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ACTUS ME INVITO FACTUS NON EST MEUS ACTUS

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,VS JOSELITO DEL


ROSARIO y PASCUAL, accused-appellant.G.R. No. 127755 April 14,
1999
Facts:At around 5:30 in the afternoon, the accused was hired for P120.00 by
a certain "Boy" Santos, his co-accused. Their original agreement was that he
would drive him to a cockpit, however despite their earlier arrangement Boy
Santos directed him to proceed to the market place to fetch "Jun" Marquez
and "Dodong" Bisaya. Marquez and Bisaya boarded in front of the parking lot
of Merced Drugstore at the public market. Subsequently, he was asked to
proceed and stop at the corner of Burgos and General Luna Sts. where
Bisaya alighted on the pretext of buying a cigarette. The latter then accosted
the victim Virginia Bernas and grappled with her for the possession of her
bag. Jun Marquez alighted from the tricycle to help "Dodong"
Bisaya. Accused del Rosario tried to leave and seek help but "Boy Santos"
who stayed inside the tricycle prevented him from leaving and threatened in
fact to shoot him.
Meanwhile, "Dodong" Bisaya succeeded in taking the victim's bag, but before
boarding the tricycle "Jun" Marquez mercilessly shot the victim on the head
while she was lying prone on the ground. After the shooting, "Dodong"
Bisaya boarded the sidecar of the tricycle while "Jun" Marquez rode behind
del Rosario and ordered him to start the engine and drive towards Dicarma.
Upon arriving at Dicarma, the three (3) men alighted and warned del Rosario
not to inform the police authorities about the incident otherwise he and his
family would be harmed. Del Rosario then went home. Because of the threat,
however, he did not report the matter to the owner of the tricycle nor to the
barangay captain and the police.
Issue: Whether or not Del Rosario is guilty with his co-accused.
Held:The conviction of del Rosario must be set aside. His claim for exemption
from criminal liability under Art. 12, par. 5, Revised Penal Code as he acted
under the compulsion of an irresistible force must be sustained. He was then
unarmed and unable to protect himself when he was prevented at gunpoint
by his co-accused from leaving the crime scene during the perpetration of
the robbery and killing, and was only forced to help them escape after the
commission of the crime.

A person who acts under the compulsion of an irresistible force, like one who
acts under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of equal or greater injury, is
exempt from criminal liability because he does not act with freedom. Actus
me invito factus non est meus actus. An act done by me against my will is
not my act. The force contemplated must be so formidable as to reduce the
actor to a mere instrument who acts not only without will but against his will.
The duress, force, fear or intimidation must be present, imminent and
impending, and of such nature as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of
death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of future injury is
not enough. The compulsion must be of such a character as to leave no
opportunity for the accused for escape or self-defense in equal combat.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, VS NELIDA DEQUINA
Y DIMAPANAN, JOSELITO JUNDOC Y JAPITANA & NORA JINGABO Y
CRUZ,Accused-Appellants.
Facts:On 6:00 a.m., of September 29, 1999, Dequina with her co-accused
were caught by police officers in possession of 32,995 grams of marijuana.
For the defense, only Dequina made her testimony.
Sometime she joined the Kilosang Mayo Uno. On September 27, 1999, one
Sally told her that the movement had decided to send her to a mission which
would determine if she was really qualified to join the group. As agreed upon,
they met Sally at the designated place and time. Sally secretly told her that
the three of them would be going to Manila for a still undisclosed
mission. She was briefed that the three of them will temporarily stay in the
house of her [Dequina] relative in Manila. She was further instructed that
they will go to the Philippine Rabbit Terminal in Avenida where they will be
met by members of their group who will also monitor their
movements. Afterwards, they will proceed to Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga
where they will pick-up some bags. Thereat, somebody will meet and give
them instructions.
From Dau, they will return to Manila. They will alight at the first ShoeMart
Department Store which they will see along the way. A waiting tricycle would
bring them to a store where they could buy carton boxes for their
bags. Finally, a taxicab will fetch and bring them all the way to the pier.
[Dequina] received P3,000.00 from Sally for their expenses and plane tickets
for the three of them from Sally. However, she noticed that instead of their
true names, the tickets were in the names of other persons. Her plane ticket
was in the name of Sarah Ganje. That of [Jundoc] and [Jingabo] were in the
names of Rowenal Palma and Mary Grace Papa, respectively.Nervous, she
thought of backing out at the last minute but Sally assured her that she had

nothing to worry about. Sally culminated by saying that something will


happen to her child if ever she backed out from the plan.
Issue: Whether or not Dequina could avail Art. 12, par. 5, Revised Penal Code
as justifying circumstance.
Held: Not meritorious. A person who acts under the compulsion of an
irresistible force, like one who acts under the impulse of an uncontrollable
fear of equal or greater injury, is exempt from criminal liability because he
does not act with freedom. Actus me invito factus non est meus actus. An act
done by me against my will is not my act. The force contemplated must be
so formidable as to reduce the actor to a mere instrument who acts not only
without will but against his will. The duress, force, fear or intimidation must
be present, imminent and impending, and of such nature as to induce a wellgrounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A
threat of future injury is not enough. The compulsion must be of such a
character as to leave no opportunity for the accused for escape or selfdefense in equal combat. Here, Dequinas version of events that culminated
with her and Jundoc and Jingabos arrests on September 29, 1999 is
implausible. Equally far-fetched is Jundoc and Jingabos assertion of blind trust
in Dequina and total ignorance of the transportation of marijuana.
While Dequina posits that she acted under compulsion and that a certain
Sally called all the shots, she nevertheless admitted that their
accommodations when they reached Manila was with her aunt in
Guadalupe. On cross examination, she said that it was she who told Sally
that they were going to stay with her aunt. More importantly, the alleged
threat on her daughter was unclear. At one point in her testimony, she
claimed that her daughter was to be under the custody of Sally while she
was away. However, during the trial her lawyer manifested that her daughter
was in fact in Manila and in the court room attending the hearing. Moreover,
accused-appellants themselves picture a very precise and elaborate scheme
in the transport of the huge shipment of marijuana. With this, it is simply
contrary to human experience that the people behind the shipment would
entrust the same to an unknowing and uncertain person such as [Dequina]
and her two stooges, unless they themselves were in on it. Furthermore, the
scheme or transport of the marijuana shipment was so exact that [Jundoc]
and [Jingabo] only had enough time to rest in the house of [Dequinas] aunt in
Guadalupe from the time they arrived in Manila in the morning to the time
they had to go to provincial bus station in the afternoon, negating their

purported desire to see Manila. Clearly, the defense story is riddled with
holes.
PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES,
plaintiff-appellee,
vs. JUAN
SALVATIERRA, ENRIQUE CONSTANTINO, AGUSTIN TRINIDAD, WILLIE
TRINIDAD, and ALVIN SANTOS, accused, ENRIQUE CONSTANTINO,
accused-appellant
Facts:That on or about the 15th day of May 1988, in the Municipality of
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating together and
mutually helping and aiding one another, while armed with handguns and
knives, with intent to gain, entered the house of HICHIRO KUBOTA and
ELIZABETH HAMMOND and once inside, the above-named accused, by means
of force, violence and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously take, steal and carry away the belonging to said Hichiro
Kubota and Elizabeth Hammond, to the damage and prejudice of the latter in
the aforementioned amount(s) of P800,000.00; 26,000.00 yen; US$2,4000.00
and P7,000.00; that on the occasion of the said robbery, the said accused,
conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping and aiding one
another by means of force, threats and intimidation and one after the other,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously lie with and have
carnal knowledge of Hazel Arjona, Hichiro Kubota's maid, against her will and
consent.
By
his
own
account,
as
herein
summarized,
ENRIQUE
CONSTANTINOadmits having been with the group of Salvatierra which robbed
the house of spouses Hichiro Kubota and Elizabeth Hammond in the evening
of May 15, 1988. At the time of the incident, he was working as a driver for a
Japanese friend of Kubota and it was in fact the latter who recommended him
to that Japanese employer, a certain Kinawa. He recalls that he was invited
by the group of Salvatierra for a drinking spree in Cubao in the afternoon of
that day. Juan Salvatierra, Agustin Trinidad, Wilfredo Trinidad and Alvin
Santos were in his acquaintances whom he had met a few months earlier at
an auto repair shop. After consuming some bottles of liquor, Salvatierra
approached appellant and asked whether the latter could help him find
employment under Kubota. When appellant declined, Salvatierra lost his
temper and drew a knife which he pointed at appellant, saying, "Tarantado
ka, Eric. Marunong ka pa sa boss mo, basta samahan mo kami ngayon."
Fearing for his life, appellant acceded. They hailed a taxicab and all of
them proceeded to the residence of Kubota, with Salvatierra all the while
poking his knife at appellant who was then at the backseat along with
Salvatierra, Agustin Trinidad and Alvin Santos. When they reached the place,
it was appellant who rang the doorbell at the prodding of Salvatierra who

continued to poke the knife at his back. Appellant talked to Elizabeth


Hammond and thereafter he, Salvatierra and Santos went inside the
house. He proceeded to Kubota's room upstairs and told him about
Salvatierra wanting to get a job. They then went down and Kubota conversed
with the group. At this juncture Santos stood up and instantly brandished a
gun at Elizabeth Hammond. Salvatierra followed suit by pulling out a knife
and directed that the couple be brought upstairs.
According to appellant, much as he wanted to prevent the robbery, he
could not do anything supposedly by reason of extreme fear on his part. He
had earlier heard Salvatierra utter these threatening words: "Pag kumilos ng
masama si Eric, tirahin mo."Appellant nonetheless managed to plead with
the three by saying, "Huwag naman kayong manakit ng tao dito sa bahay."
This, however, drew an angry reaction from Salvatierra who threatened him
once more with bodily harm.
Issue: Whether or not Eric be exonerate by reason of acting due to irresistible
fear.
Held:Verily, just as the court below refused to conceded any evidentiary
merit or probative value to such a defense, there could not by any way for
his Court to accord credence to appellant's asseverations. The positive
declarations of eyewitnesses Elizabeth Hammond, Epifania Hammond, Diosa
Hammond and Marilyn Juguilon as to his participation in the incident all
unerringly point to an active role on his part in the incident, sufficient to
conclusively establish his complicity in the crime and belie his claim of
having acted under duress.
For, in order that duress may be validly availed of by an accused as a
defense, it should actually be anchored on a real, imminent or reasonable
fear for one's own life or limb and should not be speculative, fanciful, or
imagined. It is based on the complete absence of freedom on the part of the
accused and has its roots in the Latin maxim "Actus me invito factus non est
meus actus," which translates to "An act done by me against my will is not
my act." The compulsion employed upon the accused must have been of
such character as to leave no opportunity for him to spring an escape or to
himself foist any act of defense for self-preservation. Thus, duress has been
held unavailing where the accused had every opportunity to run away if he
has wanted to or to resist any possible aggression because he was also
armed.
Appellant's account of the supposed employment of duress upon him by
his cohorts falls far short of the requirements under which the same could
have substantial value in evidence. Appellant could well have dissociated
himself from the criminal escapade considering that when the group flagged
down a taxicab, it did not appear at that point that appellant was being
threatened at all by Salvatierra. It was only when the group was already in
the vehicle that appellant, as he claims, was once more subjected to

