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basic rule of satutory construction: Legislative intent is to be determined from the language employed, and where there is
no ambiguity in the words, there is no room for construction, only application

statutory construction, defined

w (in our jurisdiction) it is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and the intention of the authors of the law with
respect to its application to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful, among others, by reason of the fact that the given
case is not explicitly provided for in the law

w the art of seeking the intention of the legislature in enacting a statute and applying it to a given state of facts

w the art or process of determining legislative intent with the end result of applying it to a particular state of facts
„ it is an art because there is no fixed way of doing it; it is based on your experience, based on your knowledge, etc.
w this is only a guidance to construe the law

statutory construction distinguished from interpretation

w construction
„ the drawing of conclusions with respect to subjects that are beyond the direct expression of the text from elements known and
given in the text (Diaz)
„ the process of drawing warranted conclusions not always included in direct expressions, or determining the application of words to
facts in litigation (Agpalo)
„ goes beyond the language of the text and needs assistance of extrinsic aids or considerations
w interpretation
„ the process of discovering the true meaning of the language used (Diaz)
„ the art of finding the true meaning and sense of any form of words (Agpalo)
„ the meaning of the text based on the language of the law; intrinsic; limited to exploring the written text

purpose or object of construction

w the cardinal rule in the interpretation of all laws is to ascertain, and give effect to, the intent of law. It is the ascertainment of the true intent
of the legislature
w the object of all judicial interpretation of a statute is to determine legislative intent, what intention is conveyed, either expressly or
impliedly, by the language used, so far as it is necessary for ascertaining whether the particular case or state of facts presented to the
court comes within it
„ intent is the spirit which gives life to legislative enactment; it is the essence of the law
Two concepts of intent:
a. legislatiive purpose – why a particular statute was enacted by the legislature. What exactly does the legislature
intend to accomplish or achieve by enacting the statute?
b. legislative meaning – what the law, by its language, means. What it comprehends, what it covers or embraces,
what its limits or confines are
„ the object of construing a statute is not only to know what the legislature meant by the language used, but also to determine
whether the language used sufficiently expresses that meaning. Failure of the latter may defeat the former.
w the purpose of statutory construction is to determine the legislative intent, because they are the authors of the law, with the end view of
applying it to a given state of facts

situs of construction and interpretation

w venue of statutory construction
w belongs to the judiciary department
„ the court has the final word as to what the law means
„ the Supreme Court construes the applicable law in controversies which are ripe for judicial resolution; refrains from doing so
where the case has become moot and academic
→ moot and academic – when the case or question’s purpose has become stale or where no practical relief can be granted or
which can have no practical effect
→ the SUPREME COURT has the FINAL SAY on what the law means

System of Government in the Philippines

è vested in the Congress of the Philippines which consist of the Senate and the House of Representatives
è makes and enacts the law
è vested in the President of the Philippines
è executes the law

Black, Construction and Interpretation of Laws, p.1, 2 ed.
1 nd

Justice Martin, Statutory Construction, p.1, 6 ed.

2 th


è vested in the Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law
o the Supreme Court is the one and only Constitutional Court and all other lower courts are statutory
courts, one established by statutes
è interprets the law
è includes the duty of the Court of Justice to
o settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforcable
o 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 government
è the Courts cannot render advisory opinions because their duty is to settle actual controversies.

Quasi-Judicial Functions
è Land Transportation Office (LTO) which issues driver’s license.
o They have the power to revoke one’s driver’s license if proven that the driver has exercised misconduct.
è The executive branch also comes up with the Implementing Rules and Regulations, which is a statutory construction and

Requisites before the Courts Can Construe and/or Interpret the Law
1. There must be an actual case or controversy.
w There is a case brought to the court by party litigants to hear and settle their disputes.
2. There is ambiguity in the law involved in the controversy.
w The law involved is susceptible of two or more interpretations.
„ Ambuiguity –doubleness of meaning, indistinctiveness, or uncertainty of meaning of an expression used in a written instrument
→ It is a condition of admitting two or more meanings, of being understood in more than one way, or of referring to two or more
things at the same time.

