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StatCon Chapter V Case digest

1. Common Meaning Rule

Song Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank of the Philippines G.R. L-8888 (1957)

Facts of the Case:

On January 1953 to October 1953, Song Kiat Chocolate Factory imported sun dried cocoa
beans for which it paid the foreign exchange tax of 17% totalling P74,671.04. Claiming exemption
from the said tax under section 2 of the R.A. No. 601, it sued Central Bank that had enacted payment,
and in its amended complaint it included the Treasurer of the Philippines.
Sec. 2 of the aforesaid Act provides that “the tax collected or foreign exchange used for the
payment of costs transportation and/or other charges incident to the importation into the Philippines
of rice, flour, soya beans, butterfat, chocolate, malt syrup... shall be refunded to any importer making
application therefor, upon satisfactory proof of actual importation...”
In support of contention, appellant quotes from dictionaries and encyclopedias
interchangeably using the words “chocolate”, “cacao”, and “cocoa”; however the legal exemption
refers to “chocolate”... not the bean, nor the nut nor the tree. Cocoa beans however, do not become
chocolate unless and until they have undergone the manufacturing processes above described.

Issue: Can cocoa beans be considered as chocolate for the purposes of exemption from foreign
exchange tax?

Court Ruling:
Strict construction of statutes apply in exemption on taxations.
Principles of strict construction of statutes apply in exemption on taxations. Hence, the exemption
for chocolate in the above section 2 does not include “cocoa beans”. The one is raw material, the
other manufactured consumer product; the latter is ready for human consumption, the former is not.

2. Terms with Legal Meaning

Bernardo vs. People, 123 SCRA 365 (1983)

Bemardo was a tenant of Ledda Sta. Rosa’s Riceland in Bulacan from Oct. ’72 to Aug. ‘74.
His son stayed with him in the house built on that land. The tenancy rights of the house wereleft
with the son when the father transferred but without Sta. Rosa knowing. Eventually, Sta. Rosa took
possession of the whole rice field and filed a case of forcible entry against the Bernardos. The
Bernardos lost in their cases before the Municipal Court Sta. Rosa sent a letter of demand to
petitioners telling them to vacate their house and land but since they refused, a criminal complaint
was charged against them for violation of PD 772 on squatting.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CFI has jurisdiction to entertain criminal case for alleged violation of
presidential decree no 772 since the facts obtaining in the case do not constitute an offence or
violation of said law
Petition for certiorari is granted. No person should be brought within the terms of a penal
statute who is not clearly within them, nor should any act be pronounced criminal which isnot
clearly made so by the statute. Based on its preamble, PD 772 applied only to squatters in urban
areas and not to agricultural lands.

3. Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda

Diaz vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 66574, February 21, 1990
Simona and Juliana are children of Felipe and Petronilla. Simona is the widow of
Pascual and the mother of Pablo, while Juliana married Simon and had a daughter
which is Felisa. Pablo had 4 minor children to Anselma and 2 minor children to
Felixberta. When Pablo died he was survived by her mother Simona and six minor
children. In 1976, Judge Jose Raval declared Felisa as the sole legitimate heir of Simona.
Anselma and Felixberta filed for opposition and motion to exclude Felisa from taking
part in the settlement of intestate estate of Simona. In 1980, Judge Beliza issued an order
excluding Felisa from futher taking part of the same and declared not an heir of Simona.
Felisa’s motion for recon was denied and she filed an appeal to the IAC declaring her as
the sole heir of Simona.

Issue: Who are the Heirs of Simona?

The 6 minor children cannot represent their father Pablo in the succession of the
latter to the intestate estate of his legitimate mother Simona because of the barrier
provided for under Art. 992 of civil code which provides that an illegitimate child has
no right to inherit ab intestate from the legitimate children and the relatives of the father
or mother; nor such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the
illegitimate child. Pablo is a legitimate child but his 6 minor children are not. It must be
construed that the general words are understood in a general sense.

4. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemos

Ramirez vs. CA, G.R. No. 93833, September 28, 1995, 248 SCRA 590 (1995)
Soccorro D. Ramirez filed civil case damages against Ester S. Garcia regarding a
confrontation in the latters office, allegedly vexed and insulted and humiliated her in
“hostile and furious mood” contrart to the morals, good customs and public policy. The
petitioner produced a verbatim transcript of event and sought moral damages,
attorney's fees and other expenses for litigation. The case was based on the tape recording
of the confrontation made by the petitioner. As a result, the act of recording and
communicating the participation in the private respondent filed communities before rtc for
violation of RA 4200 entitled “An act to prohibit and penalize wiretapping and other related
violations of private communication.” The petitioner filed a motion to quash on the ground
that the facts charged do not constitute the offence particularly a violation of RA
4200.he CA declared that the RTC decision is null and void and denied the petitioner’s
motion for recon, hence the instant petition.

Issue: Whether or not the wiretapping act applies in recording by one of the parties in
the conversation?

Held: The nature of the conversation is a material to the violation of the statute. The
substance need not to be alleged in the information. The statute penalizes all the
persons and authorised to make such recording petitioner's contention that the face
private communication does not include private conversation in its ordinary
signification, communication connotes the act of sharing for inviting , as in a
conversation. The term was so broad that it covers verbal and non-verbal
communication , written or spoken and that it covers the public and private
conversations as well. The law applied to the case at bar is clear and unambiguous and
leaves no discretion.

5. Conjunctive and Disjunctive words

Amon Trading Corp. vs. CA, G.R. No. 158585, December 13, 2005, 477 SCRA 582 (2005)
Lines & Spaces, represented by Eleanor Bahia Sanchez, order from petitioner Amon
Trading Corporation, and from Juliana Marketing bags of cement for Tri-Reality development and
construction, but it found out that both cannot deliver all its balance and refunded the amount of
undelivered bags of cement to Lines and Spaces in representation of Eleanor Sanchez,
but Sanchez had already fled abroad, private respondent filed this case for sum of money against
petitioners and Lines & Spaces.
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, found Lines & Spaces solely liable to private
respondent and absolved petitioners of any liability. Tri-Realty partially appealed from the trial
courts decision absolving Amon Trading Corporation and Juliana Marketing of any liability to Tri-
Realty. In the presently assailed Decision, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial
court and held petitioners Amon Trading Corporation and Juliana Marketing to be jointly and
severally liable with Lines & Spaces for the undelivered bags ofcement.

Issue: Whether or not Lines & Spaces is the Tri-realty’s agent

No contract of agency between Tri-realty and Lines & Spaces, but rather a supplier for the
latter’s cement needs. All the quibbling about whether Lines & Spaces acted as agent of private
respondent is inane because Amon took orders from Eleanor Sanchez who, after all, was the one
who paid them the manager’s checks for the purchase of cement. Sanchez represented herself to be
from Lines & Spaces/Tri-Realty, purportedly a single entity. Amon didn’t knew that Lines space
and tri-realty is a separate entity. Since line space is not agent of tri-realty, no vinculum could be
said to exist between amon and tri-realty. Therefore Lines & Spaces solely liable to private tri-

6. Noscitur a sociis
Buenaseda vs. Flavier, G.R. No. 106719, September 21, 1993, 226 SCRA 649 (1993)

In 1992, the NCMH Nurses Association (NCMH) filed a case of graft and corruption against Dr.
Brigida Buenaseda and several other government officials of the Department of Health (DOH). The
Ombudsman (then Conrado Vasquez), ordered the suspension of Buenaseda et al. The suspension was
carried on by then DOH Secretary Juan Flavier, being the officer in charge over Buenaseda et al.
Buenaseda et al then filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus,
questioning the suspension order. NCMH submitted its Comment on the Petition where they attached a
Motion for Disbarment against the lawyers of Buenaseda et al.
Allegedly, the lawyers of Buenaseda et al advised them not to obey the suspension order, which is a lawful
order from a duly constituted authority. NCMH maintains that such advice from the lawyers constitute a
violation against the Code of Professional Responsibility.
The Solicitor General, commenting on the case, agreed with Buenaseda’s lawyers as he maintained that all
the Ombudsman can do is to recommend suspensions not impose them. The Sol-Gen based his argument
on Section 13 (3) of the 1987 Constitution which provides that the Office of the Ombudsman shall
have inter alia the power, function, and duty to:
Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault,
and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure or prosecution, and ensure compliance

ISSUES: Whether or not the Ombudsman has the power to suspend government officials. Whether or not
a Motion for Disbarment may be filed in a special civil action.

