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Statutory Construction

1. Judicial power is vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law. (Art VIII, Sec. 1, Phil. Const.) Judicial power includes the duty of the
courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the


1. existence of an appropriate case

2. interest personal and substantial by the party raising the constitutional question (standing to
3. plea that the function be exercised at the earliest possible opportunity
4. necessity that the constitutional question be passed upon in order to decide the case (must be
the lis mota of the case)

- a bona fide case, raises a justiciable controversy (actual controversies)

- refers to a matter which is appropriate for court review; issues inherently susceptible of being
decided on grounds recognized by law (except political question)

Political Questions
- concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not the legality, of a particular act or
measure being assailed; questions which are to be decided by the people in their sovereign
capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislature or

Judicial Controversy
- by mere enactment of questioned law or approval of the challenged action ( ripeness )


Legal Standing or Locus Standi

- personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain
direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged; interest means material
interests, not a mere interest in the question involved or a mere incidental interest
- citizen acquires standing if he can establish that

1. he has suffered some actual or threatened injury asa result of the allegedly illegal conduct
of government

2. the injury is fairly traceable to the action

3. injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.

some exceptions to standing

1. when petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people

2. when issue raised is of paramount importance to the public, the Court may brush aside
technicalities of procedure

Taxpayers Suit
- allowed where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed, or that public money is
being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is wastage of public funds.


- must be raised at the earliest opportunity; question must be raised in the complaint or petition


- Courts will not pass upon the validity of a statute if it can decide the case on some other
- Nor will the Courts pass upon the validity of a statute where the issues raised in the case has
apparently become moot
- Moot and Academic
case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so
that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value.


- whether such parties have alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy
(must not be in an indefinite way)

Real party of interest

- the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment or the party entitled to the avails
of the suit (must not be in an indefinite way)* Duty to preserve the rule of law is not sufficient for
standing* On seriousness, novelty, or weight of the case rules of standing may be relaxed
e.g. transcendental importance
Transcendental importance

1. character of the funds or other assets involved in the case

2. presence of clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public

respondent agency of instrumentality of government

3. lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the question being
Political Question:

1. textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political


2. Lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it

3.impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non
- judicial discretion

Statutory Interpretation

- interpretation of statutes, the interpretation to be given must be such that it is in accordance

with logic, common sense, reasonableness and practicality.


Statutory "interpretation" is what courts do all the time, when they

have a case implicating a statute come before them. It is a broad
term that applies to any statements by a court that describe (in
reality, that set) the limits and boundaries of what a statute is
intended to regulate, and in what way that statute is to be applied in
a particular kind of case. Every statute, no matter how clear in its
scope and wording, needs to be interpreted when applied to specific

Statutory "construction" is a much narrower concept, and only

refers to the process of specifying exactly what the words of an
ambiguously worded statute mean. There are set rules for statutory
construction that most courts follow to translate legalese into
something understandable.