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Statcon Cases Finals #1

In a Resolution dated April 1, 2013, the

ATTY. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL , petitioner, COMELEC, Second Division, dismissed the
ALFREDO S. LIM, petitioner- petition for disqualification holding that President
intervenor, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Estrada’s right to seek public office has been
and JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, respondents effectively restored by the pardon vested upon him
by former President Gloria M. Arroyo.
On September 12, 2007, the Sandiganbayan Estrada won the mayoralty race in May 13, 2013
convicted former President Estrada, a former elections. Petitioner-intervenor Alfredo Lim
President of the Republic of the Philippines, for the garnered the second highest votes intervene and
crime of plunder and was sentenced to suffer the seek to disqualify Estrada for the same ground as
penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and the accessory the contention of Risos-Vidal and praying that he
penalties of civil interdiction during the period of be proclaimed as Mayor of Manila.
sentence and perpetual absolute disqualification.
Petitioner’s Contention: Risos-Vidal clarifies that
On October 25, 2007, however, former President the fundamental basis upon which former
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo extended executive President Estrada must be disqualified from
clemency, by way of pardon, to former President running for and holding public elective office
Estrada explicitly states that He is hereby restored is actually the proscription found in Section 40 of
to his civil and political rights. Stating “I hereby the LGC, in relation to Section 12 of the
grant executive clemency to JOSEPH EJERCITO OEC. She argues that the crime of plunder is both
ESTRADA, convicted by the Sandiganbayan of an offense punishable by imprisonment
Plunder and imposed a penalty of one year or more and involving moral turpitude;
of Reclusion Perpetua. He is hereby restored to his such that former President Estrada
civil and political rights.” must be disqualified to run for and hold public
elective office. That the pardon being merely
On November 30, 2009, former President Estrada conditional and not absolute or plenary.
filed a Certificate of Candidacy[7] for the position
of President but was opposed by three petitions OSG contends: that "[w]hile at first glance, it is
seeking for his disqualification. None of the cases apparent that [former
prospered and MRs were denied by Comelec En President Estrada's] conviction for plunder
Banc. Estrada only managed to garner the second disqualifies him from running as mayor of
highest number of votes on the May 10, 2010 Manila under Section 40 of the [LGC], the
synchronized elections. subsequent grant of pardon to him, however,
effectively restored his right to run for any public
On October 2, 2012, former President Estrada once office." 21 The restoration of his right to
more ventured into the political arena, and filed a run for any public office is the exception to the
Certificate of Candidacy,[10] this time vying for a prohibition under Section 40 of the LGC, as
local elective post, that of the Mayor of the City of provided under Section 12 of the OEC. As to the
Manila. seeming requirement of Articles 36 and
41 of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., the express
Petitioner Risos-Vidal filed a Petition for restoration/remission of a particular right to
Disqualification against former President Estrada be stated in the pardon, the OSG asserts that "an
before the COMELEC because of Estrada’s airtight and rigid interpretation of Article
Conviction for Plunder by the Sandiganbayan 36 and Article 41 of the [RPC] . . . would be
Sentencing Him to Suffer the Penalty of Reclusion stretching too much the clear and plain
Perpetua with Perpetual Absolute Disqualification. meaning of the aforesaid provisions." 22 Lastly,
Petitioner relied on Section 40 of the Local taking into consideration the third Whereas
Government Code (LGC), in relation to Section 12 Clause of the pardon granted to former President
of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) Estrada, the OSG supports the position
that it "is not an integral part of the decree of the temporal shall carry with them that of civil
pardon and cannot therefore serve to interdiction for life or during the period of the
restrict its effectivity." sentence as the case may be, and that of perpetual
absolute disquali cation which the offender shall
She avers that in view of the foregoing provisions suffereven though pardoned as to the principal
of law, it is not enough that a pardon makes a penalty, unless the same shall have been expressly
general statement that such pardon carries with it remitted in the pardon. (Emphases supplied.)
the restoration of civil and political rights. By
virtue of Articles 36 and 41, a pardon restoring A rigid and in exible reading of the above
civil and political rights without categorically provisions of law, as proposed by Risos- Vidal, is
making mention what specific civil and political unwarranted, especially so if it will defeat or
rights are restored "shall not work to restore the unduly restrict the power of the President to grant
right to hold public office, or the right of suffrage; executive clemency.
nor shall it remit the accessory penalties of civil
interdiction and perpetual absolute disqualification It is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that where
for the principal penalties of reclusion perpetua and the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free from
reclusion temporal.” In other words, she considers ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and
the above constraints as mandatory requirements applied without attempted interpretation. Verba
that shun a general or implied restoration of civil legis non est recedendum. From the words of a
and political rights in pardons. statute there should be no departure.31 It is this
Court's rm view that the phrase in the presidential
Issue: pardon at issue which declares that former
President Estrada "is hereby restored to his civil
Ruling: The foregoing pronouncements solidify and political rights" substantially complies with the
the thesis that Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised requirement of express restoration. For this reason,
Penal Code cannot, in any way, serve to abridge or Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal Code
diminish the exclusive power and prerogative of should be construed in a way that will give full
the President to pardon persons convicted of effect to the executive clemency granted by the
violating penal statutes. President, instead of indulging in an overly strict
The Court cannot subscribe to Risos-Vidal's interpretation that may serve to impair or diminish
interpretation that the said Articles contain specific the import of the pardon which emanated from the
textual commands which must be strictly followed O ce of the President and duly signed by the Chief
in order to free the bene ciary of presidential grace Executive himself/herself. The said codal
from the disqualifications specifically prescribed provisions must be construed to harmonize the
by them. power of Congress to de ne crimes and prescribe
the penalties for such crimes and the power of the
Again, Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal President to grant executive clemency. All that the
Code provides: S said provisions impart is that the pardon of the
principal penalty does not carry with it the
ART. 36. Pardon; its effects. — A pardon shall not remission of the accessory penalties unless the
work the restoration of the right to hold public o ce, President expressly includes said accessory
or the right of suffrage, unless such rights be penalties in the pardon. It still recognizes the
expressly restored by the terms of the pardon. Presidential prerogative to grant executive
clemency and, speci cally, to decide to pardon the
A pardon shall in no case exempt the culprit from principal penalty while excluding its accessory
the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon penalties or to pardon both. Thus, Articles 36 and
him by the sentence. 41 only clarify the effect of the pardon so decided
upon by the President on the penalties imposed in
ART. 41. Reclusion perpetua and reclusion accordance with law. AHCcET
temporal — Their accessory penalties. — The
penalties of reclusion perpetua and reclusion
A close scrutiny of the text of the pardon extended Her reliance on said opinions is utterly misplaced.
to former President Estrada shows that both the Although the learned views of Justices Teodoro R.
principal penalty of reclusion perpetua and its Padilla and Florentino P. Feliciano are to be
accessory penalties are included in the pardon. The respected, they do not form part of the controlling
rst sentence refers to the executive clemency doctrine nor to be considered part of the law of the
extended to former President Estrada who was land. On the contrary, a careful reading of the
convicted by the Sandiganbayan of plunder and majority opinion in Monsanto, penned by no less
imposed a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The latter than Chief Justice Marcelo B. Fernan, reveals no
is the principal penalty pardoned which relieved statement that denotes adherence to a stringent and
him of imprisonment. The sentence that followed, overly nuanced application of Articles 36 and 41
which states that "(h)e is hereby restored to his civil of the Revised Penal Code that will in effect
and political rights," expressly remitted the require the President to use a statutorily prescribed
accessory penalties that attached to the principal language in extending executive clemency, even if
penalty of reclusion perpetua. Hence, even if we the intent of the President can otherwise be
apply Articles 36 and 41 of the Revised Penal deduced from the text or words used in the pardon.
Code, it is indubitable from the text of the pardon Furthermore, as explained above, the pardon here
that the accessory penalties of civil interdiction and is consistent with, and not contrary to, the
perpetual absolute disquali cation were expressly provisions of Articles 36 and 41.
remitted together with the principal penalty of
reclusion perpetua.

In this jurisdiction, the right to seek public elective TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT
o ce is recognized by law as falling under the whole CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES,
gamut of civil and political rights. Thus, from both petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,
law and jurisprudence, the right to seek public respondent.
elective o ce is unequivocally considered as a
political right. Hence, the Court reiterates its earlier Facts: On August 30, 2001, De Guzman was
statement that the pardon granted to former appointed on a permanent status as Financial
President Estrada admits no other interpretation Management Specialist IV of TIDCORP, a
other than to mean that, upon acceptance of the government-owned and controlled corporation
pardon granted to him, he regained his FULL civil (GOCC) created pursuant to Presidential Decree
and political rights — including the right to seek No. 1080. His appointment was included in
elective office. TIDCORP's Report on Personnel Actions (ROPA)
for August 2001, which was submitted to the CSC
On the other hand, the theory of Risos-Vidal goes — Department of Budget and Management (DBM)
beyond the plain meaning of said penal provisions; Field Office. 5
and prescribes a formal requirement that is not only
unnecessary but, if insisted upon, could be in In a letter 6 dated September 28, 2001, Director
derogation of the constitutional prohibition relative Leticia M. Bugtong disallowed De Guzman's
to the principle that the exercise of presidential appointment because the position of Financial
pardon cannot be affected by legislative action. Management Specialist IV was not included in the
DBM's Index of Occupational Service.
Risos-Vidal relied heavily on the separate CTIDCORP's Executive Vice President Jane U.
concurring opinions in Monsanto v. Factoran, Jr.
Tambanillo appealed 7 the invalidation of De
36 to justify her argument that an absolute pardon
Guzman's appointment to Director IV Agnes
must expressly state that the right to hold public o Padilla of the CSC-National Capital Region(NCR).
ce has been restored, and that the penalty of According to Tambanillo, Republic Act No. (RA)
perpetual absolute disqualification has been 8494, which amended TIDCORP's charter,
remitted. empowers its Board of Directors to create its own
organizational structure and sta ng pattern, and to
This is incorrect.
approve its own compensation and position classi Tambanillo also noted that prior to De Guzman's
cation system and quali cation standards. appointment as Financial Management Specialist
Specifically, Section 7 of RA 8494 provides: IV, the position had earlier been occupied by Ma.
Loreto H. Mayor whose appointment was duly
Section 7.The Board of Directors shall provide for approved by Director Bugtong. Thus, Director
an organizational structure and sta ng pattern for o Bugtong's invalidation of De Guzman's
cers and employees of the Trade and Investment appointment is inconsistent with her earlier
Development Corporation of the Philippines approval of Mayor's appointment to the same
(TIDCORP) and upon recommendation of its position.
President, appoint and x their remuneration,
emoluments and fringe benefits: Provided, That the CSC-NCR’s RULING: Director Padilla denied
Board shall have exclusive and nal authority to Tambanillo's appeal because De Guzman's
appoint, promote, transfer, assign and re-assign appointment failed to comply with Section 1, Rule
personnel of the TIDCORP, any provision of III of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998,
existing law to the contrary notwithstanding. which requires that the position title of an
appointment submitted to the CSC must conform
All positions in TIDCORP shall be governed by a with the approved Position Allocation List and
compensation and position classification system must be found in the Index of Occupational
and quali cation standards approved by Service. Since the position of Financial
TIDCORP's Board of Directors based on a Management Specialist IV is not included in the
comprehensive job analysis and audit of actual Index of Occupational Service, then De Guzman's
duties and responsibilities. The compensation plan appointment to this position must be invalid
shall be comparable with the prevailing
compensation plans in the private sector and shall TIDCORP's appeal to the CSC-CO : TIDCORP’s
be subject to periodic review by the Board no more President and CEO Joel C. Valdes sent CSC
than once every four (4) years without prejudice to Chairperson Karina Constantino-David a letter11
yearly merit reviews or increases based on appealing Director Padilla's decision to the CSC-
productivity and profitability. TIDCORP shall be Central O ce (CO). Valdes reiterated TIDCORP's
exempt from existing laws, rules and regulations argument that RA 8494 authorized its Board of
on compensation, position classification and Directors to determine its own organizational
qualification standards. It shall, however, endeavor structure and sta ng pattern, and exempted
to make the system to conform as closely as TIDCORP from all existing laws on compensation,
possible to the principles and modes provided in position classification and qualification standards.
Republic Act No. 6758. ESHAIC In addition, prior actions of the CSC show that it
recognized TIDCORP's exemption from all laws
On the basis of Section 7 of RA 8494, Tambanillo regarding compensation, position classi cation and
argued that TIDCORP is authorized to adopt an quali cation standards of its employees. The CSC
organizational structure different from that set and has approved prior appointments of TIDCORP's o
prescribed by the CSC. Section 7 exempts cers under its July 1, 1998 re-organization plan. It
TIDCORP from existing laws on compensation, also approved Mayor's previous appointment as
position classification and qualification standards, Financial Management Specialist IV. Further, a
and is thus not bound by the DBM's Index of memorandum dated October 29, 1998 issued by
Occupational Service. Pursuant to this authority, the CSC-NCR noted that "pursuant to Sec. 7 of RA
TIDCORP's Board of Directors issued Resolution 8494[,] TIDCORP is exempt from existing laws,
No. 1185, s. 1998 approving the corporation's re- rules and regulations on compensation, position
organizational plan, under which De Guzman was classi cation and qualificationstandards.
appointed Financial Management Specialist IV. De
Guzman's appointment was valid because the plan The CSC-CO's ruling : In its Resolution No.
providing for his position followed the letter of the 030144, 14 the CSC-CO a rmed the CSC-NCR's
law. decision that De Guzman's appointment should
have complied with CSC Memorandum Circular an appointee's title to the o ce does not permanently
No. 40, s. 1998, as amended by CSC Memorandum vest until the appointee complies with the legal
Circular No. 15, s. 1999. Rule III, Section 1 (c) is requirements of his appointment. The requirements
explicit in requiring that the position title indicated include the submission of the appointment to the
in the appointment should conform with the CSC for the determination of whether the
Position Allocation List and found in the Index of appointee quali es to the position and whether the
Occupational Service. Otherwise, the appointment procedure for appointment has been properly
shall be disapproved. In disallowing De Guzman's followed. Until these requirements are complied
appointment, the CSC- CO held that Director with, his appointment may still be recalled or
Bugtong was simply following the letter of the law. withdrawn by the appointing authority. 20

According to the CSC-CO, TIDCORP Issue:Whether or not RA 8494 command

misconstrued the provisions of Section 7 of RA TIDCORP to follow issued requirements pursuant
8494 in its attempt to bypass the requirements of to the Position Classification Act despite its
CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998. While exemption from laws involving position
RA 8494 gave TIDCORP sta ng prerogatives, it classification.
would still have to comply with civil service rules
because Section 7 did not expressly exempt Held: To comply with Section 1 (c), Rule III of
TIDCORP from civil service laws. CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998,
TIDCORP must conform with the circulars on
The CSC-CO also supported the CSC-NCR's position classi cation issued by the DBM. Section
invocation of CSC Resolution No. 011495. Both 7 of its charter, however, expressly exempts
the charters of the DBP and TIDCORP have TIDCORP from existing laws on position
similar provisions in the recruitment and classification, among others.
administration of their human resources. Thus, the
ruling in CSC Resolution No. 011495 has been In its comment, the CSC would want us to
correctly applied in TIDCORP's appeal. disregard TIDCORP's exemption from laws
involving position classi cation because RA 6758
Lastly, the CSC-CO noted that the government is applies to all GOCCs. It also noted that Section 7
not bound by its public o cers' erroneous of RA 8494, the provision TIDCORP invokes as
application and enforcement of the law. Granting the source of its exemption, also directs its Board
that the CSC-NCR had erroneously approved an of Directors to "endeavor to make its system
appointment to the same position as De Guzman's conform as closely as possible with the principles
appointment, the CSC is not estopped from [and modes provided in] Republic Act No.
correcting its officers' past mistakes. EHSAaD 6758[.]"39 This reference of RA 6758 in Section 7
means that TIDCORP cannot simply disregard RA
CA RULING: CA cited the CSC's mandate under
6758 but must take its principles into account in
the 1987 Constitution to approve or disapprove
providing for its own position classi cations. This
appointments and to determine whether an
requirement, to be sure, does not run counter to
appointee possesses civil service eligibility. As
Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the Constitution
TIDCORP's charter does not expressly or
which provides that "the civil service embraces all
impliedly divest the CSC of administrative
branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and
authority over personnel concerns at TIDCORP,
agencies of the Government, including
the latter is still covered by the existing civil
government-owned or controlled corporations with
service laws on compensation, position classi
original charters." The CSC shall still enforce
cation and quali cation standards. Its appointment
position classi cations at TIDCORP, but must do
of De Guzman as Financial Management Specialist
this under the terms that TIDCORP has itself
IV should have complied with these rules. SIaHTD
established, based on the principles of RA 6758.
The CSC was well-within its authority when it
To further expound on these points, the CSC's
invalidated De Guzman's appointment. It held that
authority over TIDCORP is undisputed. The rules
that the CSC formulates should implement and be the principles and modes of RA and not to the
in harmony with the law it seeks to enforce. In entirety of this law.
TIDCORP's case, the CSC should also consider
TIDCORP's charter in addition to other civil These inter-relationships render it clear, as a plain
service laws. Having said this, there remains the reading of Section 7 of RA 8494 itself would con
issue of how the CSC should apply the civil service rm, that TIDCORP is exempt from existing laws
law to TIDCORP, given the exemptions provided on compensation, position classi cation and quali
in the latter's charter. Does the wording of Section cation standards, including compliance with
7 of RA 8494 command TIDCORP to follow Section 1 (c), Rule III of CSC Memorandum
issued requirements pursuant to RA 6758 despite Circular No. 40, s. 1998
its exemption from laws involving position

