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QUIMPO V.

MENDOZA 00 SCRA 00 GUERRERO, AUGUST 31, 1981


NATURE petition to review on certiorari FACTS -Quimpo, an owner of a building in CDO, was assessed P20k for 1969, P400 annual realty tax payable in 4 equal installments. Quimpo was able to pay the first 3 monthly installments but was not able to pay the last installment. -On August the following year, he wanted to pay P124.00 (P100 tax due + P24 penalty) to Mendoza, the City Treasurer of CDO, but Mendoza required him to pay P196 (P100 + P96 penalty based on City Charter of CDO). Quimpo consigned P124 with Clerk of Court then instituted mandamus with damages against Mendoza in CFI -CFI: dismissed based on Padilla v. City of Pasay and City Treasurer 1. Pay P96 penalty = 2% of original tax which is P400 2. no authority to entertain suit for failure of Quimpo to comply with provisions of Charter of CDO on payment of tax ISSUE (relevant lang, ung iba remedies and damages na eh) WON the basis for computing the tax penalty should be the tax payable for the said year or only the installment unpaid HELD Only base deficiency on unpaid installment Ratio. We rule for the petitioner, following the general rule in the interpretation of tax statutes that such statutes are construed most strongly against the government and in favor of the taxpayer. Moreover, simple logic, fairness and reason cannot countenance an exaction or a penalty for an act faithfully done in compliance with the law. Since petitioner is allowed by law to pay his real estate tax in four equal installments due and payable on four specified dates and having paid the first three (3) installments faithfully and religiously, it is manifest injustice, sheer arbitrariness and abuse of power to penalize him for doing so when he fails to pay the fourth and last installment. Reasoning. Padilla v. City of Pasay not applicable to the case as the said case was decide before RA 5447 took effect in January 1, 1969. Petitioner was being assessed real property tax for 1969 so RA 5447 applies to the petitioner already. RA 5447 amends city charters by providing that real property tax is due and payable in 4 equal installments. Thus, each installment is due and payable on or before a specified statutory limit. Default in 1 installment, the penalty for delinquency should be computed starting the day after the due date when the tax payer should have paid. Disposition. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering petitioner to pay to the City Treasurer of Cagayan de Oro City the amount of P116.00 representing full payment of the last installment of P100.00 on the realty tax for the year 1969 and the tax penalty of P16.00 for eight months of his delinquency from January, 1970 to August, 1970; and ordering said City Treasurer to accept the aforesaid payment, issue the official receipt therefor and a tax clearance certificate covering the aforementioned real estate tax and penalty. No costs. Judgment modified. SO ORDERED.