Ê The first and fundamental duty of the court is to apply the law.
9 verba legis –if the statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without interpretation;
plain meaning rule
→ this is derived from the maxim index animi sermo est , speech is the index of intention
→ verba legis non est recedendum , from the words of a statute there should be no departure.
9 dura lex sed lex – The law is harsh, but that is the law.
9 This means that when the laws or rules are clear, it is incumbent upon the judge to apply them regardless of personal belief or
predilections – when the law is unambiguous and unequivocal, application not interpretation thereof is imperative. It should be applied
regardless of who may be affected, even if the law may be harsh or onerous.
9 Construction or interpretation comes only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without it.

ambuiguity distinguished from vagueness – these are two different concepts and shall not be interchanged; however, it is possible that a
word is both ambiguous and vague
w AMBIGUOUS – equivocal; susceptible to two or more reasonable interpretations
„ it is caused by poor drafting
„ on its wider definition, it is anything that renders the law unclear or vague
„ an example is the word GAY.
→ The sentence, “He is gay,”renders ambiguous meaning without proper context. It can mean either:
a. He is homosexual.
b. He is happy.
„ Kinds of Ambiguity
1. LEXICAL OR VERBAL – pertains to several meanings; ambiguity within words
A Legal example: A complaint may be filed by the plaintiff or complainant in the principal residence or principal
residence of the defendants.
§ The residence is ambiguous under the law because it could mean: (1) domicile or legal residence – the
place that whenever you are absent, you have the intention of returning to; (2) actual residence – denotes
the physical application.
ü To explain it better, domicile is where you permanently lives while actual residence is where you
reside from the time being
§ Based on the provision, it is ambiguous. However, in the rules of Court, it pertains to the actual residence
because domicile is very inconvenient.
2. SYNTACTIC OR RELATIONAL OR GRAMMATICAL – caused by the structure of the sentence
A Ex. 1: The King can do no wrong.
§ Whatever the King does is not wrong.
§ The Kind cannot do wrong.
A Ex. 2: The mother reprimanded her daughter because she was drunk.

§ The mother is drunk.

§ The daughter is drunk.
A In the US, they have stubs(?) for free food. It is Illegal for you to sell because it is in violation of the purpose of the
§ Provision: “knowingly”and “knowingly used”
A Ex. 3: Any driver beneficiary who knowingly used the gas cash card which is not in accordance with the rules shall
be removed from the gas subsidy program.
§ “knowingly” – fully aware that you are using (something)
§ “knowlingly used” – fully aware that you are using it against the rules
3. AMBIGUITY CAUSED BY IMPLICATION - expressio unius est exclusio alterius, the expression of one thing is the
exclusion of the other. If the law enumerates and it meant to be inclusive, then that is it. The expressed inclusion of a factor
would connote an exclusion of another factor.
A Ex. 1: summons – order from court telling the defendant to answer the complaint. What is the court summons a
corporation? There are only five people who can represent the corporation or who can accept the summons on
behalf of the corporation. If the person who answered the summons do not fall under those five people, the action
would be dismissive and invalid.
A Ex. 2: The persons who can go to the concert are the following: A, B, C, D. Can H go? Can Z?
§ Things enumerated would imply that things not enumerated are NOT included.
4. CONFLICTING RULES – try to reconcile the two rules. Is it possible for the two rules to coexist?
A Ex.: Minors are not allowed in the streets after 10:00PM
Minors are not allowed outside without a guardian.
§ If the two rules are repugnant, distinguish which is general and which is specific. The most recent, being the
latest, would take precedence.
5. COMPETING VERSIONS OF THE RULES – only occurs in common law countries


Originated from the Great Britain. Originated from the Roman Law
Countries like Australia, US, UK. Spanish regimes: France, Philippines
Judicial decisions are based on customs and There are codified and written laws to guide
precedent. conduct.
Judges have the power to legislate. Then and
there, they could write a law punishing an act Judges cannot legislate.
against customs.
The decisions of the judges are laws regardless of Judicial decisions applying and interpreting the
whether there are written laws punishing such laws and the Constitution shall form a part of the
acts. A crime against customs may still be legal system of the Philippines (Article 8, Civil
penalized. Code)

w VAGUE – broad
„ knowing the meaning, but not you are not so sure if it is applicable – will it be covered by the definition?
→ an example is the word RICH. You know what the word, rich, means; however, there are cases when you are not sure if it’s
applicable. If someone has 1 million, is he rich? Or if someone has 300,00 pesos, is he rich?
„ remember the borderline cases

→ You have a definite extension of the term or you have a definite non-extension of the term. You have to justify which is which.
„ normally, this is intentional. This is like a rainbow – you are not sure where the color starts or ends. There is a blur in-between the
„ legal vagueness is intentional in order to confer to the specifics of the court
„ a statute may be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ as to its application
„ Examples:
o 1987 Constitution, Art. 3, Sec. 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor
shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
o Civil Code, Art. 2180, Para. 8: The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned
prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.
o Commonwealth Act No. 408, Art. 96. Any officer, cadet, flying cadet, or probationary second lieutenant, who is convicted
of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be dismissed from the service.

void for vagueness doctrine

„ the void-for-vagueness doctrine holds that a law is facially invalid if men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ as to its application.