We answer in the negative. "Under the principles OLYMPIO REVALDO , petitioner, vs. PEOPLE
of statutory construction, if a statute is clear, plain OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal
meaning and applied without attempted Facts: Petitioner was charged with the offense of
interpretation. This plain-meaning rule or verba illegal possession of premium hardwood lumber in
legis is derived from the maxim index animi sermo violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code, in an
est (speech is the index of intention) and rests on Information 5 which reads: That on or about the
the valid presumption that the words employed by 17th day of June 1992, in the (M)unicipality of
the legislature in a statute correctly express its Maasin, (P)rovince of Southern Leyte, Philippines,
intent and preclude the court from construing it and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
differently. The legislature is presumed to know the above-named accused, with intent of gain, did
the meaning of the words, to have used words then and there willfully, unlawfully and
advisedly, and to have expressed its intent by the feloniously possess 96.14 board ft. of the species
use of such words as are found in the statute. Verba of flat lumber with a total value of P1,730.52,
legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a Philippine Currency, without any legal document
statute there should be no departure." 40 ISCTcH as required under existing forest laws and
regulations from proper government authorities, to
The phrase "to endeavor" means to "to devote the damage and prejudice of the government.
serious and sustained effort" and "to make an effort
to do." It is synonymous with the words to strive, Upon arraignment, petitioner, assisted by counsel,
to struggle and to seek. 41 The use of "to endeavor" pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued. The prosecution
in the context of Section 7 of RA 8494 means that presented SPO4 Constantino Maceda (Maceda),
despite TIDCORP's exemption from laws Sulpicio Saguing (Saguing), and SPO4 Daniel
involving compensation, position classi cation and Paloma Lasala (Lasala) as witnesses.
quali cation standards, it should still strive to
conform as closely as possible with the principles Maceda, the person in charge of the operations
and modes provided in RA 6758. The phrase "as section of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in
closely as possible," which quali es TIDCORP's Maasin, Southern Leyte, testified that on 18 June
duty "to endeavor to conform," recognizes that the 1992, at around 11:00 in the morning, he went with
law allows TIDCORP to deviate from RA 6758, Chief Alejandro Rojas (Rojas), SPO3 Melquiades
but it should still try to hew closely with its Talisic (Talisic) and SPO3 Nicasio Sunit (Sunit) to
principles and modes. Had the intent of Congress the house of petitioner to verify the report of Sunit
been to require TIDCORP to fully, exactly and that petitioner had in his possession lumber without
strictly comply with RA 6758, it would have so the necessary documents. They were not armed
stated in unequivocal terms. Instead, the mandate with a search warrant on that day. They con scated
it gave TIDCORP was to endeavor to conform to 20 pieces of lumber of different varieties lying
around the vicinity of the house of petitioner.
Maceda asked petitioner who the owner of the
lumber was and petitioner replied that he owned sawed it into lumber and delivered the same to
the lumber. Petitioner stated that he would use the petitioner who paid for the labor transporting the
lumber to repair his house and to make furniture sawn lumber. Candole further testi ed that while
for sale. Maceda also testi ed that the lumber were they were on their way to Barangay Combado,
freshly cut. Maceda loaded the lumber on the patrol Sunit stopped them but allowed the lumber to be
jeep and brought them to the police station. For brought to the house of petitioner.
coordination purposes, Maceda informed the office
of the Department of Environment and Natural Petitioner contends that the warrantless search and
Resources (DENR) of the confiscated lumber. The seizure conducted by the police o cers was illegal
DENR entrusted to the police custody of the and thus the items seized should not have been
lumber. admitted in evidence against him. Petitioner argues
that the police o cers were not armed with a search
Saguing, Forester II, CENRO-DENR, Maasin, warrant when they went to his house to verify the
Southern Leyte, testified that he went to the o ce of report of Sunit that petitioner had in his possession
the PNP in Maasin, Leyte to scale the confiscated lumber without the corresponding license. The
lumber which were of different varieties. The total police o cers who conducted the search in the
volume was 96.14 board feet belonging to the first premises of petitioner acted on the basis only on
group of hardwood lumber. the verbal order of the Chief of Police. Sunit had
already informed the team of the name of petitioner
Lasala, Responsible Supply Sergeant, Finance and the location the day before they conducted the
Sergeant and Evidence Custodian, PNP, Maasin, search. Petitioner argues that, with that information
Southern Leyte, testi ed that he received the 20 on hand, the police o cers could have easily
pieces of assorted sizes and varieties of lumber convinced a judge that there was probable cause to
from the Clerk of Court of the Municipal Trial justify the issuance of a search warrant, but they
Court, but only ten pieces remained because some did not. Because the search was illegal, all items
were damaged due to lack of storage space. recovered from petitioner during the illegal search
were prohibited from being used as evidence
For the defense, petitioner presented Dionisio against him. Petitioner therefore prays for his
Candole (Candole), Apolonio Caalim (Caalim), acquittal.
and himself as witnesses.
In its Comment, respondent People of the
Petitioner testifed that he is a carpenter specializing Philippines (respondent) contends that even
in furniture making. He was in his house working without a search warrant, the personnel of the PNP
on an ordered divider for a customer in the morning can seize the forest products cut, gathered or taken
of 18 June 1992 when policemen arrived and by an offender pursuant to Section 80 of the
inspected his lumber. Maceda, Sunit and Rojas Forestry Code. There is no question that the police
entered his house while Talisic stayed outside. officers went to the house of petitioner because of
Petitioner admitted to the policemen that he had no the information relayed by Sunit that petitioner had
permit to possess the lumber because those were in his possession illegally cut lumber. When the
only given to him by his uncle Felixberto Bug-os police officers arrived at the house of petitioner,
(Bug-os), his aunt Gliceria Bolo (Bolo), his the lumber were lying around the vicinity of
mother-in-law Cecilia Tenio (Tenio). The seven petitioner's house. The lumber were in plain view.
pieces of "magkalipay" lumber were left over from Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in
a divider he made for his cousin Jose Epiz. He "plain view" of an officer who has a right to be in
explained further that the lumber were intended for the position to have that view are subject to seizure
the repair of his dilapidated house. The defense and may be presented as evidence.
presented Caalim to corroborate the testimony of
petitioner. Issue:

Defense witness Candole testified that it was Bug- Held:On whether the police o cers had the
os who hired him to cut a "tugas" tree on his land, authority to arrest petitioner, even without a
warrant, Section 80 of the Forestry Code volumes, with "no pertinent supporting document."
authorizes the forestry o cer or employee of the These do not suffice.
DENR or any personnel of the PNP to arrest, even
without a warrant, any person who has committed As we have held in Merida v. People, 21 to prove
or is committing in his presence any of the offenses the amount of the property taken for xing the
de ned by the Forestry Code and to seize and con penalty imposable against the accused under
scate the tools and equipment used in committing Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code, the
the offense or the forest products gathered or taken prosecution must present more than a mere
by the offender. Section 80 reads: uncorroborated "estimate" of such fact. In the
absence of independent and reliable corroboration
Sec. 80. Arrest; Institution of Criminal Actions. — of such estimate, the courts may either apply the
A forest officer or employee of the Bureau or any minimum penalty under Article 309 or x the value
personnel of the Philippine of the property taken based on the attendant
Constabulary/Philippine National Police shall circumstances of the case.
arrest even without warrant any person who has
committed or is committing in his presence any of Accordingly, the prescribed penalty under Article
the offenses de ned in this chapter. He shall also 309 (6) of the Revised Penal Code is arresto mayor
seize and confiscate, in favor of the Government, in its minimum and medium periods. However,
the tools and equipment used in committing the considering that violation of Section 68 of the
offense, and the forest products cut, gathered or Forestry Code is punished as quali ed theft under
taken by the offender in the process of committing Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code pursuant to
the offense. . . . (Emphasis supplied) the Forestry Code, the prescribed penalty shall be
increased by two degrees, 22 that is, to prision
Petitioner was in possession of the lumber without correccional in its medium and maximum periods
the necessary documents when the police o cers or two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day
accosted him. In open court, petitioner to six (6) years. Taking into account the
categorically admitted the possession and Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum term
ownership of the confiscated lumber as well as the shall be taken from anywhere within the range of
fact that he did not have any legal documents four (4) months and one (1) day to two (2) years
therefor and that he merely intended to use the and four (4) months of arresto mayor, which is the
lumber for the repair of his dilapidated house. Mere penalty next lower to the prescribed penalty. We
possession of forest products without the proper nd it proper to impose upon petitioner, under the
documentation consummates the crime. Dura lex circumstances obtaining here, the indeterminate
sed lex. The law may be harsh but that is the law. penalty of four (4) months and one (1) day of
arresto mayor, as minimum, to two (2) years, four
On the penalty imposed by the lower courts, we
(4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional,
deem it necessary to discuss the matter. Violation
as maximum.
of Section 68 of the Forestry Code is punished as
Qualified Theft with the penalties imposed under WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the appealed
Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code, Decision convicting petitioner for violation of
Section 68 (now Section 77) of the Forestry Code,
The trial court applied Article 309 (3), in relation
as amended, with MODIFICATION as regards the
to Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code,
penalty in that petitioner Olympio Revaldo is
considering that the amount involved was
sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
P1,730.52. However, except for the amount stated
four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor,
in the Information, the prosecution did not present
as minimum, to two (2) years, four (4) months and
any proof as to the value of the lumber. What the
one (1) day of prision correccional, as maximum.
prosecution presented were the Seizure Receipt 19
and Con scation Receipt 20 stating the number of
pieces of lumber, their species, dimensions and
Facts: Petioner filed a Complaint, before Regional respondent would only write or call them without
Trial Court of Quezon City, to recover damages informing his whereabouts. On the other hand,
alleging that on November 20, 1992, respondent petitioner attached in his Rejoinder, the Affidavit
with intent to kill him and without justifiable prepared by respondent dated December 23,
reason, shot him with a gun hitting him on the right 1992, where declared he was a resident of No. 36
thigh.On January 31, 1995, Process Server Manuel Sampaguita St. Bausa Q.C. and the lawyer who
Panlasigue attempted to personally serve summons notarized the affidavit was the same lawyer who
at respondent’s address at No. 36 Sampaguita
represented his brother.
Street, Baesa Q.C., but was unsuccessful. In his
Servers Return, he stated that the occupant in that
Trial Court denied the Manifestation and Motion
house refused to give his identity and that
respondent is unknown at said residence. The Trial for lack of merit, it rendered a judgment infavor of
Court also attempted to serve summons to the the petitioner, ordered respondent to pay the
respondent’s office through registered mail, damages.Respondent received the copy of the
however, respondent failed to pick up summons. Trial Court’s Decision, he then filed a Notice of
Appeal to Court of Appeals. The appellate court
The case was dismissed by the Trial Court on directed the parties to file respective briefs, a copy
account of petitioner’s lack of interest to of which was sent by respondent at No. 36
prosecute that he did not take action since the Sampaguita St. Bausa Q.C. Respondent prayed
filing of the Servers Return. Petitioner filed a that the trial court erred in assuming jurisdiction
Motion for Reconsideration, contended that he over the person, despite the irregularity of the
exerted efforts to locate the respondent, it was substituted service of summons by the court
confirmed that respondent indeed lived at No. 36 Process Server and in awarding of damages to
Sampaguita Street, Bausa, Q.C. Trial Court granted petitioner. Court of Appeals rendered decision
the Motion with a condition upon the service of granting the Appeal of respondent and setting
summon on the respondent within 10 days from aside the decision of the trial court for the
the receipt of the Order. On August 25, 1995, irregularity of the service of summons. Petitioner
Process Server Jarvis Iconar tried to serve filed Petition for Review on Certiorari to Supreme
summons at respondent’s address but no avail. In Court.
his handwritten annotation, he stated that
respondent’s brother, Michael Francisco, told him
that respondent no longer lived at the said Issue:
address, however, Iconar left a copy of the
Held: In this case, personal service of summons
summons to Michael Francisco.
was twice attempted by the trial court, although
unsuccessfully. In the rst attempt, the resident of
Petitioner filed a Motion to Declare Respondent in
the house refused to receive the summons; worse,
Default for failure off respondent to file Answer he would not even give his name. In the second
despite the service of summons. Trial Court attempt, respondent's own brother refused to sign
declared that the summons was validly served to for receipt of the summons, and then later claimed
respondent, declared that respondent in default that he never received a copy, despite his
and allowed petitioner to present his evidence ex participation in the proceedings. The trial court
parte. Michael Francisco, through his lawyer filed also thrice attempted to contact the respondent
a Manifestation and Motion, he denied that he through his place of work, but to no avail. These
received the summons and he was authorized to diligent efforts to locate the respondent were noted
receive on behalf of his brother. He prayed his in the rst sheriff's return, the process server's
name to be stricken off the records as having notation, as well as the records of the case. AEIHaS
received the copy of summons. In his Affidavit of
Merit, he asserted that he was 19 y/o, and Clearly, personal service of summons was made
respondent had left the house since 1993 and impossible by the acts of the respondent in refusing
to reveal his whereabouts, and by the act of his In view of the foregoing, we nd that substituted
brother in claiming that respondent no longer lived service of summons was validly made upon
at No. 36 Sampaguita St., yet failing to disclose his respondent through his brother. We do not intend
brother's location. We also note that it was the trial this ruling to overturn jurisprudence to the effect
court which directed that the second service of that statutory requirements of substituted service
summons be made within seven days; thus, the must be followed strictly, faithfully, and fully, and
reasonable time was prescribed by the trial court that any substituted service other than that
itself. authorized by the Rules is considered ineffective.
32 However, an overly strict application of the
Undeniably, no Sheriff's Return was prepared by Rules is not warranted in this case, as it would
process server Jarvis Iconar; the only record of the clearly frustrate the spirit of the law as well as do
second service of summons was Mr. Iconar's injustice to the parties, who have been waiting for
handwritten notation in the summons itself. almost 15 years for a resolution of this case. We
However, the information required by law and are not heedless of the widespread and agrant
prevailing jurisprudence, that is, that personal practice whereby defendants actively attempt to
service was impossible because of the claim that frustrate the proper service of summons by
respondent no longer lived at the stated address, refusing to give their names, rebu ng requests to
that efforts were exerted to locate the respondent sign for or receive documents, or eluding o cers of
through the multiple attempts to serve summons, the court. Of course it is to be expected that
and that summons was served upon a person of su defendants try to avoid service of summons,
cient age and discretion, were already in the prompting this Court to declare that, "the sheriff
records of the trial court. must be resourceful, persevering, canny, and
diligent in serving the process on the defendant".
Moreover, we nd the claim that respondent moved 33 However, sheriffs are not expected to be
out of their residence in March 1993 without
sleuths, and cannot be faulted where the defendants
informing his brother or parents his whereabouts,
themselves engage in deception to thwart the
despite regular calls and letters, simply
orderly administration of justice. aDTSHc
incredulous. What makes this version of events
even more implausible is respondent's admission
The purpose of summons is two-fold: to acquire
that he received a copy of the trial court's Decision
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant and to
of 20 September 1999 that was sent to No. 36
notify the defendant that an action has been
Sampaguita Street. Respondent even led a Notice
commenced so that he may be given an opportunity
of Appeal coincidentally indicating that his address
to be heard on the claim against him. Under the
was No. 36 Sampaguita St., Baesa, Quezon City.
circumstances of this case, we nd that respondent
He also received a copy of the appellate court's
was duly apprised of the action against him and had
order for preliminary conference that was sent to
every opportunity to answer the charges made by
said address. These were never denied by
the petitioner. However, since respondent refused
respondent, despite being given every opportunity
to disclose his true address, it was impossible to
to do so.
personally serve summons upon him. Considering
that respondent could not have received summons
Respondent also wishes us to believe that it was
because of his own pretenses, and has failed to
pure chance that he and his brother were assisted
provide an explanation of his purported "new"
by the same lawyer, Atty. Bernardo Q. Cuaresma,
and yet it never occurred to respondent's own residence, he must now bear the consequences. 34
brother or lawyer to inform him about the receipt
of summons. All these militate against
respondent's self-serving declaration that he did
not reside at No. 36 Sampaguita St. Indeed, there SANTIAGO VS COMELEC
was no proof presented as to when respondent left
Facts: December 6, 1996, private respondent Atty.
and then returned to his original home, if he
Jesus S. Delfin filed with public respondent
actually did leave his home.
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) a Petition branches of government — the Legislative and the
to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Executive. Due respect to these two branches of
Elective Officials, by People's Initiative. Upon the government demands that we utilize all rules of
filing of the Petition, the COMELEC, through its statutory construction to effectuate R.A. No. 6735.
Chairman, issued an Order directing Delfin to It has been the teaching of this Court for ages that
cause the publication of the petition, together with when a law admits of two interpretations, one that
the attached Petition for Initiative on the 1987 will sustain it and another that will invalidate it, the
Constitution including the proposal, proposed interpretation that will save the law should be
constitutional amendment, and the signature form, adopted. cdtai
and the notice of hearing in three (3) daily
newspapers of general circulation at his own The simple yet decisive question is whether there
expense and setting the case for hearing on 12 is a way to interpret R.A. No. 6735 to save it.
December 1996 at 10:00 a.m. Stated otherwise, is the law so badly written that
the Court has no choice but to strike it down as
December 12, 1996, Senator Roco, filed a Motion inadequate? Even the gurus of grammar will not
to Dismiss the Petition on the ground that it is not suggest the indefensible idea that our distinguished
the initiatory petition properly cognizable by the senators and congressmen who cobbled R.A. No.
COMELEC. December 18, 1996, Senator Miriam 6735 into law were so lacking in draftmanship
Defensor Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Maria skills that they wrote a completely
Isabel Ongpin filed this special civil action for incomprehensible piece of legislation. The running
prohibition raising that R.A. No. 6735 provides for argument between the majority and minority
three systems of initiative, namely, initiative on the members of this Court may not have clearly settled
Constitution, on statutes, and on local legislation. the issue of whether the language of R.A. No. 6735
However, it failed to provide any subtitle on has adequately expressed the intent of our
initiative on the Constitution, unlike in the other lawmakers. At the very least, however, the sparks
modes of initiative, which are specifically provided of the spirited debate show that there is a way to
for in Subtitle II and Subtitle III. This deliberate interpret R.A. No. 6735 in order to save it. The
omission indicates that the matter of people's minority view that R.A. No. 6735 is
initiative to amend the Constitution was left to comprehensible enough to be enforceable cannot
some future law.December 19, 1996, the Court be dismissed as totally unfounded, unreasonable,
required the respondents to comment on the and unrealistic. In truth, the minority view is
petition and issued a temporary restraining order, shared by others whose honesty of motive cannot
effective immediately and continuing until further be assailed. It is shared by the lawmakers who
orders, enjoining public respondent COMELEC enacted R.A. No. 6735 in compliance with their
from proceeding with the Petition, and private constitutional duty to the people. It is shared by
respondents conducting a signature drive for former President Corazon C. Aquino who signed
people's initiative to amend the R.A. No. 6735 into law. And most important, the
Constitution.January 2, 1997, private respondents COMELEC has never wavered in its position that
filed their Comment on the petition. They argue R.A. No. 6735 is not incomprehensible, insu cient
therein that R.A No. 6735 is the enabling law or inadequate. The COMELEC, under the
implementing the power of people initiative to stewardship of then Acting Chairperson Haydee
propose amendments to the constitution. Yorac, understood R.A. No. 6735 without any
difficulty. Indeed, the COMELEC promulgated
Resolution No. 2300 prescribing the rules and
regulations on the conduct of people's initiative to
Issue: amend the Constitution. It was ready then and it is
ready now to implement R.A. No. 6735. More than
Held: The second overriding concern is the need to any department, instrumentality or agency of
comply with our traditional duty to interpret R.A. government, the COMELEC is the most
No. 6735 to effectuate its intent. R.A. No. 6735 authoritative to determine whether R.A. No. 6735
represents the wisdom and the will of two co-equal is clear and enforceable. Article IX (c) (2) of the
Constitution gave the COMELEC the exclusive breached any of the formal procedural steps in
power to "enforce and administer all laws and enacting a law. Since it is uncontested that
regulations relative to the conduct of an election, Congress did not violate any of the substantive or
plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall." Its formal requirements of lawmaking in enacting
long experience and expertise in enforcing our R.A. No. 6735, this Court has no option but to
election laws cannot be doubted and its effectuate the same. This is our consistent stance in
interpretation of R.A. No. 6735 carries a the past. There is no reason to be inconsistent now.
considerable weight.
The majority has broken all precedents when it did
To stress once more, there is no question that the not nd R.A. No. 6735 as unconstitutional yet
intent of R.A. No. 6735 is to implement the right refused to validate it. It relies on a reason
of the people through initiative to propose unrecognized by existing jurisprudence, i.e., that
amendments to the Constitution. Its validity is Congress inadequately expressed its intent in
questioned, however, on the ground that its key drafting R.A. No. 6735. In so doing, intervenor
provisions relating to what a petition should Roco observed that this Court "has created a third
contain fails to mention constitutional amendments specie of invalid laws, a mongrel type of
and appears to be limited to ordinary legislation constitutional but inadequate and, therefore,
proposed for enactment; approval or rejection. invalid law."
(E.g., Sec. 5(c) and subtitle II).
The Roco observation should raise our antennas. In
No reason has been advanced why these provisions letting loose this "mongrel" type of invalid law, the
cannot be construed to apply to proposed Court has overextended its checking power against
constitutional amendments. No reason has been Congress. This mongrel endangers the principle of
shown for restrictively and literally construing separation of powers, a touchstone of our
these provisions as applicable to ordinary Constitution. The power of Congress to make laws
legislation only. On the other hand, the established includes the power how to write laws. The court
rule in the interpretation of statutes is for courts to has the power to review the constitutionality of
seek the legislative intention and give it effect. The laws but it has no authority to act as if it is the
inadequacy of a statute is not a ground for committee on style of Congress. The Court has the
invalidating it. Given the lawfulness of the power to interpret laws but the principal purpose in
legislative purpose to implement the constitutional exercising this power is to discover and enforce
provision on initiative to amend the Constitution, it legislative intent. We should heed the warning of
is not for this Court to say how well the statute Crawford that if courts ignore the intent of the
succeeds in attaining that purpose. "With the legislative, they would invade the legislative
wisdom of the policy adopted, with the adequacy sphere and violate the tripartite theory of
or practicality of the law enacted to forward it, the government. 8 The balance of power among the
courts are both incompetent and unauthorized to executive, legislative and judicial branches of our
deal." government was xed with pinpoint precision by the
framers of our fundamental law. The Constitution
In the case at bar, R.A. No. 6735 is not assailed by did not give the Court the power to alter this
the majority as unconstitutional for failure of balance especially to alter it in its favor. Unless
Congress to follow the substantive requirements of allowed by the Constitution, a non-elected court
lawmaking. It even concedes that Congress cannot assume powers which will make it more
enacted the law in compliance with its duty to than the equal of an elected legislature or an elected
implement the provision of the Constitution executive.
granting the people the right to amend our
fundamental law thru people's initiative. It goes
without saying that the subject matter of R.A. No.
6735 is within the compass of the power of RODOLFO NAVARRO VS ERMITA
Congress to legislate. Nor does the majority strike
down R.A. No. 6735 on the ground that Congress
Facts: The mother province of Surigao del Norte under the Local Government Code (LGC). The
was created and established under R.A. No. 2786 plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and
on June 19, 1960. The province is composed of 63,502 negative votes. With the approval of the
three main groups of islands: (1) the Mainland and people from both the mother province of Surigao
Surigao City; (2) Siargao Island and Bucas Grande; del Norte and the Province of Dinagat Islands
and (3) Dinagat Island, which is composed of (Dinagat).
seven municipalities, namely, Basilisa, Cagdianao,
Dinagat, Libjo, Loreto, San Jose, and Tubajon. November 10, 2006, petitioners filed before this
Based on the official 2000 Census of Population Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition
and Housing conducted by the National Statistics challenging the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9355.
O ce (NSO), 2 the population of the Province of The Court dismissed the petition on technical
Surigao del Norte as of May 1, 2000 was 481,416, grounds. Their motion for reconsideration was also
broken down as follows: Mainland 281,111 denied.Undaunted, petitioners filed another
Surigao City 118,534 petition for certiorari seeking to nullify R.A. No.
Siargao Island & Bucas 93,354 9355 for being unconstitutional. They alleged that
the creation of Dinagat as a new province, if
Grande Dinagat Island 106,951 uncorrected, would perpetuate an illegal act of
Congress, and would unjustly deprive the people of
Under Section 461 of R.A. No. 7610, otherwise Surigao del Norte of a large chunk of the provincial
known as The Local Government Code, a province territory, Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA), and
may be created if it has an average annual income rich resources from the area. They pointed out that
of not less than P20 million based on 1991 constant when the law was passed, Dinagat had a land area
prices as certi ed by the Department of Finance, of 802.12 square kilometers only and a population
and a population of not less than 250,000 of only 106,951, failing to comply with Section 10,
inhabitants as certi ed by the NSO, or a contiguous Article X of the Constitution and of Section 461 of
territory of at least 2,000 square kilometers as certi the LGC.
ed by the Lands Management Bureau. The territory
need not be contiguous if it comprises two or more May 12, 2010, movants-intervenors raised three
islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities, (3) main arguments to challenge the above
which do not contribute to the income of the Resolution, namely: (1) that the passage of R.A.
province. No. 9355 operates as an act of Congress amending
Section 461 of the LGC; (2) that the exemption
On April 3, 2002, the O ce of the President, through from territorial contiguity, when the intended
its Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, province consists of two or more islands, includes
advised the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the the exemption from the application of the
Province of Surigao del Norte of the de cient minimum land area requirement; and (3) that the
population in the proposed Province of Dinagat Operative Fact Doctrine is applicable in the instant
Islands. case.July 20, 2010, the Court denied the Motion for
Leave to Intervene and to File and to Admit
In July 2003, the Provincial Government of Intervenors’ Motion for Reconsideration of the
Surigao del Norte conducted a special census, Resolution dated May 12, 2010 on the ground that
which declared as official, for all purposes, the the allowance or disallowance of a motion to
2003 Special Census in Dinagat Islands showing a intervene is addressed to the sound discretion of
population of 371,576. October 2, 2006, the the Court, and that the appropriate time to file the
President of the Republic approved into law said motion was before and not after the resolution
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9355 (An Act Creating of this case.
the Province of Dinagat Islands).
September 7, 2010, movants-intervenors filed a
December 3, 2006, the Commission on Elections Motion for Reconsideration of the July 20, 2010
(COMELEC) conducted the mandatory plebiscite Resolution, citing several rulings of the Court,
for the ratification of the creation of the province allowing intervention as an exception to Section 2,
Rule 19 of the Rules of Court that it should be filed was 371,576, which is more than the minimum
at any time before the rendition of judgment. They requirement of 250,000 inhabitants.
alleged that, prior to the May 10, 2010 elections,
their legal interest in this case was not yet existent. In his Memorandum, respondent Governor Ace S.
They averred that prior to the May 10, 2010 Barbers contends that although the result of the
elections, they were unaware of the proceedings in special census conducted by the Provincial
this case. October 5, 2010, the Court issued an Government of Surigao del Norte on December 2,
order for Entry of Judgment, stating that the 2003 was never certi ed by the NSO, it is credible
decision in this case had become final and since it was conducted with the aid of a
executory on May 18, 2010. representative of the NSO. He alleged that the lack
of certi cation by the NSO was cured by the
Petitioners contend that the proposed Province of presence of NSO o cials, who testi ed during the
Dinagat Islands is not quali ed to become a deliberations on House Bill No. 884 creating the
province because it failed to comply with the land Province of Dinagat Islands, and who questioned
area or the population requirement, despite its neither the conduct of the special census nor the
compliance with the income requirement. It has a validity of the result.
total land area of only 802.12 square kilometers,
which falls short of the statutory requirement of at Issue: WON REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9355,
least 2,000 square kilometers. Moreover, based on CREATING THE NEW PROVINCE OF
the NSO 2000 Census of Population, the total DINAGAT ISLANDS, COMPLIED WITH THE
population of the proposed Province of Dinagat CONSTITUTION AND STATUTORY
Islands is only 106,951, while the statutory REQUIREMENTS UNDER SECTION 461 OF
requirement is a population of at least 250,000 REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160, OTHERWISE
CODE OF 1991.
On the other hand, respondents contend in their
respective Memoranda that the Province of Held: The Court held that the plebiscite should
Dinagat Islands met the legal standard for its have included the people living in the area of the
creation. proposed new province and those living in the
parent province. However, the Court did not direct
First, the Bureau of Local Government Finance the conduct of a new plebiscite, because the factual
certi ed that the average annual income of the and legal basis for the creation of the new province
proposed Province of Dinagat Islands for the years did not exist as it failed to satisfy the land area
2002 to 2003 based on the 1991 constant prices requirement; hence, Batas Pambansa Blg. 885,
was P82,696,433.25. creating the new Province of Negros del Norte, was
declared unconstitutional. The Court found that the
Second, the Lands Management Bureau certi ed land area of the new province was only about 2,856
that though the land area of the Province of Dinagat square kilometers, which was below the statutory
Islands is 802.12 square kilometers, it is composed requirement then of 3,500 square kilometers.
of one or more islands; thus, it is exempt from the HAaECD
required land area of 2,000 square kilometers
under paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Rules and Respondents in Tan insisted that when the Local
Regulations Implementing the Local Government Government Code speaks of the required territory
Code. of the province to be created, what is contemplated
is not only the land area, but also the land and water
Third, in the special census conducted by the over which the said province has jurisdiction and
Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte, with control. The respondents submitted that in this
the assistance of a District Census Coordinator of regard, the marginal sea within the three mile limit
the NSO, the number of inhabitants in the Province should be considered in determining the extent of
of Dinagat Islands as of 2003, or almost three years the territory of the new province.
before the enactment of R.A. No. 9355 in 2006,
The Court stated that "[s]uch an interpretation is reason for a change in their respective definitions,
strained, incorrect and fallacious." 18 It held: usage, or meaning in its counterpart provision in
the present Local Government Code contained in
The last sentence of the rst paragraph of Section Sec. 461 thereof.
197 is most revealing. As so stated therein the
"territory need not be contiguous if it comprises The territorial requirement in the Local
two or more islands." The use of the word territory Government Code is adopted in the Rules and
in this particular provision of the Local Regulations Implementing the Local Government
Government Code and in the very last sentence Code of 1991 (IRR), 20 thus:
thereof, clearly, re ects that "territory" as therein
used, has reference only to the mass of land area ART. 9. Provinces. — (a) Requisites for creation
and excludes the waters over which the political — A province shall not be created unless the
unit exercises control. following requisites on income and either
population or land area are present:
Said sentence states that the "territory need not be
contiguous." Contiguous means (a) in physical (1) Income — An average annual income of not
contact; (b) touching along all or most of one side; less than Twenty Million Pesos (P20,000,000.00)
(c) near, [n]ext, or adjacent (Webster's New World for the immediately preceding two (2) consecutive
Dictionary, 1972 Ed., p. 307). "Contiguous," when years based on 1991 constant prices, as certi ed by
employed as an adjective, as in the above sentence, DOF. The average annual income shall include the
is only used when it describes physical contact, or income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of
a touching of sides of two solid masses of matter. special funds, special accounts, transfers, and
The meaning of particular terms in a statute may be nonrecurring income; and DICSaH
ascertained by reference to words associated with
or related to them in the statute (Animal Rescue (2) Population or land area — Population which
League vs. Assessors, 138 A.L.R., p. 110). shall not be less than two hundred fty thousand
Therefore, in the context of the sentence above, (250,000) inhabitants, as certi ed by National
what need not be "contiguous" is the "territory" — Statistics Office; or land area which must be
the physical mass of land area.There would arise contiguous with an area of at least two thousand
no need for the legislators to use the word (2,000) square kilometers, as certi ed by LMB. The
contiguous if they had intended that the term territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two
"territory" embrace not only land area but also (2) or more islands or is separated by a chartered
territorial waters. It can be safely concluded that city or cities which do not contribute to the income
the word territory in the rst paragraph of Section of the province. The land area requirement shall
197 is meant to be synonymous with "land area" not apply where the proposed province is
only. The words and phrases used in a statute composed of one (1) or more islands. The
should be given the meaning intended by the territorial jurisdiction of a province sought to be
legislature (82 C.J.S., p. 636). The sense in which created shall be properly identified by metes and
the words are used furnished the rule of bounds.
construction (In re Winton Lumber Co., 63 p. 2d.,
p. 664). 19 However, the IRR went beyond the criteria
prescribed by Section 461 of the Local
The discussion of the Court in Tan on the definition Government Code when it added the italicized
and usage of the terms "territory," and portion above stating that "[t]he land area
"contiguous," and the meaning of the provision, requirement shall not apply where the proposed
"The territory need not be contiguous if it province is composed of one (1) or more islands."
comprises two or more islands," contained in Sec. Nowhere in the Local Government Code is the said
197 of the former Local Government Code, which provision stated or implied. Under Section 461 of
provides for the requisites in the creation of a new the Local Government Code, the only instance
province, is applicable in this case since there is no when the territorial or land area requirement need
not be complied with is when there is already
compliance with the population requirement. The provision in Art. 9 (2) of the IRR exempting a
Constitution requires that the criteria for the proposed province composed of one or more
creation of a province, including any exemption islands from the land-area requirement cannot be
from such criteria, must all be written in the Local considered an executive construction of the criteria
Government Code.21 There is no dispute that in prescribed by the Local Government Code. It is an
case of discrepancy between the basic law and the extraneous provision not intended by the Local
rules and regulations implementing the said law, Government Code and, therefore, is null and void.
the basic law prevails, because the rules and SaIACT
regulations cannot go beyond the terms and
provisions of the basic law. Hence, the Court holds
that the provision in Sec. 2, Art. 9 of the IRR
stating that " [t]he land area requirement shall not ATONG PAGLAUM VS COMELEC
apply where the proposed province is composed of
one (1) or more islands" is null and void. Facts: The case constitute 54 Petitions for
Certiorari and Petitions for Certiorari and
Respondents, represented by the Office of the Prohibition filed by 52 party-list groups and
Solicitor General, argue that rules and regulations organizations assailing the Resolutions issued by
have the force and effect of law as long as they are the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
germane to the objects and purposes of the law. disqualifying them from participating in the 13
They contend that the exemption from the land May 2013 party-list elections, either by denial of
area requirement of 2,000 square kilometers is their petitions for registration under the party-list
germane to the purpose of the Local Government system, or cancellation of their registration and
Code to develop political and territorial accreditation as party-list organizations.
subdivisions into self-reliant communities and
make them more effective partners in the Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No.
attainment of national goals. They assert that in 7941 (R.A. No. 7941) and COMELEC Resolution
Holy Spirit Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Nos. 9366 and 9531, approximately 280 groups
Defensor, the Court declared as valid the and organizations registered and manifested their
implementing rules and regulations of a statute, desire to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list
even though the administrative agency added elections
certain provisions in the implementing rules that
were not found in the law. Courts determine the December 5, 2012, the COMELEC En Banc
intent of the law from the literal language of the affirmed the COMELEC Second Division’s
resolution to grant Partido ng Bayan ng Bida’s
law within the law's four corners. 30 If the (PBB) registration and accreditation as a political
language of the law is plain, clear and party in the National Capital Region. However,
unambiguous, courts simply apply the law PBB was denied participation in the elections
according to its express terms. 31 If a literal because PBB does not represent any "marginalized
application of the law results in absurdity, and underrepresented" sector.
impossibility or injustice, then courts may resort to
extrinsic aids of statutory construction like the 13 petitioners were not able to secure a mandatory
legislative history of the law, 32 or may consider injunction from the Court. The COMELEC, on 7
the implementing rules and regulations and January 2013 issued Resolution No. 9604, and
pertinent executive issuances in the nature of excluded the names of these 13 petitioners in the
executive construction. printing of the official.