Yes, the Ombudsman may impose suspension orders. The Supreme Court clarifies that what the
Ombudsman issued is an order of preventive suspension pending the resolution of the case or investigation
thereof. It is not imposing suspension as a penalty (not punitive suspension). What the Constitution
contemplates that the Ombudsman may recommend are punitive suspensions.
Anent the issue of the Motion for Disbarment filed with the Ombudsman, the same is not proper. It
cannot be filed in this special civil action which is confined to questions of jurisdiction or abuse of
discretion for the purpose of relieving persons from the arbitrary acts of judges and quasi-judicial officers.
There is a set of procedure for the discipline of members of the bar separate and apart from the present
special civil action. However, the lawyers of Buenaseda were reminded not be carried away in espousing
their client’s cause. The language of a lawyer, both oral or written, must be respectful and restrained in
keeping with the dignity of the legal profession and with his behavioral attitude toward his brethren in the

7. Ejusdem generis
Vera vs. Cuevas, G.R. Nos. 33693-94, May 31, 1979, 90 SCRA 379 (1979)
Private respondents herein, are engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of
filled milk products throughout the Philippines. The products of private respondent,
Consolidated Philippines Inc. are marketed and sold under the brand Darigold whereas
those of private respondent, General Milk Company (Phil.), Inc., under the brand
"Liberty;" and those of private respondent, Milk Industries Inc., under the brand "Dutch
Baby." Private respondent, Institute of Evaporated Filled Milk Manufacturers of the
Philippines, is a corporation organized for the principal purpose of upholding and
maintaining at its highest the standards of local filled milk industry, of which all the
other private respondents are members.
CIR required the respondents to withdraw from the market all of their filled milk
products which do not bear the inscription required by Section 169 of the Tax Code
within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the order. Failure to comply will result to
penalties. Section 169 talks of the inscription to be placed in skimmed milk wherein all
condensed skimmed milk and all milk in whatever form, from which the fatty part has
been removed totally or in part, sold or put on sale in the Philippines shall be clearly
and legibly marked on its immediate containers, and in all the language in which such
containers are marked, with the words, "This milk is not suitable for nourishment for
infants less than one year of age," or with other equivalent words.
The CFI Manila ordered the CIR to perpetually restrain from requiring the respondents
to print on the labels of their product the words "This milk is not suitable
for nourishment for infants less than one year of age.". Also, it ordered the Fair Trade
Board to perpetually restrain from investigating the respondents related to the
manufacture/sale of their filled milk products.

Whether or not skimmed milk is included in the scope of Section 169 of the Tax Code.

No, Section 169 of the Tax Code is not applicable to filled milk. The use of specific and
qualifying terms "skimmed milk" in the headnote and "condensed skimmed milk" in the
text of the cited section, would restrict the scope of the general clause "all milk, in
whatever form, from which the fatty pat has been removed totally or in part." In other
words, the general clause is restricted by the specific term "skimmed milk" under the
familiar rule of ejusdem generis that general and unlimited terms are restrained and
limited by the particular terms they follow in the statute.
The difference, therefore, between skimmed milk and filled milk is that in the former,
the fatty part has been removed while in the latter, the fatty part is likewise removed
but is substituted with refined coconut oil or corn oil or both. It cannot then be readily
or safely assumed that Section 169 applies both to skimmed milk and filled milk. It
cannot then be readily or safely assumed that Section 169 applies both to skimmed milk
and filled milk. Also, it has been found out that "the filled milk products of the
petitioners (now private respondents) are safe, nutritious, wholesome and suitable for
feeding infants of all ages" (p. 44, Rollo) and that "up to the present, Filipino infants fed
since birth with filled milk have not suffered any defects, illness or disease attributable
to their having been fed with filled milk."
Hence, applying Section 169 to it would cause a deprivation of property without due
process of law.

8. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius

San Pablo Mfg. Corp. vs. CIR, G.R. No. 147749, June 22, 2006

San Pablo Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) was assessed a 3% tax on its sales
of corn and edible oil as manufactured products – this is pursuant to Section 168 of the
1987 Tax Code. Said corn and edible oil products were sold to United Coconut
Chemicals (UNICHEM) who in turn exports these products and sell them abroad.
SPMC invoked that it is exempt from the tax as it invoked the same Section of the 1987
Tax Code which provides in part:
xxx Provided, however, That this tax shall not apply to rope, coconut oil, palm oil and the by-
product of copra from which it is produced or manufactured and desiccated coconut, if such rope,
coconut oil, palm oil, copra by-products and desiccated coconuts, shall be removed for
exportation by the proprietor or operator of the factory or the miller himself, and are actually
exported without returning to the Philippines, whether in their original state or as an ingredient
or part of any manufactured article or products: xxx (underscore added by uberdigests)
SPMC’s interpretation of the law is as follows:
1. That there is indeed a 3% tax on edible oil products;
2. But that said tax exempts manufacturers who export these edible oil products;
3. That SPMC is considered to be an exporter because it sells the oil products to
UNICHEM, its purchaser, who then exports the oil products.
ISSUE: Whether or not SPMC’s interpretation is correct.
HELD: No. The legal maxim “Expressio Unius est Exclusio Alterius” applies. Nowhere in
the law was “corn oil” included in the enumeration of tax exempt exported products.
Nor did it mention to exempt a manufacturer who, though not directly exporting its
edible oil products nevertheless sells said product to a purchaser who does export.
Where the law enumerates the subject or condition upon which it applies, it is to be
construed as excluding from its effects all those not expressly mentioned. Expressio
unius est exclusio alterius. Anything that is not included in the enumeration is excluded
therefrom and a meaning that does not appear nor is intended or reflected in the very
language of the statute cannot be placed therein. The rule proceeds from the premise
that the legislature would not have made specific enumerations in a statute if it had the
intention not to restrict its meaning and confine its terms to those expressly mentioned.

9. Doctrine of casus omissus

People vs. Manantan, G.R. No. L-14129, July 31, 1962,


[D]efendant Guillermo Manantan was charged with a violation Section 54 of the

Revised Election Code in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. The defense moved
to dismiss the information on the ground that as justice of the peace the defendant is
one of the officers enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. The lower
court denied the said motion. A second motion was filed by defense counsel who cited
in support thereof the decision of the Court of Appeals in People vs. Macaraeg applying
the rule of “expressio unius, est exclusion alterius”. The lower court dismissed the
information against the accused upon the authority of the ruling in the case cited by the
defense. The issue was raised to the Supreme Court.

Whether or not a justice of the peace was included in the prohibition of Section 54 of the
Revised Election Code.

YES. The order of dismissal entered by the trial court should be set aside and this case
was remanded for trial on the merits.

The application of the rule of casus omissus does not proceed from the mere fact that a
case is criminal in nature, but rather from a reasonable certainty that a particular
person, object or thing has been omitted from a legislative enumeration. In the present
case, and for reasons already mentioned, there has been no such omission. There has
only been a substitution of terms. On law reason and public policy, defendant-
appellee’s contention that justices of the peace are not covered by the injunction of
Section 54 must be rejected. To accept it is to render ineffective a policy so clearly and
emphatically laid down by the legislature.

Although it was observed that both the Court of Appeals and the trial court applied the
rule of “expressio unius, est exclusion alterius” in arriving at the conclusion that justices
of the peace are not covered by Section 54, the rule has no application. If the legislature
had intended to exclude a justice of the peace from the purview of Section 54, neither
the trial court nor the Court of Appeals has given the reason for the exclusion. Indeed,
there appears no reason for the alleged change. Hence, the rule of expressio unius est
exclusion alterius has been erroneously applied.

10. Doctrine of last antecedent

Florentino vs. PNB, G.R. No. L-8782, April 28, 1956, 99 Phil 969 (1956)
The petitioners and appellants filed a petition for mandamus against Philippine National Bank to
compel it to accept the backpay certificate of petitioner Marcelino B. Florentino to pay an
indebtedness in the sum of P6,800 secured by real estate mortgage plus interest. The debt
incurred on January 2, 1953, which is due on January 2, 1954. Petitioner is a holder of Backpay
Acknowledgment No. 1721 dated October 6, 1954, in the amount of P22,896.33 by virtue of
Republic Act No. 897 approved on June 20, 1953. Petitioners offered to pay their loan with the
respondent bank with their backpay certificate, but the respondent bank, on December 29, 1953,
refused to accept the latter's backpay certificate. Under section 2 of Republic Act No. 879,
respondent-appellee contends that the qualifying clause refers to all the antecedents, whereas the
appellant's contention is that it refers only to the last antecedent.

