Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

DEMETRIA ESTRADA, plaintiff-appellant,

vs.
ULDARICO CASEDA, defendant-appellee.

San Juan, Africe, Yñquez and Benedicto and Enrique M. Fernando for appellant.
Jose E. Erfe for appellee.

TUASON, J.:

This case is before this Court for review of a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila reversing the judgment
of the municipal court and declaring that "the plaintiff may not eject the defendant from the premises in question."

It appears that on September 5, 1945, plaintiff brought this suit, for unlawful detainer, alleging that defendant leased
from her a part of a dwelling at a monthly rental of P26; that on August 11, 1945, plaintiff notified defendant in writing
to vacate the premises under lease, because one of her married daughters was going to occupy them by the first of
the following month; that defendant refused to leave.

On October 13, 1945, Judge Mariano Nable, then of the municipal court, gave judgment for plaintiff with order for
defendant to pay the rent from October 1, 1945, at the rate of P26 a month.

On the case being appealed to the Court of First Instance, defendant filed an answer alleging as special defense,
among others not necessary to the solution of this appeal, "that the main motive of the plaintiff in bringing the
present action is to oust the defendant and lease the same premises to third parties who are willing to pay the black
market rental."

In reversing the judgment of the municipal court, the Court of First Instance of Manila, Judge Rafael Dinglasa
presiding, said that "Commonwealth Act No. 689, as amended only provides three grounds for rejecting a lessee or
occupant from a building destined solely for dwelling, namely (1) for willful and deliberate non-payment of rents, (2)
when the lessor has to occupy the building leased, and (3) when the lessee shall have subleased the building or any
part thereof as dwelling or for dwelling purpose without the written consent of the proprietor." None of these
conditions, according to the court, was alleged much less proved. The court correctly held that the fact that the
premises under lease were needed by plaintiff's married daughter was not comprehended in the second ground.

The above requirements were provided in Commonwealth Act No. 689, which was approved October 15, 1945.
Section 14 of that Act provided that the same "shall be in force for a period of two years after its approval." Republic
Act No. 66, approved October 18, 1946, amended section 14 of Commonwealth Act No. 689 so as to read as
follows: "Section 14. This Act shall be in force for a period of four years after its approval."

When did this four-year period commence to run? Is the present lease still within his period?

An amended act is ordinarily to be construed as if the original statute had been repealed, and a new and
independent act in the amended form had been adopted in its stead; or, as frequently stated by the courts, so far as
regards any action after the adoption of the amendment, as if the statute had been originally enacted in its amended
form. The amendment becomes a part of the original statute as if it had always been contained therein, unless such
amendment involves the abrogation of contractual relations between the state and others. Where an amendment
leaves certain portions of the original act unchanged, such portions are continued in force, with the same meaning
and effect they had before the amendment. So where an amendatory act provides that are existing statute shall be
amended to read as recited in the amendatory act, such portions of the existing law as are retained, either literally or
substantially, are regarded as a continuation of the existing law, and not as a new enactment. (59 C. J., 1096,
1097.)lawphi1.nêt

In accordance with this rule, the provision of Republic Act No. 66 amending section 14 of Commonwealth Act No.
689, related back to, and should be computed from the date of the approval of the amended act, that is October 15,
1945. The period as thus construed expired on October 15, 1949.
The judgment of Judge Dinglasan was correct, but, the period reckoned by the trial court being now over, our
decision is that judgment shall be rendered ejecting defendant from the house described in the complaint and
ordering him to pay rent at the rate of P26 a month from October 1, 1945. It is so ordered, without costs.

Ozaeta, Paras, Feria, Montemayor, Reyes and Torres, JJ., concur.


Moran, C.J., Mr. Justice Bengzon voted in conformity with this decision.

Separate Opinions

PADILLA, J., concurring:

I concur in the result. Commonwealth Act No. 689, as amended by Republic Act No. 66, cannot be given retroactive
effect. The cause of action in the case at bar arose before the passage of the Acts.

ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, petitioner,


vs.
COURT OF TAX APPEALS and THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, respondents.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:

This is a Petition for Review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Tax Appeals in C.T.A. Case No. 2809, dated
November 29, 1979, which affirmed the assessment by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, dated April 16,
1971, of a deficiency withholding income tax against petitioner, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, for the years
1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968 in the respective amounts of P75,895.24, P99,239.18, P128,502.00 and P222, 260.64,
or a total of P525,897.06.

During the period pertinent to this case, petitioner corporation was engaged in the business of telecasting local as
well as foreign films acquired from foreign corporations not engaged in trade or business within the Philippines. for
which petitioner paid rentals after withholding income tax of 30%of one-half of the film rentals.

In so far as the income tax on non-resident corporations is concerned, section 24 (b) of the National Internal
Revenue Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 2343 dated June 20, 1959, used to provide:

(b) Tax on foreign corporations.—(1) Non-resident corporations.— There shall be levied, collected,
and paid for each taxable year, in lieu of the tax imposed by the preceding paragraph, upon the
amount received by every foreign corporation not engaged in trade or business within the
Philippines, from an sources within the Philippines, as interest, dividends, rents, salaries, wages,
premiums, annuities, compensations, remunerations, emoluments, or other fixed or determinable
annual or periodical gains, profits, and income, a tax equal to thirty per centum of such amount.
(Emphasis supplied)

On April 12, 1961, in implementation of the aforequoted provision, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued
General Circular No. V-334 reading thus:

In connection with Section 24 (b) of Tax Code, the amendment introduced by Republic Act No. 2343,
under which an income tax equal to 30% is levied upon the amount received by every foreign
corporation not engaged in trade or business within the Philippines from all sources within this
country as interest, dividends, rents, salaries, wages, premiums, annuities, compensations,
remunerations, emoluments, or other fixed or determinable annual or periodical gains, profits, and
income, it has been determined that the tax is still imposed on income derived from capital, or labor,
or both combined, in accordance with the basic principle of income taxation (Sec. 39, Income Tax
Regulations), and that a mere return of capital or investment is not income (Par. 5,06, 1 Mertens
Law of Federal 'Taxation). Since according to the findings of the Special Team who inquired into
business of the non-resident foreign film distributors, the distribution or exhibition right on a film is
invariably acquired for a consideration, either for a lump sum or a percentage of the film rentals,
whether from a parent company or an independent outside producer, apart of the receipts of a non-
resident foreign film distributor derived from said film represents, therefore, a return of investment.

xxx xxx xxx

4. The local distributor should withhold 30% of one-half of the film rentals paid to the non-resident
foreign film distributor and pay the same to this office in accordance with law unless the non-
resident foreign film distributor makes a prior settlement of its income tax liability. (Emphasis ours).

Pursuant to the foregoing, petitioner dutifully withheld and turned over to the Bureau of Internal Revenue the amount
of 30% of one-half of the film rentals paid by it to foreign corporations not engaged in trade or business within the
Philippines. The last year that petitioner withheld taxes pursuant to the foregoing Circular was in 1968.

On June 27, 1968, Republic Act No. 5431 amended Section 24 (b) of the Tax Code increasing the tax rate from 30
% to 35 % and revising the tax basis from "such amount" referring to rents, etc. to "gross income," as follows:

(b) Tax on foreign corporations.—(1) Non-resident corporations.—A foreign corporation not engaged
in trade or business in the Philippines including a foreign life insurance company not engaged in the
life insurance business in the Philippines shall pay a tax equal to thirty-five per cent of the gross
income received during each taxable year from all sources within the Philippines, as interests,
dividends, rents, royalties, salaries, wages, premiums, annuities, compensations, remunerations for
technical services or otherwise, emoluments or other fixed or determinable annual, periodical or
casual gains, profits, and income, and capital gains, Provided however, That premiums shah not
include reinsurance premiums. (Emphasis supplied)

On February 8, 1971, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 4-71,
revoking General Circular No. V-334, and holding that the latter was "erroneous for lack of legal basis," because
"the tax therein prescribed should be based on gross income without deduction whatever," thus:

After a restudy and analysis of Section 24 (b) of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended
by Republic Act No. 5431, and guided by the interpretation given by tax authorities to a similar
provision in the Internal Revenue Code of the United States, on which the aforementioned provision
of our Tax Code was patterned, this Office has come to the conclusion that the tax therein
prescribed should be based on gross income without t deduction whatever. Consequently, the ruling
in General Circular No. V-334, dated April 12, 1961, allowing the deduction of the proportionate cost
of production or exhibition of motion picture films from the rental income of non- resident foreign
corporations, is erroneous for lack of legal basis.