intimidation by Salvatierra. Again, upon reaching the residence of the


victims, appellant had all the opportunity to escape from the time when he
rang the doorbell and when they were allowed by Elizabeth Hammond to go
inside the house, and especially thereafter.
What is significant from the testimony of appellant is that, of his four coaccused, it was only Salvatierra who was actually armed with a knife and
who had exhibited a threatening attitude towards him.[11] This fact should
have sufficiently emboldened him to get hold of and rouse himself from the
stupor of fear which supposedly gripped him. But he did not or, more
plausibly, he chose not to do so. Appellant's defense is akin to a mere denial,
a self-serving and negative device which judicial experience shows is
conveniently conjured be felons to justify their participation in a
crime. Hence, like a bare denial, it must fail if unsubstantiated by clear and
convincing evidence and cannot be given greater evidentiary value than the
testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters.
Synthesis
Actus me invito factus non est meus actustranslated as An act done by me
against my will is not my act. The maxim would be applicable as exempting
circumstance of which the person is compelled by means of violence to
commit a crime.
There are three elements necessary, (1) compulsion by means of physical
force, (2) the physical force must be irresistible and (3) ant the force must
come from third person. In the case of People Vs. Joselito, the gun was
pointed to him causing him under imminent danger and leaving him no
choice but to obey Boy Santos(third person). The force was considered
irresistible one producing an effect upon him, instead of resisting, leading
him to mere instrument and as such incapable of committing a crime. Such
force can never consist in anything which springs primarily from the man
himself; it must be a force which acts upon him from outside and by third
person.
No compulsion of irresistible force is present when the fear is unclear. The
threat must be real. In the case of People Vs. Dequina, the maxim is not
applicable for the reason that the fear or threat is not clear upon the harm to
her daughter. The duress, force, fear or intimidation must be present,
imminent and impending, and of such nature as to induce a well-grounded
apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of
future injury is not enough. Same is true in the case of People Vs Enrique,in
order that duress may be validly availed of by an accused as a defense, it
should actually be anchored on a real, imminent or reasonable fear for one's
own life or limb and should not be speculative, fanciful, or imagined. The fear
or threat must be real and present so that the force is irresistible and
compulsive, but in the absence of it, in case the threat is speculative, came

from imagination or unclear. The defense of an act done by me against my


will is not meritorious.
The reason for the maxim as an exempting circumstance is that, the element
of crime is incomplete to which it lacks complete freedom from the doer.
(People Vs Joselito)

DURA LEX SED LEX


People of the Philippines vs. Patricio Amigo
GR No. 116719 January 18, 1996
Patricio Amigo was charged with frustrated murder punishable under
Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, with no modifying circumstance
present, the accused is hereby sentenced to the penalty of reclusion
perpetua, which is the medium period of the penalty of reclusion temporal in
its maximum to death.
The contention of the accused-appellant that under the 1987
Constitution and prior to the promulgation of Republic Act No. 7659, the
death penalty had been abolished and hence, the penalty should have been
imposed for the crime of murder committed by accused-appellant without
the attendance of any modifying circumstances, should be reclusion
temporal in its medium period or 17 years, 4 months and 1 day, to 20 years
of reclusion temporal.
The reason out of accused-appellant, since the death penalty (or
capital punishment) is not imposable when the stabbing and killing
happened, the computation of the penalty should be regarded from reclusion
perpetua down and not from death penalty. Indeed, the appropriate penalty
is deductible from reclusion perpetua down to reclusion temporal in its
medium period. Hence, there being no modifying circumstances present, the
correct penalty should be in the medium period which is 17 years, 4 months
and 1 day to 20 years of reclusion temporal.
The Court has reconsidered the above cases and come to the
conclusion that the doctrine announced therein does not reflect the intention
of the framers as embodied in Article III, Section 19 (1) of the Constitution.
The majority of the Court, is of the belief that the original interpretation
should be restored as the more acceptable reading of the constitutional
provision in question.
The Court held in this case that the problem in any event is addressed
not to this Court but to the Congress. Penalties are prescribed by statute and
are essentially and exclusively legislative. The judges can only interpret and

apply them and have no authority to modify them or revise their range as
determined exclusively by the legislature. We should not encroach on this
prerogative of the lawmaking body.
Thus, applying the principle of DURA LEX SED LEX in the case at bar,
the accused-appellant claims that the penalty of reclusion perpetua is too
cruel and harsh a penalty and pleads for sympathy. The duty of courts is to
apply the law, disregarding their feeling of sympathy or pity of the accused.

People of the Philippines vs. Ruben Suriaga y Chavez


G.R. No. 123779 April 17, 2002
Information was filed with the Regional Trial Court charging Ruben
Suriaga, Rosita Dela Cruz and Joel Isiderawith kidnapping for ransom and
serious illegal detention.
The lower court rendered judgment finding Ruben Suriaga guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of kidnapping for ransom defined and penalized
under Art. 267 of the Revised Penal Code and is hereby sentenced to suffer
the penalty of Death, while acquitting the other accused are hereby
acquitted.
Under the Revised Penal Code, The penalty shall be death where the
kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom
from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances were
present in the commission of the crime.
In the case at bar, the imposition of the death penalty is mandatory if
the victim is a minor. The minority of the victim was alleged in the
Information and was never disputed. It bears emphasis that the minority of
the victim and appellants demand for ransom, both specifically alleged in the
Information, were clearly established by the evidence for the prosecution
free from any scintilla of doubt.
Applying the principle of DURA LEX SED LEX, the accused-appellant
claims that the penalty is too cruel and harsh but it is still a law.
OLYMPIO REVALDO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 170589 April 16, 2009
Petitioner was charged with the offense of illegal possession of
premium hardwood lumber in violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code.

The ruling of the Trial Court that the petitioner failed to present and
attest to the fact that they sought prior DENR permission before cutting the
trees and sawing them into lumber.
The trial court further stated that the Forestry Code is a special law where
criminal intent is not necessary.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court and ruled
that moyive or intention is immaterial for the reason that mere possession of
the lumber without the legal documents gives rise to criminal liability.
The petitioner was in possession of the lumber without the necessary
documents when the police officers accosted him. Mere possession of forest
products without the proper documentation consummates the crime.
Applying DURA LEX SED LEX, the law may be harsh but that is the law.

EX NECESSITATE LEGIS. - From the necessity of law.


Chua v. Civil Service Commission
G.R. No. 88979 (February 7, 1992)
Facts: In line with the policy of streamlining and trimming the
bureaucracy, R.A.6683 (2 December 1988) was enacted to provide for the
early retirement and voluntary separation of government employees as well
as involuntary resignation to those affected due to reorganization. Those who
may avail were regular, casual, temporary and emergency employees, with
rendered service minimum of two years. Petitioner Lydia Chua believe that
she is qualified to avail of the benefits of the program, filed an application
with respondent National Irrigation Administration (NIA) which, however,
denied the same; instead, she was offered separation benefits equivalent to
one half (1/2) month basic pay for every year of service commencing from
1980, or almost fifteen (15) years in four (4) successive governmental
projects. A recourse by petitioner to the Civil Service Commission yielded
negative results, citing that her position is co-terminous with the NIA project
which is contractual in nature and thus excluded by the enumerations under
Sec.3.1 of Joint DBM-CSC Circular Letter No. 89-1, i.e. casual, emergency,
temporary or regular employment. Petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court
by way of a special civil action for certiorari.
Issue: Whether or not petitioner was entitled to avail of the early
retirement benefit as a coterminous employee.
Held: It was stated that a coterminous employee is a non-career civil
servant like casual and emergency employees, because of that they are
entitled to the same benefits as long as they complied with theyre
requirements of the law, which in this case, was done by Linda Chua. On that
note, the court believes that the denial of petitioners application for early
retirement benefits by the NIA and CSC is unreasonable, unjustified and
oppressive due to the fact that she is entitled to the benefits of the same law

because she served the government not only for two (2) years which is the
minimum requirement under the law but for fifteen (15) years. In four (4)
governmental projects.
Wherefore, the petition is granted.
Chua v. Civil Service Commission
In this case Petitioner was established to be a co-terminous
employee, a non-career civil servant,
like casual and emergency employees.The Court believes, and so holds, that
the denial by the respondents NIA and CSC of petitioners application for
early retirement benefits under R.A. No. 6683 is unreasonable, unjustified,
and oppressive, as petitioner had filed an application for voluntary
retirement within a reasonable period and she is entitled to the benefits of
said law. In the interest of substantial justice, her application must be
granted; after all she served the government not only for two (2) years the
minimum requirement under the law but for almost fifteen (15) years in four
(4) successive governmental projects. The necessity of law is needed in order
to prove that Lydia Chua is entitled for the retirement benefits which was
stated in section 2 of the said act. Sec. 2.Coverage This Act shall cover all
appointive officials and employees of
the National Government, including government-owned or controlled corpora
tions withoriginal charters, as well as the personnel of all local government
units. The benefits authorized under this Act shall apply to all regular,
temporary, casual and emergency employees, regardless of age, who have
rendered at least a total of two (2) consecutive years of government service
as of the date of separation. Uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines including those of the PC-INP are excluded from the coverage of
this Act. Petitioner Lydia Chua was hired by the National Irrigation
Administration Authoruty (NIA) for over 15years as a coterminous employee
of 4 successive NIA projects.