Whether or not the clause “who may be willing to accept the same for settlement” refers to all
antecedents mentioned in the last sentence of section 2 of Republic Act No. 879.

No. Grammatically, the qualifying clause refers only to the last antecedent; that is, "any citizen
of the Philippines or any association or corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines."
It should be noted that there is a comma before the words "or to any citizen, etc.," which
separates said phrase from the preceding ones. But even disregarding the grammatical
construction, to make the acceptance of the backpay certificates obligatory upon any citizen,
association, or corporation, which are not government entities or owned or controlled by the
government, would render section 2 of Republic Act No. 897 unconstitutional for it would
amount to an impairment of the obligation of contracts by compelling private creditors to accept
a sort of promissory note payable within ten years with interest at a rate very much lower than
the current or even the legal one. It was also found out in the Congressional Record that the
amendatory bill to Sec. 2 was made which permits the use of backpay certificates as payment for
obligations and indebtedness in favor of the government. Another reason is that it is matter of
general knowledge that many officials and employees of the Philippine Government, who had
served during the Japanese Occupation, have already received their backpay certificates and used
them for the payment of the obligations to the Government and its entities for debts incurred
before the approval of Republic Act No. 304.

Florentino incurred his debt to the PNB on January 2, 1953. Hence, the obligation was subsisting
when the Amendatory Act No. 897 was approved. Consequently, the present case falls squarely
under the provisions of section 2 of the Amendatory Act No. 897

11. Reddendo singula singulis

People vs. Tamani, G.R. Nos. 22160-61, January 21, 1974, 55 SCRA 153 (1974)
After the appellant had filed his brief, the Solicitor General filed a motion to dismiss the appeal
on the ground that the notice of appeal was forty-seven days late. The lower court's decision
convicting defendant Tamani was promulgated on February 14, 1963. He filed his notice of
appeal only on September 10, 1963 or forty eight days from July 24th.

Whether or not the 15-day period within which to appeal a judgment of conviction in a criminal
action is counted from the date of promulgation of judgment.

Yes. Section 22, Rule 122 of the Rules of Court provides that “an appeal must be taken within
fifteen (15) days from promulgation or notice of judgment or order appealed from.” The court
held that the 15-day period should be counted from the promulgation and not from receipt of
copy of judgment. The word "promulgation" in Section 6 should be construed as referring to
"judgment" under Section 6 of Rule 120, while the word "notice" should be construed as
referring to "order". That construction is sanctioned by the rule of reddendo singula singulis.
Therefore, when the order denying appellant's motion for reconsideration was served by
registered mail on July 13th on appellant's counsel, he had only one (1) day within which to file
his notice of appeal and not eleven days. Appellant Tamani's notice of appeal, filed on
September 10, 1963, was fifty-eight days late.
12. Use of “shall” and “may”

Bersabal vs. Salvador, G.R. No. L-35910 July 21, 1978, 84 SCRA 176
FACTS: Private Respondents filed an ejectment suit against the Petitioner. The
subsequent decision was appealed by the Petitioner and during its pendency, the court
issued an order stating that “…counsels for both parties are given 30 days from receipt
of this order within which to file their memoranda in order for this case to be submitted
for decision by the court.” After receipt, Petitioner filed a motion ex parte to submit
memorandum within 30 days from receipt of notice of submission of the transcript of
stenographic notes taken during the hearing of the case which was granted by the court.
But the Respondent judge issued an order dismissing the case for failure to prosecute
Petitioner’s appeal. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration citing the submitted ex
parte motion but the court denied it.

ISSUE: W/N the mere failure of an Appellant to submit the mentioned memorandum
would empower the CFI to dismiss the appeal on the ground of failure to prosecute.

HELD: The court is not empowered by law to dismiss the appeal on the mere failure of
an Appellant to submit his memorandum. The law provides that “Courts… shall
decide… cases on the basis of the evidence and records transmitted from the city…
courts: Provided… parties may submit memoranda… if so requested…” It cannot be
interpreted otherwise than that the submission of memoranda is optional.