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Antonio Mecano vs.

Commission on Audit
GR No. 103982
December 11, 1992

Petitioner Antonio Mecano, a Director II of the National Bureau of Investigation, filed a petition
for certoriari to nullify the decision of Commission of Audit (COA) in the 7 th Indorsement denying
him of reimbursement anchored on the provisions of Section 699 of the Revised Administrative
Code (RAC) in the amount of Php 40,831.00.

Earlier, the petitioner was hospitalized because of cholecystitis and incurred the
abovementioned amount. Under Sec. 699 of RAC, he is entitled to allowances in case of injury,
sickness, death incurred in the performance of duty. Hence, the petitioner requested
reimbursement for his expenses to NBI Director Alfredo Lim forwarding the request to the
Secretary of Justice. The request was returned due to the comments of the COA Chairman
stating that the RAC being relied upon was already repealed by the Administrative Code of
1987. The petitioner resubmitted the request asserting that the Administrative Code did not
operate to repeal or abrogate in its entirety the RAC, including Section 699. Director Lim
transmitted the request to the Justice Secretary who recommended the payment to the COA
Chairman. The COA Chairman again denied the request asserting the same reason and
furthered that Section 699 was not restated nor re-enacted in the Administrative Code of 1987.
According to the COA Chairman, the claim may be filed with the Employees' Compensation
Commission, considering that the illness of Director Mecano occurred after the effectivity of the
Administrative Code of 1987. Eventually, the request was again returned to Director Lim with an
advice of elevating the matter in the Supreme Court if he so desires.

Whether or not the Administrative Code of 1987 repealed or abrogated the Revised
Administrative Code including Section 699

In determining whether a particular law has been repealed or not by a subsequent law is a
matter of legislative intent which is manifested in the incorporation of a repealing provision
which expressly and specifically cites the particular law or laws, and portions that are intended
to be repealed. Scrutinizing the repealing clause will determine if the new law really supplants
the old law. The repealing clause of the Administrative Code of 1987 states:

Sec. 27. Repealing Clause. All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, or portions
thereof, inconsistent with this Code are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

The repealing clause of the Administrative Code of 1987 is repeal by implication because it
failed to identify which specific laws shall be repealed. The failure to indicate specific laws
reveal that the intent was not to repeal any existing law, unless an irreconcilable inconsistency
and repugnancy exist in the terms of the new and old laws.

The two categories of repeal by implication are as follows: a) where provisions in the two acts
on the same subject matter are in an irreconcilable conflict, the later act to the extent of the
conflict constitutes an implied repeal of the earlier one; and b) if the later act covers the whole
subject of the earlier one and is clearly intended as a substitute, it will operate to repeal the
earlier law.
In this case, the new Code (Administrative Code of 1987) does not cover nor attempt to cover
the entirety of the old codes (Sec 699, RAC) subject matter. There are matters included in the
old Code which are not found in the new one, like the provisions on notaries public, the leave
law, the public bonding law, military reservations, claims for sickness benefits under Section
699, and others. Apparently, COA failed to prove that RAC has conflicting provisions with the
Administrative Code of 1987 that may warrant the formers repeal.
The rules of statutory construction state that repeal of statutes by implication are not favored.
The presumption is against inconsistency and repugnancy for the legislature is presumed to
know the existing laws on the subject and not to have enacted inconsistent or conflicting

The Court explained that it is presumed that laws are passed with full knowledge of existing
laws related to the matter. In passing a statute, it is reasonable to presume that it does not
intend to interfere with or abrogate with previously passed laws, unless there are irreconcilable
and conflicting provisions between them. Hence, every effort must be exhausted to make all
acts stand and if possible, reconciled; the later act will not operate as a repeal of the earlier.

Wherefore, the Court granted the petition and ordered the respondent to reimburse the
petitioners claim for benefits.