In this case, the requirements for the creation of a Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Resolution No. 9513,
province contained in Sec. 461 of the Local the COMELEC En Banc scheduled summary
Government Code are clear, plain and evidentiary hearings to determine whether the
unambiguous, and its literal application does not groups and organizations that filed manifestations
result in absurdity or injustice. Hence, the of intent to participate in the elections have
continually complied with the requirements of among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan
R.A. No. 7941 and Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Manila area in accordance with the number of their
Labor Party v. COMELEC (Ang Bagong Bayani). respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as
39 petitioners were able to secure a mandatory provided by law, shall be elected through a party-
injunction from the Court, directing the list system of registered national, regional, and
COMELEC to include the names of these 39 sectoral parties or organizations. (Emphasis
petitioners in the printing of the official ballot for supplied)
the elections.
Section 5 (1), Article VI of the Constitution is
Petitioners prayed for the issuance of a temporary crystal-clear that there shall be "a party-list system
restraining order and/or writ of preliminary of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties
injunction. This Court issued Status Quo Ante or organizations." The commas after the words
Orders in all petitions "national[,]" and "regional[,]" separate national
and regional parties from sectoral parties. Had the
Issue: framers of the 1987 Constitution intended national
and regional parties to be at the same time sectoral,
Held; Indisputably, the framers of the 1987 they would have stated "national and regional
Constitution intended the party-list system to sectoral parties." They did not, precisely because it
include not only sectoral parties but also non- was never their intention to make the party-list
sectoral parties. The framers intended the sectoral system exclusively sectoral.
parties to constitute a part, but not the entirety, of
the party-list system. As explained by What the framers intended, and what they
Commissioner Wilfredo Villacorta, political expressly wrote in Section 5 (1), could not be any
parties can participate in the party-list system clearer: the party-list system is composed of three
"[F]or as long as they eld candidates who come different groups, and the sectoral parties belong to
from the different marginalized sectors that we only one of the three groups.The text of Section 5
shall designate in this Constitution." (1) leaves no room for any doubt that national and
regional parties are separate from sectoral parties.
Thus, in the end, the proposal to give permanent
reserved seats to certain sectors was outvoted. Thus, the party-list system is composed of three
Instead, the reservation of seats to sectoral different groups: (1) national parties or
representatives was only allowed for the rst three organizations; (2) regional parties or organizations;
consecutive terms. 55 There can be no doubt and (3) sectoral parties or organizations. National
whatsoever that the framers of the 1987 and regional parties or organizations are different
Constitution expressly rejected the proposal to from sectoral parties or organizations. National and
make the party-list system exclusively for sectoral regional parties or organizations need not be
parties only, and that they clearly intended the organized along sectoral lines and need not
party-list system to include both sectoral and non- represent any particular sector.
sectoral parties.
Moreover, Section 5 (2), Article VI of the 1987
The indisputable intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution mandates that, during the rst three
Constitution to include in the party-list system both consecutive terms of Congress after the rati cation
sectoral and non-sectoral parties is clearly written of the 1987 Constitution, "one-half of the seats
in Section 5 (1), Article VI of the Constitution, allocated to party-list representatives shall be lled,
which states: as provided by law, by selection or election from
the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural
Section 5.(1) The House of Representative shall be communities, women, youth, and such other
composed of not more that two hundred and fty sectors as may be provided by law, except the
members, unless otherwise xed by law, who shall religious sector." This provision clearly shows
be elected from legislative districts apportioned again that the party-list system is not exclusively
for sectoral parties for two obvious reasons. party must represent a "marginalized and
ASETHC underrepresented" sector. It is su cient that the
political party consists of citizens who advocate the
First, the other one-half of the seats allocated to same ideology or platform, or the same governance
party-list representatives would naturally be open principles and policies, regardless of their
to non-sectoral party-list representatives, clearly economic status as citizens.
negating the idea that the party-list system is
exclusively for sectoral parties representing the Section 5 of R.A. No. 7941 states that "the sectors
"marginalized and underrepresented." Second, the shall include labor, peasant, sherfolk, urban poor,
reservation of one-half of the party-list seats to indigenous cultural communities, elderly,
sectoral parties applies only for the rst "three handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas
consecutive terms after the rati cation of this workers, and professionals. " 56 The sectors
Constitution," clearly making the party-list system mentioned in Section 5 are not all necessarily
fully open after the end of the rst three "marginalized and underrepresented." For sure,
congressional terms. This means that, after this "professionals" are not by de nition "marginalized
period, there will be no seats reserved for any class and underrepresented," not even the elderly,
or type of party that quali es under the three groups women, and the youth. However, professionals, the
constituting the party-list system. elderly, women, and the youth may "lack well-de
ned political constituencies," and can thus organize
Hence, the clear intent, express wording, and themselves into sectoral parties in advocacy of the
party-list structure ordained in Section 5 (1) and special interests and concerns of their respective
(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution cannot be sectors.
disputed: the party-list system is not for sectoral
parties only, but also for non-sectoral parties. None of the 8 grounds to refuse or cancel
registration refers to non-representation of the
R.A. No. 7941 does not require national and "marginalized and underrepresented."
regional parties or organizations to represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented" sectors. To The phrase "marginalized and underrepresented"
require all national and regional parties under the appears only once in R.A. No. 7941, in Section 2
party-list system to represent the "marginalized on Declaration of Policy. 57 Section 2 seeks "to
and underrepresented" is to deprive and exclude, promote proportional representation in the election
by judicial at, ideology- based and cause-oriented of representatives to the House of Representatives
parties from the party-list system. How will these through the party-list system," which will enable
ideology- based and cause-oriented parties, who Filipinos belonging to the "marginalized and
cannot win in legislative district elections, underrepresented sectors, organizations and
participate in the electoral process if they are parties, and who lack well-de ned political
excluded from the party-list system? To exclude constituencies," to become members of the House
them from the party-list system is to prevent them of Representatives. While the policy declaration in
from joining the parliamentary struggle, leaving as Section 2 of R.A. No. 7941 broadly refers to
their only option the armed struggle. To exclude "marginalized and underrepresented sectors,
them from the party- list system is, apart from organizations and parties," the speci c
being obviously senseless, patently contrary to the implementing provisions of R.A. No. 7941 do not
clear intent and express wording of the 1987 de ne or require that the sectors, organizations or
Constitution and R.A. No. 7941. aHcACT parties must be "marginalized and
underrepresented." On the contrary, to even
Under the party-list system, an ideology-based or
interpret that all the sectors mentioned in Section 5
cause-oriented political party is clearly different
are "marginalized and underrepresented" would
from a sectoral party. A political party need not be
lead to absurdities.
organized as a sectoral party and need not represent
any particular sector. There is no requirement in The phrase "marginalized and underrepresented"
R.A. No. 7941 that a national or regional political should refer only to the sectors in Section 5 that
are, by their nature, economically "marginalized The major political parties are those that eld
and underrepresented." These sectors are: labor, candidates in the legislative district elections.
peasant, sherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural Major political parties cannot participate in the
communities, handicapped, veterans, overseas party-list elections since they neither lack "well-de
workers, and other similar sectors. For these ned political constituencies" nor represent
sectors, a majority of the members of the sectoral "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors.Thus,
party must belong to the "marginalized and the national or regional parties under the party- list
underrepresented." The nominees of the sectoral system are necessarily those that do not belong to
party either must belong to the sector, or must have major political parties. This automatically reserves
a track record of advocacy for the sector the national and regional parties under the party-
represented. Belonging to the "marginalized and list system to those who "lack well-de ned political
underrepresented" sector does not mean one must constituencies," giving them the opportunity to
"wallow in poverty, destitution or in rmity." It is su have members in the House of Representatives.
cient that one, or his or her sector, is below the The COMELEC excluded from participating in the
middle class. More speci cally, the economically 13 May 2013 party-list elections those that did not
"marginalized and underrepresented" are those satisfy these two criteria: (1) all national, regional,
who fall in the low income group as classified by and sectoral groups or organizations must
the National Statistical Coordination Board. 58 represent the "marginalized and underrepresented"
TAaCED sectors, and (2) all nominees must belong to the
"marginalized and underrepresented" sector they
The recognition that national and regional parties, represent. Petitioners may have been disquali ed by
as well as sectoral parties of professionals, the the COMELEC because as political or regional
elderly, women and the youth, need not be parties they are not organized along sectoral lines
"marginalized and underrepresented" will allow and do not represent the "marginalized and
small ideology-based and cause-oriented parties underrepresented." Also, petitioners' nominees
who lack "well-de ned political constituencies" a who do not belong to the sectors they represent
chance to win seats in the House of may have been disquali ed, although they may have
Representatives. On the other hand, limiting to the a track record of advocacy for their sectors.
"marginalized and underrepresented" t h e sectoral Likewise, nominees of non-sectoral parties may
parties for labor, peasant, sherfolk, urban poor, have been disquali ed because they do not belong
indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, to any sector. Moreover, a party may have been
veterans, overseas workers, and other sectors that disquali ed because one or more of its nominees
by their nature are economically at the margins of failed to qualify, even if the party has at least one
society, will give the "marginalized and remaining quali ed nominee. As discussed above,
underrepresented" an opportunity to likewise win the disquali cation of petitioners, and their
seats in the House of Representatives. nominees, under such circumstances is contrary to
the 1987 Constitution and R.A. No. 7941.
This interpretation will harmonize the 1987
Constitution and R.A. No. 7941 and will give rise
to a multi-party system where those "marginalized
and underrepresented," both in economic and REPUBLIC VS YAHON
ideological status, will have the opportunity to
send their own members to the House of Facts:Daisy R. Yahon (respondent) led a petition
Representatives. This interpretation will also make for the issuance of protection order under the
the party-list system honest and transparent, provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, 3
eliminating the need for relatively well-off party- otherwise known as the "Anti- Violence Against
list representatives to masquerade as "wallowing in Women and Their Children Act of 2004," against
poverty, destitution and in rmity," even as they her husband, S/Sgt. Charles A. Yahon (S/Sgt.
attend sessions in Congress riding in SUVs. Yahon), an enlisted personnel of the Philippine
Army who retired in January 2006. Respondent
and S/Sgt. Yahon were married on June 8, 2003.
The couple did not have any child but respondent Held: It is basic in statutory construction that in
has a daughter with her previous live-in partner. In case of irreconcilable con ict between two laws, the
the Temporary Protection Order, Sgt Yahon was later enactment must prevail, being the more recent
ordered to provide reasonable financial spousal expression of legislative will. Statutes must be so
support to the respondent. In his failure to appear construed and harmonized with other statutes as to
before the court with a counsel and with an answer form a uniform system of jurisprudence. However,
to the charges against him, the court has granted if several laws cannot be harmonized, the earlier
Permanent Protection Order for the respondent statute must yield to the later enactment. The later
against Sgt Yahon. It was also reiterated that Sgt law is the latest expression of the legislative will.
Yahon should provide for the financial spousal
support to his wife from his retirement benefits. We hold that Section 8 (g) of R.A. No. 9262, being
Sgt. Charles A. Yahon is directed to give it to a later enactment, should be construed as laying
petitioner 50% of whatever retirement benefits and down an exception to the general rule above-stated
other claims that may be due or released to him that retirement bene ts are exempt from execution.
from the government and the said share of The law itself declares that the court shall order the
petitioner shall be automatically deducted from withholding of a percentage of the income or salary
respondent's benefits and claims and be given of the respondent by the employer, which shall be
directly to the petitioner, Daisy R. Yahon. automatically remitted directly to the woman
"[n]otwithstanding other laws to the contrary."
However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Finance Center contended that half of the Petitioner further contends that the directive under
retirement benefits of Sgt Yahon cannot be given the TPO to segregate a portion of S/Sgt. Yahon's
to the respondent as it is from a military institution. retirement bene ts was illegal because said moneys
The petitioner contended that money due to remain as public funds, citing the case of Paci c
government employees is not liable to the creditors Products v. Ong . In that case, this Court sustained
of the said employees in the process of the CA when it held that the garnishment of the
garnishment. amount of P10,500 payable to BML Trading and
Supply while it was still in the possession of the
*A protection order is an order issued by the court Bureau of Telecommunications was illegal and
to prevent further acts of violence against women therefore, null and void
and their children, their family or household
members, and to grant other necessary relief. Its Section 8 of R.A. No. 9262 enumerates the reliefs
purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from that may be included in the TPO, PPO or BPO, to
further harm, minimize any disruption in their wit: xxxx (g) Directing the respondent to provide
daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability support to the woman and/or her child if entitled
to regain control of their life. 13 The protection to legal support.Notwithstanding other laws to the
orders issued by the court may be a Temporary contrary, the court shall order an appropriate
Protection Order (TPO) or a Permanent Protection percentage of the income or salary of the
Order (PPO), while a protection order that may be respondent to be withheld regularly by the
issued by the barangay shall be known as a respondent's employer for the same to be
Barangay Protection Order (BPO). automatically remitted directly to the woman.
Failure to remit and/or withhold or any delay in
Issue: whether petitioner military institution may the remittance of support to the woman and/or
be ordered to automatically deduct a percentage her child without justi able cause shall render the
from the retirement bene ts of its enlisted respondent or his employer liable for indirect
personnel, and to give the same directly to the contempt of court;
latter's lawful wife as spousal support in
compliance with a protection order issued by the Section 8 (g) of R.A. No. 9262 used the general
RTC pursuant to R.A. No. 9262. term "employer," which includes in its coverage
the military institution, S/Sgt. Yahon's employer.
Where the law does not distinguish, courts should
not distinguish. Thus, Section 8 (g) applies signed/endorsed by 153 union members. Nava
toallemployers, whether private or government. subsequently requested that the following
employees be allowed to avail of one-day union
It bears stressing that Section 8 (g) providing for leave with pay on December 19, 1995: Celia Sabas,
spousal and child support, is a support enforcement Jesusa Gerona, Albina Bañez, Eddie Villa, Roy
legislation. In the United States, provisions of the Malazarte, Ernesto Canen, Jr., Guillerma
Child Support Enforcement Act 24 allow Remocaldo, Catalina Alsado, Evelyn Ong,
garnishment of certain federal funds where the Melodia Paulin, So a Bautista, Hannah Bongcaras,
intended recipient has failed to satisfy a legal Ester Villarin, Iluminada Wenceslao and Perla
obligation of child support. As these provisions Nava. However, MCCHI returned the CBA
were designed "to avoid sovereign immunity proposal for Nava to secure rst the endorsement of
problems" and provide that "moneys payable by the legal counsel of NFL as the o cial bargaining
the Government to any individual are subject to representative of MCCHI employees. HTaIAC
child support enforcement proceedings," the law is
clearly intended to "create a limited waiver of Meanwhile, Atty. Alforque informed MCCHI that
sovereign immunity so that state courts could issue the proposed CBA submitted by Nava was never
valid orders directed against Government agencies referred to NFL and that NFL has not authorized
attaching funds in their possession any other legal counsel or any person for collective
bargaining negotiations. By January 1996, the
collection of union fees (check-off) was
temporarily suspended by MCCHI in view of the
VISAYAS COMMUNITY VS YBALLE existing con ict between the federation and its local
a liate. Thereafter, MCCHI attempted to take over
Facts: Respondents were hired as staff nurses (Ong the room being used as union o ce but was
and Angel) and midwives (Yballe and Cortez) by prevented to do so by Nava and her group who
petitioner Visayas Community Medical Center protested these actions and insisted that
(VCMC), formerly the Metro Cebu Community management directly negotiate with them for a new
Hospital, Inc. (MCCHI). MCCHI is a non-stock, CBA. MCCHI referred the matter to Atty.
non-pro t corporation which operates the Metro Alforque, NFL's Regional Director, and advised
Cebu Community Hospital (MCCH), a tertiary Nava that their group is not recognized by NFL.
medical institution owned by the United Church of
Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). The National Upon the request of Atty. Alforque, MCCHI
Federation of Labor (NFL) is the exclusive granted one-day union leave with pay for 12 union
bargaining representative of the rank-and- le members. The next day, several union members led
employees of MCCHI. Under the 1987 and 1991 by Nava and her group launched a series of mass
Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), the actions such as wearing black and red
signatories were Ciriaco B. Pongasi, Sr. for armbands/headbands, marching around the
MCCHI, and Atty. Armando M. Alforque (NFL hospital premises and putting up placards, posters
Legal Counsel) and Paterno A. Lumapguid as and streamers. Atty. Alforque immediately
President of NFL-MCCH Chapter. In the CBA disowned the concerted activities being carried out
effective from January 1994 until December 31, by union members which are not sanctioned by
1995, the signatories were Sheila E. Buot as Board NFL. MCCHI directed the union o cers led by
of Trustees Chairman, Rev. Iyoy as MCCH Nava to submit within 48 hours a written
Administrator and Atty. Fernando Yu as Legal explanation why they should not be terminated for
Counsel of NFL, while Perla Nava, President of having engaged in illegal concerted activities
Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa MCCH (NAMA- amounting to strike, and placed them under
MCCH-NFL) signed the Proof of Posting. immediate preventive suspension. Responding to
this directive, Nava and her group denied there was
On December 6, 1995, Nava wrote Rev. Iyoy a temporary stoppage of work, explaining that
expressing the union's desire to renew the CBA, employees wore their armbands only as a sign of
attaching to her letter a statement of proposals protest and reiterating their demand for MCCHI to
comply with its duty to bargain collectively. Rev. legitimate labor organization. Since there was no
Iyoy, having been informed that Nava and her showing that the complainants committed any
group have also been suspended by NFL, directed illegal act during the strike, they may not be
said o cers to appear before his o ce for deemed to have lost their employment status by
investigation in connection with the illegal strike their mere participation in the illegal strike. On the
wherein they reportedly uttered slanderous and other hand, the union leaders (Nava group) who
scurrilous words against the o cers of the hospital, conducted the illegal strike despite knowledge that
threatening other workers and forcing them to join NAMA-MCCH-NFL is not a duly registered labor
the strike. Said union o cers, however, invoked the union were declared to have been validly
grievance procedure provided in the CBA to settle terminated by petitioner.
the dispute between management and the union.
DTAcIa We stress that the law makes a distinction between
union members and union o cers. A worker merely
the Department of Labor and Employment participating in an illegal strike may not be
(DOLE) Regional O ce No. 7 issued certi cations terminated from employment. It is only when he
stating that there is nothing in their records which commits illegal acts during a strike that he may be
shows that NAMA-MCCH-NFL is a registered declared to have lost employment status. 33 In
labor organization, and that said union submitted contrast, a union o cer may be terminated from
only a copy of its Charter Certi cate on January 31, employment for knowingly participating in an
1995. MCCHI then sent individual notices to all illegal strike or participates in the commission of
union members asking them to submit within 72 illegal acts during a strike. The law grants the
hours a written explanation why they should not be employer the option of declaring a union o cer who
terminated for having supported the illegal participated in an illegal strike as having lost his
concerted activities of NAMA- MCCH-NFL employment. It possesses the right and prerogative
which has no legal personality as per DOLE to terminate the union officers from service.34
records. In their collective response/statement acADIT
dated March 18, 1996, it was explained that the
picketing employees wore armbands to protest We are not persuaded by respondents' attempt to
MCCHI's refusal to bargain; it was also contended dissociate themselves from the Nava group who
that MCCHI cannot question the legal personality led the illegal strike. In their motion for
of the union which had actively assisted in CBA reconsideration led before the NLRC, respondents
negotiations and implementation. NAMA-MCCH- no longer denied having participated in the strike
NFL led a Notice of Strike but the same was but simply argued that no termination of
deemed not led for want of legal personality on the employment in connection with the strike "staged
part of the filer. by complainants" cannot be legally sustained
because MCCHI "did not le a complaint or petition
With the volatile situation adversely affecting to declare the strike of complainants illegal or
hospital operations and the condition of con ned declare that illegal acts were committed in the
patients, MCCHI led a petition for injunction in the conduct of the strike." Respondents further
NLRC assailed the NLRC's nding that they were guilty of
insubordination since "the proximate cause of the
acts of complainants was the prevailing labor
dispute and the consequent resort by complainants
of [sic] a strike action." 36 When the case was
Issue elevated to the CA, respondents shifted course and
again insisted that they did not participate in the
Held: In the Decision dated December 7, 2011, we strike nor receive the March 15, 1996 individual
declared as invalid the dismissal of MCCH notices sent by petitioner to the striking employees.
employees who participated in the illegal strike EDATSC
conducted by NAMA-MCCH-NFL which is not a
Respondents' inconsistent posture cannot be Section 6 of R.A. No. 7941 and that petitioners
sanctioned. While there was indeed no evidence of are just trying to resurrect their lost chance to
any illegal act committed by respondents during
oppose the petition for registration.
the strike, the Labor Arbiter and NLRC were one
in nding that respondents actively supported the
concerted protest activities, signed the collective The COMELEC dismissed the complaint for
reply of union members manifesting that they two reasons. First, the ground for
launched the mass actions to protest management's cancellation cited by the petitioners is not
refusal to negotiate a new CBA, refused to appear among the exclusive enumeration in Section
in the investigations scheduled by petitioner 6 of R.A. No. 7941. Second, the complaint is
because it was the union's stand that they would actually a belated opposition to LPGMA’s
only attend these investigations as a group, and
petition for registration which has long been
failed to heed petitioner's nal directive for them to
desist from further taking part in the illegal strike. approved with finality. Petitioners’ motions
The CA, on the other hand, found that respondents' for reconsideration were denied.
participation in the strike was limited to the
wearing of armbands. Since an ordinary striking Issue: WON an opposition to a petition for
worker cannot be dismissed for such mere registration is not a condition precedent to the
participation in the illegal strike, the CA correctly filing of a complaint for cancellation.
ruled that respondents were illegally dismissed.
However, the CA erred in awarding respondents
Held: For the COMELEC to validly exercise its
full back wages and ordering their reinstatement
statutory power to cancel the registration of a
despite the prevailing circumstances.
party-list group, the law imposes only two (2)
conditions: (1) due notice and hearing is afforded
to the party-list group concerned; and (2) any of the
enumerated grounds for disqualification in Section
6 exists.
Facts: LPGMA is a non-stock, non-profit Section 6 clearly does not require that an
association of consumers and small industry opposition to the petition for registration be
players in the LPG and energy sector. It sought previously interposed so that a complaint for
to register as a party-list organization for the cancellation can be entertained. Since the law does
May 10, 2010 elections and was approved by not impose such a condition, the COMELEC,
notwithstanding its delegated administrative
the COMELEC. Petitioners filed a complaint
authority to promulgate rules for the
and petition before the COMELEC for the implementation of election laws, cannot read into
cancellation of LPGMA’s registration as a the law that which it does not provide. The poll
party-list organization, arguing that LPGMA body is mandated to enforce and administer
does not represent a marginalized sector of election-related laws. It has no power to
the society because its incorporators, officers contravene or amend them.23 Moreover, an
and members are not marginalized or opposition can be reasonably expected only during
underrepresented citizens. the petition for registration proceedings which
involve the COMELEC's power to register a party-
In response, LPGMA countered that Section
list group, as distinguished from the entirely
5(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution does separate power invoked by the complaint, which is
not require that party-list representatives the power to cancel. The distinctiveness of the two
must be members of the marginalized and/or powers is immediately apparent from their basic de
underrepresented sector of the society. It also nitions. To refuse is to decline or to turn down, 24
averred that the ground cited by the while to cancel is to annul or remove. 25 Adopting
petitioners is not one of those mentioned in such meanings within the context of Section 6,
refusal of registration happens during the inceptive signifying disassociation and independence of one
stage when an organization seeks admission into thing from the other things enumerated; it should,
the roster of COMELEC-registered party-list as a rule, be construed in the sense in which it
organizations through a petition for registration. ordinarily implies, as a disjunctive word.29 As
Cancellation on the other hand, takes place after such, "refusal or cancellation", consistent with
the fact of registration when an inquiry is done by their disjunctive meanings, must be taken
the COMELEC, motu propio or upon a veri ed individually to mean that they are separate
complaint, on whether a registered party-list instances when the COMELEC can exercise its
organization still holds the quali cations imposed power to screen the quali cations of party-list
by law. Refusal is handed down to a petition for organizations for purposes of participation in the
registration while cancellation is decreed on the party-list system of representation.
registration itself after the petition has been
approved. EA resort to the rules of statutory That this is the clear intent of the law is bolstered
construction yields a similar conclusion. by the use simply of the word "or" in the rst
sentence of Section 6 that "[t]he COMELEC may,
The legal meaning of the term "and/or" between motu propio or upon veri ed complaint of any
"refusal" and "cancellation" should be taken in its interested party, refuse or cancel, after due notice
ordinary signi cance — "refusal and/or and hearing, the registration of any national,
cancellation" means "refusal and cancellation" or regional or sectoral party, organization or
"refusal or cancellation". It has been held that the coalition."
intention of the legislature in using the term
"and/or" is that the word "and" and the word "or" Consequently, the COMELEC's conclusion that
are to be used interchangeably. 26 the complaint for cancellation, led four (4) months
after the petition was approved, is actually a
The term "and/or" means that effect shall be given belated opposition, obliterates the distinction
to both the conjunctive "and" and the disjunctive between the power to register/refuse and the power
"or" or that one word or the other may be taken to cancel. Since an opposition may only be sensibly
accordingly as one or the other will best effectuate interposed against a petition for registration, the
the purpose intended by the legislature as gathered proceedings for which involve the COMELEC's
from the whole statute. The term is used to avoid a power to register, it is wrong to impose it as a
construction which by the use of the disjunctive condition for the exercise of the COMELEC's
"or" alone will exclude the combination of several entirely separate power to cancel. As such, the
of the alternatives or by the use of the conjunctive absence of an opposition to a petition for
"and" will exclude the efficacy of any one of the registration cannot serve to bar any interested party
alternatives standing alone. 27 from questioning, through a complaint for
cancellation, the quali cations of a party-list group.
Hence, effect shall be given to both "refusal and EACTSH
cancellation" and "refusal or cancellation"
according to how Section 6 intended them to be
employed. The word "and" is a conjunction used to PEOPLE VS COMADRE
denote a joinder or union; it is pertinently de ned
as meaning "together with", "joined with", "along Facts: Having a drinking spree on the terrace of the
house of Robert's father when they noticed
or together with." 28 The use of "and" in Section 6
appellants Antonio Comadre, George Comadre
was necessitated by the fact that refusal and
and Danilo Lozano stopped in front of the
cancellation of party-list registration share similar
house. While his companions looked on, Antonio
grounds, manner of initiation and procedural due
suddenly threw an object on the roof of the terrace
process requirements of notice and hearing. With
and fled immediately together with his
respect to the said matters, "refusal" and
companions. The object which happened to be a
"cancellation" must be taken together. The word
hand grenade suddenly explode ripping a hole in
"or", on the other hand, is a disjunctive term
the roof. Robert and his companions were hit by
shrapnel and slumped unconscious on the floor. means of explosion under Article 248 of the
They were all rushed to the Hospital however Revised Penal Code are concerned. Corollary
Robert died before reaching the hospital. thereto is the issue of which law should be applied
in the instant case.
The undisputed facts show that when Antonio was
in the act of throwing the hand grenade, his This legislative intent is conspicuously reflected in
companions merely looked on without uttering a the reduction of the corresponding penalties for
single word of encouragement or performed any illegal possession of firearms, or ammunitions and
act to assist him. The trial court held that the mere other related crimes under the amendatory law.
presence of the two provided encouragement and Under Section 2 of the said law, the penalties for
a sense of security to Antonio, thus proving the unlawful possession of explosives are also
lowered. Specifically, when the illegally possessed
existence of conspiracy.
explosives are used to commit any of the crimes
under the Revised Penal Code, which result in the
death of a person, the penalty is no longer death,
Issue: unlike in P.D. No. 1866, but it shall be considered
only as an aggravating circumstance. Section 3 of
Held: Appellant lobbed a grenade which fell on P.D. No. 1866 as amended by Section 2 of R.A.
the roof of the terrace where the unsuspecting 8294 now reads
victims were having a drinking spree. The
suddenness of the attack coupled with the Section 3. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale,
instantaneous combustion and the tremendous Acquisition, Disposition or Possession of
impact of the explosion did not afford the victims Explosives. The penalty of prision mayor in its
sufficient time to scamper for safety, much less maximum period to reclusion temporal and a fine
defend themselves; thus insuring the execution of of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00)
the crime without risk of reprisal or resistance on shall be imposed upon any person who shall
their part.Treachery therefore attended the unlawfully manufacture, assemble, deal in,
commission of the crime. It is significant to note acquire, dispose or possess hand grenade(s), rifle
that aside from treachery, the information also grenade(s), and other explosives, including but
alleges the use of an explosive29 as an aggravating not limited to pillbox, molotov cocktail bombs, fire
circumstance. Since both attendant circumstances bombs, or other incendiary devices capable of
can qualify the killing to murder under Article 248 producing destructive effect on contiguous
of the Revised Penal Code,30 we should determine objects or causing injury or death to any person.
which of the two circumstances will qualify the When a person commits any of the crimes defined
killing in this case. in the Revised Penal Code or special law with the
use of the aforementioned explosives, detonation
When the killing is perpetrated with treachery and agents or incendiary devises, which results in the
by means of explosives, the latter shall be death of any person or persons, the use of such
considered as a qualifying circumstance. Not only explosives, detonation agents or incendiary
does jurisprudence31 support this view but also, devices shall be considered as an aggravating
since the use of explosives is the principal mode of circumstance. (shall be punished with the penalty
attack, reason dictates that this attendant of death is DELETED.)crvll
circumstance should qualify the offense instead of
treachery which will then be relegated merely as a With the removal of death as a penalty and the
generic aggravating circumstance Incidentally, insertion of the term xxx as an aggravating
with the enactment on June 6, 1997 of Republic circumstance, the unmistakable import is to
Act No. 829433 which also considers the use of downgrade the penalty for illegal possession of
explosives as an aggravating circumstance, there is explosives and consider its use merely as an
a need to make the necessary clarification insofar aggravating circumstance.
as the legal implications of the said amendatory
law vis--vis the qualifying circumstance of by
Clearly, Congress intended R.A. No. 8294 to A reading of the title36 of R.A. No. 8294 will show
reduce the penalty for illegal possession of that the qualifier illegal/unlawful. ..possession is
firearms and explosives. Also, Congress clearly followed by of firearms, ammunition, or
intended RA No. 8294 to consider as aggravating explosives or instruments... Although the term
circumstance, instead of a separate offense, illegal ammunition is separated from explosives by the
possession of firearms and explosives when such disjunctive word or, it does not mean that
possession is used to commit other crimes under explosives are no longer included in the items
the Revised Penal Code. which can be illegally/unlawfully possessed.In this
context, the disjunctive word or is not used to
It must be made clear, however, that RA No. 8294 separate but to signify a succession or to conjoin
did not amend the definition of murder under the enumerated items together.37 Moreover,
Article 248, but merely made the use of explosives Section 2 of R.A. 8294,38 subtitled: Section 3.
an aggravating circumstance when resorted to in Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition,
committing any of the crimes defined in the Disposition or Possession of Explosives, clearly
Revised Penal Code. The legislative purpose is to refers to the unlawful manufacture, sale, or
do away with the use of explosives as a separate possession of explosives.
crime and to make such use merely an aggravating
circumstance in the commission of any crime What the law emphasizes is the acts lack of
already defined in the Revised Penal Code. Thus, authority. Thus, when the second paragraph of
RA No. 8294 merely added the use of unlicensed Section 3, P.D. No. 1866, as amended by RA No.
explosives as one of the aggravating circumstances 8294 speaks of the use of the aforementioned
specified in Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code. explosives, etc. as an aggravating circumstance in
Like the aggravating circumstance of explosion in the commission of crimes, it refers to those
paragraph 12, evident premeditation in paragraph explosives, etc. unlawfully manufactured,
13, or treachery in paragraph 16 of Article 14, the assembled, dealt in, acquired, disposed or
new aggravating circumstance added by RA No. possessed mentioned in the first paragraph of the
8294 does not change the definition of murder in same section. What is per se aggravating is the use
Article 248. of unlawfully manufactured or possessed
explosives. The mere use of explosives is not.
Nonetheless, even if favorable to the appellant,
R.A. No. 8294 still cannot be made applicable in The information in this case does not allege that
this case. Before the use of unlawfully possessed appellant Antonio Comadre had unlawfully
explosives can be properly appreciated as an possessed or that he had no authority to possess the
aggravating circumstance, it must be adequately grenade that he used in the killing and attempted
established that the possession was illegal or killings. Even if it were alleged, its presence was
unlawful, i.e., the accused is without the not proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable
corresponding authority or permit to possess. This doubt. Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules on
follows the same requisites in the prosecution of Criminal Procedure requires the averment of
crimes involving illegal possession of firearm35 aggravating circumstances for their application.
which is a kindred or related offense under P.D. The inapplicability of R.A. 8294 having been made
1866, as amended. This proof does not obtain in manifest, the crime committed is Murder
the present case. Not only was it not alleged in the committed by means of explosion in accordance
information, but no evidence was adduced by the with Article 248 (3) of the Revised Penal Code.
prosecution to show that the possession by The same, having been alleged in the Information,
appellant of the explosive was unlawful. It is may be properly considered as appellant was
worthy to note that the above requirement of sufficiently informed of the nature of the
illegality is borne out by the provisions of the law accusation against him. The trial court found
itself, in conjunction with the pertinent tenets of appellant guilty of the complex crime of murder
legal hermeneutics. with multiple attempted murder under Article 48 of
the Revised Penal Code, which provides:
Art. 48. Penalty for complex crimes. When a membership of the House of Representatives from
single act constitutes two or more grave or less a maximum of 120, as provided in the present
grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary Constitution, to a maximum of 180. The second,
means of committing the other, the penalty for the calling a convention to propose amendments to
most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to said Constitution, the convention to be composed
be applied in its maximum period. of two (2) elective delegates from each
representative district, to be elected in the general
The underlying philosophy of complex crimes in elections. And the third, proposing that the same
the Revised Penal Code, which follows the pro reo Constitution be amended so as to authorize
principle, is intended to favor the accused by Senators and members of the House of
imposing a single penalty irrespective of the Representatives to become delegates to the
crimes committed. The rationale being, that the aforementioned constitutional convention, without
accused who commits two crimes with single forfeiting their respective seats in Congress.
criminal impulse demonstrates lesser perversity Subsequently, Congress passed a bill, which, upon
than when the crimes are committed by different approval by the President, became Republic Act
acts and several criminal resolutions. No. 4913 providing that the amendments to the
Constitution proposed in the aforementioned
The single act by appellant of detonating a hand resolutions be submitted, for approval by the
grenade may quantitatively constitute a cluster of people, at the general elections. The petitioner
several separate and distinct offenses, yet these assails the constitutionality of the said law
component criminal offenses should be contending that the Congress cannot
considered only as a single crime in law on which simultaneously propose amendments to the
a single penalty is imposed because the offender Constitution and call for the holding of a
was impelled by a single criminal impulse which constitutional convention.
shows his lesser degree of perversity.41 ςrνll
Issue: WON Congress can simultaneously propose
Under the aforecited article, when a single act amendments to the Constitution and call for the
constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies holding of a constitutional convention?
the penalty for the most serious crime shall be
imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum Held: Atty. Juan T. David, as amicus curiae
period irrespective of the presence of modifying maintains that Congress may either propose
circumstances, including the generic aggravating amendments to the Constitution or call a
circumstance of treachery in this case.42 Applying convention for that purpose, but it cannot do both,
the aforesaid provision of law, the maximum at the same time. This theory is based upon the fact
penalty for the most serious crime (murder) is that the two (2) alternatives are connected in the
death. The trial court, therefore, correctly imposed Constitution by the disjunctive "or." Such basis is,
the death penalty. cralawlibraryThree justices of however, a weak one, in the absence of other
the Court, however, continue to maintain the circumstances — and none has been brought to our
unconstitutionality of R.A. 7659 insofar as it attention — supporting the conclusion drawn by
prescribes the death penalty. Nevertheless, they the amicus curiae. In fact, the term "or" has,
submit to the ruling of the majority to the effect that oftentimes, been held to mean "and," or vice-versa,
the law is constitutional and that the death penalty when the spirit or context of the law warrants it
can be lawfully imposed in the case at bar.
It is, also, noteworthy that R.B.H. Nos. 1 and 3
propose amendments to the constitutional
provisions on Congress, to be submitted to the
Gonzales vs Comelec people for rati cation on November 14, 1967,
whereas R.B.H. No. 2 calls for a convention in
Facts: The Congress passed 3 resolutions 1971, to consider proposals for amendment to the
simultaneously. The first, proposing amendments Constitution, in general In other words, the subject-
to the Constitution so as to increase the matter of R.B.H. No. 2 is different from that of
R.B.H. Nos. 1 and 3. Moreover, the amendments (PO1 Babor), P/Sr. Insp. Paul Ed Ortiz (P/Sr. Insp.
proposed under R.B.H. Nos. 1 and 3, will be Ortiz), and Maximo Duran (Duran).
submitted for rati cation several years before those
that may be proposed by the constitutional In February 1999 at around 9:30 p.m., AAA, then
convention called in R.B.H. No. 2. Again, although 11 years old, was sleeping inside the house when
the three (3) resolutions were passed on the same she felt and saw appellant touch her thighs. AAA
date, they were taken up and put to a vote could see appellant's face as there was a light
separately, or one after the other. In other words, coming from the altar. AAA was naturally
they were not passed at the same time. surprised and she asked appellant why the latter did
such a thing. Appellant did not answer but told her
In any event, we do not find, either in the not to mention the incident to anybody. AAA then
Constitution, or in the history thereof, anything that saw appellant went back to his bed and touch his
would negate the contested of different Congresses private part. AAA immediately went back to sleep.
to approve the contested Resolutions, or of the
same Congress to pass the same in different The following day, at around the same time, and
sessions or different days of the same while BBB was at work, appellant again touched
congressional session. And, neither has any AAA from her legs up to her breast. AAA tried to
plausible reason been advanced to justify the denial resist but appellant threatened that he will kill her
of authority to adopt said resolutions on the same and BBB.
day. Counsel ask: Since Congress has decided to
call a constitutional convention to propose Two (2) weeks after the incident, AAA was already
amendments, why not let the whole thing be asleep when she suddenly woke up and saw
submitted to said convention, instead of, likewise, appellant holding a knife. While pointing the knife
proposing some speci c amendments, to be at AAA's neck, appellant removed his shorts, as
submitted for rati cation before said convention is well as AAA's pajamas. He slowly parted AAA's
held? The force of this argument must be legs and inserted his penis into AAA's vagina.
conceded, but the same impugns the wisdom of the Meanwhile, AAA struggled and hit appellant's
action taken by Congress, not its authority to take shoulders. Appellant was able to penetrate her
it. One seeming purpose thereof is to permit twice before he got out of the house. Two (2) days
Members of Congress to run for election as after, appellant again raped her by inserting his
delegates to the constitutional convention and organ into AAA's vagina. AAA recounted that
participate in the proceedings therein, without appellant raped her at least three (3) times a week
forfeiting their seats in Congress. Whether or at around the same time until 15 October 2002,
nothing should be done is a political question, not when she was 14 years old. After the last rape
subject to review by the courts of justice. On this incident, AAA did not go home after school and
question there is no disagreement among the instead went to the house of her friend, Marvin. 7
members of the Court.
On 16 October 2002, Marvin watched television
People vs Flores with AAA from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Afterwards,
AAA refused to go home. She told Marvin that
Facts: AA lived with her adoptive mother, BBB, 5 appellant would spank her for going home late.
since she was just a few months old. 6 BBB is Marvin asked AAA if there were other things that
married to appellant, who was working abroad for appellant might have done to her, aside from
six (6) years. Appellant came home in 1997 and spanking. At that point, AAA nally cried and
lived with AAA and BBB. BBB was working as a divulged that she has been raped by appellant.
restaurant supervisor from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Marvin told AAA to file a complaint. 8
for six (6) days a week. Five (5) witnesses testi ed
for the prosecution. They are the victim herself, AAA stayed at her mother's friend's house and
Marvin Suello (Marvin), PO1 Evangeline Babor came back on 18 October 2002. She, together with
Marvin, went to Kagawad Ramon Espena to seek
assistance. Marvin went with the Barangay Tanod
in apprehending appellant, who at that time, was appellant is the adoptive father of AAA since 1989
trying to escape. 9 and that AAA was then a minor, as proven by the
birth certi cate, testimonies of witnesses, and
PO1 Babor was the duty investigator at the admission made by AAA. 17 Finally, the trial court
Women's and Children Desk of Makati Police dismissed appellant's defense of denial as self-
Station on 18 October 2002. She took down the serving and which cannot prevail over AAA's
statements of AAA and her friend, Marvin. She positive testimony.
then referred AAA to the PNP Crime Laboratory
to undergo medico-legal examination. 10 The Court of Appeals a rmed the nding that AAA
was raped by appellant, but it did so only on two
P/Sr. Insp. Ortiz con rmed that she conducted the (2) counts. AAA's testimony that she was de led by
medico-legal examination on AAA. Results of the appellant was corroborated by the medical ndings
examination, as indicated in the medico-legal of the medico-legal expert. The presence of deep
report, show that the "hymen is with presence of healed and shallow healed laceration only confirms
deep healed laceration at 1 o'clock and shallow AAA's claim of rape. SaIEcA
healed laceration at 2 o'clock positions at the time
of examination." Said report concluded that AAA In both rape incidents, the trial court applied
is in a "non-virgin state physically." 11 P/Sr. Insp. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code in
Ortiz opined that the lacerations could have been imposing the penalty of death, which was later
caused by any solid object, like the penis inserted modi ed by the Court of Appeals to reclusion
perpetua pursuant to Republic Act No. 9346.
at the genitalia. 12 TDEASC Article 266-B provides:
Duran and another Bantay Bayan member were at The death penalty shall also be imposed if the
the barangay outpost at 2:10 p.m. on 18 October crime of rape is committed with any of the
2002 when they were summoned by Barangay following aggravating/qualifying circumstances:
Kagawad Ramon Espena. Acting on the complaint
of AAA, they were directed to proceed to the house "1) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of
of appellant to invite him for questioning. Duran age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-
saw appellant about to board a jeep. They stopped parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or a
the jeep and asked appellant to alight therefrom nity within the third civil degree, or the common-
and invited him to the Bantay Bayan outpost. law spouse of the parent of the victim;
Appellant voluntarily went with them. Appellant
was then brought to the police station. 13 The Court of Appeals appreciated the qualifying
circumstances of minority and relationship in
Only appellant testified in his defense. While imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua. It
appellant admitted that he was a strict father to relied on the established fact that AAA was still a
AAA in that he would scold and spank her minor when she was raped and on the stipulated
whenever the latter would ran away, he denied fact that appellant is her guardian. One of the
raping AAA. 14 He alleged that AAA has the instances wherein the crime of rape may be quali
propensity to make up stories and was even once ed is when the victim is a minor AND the accused
caught stealing money from her grandmother. is her guardian. At this point, we cannot subscribe
Appellant recalled that on 16 October 2002, AAA to this interpretation and hence, we hold that the
asked permission to go out to buy a "project." She Court of Appeals erred in considering the
never came home. 15 qualifying circumstance of relationship.

