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STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION

Course Outline

Mr. Mark Xavier D. Oyales

Statutory construction is “the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and
intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case, where that
intention is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of the fact that the given case is not
explicitly provided for in the law.” (Caltex v. Palomar, G.R. No. L-19650, September 29, 1966).

Main Reference Material: Legal Method Essentials 3.0 by Prof. Dante B. Gatmaytan1
Supplementary Materials: Statutory Construction (6th Edition, 2009) by Ruben E. Agpalo

Schedule Subject Matter and Reading Materials

Week 1 INTRODUCTION

(1) Chapter 2, Legal Method Essentials pp. 11-62

(2) Legal System

 Civil Law and Common Law

 In re Max Shoop (November 29, 1920)

(3) Judicial Hierarchy

 Supreme Court (Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution)

 Court of Appeals

 Court of Tax Appeals

 Regional Trial Courts (B.P. No. 129)

 Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities,


Municipal Trial Courts

 Shari’a courts

(4) Legal Authorities

 Constitution

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The book is available at the University of the Philippines Law Center.
 Statute

 Treaties

 Administrative Issuances

 Local Ordinances

 Judicial Decisions

Weeks 2 and PART I. THE COURTS AND THE CONSTITUTION


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(1) Chapter 3, Legal Method Essentials pp. 65-100

(2) Origin and history of Constitutional and Statutory Construction.

(3) Constitutional and Statutory Construction is essentially judicial.

 Endencia v. David (G.R. No. L-6355-56, August 31,


1953)

(4) Chapter 4, Legal Method Essentials pp. 101-130

(5) Judicial Review in a nutshell.

 Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution

 Angara v. Electoral Commission (G.R. No. L-45081,


July 15, 1936)

 Marbury v. Madison (5 US 137 [1803])

 Francisco v. House of Representatives (G.R. No.


160261, November 10, 2003)

(6) Chapter 5, Legal Method Essentials pp. 131-164

(7) Judicial Decisions form part of the law of the land.

 Article 8 of the Civil Code

(8) Chapters 6-10, Legal Method Essentials pp.165-284

(9) Where the language of the law is clear, there is no room for
interpretation or construction.
 Index animi sermo est (Speech is the index of intention)

 Bolos v. Bolos (G.R. No. 186400, October 20, 2010)

 United Christian Missionary Society v. Social Security


Commission (G.R. No. L-26712-16, December 27, 1969)

 Lokin v. Commission on Elections (G.R. Nos. 179431-


32, June 2010)

Weeks 3 and PART II: LEGISLATION


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(1) Chapter 11, Legal Method Essentials

(2) Effect and Validity of Statutes

 Parts of the Statute

 Legislative Process: Sections 26 and 27, Article VI of the 1987


Constitution

 When laws take effect

 When Presidential issuances, rules and regulations take effect

 When local ordinance takes effect

 Territorial and personal effect of statutes

 Tanada v. Tuvera (146 SCRA 446)

 PNB v. Court of Appeals (222 SCRA 134 (1993))

 Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh (75 Phil 113 (1945))

 Alba v. Evangelista G.R. Nos. L-10360 and L-10433, January


17, 1957

(3) Local Ordinance and Resolution

 Primicias v. Municipality of Urdaneta, G.R. No. L-26702,


October 18, 1979.

(4) Ordinance Power of the President


 Ordinance Power of the President (see Administrative Code,
Book III, Chapter 2).

 What are Executive Orders, Administrative Orders,


Proclamations, Memorandum Orders, Memorandum Circulars,
General or Special Orders?

 The Administrative Code has the force and effect of law.

 Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima, G.R. No. 166715,


August 14, 2008

Week 6 PART II. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION

A. Presumptions to aid construction

 A statute is presumed constitutional (Farias v. The Executive


Secretary, G.R. No. 147387, December 10, 2003)

 The Congress intended to enact an effective law (Paras v.


Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 123169 November 4, 1996)

 Statutes are to be interpreted in their ordinary, commonly


accepted usage (Espino v. Cleofe, G.R. No. L-33410 July 13,
1973)

 It is a well-settled rule of statutory construction that repeals of


statutes by implication are not favored. (Akbayan v.
Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 147066, March 26, 2001)

B. The objective of statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to


the intention of the Legislature

Weeks 7 and C. Literal Construction


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 Verba legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a statute
there should be no departure.

 See Bolos Case.

 Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company v. Liberty Corrugated


Boxes Manufacturing Corporation (G.R. No. 184317, January
15, 2017)

 Social Weather Stations, Inc. v. Commission on Elections


(G.R. No. 208062, April 7, 2015)
 Saguisag v. Ochoa, Jr. (G.R. No. 212426, July 26, 2016)

 Punctuation (see U.S. v. Hart, 26 Phil 149)

D. Aids to construction

(1) Associated Words and Provisos

 Noscitur a sociis (Chavez v. Judicial and Bar Council,


691 Phil. 173 (2012))

 Ejusdem generis (Ocampo v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 225973,


November 8, 2016)

 Expressio unius est exclusion alterius (Initiatives for


Dialogue and Empowerment Through Alternative Legal
Services, Inc. v. Power Sector Assets and Liabilities
Management Corp., G.R. No. 192088, October 9, 2012)

 Doctrine of casus omissus (Chavez v. Judicial and Bar


Council, G.R. No. 202242, April 16, 2013)

 Doctrine of last antecedent, ad proximum antecedens fiat


relatio nisi impediatur sentencia (Mapa v. Arroyo, G.R.
No. 78585, July 5, 1989)

 Redendo singula singulis (Commissioner of Internal


Revenue v. PLDT, G.R. No. 140230, December 15, 2005)

 “may” and “shall” (Diokno v. Rehabilitation Finance


Corporation, G.R. No. L-4712, July 11, 1952 and
Enriquez v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 139303, August 25, 2005)

Week 9
(2) Legislative History

 What constitutes legislative history

 President’s message to legislature

 Explanatory note

 Legislative debates, views and deliberations


 Reports of commissions

 Prior laws from which statute is based

 Change in phraseology

 Amendment by deletion

 Exceptions to the rule

 Adopted statutes

(3) Contemporary Construction

 Executive construction, generally; kinds of

 Weight accorded to contemporaneous construction

 Weight accorded to usage and practice

 Construction of rules and regulations

 When contemporaneous construction is disregarded

 Erroneous contemporaneous construction does not


preclude correction nor create rights; exceptions

 Legislative interpretation

 Legislative approval

 Reenactment

 Stare decisis

 Poe-Llamanzares v. Commission on Elections (G.R. No.


221697, March 8, 2016)

 Ebarle v. Sucaldito 156 SCRA 803

 Nestle Philippines v. CA 203 SCRA 504

 Philippine Scout Veterans and Investigation Agency, Inc.


v NLRC 262 SCRA 112
Weeks 10 and (4) Law Construed as a Whole (Ut magis valeat quam pereat)
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 David v. Senate Electoral Tribunal (G.R. No. 221538,
September 20, 2016)

(5) Law Construed in Relation to another Statute (In Pari Materia


rule)

 Interpretare et concordare legibus est optimus interpretandi


or every statute must be so construed and harmonized with
other statutes as to form a uniform system of jurisprudence.

 Philippine Economic Zone Authority v. Green Asia


Construction & Development Corporation (G.R. No.
188866, October 19, 2011)

 Office of the Solicitor General v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No.


199027, June 9, 2014)

(6) Generalia Specialibus Non Derogant (A general law does not


nullify a special law)

 Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Secretary of Justice


(G.R. No. 177387, November 9, 2016)

 Tomawis v. Balindong (G.R. No. 182434, March 5, 2010)

(7) Leges Posteriores priores contrarias abrogant

 Roque, Jr. v. Commission on Elections (G.R. No. 188456,


September 10, 2009)

 Implied Repeal v. Express Repeal

 Javier v. Commission on Elections (G.R. No. 215847,


January 12, 2016)