In view thereof, General Circular No. V-334, dated April 12, 1961, is hereby revoked and henceforth,
local films distributors and exhibitors shall deduct and withhold 35% of the entire amount payable by
them to non-resident foreign corporations, as film rental or royalty, or whatever such payment may
be denominated, without any deduction whatever, pursuant to Section 24 (b), and pay the withheld
taxes in accordance with Section 54 of the Tax Code, as amended.

All rulings inconsistent with this Circular is likewise revoked. (Emphasis ours)

On the basis of this new Circular, respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued against petitioner a letter of
assessment and demand dated April 15, 1971, but allegedly released by it and received by petitioner on April 12,
1971, requiring them to pay deficiency withholding income tax on the remitted film rentals for the years 1965 through
1968 and film royalty as of the end of 1968 in the total amount of P525,897.06 computed as follows:

1965

Total amount remitted P 511,059.48

Withholding tax due 153,318.00


thereon

Less: Amount already 89,000.00


assessed

Balance P64,318.00

Add: 1/2% mo. int. fr. 4- 11,577.24


16-66 to 4-16-69

Total amount due & P 75,895.24


collectible

1966

Total amount remitted P373,492.24

Withholding tax due 112,048.00


thereon

Less: Amount already 27,947.00


assessed

Balance 84,101.00

Add: 11/2%mo. int. fr. 4- 15,138.18


16-67 to 4-116-70

Total amount due & P99,239.18


collectible

1967

Total amount remitted P601,160.65

Withholding tax 180,348.00


due thereon

Less: Amount 71,448.00


already assessed

Balance 108,900.00

Add: 1/2% mo. int. 19,602.00


fr. 4-16-68 to 4-16-
71

Total amount due P128,502.00


& collectible

1968

Total amount remitted P881,816.92

Withholding tax due 291,283.00


thereon
Less: Amount already 92,886.00
assessed

Balance P198,447.00

Add: 1/2% mo. int. fr. 23,813.64


4-16-69 to 4-29-71

Total amount due & P222,260.44 1


collectible

On May 5, 1971, petitioner requested for a reconsideration and withdrawal of the assessment. However, without
acting thereon, respondent, on April 6, 1976, issued a warrant of distraint and levy over petitioner's personal as well
as real properties. The petitioner then filed its Petition for Review with the Court of Tax Appeals whose Decision,
dated November 29, 1979, is, in turn, the subject of this review. The Tax Court held:

For the reasons given, the Court finds the assessment issued by respondent on April 16, 1971
against petitioner in the amounts of P75,895.24, P 99,239.18, P128,502.00 and P222,260.64 or a
total of P525,897.06 as deficiency withholding income tax for the years 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968,
respectively, in accordance with law. As prayed for, the petition for review filed in this case is
dismissed, and petitioner ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation is hereby ordered to pay the sum of
P525,897.06 to respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue as deficiency withholding income tax
for the taxable years 1965 thru 1968, plus the surcharge and interest which have accrued thereon
incident to delinquency pursuant to Section 51 (e) of the National Internal Revenue Code, as
amended.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed at petitioner's cost.

SO ORDERED. 2

The issues raised are two-fold:

I. Whether or not respondent can apply General Circular No. 4-71 retroactively and issue a
deficiency assessment against petitioner in the amount of P 525,897.06 as deficiency withholding
income tax for the years 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968.

II. Whether or not the right of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to assess the deficiency
withholding income tax for the year 196,5 has prescribed. 3

Upon the facts and circumstances of the case, review is warranted.