The trial court found that force and intimidation Indeed, it was stipulated during the pre-trial
attended the commission of the crime of rape conference that appellant is the guardian of AAA.
through the testimony of the victim, which the trial However, we cannot simply invoke this admission
court deemed "straightforward, consistent and to consider guardianship as a qualifying
credible." The trial court also established that circumstance in the crime of rape. "Circumstances
that qualify a crime and increase its penalty to P50,000.00 in line with current jurisprudence.47
death cannot be subject of stipulation. The accused The award of exemplary damages in the amount of
cannot be condemned to suffer the extreme penalty P25,000.00 should be increased to P30,000.00
of death on the basis of stipulations or admissions. pursuant to People v. Guillermo. 48 While no
This strict rule is warranted by the gravity and aggravating circumstance attended the commission
irreversibility of capital punishment. To justify the of rapes, it was established during trial that
death penalty, the prosecution must speci cally appellant used a deadly weapon to perpetrate the
allege in the information and prove during the trial crime. Hence, the award of exemplary damages is
the qualifying circumstances of minority of the proper.
victim and her relationship to the offender
SANTIAGO, in his capacity as Judge of the Court
Held: Further, according to the maxim noscitur a of First Instance of Manila and TOMAS
sociis, the correct construction of a word or phrase VALENTON, Sr. and TOMAS VALENTON,
susceptible of various meanings may be made clear Jr., respondents.
and specific by considering the company of words
in which it is found or with which it is associated. This is a petition for certiorari against Honorable
Section 31(c) of R.A. No. 7610 contains a listing Vicente Santiago, Judge of the Court of First
of the circumstances of relationship between the Instance of Manila, to annul his order in Civil Case
perpetrator and the victim which will justify the No. 21173, entitled Cesar M. Carandang vs. Tomas
imposition of the maximum penalty, namely when Valenton, Sr. et al., suspending the trial of said civil
the perpetrator is an "ascendant, parent, guardian, case to await the result of the criminal Case No.
stepparent or collateral relative within the second 534, Court of First Instance of Batangas.
degree of consanguinity or affinity." It should be
noted that the words with which "guardian" is  Tomas Valenton, Jr. was found guilty of the
associated in the provision all denote a legal
crime of frustrated homicide committed
relationship. From this description we may safely
against the person of Cesar Carandang,
deduce that the guardian envisioned by law is a
person who has a legal relationship with a ward. petitioner herein. Tomas Valenton, Jr.
This relationship may be established either by appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals
being the ward's biological parent (natural where the case is now pending.
guardian) or by adoption (legal guardian).
Appellant is neither AAA's biological parent nor is  Petitioner herein filed a complaint in the
AAA's adoptive father. Clearly, appellant is not the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover
"guardian" contemplated by law. 46 from the defendant Tomas Valenton, Jr. and
his parents, damages, both actual and moral,
Be that as it may, this qualifying circumstance of for the bodily injuries received by him.
being a guardian was not even mentioned in the
Informations. What was clearly stated was that  Defendants presented a motion to suspend
appellant was the "adopting father" of AAA, which the trial of the civil case, pending the
the prosecution nonetheless failed to establish. termination of the criminal case against
Tomas Valenton, Jr. in the Court of Appeals.
For failure of the prosecution to prove the The judge ruled that the trial of the civil
qualifying circumstance of relationship, appellant
action must await the result of the criminal
could only be convicted for two (2) counts of
case on appeal. A motion for reconsideration
simple rape, and not qualified rape.
was submitted, but the court denied the
We likewise reduce the Court of Appeals' award of same; hence this petition for certiorari.
civil indemnity from P75,000.00 to P50,000.00
and moral damages from P75,000.00 to
 Petitioner invokes Article 33 of the new Civil as a crime defined in the Revised Penal Code,
Code, which is as follows: “In cases of for it is difficult to believe that the Code
defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil Commission would have used terms in the
action for damages, entirely separate and same article some in their general and
distinct from the criminal action, may be another in its technical sense. In other words,
brought by the injured party. Such civil action the term "physical injuries" should be
shall proceed independently of the criminal understood to mean bodily injury, not the
prosecution, and shall require only a crime of physical injuries, because the terms
preponderance of evidence." used with the latter are general terms.