Ernesto Maceda vs. energy regulatory board (ERB) G.R. No. 96266
(July 18, 1991)
Facts: Upon the outbreak of the Persian Gulf conflict on August
1990.Petroleum companies Caltex, Shell and Petron filed separate
applications with the Energy Regulatory Board for permission to increase the
whole sale prices of petroleum products, and meanwhile, for provisional
authority to increase temporarily such prices pending further proceedings.
The Energy Regulatory Board, in a joint order granted provisional relief and

authorizes said applicants a provisional increase. The petitioners,


Senator Ernesto Maceda and Atty. Oliver Lozano submits that the same was
issued without proper notice and hearing in violation of Section 3, paragraph
(e), of Executive Order No. 172, and has been issued with grave abuse of
discretion, tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. Hence, this petition praying
for injunctive relief, to stop the Energy Regulatory Board from implementing
its order mandating a provisional increase in the prices of petroleum and
petroleum products.
ISSUE: Whether or not the decisions of the Energy Regulatory Board
should be subject to presidential review.
HELD: Pursuant to Section 8 of E.O. No. 172, while hearing is
indispensable, it does not preclude the Board from ordering a provisional
increase subject to final disposition of whether or not to make it permanent
or to reduce or increase it further or to deny the application. The provisional
increase is akin to a temporary restraining order, which are given ex-parte.
The Court further noted the Solicitor Generals comments that the ERB is
not averse to the idea of a presidential review of its decision, except that
there is no law at present authorizing the same. The Court suggested that it
will be under the scope of the legislative to allow the presidential review of
the decisions of the ERB since, despite its being a quasi-judicial body, it is
still an administrative body under the Office of the President whose
decisions should be appealed to the President under the established principle
of exhaustion of administrative remedies, especially on a matter as
transcendental as oil price increases which affect the lives of almost all
Filipinos.

Maceda vs. ERB


Provisions of Section 8 of Executive Order No. 172 which authorizes the
Board to grant provisional relief on motion of a party in the case or on its
own initiative, without prejudice to a final decision after hearing, should the
Board find that the documentary evidences substantially support the
provisional order. Provided, That the Board shall immediately schedule and
conduct a hearing thereon within thirty (30) days thereafter, upon
publication and notice to all affected parties. Section 3, paragraph (e) and
Section 8 do not negate each other, or otherwise, operate exclusively of the
other, in that the Board may resort to one but not to both at the same time.
Section 3(e) outlines the jurisdiction of the Board and the grounds for which
it may decree a price adjustment, subject to the requirements of notice and
hearing. Pending that, however, it may order, under Section 8, an authority
to increase provisionally, without need of a hearing, subject to the final
outcome of the proceeding.

THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU,


Represented by Provincial Auditor ROY L. URSAL, petitioner, vs.
PROVINCE OF CEBU, Represented by Governor PABLO P.
GARCIA, respondent.
G.R. No. 141386. (November 29, 2001)
FACTS: The provincial governor of the province of Cebu, as chairman of
the local school board, under Section 98 of the Local Government Code,
appointed classroom teachers who have no items in the DECS plantilla to
handle extension classes that would accommodate students in the public
schools. In the audit of accounts conducted by the Commission on Audit
(COA) of the Province of Cebu, for the period January to June 1998, it
appeared that the salaries and personnel-related benefits of the teachers
appointed by the province for the extension classes were charged against
the provincial SEF. Likewise charged to the SEF were the college scholarship
grants of the province. Consequently, the COA issued Notices of Suspension
to the province of Cebu, saying that disbursements for the salaries of
teachers and scholarship grants are not chargeable to the provincial SEF.
Faced with the Notices of Suspension issued by the COA, the province of
Cebu, represented by its governor, filed a petition for declaratory relief with
the trial court. On December 13, 1999, the court a quo rendered a decision
declaring the questioned expenses as authorized expenditures of the SEF.
The Special Education Fund was created by virtue of R. A. No. 5447, which is
An act creating a special education fund to be constituted from the proceeds
of an additional real property tax and a certain portion of the taxes on
Virginia-type cigarettes and duties on imported leaf tobacco, defining the
activities to be financed, creating school boards for the purpose, and
appropriating funds therefrom, which took effect on January 1,
1969. Pursuant thereto, P.D. No. 464, also known as the Real Property Tax
Code of the Philippines, imposed an annual tax of 1% on real property which
shall accrue to the SEF.
ISSUE: May the salaries and personnel-related benefits of public school
teachers appointed by local chief executives in connection with the
establishment and maintenance of extension classes; as well as the
expenses for college scholarship grants, be charged to the Special Education
Fund (SEF) of the local government unit concerned.
HELD: The salaries and personnel-related benefits of the teachers
appointed by the provincial school board of Cebu in connection with the

establishment and maintenance of extension classes, are declared


chargeable against the Special Education Fund of the province. However, the
expenses incurred by the provincial government for the college scholarship
grants should not be charged against the Special Education Fund, but against
the General Funds of the province of Cebu. The Solicitor General claims that
the Notices of Suspension issued by the COA to the respondent province
amounted to a breach or violation, and therefore, the petition for declaratory
relief should have been denied by the trial court.

THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU


Represented by Provincial Auditor ROY L. URSAL VS PROVINCE OF
CEBU, Represented by Governor PABLO P. GARCIA
Even under the doctrine of necessary implication, the allocation of the
SEF for the establishment and maintenance of extension classes logically
implies the hiring of teachers who should, as a matter of course be
compensated for their services. Every statute is understood, by implication,
to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object
and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction
which it grants, including all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as
may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms. Ex necessitate legis.
Verily, the services and the corresponding compensation of these teachers
are necessary and indispensable to the establishment and maintenance of
extension classes. It is a basic precept in statutory construction that the
intent of the legislature is the controlling factor in the interpretation of a
statute.

IGNORANTIA LEGIS NON EXCUSAT


THE UNITED STATES vs. AH CHONG
G.R. No. L-5272 March 19, 2010
The accused was not criminally liable and exonerated. Under the legal
maxims, there can be no crime, large or small, without an evil mind.
Applying the principle ignorance of the law excuses no man the great
master of all things an apparent departure from this doctrine of abstract
justice could not be administer in our tribunals, and compelled also by the
doctrine of necessity, the courts have recognized the power of the legislature
to forbid, in a limited class of cases, the doing of certain acts, and to make
their commission criminal without regard to the intent of the doer. Without
discussing theses exceptional cases at length, it is sufficient here to say that
the courts have always held that unless the intention of the lawmaker to
make the commission of certain acts criminal without regard to the intent of

the doer is clear and beyond question the statute will not be so construed
and rule that ignorance of the law excuses no man has been said not to be a
real departure from the laws fundamental principle that crime exists only
where the mind is at fault, because the evil purpose need not to break the
law, and if suffices if it is simply to do the thing which the law in fact forbids.
In the case at bar, the intruder had been a robber as the defendant
believed him to have acted in good faith, without malice or criminal intent,
and would have been wholly exempt from criminal liability and that he
cannot contend to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness.
MANUEL vs. REPUBLIC
G.R. No. 165842 Nov. 29, 2005
The Court ruled that there was no error of law committed. The
petitioners collective acts of fraud and deceit before, during and after his
marriage, by his and his parents assurance that he is single were wilful,
deliberate and with malice and caused injury to the complainant. Also the
petitioners acts are against public policy as they undermine and subvert the
family as a social institution and against good morals and interest and
general welfare of society.
The petitioner is presumed to have acted with malice or evil intent
when he married the privet complainant. As a general rule, mistake of fact or
good faith of the accused is a valid defense in a prosecution for a felony by
dolo; such defense negates malice or criminal intent. However, ignorance of
the law is not an excuse because everyone is presumed to know the law.

GeneraliaSpecialibus Non Derogat


Latin Maxim of interpretation: A General Law does not nullify a specific or
special Law
In Villegas vsSubido, Justice Fernando adopted these words:
A special law is not regarded as having been amended or repealed by a
general law unless the intent to repeal or alter is
manifest. Generaliaspecialibus non derogant. And this is true although the

terms of the general act are broad enough to include the matter in the
special statute. ... At any rate, in the event harmony between provisions of
this type in the same law or in two laws is impossible, the specific provision
controls unless the statute, considered in its entirety, indicates a contrary
intention upon the part of the legislature. ... A general law is one which
embraces a class of subjects or places and does not omit any subject or
place naturally belonging to such class while a special act is one which
relates to particular persons or things of a class.
Justice Gancayco said in Commissioner of customsvs Hon. Court of Tax
Appeals:
A special and specific provision prevails over a general provision irrespective
of their relative position in the statute. Generaliaspecialibus non
derogant. Where there is in the same statute a particular enactment and also
a general one which in its most comprehensive sense would include what is
embraced in the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and
the general enactment must be taken to affect only such cases within its
general language as are not within the provisions of the particular
enactment. 2 It is a principle in statutory construction that where two
statutes are of equal theoretical application to a particular case, the one
specially designed for said case must prevail over the other.
In the case of Rosario Valera vs Mariano Tuason Jr., Justice Tuason
reasoned:
A special law is not regarded as having been amended or repealed by a
general law unless the intent to repeal or alter is
manifest. Generaliaspecialibus non derogant.And if this is true although the
terms of the general act are broad enough to include the matter in the
special statute. At any rate, in the event the harmony between provisions of
this type in the same law or in two laws is impossible, the specific provision
controls unless the statute, considered in its entirely, indicates a contrary
intention upon the part of the legislature. granting then that the two laws
can not be reconciled, in so far as they are inconsistent with each other,
section 73 of the Code of Civil Procedure, being a specific law, should prevail
over, or considered as an exemption to, section 211 of the Administrative
Code, which is a provision of general character. a general law is one which
embraces a class of subjects or places and does not omit any subject or
place naturally belonging to such class, while a special act is one which

relates to particular persons or things of a class. (Statutory Construction,


Crawford, p. 2645.)