In point is Sec. 338-A (now Sec. 327) of the Tax Code. As inserted by Republic Act No. 6110 on August 9, 1969, it
provides:

Sec. 338-A. Non-retroactivity of rulings. — Any revocation, modification, or reversal of and of the
rules and regulations promulgated in accordance with the preceding section or any of the rulings or
circulars promulgated by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue shall not be given retroactive
application if the relocation, modification, or reversal will be prejudicial to the taxpayers, except in the
following cases: (a) where the taxpayer deliberately mis-states or omits material facts from his return
or any document required of him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue: (b) where the facts
subsequently gathered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue are materially different from the facts on
which the ruling is based; or (c) where the taxpayer acted in bad faith. (italics for emphasis)

It is clear from the foregoing that rulings or circulars promulgated by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue have no
retroactive application where to so apply them would be prejudicial to taxpayers. The prejudice to petitioner of the
retroactive application of Memorandum Circular No. 4-71 is beyond question. It was issued only in 1971, or three
years after 1968, the last year that petitioner had withheld taxes under General Circular No. V-334. The assessment
and demand on petitioner to pay deficiency withholding income tax was also made three years after 1968 for a
period of time commencing in 1965. Petitioner was no longer in a position to withhold taxes due from foreign
corporations because it had already remitted all film rentals and no longer had any control over them when the new
Circular was issued. And in so far as the enumerated exceptions are concerned, admittedly, petitioner does not fall
under any of them.

Respondent claims, however, that the provision on non-retroactivity is inapplicable in the present case in that
General Circular No. V-334 is a nullity because in effect, it changed the law on the matter. The Court of Tax Appeals
sustained this position holding that: "Deductions are wholly and exclusively within the power of Congress or the law-
making body to grant, condition or deny; and where the statute imposes a tax equal to a specified rate or
percentage of the gross or entire amount received by the taxpayer, the authority of some administrative officials to
modify or change, much less reduce, the basis or measure of the tax should not be read into law." 4 Therefore, the
Tax Court concluded, petitioner did not acquire any vested right thereunder as the same was a nullity.

The rationale behind General Circular No. V-334 was clearly stated therein, however: "It ha(d) been determined that
the tax is still imposed on income derived from capital, or labor, or both combined, in accordance with the basic
principle of income taxation ...and that a mere return of capital or investment is not income ... ." "A part of the
receipts of a non-resident foreign film distributor derived from said film represents, therefore, a return of investment."
The Circular thus fixed the return of capital at 50% to simplify the administrative chore of determining the portion of
the rentals covering the return of capital." 5

Were the "gross income" base clear from Sec. 24 (b), perhaps, the ratiocination of the Tax Court could be upheld. It
should be noted, however, that said Section was not too plain and simple to understand. The fact that the issuance
of the General Circular in question was rendered necessary leads to no other conclusion than that it was not easy of
comprehension and could be subjected to different interpretations.

In fact, Republic Act No. 2343, dated June 20, 1959, supra, which was the basis of General Circular No. V-334, was
just one in a series of enactments regarding Sec. 24 (b) of the Tax Code. Republic Act No. 3825 came next on June
22, 1963 without changing the basis but merely adding a proviso (in bold letters).

(b) Tax on foreign corporation.—(1) Non-resident corporations. — There shall be levied, collected
and paid for each taxable year, in lieu of the tax imposed by the preceding paragraph, upon the
amount received by every foreign corporation not engaged in trade or business within the
Philippines, from all sources within the Philippines, as interest, dividends, rents, salaries, wages,
premiums annuities, compensations, remunerations, emoluments, or other fixed or determinable
annual or periodical gains, profits, and income, a tax equal to thirty per centum of such amount:
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT PREMIUMS SHALL NOT INCLUDE REINSURANCE PREMIUMS.
(double emphasis ours).

Republic Act No. 3841, dated likewise on June 22, 1963, followed after, omitting the proviso and inserting some
words (also in bold letters).

