A. LITERAL INTERPRETATION 1. Verba Legis a. ATTY. ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, (D) G.R. No. 206666, January 21, 2015 FACTS: September 12, 2007, the Sandiganbayan convicted former President Estrada, a former President of the Republic of the Philippines, for the crime of plunder. October 25, 2007, however, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (former President Arroyo) extended executive clemency, by way of pardon, to former President Estrada. October 2, 2012, former President Estrada once more ventured into the political arena, and filed a Certificate of Candidacy, this time vying for a local elective post, that of the Mayor of the City of Manila. January 24, 2013, Risos-Vidal, the petitioner in this case, filed a Petition for Disqualification against former President Estrada before the COMELEC. Risos Vidal anchored her petition on the theory that "Former President Estrada is Disqualified to Run for Public Office because of his Conviction for Plunder by the Sandiganbayan Sentencing Him to Suffer the Penalty of Reclusion Perpetua with Perpetual Absolute Disqualification." ISSUE: Whether or not former President Estrada is qualified to vote and be voted for in public office as a result of the pardon granted to him by former President Arroyo. HELD: Yes, former President Estrada is qualified to vote and be voted for in public office as a result of the pardon granted to him by former President Arroyo. It is well-entrenched that where the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. Verba legis non est recedendum. From the words of a statute there should be no departure. It is this Court’s firm view that the phrase in the presidential pardon at issue which declares that former President Estrada "is hereby restored to his civil and political rights" substantially complies with the requirement of express restoration. b. TRADE AND INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, (G) G.R. No. 182249, March 5, 2013 FACTS: August 30, 2001, Arsemio de Guzman was appointed on a permanent status as Financial Management Specialist IV of TIDCORP, a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) created pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1080. His appointment was included in TIDCORP’s Report on Personnel Actions (ROPA) for August 2001, which was submitted to the CSC – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Field Office. September 28, 2001, Director Leticia M. Bugtong disallowed De Guzman’s appointment because the position of Financial Management Specialist IV was not included in the DBM’s Index of Occupational Service. TIDCORP’s Executive Vice President Jane U. Tambanillo appealed the invalidation of De Guzman’s appointment to Director IV Agnes Padilla of the CSC- NCR. According to Tambanillo, Republic Act No. 8494, which amended TIDCORP’s charter, empowers its Board of Directors to create its own organizational structure and staffing pattern, and to approve its own compensation and position classification system and qualification standards. CSC-NCR Director Padilla denied Tambanillo’s appeal because De Guzman’s appointment failed to comply with Section 1, Rule III of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, which requires that the position title of an appointment submitted to the CSC must conform with the approved Position Allocation List and must be found in the Index of Occupational Service. Since the position of Financial Management Specialist IV is not included in the Index of Occupational Service, de Guzman’s appointment to this position must be invalid.
TIDCORP’s President and CEO Joel C. Valdes sent CSC Chairperson Karina ConstantinoDavid a Letter appealing Director Padilla’s decision to the CSC-Central Office (CO). Valdes reiterated TIDCORP’s argument that RA 8494 authorized its Board of Directors to determine its own organizational structure and staffing pattern, and exempted TIDCORP from all existing laws on compensation, position classification and qualification standards. In its Resolution No. 30144, the CSC-CO affirmed the CSC-NCR’s decision that de Guzman’s appointment should have complied with CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, as amended by CSC Memorandum Circular No. 15. Rule III, Section 1(c) is explicit in requiring that the position title indicated in the appointment should conform with the Position Allocation List and found in the Index of Occupational Service. Otherwise, the appointment shall be disapproved. In disallowing De Guzman’s appointment, the CSC-CO held that Director Bugtong was simply following the letter of the law. TIDCORP moved to reconsider the CSC-CO’s decision, but this motion was denied, prompting TIDCORP to file a Rule 65 petition for certiorari with the CA. The petition asserted that the CSCCO committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing Resolution No. 030144 and Resolution No. 031037. CA denied TIDCORP’s petition and upheld the ruling of the CSC-CO in Resolution No. 30144 and Resolution No. 31037. The CA noted that filing a petition for certiorari was an improper recourse; TIDCORP should have instead filed a petition for review under Section 1, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. The CA, however, brushed aside the procedural defect, ruling that the assailed resolutions should still stand as they are consistent with law and jurisprudence. In its present petition for review on certiorari, TIDCORP argued that the CSC’s interpretation of RA 8494 is misplaced ISSUE: Whether or not RA 8494 command TIDCORP to follow issued requirements pursuant to the Position Classification Act despite its exemption from laws involving position classification. HELD: No, under the principles of statutory construction, if a statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. This plain-meaning rule or verba legis is derived from the maxim index animi sermo est (speech is the index of intention) and rests on the valid presumption that the words employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its intent and preclude the court from construing it differently. The legislature is presumed to know the meaning of the words, to have used words advisedly, and to have expressed its intent by the use of such words as are found in the statute. Verba legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a statute there should be no departure. The phrase "to endeavour" means to "to devote serious and sustained effort" and "to make an effort to do." It is synonymous with the words to strive, to struggle and to seek. The use of "to endeavour" in the context of RA 8494 means that despite TIDCORP’s exemption from laws involving compensation, position classification and qualification standards, it should still strive to conform as closely as possible with the principles and modes provided in RA 6758. The phrase "as closely as possible," which qualifies TIDCORP’s duty "to endeavour to conform," recognizes that the law allows TIDCORP to deviate from the Position Classification Act, but it should still try to hew closely with its principles and modes. Had the intent of Congress been to require TIDCORP to fully, exactly and strictly comply with the Position Classification Act, it would have so stated in unequivocal terms. Instead, the mandate it gave TIDCORP was to endeavour to conform to the principles and modes of RA 6758, and not to the entirety of this law. 2. Dura lex sed lex a. OLYMPIO REVALDO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, (A w/ Mod) G.R. No. 170589, April 16, 2009 FACTS: Petitioner was charged with the offense of illegal possession of premium hardwood lumber in violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code. June 17, 1992, in the Municipality of Maasin, Province of Southern Leyte, Philippines, the accused, with intent of gain, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously possess
96.14 board ft. of flat lumber with a total value of P1,730.52, Philippine Currency, without any legal document as required under existing forest laws and regulations from proper government authorities. Maceda, the person in charge of the operations section of the PNP in Maasin, Southern Leyte, testified that on 18 June 1992, at around 11:00 in the morning, he went with Chief Alejandro Rojas, SPO3 Melquiades Talisic and SPO3 Nicasio Sunit to the house of petitioner to verify the report of Sunit that petitioner had in his possession lumber without the necessary documents. They were not armed with a search warrant on that day.They confiscated 20 pieces of lumber of different varieties lying around the vicinity of the house of petitioner. September 5, 1997, the RTC-Branch 25 rendered judgment convicting petitioner of the offense charged and sentencing him. August 23 2004, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The Court of Appeals ruled that motive or intention is immaterial for the reason that mere possession of the lumber without the legal documents gives rise to criminal liability. ISSUE: Whether or not the warrantless search and seizure conducted by the police officers was legal. HELD: Yes, even without a search warrant, the personnel of the PNP can seize the forest products cut, gathered or taken by an offender pursuant to Section 80 of the Forestry Code. Petitioner was in possession of the lumber without the necessary documents when the police officers accosted him. In open court, petitioner categorically admitted the possession and ownership of the confiscated lumber as well as the fact that he did not have any legal documents therefor and that he merely intended to use the lumber for the repair of his dilapidated house. Mere possession of forest products without the proper documentation consummates the crime. Dura lex sed lex. The law may be harsh but that is the law. On the penalty imposed by the lower courts, we deem it necessary to discuss the matter. Violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code is punished as Qualified Theft with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code b. ARNEL SAGANA v. RICHARD A. FRANCISCO, (G) G.R. No.161952, October 2, 2009 FACTS: December 13, 1994, petitioner Arnel Sagana filed a Complaint for Damages before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and raffled to Branch 99. Petitioner alleged that on 20 November 1992, respondent Richard A. Francisco, with intent to kill and without justifiable reason, shot him with a gun hitting him on the right thigh. As a result, petitioner incurred medical expenses and suffered wounded feelings, and was compelled to engage the services of a lawyer, due to respondent’s refusal to pay said expenses. Petitioner thus demanded payment of P300,000.00 as actual damages, P150,000.00 as moral damages,P50,000.00, exemplary damages, and P50,000.00 as attorney’s fees. January 31, 1995, process server Manuel S. Panlasigui attempted to serve summons at respondent’s address at No. 36 Sampaguita St., Baesa, Quezon City but was unsuccessful. In his Server’s Return, Panlasigui stated that he tried to personally serve the summons to respondent at his given address. However, the occupant of that house told him that respondent is unknown at said address. Panlasigui also declared that diligent efforts were exerted to serve the summons but these proved to be futile. Subsequently, the trial court attempted to serve summons to respondent’s office through registered mail. However, despite three notices, respondent failed to pick up the summons. August 25, 1995, Process Server Jarvis Iconar again tried to serve the summons at the address of the respondent but no avail. According to Iconar’s handwritten notation on the summons, he was informed by Michael Francisco, respondent’s brother, that respondent no longer lived at said address. However, he left a copy of the summons to Michael Francisco. November 10, 1995, petitioner filed a Motion to Declare Defendant in Default, alleging that despite service of summons, respondent still failed to file an Answer.
