of books,
pamphlets, magazines and newspapers; book
paper, book cloth, chip board imported for the
printing of supplementary readers( approved by
the Board of Textbooks) to be supplied to the
Government under contracts perfected before the
approval of this Act, the quantity thereof to be
certified by the Director of Printing; anesthetics,
antibiotics, vitamins, hormones, X-Ray films,
Laboratory reagents, biologicals, dental supplies,
and pharmaceutical drugs necessary for
compounding medicines; medical and hospital
supplies listed in the appendix to this Act, in
quantities to be certified by the Director of
Hospitals as actually needed by the hospitals
applying therefor; drugs and medicines listed in
the said appendix; and such other drugs and
medicine as may be certified by the Secretary of
Health from time to time to promote and protect
the health of the people of the Philippines shall
be refunded to any importer making application
therefor, upon satisfactory proof of actual
importation under the rules and regulations to be
promulgated pursuant to section seven thereof"
(Italic supplied.)
The ruling of the Auditor General that the term
"stabilizer and flavors" as used in the law refers
only to those materials actually used in the
preparation or manufacture of food and food
products is based, apparently, on the principle of
statutory construction that "general terms may
be restricted by specific words, with the result
that the general language will be limited by the
specific language which indicates the statute's
object and purpose." (Statutory Construction by
Crawford, 1940 ed. p. 324-325.) The rule,
however, is, in our opinion, applicable only to
cases where, except for one general term, all the
items in an enumeration belong to or fall under
one specific class. In the case at bar, it is true
that the term "stabilizer and flavors" is preceded
by a number of articles that may be classified as
food or food products, but it is likewise true that
the other items immediately following it do not
belong to the same classification. Thus "fertilizer"
and "poultry feed" do not fall under the category

of food or food products because they are used in


the farming and poultry industries, respectively.
"Vitamin concentrate" appears to be more of a
medicine than food or food product, for, as a
matter of fact, vitamins are among those
enumerated in the list of medicines and drugs
appearing in the appendix to the law. It should
also here be stated that "cattle", which is among
those listed preceding the term in question,
includes not only those intended for slaughter but
also those for breeding purposes. Again, it is
noteworthy that under Republic Act 814
amending the above-quoted section of Republic
Act No. 601, "industrial starch", which does not
always refer to food for human consumption, was
added among the items grouped with stabilizer
and flavors". Thus, on the basis of the grouping of
the articles alone, it cannot validly be maintained
that the term "stabilizer and flavors" as used in
the above-quoted provision of the Exchange Tax
Law refers only to those used in the manufacture
of food and food products. This view is supported
by the principle "Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos
distinguire debemos", or "where the law does not
distinguish, neither do we distinguish". (Ligget &
Myers Tobacco Company vs. Collector of Internal
Revenue, 101 Phil., 106; 53 Off. Gaz. [15], page
4831). Since the law does not distinguish
between "stabilizer and flavors" used in the preparation of f ood and those used in the
manufacture of toothpaste or dental cream, we
are not authorized to make any distinction and
must construe the words in their general sense.
The rule of construction that general and
unlimited terms are restrained and limited by
particular recitals when used in connection with
them, does not require the rejection of general
terms entirely. It is intended merely as an aid in
ascertaining the intention of the legislature and is
to be taken in connection with other rules of
construction. (See Handbook of the Construction
and Interpretation of Laws by Black, p. 215-216,
2nd ed.)
Having arrived at the above conclusion, we deem
it now idle to pass upon the other questions
raised by the parties.
Wherefore, the decision under review is reversed
and the respondents are hereby ordered to audit
petitioner's applications for refund which were
approved by the OfficerIn-Charge of the Exchange
Tax Administration in the total amount of
P23,958.13.

Bengzon, Bautista Angelo, Concepcin, Reyes,


J. B. L., Barrera, Paredes, and Dizon, JJ., concur.

Decision reversed. Colgate-Palmolive Philippines,


Inc. vs. Gimenez, 110 Phil. 874, No. L-14787
January 28, 1961