See Chapter 2 of Agpalo


„ the void for vagueness doctrine expresses the rule that for an act to constitute a crime, the law must expressly and clearly declare
such act a crime. This is to enforce the due process clause, which guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or
property without due process of law, requires that citizens are given sufficient notice or warning of what is lawful and unlawful
conduct under a penal statute.
„ void-for-vagueness derives from the basic tenet of criminal law that conduct may not be treated as criminal unless it has been so
defined by an authority having the institutional competence to do so before it has taken place. It requires that a legislative crime
definition be meaningfully precise.

judicial legislation
w judicial legislation refers to a court’s actions that involve filling in the gaps of laws or overstepping boundaries of the judicial branch of
government. It means going beyond the law to create doctrines and principles not available previously.
w courts may not enlarge nor restrict statutes
„ Courts are not authorized to insert into the law what they think should be in it or to supply what they think the legislature would have
supplied if its attention had been called to omission. They should not, by construction, revise even the most arbitrary and unfair
action of the legislature, nor rewrite the law to conform with what they think should be the law.
„ To do so would be to do violence to the language of the law and to invade the legislative sphere.
w generally, it is not allowed. However, Article 9 of the Civil Code provides that “[n]o judge or court shall decline to render judgement by
reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws.”

Fetalino v Comelec
President Fidel V. Ramos extended interim appointment to petitioners Fetalino and Calderon as Comelec Commissioners each for a term of 7 years. Congress,
however, adjourned before the Commission on Appointments could act on ther appointments. The Constitution ban on presidential appointments later took effect and
the two were no longer re-appointed. They both served tas Comelec Commissioners for only more than 4 months. In 2005, they applied for their retirement benefits
and monthly pension with Comelec pursuant of RA 156 – entitlement to a 5-year lump sum gravity.
Petitioners argued that involutary termination of their ad interim appointments as Comelec Commissioners should be deemed by the Court as a retirement from
service. They prayed for liberal construction/interpretation of Section 1 of RA 1568: Retirement from the service for having completed the term of office.
SC ruled that the petitioners obviously did not retire under R.A. No. 1568, as amended, since they never completed the full seven-year term of office prescribed by
Section 2, Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution; they served as Comelec Commissioners for barely four months.
The language of the retirement law is clear and unequivocal; no room for construction or interpretation exists, only the application of the letter of the law.
Besides, no compelling legal or factual reasons for the application of the Court’s liberality in the interpretation of retirement laws to the present case. To depart
from the meaning expressed by the words of RA 1568 is to alter the law and to legislate, and not to interpret.

liberal construction: courts, from the language used, the subject matter, and the purpose of those framing them are able to find out their (statutes) true meaning
judicial legislation: act of court in angrafting upon a law something that has been omitted which someone believed ought to have been embraced

stare decisis
w in Latin, it means “Let the decision stand”
„ If something is settled by the Court, and there is a similar case in the future, the decision prior to that case shall be applied for the
sake of fairness and due process.
w stare decisis et non quieta novere , means that when Supreme Court has once laid down a principle of law as applicable to a
certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all future cases where the facts are substantially the same.
w presupposes that the facts of the precedent and the case to which it is applied are substantially the same
w purpose: enjoins adherence by lower courts to doctrinal rules established by Supreme Court in its final decisions. It is a bar to any
attempt to retaliate the same issues.
w reasons: economy, convenience and stability
w two strains:
1. Vertical Stare Decisis
è deals with the duty of lower courts to apply the decisions of the higher courts to cases involving the same facts
è obligation of the lower courts
2. Horizontal Stare Decisis
è requires that high courts must follow its own precedents
è policy, imposing choice but not a command
è two kinds:
a) constitutional – involves judicial interpretations of the Constitution
b) statutory – interpretations of statutes

Ting v Ting-Velez
The two met in medical school, fell in love, married after graduation, begotted 6 children. After 18 years, Carmen Velez-Ting filed a petition for annulment of
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity of Benjamin Ting pursuant of Article 36 of the Family Code. According to Velez-Ting, the manifestations of his
incapacity are: (1) alcoholism; (2) violent nature; (3) compulsive gambling habit; (4) irresponsibility as a father and husband, and (5) immaturity.
RTC declared the marriage null and void based on Article 36. CA reversed RTC’s decision and contentded it was contrary to Republic v Molina case. Velez-Ting
filed petition for reconsideration where she argued that the Molina case was only promulgated more than 5 years after after she filed her petition; hence, it could not be
made to apply retroactively as it would counter the principle of stare decisis. CA amended its decision and sustained RTC’s ruling.
The interpretation or construction of a law by courts constitutes a part of the law as of the date the statute is enacted. It is only when a prior ruling of this Court is
overruled, and a different view is adopted, that the new doctrine may have to be applied prospectively in favor of parties who have relied on the old doctrine and have


acted in good faith, in accordance therewith under the familiar rule of lex prospicit, non respicit (the law looks forward, not backward). SC affirmed petition, reversing
the decisions of RTC and CA.