PariMateria
[Latin, Of the same matter; on the same subject.] The phrase used in connec
tion with two laws relating to the same subject matter that mustbe analyzed
with each other.
Judge Callejo Sr. explained in Tan Co vs The Civil Register of Manila
that:
Statutes in pari materia should be read and construed together because
enactments of the same legislature on the same subject are supposed to
form part of one uniform system; later statutes are supplementary or
complimentary (sic) to the earlier enactments and in the passage of its acts
the legislature is supposed to have in mind the existing legislations on the
subject and to have enacted its new act with reference thereto.
Statutes in pari materia should be construed together to attain the
purpose of an expressed national policy, thus:
On the presumption that whenever the legislature enacts a provision it has in
mind the previous statutes relating to the same subject matter, it is held that
in the absence of any express repeal or amendment therein, the new
provision was enacted in accord with the legislative policy embodied in those
prior statutes, and they all should be construed together. Provisions in an act
which are omitted in another act relating to the same subject matter will be
applied in a proceeding under the other act, when not inconsistent with its
purpose. Prior statutes relating to the same subject matter are to be
compared with the new provisions; and if possible by reasonable
construction, both are to be construed that effect is given to every provision
of each. Statutes in pari materia, although in apparent conflict, are so far as
reasonably possible construed to be in harmony with each other.
Justice Angeles reasoned in the case of C & C Commercial vs
National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority that:
On the presumption that whenever the legislature enacts a provision it has in
mind the previous statutes relating to the same subject matter, it is held that

in the absence of any express repeal or amendment therein, the new


provision was enacted in accord with the legislative policy embodied in those
prior statutes, and they all should be construed together. Provisions in an act
which are omitted in another act relating to the same subject matter will be
applied in a proceeding under the other act, when not inconsistent with its
purpose. Prior statutes relating to the same subject matter are to be
compared with the new provisions; and if possible by reasonable
construction, both are to be construed that effect is given to every provision
of each. Statutes in parimateria although in apparent conflict, are so far as
reasonably possible construed to be in harmony with each other.

Justice Martin expressed in the case of City of Naga vsAgna that:


When statutes are in parimateria, the rule of statutory construction dictates
that they should be construed together. This is because enactments of the
same legislature on the same subject matter are supposed to form part of
one uniform system; that later statutes are supplementary or complimentary
to the earlier enactments and in the passage of its acts the legislature is
supposed to have in mind the existing legislation on the same subject and to
have enacted its new act with reference thereto. 8 Having thus in mind the
previous statutes relating to the same subject matter, whenever the
legislature enacts a new law, it is deemed to have enacted the new provision
in accordance with the legislative policy embodied in those prior statutes
unless there is an express repeal of the old and they all should be construed
together. 9 In construing them the old statutes relating to the same subject
matter should be compared with the new provisions and if possible by
reasonable construction, both should be so construed that effect may be
given to every provision of each. However, when the new provision and the
old relating to the same subject cannot be reconciled the former shall prevail
as it is the latter expression of the legislative will.
Case Digests:
Villegas vsSubido
Facts: Then Metro Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas approved the appointing of
91 women street sweepers in the City of Manila. But the appointing would
still have to be approved by the Office of Civil Service Commission under
Commissioner AbelardoSubido. Subido refused to extend approval to such
appointments on the ground that appointing women to manual labor is

against Memorandum Circular No. 18 series of 1964. Subido pointed out that
putting women workers with men workers outside under the heat of the sun
and placing them under manual labor exposes them to contempt and ridicule
and constitutes a violation of the traditional dignity and respect accorded
Filipino womanhood. Villegas however pointed out that the said Memo has
already been set aside by the Office of the President hence the same is no
longer in effect.
ISSUE: WON the appointment of said women workers should be confirmed by
the Civil Service Commissioner.
HELD: Yes, the appointments must be confirmed. The basis of Subido was not
on any law or rule but simply on his own concept of what policy to pursue, in
this instance in accordance with his own personal predilection. Here he
appeared to be unalterably convinced that to allow women laborers to work
outside their offices as street sweepers would run counter to Filipino
tradition. A public official must be able to point to a particular provision of
law or rule justifying the exercise of a challenged authority.
Nothing is better settled in the law than that a public official exercises power,
not rights. The government itself is merely an agency through which the will
of the state is expressed and enforced. Its officers therefore are likewise
agents entrusted with the responsibility of discharging its functions. As such
there is no presumption that they are empowered to act. There must be a
delegation of such authority, either express or implied. In the absence of a
valid grant, they are devoid of power. It must be conceded that departmental
zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute.
Neither the high dignity of the office nor the righteousness of the motive
then is an acceptable substitute. Otherwise the rule of law becomes a myth.
Such an eventuality, we must take all pains to avoid.

Commissioner of customsvs Hon. Court of Tax Appeals, Smith Bell &


Co
Facts: On July 20, 1966, the vessel SS " NORMAN, " arrived at the port of
Manila carrying, among others, a shipment of 1,400 Multiwall Paper Bags.
The vessel's cargo manifest shows that the gross weight of said articles was

3,620 kilos, but based on the bill of lading and customs appraisal, the actual
and correct weight thereof was 36,197 kilos. Consequently, to correct the
weight declared in the manifest, petitioner, in its capacity as ship agent, filed
an amendment on July 27, 1966, which amendment was approved by the
Bureau of Customs without prejudice to any administrative action which
might be taken against the vessel
In 1969, the SS "NORMAN," represented by herein petitioner, was charged for
violation of Section 1005, in relation to Section 2523, of the Tariff and
Customs Code. However, on March 16, 1971, counsel for the Bureau of
Customs sought the amendment of the charge to one for violation of Section
1005, in relation to Section 2521 of the Code.
On June 11, 1971, after hearing, the Collector of Customs rendered a
decision imposing upon the vessel and/or petitioner herein a fine of
P7,000.00 for violation of Section 1005, in relation to Section 2521, of the
Tariff and Customs Code.
The legal provisions involved in this case are Sections 1005, 2521, and 2523
of the Tariff and Customs Code. Section 1005 lays down the indispensable
requirement that every vessel coming from a foreign part must have on
board a complete manifest of all her cargo, further stating therein the
required contents of each manifest intended to be submitted to the customs
authorities.Both Secs. 2521 and 2523 provide for the corresponding penalties
in case Sec. 1005 is violated.
ISSUE: WON private respondent be held responsible under Section 2523
HELD: No.This must be answered in the negative.
In order to be liable under Section 2523, two requisites must be satisfied, to
wit:
1) the actual gross weight of any article or package described in
the manifest exceeds by more than twenty per centum the gross
weight as declared in the manifest or of lading thereof, and
2) The Collector shall be of opinion that such discrepancy was
due to the carelessness or incompetency of the master or pilot in
command, owner or employee of the vessel or aircraft.

While the first requirement is present, the second requirement is not. No


evidence to that effect may be found in the records. The private respondent
filed on amendment to the manifest to correct the weight declared on July
27, 1966 which amendment was approved the Bureau of Customs. It
demonstrates the diligence and good faith of private respondent.

Rosario Valera vs Mariano Tuason Jr.


Facts: Justice of Pease of court of Lagayan, Judge Paredes, transferred the
case to the justice of peace of La Paz, the nearest municipality to Lagayan on
the ground that one of the party is affiliated with him.
The Lagayan justice's ground for unvalidating the decision of the justice of
the peace of La Paz is that "the designation of another justice of the peace to
hear, try and decide a given case, when the justice having jurisdiction to
hear, try and decide the same disqualifies himself, is not in law given to the
disqualifying justice but 'to the judge of the district' who 'shall designate the
nearest justice of the peace.' (Section 211, Rev. Adm. Code)." He believes
that the circular of the Secretary of Justice of January 17, 1940, in pursuance
of which the case was transferred, is legally wrong. (The circular states that
"when a justice of the peace is merely disqualified to try a certain case, he
should transmit, without notifying the district judge, the record thereof to the
justice of the peace is merely disqualified to try a certain case, he should
transmit, without notifying the district judge, the record thereof to the justice
of the peace of the nearest municipality in accordance with section 73 of the
Code of the Civil Procedure".)
ISSUE: WON section 73 of the Code of Civil Procedure was repealed by the
Rules of court, was replaced and absorbed in Section 211 of the Revised
Administrative Code.
HELD: No.From another angle the presumption against repeal is stronger. A
special law is not regarded as having been amended or repealed by a
general law unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest.But the history of
the two laws gives positive indication that they were designed to
complement each other. This history reveals that the two enactments have
different origins, one independent of the other, and have been intended to
operate side by side.

Tan Co vs The Civil Register of Manila


FACTS: HUBERT TAN CO was born March 23, 1974. His sister, ARLENE TAN
CO, was born May 19, 1975. In their respective certificates of birth, it is
stated that their parents CO BOON PENG AND LOURDES VIHONG K. TAN are
CHINESE CITIZENS. CO BOON PENG filed an application for his naturalization
as a citizen of the Philippines with the Special Committee on Naturalization
under LETTER OF INSTRUCTION no. 270. His application was granted and he
was conferred Philippine citizenship under PD 1055. He was issued a
certificate of naturalization and consequently took an oath as Philippine
citizen on February 15, 1977.
On August 27, 1998, they filed with the RTC Manila a petition under Rules of
Court for correction of entries in the certificate of birth which was denied on
the ff. grounds:
a) Although CA 473 and LOI 270 are statutes relating to the same subject
matter, they do not provide the same beneficial effects with respect to the
minor children of the applicant;
b) LOI 270: refers to qualified individuals only;
c) Section 15 CA no. 473 should not be deemed and incorporated in and
applied to LOI 270;
d) Application of pari material rule of construction is misplaced.
ISSUE: Whether or not Arlene and Hubert are Filipino citizens on account of
the naturalization of their Father Co Boon Peng.
HELD: No.It is not enough that the petitioners adduce in evidence the
certificate of naturalization of their father, to entitle them to Philippine
citizenship. They are likewise mandated to prove the ff. material allegations
in their petition:
1) That they are legitimate children of Co Boon Peng;
2) They were born in the Philippines;
3) That they were still minors when Co Boon Peng was naturalized as a
Filipino citizen.

City of Naga vsAgna


Facts: On June 15, 1970, the City of Naga enacted Ordinance No. 360
changing and amending the graduated tax on quarterly gross sales of
merchants prescribed in Section 3 of Ordinance No. 4 of the City of Naga to
percentage tax on gross sales provided for in Section 2 thereof. Pursuant to
said ordinance, private respondents paid to the City of Naga the following
taxes on their gross sales for the quarter from July 1, 1970 to September 30,
1970.
The City Treasurer denied the claim for refund of the amounts in
question. So private respondents filed a complaint with the Court of First
Instance of Naga, seeking to have Ordinance No. 360 declared effective only
in the year following the year of its approval, that is, in 1971;
Is not Section 2309 of the Revised Administrative Code deemed
repealed or abrogated by Section 2 of Republic Act No. 2264 (Local
Autonomy Act) in so far as effectivity of a tax ordinance is concerned? An
examination of Republic Act No. 2264 (Local Autonomy Act) fails to show any
provision expressly repealing Section 2309 of the Revised Administrative
Code.
ISSUE: WON the respondents should be refunded of the excess taxes paid
when municipal taxes as provided by Section 2309 provides the date of
enforcement of such which is the following year.
HELD: Yes.And the two provisions can be reconciled by applying the first
clause of Section 2309 of the Revised Administrative Code when the problem
refers to the effectivity of an ordinance changing or repealing a municipal
license tax already in existence. But where the problem refers to effectivity
of an ordinance creating an entirely new tax, let Section 2 of Republic Act No.
2264 (Local Autonomy Act) govern.

