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PEOPLE V.

ECHAVES

FACTS: The record shows that on October 25, 1977 Fiscal Abundio R. Ello filed with
the lower court separate informations against sixteen persons charging them with
squatting as penalized by Presidential Decree No. 772. The information against Mario
Aparici which is similar to the other fifteen informations

Five of the informations, wherein Ano Dacullo, Geronimo Oroyan, Mario Aparici,
Ruperto Cajes and Modesto Suello were the accused, were raffled to Judge Vicente B.
Echaves, Jr. of Branch II (Criminal Cases Nos. 1824, 1828, 1832, 1833 and 1839,
respectively).

ISSUE: The legal issue in this case is whether Presidential Decree No. 772, which
penalizes squatting and similar acts, applies to agricultural lands. The decree (which
took effect on August 20, 1975) provides:

SECTION 1. Any person who, with the use of force, intimidation or threat,
or taking advantage of the absence or tolerance of the landowner,
succeeds in occupying or possessing the property of the latter against his
will for residential, commercial or any other purposes, shall be punished
by an imprisonment ranging from six months to one year or a fine of not
less than one thousand nor more than five thousand pesos at the
discretion of the court, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
(2nd paragraph is omitted.)

RULING: We hold that the lower court correctly ruled that the decree does not apply to
pasture lands because its preamble shows that it was intended to apply to squatting
in urban communities or more particularly to illegal constructions in squatter areas made
by well-to-do individuals. The squating complained of involves pasture lands in rural
areas.

The rule of ejusdem generis (of the same kind or species) invoked by the trial court
does not apply to this case. Here, the intent of the decree is unmistakable. It is intended
to apply only to urban communities, particularly to illegal constructions. The rule
of ejusdem generis is merely a tool of statutory construction which is resorted to when
the legislative intent is uncertain (Genato Commercial Corp. vs. Court of Tax Appeals,
104 Phil. 615,618; 28 C.J.S. 1049-50)

Black's law dictionary

ejusdem generis
/iyjasdam jenaras/ Of the same kind, class, or nature. In theconstruction of laws
, wills, and other instruments, the "ejusdem generis rule" is, that where general
words follow anenumeration of persons or things, by words of a particular and s
pecific meaning, such general words are not to beconstrued in their widest exte
nt, but are to be held as applying only to persons or things of the same general
kind orclass as those specifically mentioned. U. S. v. LaBrecque, D.C. N.J., 419
F.Supp. 430, 432.
The rule, however, does not necessarily require that the general provision be li
mited in its scope to the identicalthings specifically named. Nor does it apply wh
en the context manifests a contrary intention. Under "ejusdemgeneris" canon of
statutory construction, where general words follow the enumeration of particular
classes of things, the general words will be construed as applying only to thing
s of the same general class as those enumerated. Campbell v. Board of Dental
Examiners, 53 Cal.App.3d 283, 125 Cal.Rptr. 694, 696

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 84850 June 29, 1989

RICARDO A. LLAMADO, petitioner,


vs.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and LEON GAW, respondents.

Ambrosio Padilla, Mempin & Reyes Law Offices for petitioner.

FELICIANO, J.:

Petitioner Ricardo A. Llamado was Treasurer of Pan Asia Finance Corporation.


Together with Jacinto N. Pascual, Sr., President of the same corporation, petitioner
Llamado was prosecuted for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 in Criminal Case No.
85-38653, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 49. The two (2) had co-signed a
postdated check payable to private respondent Leon Gaw in the amount of
P186,500.00, which check was dishonored for lack of sufficient funds.

In a decision dated 10 March 1987, the trial court convicted the petitioner alone, since
jurisdiction over the person of Pascual, who had thoughtfully fled the country, had not
been obtained. Petitioner was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of one (1) year
of prision correccional and to pay a fine of P 200,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in
case of insolvency. Petitioner was also required to reimburse respondent Gaw the
amount of P186,500.00 plus the cost of suit.

On 20 March 1987, after the decision of the trial court was read to him, petitioner
through counsel orally manifested that he was taking an appeal. Having been so
notified, the trial court on the same day ordered the forwarding of the records of the
case to the Court of Appeals. On 9 July 1987, petitioner through his counsel received
from the Court of Appeals a notice to file his Appellant's Brief within thirty (30) days.
Petitioner managed to secure several extensions of time within which to file his brief, the
last extension expiring on 18 November 1987.

Petitioner Llamado, even while his Appellant's Brief was being finalized by his then
counsel of record, sought advice from another counselor. On 30 November 1987,
petitioner, with the assistance of his new counsel, filed in the Regional Trial Court a
Petition for Probation invoking Presidential Decree No. 968, as amended. The Petition
was not, however, accepted by the lower court, since the records of the case had
already been forwarded to the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: The issue to be resolved here is whether or not petitioner's application for
probation which was filed after a notice of appeal had been filed with the trial court, after
the records of the case had been forwarded to the Court of Appeals and the Court of
Appeals had issued the notice to file Appellant's Brief, after several extensions of time to
file Appellant's Brief had been sought from and granted by the Court of Appeals but
before actual filing of such brief, is barred under P.D. No. 968, as amended.

Held : Petitioner finally argues that since under Section 4 of Probation Law as amended
has vested in the trial court the authority to grant the application for probation, the Court
of Appeals had no jurisdiction to entertain the same and should have (as he had prayed
in the alternative) remanded instead the records to the lower court. Once more, we are
not persuaded. The trial court lost jurisdiction over the case when petitioner perfected
his appeal. The Court of Appeals was not, therefore, in a position to remand the case
except for execution of judgment. Moreover, having invoked the jurisdiction of the Court
of Appeals, petitioner is not at liberty casually to attack that jurisdiction when exercised
adversely to him. In any case, the argument is mooted by the conclusion that we have
reached, that is, that petitioner's right to apply for probation was lost when he perfected
his appeal from the judgment of conviction.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CAGR No. 04678 is hereby
AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs.