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G.R. No. 166471 March 22, 2011 "The authority granted to LTWD by virtue of P.D. 198 is not Exclusive.

uot;The authority granted to LTWD by virtue of P.D. 198 is not Exclusive. While Barangay Tawang is
within their territorial jurisdiction, this does not mean that all others are excluded in engaging in
such service, especially, if the district is not capable of supplying water within the area. This Board
TAWANG MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE Petitioner, has time and again ruled that the "Exclusive Franchise" provision under P.D. 198 has misled most
vs. water districts to believe that it likewise extends to be [sic] the waters within their territorial
LA TRINIDAD WATER DISTRICT, Respondent. boundaries. Such ideological adherence collides head on with the constitutional provision that
"ALL WATERS AND NATURAL RESOURCES BELONG TO THE STATE". (Sec. 2, Art. XII) and
that "No franchise, certificate or authorization for the operation of public [sic] shall be exclusive in
DECISION
character".

CARPIO, J.:
xxxx

The Case
All the foregoing premises all considered, and finding that Applicant is legally and financially
qualified to operate and maintain a waterworks system; that the said operation shall redound to the
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The benefit of the homeowners/residents of the subdivision, thereby, promoting public service in a
petition1 challenges the 1 October 2004 Judgment2 and 6 November 2004 Order3 of the Regional proper and suitable manner, the instant application for a Certificate of Public Convenience is,
Trial Court (RTC), Judicial Region 1, Branch 62, La Trinidad, Benguet, in Civil Case No. 03-CV- hereby, GRANTED.5
1878.
LTWD filed a motion for reconsideration. In its 18 November 2002 Resolution, 6 the NWRB denied
The Facts the motion.

Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) is a cooperative, registered with the Cooperative LTWD appealed to the RTC.
Development Authority, and organized to provide domestic water services in Barangay Tawang, La
Trinidad, Benguet.
The RTC’s Ruling

La Trinidad Water District (LTWD) is a local water utility created under Presidential Decree (PD)
In its 1 October 2004 Judgment, the RTC set aside the NWRB’s 23 July 2002 Resolution and 15
No. 198, as amended. It is authorized to supply water for domestic, industrial and commercial
August 2002 Decision and cancelled TMPC’s CPC. The RTC held that Section 47 is valid. The
purposes within the municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet.
RTC stated that:

On 9 October 2000, TMPC filed with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) an application
The Constitution uses the term "exclusive in character". To give effect to this provision, a
for a certificate of public convenience (CPC) to operate and maintain a waterworks system in
reasonable, practical and logical interpretation should be adopted without disregard to the ultimate
Barangay Tawang. LTWD opposed TMPC’s application. LTWD claimed that, under Section 47 of
purpose of the Constitution. What is this ultimate purpose? It is for the state, through its authorized
PD No. 198, as amended, its franchise is exclusive. Section 47 states that:
agencies or instrumentalities, to be able to keep and maintain ultimate control and supervision over
the operation of public utilities. Essential part of this control and supervision is the authority to grant
Sec. 47. Exclusive Franchise. No franchise shall be granted to any other person or agency for a franchise for the operation of a public utility to any person or entity, and to amend or repeal an
domestic, industrial or commercial water service within the district or any portion thereof unless existing franchise to serve the requirements of public interest. Thus, what is repugnant to the
and except to the extent that the board of directors of said district consents thereto by resolution Constitution is a grant of franchise "exclusive in character" so as to preclude the State itself from
duly adopted, such resolution, however, shall be subject to review by the Administration. granting a franchise to any other person or entity than the present grantee when public interest so
requires. In other words, no franchise of whatever nature can preclude the State, through its duly
authorized agencies or instrumentalities, from granting franchise to any person or entity, or to
In its Resolution No. 04-0702 dated 23 July 2002, the NWRB approved TMPC’s application for a repeal or amend a franchise already granted. Consequently, the Constitution does not necessarily
CPC. In its 15 August 2002 Decision,4 the NWRB held that LTWD’s franchise cannot be exclusive prohibit a franchise that is exclusive on its face, meaning, that the grantee shall be allowed to
since exclusive franchises are unconstitutional and found that TMPC is legally and financially exercise this present right or privilege to the exclusion of all others. Nonetheless, the grantee
qualified to operate and maintain a waterworks system. NWRB stated that: cannot set up its exclusive franchise against the ultimate authority of the State. 7

With respect to LTWD’s opposition, this Board observes that: TMPC filed a motion for reconsideration. In its 6 November 2004 Order, the RTC denied the
motion. Hence, the present petition.
1. It is a substantial reproduction of its opposition to the application for water permits previously
filed by this same CPC applicant, under WUC No. 98-17 and 98-62 which was decided upon by Issue
this Board on April 27, 2000. The issues being raised by Oppositor had been already resolved
when this Board said in pertinent portions of its decision:
TMPC raises as issue that the RTC erred in holding that Section 47 of PD No. 198, as amended, is When the law is clear, there is nothing for the courts to do but to apply it. The duty of the Court is
valid. to apply the law the way it is worded. In Security Bank and Trust Company v. Regional Trial Court
of Makati, Branch 61,15 the Court held that:
The Court’s Ruling
Basic is the rule of statutory construction that when the law is clear and unambiguous, the
court is left with no alternative but to apply the same according to its clear language. As we
The petition is meritorious. have held in the case of Quijano v. Development Bank of the Philippines:

What cannot be legally done directly cannot be done indirectly. This rule is basic and, to a "x x x We cannot see any room for interpretation or construction in the clear and unambiguous
reasonable mind, does not need explanation. Indeed, if acts that cannot be legally done directly language of the above-quoted provision of law. This Court had steadfastly adhered to the
can be done indirectly, then all laws would be illusory. doctrine that its first and fundamental duty is the application of the law according to its
express terms, interpretation being called for only when such literal application is impossible. No
process of interpretation or construction need be resorted to where a provision of law peremptorily
In Alvarez v. PICOP Resources, Inc.,8 the Court held that, "What one cannot do directly, he cannot
calls for application. Where a requirement or condition is made in explicit and unambiguous
do indirectly."9 In Akbayan Citizens Action Party v. Aquino,10 quoting Agan, Jr. v. Philippine
terms, no discretion is left to the judiciary. It must see to it that its mandate is
International Air Terminals Co., Inc.,11 the Court held that, "This Court has long and consistently
obeyed."16(Emphasis supplied)
adhered to the legal maxim that those that cannot be done directly cannot be done
indirectly."12 In Central Bank Employees Association, Inc. v. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,13the
Court held that, "No one is allowed to do indirectly what he is prohibited to do directly."14 In Republic of the Philippines v. Express Telecommunications Co., Inc.,17 the Court held that, "The
Constitution is quite emphatic that the operation of a public utility shall not be
exclusive."18 In Pilipino Telephone Corporation v. National Telecommunications Commission,19 the
The President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises for the operation of a
Court held that, "Neither Congress nor the NTC can grant an exclusive ‘franchise, certificate, or
public utility that are exclusive in character. The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions expressly and
any other form of authorization’ to operate a public utility."20 In National Power Corp. v. Court of
clearly prohibit the creation of franchises that are exclusive in character. Section 8, Article XIII of
Appeals,21 the Court held that, "Exclusivity of any public franchise has not been favored by this
the 1935 Constitution states that:
Court such that in most, if not all, grants by the government to private corporations, the
interpretation of rights, privileges or franchises is taken against the grantee."22 In Radio
No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall Communications of the Philippines, Inc. v. National Telecommunications Commission,23 the Court
be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or other entities organized under held that, "The Constitution mandates that a franchise cannot be exclusive in nature."24
the laws of the Philippines, sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by citizens of the
Philippines, nor shall such franchise, certificate or authorization be exclusive in character or for
Indeed, the President, Congress and the Court cannot create directly franchises that are exclusive
a longer period than fifty years. (Empahsis supplied)
in character. What the President, Congress and the Court cannot legally do directly they cannot do
indirectly. Thus, the President, Congress and the Court cannot create indirectly franchises that are
Section 5, Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution states that: exclusive in character by allowing the Board of Directors (BOD) of a water district and the Local
Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to create franchises that are exclusive in character.

No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall
be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under In PD No. 198, as amended, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (President Marcos) created
the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such indirectly franchises that are exclusive in character by allowing the BOD of LTWD and the LWUA
citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate or authorization be exclusive in character or for a to create directly franchises that are exclusive in character. Section 47 of PD No. 198, as
longer period than fifty years. (Emphasis supplied) amended, allows the BOD and the LWUA to create directly franchises that are exclusive in
character. Section 47 states:

Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution states that:


Sec. 47. Exclusive Franchise. No franchise shall be granted to any other person or agency for
domestic, industrial or commercial water service within the district or any portion thereof unless
No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall and except to the extent that the board of directors of said district consents thereto by
be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under resolution duly adopted, such resolution, however, shall be subject to review by the
the laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such Administration. (Emphasis supplied)
citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate or authorization be exclusive in character or for a
longer period than fifty years. (Emphasis supplied)
In case of conflict between the Constitution and a statute, the Constitution always prevails because
the Constitution is the basic law to which all other laws must conform to. The duty of the Court is to
Plain words do not require explanation. The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions are clear — uphold the Constitution and to declare void all laws that do not conform to it.
franchises for the operation of a public utility cannot be exclusive in character. The 1935, 1973 and
1987 Constitutions expressly and clearly state that, "nor shall such franchise x x x be exclusive
in character." There is no exception. In Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board,25 the Court held that, "It is basic that if a law
or an administrative rule violates any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and
has no effect. The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform; no act shall be This provision has been substantially reproduced in Article XII Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution,
valid if it conflicts with the Constitution."26 In Sabio v. Gordon,27 the Court held that, "the including the prohibition against exclusive franchises.
Constitution is the highest law of the land. It is the ‘basic and paramount law to which all other laws
must conform.’"28 In Atty. Macalintal v. Commission on Elections,29the Court held that, "The
Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must xxxx
conform and in accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority
administered. Laws that do not conform to the Constitution shall be stricken down for being
Since Section 47 of P.D. 198, which vests an "exclusive franchise" upon public utilities, is
unconstitutional."30 In Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System,31 the Court
clearly repugnant to Article XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution, it is
held that:
unconstitutional and may not, therefore, be relied upon by petitioner in support of its opposition
against respondent’s application for CPC and the subsequent grant thereof by the NWRB.
Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the
constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive
WHEREFORE, Section 47 of P.D. 198 is unconstitutional.34 (Emphasis supplied)
branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any
force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme
law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract."32 (Emphasis supplied) The dissenting opinion declares Section 47 valid and constitutional. In effect, the dissenting
opinion holds that (1) President Marcos can create indirectly franchises that are exclusive in
character; (2) the BOD can create directly franchises that are exclusive in character; (3) the LWUA
To reiterate, the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions expressly prohibit the creation of franchises
can create directly franchises that are exclusive in character; and (4) the Court should allow the
that are exclusive in character. They uniformly command that "nor shall such franchise x x x be
creation of franchises that are exclusive in character.
exclusive in character." This constitutional prohibition is absolute and accepts no exception. On
the other hand, PD No. 198, as amended, allows the BOD of LTWD and LWUA to create
franchises that are exclusive in character. Section 47 states that, "No franchise shall be granted to Stated differently, the dissenting opinion holds that (1) President Marcos can violate indirectly the
any other person or agency x x x unless and except to the extent that the board of directors Constitution; (2) the BOD can violate directly the Constitution; (3) the LWUA can violate directly the
consents thereto x x x subject to review by the Administration." Section 47 creates a glaring Constitution; and (4) the Court should allow the violation of the Constitution.
exception to the absolute prohibition in the Constitution. Clearly, it is patently unconstitutional.

The dissenting opinion states that the BOD and the LWUA can create franchises that are exclusive
Section 47 gives the BOD and the LWUA the authority to make an exception to the absolute in character "based on reasonable and legitimate grounds," and such creation "should not be
prohibition in the Constitution. In short, the BOD and the LWUA are given the discretion to create construed as a violation of the constitutional mandate on the non-exclusivity of a franchise"
franchises that are exclusive in character. The BOD and the LWUA are not even legislative bodies. because it "merely refers to regulation" which is part of "the government’s inherent right to exercise
The BOD is not a regulatory body but simply a management board of a water district. Indeed, police power in regulating public utilities" and that their violation of the Constitution "would carry
neither the BOD nor the LWUA can be granted the power to create any exception to the absolute with it the legal presumption that public officers regularly perform their official functions." The
prohibition in the Constitution, a power that Congress itself cannot exercise. dissenting opinion states that:

In Metropolitan Cebu Water District v. Adala,33 the Court categorically declared Section 47 void. To begin with, a government agency’s refusal to grant a franchise to another entity, based on
The Court held that: reasonable and legitimate grounds, should not be construed as a violation of the constitutional
mandate on the non-exclusivity of a franchise; this merely refers to regulation, which the
Constitution does not prohibit. To say that a legal provision is unconstitutional simply because it
Nonetheless, while the prohibition in Section 47 of P.D. 198 applies to the issuance of CPCs for
enables a government instrumentality to determine the propriety of granting a franchise is contrary
the reasons discussed above, the same provision must be deemed void ab initio for being
to the government’s inherent right to exercise police power in regulating public utilities for the
irreconcilable with Article XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution which was ratified on
protection of the public and the utilities themselves. The refusal of the local water district or the
January 17, 1973 — the constitution in force when P.D. 198 was issued on May 25, 1973.
LWUA to consent to the grant of other franchises would carry with it the legal presumption that
Thus, Section 5 of Art. XIV of the 1973 Constitution reads:
public officers regularly perform their official functions.

"SECTION 5. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a
The dissenting opinion states two "reasonable and legitimate grounds" for the creation of exclusive
public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations
franchise: (1) protection of "the government’s investment,"35 and (2) avoidance of "a situation
organized under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum of the capital of which is
where ruinous competition could compromise the supply of public utilities in poor and remote
owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in
areas."36
character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be
granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by
the Batasang Pambansa when the public interest so requires. The State shall encourage equity There is no "reasonable and legitimate" ground to violate the Constitution. The Constitution should
participation in public utiltities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the never be violated by anyone. Right or wrong, the President, Congress, the Court, the BOD and the
governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in the LWUA have no choice but to follow the Constitution. Any act, however noble its intentions, is void if
capital thereof." it violates the Constitution. This rule is basic.
In Social Justice Society,37 the Court held that, "In the discharge of their defined functions, the of our system of government. That is to manifest fealty to the rule of law, with priority accorded to
three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands that which occupies the topmost rung in the legal hierarchy. The three departments of government
of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed."38 In Sabio,39 the Court held in the discharge of the functions with which it is [sic] entrusted have no choice but to yield
that, "the Constitution is the highest law of the land. It is ‘the basic and paramount law to obedience to its commands. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed. Congress in the
which x x x all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer. No act shall enactment of statutes must ever be on guard lest the restrictions on its authority, whether
be valid, however noble its intentions, if it conflicts with the Constitution.’"40 In Bengzon v. substantive or formal, be transcended. The Presidency in the execution of the laws cannot ignore
Drilon,41 the Court held that, "the three branches of government must discharge their respective or disregard what it ordains. In its task of applying the law to the facts as found in deciding cases,
functions within the limits of authority conferred by the Constitution."42 In Mutuc v. Commission on the judiciary is called upon to maintain inviolate what is decreed by the fundamental law. Even its
Elections,43 the Court held that, "The three departments of government in the discharge of the power of judicial review to pass upon the validity of the acts of the coordinate branches in the
functions with which it is [sic] entrusted have no choice but to yield obedience to [the course of adjudication is a logical corollary of this basic principle that the Constitution is
Constitution’s] commands. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed."44 paramount. It overrides any governmental measure that fails to live up to its mandates. Thereby
there is a recognition of its being the supreme law.58

Police power does not include the power to violate the Constitution. Police power is the plenary
power vested in Congress to make laws not repugnant to the Constitution. This rule is basic. Sustaining the RTC’s ruling would make a dangerous precedent. It will allow Congress to do
indirectly what it cannot do directly. In order to circumvent the constitutional prohibition on
franchises that are exclusive in character, all Congress has to do is to create a law allowing the
In Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Viron Transportation Co., Inc.,45 the Court held BOD and the LWUA to create franchises that are exclusive in character, as in the present case.
that, "Police power is the plenary power vested in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish
wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances, not repugnant to the
Constitution."46 In Carlos Superdrug Corp. v. Department of Social Welfare and WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We DECLARE Section 47 of Presidential Decree No.
Development,47 the Court held that, police power "is ‘the power vested in the legislature by the 198 UNCONSTITUTIONAL. We SET ASIDE the 1 October 2004 Judgment and 6 November 2004
constitution to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, Order of the Regional Trial Court, Judicial Region 1, Branch 62, La Trinidad, Benguet, in Civil Case
statutes, and ordinances x x x not repugnant to the constitution.’"48 In Metropolitan Manila No. 03-CV-1878 and REINSTATE the 23 July 2002 Resolution and 15 August 2002 Decision of
Development Authority v. Garin,49 the Court held that, "police power, as an inherent attribute of the National Water Resources Board.
sovereignty, is the power vested by the Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and
establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances x x x not
repugnant to the Constitution."50 SO ORDERED.

There is no question that the effect of Section 47 is the creation of franchises that are exclusive in ANTONIO T. CARPIO
character. Section 47 expressly allows the BOD and the LWUA to create franchises that are Associate Justice
exclusive in character.
WE CONCUR:
The dissenting opinion explains why the BOD and the LWUA should be allowed to create
franchises that are exclusive in character — to protect "the government’s investment" and to avoid
RENATO C. CORONA
"a situation where ruinous competition could compromise the supply of public utilities in poor and
Chief Justice
remote areas." The dissenting opinion declares that these are "reasonable and legitimate
grounds." The dissenting opinion also states that, "The refusal of the local water district or the
LWUA to consent to the grant of other franchises would carry with it the legal presumption that
public officers regularly perform their official functions." CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
Associate Justice Associate Justice
When the effect of a law is unconstitutional, it is void. In Sabio,51 the Court held that, "A statute
may be declared unconstitutional because it is not within the legislative power to enact; or it TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE
ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
creates or establishes methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; or its purpose CASTRO
Associate Justice
or effect violates the Constitution or its basic principles."52 The effect of Section 47 violates the Associate Justice
Constitution, thus, it is void.
ARTURO D. BRION DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
53
Associate Justice Associate Justice
In Strategic Alliance Development Corporation v. Radstock Securities Limited, the Court held
that, "This Court must perform its duty to defend and uphold the Constitution."54 In Bengzon,55 the
Court held that, "The Constitution expressly confers on the judiciary the power to maintain inviolate LUCAS P. BERSAMIN MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO
what it decrees."56 In Mutuc,57 the Court held that: Associate Justice Associate Justice

ROBERTO A. ABAD MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR.


The concept of the Constitution as the fundamental law, setting forth the criterion for the validity of
Associate Justice Associate Justice
any public act whether proceeding from the highest official or the lowest functionary, is a postulate
Sec. 47. Exclusive Franchise – No franchise shall be granted to any other person or agency for
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ JOSE C. MENDOZA domestic, industrial, or commercial water service within the district or any portion thereof unless
Associate Justice Associate Justice and except to the extent that the board of directors of said district consents thereto by resolution
duly adopted, such resolution, however, shall be subject to review by the
Administration.3 [Emphasis supplied]
MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
Associate Justice
The invalidity of exclusive franchises is not in dispute

CERTIFICATION
I reiterate that, contrary to the majority’s statements, I do not dispute that both the 1973 and the
1987 Constitutions clearly mandate that no franchise certificate, or any other form of authorization,
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, I certify that the conclusions in the above for the operation of a public utility shall be exclusive in character. I fully support the position that
Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the the legislative entity that enacted Section 47 of P.D. 198 (in this case, former President Ferdinand
opinion of the Court. E. Marcos in the exercise of his martial law legislative powers) must comply with Article XIV,
Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution4 (the Constitution in force when P.D. No. 198 was enacted).
This constitutional provision has been carried over to the 1987 Constitution as Article XII, Section
RENATO C. CORONA 11 and states:
Chief Justice

No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall
DISSENTING OPINION be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under
the laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such
citizens; nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for
BRION, J.: a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under
the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the
common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the
I dissent.
general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility
enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and
Lest this Dissent be misunderstood, I shall clarify at the outset that I do not dispute the majority managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.
position that an exclusive franchise is forbidden by the Constitution. The prohibition is in an
express words of the Constitution and cannot be disputed.
For the majority to characterize the Dissent as an argument for the grant of exclusive franchises by
former President Marcos, by the water district’s board of directors, by the LWUA, and by this Court
My misgiving arises from the majority’s failure to properly resolve the issue of whether or not would be to misread the Dissent and blur the issues that it raises.5
Section 47 of P.D. No. 198 embodies a prohibited exclusive franchise. I believe that the Court must
carefully examine and analyze the application of the constitutional command to Section 47 and
Section 47 of P.D. 198 does not violate Section 5, Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution
explain the exact legal basis for its conclusion. We must determine what an exclusive franchise
really means to avoid overextending the prohibition to unintended areas. In the process, we must
determine whether government –instead of the grant of an exclusive franchise – can regulate the The majority insists that Section 47 of P.D. 198 indirectly grants an exclusive franchise in favor of
grant of subsequent franchises. In the present case, I take the view that the law can so allow in local water districts. In their reading, the law "allows the board of directors of a water district and
order to efficiently and effectively provide its citizens with the most basic utility. the Local Water Utilities Administrator (LWUA) to create franchises that are exclusive in
character."6 I disagree, as the majority opinion does not at all specify and is unclear on how any
franchise can be indirectly exclusive. What the law allows is merely the regulation of the grant of
Respondent La Trinidad Water District (LTWD) is a local water utility created under Presidential
subsequent franchises so that the government – through government-owned and controlled
Decree (P.D.) No. 198.1 It is a government-owned and controlled corporation2 authorized by law to
corporations – can protect itself and the general public it serves in the operation of public utilities.
supply water for domestic, industrial, and commercial purposes within the Municipality of La
Trinidad. On the other hand, the petitioner Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) is an
applicant for a certificate of public convenience (CPC) to operate and maintain a waterworks An exclusive franchise, in its plainest meaning, signifies that no other entity, apart from the
system in Barangay Tawang in the Municipality of La Trinidad. grantee, could be given a franchise. Section 47 of P.D. No. 198, by its clear terms, does not
provide for an exclusive franchise in stating that:
The RTC ruled that a CPC in favor of TMPC cannot be issued without the latter having applied for
the consent of the local water district in accordance with Section 47 of P.D. No. 198. In effect, the Sec. 47. Exclusive Franchise – No franchise shall be granted to any other person or agency for
RTC ruled that Section 47 does not involve the grant of an exclusive franchise. Thus, the TMPC domestic, industrial, or commercial water service within the district or any portion thereof unless
filed the present petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, questioning and except to the extent that the board of directors of said district consents thereto by resolution
the validity of Section 47 of P.D. No. 198, which provides: duly adopted, such resolution, however, shall be subject to review by the Administration.7
Despite its title, the assailed provision does not absolutely prohibit other franchises for water application of a CPC with the protection of the viability of the government agency and public good
service from being granted to other persons or agencies. It merely requires the consent of the local as the standards of its action?
water district’s Board of Directors before another franchise within the district is granted. Thus, it is
a regulation on the grant of any subsequent franchise where the local water district, as original
grantee, may grant or refuse its consent. If it consents, the non-exclusive nature of its franchise Safeguards against abuse of authority by the water districts’ board of directors and the LWUA
becomes only too clear. Should it refuse, its action does not remain unchecked as the franchise
applicant may ask the LWUA to review the local water district’s refusal. It is thus the LWUA (on the
The refusal of the local water district or the LWUA to consent to other franchises would carry with it
Office of the President in case of further appeal) that grants a subsequent franchise if one will be
the legal presumption that public officers regularly perform their official functions.10 If, on the other
allowed.
hand, the officers, directors or trustees of the local water districts and the LWUA act arbitrarily and
unjustifiably refuse their consent to an applicant of a franchise, they may be held liable for their
Under this arrangement, I submit that the prerogative of the local water district’s board of directors actions. The local water districts11 and the LWUA12 are government-owned and controlled
or the LWUA to give or refuse its consent to the application for a CPC cannot be considered as a corporations (GOCCs). The directors of the local water districts and the trustees of the LWUA are
constitutional infringement. A government agency’s refusal to consent to the grant of a franchise to government employees subject to civil service laws and anti-graft laws.13 Moreover, the LWUA is
another entity, based on reasonable and legitimate grounds, should not be construed as a violation attached to the Office of the President14 which has the authority to review its acts. Should these
of the constitutional mandate on the non-exclusivity of a franchise where the standards for the acts in the Executive Department constitute grave abuse of discretion, the Courts may strike them
grant or refusal are clearly spelled out in the law. Effectively, what the law and the State (acting down under its broad powers of review.15
through its own agency or a government-owned or controlled corporation) thereby undertake is
merely an act of regulation that the Constitution does not prohibit. To say that a legal provision is
Any abuse of authority that the local water districts may be feared to commit is balanced by the
unconstitutional simply because it enables a grantee, a government instrumentality, to determine
control that the government exerts in their creation and operations. The government creates and
the soundness of granting a subsequent franchise in its area is contrary to the government’s
organizes local water districts in accordance with a specific law, P.D. No. 198.16 There is no private
inherent right to exercise police power in regulating public utilities for the protection of the public
party involved as a co-owner in the creation of local water districts. Prior to the local water districts’
and the utilities themselves.8
creation, the national or local government directly owns and controls all their assets. The
government’s control over them is further asserted through their board of directors, who are
It should also be noted that even after the Marcos regime, constitutional experts have taken the appointed by the municipal or city mayor or by the provincial governor. The directors are not co-
view that the government can and should take a strong active part in ensuring public access to owners of the local water district but, like other water district personnel, are government employees
basic utilities. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission for the 1987 Constitution (which subject to civil service laws and anti-graft laws.17 Under this set-up, the control that exists over the
contains the same provision found in the 1973 Constitution on the non-exclusivity of public utility grant of franchises, which originally belongs to the State, simply remained and is maintained with
franchises) regarding monopolies regulated by the state may guide, though not necessarily bind, the State acting through the local government units and the government-owned and controlled
us: corporations under them.