February 16, 1996, the trial court issued an Order finding that the summons was validly served to respondent through his brother, Michael. It thus declared respondent in default and allowed petitioner to present his evidence ex parte. Nonetheless, copies of all pleadings and court documents were furnished to respondent. March 1, 1996, Michael Francisco, through his counsel, Atty. Bernardo Q. Cuaresma, filed a Manifestation and Motion denying that he received the summons or that he was authorized to receive summons on behalf of his brother. He alleged that the substituted service did not comply with Section 8, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. October 4, 1996, the trial court issued an Order denying Michael Francisco’s Manifestation and Motion for lack of merit. Judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff and hereby orders defendant to pay plaintiff. November 23, 1999, respondent Richard A. Francisco filed a Notice of Appeal, claiming that he received a copy of the trial court’s Decision on 9 November 1999; that the same was contrary to the law, facts, and evidence, and praying that his appeal be given due course. August 13, 2003, the Court of Appeals rendered the herein assailed Decision granting the appeal and setting aside the Decision of the trial court. The appellate court held that the service of summons was irregular and such irregularity nullified the proceedings before the trial court. Since it did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the respondent, the trial court’s decision was void. ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid service of summons upon the respondent. HELD: Yes, there was a valid service of summons upon the respondent. The purpose of summons is two-fold: to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendant and to notify the defendant that an action has been commenced so that he may be given an opportunity to be heard on the claim against him. Under the circumstances of this case, we find that respondent was duly apprised of the action against him and had every opportunity to answer the charges made by the petitioner. However, since respondent refused to disclose his true address, it was impossible to personally serve summons upon him. Considering that respondent could not have received summons because of his own pretenses, and has failed to provide an explanation of his purported "new" residence, he must now bear the consequences. It is, at times, difficult to reconcile the letter of the law with its spirit. Thus, it is not altogether surprising that two competing values are usually discernable in every controversy – the principle of dura lex sed lex versus the notion that technicalities should yield to broader interests of justice. In our rules of procedure, for instance, judges often struggle to find a balance between due process considerations and a liberal construction to secure a just disposition of every action. B. DEPARTURE FROM LITERAL INTERPRETATION 1. Statutes must be capable of interpretation a. MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO v. COMELEC, (G) G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997 FACTS: December 6, 1996, private respondent Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with public respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) a Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Elective Officials, by People's Initiative. Upon the filing of the Petition, the COMELEC, through its Chairman, issued an Order directing Delfin to cause the publication of the petition, together with the attached Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution including the proposal, proposed constitutional amendment, and the signature form, and the notice of hearing in three (3) daily newspapers of general circulation at his own expense and setting the case for hearing on 12 December 1996 at 10:00 a.m. December 12, 1996, Senator Roco, filed a Motion to Dismiss the Petition on the ground that it is not the initiatory petition properly cognizable by the COMELEC. December 18, 1996, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Maria Isabel Ongpin filed this special civil action for prohibition raising that R.A. No. 6735 provides for three
systems of initiative, namely, initiative on the Constitution, on statutes, and on local legislation. However, it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative on the Constitution, unlike in the other modes of initiative, which are specifically provided for in Subtitle II and Subtitle III. This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of people's initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some future law. December 19, 1996, the Court required the respondents to comment on the petition and issued a temporary restraining order, effective immediately and continuing until further orders, enjoining public respondent COMELEC from proceeding with the Petition, and private respondents conducting a signature drive for people's initiative to amend the Constitution. January 2, 1997, private respondents filed their Comment on the petition. They argue therein that R.A No. 6735 is the enabling law implementing the power of people initiative to propose amendments to the constitution. ISSUE: Whether or not R.A. No. 6735, entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds Therefor, was intended to include or cover initiative on amendments to the Constitution; and if so, whether the Act, as worded, adequately covers such initiative. HELD: No, Insofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned, R.A. No. 6735 miserably failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation. First. Contrary to the assertion of public respondent COMELEC, Section 2 of the Act does not suggest an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. The inclusion of the word "Constitution" therein was a delayed afterthought. That word is neither germane nor relevant to said section, which exclusively relates to initiative and referendum on national laws and local laws, ordinances, and resolutions. That section is silent as to amendments on the Constitution. As pointed out earlier, initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to AMEND. The people are not accorded the power to "directly propose, enact, approve, or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution" through the system of initiative. They can only do so with respect to "laws, ordinances, or resolutions." Second. It is true that Section 3 of the Act defines initiative on amendments to the Constitution and mentions it as one of the three systems of initiative, and that Section 5 restates the constitutional requirements as to the percentage of the registered voters who must submit the proposal. But unlike in the case of the other systems of initiative, the Act does not provide for the contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution. Section 5, paragraph (c) requires, among other things, statement of the proposed law sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or repealed, as the case may be. It does not include, as among the contents of the petition, the provisions of the Constitution sought to be amended, in the case of initiative on the Constitution. Third. While the Act provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle II) and for Local Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle III), no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. This conspicuous silence as to the latter simply means that the main thrust of the Act is initiative and referendum on national and local laws. If Congress intended R.A. No. 6735 to fully provide for the implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution, it could have provided for a subtitle therefor, considering that in the order of things, the primacy of interest, or hierarchy of values, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the initiative on national and local laws. 2. Ratio legis est anima a. RODOLFO G. NAVARRO v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, (D) G.R. No. 180050, April 12, 2011 FACTS: October 2, 2006, the President of the Republic approved into law Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands). December 3, 2006, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) conducted the mandatory plebiscite for the ratification of the creation of the province under the Local Government Code (LGC). The plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and 63,502 negative votes. With the
approval of the people from both the mother province of Surigao del Norte and the Province of Dinagat Islands (Dinagat). November 10, 2006, petitioners filed before this Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition challenging the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9355. The Court dismissed the petition on technical grounds. Their motion for reconsideration was also denied. Undaunted, petitioners filed another petition for certiorari seeking to nullify R.A. No. 9355 for being unconstitutional. They alleged that the creation of Dinagat as a new province, if uncorrected, would perpetuate an illegal act of Congress, and would unjustly deprive the people of Surigao del Norte of a large chunk of the provincial territory, Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA), and rich resources from the area. They pointed out that when the law was passed, Dinagat had a land area of 802.12 square kilometers only and a population of only 106,951, failing to comply with Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and of Section 461 of the LGC. May 12, 2010, movants-intervenors raised three (3) main arguments to challenge the above Resolution, namely: (1) that the passage of R.A. No. 9355 operates as an act of Congress amending Section 461 of the LGC; (2) that the exemption from territorial contiguity, when the intended province consists of two or more islands, includes the exemption from the application of the minimum land area requirement; and (3) that the Operative Fact Doctrine is applicable in the instant case. July 20, 2010, the Court denied the Motion for Leave to Intervene and to File and to Admit Intervenors’ Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated May 12, 2010 on the ground that the allowance or disallowance of a motion to intervene is addressed to the sound discretion of the Court, and that the appropriate time to file the said motion was before and not after the resolution of this case. September 7, 2010, movants-intervenors filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the July 20, 2010 Resolution, citing several rulings of the Court, allowing intervention as an exception to Section 2, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court that it should be filed at any time before the rendition of judgment. They alleged that, prior to the May 10, 2010 elections, their legal interest in this case was not yet existent. They averred that prior to the May 10, 2010 elections, they were unaware of the proceedings in this case. October 5, 2010, the Court issued an order for Entry of Judgment, stating that the decision in this case had become final and executory on May 18, 2010.. ISSUE: Whether or not the provision in Article 9(2) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 valid. HELD: Yes, the Congress, recognizing the capacity and viability of Dinagat to become a full-fledged province, enacted R.A. No. 9355, following the exemption from the land area requirement, which, with respect to the creation of provinces, can only be found as an express provision in the LGCIRR. In effect, pursuant to its plenary legislative powers, Congress breathed flesh and blood into that exemption in Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR and transformed it into law when it enacted R.A. No. 9355 creating the Island Province of Dinagat. The land area, while considered as an indicator of viability of a local government unit, is not conclusive in showing that Dinagat cannot become a province, taking into account its average annual income of P82,696,433.23 at the time of its creation, as certified by the Bureau of Local Government Finance, which is four times more than the minimum requirement of P20,000,000.00 for the creation of a province. The delivery of basic services to its constituents has been proven possible and sustainable. Rather than looking at the results of the plebiscite and the May 10, 2010 elections as mere fait accompli circumstances which cannot operate in favor of Dinagat’s existence as a province, they must be seen from the perspective that Dinagat is ready and capable of becoming a province. This Court should not be instrumental in stunting such capacity. Ratio legis est anima. The spirit rather than the letter of the law. A statute must be read according to its spirit or intent, for what is within the spirit is within the statute although it is not within its letter, and that which is within the letter but not within the spirit is not within the statute. Put a bit differently, that which is within the intent of the lawmaker is as much within the statute as if within the letter, and that which is within the letter of the statute is not within the