(b) Tax on foreign corporations.—(1) Non-resident corporations.—There shall be levied, collected


and paid for each taxable year, in lieu of the tax imposed by the preceding paragraph, upon the
amount received by every foreign corporation not engaged in trade or business within the
Philippines, from all sources within the Philippines, as interest, dividends, rents, salaries, wages,
premiums, annuities, compensations, remunerations, emoluments, or other fixed or determinable
annual or periodical OR CASUAL gains, profits and income, AND CAPITAL GAINS, a tax equal to
thirty per centum of such amount. 6 (double emphasis supplied)

The principle of legislative approval of administrative interpretation by re-enactment clearly obtains in this case. It
provides that "the re-enactment of a statute substantially unchanged is persuasive indication of the adoption by
Congress of a prior executive construction. 7 Note should be taken of the fact that this case involves not a mere
opinion of the Commissioner or ruling rendered on a mere query, but a Circular formally issued to "all internal
revenue officials" by the then Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

It was only on June 27, 1968 under Republic Act No. 5431, supra, which became the basis of Revenue
Memorandum Circular No. 4-71, that Sec. 24 (b) was amended to refer specifically to 35% of the "gross income."
This Court is not unaware of the well-entrenched principle that the Government is never estopped from collecting
taxes because of mistakes or errors on the part of its
agents. 8 In fact, utmost caution should be taken in this regard. 9 But, like other principles of law, this also admits of
exceptions in the interest of justice and fairplay. The insertion of Sec. 338-A into the National Internal Revenue
Code, as held in the case of Tuason, Jr. vs. Lingad, 10 is indicative of legislative intention to support the principle of
good faith. In fact, in the United States, from where Sec. 24 (b) was patterned, it has been held that the
Commissioner of Collector is precluded from adopting a position inconsistent with one previously taken where
injustice would result therefrom, 11 or where there has been a misrepresentation to the taxpayer. 12

We have also noted that in its Decision, the Court of Tax Appeals further required the petitioner to pay interest and
surcharge as provided for in Sec. 51 (e) of the Tax Code in addition to the deficiency withholding tax of P
525,897.06. This additional requirement is much less called for because the petitioner relied in good faith and
religiously complied with no less than a Circular issued "to all internal revenue officials" by the highest official of the
Bureau of Internal Revenue and approved by the then Secretary of Finance. 13

With the foregoing conclusions arrived at, resolution of the issue of prescription becomes unnecessary.

WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Court of Tax Appeals is hereby reversed, and the questioned assessment set
aside. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Makasiar (Acting Chairman), Fernandez, Guerrero and De Castro, * JJ., concur.

GREGORIO V. GAERLAN, JR., petitioner and appellee,


vs.
LUIS C. CATUBIG, respondent and appellant.

D. C. Macaraeg, T. Guadiz, Jr., R. Hidalgo and N. F. Calimlim for petitioner and appellee.
Santos D. Areola for respondent and appellant.

SANCHEZ, J.:

Registered candidates for councilors, amongst others in the eight-seat City Council of Dagupan City — in the 1963
elections — were petitioner Gregorio V. Gaerlan, Jr. and respondent Luis C. Catubig. Having obtained the third
highest number of votes, the City Board of Canvassers, on December 2, 1963, proclaimed respondent Catubig one
of the elected 8 councilors. Petitioner Gaerlan, on the other hand, lost his bid.

Seasonably,1 petitioner went to Court on quo warranto to challenge respondent's eligibility2 for the office, on the
averment of non-age. The judgment below gave the nod to petitioner and held respondent ineligible to hold the
office of councilor of Dagupan City, excluded him there from, and declared vacant the seat he occupies in the City
Board. Respondent appealed.

There is no quarrel as to the facts. Respondent Catubig was born in Dagupan City on May 19, 1939. At the time he
presented his certificate of candidacy on September 10, 1963, he was 24 years, 3 months and 22 days; on election
day, November 12, 1963, he was 24 years, 5 months and 24 days; and at the time he took his oath of office as
councilor on January 1, 1964,3 he was 24 years, 7 months and 13 days. Whether respondent's age be reckoned as
of the date of the filing of his certificate of candidacy, or the date of election,4 or the date set by law for the
assumption of office — the result is the same. Whichever date is adopted, still, respondent was below 25 years of
age.