Carpio v CA
Binay, Jr. and other public officers and employees of City of Gov’t of Makati were accused of plunder and violation of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act). Ombudsman charged them with 6 administrative cases for violation of Sec. 3 of RA 3019, malversation of funds, and falsification of Public Documents.
Ombudsman issued preventive suspension order against Binay, Jr. et al., and Senator Roxas through DILG-NCR Director Brion implemented it.
Binay said that he could not be be held administratively liable for any of the charges against him since his subsequent reelection in 2013 operated as a
condonation of any administrative offenses he may have committed during his previous term. Ombudsman argued in contention with Binay.
Condonation doctrine connotes extinguishment of liability. It is an implied pardon of an offense by treating the offender as if it had not committed the offense. It was
a jurisprudential creation decided under the 1935 Constitution. Post-1987 cases show that the basis for the condonation under the prevailing Constitutional and
statutory framework was never accounted for. However, it was never expressedly abandoned.
Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine of stare decisis does not preclude them from revisiting existing doctrine. “What we can decide, we can
undecide.”Jurisprudence is an organic creature that develops and devolves along with the society within which it thrives. Supreme Court abandoned the condonation
doctrine. Its application is prospective. Jurisprudence, until reversed, shall form part of the law of the land. Hence, the condonation doctrine benefitted Binay.

Heads of the Three Divisions of Supreme Court (5 members each)

First. Chief Justice
Second. Most Senior Associate Justice
Third. The Next Most Senior Associate Justice

Seniority – length of service in Supreme Court; who took the oath first?

OBITER DICTA (if not Direct)

w not a mandatory precedent; used as persuasive precedent
w used as persuasive precedent
w not mandatory for the court to recognize
w things merely said in passing by the court

RATIO DECIDENTE (Reason for Decision)

w If it directly assures the issue raised by the parties
w when that portion of the case directly addresses the issue raised by the parties

STARE DECISIS: more info

minimum requirement for stare decisis: substantially similar with the critical facts and issues and in the law involve
w substantial similarity means previous case is on point
w identical with respect to facts and issues – previous case is squarely applicable in all fours
w how do you know if the facts are critical? Cause of action
„ Cause of action
o There is a right made in favor of the plaintiff. There is a violation of that right.
„ Basis of cause of action
o There must be a substantive law granting that right such as Civil Code, RPC
w Remedial Law – talks about the procedures; how should you prosecute?

Cabaobas v Pepsi-Cola
The Molon case is squarely applicanle to this case. Issues and facts are similar in a certain sense. The difference, however, is the personality which is not relevant to
determine whether the case is substantially similar?

Decisions of the lower court is not mandatory. They are only presuasive precedents because they are noble arguments.

In litigation, what we are after is judicial rule which is truth based on evidence.

In trying to find out if the facts are substantially similar to other cases, find the logic and the rationale of the ruling.
Ê Example: Execution pending appeal is not normally allowed. But there are instances the court allows this. In a case where the plaintiff is
an 80 year-old woman, EPA was allowed. The rationale is foreclosure of the fruition. Kasi matanda na siya, so assumption is she is near
death. EPA was allowed para naman ma-enjoy niya ang litigation. Such decision was applied as well in the case where the plaintiff is 29
years old, but has a stage 4 cancer.
o Dissimilar facts could be a reason why the precedent should be made applicable to the present case.

Decision made by a Division could not overturn a decision made by an other Division. Only an en banc can overturn the
decision of an en banc and Division.

prospective: default; regulates acts which shall take place in the future
retroactive: has to be stated in the new law; regulates acts occurred in the past/prior to the enactment of the new law

If there is no doctrine, the SC interpreted the law, then that provision retroacts. ????