statute unless within the intent of the lawmakers. Withal, courts ought not to interpret and should not accept an interpretation that would defeat the intent of the law and its legislators. b. ATONG PAGLAUM, INC. v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, (G) G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013 FACTS: The case constitute 54 Petitions for Certiorari and Petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by 52 party-list groups and organizations assailing the Resolutions issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) disqualifying them from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections, either by denial of their petitions for registration under the party-list system, or cancellation of their registration and accreditation as party-list organizations. Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941) and COMELEC Resolution Nos. 9366 and 9531, approximately 280 groups and organizations registered and manifested their desire to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections December 5, 2012, the COMELEC En Banc affirmed the COMELEC Second Division’s resolution to grant Partido ng Bayan ng Bida’s (PBB) registration and accreditation as a political party in the National Capital Region. However, PBB was denied participation in the elections because PBB does not represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector. 13 petitioners were not able to secure a mandatory injunction from the Court. The COMELEC, on 7 January 2013 issued Resolution No. 9604, and excluded the names of these 13 petitioners in the printing of the official. Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Resolution No. 9513, the COMELEC En Banc scheduled summary evidentiary hearings to determine whether the groups and organizations that filed manifestations of intent to participate in the elections have continually complied with the requirements of R.A. No. 7941 and Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC (Ang Bagong Bayani). 39 petitioners were able to secure a mandatory injunction from the Court, directing the COMELEC to include the names of these 39 petitioners in the printing of the official ballot for the elections. Petitioners prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. This Court issued Status Quo Ante Orders in all petitions. ISSUE: Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the elections. HELD: No, the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in following prevailing decisions in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the coming elections. However, since the Court adopts new parameters in the qualification of the party-list system, thereby abandoning the rulings in the decisions applied by the COMELEC in disqualifying petitioners, we remand to the COMELEC all the present petitions for the COMELEC to determine who are qualified to register under the party-list system, and to participate in the coming elections, under the new parameters prescribed in this Decision. Moreover, Section 5(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution mandates that, during the first three consecutive terms of Congress after the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, "one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector." This provision clearly shows again that the party-list system is not exclusively for sectoral parties for two obvious reasons. First, the other one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives would naturally be open to non-sectoral party-list representatives, clearly negating the idea that the party-list system is exclusively for sectoral parties representing the "marginalized and underrepresented." Second, the reservation of one-half of the party-list seats to sectoral parties applies only for the first "three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution," clearly making the partylist system fully open after the end of the first three congressional terms. This means that, after
this period, there will be no seats reserved for any class or type of party that qualifies under the three groups constituting the party-list system. Hence, the clear intent, express wording, and party-list structure ordained in Section 5(1) and (2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution cannot be disputed: the party-list system is not for sectoral parties only, but also for non-sectoral parties. R.A. No. 7941 does not require national and regional parties or organizations to represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors. To require all national and regional parties under the party-list system to represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" is to deprive and exclude, by judicial fiat, ideology-based and cause-oriented parties from the party-list system. How will these ideology-based and cause-oriented parties, who cannot win in legislative district elections, participate in the electoral process if they are excluded from the party-list system? To exclude them from the party-list system is to prevent them from joining the parliamentary struggle, leaving as their only option the armed struggle. To exclude them from the party-list system is, apart from being obviously senseless, patently contrary to the clear intent and express wording of the 1987 Constitution and R.A. No. 7941 3. Literal import must yield to intent a. AUTOMOTIVE PARTS & EQUIPMENT COMPANY v. JOSE B. LINGAD, (D) G.R. No. L-26406, October 31, 1969 FACTS: In the petition for declaratory relief, the then Secretary of Labor, Jose B. Lingad and the then Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards, Ruben F. Santos being named as respondents, appellant Automotive Parts & Equipment Company, Incorporated alleged that it was duly incorporated on January 5, 1961 and that from the start of its operation, its employees were paid on a daily and monthly basis. April 21, 1965 the aforesaid amendatory act took effect and that respondents construed its provision "in such a way as to require the petitioner to increase the salaries of all the monthly paid employees of the petitioner to a minimum of P180.00 (not P152.00) which according to them is the applicable minimum wage rate for the monthly paid employees. Petitioner sought to justify its refusal to abide by the interpretative bulletin of respondents requiring the increase to a minimum of P180.00 a month for employees paid on a monthly basis in this wise: The petitioner believes that Sec. 19 of R.A. No. 602 particularly that portion prohibiting the reduction of wages paid to employees in excess of the minimum wage established in the Act only refers and applies to employers in business prior to and at the time of enactment Act and that the prohibition thereof against reduction of supplements as envisioned in Sec 19 should not be applied prospectively to employers coming into existence subsequent to the effective date of said Act. The lower court rejected such a contention. Thus: "Sec. 2 of R.A. No. 4180 provides that 'Any provision of law previously enacted on the subject matter of this Act that is inconsistent with any provision of this Act is hereby repealed.' Sec. 19 of R.A. No. 602 not being inconsistent with R.A. No. 4180 has not been repealed; on the other hand, the provisions of Section 19 of R.A. No. 602 not being inconsistent with R.A. No. 4180 were deemed and impliedly re-enacted. ISSUE: Whether or not the lower court decided the matter correctly. HELD: Yes, the lower court decided the matter correctly. Even if the plain legislative purpose so evident on the face of the statute is not to vitalize and implement what the Constitution enjoins, still there is no escape from an equally authoritative principle of statutory construction that bars acceptance on what appellant would foist upon the judiciary as an acceptable interpretation. "It is fundamental that once the policy or purpose of the law has been ascertained, effect should be given to it by the judiciary. From Ty Sue v. Hord, decided in 1909, it has been our constant holding that the choice between conflicting theories falls on that which best accords with the letter of the law and with its purpose. The next year, in an equally leading decision, United States v. Toribio, there was a caveat against a construction that would tend 'to defeat the purpose and object of the legislator.'
If the interpretation offered by appellant would be considered acceptable, then there would be a negation of the above purpose of the amendatory act increasing the minimum wage law. That would be to defeat and frustrate rather than to foster its policy. It must be rejected. b. UNITED STATES v. TORIBIO, (A) 15 Phil. 85 (1910) FACTS: The appellant slaughtered or caused to be slaughtered for human consumption, the carabao, without a permit from the municipal treasure of the municipality wherein it was slaughtered, in violation of the provisions of Act No. 1147, an Act regulating the registration, branding, and slaughter of large cattle. It appears that in the town of Carmen, in the Province of Bohol, wherein the animal was slaughtered there is no municipal slaughterhouse, and counsel for appellant contends that under such circumstances the provisions of Act No. 1147 do not prohibit nor penalize the slaughter of large cattle without a permit of the municipal treasure. It is contended that the proper construction of the language of these provisions limits the prohibition contained in section 30 and the penalty imposed in section 33 to cases (1) of slaughter of large cattle for human consumption in a municipal slaughter without a permit duly secured from the municipal treasurer, and (2) cases of killing of large cattle for food in a municipal slaughterhouse without a permit duly secured from the municipal treasurer; and it is urged that the municipality of Carmen not being provided with a municipal slaughterhouse, neither the prohibition nor the penalty is applicable to cases of slaughter of large cattle without a permit in that municipality. ISSUE: Whether or not the language of these provisions limits the prohibition contained in section 30 and the penalty imposed in section 33 to cases not being provided with a municipal slaughterhouse. HELD: No, The Act primarily seeks to protect the "large cattle" of the Philippine Islands against theft and to make easy the recovery and return of such cattle to their proper owners when lost, strayed, or stolen. If, however, the construction be placed on these sections which is contended for by the appellant, it will readily be seen that all these carefully worked out provisions for the registry and record of the brands and marks of identification of all large cattle in the Islands would prove in large part abortion, since thieves and persons unlawfully in possession of such cattle, and naturally would, evade the provisions of the law by slaughtering them outside of municipal slaughterhouses Where the language of a statute is fairly susceptible of two or more constructions, that construction should be adopted which will most tend to give effect to the manifest intent of the lawmaker and promote the object for which the statute was enacted, and a construction should be rejected which would tend to render abortive other provisions of the statute and to defeat the object which the legislator sought to attain by its enactment. We are of opinion, therefore, that sections 30 and 33 of the Act prohibit and penalize the slaughtering or causing to be slaughtered for human consumption of large cattle at any place without the permit provided for in section 30. c. SY TIONG SHIOU v. SY CHIM and FELICIDAD CHAN SY, (G) G.R. No. 174168, March 30, 2009 FACTS: February 3 2003, Juanita Tan, corporate treasurer of Sy Siy Ho & Sons, Inc. (the corporation), a family corporation doing business under the name and style Guan Yiac Hardware, submitted a letter to the corporation’s Board of Directors (Board) statingthat Felicidad Chan Sy did not make cash deposits to any of the corporation’s banks from 1 November 2001 to 31 January 2003, thus the total bank remittances for the past years were less than reflected in the corporate financial statements, accounting books and records. Finally, Juanita Tan sought to be free from any responsibility over all corporate funds.
