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A part of the statute following the title


and preceding the enacting clause which states the reasons or the objectives of the enactment.

It cannot enlarge or confer powers, or

cure inherent defects in the statue.

It is an introduction to the main


3 Basic Points to Remember:

1.) A preamble does not create a right nor does it grant any right.

2.) It is not a source of government power.

3.) It is not an essential part of the statute.

People vs. Hon. Purisima


were filed charging the respective accused with illegal possession of deadly weapon in violation of P.D. No. 9. The petition was ordered quashed by judge Purisima on the ground that the information did not allege facts which constitute the offense penalized by P.D. No. 9 because it failed to state one essential element of the crime.


Solicitor General raised the argument that the prohibited acts need not be related to subversion activities and that the preamble of the statute or that expressed in the whereas clause is not an essential part of an act and cannot enlarge or confer powers, or cure inherent defects in the statute.


or not the information filed constitute the offense of illegal possession of deadly weapon penalized under P.D. No. 9.


preamble of P.D. No. 9 clearly concurs that although the preamble is not an essential part of the statute, it is a key to determine what is the intent and spirit of the decree and determine what acts fall within the purview of the penal statute.

Punctuation marks are aids of low degree and can never control against the intelligible meaning of written words.

When there is ambiguity in a statute which may be partially or wholly solved by a punctuation mark, it may be given consideration.

Nera v. Garcia
FACTS: Section 694 of the Revised Administrative Code: SEC. 694. Removal or suspension. No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law.

The President of the Philippines may suspend any chief or assistant chief of a bureau or office and in the absence of special provision, any other officer appointed by him, pending an investigation of his bureau or office.

With the approval of the proper head of department, the chief of a bureau or office may likewise suspend any subordinate or employee in his bureau or under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge against such subordinate or employee involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty.

It will be observed from the last four lines of the second paragraph that there is a comma after the words dishonesty and oppression, thereby warranting the conclusion that only the phrase grave misconduct or neglect is qualified by the words in the performance of duty. In other words, dishonesty and oppression to warrant punishment or dismissal, need not be committed in the course of the performance of duty by the person charged.

Hanlon v. The Law Society

Lord Lowry:

"To ignore punctuation disregards the reality that literate people, such as parliamentary draftsmen, do punctuate what they write."

Lord Lowry sets out the circumstances in which a regulation made under a statutory power was admissible for the purpose of construing the statute under which it was made. Judges may look at the punctuation in order to interpret the meaning of legislation accepted by Parliament.


FACTS: Petitioner was a foreman, Group Disposal, Office of the City Health Officer, Cebu City, at P3.90 per day. On June 16, 1953, the City Mayor removed him from the service and his place was taken by Perfecto Abellana, and latter by Pedro E. Gonzales. Before June 16, 1953, the Group Disposal Division, including personnel, was transferred from the City Health Department to the Office of the City Engineer. In April, 1954, Petitioner sought to be reinstated but his petition was not headed by the Respondents.

On the basis of the above facts, the Court of First Instance of Cebu held that Petitioner is a person in the Philippine Civil Service, pertaining to the unclassified service (section 670, Revised Administrative Code as amended), and his removal from his position is a violation of section 694 of the Revised Administrative Code and section 4 of Art XII of the Constitution.

The court further held that the notation at the bottom of Petitioners appointment to the effect that his appointment is temporary pending report from the Government Service Insurance System as to the appointees physical and medical examination did not make his appointment merely temporary.

It is also contended that the use of capitals in the words Civil Service in section 1 and 4 of Article XII of the Constitution and the use of small letters for the same words, civil service, in section 670, Revised Administrative Code, indicates that only those pertaining to the classified service are protected in the above-mentioned sections of the Constitution.

HELD: We see no validity in this argument. Capital C and S in the words Civil Service were used in the Constitution to indicate the group. No capitals are used in the similar provisions of the Code to indicate the system. We see no difference between the use of capitals in the former and of small letters in the latter.

There is no reason for excluding persons in the unclassified service from the benefits extended to those belonging to the classified service. Both are expressly declared to belong to the Civil Service; hence, the same rights and privileges should be accorded to both.

Persons in the unclassified service are so designated because the nature of their work and qualifications are not subject to classification, which is not true of those appointed to the classified service. This cannot be a valid reason for denying privileges to the former that are granted the latter.



sentences, phrases and context embody the intention of the law making body. also show an evident representation of the objective of the law.


Such understanding is related to the following:

1.) Verba Legis The words themselves express the meaning of the law.

2.) Absolute Sentencia Expositore Non Indiget When the language of the law is clear, no explanation of it is required.

Article 3 of the New Civil CodeIgnorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.