 STATCON PART: EJUSDEM GENERIS (noscitur  DECISION: the respondent judge committed
a sociis???) an error in suspending the trial of the civil
 Respondents argue that the term "physical case, and his order to that effect is hereby
injuries" is used to designate a specific crime revoked, and he is hereby ordered to proceed
defined in the Revised Penal Code, and with the trial of said civil case without
therefore said term should be understood in awaiting the result of the pending criminal
its peculiar and technical sense, in accordance case.
with the rules statutory construction.
 Accused was charged with and convicted of
the crime of frustrated homicide, and while it EMETERIA LIWAG, Petitioner vs. HAPPY
was found in the criminal case that a wound GLEN LOOP HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION,
was inflicted by the defendant on the body of INC., Respondent
the petitioner herein Cesar Carandang, which FACTS: In 1978, F. G. R. Sales, the original
wound is a bodily injury, the crime committed developer of Happy Glen Loop, loaned from
is not physical injuries but frustrated Ernesto Marcelo, owner of T. P. Marcelo Realty
homicide, for the reason that the infliction of Corporation. The former failed to settle its debts
the wound is attended by the intent to kill. with the latter, so, he assigned all his rights to
Marcelo over several parcels of land in the
 ISSUE: whether the term "physical injuries" Subdivision including the receivables from the
used in Article 33 means physical injuries in lots already sold. As the successor-in-interest,
the Revised Penal Code only, or any physical Marcelo represented to lot buyers, the National
injury or bodily injury, whether inflicted with Housing Authority (NHA) and the Human
intent to kill or not. Settlement Regulatory Commission (HSRC) that
a water facility is available in the subdivision.
 Article in question uses the words The said water facility has been the only source
"defamation", "fraud" and "physical injuries." of water of the residents for thirty (30) years.
Defamation and fraud are used in their In September 1995, Marcelo sold Lot 11, Block
ordinary sense because there are no specific 5 to Hermogenes Liwag. As a result, Transfer
provisions in the Revised Penal Code using Certificate of Title (TCT) No. C-350099 was
these terms as means of offenses defined issued to the latter. In 2003, Hermogenes died.
therein, so that these two terms defamation Petitioner, wife of Hermogenes, subsequently
and fraud must have been used not to impart wrote to the respondent Association
to them any technical meaning in the laws of demanding the removal of the overhead water
the Philippines, but in their generic sense. tank over the parcel of land. The latter refused
and filed a case before the Housing and Land
 Evident that the term "physical injuries" Use Regulatory Board against T. P. Marcelo
could not have been used in its specific sense Realty Corporation, petitioner and the surviving
heirs of Hermogenes. The HLURB ruling was in
favor of the respondent Association. One of the intention of the law to create and maintain a
things it affirmed was the existence of an healthy environment in human settlements, 36 the
easement for water system/facility or open location of the water facility in the Subdivision
space on Lot 11, Block 5 of TCT No. C-350099 must form part of the area reserved for open space.
wherein the deep well and overhead tank are
situated. However, on appeal before the HLURB
Board of Commissioners, the Board found that
Lot 11, Block 5 was not an open space CIR VS CA

ISSUE: Whether or not Lot 11, Block 5 of the Facts: A shipment of 438 packages of foodstuffs,
Happy Glen Loop is considered an “open space” declared in the name of respondent Eusebio
as defined in P. D. 1216. Dichoco, hereinafter referred to as private
respondent, under Entry No. 109924 (70) arrived
RULING: Yes, the aforementioned parcel of land on December 16, 1970 at the Port of Manila on
is considered an “open space.” The Court used board the S/S "St. Isidro". The shipment was
the basic statutory construction principle of covered by a "Customs No-Dollar Declaration",
ejusdem generis to determine whether the area dated December 15, 1970. Against this shipment
falls under “other similar facilities and the Collector of Customs of Manila issued, on
amenities” since P. D. 1216 makes no specific December 28, 1970, in S. I. Case No. 12055, a
mention of areas reserved for water facilities. warrant of seizure and detention for violation of
Ejusdem generis states that where a general Section 2530 (f) of the Tariff and Customs Code,
word or phrase follows an enumeration of in relation to Central Bank Circulars Nos. 247, 289,
particular and specific words of the same class, 294, and 295 and section 102 (k) of the said Code.
the general word or phrase is to be construed to On the same date, private respondent requested the
include – or to be restricted to – things akin to release of the shipment upon the posting of a cash
or resembling, or of the same kind or class as, bond, which request, although favorably
those specifically mentioned. Applying that recommended by the Collector of Customs, was
principle, the Court found out that the denied by the Commissioner of Customs.
enumeration refers to areas reserved for the However, the proper taxes and duties amounting to
common welfare of the community. Therefore, P25,998.00 were imposed on the shipment and
the phrase “other similar facilities and paid by private respondent. After hearing, the
amenities” should be interpreted in like Collector of Customs issued his decision, on
manner. It is without a doubt that the facility January 19, 1971, decreeing the seizure and
was used for the benefit of the community. forfeiture of the shipment "for the simple reason
Water is a basic necessity, without which, that claimants failed to comply with the
survival in the community would be impossible. regulations, that is, with the Central Bank circulars
requiring the production of release certi cates for
The term "open space" is de ned in P.D. 1216 as importations similar to the subject articles." On
"an area reserved exclusively for parks, appeal, the Commissioner of Customs a rmed the
playgrounds, recreational uses, schools, roads, decision on January 21, 1971.
places of worship, hospitals, health centers,
barangay centers and other similar facilities and PC: Herein petitioner contends that the importation
amenities. 33 of the foodstuffs in question is prohibited and the
articles thus imported may be subject to forfeiture
Here, the water facility was undoubtedly under Section 2530 (f) and 102 (k) of the Tariff and
established for the bene t of the community. Water Customs Code; that the foodstuffs in question
is a basic need in human settlements, 35 without being articles of prohibited importation cannot be
which the community would not survive. We released under bond; and that respondent court
therefore rule that, based on the principle of acted with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to
ejusdem generis and taking into consideration the lack of jurisdiction, in ordering the release of the
foodstuffs in question. On January 27, 1971 private
respondent led before respondent court a "petition Issue:
for review, with a motion for release of goods
under bond", upon the grounds that the decision Held: The court cannot sustain the stand of the
appealed from was not supported by substantial respondents. The importation in question is a
evidence and that the goods seized did not prohibited importation under Section 102 (k) of the
constitute prohibited importation as contemplated Tariff and Customs Code which provides, in part,
in Sections 2530 (f) and 102 (k) of the Tariff and as follows:
Customs Code.
"SEC 102. Prohibited Importations. — The
RC: Private respondent Eusebio Dichoco, in importation into the Philippines of the following
contending that the instant petition is without basis articles is prohibited:
in fact and in law, does not deny that "articles of
prohibited importation cannot be released under xxx xxx xxx
bond" as provided in section 2301 of the Tariff and k. All other articles the importation of which is
Customs Code. He, however, vigorously denies prohibited by law."
that the "foodstuffs in question are articles of
prohibited importation." He argues that the Tariff Respondents contend that this last paragraph must,
and Customs Code distinguishes articles of by application of the principles of ejusdem generis,
"prohibited importation" from those that can be be restricted only to those articles the importation
imported "only upon conditions prescribed by law" of which is "absolutely prohibited," or to
or "importation effected contrary to law". He contraband. This contention is not acceptable. In
further argues that Section 102 of the Tariff and the rst place, the speci c things enumerated in
Customs Code, which enumerates the articles of paragraphs (a) to (j), inclusive, of Section 102 have
"prohibited importations", refers to contraband or no distinguishable common characteristics and
absolutely prohibited articles and concludes in its they differ greatly from one another, and the rule
sub-paragraph (k) with a general statement, "all of ejusdem generis "applies only where the speci c
other articles the importation of which is prohibited words preceding the general expression are of the
by law". Respondent maintains that under the well same nature. Where they are of different genera,
known rule of ejusdem generis, this general the meaning of the general word remains
statement must be restricted only to those articles unaffected by its connection with them." (Black,
which are absolutely prohibited or those On Interpretation of Laws, 2nd ed., p. 218; 50 Am.
considered contraband. Respondent then insists Jur., p. 248).
that foodstuffs belong to that kind of importation
that are, under Section 1207 of the Tariff and Moreover, calling contraband only the things
Customs Code, "subject to importation only upon "absolutely prohibited by law" is a misnomer, for
conditions prescribed by law", as distinguished contraband means any article the importation or
from articles "of prohibited importation," exportation of which is prohibited by law (Black,
mentioned in the same section; that said foodstuffs, Law Dictionary).
furthermore, can be classi ed under "importation
effected contrary to law" as distinguished from Section 102, when examined, shows that it
"prohibited importation" mentioned in section prohibits the importation of two categories of
2530 of the same Code. Respondent likewise articles, namely those which are absolutely
argues that section 2307 also distinguishes prohibited, for example, those enumerated in
different kinds of importations when it provides paragraphs b, c, d, f, h, and j, and those articles
that there can be no redemption "where the which are qualifiedly prohibited, that is, those that
importation is absolutely prohibited", but allows may be imported subject to certain conditions or
redemption of other kinds of importation including limitations, for example, those enumerated in
forfeited foodstuffs. paragraphs a and i. Accordingly the general
provision in paragraph k, to wit: "all other articles
the importation of which is prohibited by law"
cannot be so restricted as to comprise only those
articles the importation of which is absolutely
prohibited like explosives. Articles of prohibited
importation cover not only absolutely prohibited CIR vs AMEX
articles but also quali edly prohibited articles.
Paragraph (k) is comprehensive in the sense that it Facts: Respondent, a VAT taxpayer, is the
prohibits the importation of all articles not Philippine Branch of AMEX USA and was tasked
mentioned in the preceding provision but with servicing a unit of AMEX-Hongkong Branch
prohibited by other existing statutes (Tejam, and facilitating the collections of AMEX-HK
Commentaries on the Tariff Code of the receivables from card members situated in the
Philippines, Vol. I, p. 6A). The legal effects of the Philippines and payment to service establishments
importation of quali edly prohibited articles are the in the Philippines. It filed with BIR a letter-request
same as those of absolutely prohibited articles. for the refund of its 1997 excess input taxes, citing
(Geotina v. Court of Tax Appeals, No. L-33500, as basis Section 110B of the 1997 Tax Code, which
August 30, 1971, 40 SCRA 362, 379, 383.) The held that “xxx Any input tax attributable to the
laws which prohibit importation mentioned in purchase of capital goods or to zero-rated sales by
Section 102 (k) include the pertinent Central Bank a VAT-registered person may at his option be
Circulars which have the force and effect of laws. refunded or credited against other internal revenue
"Customs law" includes not only the provisions of taxes, subject to the provisions of Section 112.”
the Tariff and Customs Code but also all other laws
and any regulation made pursuant thereto that is In addition, respondent relied on VAT Ruling No.
subject to enforcement by the Bureau of Customs 080-89, which read, “In Reply, please be informed
or otherwise subject to its jurisdiction (Sec. 3514 that, as a VAT registered entity whose service is
of Tariff and Customs Code) and articles imported paid for in acceptable foreign currency which is
in violation of Central Bank Circulars have the remitted inwardly to the Philippine and accounted
status of "merchandize of prohibited importation" for in accordance with the rules and regulations of
(Chan Kian v. Collector of Customs of Manila, Jan. the Central Bank of the Philippines, your service
31, 1966, No. L-20803, 16 SCRA 133, 136; Seree income is automatically zero rated xxx” Petitioner
Investment Co. v. Commissioner of Customs, No. claimed, among others, that the claim for refund
L-21217, Nov. 29, 1965,15 SCRA 431, 434; should be construed strictly against the claimant as
Bombay Department Store v. Commissioner of they partake of the nature of tax exemption. CTA
Customs, No. L-20460, Sept. 30, 1965, 15 SCRA rendered a decision in favor of respondent, holding
104, 107-108). It cannot be gainsaid that the that its services are subject to zero-rate. CA
importation in question violated Central Bank affirmed this decision and further held that
Circulars, inasmuch as in the words of petitioner respondent’s services were “services other than the
Commissioner of Customs in its decision of processing, manufacturing or repackaging of
January 21, 1971, "it was established thru the goods for persons doing business outside the
admission of claimant (Dichoco) that the necessary Philippines” and paid for in acceptable foreign
release certificate in connection with his currency and accounted for in accordance with the
importation was not secured from the Central rules and regulations of BSP. Section 102 of the
Bank. In view thereof, the collector after instituting Tax Code 11 provides: "Sec. 102. Value-added tax
the necessary seizure proceedings forfeited the 438 on sale of services and use or lease of properties.
packages of foodstuffs for alleged violation of — (a) Rate and base of tax. — There shall be
Central Bank Circulars Nos. 247, 289, 294 and 295 levied, assessed and collected, a value-added tax
in relation to Section 2530 (f) and Section 102 (k) equivalent to ten percent (10%) of gross receipts
of the Tariff and Customs Code." 4 If the derived from the sale or exchange of services . . .
importation in question was made contrary to "The phrase 'sale or exchange of services' means
Central Bank circulars, then said importation is an the performance of all kinds of services in the
importation prohibited by law. That importation, Philippines for others for a fee, remuneration or
even if it be termed "importation effected contrary consideration, including those performed or
to law", as respondents call it, is nonetheless a rendered by . . . persons engaged in milling,
"prohibited importation." processing, manufacturing or repacking goods for
others; . . . services of banks, non-bank nancial of P3,352,406.59 allegedly representing excess
intermediaries and nance companies; . . . and input VAT for the year 1997." 10
similar services regardless of whether or not the
performance thereof calls for the exercise or use of Held: The canon of statutory construction known
the physical or mental faculties. The phrase 'sale or as ejusdem generis or "of the same kind or specie"
exchange of services' shall likewise include: xxx does not apply to Section 4.102-2(b)(2) of RR 7-95
xxx xxx as amended by RR 5-96.
'(3) The supply of . . . commercial knowledge or
information; '(4) The supply of any assistance that First, although the regulatory provision contains an
is ancillary and subsidiary to and is furnished as a enumeration of particular or speci c words,
means of enabling the application or enjoyment of followed by the general phrase "and other similar
. . . any such knowledge or information as is services," such words do not constitute a readily
mentioned in subparagraph (3); xxx xxx xxx '(6) discernible class and are patently not of the same
The supply of technical advice, assistance or kind. 72 Project studies involve investments or
services rendered in connection with technical marketing; information services focus on data
management or administration of any . . . technology; engineering and architectural designs
commercial undertaking, venture, project or require creativity. Aside from calling for the
scheme; xxx xxx xxx exercise or use of mental faculties or perhaps
producing written technical outputs, no common
"The term 'gross receipts' means the total amount denominator to the exclusion of all others
of money or its equivalent representing the contract characterizes these three services. Nothing sets
price, compensation, service fee, rental or royalty, them apart from other and similar general services
including the amount charged for materials that may involve advertising, computers,
supplied with the services and deposits and consultancy, health care, management,
advanced payments actually or constructively messengerial work — to name only a few.
received during the taxable quarter for the services
performed or to be performed for another person, Second, there is the regulatory intent to give the
excluding value-added tax. STIcaE general phrase "and other similar services" a
broader meaning. 73 Clearly, the preceding phrase
"(b) Transactions subject to zero percent (0%) rate.
"as well as" is not meant to limit the effect of "and
— The following services performed in the
other similar services."
Philippines by VAT-registered persons shall be
subject to zero percent (0%) rate[:]
Third, and most important, the statutory provision
upon which this regulation is based is by itself not
'(1) Processing, manufacturing or repacking goods
restrictive. The scope of the word "services" in
for other persons doing business outside the
Section 102(b)(2) of the Tax Code is broad; it is
Philippines which goods are subsequently
exported, where the services are paid for in not susceptible of narrow interpretation. 74
acceptable foreign currency and accounted for in
accordance with the rules and regulations of the EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSION ALTERIUS
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP); AND CASUS OMISSUS