April 5, 2003, Banaria, Banaria & Company in its report, the accounting firm attributed to the Spouses Sy P67,117,230.30 as unaccounted receipts and disbursements from 1994 to 2002. April 15, 2003, a demand letter was subsequently served on the Spouses Sy. On the same date, the children of the Spouses Sy allegedly stole from the corporation cash, postdated checks and other important documents. After the incident, the Spouses Sy allegedly transferred residence and ceased reporting to the corporation. Thereupon, the corporation filed a criminal complaint for robbery against the Spouses Sy before the City Prosecutor’s Office of Manila. July 1, 2003, the corporation, through Romer S. Tan, filed its Amended Complaint for Accounting and Damages against the Spouses Sy before the RTC Manila, praying for a complete and true accounting of all the amounts paid to, received and earned by the company since 1993 and for the restitution of the said amount.The complaint also prayed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and or preliminary injunction to restrain Sy Chim from calling a stockholders’ meeting on the ground of lack of authority. September 9, 2003, the Spouses Sy filed their Motion for Leave to File Third-Party Complaint, praying that their attached Third Party Complaint be allowed and admitted against Sy Tiong Shiou and his spouse. In the said third-party complaint, the Spouses Sy accused Sy Tiong Shiou and Juanita Tan as directly liable for the corporation’s claim for misappropriating corporate funds. October 8, 2003, the trial court granted the motion for leave to file the third-party complaint, and forthwith directed the issuance of summons against Sy Tiong Shiou and Juanita Tan. January 16, 2004, their counsel allegedly discovered that Sy Tiong Shiou and Juanita Tan were not furnished with the copies of several pleadings, as well as a court order, which resulted in their having been declared in default for failure to file their answer to the third-party complaint; thus, they instead filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. May 26, 2004, the Court of Appeals granted the petition of Sy Tiong Shiou and Juanita Tan.61The appellate court declared that a third-party complaint is not allowed under the Interim Rules of Procedure Governing Intra-Corporate Controversies Under R.A. No. 8799 (Interim Rules). ISSUE: Whether or not a third-party complaint is prohibited by the Interim Rules. HELD: No, the third-party complaint should be allowed. For while a third-party complaint is not included in the allowed pleadings, neither is it among the prohibited ones. Nevertheless, this conflict may be resolved by following the well-entrenched rule in statutory construction, that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context, i.e., that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. Statutes, including rules, should be construed in the light of the object to be achieved and the evil or mischief to be suppressed and they should be given such construction as will advance the object, suppress the mischief and secure the benefits intended. A statute should therefore be read with reference to its leading idea, and its general purpose and intention should be gathered from the whole act, and this predominant purpose will prevail over the literal import of particular terms or clauses, if plainly apparent, operating as a limitation upon some and as a reason for expanding the signification of others, so that the interpretation may accord with the spirit of the entire act, and so that the policy and object of the statute as a whole may be made effectual and operative to the widest possible extent. Otherwise stated, the spirit, rather than the letter of a law determines its construction; hence, a statute, as in the rules in this case, must be read according to its spirit and intent d. CORNELIA MATABUENA v. PETRONILA CERVANTES, (D) G.R. No. L-28771, March 31, 1971 FACTS: The plaintiff, now appellant Cornelia Matabuena, a sister to the deceased Felix Matabuena, maintains that a donation made while he was living maritally without benefit of marriage to defendant, now appellee Petronila Cervantes, was void.
Defendant would uphold its validity. The lower court, after noting that it was made at a time before defendant was married to the donor, sustained the latter’s stand. November 23, 1965, the lower court, after stating that in plaintiff’s complaint alleging absolute ownership of the parcel of land in question, she specifically raised the question that the donation made by Felix Matabuena to defendant Petronila Cervantes was null and void under the aforesaid article of the Civil Code and that defendant on the other hand did assert ownership precisely because such a donation was made in 1956 and her marriage to the deceased did not take place until 1962, noted that when the case was called for trial on November 19, 1965. The lower court on the above facts was adverse to plaintiff. It reasoned out thus: "A donation under the terms of Article 133 of the Civil Code is void if made between the spouses during the marriage. When the donation was made by Felix Matabuena in favor of the defendant on February 20, 1956, Petronila Cervantes and Felix Matabuena were not yet married. At that time they were not spouses. They became spouses only when they married on March 28, 1962, six years after the deed of donation had been executed." ISSUE: Whether or not the donation is declared void, with the rights of plaintiff and defendant as pro indiviso heirs to the property HELD: Yes, the lack of validity of the donation made by the deceased to defendant Petronila Cervantes does not necessarily result in plaintiff having exclusive right to the disputed property. Prior to the death of Felix Matabuena, the relationship between him and the defendant was legitimated by their marriage on March 28, 1962. She is therefore his widow. As provided for in the Civil Code, she is entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the plaintiff, as the surviving sister, to the other half. It is hardly necessary to add that even in the absence of the above pronouncement, any other conclusion cannot stand the test of scrutiny. It would be to indict the framers of the Civil Code for a failure to apply a laudable rule to a situation which in its essentials cannot be distinguished. Moreover, if it is at all to be differentiated, the policy of the law which embodies a deeply-rooted notion of what is just and what is right would be nullified if such irregular relationship instead of being visited with disabilities would be attended with benefits. Certainly a legal norm should not be susceptible to such a reproach. If there is ever any occasion where the principle of statutory construction that what is within the spirit of the law is as much a part of it as what is written, this is it. Otherwise the basic purpose discernible in such codal provision would not be attained. Whatever omission may be apparent in an interpretation purely literal of the language used must be remedied by an adherence to its avowed objective. e. RESIDENT MARINE MAMMALS OF THE PROTECTED SEASCAPE TANON STRAIT v. SEC. ANGELO REYES, (G) G.R. No. 180771, 21 April 2015 FACTS: June 13, 2002, the Government of the Philippines, acting through the DOE, entered into a Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract-102 (GSEC-102) with JAPEX. This contract involved geological and geophysical studies of the Tañon Strait. May 9 to 18, 2005, JAPEX conducted seismic surveys in and around the Tañon Strait. A multichannel sub-bottom profiling covering approximately 751 kilometers was also done to determine the area's underwater composition. January 31, 2007, the Protected Area Management Board of the Tañon Strait (PAMB-Tañon Strait) issued Resolution No. 2007-001, wherein it adopted the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) commissioned by JAPEX, and favorably recommended the approval of JAPEX's application for an ECC. March 6, 2007, the EMB of DENR Region VII granted an ECC to the DOE and JAPEX for the offshore oil and gas exploration project in Tañon Strait. Months later, on November 16, 2007, JAPEX began to drill an exploratory well, with a depth of 3,150 meters, near Pinamungajan town in the western Cebu Province. This drilling lasted until February 8, 2008.