Noscitur a sociis
The maxim states that where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in
itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings, its correct construction
may be made clear and specific by considering the company of words in

which it is found or with which it is associated. Stated differently, where a


particular word is obscure or of doubtful meaning, taken by itself, the
obscurity or doubt may be removed by reference to the meaning of
associated or companion words. And where the law does not define a word
used therein, it will be construed as having a meaning similar to that of
words associated with or accompanied by it. For a word or phrases, and its
meaning may thus be modified or restricted by the latter. And taken by itself
and in the abstract, a word or phrase might easily convey a meaning quite
different from the one actually intended and evident when the word or
phrase is considered with those with which it is associated.
G.R. No. 111097 July 20, 1994
MAYOR PABLO P. MAGTAJAS & THE CITY OF CAGAYAN DE
ORO, petitioners,
vs.
PRYCE PROPERTIES CORPORATION, INC. & PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT
AND GAMING CORPORATION,respondents.
FACTS:In 1992, flush with its tremendous success in several cities, PAGCOR
decided to expand its operations to Cagayan de Oro City. To this end, it
leased a portion of a building belonging to Pryce Properties Corporation, Inc.,
one of the herein private respondents, renovated and equipped the same,
and prepared to inaugurate its casino there during the Christmas season.
In view of opposition coming from different civic organizations, as shown by
massive protest and demonstrations the Sangguniang Panglunsod of CDO
enacted Ordinance No.3353 and Ordinance No.3375-93 to prevent the
operation of casino in the said province.
Pryce, joined by PAGCOR acting as intervenor and supplemental petitioner,
assailed the said ordinances before the Court of Appeals.
On March 23, 1993, CA declared the ordinances invalid and issued the wit
prayed for to prohibit their enforcement. Petition for review under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court was filed by the petitioners averring that the CA erred in
its decision to invalidate the aforementioned ordinances.
The petitioners argued that when the LGC expressly authorized local
government units to prevent and suppress gambling and other prohibited
games of chance, it meant all forms of gambling without distinction.

Otherwise, it would have expressly excluded casinos and other forms of


gambling authorized by special law from the scope of their power, as it could
have easily done. The fact that it did not do so simply means that the local
government units are permitted to prohibit all kinds of gambling within their
territories, including the operation of casinos.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ordinace No. 3355 and Ordinance No. 3375-93 as
enacted by the Sangguniang Panlunsod of Cagayan de Oro City are valid.
RULING: NO. Petition was denied. Decision of respondent Court of Appeals
was affirmed. The morality of gambling is not a justiciable issue. Gambling is
not illegal per se. While it is generally considered inimical to the interests of
the people, there is nothing in the Constitution categorically proscribing or
penalizing gambling or, for that matter, even mentioning it at all. It is left to
Congress to deal with the activity as it sees fit. In the exercise of its own
discretion, the legislature may prohibit gambling altogether or allow it
without limitation or it may prohibit some forms of gambling and allow others
for whatever reasons it may consider sufficient. Thus, it has
prohibited jueteng and monte but permits lotteries, cockfighting and horseracing. In making such choices, Congress has consulted its own wisdom,
which this Court has no authority to review, much less reverse.
The rationale of the requirement that the ordinances should not contravene a
statute is obvious. Municipal governments are only agents of the national
government. Local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers
conferred on them by Congress as the national lawmaking body. The
delegate cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher than
those of the latter. It is a heresy to suggest that the local government units
can undo the acts of Congress, from which they have derived their power in
the first place, and negate by mere ordinance the mandate of the statute.

G.R. No. 188315


August 25, 2010
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.
ISIDRO FLORES y LAGUA, Accused-Appellant.

FACTS: AAA lived with her adoptive mother, BBB, since she was just a few
months old.BBB is married to appellant, who was working abroad for six (6)
years. Appellant came home in 1997 and lived with AAA and BBB. BBB was

working as a restaurant supervisor from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. for six (6)
days a week.
In February 1999 at around 9:30 p.m., AAA, then 11 years old, was sleeping
inside the house when she felt and saw appellant touch her thighs. The
following day, at around the same time, and while BBB was at work,
appellant again touched AAA from her legs up to her breast. AAA tried to
resist but appellant threatened that he will kill her and BBB.
Two (2) weeks after the incident, AAA was already asleep when she suddenly
woke up and saw appellant holding a knife. While pointing the knife at AAAs
neck, appellant removed his shorts, as well as AAAs pajamas. He slowly
parted AAAs legs and inserted his penis into AAAs vagina. Meanwhile, AAA
struggled and hit appellants shoulders. Appellant was able to penetrate her
twice before he got out of the house. Two (2) days after, appellant again
raped her by inserting his organ into AAAs vagina. AAA recounted that
appellant raped her at least three (3) times a week at around the same time
until 15 October 2002, when she was 14 years old.
On 27 August 2004, the RTC rendered judgment finding appellant guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of 181 counts of rape.
On 29 January 2009, the Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that AAA was
raped by appellant, but it did so only on two (2) counts.

ISSUE: Whether or not appellant should be consider as a guardian of the


victim even without
court authority
Whether that the qualifying/aggravating circumstances of relationship
is applicable.
RULING: To justify the death penalty, the prosecution must specifically allege
in the information and prove during the trial the qualifying circumstances of
minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender.
Jurisprudence dictates that the guardian must be a person who has a legal
relationship with his ward. The theory that a guardian must be legally
appointed was first enunciated in the early case of People vs. Dela Cruz
which held that the guardian referred to in the law is either a legal or judicial
guardian as understood in the rules on Civil Procedure.

The law requires a legal or judicial guardian since it is the consanguineous


relation or the solemnity of judicial appointment which impresses upon the
guardian the lofty purpose of his office and normally deters him from
violating its objectives. The appellant cannot be considered as the guardian
falling within the ambit of the amendatory provision introduced by RA
7659.Since both logic and fact conjointly demonstrate that he is actually only
a custodian, that is, a mere caretaker of the children over whom he exercises
a limited degree of authority for a temporary period, we cannot impose
death penalty contemplated for a real guardian under RA 7659, since he
does not fit into that category.
Be that as it may, this qualifying circumstance of being a guardian was not
even mentioned in the Information. What was clearly stated was that
appellant was the adopting father of AAA, which the prosecution
nonetheless failed to establish.
For failure of the prosecution to prove the qualifying circumstance of
relationship, appellant could only be convicted for two counts of simple rape,
and not qualified rape.

G.R. No. 114323 July 23, 1998


OIL AND NATURAL GAS COMMISSION, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and PACIFIC CEMENT COMPANY, INC., respondents.

FACTS: Oil and Natural Gas Commission (petitioner) is a government owned


company under the government of India, it entered a contract with the
Pacific Cement Company (private respondent), a privately owned company
registered under the Philippines.
The conflict between the petitioner and the private respondent rooted from
the failure of the respondent to deliver 4,300 metric tons of oil well
cement to the petitioner even it had already received payment and
despite petitioners several demands.
The petitioner then informed the private respondent that it was referring its
claim to an arbitrator pursuant to Clause 16 of their contract which stipulates
that the venue for arbitration shall be at Dehra dun
The chosen arbitrator, one Shri N.N. Malhotra, resolved the dispute in favor
of the petitioner setting forth the arbitral award. To enable the petitioner
to execute the above award, it filed a Petition before the Court of the Civil

Judge in Dehra Dun. India praying that the decision of the arbitrator be made
"the Rule of Court" in India. This was objected by the respondent but
foreign court refused to admit the private respondents objections
for failure to pay the required fi ling fees. Despite notice sent to the
private respondent of the foregoing order and several demands by
the petitioner for compliance therewith, the private respondent
refused to pay the amount adjudged by the foreign court as owing to the
petitioner.
The petitioner fi led a complaint with Branch 30 of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Surigao City for the enforcement of the aforementioned
judgment of the foreign court.
RTC dismissed the complaint for lack of a valid cause of action.
The petitioner then appealed to the respondent Court of Appeals which
affi rmed the dismissal of the complaint.
In its decision, the appellate court concurred with the RTC's ruling that the
arbitrator did not have jurisdiction over the dispute between the parties,
thus, the foreign court could not validly adopt the arbitrator's award.,
ISSUES: Whether or not the arbitrator had jurisdiction over the dispute
between the petitioner and the private respondent under clause 16 of the
contract
RULING: The court explained that the origin of the dispute is the failure of
private respondent to deliver the agreed 4,300 metric tons of oil well cement
to the specific places settled. This the court reasoned was not covered by the
provisions of clause 16 of the contract which the petitioner shrewdly edited
with the insertion of a comma (,) between the words supply order/contract
and design which should have properly read supply order/contract design
instead of supply contract/order, design. The reason for this important
distinction is that without the comma it is clear that what is being referred to
byClause 16 are disputes and ambiguities with regards to the SUPPLY
CONTRACT/ORDER taking its design, drawings and instructions as other
descriptions that could have ambiguities. Notwithstanding this however,
petitioner argued that although it be assumed that such failure to carry out
the contract was not under the provisions of clause 16, the attempt of
private respondent to replace the undelivered goods with a certain class G
cement which did not meet the specifications of petitioner was clearly
covered by the said clause. This argument was affirmed by the court. Public

respondent however argued that its resolution to replace the undelivered


cement was not covered by the said clause because such decision by the
private respondent was not part of the contract, but instead of its good faith
in maintaining good business relationship with petitioner. Private respondent
claims that it was not part of its duty to replace such goods but offered in
good faith. The court rejected this claim saying that their failure to deliver
the goods albeit the fact that they had already received payment already
obliged them to make compensations for their breach of the contract to
deliver the goods agreed upon.