If there is a doctrine that has been amended or revoked, the provision either prospects or retroacts. Meaning, IT DEPENDS. Following the
jurisprudence, the new law will not immediately take effect considering that there are people who relied in GOOD FAITH to the old doctrine.
Example is as follows:
w There are three cases:
First. People v Macarandang – SC ruled that special agent may possess firearm without license pursuant of section 879 of the
Revise Administrative Code which states that "peace officers" are exempted from the requirements relating to the
issuance of license to possess firearms. Appointment as secret agent to the assist in the maintenance of peace and order
campaigns and detention of crimes, sufficiently put him within the category of a "peace officer.”
Second. People v Mapa - Mario Mapa was apprehended due to possession of an unlicensed firearm. In his defense, he said that
he is a secret agent of the Governor of Batangas and that he is exempt from the requirement of securing a license of
firearm. Supreme Court said that reliance of the Macarandang case on section 879 of the Revise Administrative Code is
misplaced. There was an erroneous interpretation of law. SC convicts Mapa and expressly stated that the Macarandang
case no longer speaks with authority with regard to the decision on the case at hand.
Third. People v Habilan (?) – Similar facts. Secret agent posseses firearm without license. The prevailing decision was the
Macarandang case. Then, People v Mapa was promulgated. The ruling in Mapa was correct; however, it is unfair if the
ruling in Mapa is applied since Habilan relied in good faith with the Macarandang doctrine.
w Under our laws, good faith is presumed. It means that the good faith of a party need not be proved by such party to which it is
presumed. It is the other party that needs to prove it is otherwise.

The Philippines is not a common-law country. We are not rigid in applying stare decisis. In our country, stare decisis only has a force of law, but it
is not per se a law. Supreme Court is not bound by stare decisis.


A. As to Scope of Application
a) General - One which affects all of the people of the State or all persons or things of a particular class
b) Special - One which relates either to particular persons or things of a class or which operates on a portion of a class instead of all
the classes
c) Local - One which operates over a particular locality instead of over the whole territory of the State.

B. As to Interested Parties
a) Public
è One which concerns the interests of the public at large.
è It need not be a universal rule, in the sense that it applies to the entire territory or to all the people.
è It is enough that it concerns the public and not merely a private interest, although it is local or special.
b) Private - One which relates to concerns and affects particular individual; private acts which specially enumerate by name the
person, political subdivision, or classes of persons affected in a special manner.

C. As to Effect in Time
a) Prospective - One which anticipates the regulation of future conduct and operates upon acts done and transactions occurring
after it takes effect.
b) Retrospective - One that affects already committed and operated on transactions completed. It is intended to affect rights which
accrued before it became operative, and ascribes to their effects not inherent as their nature considering the law in force at the time
they accrued.

D. As to Purpose
a) Remedial
è Statutes which affect a remedy or improve or facilitate existing remedies for the enforcement of rights and of redress of
è They include statutes for the correction of defects, mistakes, and omissions in the civil institutions and administration of
the state.
b) Penal
è Those statutes which impose a punishment for the violations of its provisions.
è These statutes generally decline certain acts or omissions to be offenses against the state and imposes penalties
c) Curative
è Those which are enacted to cure defects in a prior law or which validate legal proceedings, instruments, or acts of public
authorities which without such statutes would otherwise be void for want of conformity with certain existing legal

E. As to Coercive Force Applied

a) Mandatory - A statute is mandatory if non-compliance therewith renders the proceedings to which it relates null and void.
b) Directory - A statute or any of its provisions is directory if non-compliance therewith does not invalidate the proceedings to which
it relates

F. As to Period of Effectivity
a) Permanent - One whose operation or activity is not limited to some particular term or period, but continues in force until repealed
or amended.
b) Temporary - One whose operation or effectivity is limited to a fixed period or term. It continues in force up to the expiration of said
period or term, unless earlier repealed or amended.

G. As to Stage of Enactment
c) Original - One which purports to be independent of existing stratutory provision.
d) Amendatory - One which expressly adds or supplements or works out an improvement in the original law.
a) Repealing - One which revokes or terminates another.
b) Adopted - Those which are adopted wholly or in part by another state.
c) Re-Enacted - There are pre-existing statutes which are passed by the same legislature which originally enacted them in the
same terms or in substantially the same language and for the same purpose and object as the original statute.


A. Title
„ The heading on the preliminary part, furnishing the name by which the act is individually known.
„ It is usually prefixed to the statute in the brief summary of its contents.

B. Preamble
„ Part of statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objects sought to be accomplished. Usually, it starts with

C. Enacting Clause
„ Part of statute which declares its enactment and serves to identify it as an act of legislation proceeding from the proper legislative
„ “Be enacted” is the usual formula used to start this clause.

D. Body
„ The main and operative part of the statute containing its substantive and even procedural provisions.
„ Provisions and exceptions may also be found.