Petitioners then applied to this Court for redress, via two separate original petitions both dated December 17, 2007, wherein they commonly seek that respondents be enjoined from implementing SC-46 for, among others, violation of the 1987 Constitution. ISSUE: Whether or not the service contract is prohibited on the ground that there is no general law prescribing the standard or uniform terms, conditions, and requirements for service contracts involving oil exploration and extraction. HELD: No, the disposition, exploration, development, exploitation, and utilization of indigenous petroleum in the Philippines are governed by Presidential Decree No. 87 or the Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972. This was enacted by then President Ferdinand Marcos to promote the discovery and production of indigenous petroleum through the utilization of government and/or local or foreign private resources to yield the maximum benefit to the Filipino people and the revenues to the Philippine Government. Contrary to the petitioners' argument, Presidential Decree No. 87, although enacted in 1972, before the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, remains to be a valid law unless otherwise repealed. Moreover, in cases where the statute seems to be in conflict with the Constitution, but a construction that it is in harmony with the Constitution is also possible, that construction should be preferred. This Court, in Pangandaman v. Commission on Elections expounding on this point, pronounced: It is a basic precept in statutory construction that a statute should be interpreted in harmony with the Constitution and that the spirit, rather than the letter of the law determines its construction; for that reason, a statute must be read according to its spirit and intent. Note that while Presidential Decree No. 87 may serve as the general law upon which a service contract for petroleum exploration and extraction may be authorized, as will be discussed below, the exploitation and utilization of this energy resource in the present case may be allowed only through a law passed by Congress, since the Tañon Strait is a NIPAS area. 4. Cessante ratione legis, cessat et ipsa lex a. B/GEN. JOSE COMENDADOR v. GEN. RENATO S. DE VILLA, (G) G.R. No. 93177, August 2, 1991 FACTS: The petitioners are officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines facing prosecution for their alleged participation in the failed coup d' etat that took place on December 1 to 9, 1989. January 14, 1990, a Pre-Trial Investigation (PTI) Panel had been constituted pursuant to Office Order No. 16 to investigate the petitioners. January 30, 1990, the PTI Panel issued a uniform subpoena individually addressed to the petitioners. The petitioners acknowledged receipt of a copy of the charge sheet, sworn statements of witnesses, and death and medical certificates of victims of the rebellion. At the first scheduled hearing, the petitioners challenged the proceedings on various grounds, prompting the PTI Panel to grant them 10 days to file their objections in writing through a Motion for Summary Dismissal. February 27,1990, the PTI Panel denied the motion and gave the petitioners 5 days to submit their respective counter-affidavits and the affidavits of their witnesses. May 15, 1990, the petitioners manifested that they were exercising their right to raise peremptory challenges against the president and members of GCM No.14 by invoking Article 18 of Com. Act No. 408. GCM No. 14 ruled, however, that peremptory challenges had been discontinued under P.D. No.39. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners can manifest the right to peremptory challenge. HELD: Yes, the petitioners have the right to peremptory challenge. The right to peremptory challenge was originally provided under Article 18 of Com. Act No. 408 (Articles of War).
November 7,1972, when President Marcos promulgated P.D. No. 39 (Governing the Creation, Composition, Jurisdiction, Procedure, and other matters relevant to military Tribunals). This decree disallowed the peremptory challenge. January 17,1981, President Marcos issued Proc. No. 2045 proclaiming the termination of the state of martial law throughout the Philippines. With the termination of martial law and the dissolution of the military tribunals created there under, the reason for the existence of P.D. No. 39 ceased automatically. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that when the reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases. Cessante rationelegis, cessat ipsa lex. Applying these rules, we hold that the withdrawal of the right to peremptory challenge in P.D. No. 39 became ineffective when the apparatus of martial law was dismantled with the issuance of Proclamation No.2045, As a result, the old rule embodied in Article 18 of Com. Act No. 408 was automatically revived and now again allows the right to peremptory challenge. 5. Supplying legislative omission a. CARROLL H. LAMB v. W.H. PHIPPS, G.R. No. L-7806, July 12, 1912 FACTS: Lamb was the superintendent of the Iwahig Penal Colony until he resigned on Dec. 31, 1911 due to ill health. Before that he was assigned as provincial treasurer for Marinduque, Mindoro and Laguna. He requested the Auditor General, Phipps, for his clearance certificate (showing that Lamb has accounted for all property and funds under his custody) in order that Lamb may be allowed to leave the Philippines without incurring criminal liability. Phipps, although the records of the Auditor General show that Lamb indeed has settled his accounts, refuses to issue the certificate because a certain Fernandez may bring a civil suit against the government. However the records also show that Fernandez signed the receipt acknowledging payment from the government. The petition for mandamus, asking the SC to compel Phipps to issue the certificate was demurred to by the auditor because it is a suit against the government and the petition states no cause of action. The SC initially asked Lamb to amend his petition but the latter did not do so hence the SC decided the case upon the facts Lamb intended to make. ISSUE: Whether or not mandamus may issue to compel the auditor general to issue the certificate of clearance of Lamb. HELD: No, the certificate of clearance is needed only for bonded government employees and there is no averment that Lamb is a bonded employee other than having custody of government property and funds, however, the SC assumed that Lamb was a bonded officer. We cannot believe that the legislature intended to limit the jurisdiction of this court in mandamus to the cases where there was no other adequate and speedy remedy in the ordinary courts of law. It is our duty, therefore, to give the statute a sensible construction; such as will effectuate the legislative intention and, if possible, avoid an injustice or an absurd conclusion. Clerical errors or misprints, which, if uncorrected, would render the statute unmeaning or nonsensical or would defeat or impair its intended operation, will not vitiate the act; they will be corrected by the court and the statute read as amended, provided the true meaning is obvious, and the real meaning of the legislature is apparent of the face of the whole enactment. It is confidently contended that the Auditor is not obliged under the law to accept a mere paper accounting as final and conclusive as to the real responsibility of Government employees and to issue a clearance upon that alone. He may, it is true, if he is satisfied; but certainly, he may, if he so desires and if he has any doubt about the correctness of such accounts, make an actual examination of the funds and property represented by such paper accounts or balances.
b. GOVERNOR RODOLFO C. FARINAS v. MAYOR ANGELO M. BARBA, G.R. No. 116763, April 19, 1996 FACTS: Carlito B. Domingo was a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. On March 24, 1994, he resigned after going without leave to the United States. To fill the vacancy created by his resignation, a recommendation for the appointment of Edward Palafox was made by the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas but the recommendation was made to Mayor Barba. The resolution, containing the recommendation, was submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte purportedly in compliance with Sec. 56 of the Local Government Code (R.A. No. 7160). The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, purporting to act under this provision of the Local Government Code, disapproved the resolution “for the reason that the authority and power to appoint Sangguniang Bayan members are lodged in the Governor. Accordingly, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan recommended to the Governor the appointment of petitioner Al Nacino. On June 8, 1994, the Governor appointed petitioner Nacino and swore him in office that same day. On the other hand, respondent Mayor Barba appointed respondent Edward Palafox to the same position. June 14, 1994, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Ilocos Norte a petition for quo warranto and prohibition. July 8, 1994 the trial court rendered its decision, upholding the appointment of respondent Palafox by respondent Mayor Barba. ISSUE: Who can appoint the replacement and in accordance with what procedure? HELD: The person who has the power to appoint under such circumstance is the Governor upon the recommendation of the Sangguniang concerned which is the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas where the vacancy occurs. The upshot of this is that in the case at bar, since neither petitioner Al Nacino nor respondent Edward Palafox was appointed in the manner indicated in the preceding paragraph, neither is entitled to the seat in the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte which was vacated by member Carlito B. Domingo. For while petitioner Al Nacino was appointed by the provincial governor, he was not recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas. On the other hand, respondent Edward Palafox was recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan but it was the mayor and not the provincial governor who appointed him. 6. Construction as to avoid absurdity a. REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. HON. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, G.R. No. 137718, July 27, 1999 b. PARAS v. COMELEC, (D) G.R. No. 123169, 4 November 1996 FACTS: Petitioner Danilo E. Paras is the incumbent Punong Barangay of Pula, Cabanatuan City who won during the last regular barangay election in 1994. A petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by the registered voters of the barangay. Acting on the petition for recall, public respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) resolved to approve the petition, scheduled the petition signing on October 14, 1995, and set the recall election on November 13, 1995. At least 29.30% of the registered voters signed the petition, well above the 25% requirement provided by law. The COMELEC, however, deferred the recall election in view of petitioner's opposition. December 6, 1995, the COMELEC set anew the recall election, this time on December 16, 1995. To prevent the holding of the recall election, petitioner filed before the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City a petition for injunction, with the trial court issuing a temporary restraining order. After conducting a summary hearing, the trial court lifted the restraining order, dismissed