Synthesis
In the case of MAGTAJAS vs. PRYCE PROPERTIES CORPORATION, INC.
& PAGCOR
Under Sec. 458 of the Local Government Code, local government units are
authorized to prevent or suppress, among others, "gambling
and other prohibited games of chance." Obviously, this provision excludes
games of chance which are not prohibited but are in fact permitted by law.
The petitioners are less than accurate in claiming that the Code could have
excluded such games of chance but did not. In fact it does. The language of
the section is clear and unmistakable. Under the rule of noscitur a sociis, a
word or phrase should be interpreted in relation to, or given the same
meaning of, words with which it is associated. Accordingly, we conclude that
since the word "gambling" is associated with "and other prohibited games of
chance," the word should be read as referring to only illegal gambling which,
like the other prohibited games of chance, must be prevented or suppressed.
In People vs Flores
Further, according to the maxim noscitur a sociis, the correct construction of
a word or phrase susceptible of various meanings may be made clear and
specific by considering the company of words in which it is found or with
which it is associated.87 Section 31(c) of R.A. No. 7610 contains a listing of
the circumstances of relationship between the perpetrator and the victim
which will justify the imposition of the maximum penalty, namely when the
perpetrator is an "ascendant, parent, guardian, stepparent or collateral
relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity." It should be
noted that the words with which "guardian" is associated in the provision all
denote a legal relationship. From this description we may safely deduce that

the guardian envisioned by law is a person who has a legal relationship with
a ward. This relationship may be established either by being the wards
biological parent (natural guardian) or by adoption (legal guardian).
Appellant is neither AAAs biological parent nor is he AAAs adoptive father.
Clearly, appellant is not the "guardian" contemplated by law.
In OIL AND NATURAL GAS COMMISSION vs.COURT OF APPEALS and
PACIFIC CEMENT COMPANY, INC.
The doctrine of noscitur a sociis, although a rule in the construction of
statutes, is equally applicable in the ascertainment of the meaning and
scope of vague contractual stipulations, such as the aforementioned phrase.
According to the maxim noscitur a sociis, where a particular word or phrase
is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings, its
correct construction may be made clear and specific by considering the
company of the words in which it is found or with which it is associated, or
stated differently, its obscurity or doubt may be reviewed by reference to
associated words. 13 A close examination of Clause 16 reveals that it covers
three matters which may be submitted to arbitration namely,
(1) all questions and disputes, relating to the meaning of the specification
designs, drawings and instructions herein before mentioned and as to quality
of workmanship of the items ordered; or
(2) any other question, claim, right or thing whatsoever, in any way arising
out of or relating to the supply order/contract design, drawing, specification,
instruction or these conditions; or
(3) otherwise concerning the materials or the execution or failure to execute
the same during stipulated/extended period or after the
completion/abandonment thereof.
The first and second categories unmistakably refer to questions and disputes
relating to the design, drawing, instructions, specifications or quality of the
materials of the supply/order contract. In the third category, the clause,
"execution or failure to execute the same", may be read as "execution or
failure to execute the supply order/contract". But in accordance with the
doctrine of noscitur a sociis, this reference to the supply order/contract must
be construed in the light of the preceding words with which it is associated,
meaning to say, as being limited only to the design, drawing, instructions,
specifications or quality of the materials of the supply order/contract. The

non-delivery of the oil well cement is definitely not in the nature of a dispute
arising from the failure to execute the supply order/contract design, drawing,
instructions, specifications or quality of the materials. That Clause 16 should
pertain only to matters involving the technical aspects of the contract is but
a logical inference considering that the underlying purpose of a referral to
arbitration is for such technical matters to be deliberated upon by a person
possessed with the required skill and expertise which may be otherwise
absent in the regular courts.

INTERPRETARE ET CONCORDARE LEGES LEGIBUS EST


OPTIMUS INTERPRETANDI MODUS
To interpret and harmonize laws is the best method of interpretation.

In the case of DREAMWORK CONSTRUCTION, INC. V. JANIOLA and


FAMINI, the principle is consistent with the maxim; interpretare et
concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus or every statute
must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a
uniform system of jurisprudence.
In other words, every effort must be made to harmonize seemingly
conflicting laws. It is only when harmonization is impossible that resort must
be made to choosing which law to apply.
Art. 36 of the Civil Code and Sec. 7 of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court are
susceptible of an interpretation that would harmonize both provisions of law.
The phrase previously instituted civil action in Sec. 7 of Rule 111 is plainly
worded and is not susceptible of alternative interpretations. The clause
before any criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed in Art.
36 of the Civil Code may, however, be interpreted to mean that the motion
to suspend the criminal action may be filed during the preliminary
investigation with the public prosecutor or court conducting the
investigation, or during the trial with the court hearing the case.
While in CATIIS v CA, et al, the Petitioners interpretation that the term
any person in the first paragraph of section 1 could mean that even one
person can be indicted for syndicated estafa is contrary to the provision of
the law. It bears stressing that the law must be considered as a whole, just as
it is necessary to consider a sentence in its entirety in order to grasp its true

meaning. It is a dangerous practie to base construction upon only a part of a


section since one portion may be qualified by the other portion. In fact, there
is no need for any construction or interpretation of P.D. No. 1689 since the
law is clear and free from any doubt or ambiguity. Section 1 of PD No. 1689
has defined what constitutes a syndicate and such definition is controlling.
Where a requirement is made in explicit and unambiguous terms, no
discretion is left to the judiciary. It must see to it that is mandate is obeyed.
In so far with MORENO v COMELEC, the Courts function, in the face of
this seeming dissonance, is to interpret and harmonize the Probation Law
and the Local Government Code.

GR NO 184861, JUNE 30, 2009


DREAMWORK CONSTRUCTION, INC. VS CLEOFE JANIOLA AND HON.
ARTHUR FAMINI
FACTS:
Petitioner, filed a Complaint Affidavit against private respondent with the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Las Pias City for violation of Batas Pambansa
Bilang 22. Afterwards, private respondent, together with her husband, filed a
complaint against petitioner for the rescission of an alleged construction
agreement between the parties, as well as for damages. Thereafter, private
respondent filed for a Motion to Suspend proceedings alleging that for the
rescission of an alleged construction agreement between the parties, as well
as for damages.
ISSUE:
WON the court seriously erred in not perceiving grave abuse of discretion on
the part of the inferior court when the latter ruled to suspend proceedings in
Criminal Case Nos. 55554-61 on the basis of prejudicial question in Civil
Case No. LP-06-0197.
RULING:
Private respondent cites Article 36 of the Civil Code. The Court does not
agree with private respondents argument that a prejudicial question exists
when the civil action is filed either before the institution of the criminal
action or during the pendency of the criminal action and that there is an
apparent conflict in the provisions of the Rules of Court and the Civil Code in
that the latter considers a civil case to have presented a prejudicial question
even if the criminal case preceded the filing of the civil case.

It is a basic precept in statutory construction that a change in phraseology


by amendment of a provision of law indicates a legislative intent to change
the meaning of the provision from that it originally had.In the instant case,
the phrase, previously instituted, was inserted to qualify the nature of the
civil action involved in a prejudicial question in relation to the criminal action.
This interpretation is further buttressed by the insertion of subsequent
directly before the term criminal action. There is no other logical explanation
for the amendments except to qualify the relationship of the civil and
criminal actions, that the civil action must precede the criminal action.
Additionally, it is a principle in statutory construction that a statute should
be construed not only to be consistent with itself but also to harmonize with
other laws on the same subject matter, as to form a complete, coherent and
intelligible system. This principle is consistent with the maxim, interpretare
et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus or every statute
must be so construed and harmonized with other statutes as to form a
uniform system of jurisprudence.[17]In other words, every effort must be
made to harmonize seemingly conflicting laws. It is only when harmonization
is impossible that resort must be made to choosing which law to apply.
G.R. NO. 153979 February 6, 2006
CATIIS VS. CA
FACTS:
Petitioner filed a letter-complaint against private respondents Reynaldo A.
Patacsil, Enrico D. Lopez, Luzviminda A. Portuguez and a certain Margielyn
Tafalla before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City, for violation of
Art. 315, No. 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Presidential Decree
No. 1689 (syndicated estafa) and other related offenses.
A Resolution with a probable cause for syndicated Estafa against private
respondents and Tafalla with no bail recommended and was approved by City
Prosecutor.
That on or about the 3rd week of January 2000 or subsequent thereto in
Quezon City and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, conspiring and confederating together and all of them
mutually helping and aiding one another in a syndicated manner consisting
of five (5) or more persons through corporations registered with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and/or unregistered foreign
entities with intention of carrying out the unlawful or illegal act, transaction,
enterprise or scheme, with intent to gain and by means of fraud and deceit,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud REGINO SY
CATIIS and several other persons in the following manner, to wit: by falsely or
fraudulently pretending or representing, in a transaction or series of

transactions, which they made with the Complainant and the public in
general to the effect that they were in a legitimate business of foreign
exchange trading successively or simultaneously operating under the
following name and style of Asia Profits Philippines, Incorporation, Winggold
Management Philippines Incorporated, Belkin Management Consultancy, Inc.
and/or Belkin Profits Limited or other unregistered foreign entities induced
and succeeded in inducing complainant and several other persons to give
and deliver and in fact, the latter and said persons gave and delivered to
said accused the amount of at least US$ 123,461.14 or its equivalent in
Philippine Pesos on the strength of said manifestations and representations,
the accused knowing fully well that the above-named corporations registered
with the SEC and/or those unregistered foreign entities are not licensed nor
authorized to engage in foreign exchange trading corporations and that such
manifestations and representations to transact in foreign exchange were
false and fraudulent that resulted to the damage and prejudice of the
complainant and other persons and that the defraudation pertains to funds
solicited from the public in general by such corporations/associations.
On November 7, 2001, Judge Lucas P. Bersamin issued an Order finding
probable cause against all the accused and approved the recommendation of
the City Prosecutor that the charge be non-bailable. The corresponding
warrants of arrest were issued.
A return on the warrant of arrest was made by PO3 Joselito M. Coronel, PNP
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Camp Crame, Quezon City, with
the information that except for Margielyn Tafalla, who remained at large, all
other accused were already detained at the Makati City Jail.
On November 12, 2001, a notice of hearing was issued by Judge Bersamin
setting the case for arraignment on November 20, 2001. Private respondents
on the same day filed an urgent motion to fix bail.
On November 20, 2001, private respondents, when arraigned, entered pleas
of not guilty. The Prosecution was required to file their comment/opposition
on private respondents motion to fix bail which they did through the Private
Prosecutor with the conformity of Assistant City Prosecutor Arthur O.
Malabaguio.
On December 18, 2001, Judge Bersamin issued an Order reconsidering his
earlier Order of November 7, 2001 by declaring that the offense charged is
bailable. In finding that the accused are entitled to bail.
ISSUE:
Whether Judge Bersamin is correct in finding that the crime charged is
bailable despite that the imposable penalty ranges from reclusion temporal
to reclusion perpetua?