With the foregoing backdrop, respondent calls upon us to resolve two questions: First, has petitioner a cause of
action against respondent? Second, in the affirmative, is respondent eligible to the office of councilor of Dagupan
City?
1. The thrust of respondent's argument is simply this: Petitioner Gaerlan, Jr. placed 16th out of the 16 candidates;
Gaerlan thus has no right to the office, either by election or otherwise; and said petitioner cannot validly question
respondent's right to sit.

This case calls into question the applicability of Section 173 of the Revised Election Code5 which, in part, reads:

Procedure against an ineligible person. — When a person who is not eligible is elected to a provincial or
municipal office, his right to the office may be contested by any registered candidate for the same office
before the Court of First Instance of the province, within one week after the proclamation of his election, by
filing a petition for quo warranto. ...

The language of this statute is very plain. The right of a non-eligible person elected to a municipal office may be
contested by any registered candidate for the same office. Petitioner perfectly fits into this legal precept. He was a
registered candidate for the same office. It matters not that he has no claim or right to the office of councilor in the
event respondent be ousted. Because the clear-cut language — "any registered candidate for the same office" —
does not require that said candidate, if his quo warranto case prospers, himself occupy that office. Right here, we
find a forbidding obstacle to any other view of the statute. To say otherwise would empty this legal provision of its
obvious contents. Sanchez vs. Del Rosario, supra, is to be read as controlling in the present. There, as here, the
office involved was that of Councilor, the statute under consideration the same Section 173, Revised Election Code.
And again, there as here, petitioner would not sit if the action be successful. This Court there expressly ruled:

That petitioner would not be entitled to the elective office even if respondent is ordered to vacate the same is
likewise an invalid objection against the institution of this suit, for otherwise, Section 173 of the Revised
Election Code would clearly be rendered nugatory. Under said law, the contestant's right to the office
involved is not contemplated, and thus this Court has repeatedly ruled that respondent's declaration of
ineligibility does not entitle the petitioner to said office (Luison vs. Garcia, G.R. No. L-10981, April 25, 1958;
Llamoso vs. Ferrer, 47 Off. Gaz., No. 2, 727; Calano vs. Cruz, G.R. No. L-6404, January 12, 1954). Yet, in
said rulings, the petitioners have never been considered to be without any legal personality to file the
necessary quo warrantoproceedings. We need not conjecture into the philosophy of the law; suffice it to say
that the legislature expressed its intentions very plainly.1äw phï1.ñët

But respondent would want us to apply Section 6 of Rule 66 of the Revised Rules of Court, as follows:

SEC. 6. When an individual may commence such an action. — A person claiming to be entitled to a public
office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another bring an action in his own name.

Section 6 just quoted is out of focus. Petitioner here is not "claiming to be entitled" to the office of councilor. Besides,
we are unprepared to scuttle the jurisprudence heretofore cited — which is so well buttressed upon law and reason.
Moreover, distinction should be drawn between quo warranto referring to an office filled by election and quo
warranto involving an office held by appointment thus —

... In quo warranto proceedings referring to offices filled by election, what is to be determined is the eligibility
of the candidate elect, while in quo warranto proceedings referring to offices filled by appointment, what is
determined is the legality of the appointment. In the first case when the person elected is ineligible, the
court cannot declare that the candidate occupying the second place has been elected, even if he were
eligible, since the law only authorizes a declaration of election in favor of the person who has obtained a
plurality of votes, and has presented his certificate of candidacy. In the second case, the court determines
who has been legally appointed and can and ought to declare who is entitled to occupy the office.6

The foregoing, once again, emphasizes the rule that in quo warranto proceedings referring to offices filled by
election, the only issue is the eligibility of the candidate elected. In such a posture it is beyond debate that the
applicable statute here is Section 173 of the Revised Election Code, the specific law on the subject.

And, petitioner's standing in court is confirmed.

2. Respondent's presses the claim that the question of age-eligibility should be governed by the provisions of
Republic Act 1707 and not by Republic Act 2259.8 For ready reference, we present in parallel columns the two
conflicting legal provisions — on the left side, Section 12, Republic Act No. 170, as amended, and on the right,
Section 6, Republic Act 2259.