E. Repealing Clause
„ Announces the prior statutes or specific provisions which have been abrogated by reason of the enactment of the new law.

F. Saving Clause
„ Restriction in a repealing act, which is intended to save rights, pending proceedings, penalties, etc. from the annihilation which
would result from an unrestricted repeal.

G. Separability Clause
„ Provides that in the event that one or more provisions are unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall still be in force

H. Effectivity Clause
„ Announces the effective date of the law.


w Everything starts with an idea. Idea could come from legislators themselves, from their constituents. It maybe a suggestion from
someone, practically anyone can be the source of an idea or maybe the source of something that happened.
w If there is a hot item, the legislators would usually try to grab on that opportunity to prepare themselves to think.
w They drop a bill and they all want to be the first in order to be popular. It’s a good thing because it is an appropriate response, it’s a
bad thing because sometimes they use it for personal needs.
w For example, tariff bill. We have an inflation you rate of 6.7 percent as of September. Because of that there are pending bills, they try to
bring more goods with lesser tariffs.

bicameral system
w remember that we are in a Bicameral Congress, we have a Senate and a House of Representative.

w they are equal in statute

w origin why it is called lower and upper house: In Britain, it’s a house in one building, the house of representative is at first floor while the
senate is at the second floor.


The proposed bill is filed either House of Representative or Senate. Normally, to save time the legislators, they would file parallel bills meaning
same version of bill is in HOR and same in senate so that both bills would progress at the same time. Each is bill is signed and approved. The bill
would go to first reading.

First reading
1. Reading of the title of the law, author and refer to appropriate committees. The list of committees are found in the website.
2. The Committee would study and recommend the bill. If favorable, it will be submitted to Committee on Rules.Committee level Committee
heads may undergo public hearings to ask people for ideas – is the bill good or bad, and also asks for sources, or recommendations.
3. After hearings they will pass a committee report and vote if they are in favor or not.

Second Reading
1. There will be debate, period of amendments and voting.
2. If favorable, the bill is scheduled in calendar bill.
3. If not favorable it will be transmitted to the archives. Bill on archives will be part of research materials.

Third reading
1. The bill is distributed in final form and they will vote for the final bill. Final yeas and nays.
2. If favorable, it will be transmitted to the other House
3. If Disapproved, it will be sent to archives.
4. If there bill from HOR and Senate are different, they will call for Bicameral Conference Committee.


w Composed of representatives from the Senate and the HOR. They will discuss the conflicting provisions and come up with compromises
with unanimous decision. As agents of both Houses, they will deliver the compromise bill to respective principal heads.

ratification process
w the bill is printed in final form, enrollment of bill, signed by Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Secretary
Generals of both Houses
w it shall take effect 15 days after publication in Official Gazette
w If the bill is vetoed, there should explanation why the bill is vetoed. The Congress can override the veto if they arrive into 2/3 votes of
both Houses. After they override, it becomes a law.
w Inaction of the President 30 days after receipt, the bill lapses into law, publication will come next. Publication is essential to the process.
See Tañada v Tuvera case.


w composed of members of both the Legislative and Executive to talk about what bills does the president want.
w Why is there a need for this? It really takes time and effort to go to the process of passing the bill.
„ Nung time ni PNOY, maybe around one year before nawala sa pwesto, maraming bills na na-veto so nagalit ang Congress
because kung ayaw mo dapat sinabi mo na kaagad sayang kasi effort.
„ There must be a good communication line between legislative and executive.

logic behind the three readings

w Is one reading not enough for the Legislators to understand the bill?
w Based on history, tracing back to UK – a common law country, their judges would draft a decision and it would become a law. In the old
days, normally, members of the Legislature are not well-educated. There should be three readings to understand the laws fully.


General interpretations or application of statutory law. The process of determining whether a statute applies to certain case that can be applied

Three-Step Approach in Resolving Legal Issues

1) Determine whether the statute applies into the legal problem or issue
a) Locate all applicable statutes
è a single act may rise to several causes of action
è Ex. I’m a lawyer. Nainis ako sinuntok ko siya then nabungi siya. Several issues can be filed against me under the Revised
Penal Code: (1) Serious physical injuries; (2) administrative because I’m a lawyer; (3) civil damages.
è Never filter to the client. Say what you think she should do, but do not give final assessment. Give only preliminary
assessment. Research after because there are many laws that can exist that you don’t know about. Update yourself with
the laws. It will guide you. There should be no monopoly on knowledge.

b) Determine which statute apply

è after locating you can decide what are the statutes to that are applicable.
è carefully read the statute and identify the required elements.
è compare and contrast the elements to determine if the statute applies

2) Analyze the statute. Know what the problem of your case is.
a) Read the Statute - a certain section may be qualified to another to the law
b) Identify the Statutory Elements
è What does the statute specifically declare, require or prohibit.
è It is important that you have read the whole law and not only the sections because most of the times, the elements are not
stated in one section, but are written in different sections (kalat-kalat).
è Ex. In the Revised Penal Code, elements of treason cannot be easily known in one provision of the law.

