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STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION

Ateneo Law School


A.Y. 2016-2017
Atty. Jun Pilares
Grading System: Recitation/Quizzes: 1/3; Midterm Exam: 1/3; Final
Exam: 1/3
General Instructions:
1. Read all prescribed cases in the original.
2. No coaching/ prompting.
3. Additional cases/ reading materials may be assigned in the course of
the semester.
I. INTRODUCTION
A. Definition of Statutory Construction
a. Caltex v. Palomar, G.R. No.L-19650, 29 September 1966
B. When construction is necessary
b. People v. Mapa, G.R. No. L-22301, 30 August 1967
c. Daoang v. Municipal Judge, G.R. No. L-34568, March 28,
1988
C. Characteristics of Construction
1. Art or process
2. involves determination of legislative intent
3. necessary when legislative intent cannot be readily
ascertained
from the words used in the law as
applied under a set of facts
d. Alonzo v. IAC, G.R. No.72873, 28 May 1987
e. Tarlac Development Corp. v. CA, L-41012, 30
September 1976
f. Ramirez v Court of Appeals, 248 SCRA 590
4. judicial function
g. Endencia v. David, G.R. Nos. L-6355-56, 31
August 1953
h. Conde v. IAC, G.R. No. 70443, 15 September
1986
D. Purpose of construction; limits on the power of construction
1. Purpose of construction; determine legislative intent

i. People v. Concepcion, 44 Phil. 126 (29


November 1922)
2. Limitation on the power of courts to construe
j. Tanada v. Yulo, G.R. No. 43575, 31 May 1935
k. Floresca v. Philex, G.R. No. L-30642, April 30,
1985
E. Related legal principles
1.
2.
3.
4.

Separation of Powers
Checks and balances
Hierarchy of laws (Civil Code, Art. 7)
Stare decisis (Civil Code, Art. 8)

II. SUBJECT MATTER OF CONSTRUCTION


A. Subject of Construction; Types of Laws
1.
2.
3.
4.

Constitution
Statutes
Executive issuances
Ordinances

B. Parts of a Statute
1. Title
l. Art. VI, Sec. 26(1), 1987 Constitution
m. Government of the Phil. Islands v. HSBC, G.R.
No. 44257,
22 November
1938
2. Preamble
n. Eugenio v. Drilon, G.R. No. 109404, 22 January
1996
3. Enacting Clause
4. Body
5. Repealing Clause
6. Separability Clause
o. Antonio v. Miranda, G.R. No. 135869, 22
September 1999
p. Tatad v. DOE, G.R. No. 124360, 3 December
1997
7. Effectivity Clause
q. Taada v. Tuvera, G.R. No. 63915, 24 April 1985
r. Taada v. Tuvera, G.R. No. L-63915, 29
December 1986

III. LEGISLATIVE INTENT; VERBA LEGIS AND RATIO LEGIS


A. Verbal Legis v. Ratio Legis
1. Verbal egis; literal interpretation
s. Tanada v. Yulo (supra);
t. Globe-Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation v.
NLRC and
Salazar, G.R. No. 82511, 3
March 1992
2. Ratio legis; spirit of the law
u. Alonzo v. IAC, (supra)
v. Salvacion v. Central Bank, G.R. No. 94723,
21 August 1997;
w. People v. Purisima, G.R. No. L-42050-66, 20
November 1978
x. Matabuena v. Cervantes, 38 SCRA 284 (31
March 1971)
B. When is construction necessary?
y. Del Mar v. PAGCOR et.al., G.R. No. 138298, 29
November 2000
z. Ramirez v. Court of Appeals (supra)
C. Clerical error
aa.
Lopez & Sons, Inc. v. Court of Tax
Appeals, G.R. No. L-9274, 1 February 1957
IV. PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION
A. General Policies on Construction
ab.
Philippines American Drug Co., v. CIR, L13032, 31 August 1959
ac.NAPOLCOM v. De Guzman, G.R. No. 106724, 9
February 1994
ad.
Tanada v. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446 (supra)
- City of Naga v. Agna, 71
SCRA 285