'(2) Services other than those mentioned in the

preceding subparagraph, the consideration for Kokoy vs SImeon
which is paid for in acceptable foreign currency
and accounted for in accordance with the rules and FACTS: Romualdez is being charged with
regulations of the [BSP];'" violations of Section 7 of RA No. 3019 for
failure to file his Statements of Assets and
Issue: "Whether or not the Court of Appeals Liabilities for the period 1967-1985 during his
committed reversible error in holding that tenure as Ambassador Extraordinary and
respondent is entitled to the refund of the amount Plenipotentiary and for the period 1963-1966
during his tenure as Technical Assistant in And since both RA No. 3019 and Act No.
the Department of Foreign Affairs. 3326 (the Act To Establish Periods of
Romualdez claims that the Office of the Prescription For Violations Penalized By
Ombudsman gravely abused its discretion in Special Acts and Municipal Ordinances and
recommending the filing of 24 informations to Provide When Prescription Shall Begin To
against him for violation of Section 7 of Run) are silent as to whether prescription
Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft should begin to run when the offender is
and Corrupt Practices Act; absent from the Philippines, the RPC should
be applied.
Romualdez asserts that the Ombudsman
(Marcello) cannot revive the aforementioned (RPC provides that prescription is interrupted
cases which were previously dismissed by when accused is outside of the Philippines)
the Sandiganbayan in its Resolution of
February 10, 2004.
He also claims that the case should be
dismissed on the ground of prescription. HELD: In the case at bar, the silence of RA No.
3019 on the question of whether or not the
The Ombudsman, however, contends that:
absence of the accused from the Philippines
the dismissal of the informations in prevents or tolls the running of the prescriptive
Criminal Case Nos. 13406-13429 period is more apparent than real. Even before
does not mean that petitioner was the enactment of RA No. 3019 in 1960, Act No.
thereafter exempt from criminal 3326 was already in effect as early as December
prosecution; 4, 1926. Section 3 thereof categorically de nes
"special acts" as "acts de ning and penalizing
that new informations may be filed by violations of the law not included in the Penal
the Ombudsman should it find Code". CcAHEI
probable cause in the conduct of its Thus, in the case of Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-
preliminary investigation; Finding Committee on Behest Loans v. Desierto,
40 this Court was categorical in ruling that —
that the filing of the complaint with the
Presidential Commission on Good The law on prescription of offenses is found in
Government (PCGG) in 1987 and the Articles 90 and 91 of the Revised Penal Code for
filing of the information with the offenses punishable thereunder. For those
Sandiganbayan in 1989 interrupted penalized under special laws, Act No. 3326
the prescriptive period; applies.
that the absence of the petitioner from Section 2 of Act No. 3326 provides that the
the Philippines from 1986 until 2000 prescription shall begin to run from the day of the
also interrupted the aforesaid period commission of the violation of the law, and if the
based on Article 91 of the Revised same be not known at the time, from the
Penal Code. discovery thereof and the institution of judicial
proceedings for its investigation and
The PCGG avers that the Omdudsman need punishment.The running of the prescriptive period
not wait for a new complaint with a new shall be interrupted when proceedings are
docket number for it to conduct a preliminary instituted against the guilty person, and shall
investigation on the alleged offenses of the begin to run again if the proceedings are
petitioner; dismissed for reasons not constituting jeopardy.
Clearly, Section 2 of Act No. 3326 did not
provide that the absence of the accused from the
Philippines prevents the running of the The term of prescription shall not run when the
prescriptive period. Thus, the only inference that offender is absent from the Philippines.
can be gathered from the foregoing is that the (Emphasis supplied)
legislature, in enacting Act No. 3326, did not
consider the absence of the accused from the According to Mr. Justice Carpio, Article 91 of the
Philippines as a hindrance to the running of the Revised Penal Code lls the so- called "gap" in Act
prescriptive period. Expressio unius est exclusio No. 3326. Thus, while Act No. 3326 governs the
alterius. To elaborate, — operation of the prescriptive period for violations
of R.A. No. 3019, Article 91 of the Revised Penal
Indeed, it is an elementary rule of statutory Code can and shall still be applied in cases where
construction that the express mention of one the accused is absent from the Philippines. In
person, thing, act, or consequence excludes all effect, Article 91 would supplement Act No.
others. This rule is expressed in the familiar 3326.
maxim "expressio unius est exclusio alterius."
Where a statute, by its terms, is expressly limited This could not have been the intention of the
to certain matters, it may not, by interpretation or framers of the law.
construction, be extended to others. The rule
proceeds from the premise that the legislature While it is true that Article 10 of the Revised
would not have made speci ed enumerations in a Penal Code makes the Code suppletory to special
statute had the intention been not to restrict its laws, however, Act No. 3326 cannot fall within
meaning and to con ne its terms to those expressly the ambit of "special law" as contemplated and
mentioned. 41 used in Article 10 of the RPC.

Had the legislature intended to include the In the case of United States v. Serapio, 42 the
accused's absence from the Philippines as a Court had the occasion to interpret the term
ground for the interruption of the prescriptive "special laws" mentioned in Article 7 of then
period in special laws, the same could have been Penal Code of the Philippines, which is now
expressly provided in Act No. 3326. A case in Article 10 of the Revised Penal Code, as referring
point is RA No. 8424 or the Tax Reform Act of to penal laws that punish acts not defined and
1997 where the legislature made its intention clear penalized by the Penal Code of the Philippines.
and was thus categorical that — Thus —

SEC. 281. Prescription for Violations of any This contention makes it necessary to de ne
Provision of this Code — All violations of any "special laws," as that phrase is used in article 7
provision of this Code shall prescribe after ve (5) of the Penal Code. Does this phrase "leyes
years. especiales," as used in the Penal Code (article 7)
have the meaning applied to the phrase "special
Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the laws," as the same is generally used? . . . It is con
commission of the violation of the law, and if the dently contended that the phrase "leyes
same be not known at the time, from the especiales," as used in the Penal Code (article 7)
discovery thereof and the institution of judicial is not used with this general signi cation: In fact,
proceedings for its investigation and punishment. said phrase may refer not to a special law as
above de ned, but to a general law. A careful
The prescription shall be interrupted when reading of said article 7 clearly indicates that the
proceedings are instituted against the guilty phrase "leyes especiales" was not used to signify
persons and shall begin to run again if the "special laws" in the general signi cation of that
proceedings are dismissed for reasons not phrase. The article, it will be noted, simply says,
constituting jeopardy. in effect, that when a crime is made punishable
under some other law than the Penal Code, it (the
crime) is not subject to the provisions of said
code. 43
Even if we consider both Act No. 3326 and period; and (3) the reckoning of when the
Article 91 as supplements to RA No. 3019, the prescriptive period runs. Therefore, the
same result would obtain. A con ict will arise aforementioned principle cannot be utilized to
from the contemporaneous application of the two support the Majority Opinion's conclusion that the
laws. The Revised Penal Code explicitly states prescriptive period in a special law continues to
that the absence of the accused from the run while the accused is abroad.
Philippines shall be a ground for the tolling of the
prescriptive period while Act No. 3326 does not. We take exception to the foregoing proposition.
In such a situation, Act No. 3326 must prevail
over Article 91 because it speci cally and directly We believe that a liberal interpretation of the law
applies to special laws while the Revised Penal on prescription in criminal cases equally provides
Code shall apply to special laws only suppletorily the authority for the rule that the prescriptive
and only when the latter do not provide the period runs while the accused is outside of
contrary. Indeed, elementary rules of statutory Philippine jurisdiction. The nature of the law on
construction dictate that special legal provisions prescription of penal statutes supports this
must prevail over general ones. IHCacT conclusion. In the old but still relevant case of
People v. Moran, 45 this Court extensively
The majority notes Mr. Justice Carpio's discussed the rationale behind and the nature of
reservations about the effects of ruling that the prescription of penal offenses —
absence of the accused from the Philippines shall
not suspend the running of the prescriptive period. "We should at rst observe that a mistake is
Our duty, however, is only to interpret the law. To sometimes made in applying to statutes of
go beyond that and to question the wisdom or limitation in criminal suits the construction that
effects of the law is certainly beyond our has been given to statutes of limitation in civil
constitutionally mandated duty. As we have suits. The two classes of statutes, however, are
already explained — essentially different. In civil suits the statute is
interposed by the legislature as an impartial
Even on the assumption that there is in fact a arbiter between two contending parties. In the
legislative gap caused by such an omission, construction of the statute, therefore, there is no
neither could the Court presume otherwise and intendment to be made in favor of either party.
supply the details thereof, because a legislative Neither grants the right to the other; there is
lacuna cannot be lled by judicial at. Indeed, courts therefore no grantor against whom the ordinary
may not, in the guise of interpretation, enlarge the presumptions, of construction are to be made. But
scope of a statute and include therein situations it is, otherwise when a statute of limitation is
not provided nor intended by the lawmakers. An granted by the State. Here the State is the grantor,
omission at the time of the enactment, whether surrendering by act of grace its rights to
careless or calculated, cannot be judicially prosecute, and declaring the offense to be no
supplied however after later wisdom may longer the subject of prosecution.' The statute is
recommend the inclusion. Courts are not not a statute of process, to be scantily and
authorized to insert into the law what they think grudgingly applied, but an amnesty, declaring that
should be in it or to supply what they think the after a certain time oblivion shall be cast over the
legislature would have supplied if its attention has offence; that the offender shall be at liberty to
been called to the omission. 44 return to his country, and resume his immunities
as a citizen and that from henceforth he may cease
Mr. Justice Carpio also remarks that the liberal to preserve the proofs of his innocence, for the
interpretation of the statute of limitations in favor proofs of his guilt are blotted out. Hence it is that
of the accused only relates to the following issues: statutes of limitation are to be liberally construed
(1) retroactive or prospective application of laws in favor of the defendant, not only because such
providing or extending the prescriptive period; (2) liberality of construction belongs to all acts of
the determination of the nature of the felony amnesty and grace, but because the very existence
committed vis-à-vis the applicable prescriptive of the statute, is a recognition and noti cation by
the legislature of the fact that time, while it Commissioner denied its protest. SPMC appealed
gradually wears out proofs of innocence, has the denial of its protest to the Court of Tax
assigned to it xed and positive periods in which it Appeals (CTA) by way of a petition for review.
destroys proofs of guilt. Independently of these docketed as CTA Case No. 5423. It insists on the
views, it must be remembered that delay in liberal application of the rules because, on the
instituting prosecutions is not only productive of merits of the petition, SPMC was not liable for
expense to the State, but of peril to public justice the 3% miller’s tax. It maintains that the crude oil
in the attenuation and distortion, even by mere
which it sold to UNICHEM was actually exported
natural lapse of memory, of testimony. It is the
by UNICHEM as an ingredient of fatty acid and
policy of the law that prosecutions should be
prompt, and that statutes, enforcing such glycerine, hence, not subject to miller’s tax
promptitude should be vigorously maintained. pursuant to Section 168 of the 1987 Tax Code.
They are not merely acts of grace, but checks Since UNICHEM, the buyer of SPMC’s milled
imposed by the State upon itself, to exact vigilant products, subsequently exported said products,
activity from its subalterns, and to secure for SPMC should be exempted from the miller’s tax.
criminal trials the best evidence that can be
obtained." (Emphasis supplied) ISSUE: Whether or not SPMC’s sale of crude
coconut oil to UNICHEM was subject to the 3%
Indeed, there is no reason why we should deny miller’s task.
petitioner the bene ts accruing from the liberal
construction of prescriptive laws on criminal HELD:
statutes. Prescription emanates from the liberality
of the State. Any bar to or cause of interruption in NO. Petition was denied.
the operation of prescriptive periods cannot
simply be implied nor derived by mere RATIO:
implication. Any diminution of this endowment
must be directly and expressly sanctioned by the The language of the exempting clause of Section
source itself, the State. Any doubt on this matter 168 of the 1987 Tax Code was clear. The tax
must be resolved in favor of the grantee thereof,
exemption applied only to the exportation of
the accused.
rope, coconut oil, palm oil, copra by-products
and dessicated coconuts, whether in their
original state or as an ingredient or part of any
manufactured article or products, by the
SAN PABLO MANUFACTURING CORP. VS CIR proprietor or operator of the factory or by the
miller himself.
Where the law enumerates the subject or
San Pablo Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) is a condition upon which it applies, it is to be
domestic corporation engaged in the business of construed as excluding from its effects all those
milling, manufacturing and exporting of coconut not expressly mentioned. Expressio unius est
oil and other allied products. It was assessed and exclusio alterius. Anything that is not included in
ordered to pay by the Commissioner of Internal the enumeration is excluded therefrom and a
Revenue miller’s tax and manufacturer’s sales meaning that does not appear nor is intended or
tax, among other deficiency taxes, for taxable reflected in the very language of the statute
year 1987 particularly on SPMC’s sales of crude cannot be placed therein. The rule proceeds from
oil to United Coconut Chemicals, Inc. (UNICHEM) the premise that the legislature would not have
while the deficiency sales tax was applied on its made specific enumerations in a statute if it had
sales of corn and edible oil as manufactured the intention not to restrict its meaning and
products. SPMC opposed the assessments. The confine its terms to those expressly mentioned.
He also assailed the constitutionality of Executive
The rule of expressio unius est exclusio alterius is Order No. 97-A for being violative of their right
a canon of restrictive interpretation. Its to equal protection. They asserted that private
application in this case is consistent with the respondents operating inside the SSEZ are not
construction of tax exemptions in strictissimi juris different from the retail establishments located
against the taxpayer. To allow SPMC’s claim for outside.
tax exemption will violate these established
principles and unduly derogate sovereign Issue: Whether or not Republic Act No. 7227 is
valid on the ground that it violates the equal
protection clause.
Decision: The SC ruled in the negative. The
TORRES phrase ‘tax and duty-free importations of raw
materials, capital and equipment was merely cited
Facts: as an example of incentives that may be given to
entities operating within the zone. Public
This is a Petition to enjoin and prohibit the public respondent SBMA correctly argued that the
respondent Ruben Torres in his capacity as maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius, on
Executive Secretary from allowing other private which petitioners impliedly rely to support their
respondents to continue with the operation of tax restrictive interpretation, does not apply when
and duty-free shops located at the Subic Special words are mentioned by way of example.
Economic Zone (SSEZ) and the Clark Special
Economic Zone (CSEZ). The petitioner seeks to The petition with respect to declaration of
declare Republic Act No. 7227 as unconstitutional unconstitutionality of Executive Order No. 97-A
on the ground that it allowed only tax-free (and cannot be, likewise, sustained. The guaranty of
duty-free) importation of raw the equal protection of the laws is not violated by
materials, capital and equipment. It reads: a legislation based which was based on reasonable
classification. A classification, to be valid, must
The Subic Special Economic Zone shall be (1) rest on substantial distinction, (2) be germane
operated and managed as a separate customs to the purpose of the law, (3) not be limited to
territory ensuring free flow or movement of goods existing conditions only, and (4) apply equally to
and capital within, into and exported out of the all members of the same class. Applying the
Subic Special Economic Zone, as well as foregoing test to the present case, this Court finds
provide incentives such as tax and duty-free no violation of the right to equal protection of the
importations of raw materials, capital and laws. There is a substantial distinctions lying
equipment. However, exportation or removal of between the establishments inside and outside the
goods from the territory of the Subic Special zone. There are substantial differences in a sense
Economic Zone to the other parts of the that, investors will be lured to establish and
Philippine territory shall be subject to customs operate their industries in the so-called ‘secured
duties and taxes under the Customs and Tariff area and the present business operators outside the
Code and other relevant tax laws of area. There is, then, hardly any reasonable basis to
thePhilippines [RA 7227, Sec 12 (b)]. extend to them the benefits and incentives
accorded in R.A. 7227.
Petitioners contend that the wording of Republic
Act No. 7227 clearly limits the grant of tax
incentives to the importation of raw COA VS PROVINCE OF CEBU
materials, capital and equipment only thereby
violating the equal protection clause of the FACTS: The provincial governor of the
Constitution. province of Cebu, as chairman of the local
school board, under Section 98 of the Local
Government Code, appointed classroom
teachers who have no items in the DECS
plantilla to handle extension classes that would ISSUE: Whether or not the salaries and
accommodate students in the public schools. In personnel-related benefits of public school
the audit of accounts conducted by the teachers appointed by the local chief
executives in connection with the
Commission on Audit (COA) of the Province of
establishment and maintenance of extension
Cebu, for the period January to June 1998, it classes; as well as the expenses for college
appeared that the salaries and personnel- scholarship grants, chargeable to the Special
related benefits of the teachers appointed by Education Fund (SEF) of the local government
the province for the extension classes were unit concerned?
charged against the provincial SEF. Likewise
charged to the SEF were the college
scholarship grants of the province. HELD: Invoking the legal maxim "expressio unius
Consequently, the COA issued Notices of est exclusio alterius," petitioner alleges that since
Suspension to the province of Cebu, saying salaries, personnel-related bene ts and scholarship
grants are not among those authorized as lawful
that disbursements for the salaries of teachers
expenditures of the SEF under the Local
and scholarship grants are not chargeable to Government Code, they should be deemed
the provincial SEF. Faced with the Notices of excluded therefrom. Moreover, petitioner claims
Suspension issued by the COA, the province of that since what is allowed for local school boards to
Cebu, represented by its governor, filed a determine underSection 995 of the Local
petition for declaratory relief with the trial Government Code is only the "annual
court. On December 13, 1999, the court a quo supplementary budgetary needs for the operation
rendered a decision declaring the questioned and maintenance of public schools," as well as the
expenses as authorized expenditures of the "supplementary local cost to meet such needs," the
SEF. Declaring further, the respondent's audit budget of the local school boards for the
establishment and maintenance of extension classes
findings on pages 36 and 37 in the Annual
should be construed to refer only to the upkeep and
Audit Report on the Province of Cebu for the maintenance of public school building, facilities and
year ending December 31, 1999 as null and similar expenses other than personnel-related bene
void. Hence, the instant petition by the ts. This is because, petitioner argued, the
Commission on Audit on the expenses for maintenance and operation of public schools
college scholarship grants, since chargeable to pertain principally to the DECS.
the Special Education Fund (SEF) of the local
government unit concerned expressly was not The contentions are without merit. It is a basic
mentioned under R.A. NO.5447. With the precept in statutory construction that the intent of
effectivity of the Local Government Code of the legislature is the controlling factor in the
interpretation of a statute.
1991, petitioner contends that R.A. No. 5447
was repealed, leaving Section 100 (c) of the
Code to govern the disposition of the SEF, to Evidently, what was expressly repealed by the Local
wit: Government Code was only Section 3, of R.A. No.
5447, which deals with the "Allocation of taxes on
SEC. 100. Meeting and Quorum; Budget Virginia type cigarettes and duties on imported leaf
(c) The annual school board budget shall give tobacco." The legislature is presumed to know the
priority to the following: existing laws, such that whenever it intends to repeal a
particular or speci c provision of law, it does so
(1) Construction, repair, and maintenance of expressly. The failure to add a speci c repealing clause
school buildings and other facilities of public particularly mentioning the statute to be repealed
elementary and secondary schools; indicates that the intent was not to repeal any existing
(2) Establishment and maintenance of extension law on the matter, unless an irreconcilable
classes where necessary; and inconsistency and repugnancy exists in the terms of the
(3) Sports activities at the division, district, new and the old laws. 7 Hence, the provisions
allocating funds for the salaries of teachers under
municipal, and barangay levels. Section 1, of R.A. No. 5447, which are not inconsistent
with Sections 272 and 100 (c) of the Local
Government Code, remain in force and effect. this Court to supply such grant of scholarship where
TSIEAD the legislature has omitted it. 10