3) Apply the statute to a legal problem or issue.

a) Chart formal – use a table so at a glance, you can see whether or not the elements are met
b) Narrative format – in paragraph form. State the elements and facts,but you cannot immediately see whether or not the elements
are satisfied.


9 PLAIN MEANING RULE is the default rule in statutory construction: If the law is clear, then there is no room for
interpretation construction, only application.
9 What if the judge consulted other materials, consult the debates of congress, will the conclusion be in valid?
→ No, because rules in stat con are merely guidelines.

If you find a term in the law, you must accord it to its ordinary meaning.
If the word is technical in character, do not accord the ordinary, accord the technical meaning.
w How do you know the word is technical?
1. LAY USAGE. The most basic type of legal argument is one that is based on the plain meaning of the legal text. The law is
simply what the words of the Constitution, the Statutes, the Regulation, Ordinances mean.
A In the situation of lawyers, however, if there are disputes, the other party would always ascribe something to make it
ambiguous. You don’t expect him to agree with your point of view. The other party will make it different from what
you say.
2. DICTIONARY. Is the dictionary useless? No, there are boundaries that the dictionary can be fixed. You will know up to what
extent can the words be used and in what context was the word used. The only problem with dictionary isa that it will not tell
you the meaning based on how it is used.
3. “Terms of Arts” (the JARGONS). These are words that have specialized meaning in the law. You can see jargons such
as Habeas Corpus or age of minority. You cannot accord common meanings.
4. DEFINITIONAL WORDS IN STATUTES. If the word is defined under the law then that must be used no matter what other
dictionary say. In modern laws, legislators gives the meaning of the words used.
A Ex. “Real Property”
• Under the Local Government Code – a real property constitutes as a personal property/machinery

Secretary of Justice v. Koruga

GOLDEN RULE EXCEPTION/ABSURDITY EXCEPTION: If the application of the plain meaning rule would lead to absurd results, unjust results,
contrary to the intent of legislators, then do not apply the plain meaning rule.

Case in the US regarding the definition of the word USE. Law provides, “If you use a firearm in relation with a drug transaction then
accused will have an addition of 5 years imprisonment as penalty.” Firearm was used for barter. Drug dealer liked the gun. Gun in exchange for
w Was it USED under the law? It was USED in a drug related transaction. Normal definition would tell that firearm is used if it is used for
threatening the police or for protection, but not for barter. SC of US ruled that USE in law is to be accorded with plain meaning ng use
when it was used for barter.

Normal use of things

Ex. Chair. Its purpose is for someone to sit there. If you throw it, you use it as a weapon.

The lenity rule on criminal case proceedings is that when there are two (2) equal plausible interpretations, you go for the definition
that would acquit the accused. Rationale: Alone person v. the whole machinery of the government

Burrito Case
Facts: Bawal magbenta ng sandwich yung lessee sa outlet under a contract. Kinasuhan siya nung lessor kasi nagbenta siya ng burrito.
SC: Burrito is not a sandwich.
Sandwich – composed of 2 pcs of bread, and something in between.
Burrito – composed of one-piece bread, pita bread.


A. Whole Act Rule

w You must read the whole law, if not there is a danger that what you’ve read might have been qualified by other sections of the law.

If you’ve read the law in full then you would know na yung binigay na premium sa pagsecure ng employment ng PITC employee it’s not a permanent plan, its merely
a temporary plan by virtue of reorganization of that department of the government.

JMM Promotions v. NLRC

Statutes should be read as a whole. Ut res magis valeat wuam pereat – that the thing may rather have effect than be destroyed.
It is a principle of legal hermeneutics that in interpreting a statute (or a set of rukes as in this case), care should be taken that every part thereof be given effect, on the
theory that it was enacted as an integrated measure and not as a hodge-podge of conflicting provisions. Under the petitioner’s interpretation, the appeal bond
required by Section 6 of the POEA Rule should be disregarded because of the earlier bonds and escrow money it has posted. The petitioner would in effect nullify
Section 6 a a superfluity but there is no such redundancy. On the contrary, Section 6 complements Section 4 and Section 17. The rule is that a construction that would
render a provision inoperative should be avoided. Instead, apparently inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible as parts of a coordinated and
harmonious whole.