MR. DAVIDE: If the idea is really to promote the private sector, may we not provide here that the Because of the government’s extensive financial support to these entities, it is part of the law’s
government can, in no case, practice monopoly except in certain areas? policy to scrutinize their expenditures and outlays. Section 20 of P.D. No. 198 states that the local
water districts are subject to annual audits performed by independent auditors and conducted by
the LWUA.18 Section 41 of P.D. No. 198 even limits the authority of the board of directors of local
MR. VILLEGAS. No, because in the economic field, there are definitely areas where the State can water districts in the manner in which it can dispose of their income: (1) as payment for obligations
intervene and can actually get involved in monopolies for the public good. and essential current operating expenses; (2) as a reserve for debt service, and for operations and
maintenance to be used during periods of calamities, force majeure or unforeseen events; and (3)
as a reserve exclusively for the expansion and improvement of their facilities. In this manner, the
MR. DAVIDE. Yes, we have provisions here allowing such a monopoly in times of national law ensures that their officers or directors do not profit from local water districts and that the
emergency. operations thereof would be focused on improving public service. The possibility that the officers
would refuse their consent to another franchise applicant for reasons of personal gain is, thus,
eliminated.
MR. VILLEGAS. Not even in emergency; for the continuing welfare of consumers.

Public policy behind Section 47 of P.D. No. 198


MR. MONSOD. May we just make a distinction? As we know, there are natural monopolies or what
we call "structural monopolies." Structural monopolies are monopolies not by the nature of their
activities, like electric power, for example, but by the nature of the market. There may be instances Without a clear showing that the Constitution was violated by the enactment of Section 47 of P.D.
when the market has not developed to such extent that it will only allow, say, one steel company. 198, the Court cannot invalidate it without infringing on government policy, especially when
Structural monopoly is not by the nature of the business itself. It is possible under these Congress had not seen fit to repeal the law and when the law appears to be based on sound public
circumstances that the State may be the appropriate vehicle for such a monopoly.9 policy. P.D. No. 198 requires an applicant to first obtain the consent of the local water district and
the LWUA for important reasons. First, it aims to protect the government’s investment. Second, it
avoids a situation where ruinous competition could compromise the supply of public utilities in poor
If, indeed, the Constitutional Commission in discussing the non-exclusivity clause had accepted
and remote areas.
the merits of government monopolies, should this Court consider unconstitutional a provision that
allows a lesser degree of regulation—i.e., a government agency giving its consent to the
A first reason the government seeks to prioritize local water districts is the protection of its levy a ground water production assessment to compensate for such loss. In connection therewith,
investments - it pours its scarce financial resources into these water districts. The law primarily the district may require necessary reports by the operator of any commercial or industrial well.
establishes the LWUA as a specialized lending institution for the promotion, development and Failure to pay said assessment shall constitute an invasion of the waters of the district and shall
financing of water utilities.19 Section 73 of P.D. No. 198 also authorizes the LWUA to contract loans entitle this district to an injunction and damages pursuant to Section [31] of this Title.
and credits, and incur indebtedness with foreign governments or international financial institutions
for the accomplishment of its objectives. Moreover, the President of the Philippines is empowered
not only to negotiate or contract with foreign governments or international financial institutions on From these, it can be seen that Article XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution and P.D. No. 198
behalf of the LWUA; he or she may also absolutely and unconditionally guarantee, in the name of share the same purpose of seeking to ensure regular water supply to the whole country,
the Republic of the Philippines, the payment of the loans. In addition, the law provides that the particularly to the remote areas. By requiring a prospective franchise applicant to obtain the
General Appropriations Act shall include an outlay to meet the financial requirements of non-viable consent of the local water district or the LWUA, the law does not thereby grant it an exclusive
local water districts or the special projects of local water districts.20 franchise; it simply gives the water district the opportunity to have a say on the entry of a
competitor whose operations can adversely affect its viability and the service it gives to
consumers. This is far from an exclusive franchise that allows no other entity, apart from the only
The law also adopts a policy to keep the operations of local water districts economically secure grantee, to have a franchise. Section 47 of P.D. No. 198 does not bar other franchise applicants; it
and viable. The "whereas" clauses of the law explain the need to establish local water districts: the merely regulates the grant of subsequent franchises to ensure that the market is not too saturated
lack of water utilities in provincial areas and the poor quality of the water found in some areas. The to the point of adversely affecting existing government water suppliers, all with the end of ensuring
law sought to solve these problems by encouraging the creation of local water districts that the the public the water supply it needs.
national government would support through technical advisory services and financing.21 These
local water districts are heavily regulated and depend on government support for their subsistence.
If a private entity provides stiff competition against a local water district, causes it to close down Revisiting Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) v. Margarita A. Adala
and, thereafter, chooses to discontinue its business, the problem of finding a replacement water
supplier for a poor, remote area will recur. Not only does the re-organization of a local water district
Based on the foregoing discussion, I submit that there exists ample justification to reverse our
drain limited public funds; the residents of these far-flung areas would have to endure the absence
ruling in Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) v. Margarita A. Adala.22 As in the present
of water supply during the considerable time it would take to find an alternative water supply.
ponencia, there was no discussion in Metro Cebu Water District of what constitutes a grant of an
exclusive franchise as opposed to a valid regulation of franchises by the government or how the
Thus, as a matter of foresight, Section 47 of P.D. No. 198 and other provisions within the law aim questioned provision violated the constitutional mandate against exclusive franchises. It was
to avert the negative effects of competition on the financial stability of local water districts. These simply presumed that there was a violation. It is worth noting that the Court disposed of the issue
sections work hand in hand with Section 47 of P.D. No. 198. Section 31 of P.D. No. 198, which is in just one paragraph that stated:
very similar to Section 47 of P.D. No. 198, directly prohibits persons from selling or disposing water
for public purposes within the service area of the local water district:
Since Section 47 of P.D. 198, which vests an "exclusive franchise" upon public utilities, is clearly
repugnant to Article XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution, it is unconstitutional and may not,
Section 31. Protection of Waters and Facilities of District. – A district shall have the right to: therefore, be relied upon by [MCWD] in support of its opposition against [Adala’s] application for
CPC and the subsequent grant thereof by the NWRB.23