Even under the doctrine of necessary implication, the In the same vein, however noble the intention of the
allocation of the SEF for the establishment and province in extending said scholarship to deserving
maintenance of extension classes logically implies the students, we cannot apply the doctrine of necessary
hiring of teachers who should, as a matter of course be implication inasmuch as the grant of scholarship is
compensated for their services. Every statute is neither necessary nor indispensable to the operation
understood, by implication, to contain all such and maintenance of public schools. Instead, such
provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object scholarship grants may be charged to the General
and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers, Funds of the province.
privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all
such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be
Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 63 11 of the 1997 Rules of
fairly and logically inferred from its terms.Ex
Civil Procedure, a petition for declaratory relief may
necessitate legis. 8 Verily, the services and the
be led before there is a breach or violation. The
corresponding compensation of these teachers are
Solicitor General claims that the Notices of Suspension
necessary and indispensable to the establishment and
issued by the COA to the respondent province
maintenance of extension classes.
amounted to a breach or violation, and therefore, the
petition for declaratory relief should have been denied
Indeed, the operation and maintenance of public
by the trial court.
schools is lodged principally with the DECS. This is
the reason why only salaries of public school teachers
appointed in connection with the establishment and
maintenance of extension classes, inter alia, pertain to
the supplementary budget of the local school boards.
Thus, it should be made clear that

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not every kind of personnel-related bene ts of public

school teachers may be charged to the SEF. The SEF CITY OF MANILA VS LAGUIO
may be expended only for the salaries and personnel-
related bene ts of teachers appointed by the local FACTS:
school boards in connection with the establishment and
maintenance of extension classes. Extension classes as
referred to mean additional classes needed to
On 30 Mar 1993, Mayor Lim signed into law Ord
accommodate all children of school age desiring to 7783 entitled AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING
enter in public schools to acquire basic education. 9
With respect, however, to college scholarship grants, a OF AMUSEMENT, ENTERTAINMENT,
reading of the pertinent laws of the Local Government SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN THE
Code reveals that said grants are not among the ERMITA-MALATE AREA, PRESCRIBING
projects for which the proceeds of the SEF may be PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF,
appropriated. It should be noted that Sections 100 (c) AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. It basically
and 272 of the Local Government Code substantially prohibited establishments such as bars, karaoke
reproduced Section 1, of R.A. No. 5447. But, unlike bars, motels and hotels from operating in the
payment of salaries of teachers which falls within the Malate District which was notoriously viewed as
ambit of "establishment and maintenance of extension
a red light district harboring thrill seekers. Malate
classes" and "operation and maintenance of public
schools," the "granting of government scholarship to Tourist Development Corporation avers that the
poor but deserving students" was omitted in Sections ordinance is invalid as it includes hotels and
100 (c) and 272 of the Local Government Code. Casus motels in the enumeration of places offering
omissus pro omisso habendus est. A person, object, or amusement or entertainment. MTDC reiterates
thing omitted from an enumeration in a statute must be that they do not market such nor do they use
held to have been omitted intentionally. It is not for women as tools for entertainment. MTDC also
avers that under the LGC, LGUs can only regulate assigned to was already completed and there was
motels but cannot prohibit their operation. The no more work for him to do. Skeptic of private
City reiterates that the Ordinance is a valid respondent's reason, petitioner brought his plight
exercise of Police Power as provided as well in before the Labor Arbiter who consolidated the
the LGC. The City likewise emphasized that the same with three (3) other separate complaints for
purpose of the law is to promote morality in the illegal dismissal and various money claims
City. against private respondent. After filing their
respective position papers and other documents
ISSUE: Whether or not Ordinance 7783 is valid. pertinent to their causes/defenses, the parties
agreed to submit the case for decision based on
HELD: record.

The SC ruled that the said Ordinance is null and On May 12, 1988, Labor Arbiter Fernando V.
void. The SC noted that for an ordinance to be Cinco rendered a decision, finding that
valid, it must not only be within the corporate complainants worked continuously in various
powers of the local government unit to enact and projects ranging from five (5) to twenty (20) years
must be passed according to the procedure and belonged to a work pool. Private respondent
prescribed by law, it must also conform to the questioned on appeal the aforesaid decision of the
following substantive requirements: Labor Arbiter on the ground that the complainants
(1) must not contravene the Constitution or were all project employees who were hired on a
any statute; project-to-project basis, depending on the
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive; availability of projects that the former was able to
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory; close with its clients.
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) must be general and consistent with Private respondent questioned on appeal the
public policy; and aforesaid decision of the Labor Arbiter on the
(6) must not be unreasonable. ground that the complainants were all project
employees who were hired on a project-to-project
The police power of the City Council, however basis, depending on the availability of projects
broad and far-reaching, is subordinate to the that the former was able to close with its clients.
constitutional limitations thereon; and is subject
to the limitation that its exercise must be Petitioner cites Article 280 of the Labor Code as
reasonable and for the public good. In the case at legal basis for the decision of the Labor Arbiter in
bar, the enactment of the Ordinance was an his favor. The text of Article 280 states as
invalid exercise of delegated power as it is follows:
unconstitutional and repugnant to general laws.
Art. 280. Regular and Casual Employment. —
The provisions of written agreement to the
contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the
PROVISOS, EXCEPTIONS AND SAVING oral agreement of the parties, an employment
CLAUSES shall be deemed to be regular where the employee
has been engaged to perform activities which are
Ricardo vs NLRC usually necessary or desirable in the usual
business or trade of the employer, except where
Facts: Petitioner was hired as a laborer at the the employment has been fixed for a specific
D.M. Consunji, Inc., a construction firm, on project or undertaking the completion or
November 5, 1974. He became a skilled welder termination of which has been determined at the
and worked for private respondent until March time of the engagement of the employee or where
23, 1986 when his employment was terminated on the work or services to be performed is seasonal
the ground that the project petitioner had been in nature and the employment is for the duration
of the season.
An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it activities that are usually necessary or desirable in
is not covered by the preceding paragraph: the usual business or trade of the employer but
Provided, That, any employee who has rendered hastens to qualify that project employment is
at least one year of service whether such service is specifically exempted therefrom. Finally,
continuous or broken, shall be considered a petitioner relies on Policy Instruction No. 20
regular employee with respect to the activity in which was issued by then Secretary Blas F. Ople
which he is employed and his employment shall to stabilize employer-employee relations in the
continue while such actually exists. Petitioner construction industry to support his contention
claims that the above-quoted proviso in Article that workers in the construction industry may now
280 of the Labor Code supports his claim that he be considered regular employees after their long
should be regarded as a regular employee. years of service with private respondent. The
pertinent provision of Policy Instruction No. 20
ISSUE: reads:

HELD: We disagree. The proviso in the second Members of a work pool from which construction
paragraph of Article 280 of the Labor Code has company draws its project employees, if
recently been explained in Mercado v. NLRC,4 considered employees of the construction
where it was held that said proviso deems as company while in the work pool, are non-project
regular employees only those "casual" employees employees or employees for an indefinite period.
who have rendered at least one year of service If they are employed in a particular project, the
regardless of the fact that such service may be completion of the project or of any phase thereof
continuous or broken. It is not applicable to will not mean severance of employer-employee
"project" employees, who are specifically relationship.
excepted therefrom. Thus, the Court therein said:

Respondent Commission correctly observed in its

The general rule is that the office of a proviso is decision that complainants, one of whom
to qualify or modify only the phrase immediately petitioner, failed to consider the requirement in
preceding it or restrain or limit the generality of Policy Instruction No. 20 that to qualify as
the clause that it immediately follows. (Statutory member of a work pool, the worker must still be
Construction by Ruben Agpalo, 1986 ed., p. 173). considered an employee of the construction
Thus, it has been held that a proviso is to be company while in the work pool. In other words,
construed with reference to the immediately there must be proof to the effect that petitioner
preceding part of the provision to which it is was under an obligation to be always available on
attached, and not to the statute itself or to other call of private respondent and that he was not free
sections thereof. (Chinese Flour Importers to offer his services to other employees.
Association v. Price Stabilization Board, 89 Phil. Unfortunately, petitioner miserably failed to
469 (1951); Arenas v. City of San Carlos, G.R. introduce any evidence of such nature during the
No. 24024, April 5, 1978, 82 SCRA 318 (1978). times when there were no project.
The only exception to the rule is where the clear
legislative intent is to restrain or qualify not only Noteworthy in this case is the fact that herein
the phrase immediately preceding it (the proviso) private respondent's lay-off reports and the
but also earlier provisions of the statute or even termination reports were duly submitted to the
the statute itself as a whole. (Commissioner of then Ministry of Labor and Employment
Internal Revenue v. Filipinas Compania de everytime a project was completed in accordance
Seguros, 107 Phil. 1055 (1960) with Policy Instruction No. 20, which provides:

Indeed, a careful reading of the proviso readily Project employees are not entitled to termination
discloses that the same relates to employment pay if they are terminated as a result of the
where the employee is engaged to perform completion of the project or any phase thereof in
which they are employed, regardless of the graduated rates: P150 if the annual income of the
number of projects in which they have been real estate dealer from his business as such is
employed by a particular construction company. P4,000, but does not exceed P10,000; P300, if
Moreover, the company is not required to obtain a such annual income exceeds P10,000 but does not
clearance from the Secretary of Labor in exceed P30,000; and P500 if such annual income
connection with such termination. What is exceeds P30,000.
required of the company is a report to the nearest
Public Employment Office for statistical On June 17, 1957, petitioner Commissioner of
purposes. Internal Revenue assessed and demanded from
respondent (whose annual income exceeded
The presence of this factor makes this case P30,000.00) the amount of P350.00 as additional
different from the cases decided by the Court real estate dealer's fixed annual tax for the year
where the employees were deemed regular 1956. On July 16, 1957, respondent wrote a letter
employees. The cases of Ochoco v. National to petitioner stating that the "records will show
Labor Relations Commission,5 Philippine that the real estate dealer's fixed tax for 1956 of
National Construction Corporation v. National this Company was fully paid by us prior to the
Labor Relations Commission,6 Magante v. effectivity of Republic Act No. 1612 which
National Labor Relations Commission,7 and amended, among other things, Sections 178 and
Philippine National Construction Corporation v. 192 of the National Internal Revenue Code." And,
National Labor Relations, et al.,8 uniformly held as to the retroactive effect of said Republic Act
that the failure of the employer to report to the No. 1612, respondent added that the Republic Act
nearest employment office the termination of No. 1856 which, among other things, amended
workers everytime a project is completed proves Section 182 of the National Internal Revenue
that the employees are not project employees. Code, Congress has clearly shown its intention
Contrariwise, the faithful and regular effort of when it provided that the increase in rates of taxes
private respondent in reporting every completion envisioned by Republic Act No. 1612 is to be
of its project and submitting the lay-off list of its made effective as of 1 January 1957".
employees proves the nature of employment of
the workers involved therein as project On October 23, 1957, petitioner informed
employees. Given this added circumstance behind respondent that "Republic Act No. 1856 which
petitioner's employment, it is clear that he does took effect June 22, 1957 amended the date of
not belong to the work pool from which the effectivity of Republic Act 1612 to January 1,
private respondent would draw workers for 1957. However, the said amendment applies only
assignment to other projects at its discretion. to fixed taxes on occupation and not to fixed taxes
on business." Hence, petitioner insisted that
respondent should pay the amount of P350.00 as
additional real estate dealer's fixed annual tax for
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, the year 1956.On November 20, 1957, respondent
vs. FILIPINAS COMPAÑIA DE SEGUROS, filed with the Court of Tax Appeals a petition for
Facts: Respondent Filipinas Compañia de
Seguros, an insurance company, is also engaged Issue:
in business as a real estate dealer. On January 4,
1956, respondent, in accordance with the single Held: As a rule, laws have no retroactive effect,
rate then prescribed under Section 182 of the unless the contrary is provided. (Art. 4, Civil
National Internal Revenue Code.1 paid the Code of the Philippines; Manila Trading and
amount of P150.00 as real estate dealer's fixed Supply Co. vs. Santos, et al., 66 Phil., 237; La
annual tax for the year 1956. Subsequently said Provisora Filipina vs. Ledda, 66 Ph 573.)
Section 182 of the Code was amended by Otherwise stated, a state shou!d be consider as
Republic Act No. 1612, which took effect on prospective in its operation whether it enacts,
August 24, 1956, by providing a small of amen or repeals a tax, unless the language of the
statute clearly demands or expresses that it shall subject to the provisions of section three hundred
have a retroactive effect (61 C. J. 1602, cited in and nine of this Code. (Sec. 182 (b) (2) (1).)
Loremo vs. Posadas, 64 Phi 353.) The rule applies
with greater force to the case bar, considering that Petitioner, however, contends that the above-
Republic Act No. 1612, which imposes the new quoted provision refers only to fixed taxes on
and higher rates of real estate dealer's annual occupation and does not cover fixed taxes on
fixed tax, expressly provides in Section 21 thereof business, such as the real estate dealer's fixed tax
the said Act "shall take effect upon its approval" herein involved. This is technically correct, but
on August 24, 1956. we note from the deliberations in the Senate,
where the proviso in question was introduced as
The instant case involves the fixed annual real an amendment, that said House Bill No. 5919
estat dealer's tax for 1956. There is no dispute that which became Republic Act No. 1856 was
before the enactment of Republic Act No. 1612 considered, amended, and enacted into law, in
on August 2 1956, the uniform fixed annual real order precisely that the "iniquitous effects" which
estate dealer's was P150.00 for all owners of were then being felt by taxpayers. in general, on
rental properties receiving an aggregate amount of account of the approval of Republic Act No.
P3,000.00 or more a year in the form of rentals2 1612, Which was being given retroactive effect
and that. "the yearly fixed taxes are due on the by the Bureau of Internal Revenue by collecting
first of January of each year" unless tendered in these taxes retroactively from January 1, 1956, be
semi-annual or quarterly installments.3 Since the eliminated and complaints against such action be
petitioner indisputably paid in full on January 4, finally settled. (See Senate Congressional Record,
1956, the total annual tax then prescribed for the May 4, 1957, pp. 10321033.)
year 1956, require it to pay an additional sum of
P350.00 to complete the P500.00 provided in It is also to be observed that said House Bill No.
Republic Act No. 1612 which became effective 5819 as originally presented, was expressly
by its very terms only on August 24 1956, would, intended to amend certain provisions of the
in the language of the Court of Tax Appeals result National Internal Revenue Code dealing on fixed
in the imposition upon respondent of a tax burden taxes on business. The provisions in respect of
to which it was not liable before the enactment of fixed tax on occupation were merely subsequently
said amendatory act, thus rendering its operation added. This would seem to indicate that the
retroactive rather than prospective, which cannot proviso in question was intended to cover not
be done, as it would contravene the aforecited only fixed taxes on occupation, but also fixed
Section 21 of Republic Act No. 1612 as well as taxes on business. (Senate Congressional Record,
the established rule regarding prospectivity of March 7, 1957, p. 444.)The fact that said proviso
operation of statutes. was placed only at the end of paragraph "(B) On
occupation" is not, therefore, view of the
circumstances, decisive and unmistakable
indication that Congress limited the proviso to
The view that Congress did intend to impose said occupation taxes.
increased rates of real estate dealer's annual tax
prospectively and not retroactively, finds some Even though the primary purpose of the proviso is
affirmation in Republic Act No. 1856, approved to limit restrain the general language of a statute,
on June 22, 1957, which fixed the effective date the legislature, unfotunately, does not always use
of said new rates under Republic Act No. 1612 by it with technical correctness; consequently, where
inserting the following proviso in Section 182 of its use creates an ambiguity, it is the duty of the
the National Internal Revenue Code: court to ascertain the legislative intention, through
resort to usual rules of construction applicable to
Provided, further, That any amount collected in statutes, generally an give it effect even though
excess of the rates in effect prior to January one, the statute is thereby enlarged, or the proviso
nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, shall be made to assume the force of an independent
refunded or credited to the taxpayer concerned enactment and although a proviso as such has no
existence apart from provision which it is
designed to limit or to qualify. (Statutory
Construction by E. T. Crawford, pp. 604-605.)

. . . When construing a statute, the reason for its

enactment should be kept in mind, and the statute
should be construe with reference to its intended
scope and purpose. (Id. at p. 249.)

On the general principle of prospectivity of statute

on the language of Republic Act 1612 itself,
especially Section 21 thereof, and on the basis of
its intended scope and purpose as disclosed in the
Congressional Record we find ourselves in
agreement with the Court of Tax Appeals.