Sec. 12 x x x the elective members of the Sec. 6. No person shall be a City Mayor, Vice-
Municipality Board shall be qualified electors of the Mayor, or Councilor unless he is at least twenty-
city, residents therein for at least one year, and not five years of age, resident of the city for one year
less than twenty-three years of age. x x x" prior to his election and is a qualified voter.

Pertinent here it is to state that Republic Act No. 484 amending, inter alia, Section 12 of the Dagupan City Charter,
took effect on June 10, 1950; whereas, Republic Act No. 2259 became law on June 19, 1959 — nine years later.

The problem, cast in legal setting, is whether or not Section 12 should give way to Section 6. On this point the
following reproduced in haec verba from Libarnes vs. Executive Secretary, et al., L-21505, October 24, 1963, is an
authoritative expositor of the law, viz:

Again, the question whether or not a special law has been repealed or amended by one or more subsequent
general laws is dependent mainly upon the intent of Congress in enacting the latter. The discussions on the
floor of Congress show beyond doubt that its members intended to amend or repeal all provisions of special
laws inconsistent with the provisions of Republic Act No. 2259, except those which are expressly excluded
from the operation thereof. In fact, the explanatory note to Senate Bill No. 2, which upon approval, became
Republic Act No. 2259, specifically mentions Zamboanga City, among others that had been considered by
the authors of the bill in drafting the same. Similarly, Section 1 of Republic Act No. 2259 makes reference to
"all chartered cities in the Philippines", whereas Section 8 excludes from the operation of the Act "the cities
of Manila, Cavite, Trece Martires and Tagaytay", and Section 4 contains a proviso exclusively for the City of
Baguio, thus showing clearly that all cities not particularly excepted from the provisions of said Act —
including therefor, the City of Zamboanga — are subject thereto.9

The only reference to Dagupan City in Republic Act 2259 is found in Section 2 thereof whereunder voters in said
city, and in the City of Iloilo, are expressly precluded to vote for provincial officials. Therefore, by the terms of the
Libarnes decision, the age-limit provision in the last-named statute (Republic Act 2259) is controlling.

Indeed, we find no warrant in logic to go along with respondent. Adverting to Libarnes, supra, Act 2259 (Section 8)
excludes from the operation thereof a number of cities. Dagupan City is not one of them. We are not to enter into the
impermissible field of injecting into a statute a provision plainly omitted therefrom. And until Congress decrees
otherwise, we are not to tamper with the present statutory set-up. Rather, we should go by what the legislative body
has expressly ordained.

And, this position we take here is accentuated by the fact that by Section 9 of Act 2259,

All Acts or parts of Acts, Executive Orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act,
are hereby repealed.

Given the fact that Dagupan City beyond peradventure is removed from the exceptions, it stands to reason itself that
its charter provision on the age limit is thereby repealed. And this, because "the last statute is so broad in its terms
and so clear and explicit in its words so as to show that it was intended to cover the whole subject, and therefore to
displace the prior statute." 10

Specifically with reference to the uniform age limit of 25 years set forth in Section 6 of Republic Act 2259, we take
stock of the phraseology employed. This section starts with "No person shall be ... Councilor unless he is at least
twenty-five years of age". This specific language gives us added reason to believe that in reality — and for the sake
of uniformity — the 23-year age limit in the Dagupan City Charter must have to yield. Because in the legislative
scheme, councilors are conferred the right to succeed the City Mayor in the event the Vice-Mayor is
Unavailable. 11The City Mayor must at least be 25 years of age. 12 So it is, that in the event a councilor 23 years of
age is elected and before 25 years catapulted to the position of mayor, then we have the anomalous situation where
the person succeeding as mayor will be less than 25 years. Such a situation, it seems to us, is not contemplated by
the law.

With the foregoing guideposts, we are unable to subscribe to the view that respondent's age qualification should be
governed by the provisions of the Dagupan City Charter.

We, accordingly, hold that respondent is disqualified on the ground of non-age: Because at the time he filed his
certificate of candidacy, at the time of the election, and at the time he took his oath of office, he was below the age
of 25 years.

Upon the law and the facts, we vote to affirm the appealed judgment. No costs allowed. So ordered.

Bengzon, C.J., Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ.,
concur.