B. Ejusdem Generis
w You have an enumeration of words. You have specific words followed by a general word at the end of it.
w You must find the common denominator or same context with the previous specific words enumerated; not everything will fall under this
general term (“and the like”, “etc”)
„ Ex. [In academic setting]-----(Students, teachers, librarians,) specific and the like general term. If you incorporate flight
stewardess, essence will be gone, because FA does not belong to the group.
w Lesson: Not everything would fall on the general term, general term must be of same context.
w Try to see if there really is something common between the specific terms previously enumerated; if there is none, go back to the
plain-meaning rule.
w Textual Canons: Analyze what’s written and decipher what’s the meaning of that provision

Mutuc v. COMELEC
Is jingle prohibited under the Comelec rules? Enumerated in the law: Pens, lighters, and the like. Pasok ba sya sa “and the like”? SC ruled on the negative. Jingle
have no monetary value. (Depende nalang kung si Beyonce yung kumanta nung jingle kasi collectibles na siya).
[In the exam, situations in cases will just be tweaked]

You must try to see kung meron something in common dun sa mga na-enumerate.

General and special terms. The ruling of the Auditor General that the term “stabilizer and flavors” as used in the law refers only to those materials actually used
in the preparation or manufacture of food and food products is based, apparently, on the principle of stat con that “general terms may be restricted by specific words,
with the result that the general language will be limited by the specific language which indicates the statute’s object and purpose. The rule, however, is applicable only
to cases where, except for one general term, all the items in an enumeration belong to or fall under one specific class (ejusdem generis). In the case at bar, it is true
that the term “stabilizer and flavors” is preceded by a number of articles that may be classified as food or food products, but it is likewise true that the other items
immediately following it for not belong to the same qualification.

The rule of construction that general and unlimited terms are restrained and limited by particular recitals when used in connection with them, does not require the
rejection of general terms entirely. It is intended merely as an aid in ascertaining the intention of the legislature and is to be taken in connection with other rules of

Cagayan valley enterprises v. CA

Try to see what’s the version of the law.
Petitioner: Hindi ksama bottles of liquor under the law.
SC: It was the intention of the legislators to cover all kinds of intellectual property materials including one bottle of hard beer.

C. Noscitur a Sociis
w Similar to Ejusdem Generis, based on context.
w “to know by its associates”

Buenaseda v. Flavier
Preventive suspension – is it a penalty? OMBUDSMAN has no power about the preventive suspension
SC: Wrong, preventive suspension is not a penalty. Petitioner mentioned penalties, but preventive suspension is not, it does not belong the group, different context.
Try to find out what’s common and critically similar

Gaano kageneral or specific commonality nila?

Ex. There’s a law giving out 10% excise tax on calamansi, oranges, dalandan, and the like. Mangga kasama ba? No. pomelo? Yes.
Gaano sya kageneral? Naglalaro creativity ng lawyers. Kelangan ba bilog lahat yun? Anong kulay? Interpretation depends.

D. Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius

w The express mention of one person or thing or consequence implies the exclusion of all others.
w There must be enumeration, if not, then it’s not applicable.
w Generally, rules on procedure - liberally construed

w Acquisition of jurisdiction of court - strictly construed

Paramount Insurance Corporation v. AC Ordo ñez Corp.

Service of summons. Complaint with annexes. SC said defendant must answer within 15 days from receipt.‘Pag mali service of summon magiging mali proceeding in
courts. Service of summons is If you file a case you have to pay docket fees.
Bangko Filipino case - most expensive case - 1M docket fees. Who serve summons? Process server ng court.‘Pag mali ‘yung nabigyan nya ng summon pwede
magfile ng motion to dismiss yung defendant, walang kaso walang balikan ng docket fees.
Lesson: Process server samahan for purposes of assurance. (Trust issue)

E. Casus Omissus
w Same effect with expressio unius, ‘may enumeration at may nawala.
„ expressio unus – kasama sa party si a, b, at c (sila lang ang kasama)
„ cassus umisus – ang nabanggit lang na kasama sa party ay si a b at c (result di kasama si d)
w Why are there 2 rules?
„ Cassus omisus – there is a prior law, ‘may enumeration tapos may amendment konti yung nakaenumerate.
„ Cassus omisus kelangan nawala talaga hindi lang sya little word or ommit ng substitute word.

People v. Manantal
Political Activity. Judge of the peace ginamit under the old law.
Manantal: ‘Di na ko kasama sa narepeal na law.
SC: The law just used a more generic term.