HELD:
The Court held that since the crime charged was not committed by a
syndicate as defined under the law, the penalty of life imprisonment to death
cannot be imposed on private respondents. Judge Bersamin is correct when
he ruled that private respondents could only be punished with reclusion
temporal to reclusion perpetua in case of conviction since the amount of the
fraud exceeds P100,000.00.
The Court further held that Sections 8 and 9 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules
of Criminal Procedure, which took effect on December 1, 2000, provide:
Sec. 8. Designation of the offense. The complaint or information shall state
the designation of the offense given by the statute, aver the acts or
omissions constituting the offense, and specify its qualifying and aggravating
circumstances. If there is no designation of the offense, reference shall be
made to the section or subsection of the statute punishing it.
Sec. 9. Cause of the accusations. The acts or omissions complained of as
constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances
must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the
language used in the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of
common understanding to know what offense is being charged as well as its
qualifying and aggravating circumstances and for the court to pronounce
judgment.
Clearly, it is now a requirement that the aggravating as well as the qualifying
circumstances be expressly and specifically alleged in the complaint or
information. Otherwise, they cannot be considered by the trial court in their
judgment, even, if they are subsequently proved during trial.
A reading of the Information shows that there was no allegation of any
aggravating circumstance, thus Judge Bersamin is correct when he found
that the lesser penalty, i.e., reclusion temporal, is imposable in case of
conviction.

Hence, Petitioners interpretation that the term "any person" in the first
paragraph of section 1 could mean that even one person can be indicted for
syndicated estafa is contrary to the provision of the law. It bears stressing
that the law must be considered as a whole, just as it is necessary to
consider a sentence in its entirety in order to grasp its true meaning.16 It is a
dangerous practice to base construction upon only a part of a section since
one portion may be qualified by the other portion.17 In fact, there is no need
for any construction or interpretation of P. D. No. 1689 since the law is clear
and free from any doubt or ambiguity. Section 1 of P.D. No. 1689 has defined
what constitutes a syndicate and such definition is controlling. Where a

requirement is made in explicit and unambiguous terms, no discretion is left


to the judiciary. It must see to it that its mandate is obeyed.18
In this case, the Information specifically charged only four persons without
specifying any other person who had participated in the commission of the
crime charged, thus, based on the definition of syndicate under the law, the
crime charged was not committed by a syndicate.

G.R. No. 168550


URBANO M. MORENO vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.
FACTS:
Norma L. Mejes (Mejes) filed a petition to disqualify Urbano M. Moreno from
running for Punong Barangay on the ground that the latter was convicted by
final judgment of the crime of Arbitrary Detention and was sentenced to
suffer imprisonment of Four (4) Months and One (1) Day to Two (2) Years and
Four (4) Months by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 28 of Catbalogan, Samar
on August 27, 1998.
Moreno filed an answer averring that the petition states no cause of action
because he was already granted probation. The case was forwarded to the
Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Samar for preliminary hearing
where Moreno was disqualified from running for Punong Barangay.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the grant of probation does not affect the disqualification
under Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code?
RULING:
The petition is GRANTED. The grant of probation does not affect the
disqualification under Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code was based
primarily on the finding that the crime of fencing of which petitioner was
convicted involves moral turpitude, a circumstance which does not obtain in
this case. At any rate, the phrase "within two (2) years after serving
sentence" should have been interpreted and understood to apply both to
those who have been sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving
moral turpitude and to those who have been sentenced by final judgment for
an offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment. The placing
of the comma (,) in the provision means that the phrase modifies both parts
of Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code.

The Court's function, in the face of this seeming dissonance, is to interpret


and harmonize the Probation Law and the Local Government
Code. Interpretare et concordare legis legibus est optimus interpretandi.
Probation is not a right of an accused but a mere privilege, an act of grace
and clemency or immunity conferred by the state, which is granted to a
deserving defendant who thereby escapes the extreme rigors of the penalty
imposed by law for the offense of which he was convicted. 15 Thus, the
Probation Law lays out rather stringent standards regarding who are qualified
for probation.
The disqualification under Sec. 40(a) of the Local Government Code covers
offenses punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, a penalty
which also covers probationable offenses. In spite of this, the provision does
not specifically disqualify probationers from running for a local elective office.
This omission is significant because it offers a glimpse into the legislative
intent to treat probationers as a distinct class of offenders not covered by the
disqualification.
The Probation Law should be construed as an exception to the Local
Government Code. While the Local Government Code is a later law which
sets forth the qualifications and disqualifications of local elective officials, the
Probation Law is a special legislation which applies only to probationers. It is
a canon of statutory construction that a later statute, general in its terms
and not expressly repealing a prior special statute, will ordinarily not affect
the special provisions of such earlier statute.17

Argumentum a contrario
What is expressed puts an end to what is implied.
Negative-Opposite Doctrine: what is expressed puts an end to that which is
implied.
In logic, an argumentum a contrario (Latin: "appeal from the contrary" or
"argument based on the contrary") denotes any proposition that is argued to
be correct because it is not disproven by a certain case. It is the opposite of
the analogy. Arguments a contrario are often used in the legal system as a
way to solve problems not currently covered by a certain system of laws.
Although it might be used as a logical fallacy, arguments a contrario are not
by definition fallacies.
Examples

" 123 of the X-Law says that green cars need to have blue tires. As
such, red cars don't have to have blue tires."
Here the argument is based on the fact that red cars are not green cars and
as such 123 of the X-Law cannot be applied to them. This requires the law
to be interpreted to determine which solution would have been desired if the
lawmaker had considered red cars. In this case it's probably safe to assume
that they only wanted to regulate green cars and not regulate cars of other
colors.
On the other hand, this example:

" 456 of the Y-Law says that it's irrelevant whether a message is sent
by letter or by telegraph. As such, messages cannot be sent by fax
machines."
As with the example above, the argument is based on the fact that the law
does not mention fax machines and they must therefore not be used. Here
the interpretation that the lawmaker consciously did not mention fax
machines is less valid than the assumption that fax machines did not exist at
this time and that, were the law passed today, they would have been
mentioned. Here the argument a contrario is used fallaciously since it places
the letter of the law above its intent
Escribano v. Avila
G.R. No. L-30375, Sep. 12, 1978
FACTS:
On September 25, 1968 Congressman Salipada K. Pendatun, the governorelect of Cotabato, filed directly with the Court of First Instance of that
province a complaint for libel against Mayor Jose Escribano of Tacurong,
Cotabato. In that complaint Escribano was charged with having said in a
speech, which was broadcasted on a radio station, that "Mr. Pendatun is the
worst animal that ever live in this province. Escribano questioned Judge
Avila's authority to conduct the preliminary investigation of the offense.
Judge Avila in his orders of March 5, 20 and 27, 1969 ruled that he had the
power to conduct the preliminary investigation. On April 1, 1969 Escribano
filed in this Court against Judge Avila and Pendatun the instant special civil
actions of certiorari and prohibition, praying that the said orders of Judge
Avila be set aside. On April 18 Escribano filed a supplemental petition to
annul Judge Avila's order of March 29, 1969. In that order he found that
Pendatun's evidence had "established a probable cause to believe that" libel
by radio had been committed and that Escribano "probably committed the
same". The city fiscal filed an information for libel against Escribano.
Petitioner invokes the provisions of article 360 of the Revised Penal Code,
which were inserted by Republic Act No. 4363, which do not empower the
Court of First Instance to conduct a preliminary investigation of written
defamations.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of First Instance of Cotabato is invested with
authority to conduct the preliminary investigation of the crime of libel
committed by means of radio at Cotabato City or whether that power is
lodged exclusively in the city attorney of that city.
HELD:
Yes. The lawmaking body, by means of that amendment of Art. 360, never
intended to take away the jurisdiction of the proper Court of First Instance to
conduct a preliminary investigation in libel cases. The amendment merely
sought to strip the ordinary municipal court of its power to hold a preliminary
investigation of written defamations. The fact that the Court of First Instance
is not mentioned in Article 360 as a tribunal that may conduct the
preliminary investigation of libel cases would seem to suggest that it cannot
conduct such preliminary investigation, following the maxim inclusio unius
est exclusio alterius (the inclusion of one thing is the exclusion of another or
the enumeration of particular things excludes the Idea of something else not
mentioned.)
However, the maxim inclusio unius est exclusio alterius cannot be applied in
this case because, as shown above, the fact that the Court of First Instance is
not mention in the amendment, as being empowered to conduct a
preliminary investigation in cases of written defamation, has nothing to do
with the purpose of the amendment. It should be stressed that in construing
a law, the court must look to the object to be accomplished, the evils and
mischief sought to be remedied, or the purpose to be subserved, and it
should give the law a reasonable or liberal construction which win best effect
its purpose rather than one which win defeat it. The silence of article 360 on
the power of a judge of the Court of First Instance to conduct an investigation
of criminal actions for written defamations does not preclude a judge of that
court from holding such investigation.
STATUTE: for libel, preliminary investigations of criminal actions for written
defamation xxx shall be conducted by the city fiscal of province or city or by
municipal court of city or capital of the province where such actions may be
instituted precludes all other municipal courts from conducting such
preliminary investigations
G.R. No. 2122, Acosta v. Flor, 5 Phil. 18
It is alleged in the complaint that at the municipal elections held on the 1st
day of December, 1903, in the town of Laoag, Province of Ilocos Norte, the
plaintiff and the defendant were candidates for the office of municipal
president of the said town; that as a result of the said election the plaintiff