the petition and required petitioner and his counsel to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for misrepresenting that the barangay recall election was without COMELEC approval. January 5, 1996, the COMELEC, for the third time, re-scheduled the recall election an January 13, 1996; hence, the instant petition for certiorari with urgent prayer for injunction. January 12, 1996, the Court issued a temporary restraining order and required the Office of the Solicitor General, in behalf of public respondent, to comment on the petition. Petitioner's argument is simple and to the point. Citing Section 74 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, which states that "no recall shall take place within one (1) year from the date of the official's assumption to office or one (1) year immediately preceding a regular local election", petitioner insists that the scheduled January 13, 1996 recall election is now barred as the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election was set by Republic Act No. 7808 on the first Monday of May 1996, and every three years thereafter. ISSUE: Whether or not the recall election is valid. HELD: No, the recall is not valid. It is a rule in statutory construction that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to the context,i.e., that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. 4 The evident intent of Section 74 is to subject an elective local official to recall election once during his term of office. Paragraph (b) construed together with paragraph (a) merely designates the period when such elective local official may be subject of a recall election, that is, during the second year of his term of office. Thus, subscribing to petitioner's interpretation of the phrase regular local election to include the SK election will unduly circumscribe the novel provision of the Local Government Code on recall, a mode of removal of public officers by initiation of the people before the end of his term. And if the SK election which is set by R.A No. 7808 to be held every three years from May 1996 were to be deemed within the purview of the phrase "regular local election", as erroneously insisted by petitioner, then no recall election can be conducted rendering inutile the recall provision of the Local Government Code. Petitioner's too literal interpretation of the law leads to absurdity which we cannot countenance. Thus, in a case, the Court made the following admonition: We admonish against a too-literal reading of the law as this is apt to constrict rather than fulfill its purpose and defeat the intention of its authors. That intention is usually found not in "the letter that killeth but in the spirit that vivifieth. The spirit, rather than the letter of a law determines its construction; hence, a statute, as in this case, must be read according to its spirit and intent. 7. Construction in favor of right and justice a. KAREN E. SALVACION v. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, CHINA BANKING CORPORATION and GREG BARTELLI y NORTHCOTT, G.R. No. 94723, August 21, 1997 FACTS: Karen E. Salvacion, herein petitioner, then 12 years old, was coaxed and lured by private respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott to go with him in his apartment, where she was detained for four days from February 4 to 7, 1989; and was raped 10 times (once on February 4 and 3 times a day from February 5-7). Aside from the criminal case for serious illegal detention and 4 counts of rape filed by the Makati investigating fiscal, the petitioner along with her parents, file in Regional Trial Court (RTC) a civil case for damages with preliminary attachment against Bartelli, which the court then granted. A notice of garnishment was served to China Banking Corporation, where the dollar account of the private respondent was deposited, by the Deputy Sheriff of Makati. But respondent bank invoking Republic Act No. 1405 as its answer to the notice of garnishment served on it and later on invoked Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960, to the effect that the dollar deposits of defendant Greg Bartelli are exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body. In a letter in response to the inquiry of the counsel of petitioners to Central Bank, it is stated that the
provision in Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 is absolute in application and that it does not admit of any exception, nor has the same been repealed nor amended. March 29, 1990, after hearing the case ex-parte, the court rendered judgment in favor of petitioners, Petitioners tried to execute on Bartelli’s dollar deposit. ISSUES: Whether the dollar bank deposit of Greg Bartelli in China Bank Corporation be exempted from attachment, garnishment or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body HELD: No, the provisions of Section 133 of CB Circular No. 960 are hereby held to be inapplicable to this case because of its peculiar circumstances and the Court requires respondents to comply with the writ to execution and to release to petitioners the dollar deposit of respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott in such amount as would justify the judgment. In fine, the application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually, if we rule that the questioned Section 113 of CB Circular No 960 which exempts from attachment, garnishment or any other order or process of any court. Legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, injustice would result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guessed like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides that in case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended for right and justice to prevail. Simply stated, when the statute is silent or ambiguous, this is one of those fundamental solutions that would respond to the vehement urge of conscience. 8. Law does not require the impossible a. PEDRO T. SANTOS, JR. v. PNOC, G.R. No. 170943, September 23, 2008 FACTS: December 23, 2002, PNOC Exploration Corporation, respondent, filed a complaint for a sum of money against petitioner Pedro Santos Jr. in the RTC of Pasig. The amount sought to be collected was the petitioner’s unpaid balance of the car loan advanced to him by respondent when he was still a member of its board of directors. Personal service of summons were made to petitioner but failed because the latter cannot be located in his last known address despite earnest efforts to do so. Subsequently, on respondent’s motion, the trial court allowed service of summons by publication. Respondent caused the publication of the summons in Remate, a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. Thereafter, respondent submitted the affidavit of publication and the affidavit of service of respondent’s employee to the effect that he sent a copy of the summons by registered mail to petitioner’s last known address. Petitioner still failed to answer within the prescribed period despite the publication of summons. Hence, respondent filed a motion for the reception of its evidence ex parte. Trial court granted said motion and proceeded with the ex parte presentation and formal offer of its evidence. Petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and to Admit Attached Answer, alleging that the affidavit of service submitted by respondent failed to comply with Section 19, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court as it was not executed by the clerk of court. Trial court denied the said motion and held that the rules did not require such execution with the clerk of court. It also denied the motion to admit petitioner’s answer because the same was filed way beyond the reglementary period. Petitioner appeals to the CA via a petition for certiorari contending that the court committed grave abuse of discretion since it has no jurisdiction due to improper service of summons, failure to furnish him with copies of its orders and processes and upholding technicality over equity and justice. ISSUE: Whether or not there was a failure on the part of the trial court to furnish Petitioner with copies of orders and processes issued in the course of the proceedings
HELD: No, Santos failed to file an answer in time, which is why he had to file an Omnibus Motion to Admit Attached Answer. The disputed order of September 11, 2003 was a finding that the Santos was in default for failure to file an answer or pleading within the period fixed. It is illogical to notify him of the order simply on account of the reality that he was no longer residing and/or found on his last known address and his whereabouts unknown thus the publication of summons. Santos could not reasonably demand that copies of orders and processes be furnished him. His residence or whereabouts is not known and he cannot be located. In the case at bar, there is obviously no way notice can be sent to him and the notice requirement cannot apply to him. The law does not require that the impossible be done. Nemo tenetur ad impossible. The law obliges no one to perform an impossibility. Laws and rules must be interpreted in a way that they are in accordance with logic, common sense, reason and practicability. Be that as it may, a copy of the September 11, 2003 order was still mailed to him at his last known address but it was unclaimed. 9. Number and gender of words a. SANTILLON v. MIRANDA, G.R. No. 19281, June 30, 1965 FACTS: November 21, 1953, Pedro Santillon died without testament in Tayug, Pangasinan, his residence, leaving one son, Claro Santillon, and his wife, Perfecta Miranda. During his marriage, Pedro acquired several parcels of land located in that province. Four years after his death, Claro Santillon filed a petition for letters of administration. Opposition to said petition was entered by the widow Perfecta Miranda and the spouses Benito U. Miranda and Rosario Corrales on the following grounds: (a) that the properties enumerated in the petition were all conjugal, except three parcels which Perfecta Miranda claimed to be her exclusive properties; (b) that Perfecta Miranda by virtue of two documents had conveyed 3/4 of her undivided share in most of the properties enumerated in the petition to said spouses Benito and Rosario; (c) that administration of the estate was not necessary, there being a case for partition pending; and (d) that if administration was necessary at all, the oppositor Perfecta Miranda and not the petitioner was better qualified for the post. It appears that subsequently, oppositor Perfecta Miranda was appointed administrator of the estate. March 22, 1961, the court appointed commissioners to draft within sixty days, a project of partition and distribution of all the properties of the deceased Pedro Santillon. April 25, 1961, Claro filed a "Motion to Declare Share of Heirs" and to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties with respect to their respective rights in the estate. Invoking Art. 892 of the New Civil Code, he insisted that after deducting 1/2 from the conjugal properties is the conjugal share of Perfecta, the remaining 1/2 must be divided as follows: 1/4 for her and 3/4 for him. Oppositor Perfecta, on the other hand, claimed that besides her conjugal half, she was entitled under Art. 996 of the New Civil Code to another 1/2 of the remaining half. In other words, Claro claimed 3/4 of Pedro's inheritance, while Perfecta claimed 1/2. June 28, 1961, the court issued an order, the dispositive portion of which is hereby ruled and ordered that in the intestate succession of the deceased Pedro Santillon, the surviving spouse Perfecta Miranda shall inherit ONE-HALF (1/2) share and the remaining ONE-HALF (1/2) share for the only son, Atty. Claro Santillon. This is after deducting the share of the widow as co-owner of the conjugal properties. ISSUE: Whether or not the word “children” in Art. 996 can also be interpreted as “child” in accordance with Art. 892? HELD: Yes, it is a maxim of statutory construction that words in plural include the singular. So Art. 996 could or should be read (and so applied) : "If the widow or widower and a legitimate child are left, the surviving spouse has the same share as that of the child." Indeed, if we refuse to apply the article to this case on the ground that "child" is not included in "children," the consequences would be tremendous, because "children" will not include "child".
