Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4


136 SCRA 27 (April 24, 1985)


Invoking the right of the people to be informed on matters of public

concern as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable
must be published in the Official Gazette, petitioners filed for writ of
mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish and/or
cause to publish various presidential decrees, letters of instructions,
general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letters of
implementations and administrative orders.

The Solicitor General, representing the respondents, moved for the

dismissal of the case, contending that petitioners have no legal
personality to bring the instant petition.


Whether or not publication in the Official Gazette is required before

any law or statute becomes valid and enforceable.


Art. 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the requirement of

publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the
date of its effectivity. The clear object of this provision is to give the
general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to
regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice
and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the
maxim ignoratia legis nominem excusat. It would be the height of
injustive to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression
of a law which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive
The very first clause of Section 1 of CA 638 reads: there shall be
published in the Official Gazette…. The word “shall” therein imposes
upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be
enforced if the constitutional right of the people to be informed on
matter of public concern is to be given substance and validity.
The publication of presidential issuances of public nature or of general
applicability is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that
before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and
specifically informed of its contents. The Court declared that
presidential issuances of general application which have not been
published have no force and effect.
146 SCRA 446 (December 29, 1986)


This is a motion for reconsideration of the decision promulgated on

April 24, 1985. Respondent argued that while publication was
necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was “otherwise” as when the
decrees themselves declared that they were to become effective
immediately upon their approval.


1. Whether or not a distinction be made between laws of

general applicability and laws which are not as to their
2. Whether or not a publication shall be made in
publications of general circulation.

The clause “unless it is otherwise provided” refers to the date of

effectivity and not to the requirement of publication itself, which
cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not mean that the
legislature may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or
in any other date, without its previous publication.

“Laws” should refer to all laws and not only to those of general
application, for strictly speaking, all laws relate to the people in
general albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly. A
law without any bearing on the public would be invalid as an intrusion
of privacy or as class legislation or as an ultra vires act of the
legislature. To be valid, the law must invariably affect the public
interest eve if it might be directly applicable only to one individual, or
some of the people only, and not to the public as a whole.
All statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall
be published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin 15
days after publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the
Publication must be in full or it is no publication at all, since its purpose
is to inform the public of the content of the law.

Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that publication of laws must be

made in the Official Gazette, and not elsewhere, as a requirement for
their effectivity. The Supreme Court is not called upon to rule upon
the wisdom of a law or to repeal or modify it if it finds it impractical.

The publication must be made forthwith, or at least as soon as


J. Cruz:

Laws must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun instead of
skulking in the shadows with their dark, deep secrets. Mysterious
pronouncements and rumored rules cannot be recognized as binding
unless their existence and contents are confirmed by a valid
publication intended to make full disclosure and give proper notice to
the people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded saber that cannot
faint, parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.