was elected to the said office by a majority of 100 votes, and that
notwithstanding this fact the defendant has usurped said office and
unlawfully held the same since the plaintiff was the person entitled to the
exercise of said office. The complaint further sets out other acts in regard to
illegalities alleged to have been committed during the election. The prayer of
the complaint is to the effect that judgment be entered against the
defendant, excluding him from the exercise of such office and that the
plaintiff be declared to be entitled to the same and that he be given
possession thereof, and for such other and further relief as the facts in the
case would warrant in favor of the plaintiff.
The case having proceeded to trial, the plaintiff introduced various
witnesses, all and each of whom testified to facts which, if true, would more
or less gravely affect the legality of the election. Not a single witness,
however, confirmed the allegations contained in the complaint, to the effect
that the plaintiff had obtained a majority of 100 votes at the said election,
nor can it be inferred from the evidence introduced by the plaintiff that he,
as a result of the said election, or for any other reason, was entitled to the
office of municipal president of Laoag, now held by the defendant.
In view of the evidence introduced at the trial by the plaintiff, and before the
defendant had presented his, the court, on the latter's motion, acquitted the
defendant, imposing the costs upon the plaintiff. The court based its action
upon the following grounds: (1) That the plaintiff could not maintain the
action brought by him because he had failed to establish his alleged right to
the exercise of the office in question; and (2) that there was no necessity to
inquire into the right of the defendant to hold the said office for the reason
that this question had already been determined by the provincial board after
a consideration of the various protests presented to it in regard to
irregularities committed during the last election held at Laoag for the office
of municipal president and other municipal officials, and for the further
reason that the presumption is that a person holding a public office was duly
appointed or elected thereto.
The plaintiff excepted to his ruling of the court, moved for a new trial, and
thereafter brought the case to this court for review. An examination of the
evidence of record supports the finding of the court below to the effect that
the plaintiff has failed to prove in any way, shape, or form that he was
entitled to the office in question, as alleged by him in his complaint. There is
no dispute upon this question. The appellant, himself, when the motion of
the defendant to dismiss was argued, and from the decision of which he
appealed to this court, clearly admitted that he had failed to establish his
right to the exercise of the office in question. (Page 17 of the bill of
exceptions.) And on page 52 of his brief, he also assumes that he had been
unable to establish his alleged right to the office in question.

The question that we have to decide, therefore, is whether, notwithstanding


what has already been said, and notwithstanding the fact that the plaintiff
has failed to show that he had any right to the office of municipal president
of Laoag, he can maintain an action such as this for the purpose of excluding
the defendant from the exercise of said office on account of illegalities
alleged to have been committed in the elections.
The right to maintain such an action is especially and expressly governed by
the provisions of sections 197 to 216 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The code, after enumerating in sections 197 and 198 the cases in which such
an action may be brought and the persons against whom they may be
brought, goes on to determine with careful distinction those who have the
right to maintain such action.
Section 199 provides that "the Attorney-General of the Islands, or the fiscal
of any province, when directed by the Chief Executive of the Islands, must
commence any such action; and when upon the complaint or otherwise he
has good reason to believe that any case specified in the two preceding
sections can be established by proof, he must commence such action."
Section 200 provides that "the Attorney-General of the Islands or the fiscal
for a province, may, at his own instance, bring such an action, or he may, on
leave of the court in which the action is to be commenced, or a judge thereof
in vacation, bring the action upon the relation of and at the request of
another person; but, if the action is brought at the request of and upon the
relation of another person, the officer bringing it may require an indemnity
for expenses and costs of the action, to be given to him by the party at
whose request and upon whose relation the same is brought, before
commencing it."
Finally, section 201, under the heading "An individual may commence such
action," provides as follows: "A person claiming to be entitled to a public
office, unlawfully held and exercised by another, may bring an action
therefor."
If the legislator had intended to give to all citizens alike the right to maintain
an action for usurpation of public office, he would have plainly said so in
order to avoid doubt on a subject of such far-reaching importance. A simple
provision would have sufficed for this purpose. Far from it, the legislator has
on the contrary especially and specifically provided in sections 199, 200, and
201 who must and who may bring such actions; and it is very clear that it
was his intention to give such right to those expressly mentioned in the
above-cited sections and to no other, following the well-known rule of law
"inclusio unius est exclusio alterius." It has been noticed that the above
referred to three sections only mention the Attorney-General, the provincial

fiscal, and the individual claiming to be entitled to the office unlawfully held
and exercised by another. It is to be inferred from this last provision that the
individual who does not claim to have such a right can not bring an action for
usurpation of public office.
This inference is supported by the provisions of section 202 which says that
when the action is against a person for usurping an office, the complaint
shall set forth the name of the person who claims to be entitled thereto, with
an averment of his right to the same. Why should this be required as an
essential requisite if it were not necessary that the individual bringing the
action should claim the right to exercise the office in question?
Our opinion is that the law has reserved to the Attorney-General and to the
provincial fiscals, as the case may be, the right to bring such action, an in
but one case does the law authorize an individual to bring such an action, to
wit, when that person claims to have the right to the exercise of the office
unlawfully held and exercised by another. Aside from this case an individual
can not maintain such action. The law, in our opinion, does not allow of any
other construction. If an individual, whether or not he has the right to the
office alleged to have been usurped by another were to be permitted to
maintain such an action, it would serve no purpose and section 201 would be
evidently superfluous. It would be a useless and redundant provision of the
code.
As a consequence of what has been said no individual can bring a civil action
relating to the usurpation of a public office without averring that he has a
right to the same; and at any stage of the proceedings, if it be shown that
such individual has no such right, the action may be dismissed because there
is no legal ground upon which it may proceed when the fundamental basis of
such action is destroyed as is the case here. This is what actually happened
in this case. After all of the evidence presented by the plaintiff had been
introduced, it was found, and he himself so admitted that he had failed to
establish in any way, shape, or form that he had any right to the office of
municipal president of the town of Laoag as he had alleged in his complaint
without foundation for such allegation. Consequently the judge very properly
acquitted the defendant of the complaint.
The appellant contends that the court below should have first inquired into
the right of the defendant to the office in question and that no other question
can be raised or investigated until this point has been determined, and
alleges that the question of the right of the plaintiff to the said office does
not arise until it has been determined that the defendant is not entitled to
the exercise of such office. In support of his contention he relies upon the
provisions of section 202 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

This section provides as follows: "When the action is against a person for
usurping an office, the complaint shall set forth the name of the person who
claims to be entitled thereto, with an averment of his right to the same; and
that the defendant is unlawfully in possession of the same; and judgment
may be rendered upon the right of the defendant, and also upon the right of
the person so averred to be entitled, or only upon the right of the defendant,
as justice requires."
From the words above italicized the appellant infers that the court below
should have first passed upon the right of the defendant and afterwards
upon the right of the plaintiff. In our opinion this should be done at the same
time and in the same judgment. It is immaterial what method the court may
follow in the statement and determination of the questions in the rendition of
his judgment because even though the court may pass upon the right of the
plaintiff first, and the right of the defendant afterwards, or vice versa, this
procedure would not vitiate the judgment, provided the court does not fail to
state therein what the rights of the contending parties to the office are. But
all of this, of course, presupposes that the action has been properly brought
and duly prosecuted to a judgment. This, at the same time, presupposes that
the plaintiff had a right to maintain his action upon the evidence submitted
by him at the trial. It is impossible to prosecute a suit without a cause of
action. Therefore, whenever before judgment it is conclusively proven that
the plaintiff has no right to maintain the action since he has not the essential
conditions required by law in order to bring and maintain such action, his
complaint should be dismissed and it becomes unnecessary to pass upon the
right of the defendant who has a perfect right to the undisturbed possession
of his office, unless action is brought by a person having a right to maintain
the same under the law.
It may be said that under section 202 the court may only pass upon the right
of the defendant when the justice of the case so demands. This is true, but
this only refers to cases where the action is brought by the Attorney-General
or by the provincial fiscal, as the case may be. In such cases it is not
necessary that there be a person claiming to be entitled to the office alleged
to have been usurped, because although there be no such person, as in the
case of a vacant office, for instance, the fiscal could and even should bring
such action against the person usurping the office in accordance with the
provisions of sections 200 and 199, respectively, as the case may be. The
manner in which judgment should be rendered according to section 202
perfectly meets the various cases provided for in the three preceding
sections; and it becomes the duty of the court to pass upon the rights of the
defendants only whenever it is not an essential requisite for the due
prosecution of the action that there be a person claiming to be entitled to the
office thus usurped, something which only happens where the AttorneyGeneral or the fiscal of any province brings the action against the usurper.

As a result of the foregoing, we can not here pass upon the validity or nullity
of the election of the defendant, for the reason, among others which it is not
necessary to state here, that the defendant has no right to maintain such an
action as this.
The order of the court below appealed from, is hereby affirmed. After the
expiration of twenty days let judgment be entered in accordance herewith
and let the case be remanded to the court from whence it came for further
proceedings in accordance with the law. So ordered.
Arellano, C.J., Torres, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.
Willard, J., did not sit in this case.
________________
Acosta v. Flor
STATUTE: specifically designates the persons who may bring actions
for quo warranto, excludes others from bringing such actions.
VERA v. FERNANDEZ
GR No. L-31364 March 30, 1979
89 SCRA 199
FACTS: The BIR filed on July 29, 1969 a motion for allowance of claim and for
payment of taxes representing the estate's tax deficiencies in 1963 to 1964
in the intestate proceedings of Luis Tongoy. The administrator opposed
arguing that the claim was already barred by the statute of limitation,
Section 2 and Section 5 of Rule 86 of the Rules of Court which provides that
all claims for money against the decedent, arising from contracts, express or
implied, whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, all claims for
funeral expenses and expenses for the last sickness of the decedent, and
judgment for money against the decedent, must be filed within the time
limited in the notice; otherwise they are barred forever.
ISSUE: Does the statute of non-claims of the Rules of Court bar the claim of
the government for unpaid taxes?
HELD: No. The reason for the more liberal treatment of claims for taxes
against a decedent's estate in the form of exception from the application of
the statute of non-claims, is not hard to find. Taxes are the lifeblood of the
Government and their prompt and certain availability are imperious need.
(CIR vs. Pineda, 21 SCRA 105). Upon taxation depends the Government
ability to serve the people for whose benefit taxes are collected. To safeguard
such interest, neglect or omission of government officials entrusted with the

collection of taxes should not be allowed to bring harm or detriment to the


people, in the same manner as private persons may be made to suffer
individually on account of his own negligence, the presumption being that
they take good care of their personal affairs. This should not hold true to
government officials with respect to matters not of their own personal
concern. This is the philosophy behind the government's exception, as a
general rule, from the operation of the principle of estoppel.
________________
STATUTE: All claims for money against the decedent, arising from contracts,
express or implied, whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, all
claims for funeral expenses and expenses for the last sickness of the
decedent, and judgment for money against decedent, must be filled within
the time limit of the notice, otherwise barred forever.
HELD: The taxes due to the government, not being mentioned in the rule are
excluded from the operation of the rule.