Our conclusion (equal shares) seems a logical inference from the circumstance that whereas Article 834 of the Spanish Civil Code, from which Art. 996 was taken, contained two paragraphs governing two contingencies, the first, where the widow or widower survives with legitimate children (general rule), and the second, where the widow or widower survives with only one child (exception), Art. 996 omitted to provide for the second situation, thereby indicating the legislator's desire to promulgate just one general rule applicable to both situations. b. SNYDER’S ESTATE V. DENIT, 72 A2D 757, 18 ALR2D 663 (1950) C. IMPLICATIONS 1. Necessary implication a. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR) v. UNITED PLANNERS CONSULTANTS , INC., G.R. No. 212081, February 23, 2015 FACTS: July 26, 1993 - Petitioner, through the Land Management Bureau (LMB), entered into an Agreement for Consultancy Services (Consultancy Agreement) with respondent United Planners Consultants, Inc. in connection with the LMB’s Land Resource Management Master Plan Project (LRMMP). Under the Consultancy Agreement, petitioner committed to pay a total contract price of P4,337,141.00, based on a predetermined percentage corresponding to the particular stage of work accomplished. December 1994 - Respondent completed the work required, which petitioner formally accepted on December 27, 1994. However, petitioner was able to pay only 47% of the total contract price in the amount of P2,038,456.30. October 25, 1994 - The Commission on Audit (COA) released the Technical Services Office Report (TSO) finding the contract price of the Agreement to be 84.14% excessive. This notwithstanding, petitioner, in a letter dated December 10, 1998, acknowledged its liability to respondent in the amount of P2,239,479.60 and assured payment at the soonest possible time. For failure to pay its obligation under the Consultancy Agreement despite repeated demands, respondent instituted a Complaint against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Due to the existence of Arbitration clause, the respondent moved for the issue to be tried through arbitration. The Arbitral Tribunal rendered its Award dated May 7, 2010 (Arbitral Award) in favor of respondent Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. Arbitral Tribunal claimed that it had already lost jurisdiction over the case after it had submitted to the RTC its Report together with a copy of the Arbitral Award March 30, 2011, the RTC merely noted petitioner’s aforesaid motions, finding that copies of the Arbitral Award appear to have been sent to the parties by the Arbitral Tribunal, including the OSG, contrary to petitioner’s claim. On the other hand, the RTC confirmed the Arbitral Award pursuant to Rule 11.2 (A)36 of the Special ADR Rules and ordered petitioner to pay respondent the costs of confirming the award, as prayed for, in the total amount of P50,000.00. From this order, petitioner did not file a motion for reconsideration. June 15, 2011 - Respondent moved for the issuance of a writ of execution, to which no comment/opposition was filed by petitioner despite the RTC’s directive therefor. In an Order dated September 12, 2011, the RTC granted respondent’s motion. Petitioner moved to quash the writ of execution, positing that respondent was not entitled to its monetary claims. It also claimed that the issuance of said writ was premature since the RTC should have first resolved its May 19, 2010 Motion for Reconsideration and June 1, 2010 Manifestation and Motion, and not merely noted them, thereby violating its right to due process. In an Order dated July 9, 2012, the RTC denied petitioner’s motion to quash. July 12, 2012 - Petitioner received the RTC’s Order dated July 9, 2012 denying its motion to quash. Dissatisfied, it filed on September 10, 2012 a petition for certiorari before the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 126458, averring in the main that the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion in confirming and ordering the execution of the Arbitral Award. March 26, 2014 - The CA dismissed the certiorari petition on two (2) grounds, namely: (a) the petition essentially assailed the merits of the Arbitral Award which is prohibited under Rule 19 of
the Special ADR Rules and (b) the petition was filed out of time, having been filed way beyond 15 days from notice of the RTC’s July 9, 2012 Order, in violation of Rule 19.2852 in relation to Rule 19.853 of said Rules which provide that a special civil action for certiorari must be filed before the CA within 15 days from notice of the judgment, order, or resolution sought to be annulled or set aside (or until July 27, 2012). Aggrieved, petitioner filed the instant petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in applying the provisions of the Special ADR Rules, resulting in the dismissal of petitioner’s special civil action for certiorari. HELD: The petition is DENIED, Republic Act No. (RA) 9285, otherwise known as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004,” institutionalized the use of an Alternative Dispute Resolution System (ADR System) in the Philippines. The Act, however, was without prejudice to the adoption by the Supreme Court of any ADR system as a means of achieving speedy and efficient means of resolving cases pending before all courts in the Philippines. May 7, 2010, the Arbitral Tribunal rendered the Arbitral Award in favor of respondent. Under Section 17.2, Rule 17 of the CIAC Rules, no motion for reconsideration or new trial may be sought, but any of the parties may file a motion for correction of the final award, which shall interrupt the running of the period for appeal, Moreover, the parties may appeal the final award to the CA through a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. b. SUGBUANON RURAL BANK, INC. v. HON. UNDERSECRETARY BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, G.R. No. 116194, February 2, 2000 FACTS: Association of professional supervisory office and technical Employees Union, a labor organization affiliated with the trade Union Congress of the Philippines (APSOTEU-TUCP) file petition for certification election of supervisory employees of SRBI. The med-arbiter set the certification election conference between SRBI and APSOTEU-TUCP. SRBI filed a motion to dismiss the union’s petition. Respondent members were not managerial employees but supervisory employees which are allowed to join, form or assist their own union (art 245 labor code). Med-arbiter denied the motion. SRBI appealed to the secretary of labor and employment about the med-arbiter's decision, but then secretary denied. Med-arbiter scheduled the certification election, the SRBI filed a motion to suspend but then, it was denied. SRBI seeking the cancellation of the respondents union registration before Dole regional office; argued that APSOTEU-TUCP members are managerial and confidential employees who were prohibited from joining, organizing unions, but then dole denied. Then SRBI filed petition for certiorari and prohibition before the court for the annulment of the resolution of dole in favor of the order of med-arbiter w/c denied petitioner's motion to dismiss respondent union's petition for cert. election. ISSUES: 1.) Whether or not the members of the union are managerial and or highly placed confidential employees. 2.) Whether or not the med-arbiter may validly order the holding of a certification of election upon the filing of a petition for certification by a registered union despite the petitioner's appeal. HELD: Court denied the Petition. Art 212 Labor Code defines managerial and supervisory employees. Petitioner failed to show that the employees in question recommend the hiring and appointing of his subordinates well as the power to recommend any promotions and or increase salaries, and other powers such as
transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, discharge, assign or discipline. Cashiers, accountants, and acting chief loans department of Art 245 of labor code does not directly prohibit confidential employees from engaging in union activities. However, in doctrine of necessary implication the disqualification of managerial employees equally applies to confidential employees. Petitioner does not state who among the employees has access to information specifically relating to its labor and relation policies. 2. Grant of power includes incidental power a. CARMELO F. LAZATIN v. HRET, G.R. No. 84297, December 8, 1988 FACTS: During the canvassing of votes, Private respondent Lorenzo Timbol objected to the inclusion of certain election returns. But since the Municipal Board of Canvassers did not rule on his objections, he brought his case to the Commission on Elections. On May 19, 1987, the COMELEC ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers to suspend the proclamation of the winning candidate for the first district of Pampanga. However, on May 26, 1987, the COMELEC ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proceed with the canvassing of votes and to proclaim the winner. On May 27, 1987, petitioner was proclaimed as Congressman-elect. Private respondent thus filed in the COMELEC a petition to declare petitioners proclamation void ab initio. Later, private respondent also filed a petition to prohibit petitioner from assuming office. The COMELEC failed to act on the second petition so petitioner was able to assume office on June 30, 1987. On September 15, 1987, the COMELEC declared petitioner's proclamation void ab initio. Court set aside the COMELEC's revocation of petitioner's proclamation. On February 8, 1988, private respondent filed in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. Petitioner argued that the private respondent’s protest had been filed late citing Sec 250 of the Omnibus Election Code. However the HRET filed that the protest had been filed on time in accordance with Sec 9 of the HRET Rules. ISSUE: Whether or not the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal has jurisdiction over the case? HELD: Yes, the court ruled that the petitioner’s reliance on Sec 250 of the Omnibus Election Code is misplaced. The COMELEC’s exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and city officials and appellate jurisdiction over contests relating to the election of municipal and barangay officials [Art. IX(C), Sec. 2(2)]. expressly makes the Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and the House of Representatives the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of their respective Members [Art. VI, Sec. 17]. The power of the HRET, as the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives, to promulgate rules and regulations relative to matters within its jurisdiction, including the period for filing election protests before it, is beyond dispute. Its rule-making power necessarily flows from the general power granted it by the Constitution. This is the import of the ruling in the landmark case of Angara v. Electoral Commission It is a settled rule of construction that where a general power is conferred or duly enjoined, every particular power necessary for the exercise of the one or the performance of the other is also conferred (Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, eighth ed., vol. 1, pp. 138, 139). In the absence of any further constitutional provision relating to the procedure to be followed in filing protests before the Electoral Commission, therefore, the incidental power to promulgate such rules necessary for the proper exercise of its exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, must be deemed by necessary implication to have been lodged also in the Electoral Commission. The inescapable conclusion from the foregoing is that it is well within the power of the HRET to prescribe the period within which protests may be filed before it. This is founded not only on