B. General Principles/ Presumptions on the Interpretation of


Certain
Statutes
1. Penal Laws
ae.
Centeno v. Villalon Pornillos, G.R. No.
113092, 1 September
1994
af. U.S. v. Go Chico, G.R. No. 4963, 15 September
1909
2. Tax Laws
ag.
Marinduque Iron Mines v. Municipal
Council, G.R. No. L18924, 30 June 1964
ah.
NPC v. City of Cabanatuan, G.R. No.
149110, 9 April 2003
3. Social Legislation
ii.
International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v.
Secretary, G.R. No. 92981, 9 January 1992
4. Rules of Court
jj. Office of the Court Administrator v. Garong, A.M.
No. P99-1311, 15
August 2001
ak.
Provincial Sheriff of Rizal v. CA, et.al.,
G.R. No. L-22606, 12 December 1975

10

5. Law on adoption
ll. Duncan v. Court of First Instance, G.R. No.L-30576,
February 1976
6. Local Government/ Local Autonomy
mm. San Juan v. CSC, G.R. No. 92299, 19 April 1991

7. Constitution (additional cases to follow)


nn. Bagong Bayani v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 147589, 26
June
2011
oo. Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, 3
February
1997
pp. Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No.
160261, 10
November 2003
qq. de Castro v. JBC, G.R. No. 191002, 17 March 2010
(read also
resolution on the MR dated 20 April 2010)
- Chavez v. JBC, G.R. No. 202242, 17 July 2012

V. INTRINSIC AIDS OF CONSTRUCTION


A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.

Law construed as a whole and in relation to other laws


rr. Caudal v. CA, G.R. No. 83414, 31 July 1989
Title of the law
ss. City of Baguio v. Marcos, G.R. No. 26100, 27 SCRA 342
Preamble
tt. People v. Purisima, G.R. No. 42050, 20 November 1978
Punctuation marks
uu. Florentino v. PNB, 98 Phil. 959 (1956)
Headnotes or epigraphs
vv. People v. Yabut, 58 Phil. 499 (1933)
Conflicting provisions
ww. Manila Railroad Co. v. Collector, 52 Phil. 950
Meaning of word qualified by purpose of the statute
xx. David v. CA, 161 SCRA 114 (1988)
Words construed in their ordinary sense
yy. Collector v. Manila Lodge No. 761, 105 Phil. 983 (1957)
General words construed generally
zz. Gatchalian v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 32560, 22 October

1970)
J. Use of generic words include things that arise after
enactment of the
law - progressive interpretation
Aaa. Geotina v. CA, G.R. No. 33500, 30 August 1971)
K. Words and phrases construed in relation to other provisions
Bbb. Claudio v. COMELEC, 331 SCRA 388 (2000)
L. Where the law does not distinguish
ccc. Pilar v. COMELEC, 245 SCRA 759 (1995)
M. Use of technical terms
- Manila Herald Publishing v. Ramos, 88 Phil. 94 (1951)
N. Use of associated words
- Buenaseda v. Secretary Flavier,G.R. No. 106719, 21
September
1991
- Mutuc v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 32717, 36 SCRA 288
- Cagayan Valley Enterprises v. CA, 179 SCRA 218)
O. Express mention and implied exclusion
- Sarmiento III v. Mison, 156 SCRA 549 (1987);
P. Necessary implication
- Pepsi Cola Products Phils., Inc. v. Secretary of Labor, G.R.
No.
96663, 10 August 1999)
Q. Cassus Omissus
- People v. Manantan, 115 Phil. 657 (1962))
R. Each to each
- People v. Tamani, G.R. No. 22160, 21 January 1974)
S. Relative and qualifying terms
- Mapa v. Arroyo, 175 SCRA 76)
5

T. Context and related clauses


-Paras v. COMELEC, 264 SCRA 49)
U. Use of punctuation marks
- U.S. v. Hart, 26 Phil. 149)
V. Words and Phrases:
1. Proviso
- Mercado et.al. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 79869, 5
September 1991)
2. Including
- Sterling Selections Corporation v. LLDA, G.R. No.
171427,
30 March 2011)
3. Negative vs affirmative words
- In re McGee v. Republic, G.R. No. L-5387, 29 April
1954)
4. Mandatory v permissive
- Bersabal v. Salvador, G.R. No. L-35910, 21 July 1978
- Diokno v. Rehabilitation Finance Corp., 91 Phil
608 (1952)
5. and/or
- RMBSA v. HDMF, G.R. No. 131082, 19 June 2000
VI. EXTRINSIC AIDS OF CONSTRUCTION
A. Contemporaneous Circumstances
- Manila Jockey Club, Inc. v. GAB, G.R. No. L-12727, 29
February 1960
B. Legislative History
- Commissioner v. Esso, G.R. No. L-28329, 7 August 1975
- Filipinas Life Assurance Company v. Court of Tax Appeals,
G.R. No. L21258, 31 October 1967
C. Legislative Debates and Committee Reports
- Manila Jockey Club, Inc. v. GAB, supra
- Astorga v. Villegas, G.R. No. L-23475, 30 April 1974
- Gaanan v. IAC, L-69809, 16 October 1986
- League of Cities v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 176951, 21
December 2009
D. Executive/Contemporaneous Construction

- Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice, 62 Phil. 912 (1936)


- Navarro et.al., v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 180050,
12 April 2011
(legislative construction)
- Philippine Global Communications, Inc. v. Relova, G.R. No.
L-60548,
10 November 1986
E. Reference to other statutes
- Escosura v. San Miguel Brewery, Inc., G.R. No. L-16696,
31 January
1962
F. Statutes borrowed from foreign jurisdictions
- United States v. De Guzman, G.R. No. L-9144, 27 March
1915
VII. CONSTRUCTION OF CONFLICTING STATUTES/ CONFLICTING
PROVISIONS
A. Special Law v. General Law
- Gordon v. Veridiano II, G.R. No. L-55230, 8 November
1988
April

- Lopez Jr. v. Civil Service Commission, G.R No. 87119, 16


1991
B. Substantive Law v. Procedural Law
- Philippine National Bank v. Asuncion, G.R. No. L-46095, 23
November 1977

C. Earlier v. later law


- Philippine National Bank v. Cruz, G.R. No. 80593, 18
December
1989 (latter statute prevails)
- People v. Palma, G.R. No. L-44113, 31 March 1977
(general law
cannot impliedly repeal a special law);
however, see contra
Bagatsing v. Ramirez, G.R.
No. L-41631, 17 December 1976
- City of Manila v. Teotico, et.al., G.R. No. L-23052, 29
January 1968
(general provision in a special law vs.
special provision in a general
law)
D. Proviso v. body
- Arenas v. City of San Carlos, G.R. No. L-34024, 5 April
1978
(proviso vs. body of a statute)
VIII. AMENDMENT AND REPEAL
7

1. Mecano v. COA, G.R. No. 103982, 11 December 1992


2. LLDA v. CA, G.R. No. 120865, 7 December 1995
3.Dreamwork Construction v. Janiola, G.R. No. 184861, 30 June
2009
4. U.S. v. Soliman, G.R. No. 11555, 6 January 1917

IX. PROSPECTIVITY AND RETROACTIVITY


1. Universal Corn Products, Inc. et.al. v. Rice and Corn Board, G.R. No.
L-21013, 17 August 1967
2. Senarillos v. Hermosisima, G.R. No. L-10662, 14 December
1956
3. People v. Lucero, G.R. No. L-10845, 28 April 1958; People v.
Macarandang, G.R. No. L-12088, 23 December 1959; People v. Jabinal,
G.R. No. L-30061, 27 February 1974 (Read these 3 cases together)
X. INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTS
1. Read Arts. 1370 to 1379 of the Civil Code (Rules on Interpretation of
Contracts); Rule 130, Secs. 10 to 19 of the Rules of Court
2. Lambert v. Fox, G.R. No. 7991, 29 January 1914
3. Manila Banking Corp. v. Teodoro, G.R. No. 53955, 13 January
1989
4. Abad v. Goldloop, G.R. No. 168108, 13 April 2007
5. NIA v. Gamit, G.R. No. 85869, 6 November 1992