historical precedents and jurisprudence but, more importantly, on the clear language of the Constitution itself. Consequently, private respondent's election protest having been filed within the period prescribed by the HRET, the latter cannot be charged with lack of jurisdiction to hear the case. b. CEMCO HOLDINGS, INC. v. NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., G.R. No. 171815, August 7, 2007 FACTS: Union Cement Corporation (UCC) has two principal stockholders UCHC with shares amounting to 60.51%, and petitioner Cemco with 17.03%. Majority of UCHCs stocks were owned by BCI with 21.31% and ACC with 29.69%. Cemco, on the other hand, owned 9% of UCHC stocks. BCI informed the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that it and its subsidiary ACC had passed resolutions to sell to Cemco the BCIs stocks in UCHC equivalent to 21.31% and ACCs stocks in UCHC equivalent to 29.69%. as a result of petitioner Cemcos acquisition of BCI and ACCs shares in UCHC, petitioners total beneficial ownership, direct and indirect, in UCC has increased by 36% and amounted to at least 53% of the shares of UCC. As a consequence the PSE, inquired to SEC as to whether the Tender Offer Rule under Rule 19 of the Implementing Rules of the Securities Regulation Code is not applicable to the purchase by petitioner of the majority of shares of UCC.The SECs Corporate Finance Department responded to the query of the PSE that while it was the stance of the department that the tender offer rule was not applicable, the matter must still have to be confirmed by the SEC en banc. Thereafter, SEC confirmed that the SEC en banc had resolved that the Cemco transaction was not covered by the tender offer rule. Feeling aggrieved by the transaction, respondent National Life Insurance Company of the Philippines, Inc., a minority stockholder of UCC, sent a letter to Cemco demanding the latter to comply with the rule on mandatory tender offer. Cemco, however, refused. Respondent filed a complaint with the SEC asking it to reverse its Resolution and to declare the purchase agreement of Cemco void and praying that the mandatory tender offer rule be applied to its UCC shares. In a Decision the SEC ruled in favor of the respondent by reversing and setting aside its Resolution and directed petitioner Cemco to make a tender offer for UCC shares to respondent and other holders of UCC shares similar to the class held by UCHC in accordance with Section 9(E), Rule 19 of the Securities Regulation Code. Petitioner filed a petition with the Court of Appeals challenging the SECs jurisdiction to take cognizance of respondents complaint and its authority to require Cemco to make a tender offer for UCC shares, and arguing that the tender offer rule does not apply. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming the ruling of the SEC. ISSUE: Whether or not, the SEC has jurisdiction over respondent’s complaint. HELD: Yes, The Court affirmed the decision of the CA. SEC was acting pursuant to Rule 19(13) of the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities Regulation Code, to wit: 13. Violation If there shall be violation of this Rule by pursuing a purchase of equity shares of a public company at threshold amounts without the required tender offer, the Commission, upon complaint, may nullify the said acquisition and direct the holding of a tender offer. This shall be without prejudice to the imposition of other sanctions under the Code. The foregoing rule emanates from the SECs power and authority to regulate, investigate or supervise the activities of persons to ensure compliance with the Securities Regulation Code, more specifically the provision on mandatory tender offer under Section 19 thereof. Another provision of the statute, which provides the basis of Rule 19(13) of the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Securities Regulation Code, is Section 5.1(n), viz: [T]he Commission shall have, among others, the following powers and functions: xxx
(n) Exercise such other powers as may be provided by law as well as those which may be implied from, or which are necessary or incidental to the carrying out of, the express powers granted the Commission to achieve the objectives and purposes of these laws. The foregoing provision bestows upon the SEC the general adjudicative power which is implied from the express powers of the Commission or which is incidental to, or reasonably necessary to carry out, the performance of the administrative duties entrusted to it. As a regulatory agency, it has the incidental power to conduct hearings and render decisions fixing the rights and obligations of the parties. And as held by the Court of Appeals: We must bear in mind in interpreting the powers and functions of the SEC that the law has made the SEC primarily a regulatory body with the incidental power to conduct administrative hearings and make decisions. A regulatory body like the SEC may conduct hearings in the exercise of its regulatory powers, and if the case involves violations or conflicts in connection with the performance of its regulatory functions, it will have the duty and authority to resolve the dispute for the best interests of the public c. ACEBEDO OPTICAL COMPANY, INC. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. No. 100152, March 31, 2000 FACTS: Petitioner Acebedo Optical Company, Inc. applied for a business permit to operate in Iligan City. After hearing the sides of local optometrists, Mayor Camilo Cabili of Iligan granted the permit but he attached various special conditions which basically made Acebedo dependent upon prescriptions or limitations to be issued by local optometrists. Petitioner basically is not allowed to practice optometry within the city (but may sell glasses only). Acebedo however acquiesced to the said conditions and operated under the permit. Private respondent Samahan ng Optometrist Sa Pilipinas (SOPI), Iligan Chapter, lodged a complaint against the petitioner before the Office of the City Mayor, alleging that Acebedo had violated the conditions set forth in its business permit and requesting the cancellation and/or revocation of such permit. Acting on such complaint, then City Mayor conduct an investigation through the City Legal Officer on the matter. Respondent City Legal Officer submitted a report to the City Mayor finding the herein petitioner guilty of violating all the conditions of its business permit and recommending the disqualification of petitioner from operating its business in Iligan City. ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent city mayor acted beyond his authority in imposing the special conditions in the permit HELD: Yes, the power to issue licenses and permits necessarily includes the corollary power to revoke, withdraw or cancel the same. And the power to revoke or cancel, likewise includes the power to restrict through the imposition of certain conditions. In the case of Austin-Hardware, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, it was held that the power to license carries with it the authority to provide reasonable terms and conditions under which the licensed business shall be conducted. As the Solicitor General puts it: "If the City Mayor is empowered to grant or refuse to grant a license, which is a broader power, it stands to reason that he can also exercise a lesser power that is reasonably incidental to his express power, i. e. to restrict a license through the imposition of certain conditions, especially so that there is no positive prohibition to the exercise of such prerogative by the City Mayor, nor is there any particular official or body vested with such authority" However, Distinction must be made between the grant of a license or permit to do business and the issuance of a license to engage in the practice of a particular profession. The first is usually granted by the local authorities and the second is issued by the Board or Commission tasked to regulate the particular profession. A business permit authorizes the person, natural or otherwise, to engage in business or some form of commercial activity. A professional license, on the other hand, is the grant of authority to a natural person to engage in the practice or exercise of his or her profession.
In the case at bar, what is sought by petitioner from respondent City Mayor is a permit to engage in the business of running an optical shop. It does not purport to seek a license to engage in the practice of optometry as a corporate body or entity, although it does have in its employ, persons who are duly licensed to practice optometry by the Board of Examiners in Optometry. A business permit is issued primarily to regulate the conduct of business and the City Mayor cannot, through the issuance of such permit, regulate the practice of a profession, like that of optometry. Such a function is within the exclusive domain of the administrative agency specifically empowered by law to supervise the profession, in this case the Professional Regulations Commission and the Board of Examiners in Optometry. The regulatory power to issue licenses or permits extends only up to the regulation of a business and not in the regulation of a profession. Therefore, the acts of the mayor are ultra vires and cannot be given effect. 3. What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly a. TAWANG MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE v. LA TRINIDAD WATER DISTRICT, G.R. No. 166471, March 22, 2011 FACTS: Petitioner Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) was organized to provide domestic water services in Brgy. Twang, La Trinidad, Benguet. Respondent La Trinidad Water District (LTWD) is a government owned and controlled corporation, a local water utility created under PD No. 198, authorized to supply water for domestic, industrial and commercial purpose within municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet. October 9, 2000, TMPC filed with National Water Resources Board an application for Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) to operate and maintain a waterworks system in Brgy. Tawang LTWD claimed that under Sec. 47 of PD No. 198, as amended, its franchise is exclusive. August 15, 2002, the NWRB held that LTWD’s franchise cannot be exclusive since exclusive franchises are unconstitutional under Sec. 2, Art. XII. October 1, 2004, upon appeal of LTWD to the RTC, the latter cancelled TMPC’s CPC and held that Sec. 47 of PD No. 198 is valid; that the ultimate purpose of the Constitution is for the State, through its authorized agencies or instrumentalities, to be able to keep and maintain ultimate control and supervision over the operation of public utilities. What is repugnant to the Constitution is a grant of franchise exclusive in character so as to preclude the State itself from granting a franchise to any other person or entity than the present grantee when public interest so requires. November 6, 2004, RTC denied the motion for reconsideration filed by TMPC. ISSUE: Whether RTC erred in holding that Sec. 47 of PD No. 198 is valid HELD: Yes, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of petitioner. Quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per obliquum – Those that cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly. Under Sec. 2 and 11, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution, The President, Congress, and Court cannot create indirectly franchises that are exclusive in character by allowing the Board of Directors (BOD) of a water district and Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to create franchises that are exclusive in character. Sec. 47 of PD no. 198 is in conflict with the abovementioned provision of the Constitution. And the rule is that in case of conflict between the Constitution and a statute, the former prevails, because the constitution is the basic law to which all other laws must conform to.