xxxx
In a legal system that rests heavily on precedents, this manner of reasoning would not only be
unfair to the parties; it would also confuse and bewilder the legal community and the general public
(c) Prohibit any person, firm or corporation from vending selling, or otherwise disposing of water for regarding the interpretation of an important constitutional provision. This kind of approach should
public purposes within the service area of the district where district facilities are available to always be subject to our continuing review and examination.
provide such service, or fix terms and conditions by permit for such sale or disposition of water.

In reversing a previous ruling issued by the Court, we are not unmindful of the legal maxim stare
Thus, Section 47 of P.D. No. 198 provides that before a person or entity is allowed to provide decisis et non quieta movere (literally, to stand by the decision and disturb not what is settled).
water services where the local water district’s facilities are already available, one must ask for the This maxim is a very convenient practice that the conclusion reached in one case can be applied
consent of the board of directors of the local water district, whose action on the matter may be to subsequent cases where the facts are substantially the same, even though the parties are
reviewed by the LWUA. different. However, the doctrine is not set in stone; the Court may wisely set it aside upon a
showing that circumstances attendant in a particular case override the benefits brought about by
stare decisis.24
Even after a CPC is granted and the entity becomes qualified to provide water services, Section 39
of P.D. No. 198 still allows a local water district to charge other entities producing water for
commercial or industrial uses with a production assessment, to compensate for financial reverses In our Resolution in de Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council,25 we explained why stare decisis is not
brought about by the operations of the water provider; failure to pay this assessment results in considered inflexible with respect to this Court:
liability for damages and/or the issuance of an order of injunction.

The Court, as the highest court of the land, may be guided but is not controlled by precedent.
Section 39. Production Assessment.—In the event the board of a district finds, after notice and Thus, the Court, especially with a new membership, is not obliged to follow blindly a particular
hearing, that production of ground water by other entities within the district for commercial or decision that it determines, after re-examination, to call for a rectification. The adherence to
industrial uses i[s] injuring or reducing the district’s financial condition, the board may adopt and precedents is strict and rigid in a common-law setting like the United Kingdom, where judges make
law as binding as an Act of Parliament. But ours is not a common law system; hence judicial technical capacity of LTWD in order to decide whether another water service provider is needed in
precedents are not always strictly and rigidly followed. A judicial pronouncement in an earlier the municipality. Accordingly, it is my view that TMPC’s CPC is invalid as it was issued without
decision may be followed as a precedent in subsequent case only when its reasoning and notice to the LTWD’s Board of Directors.
justification are relevant, and the Court in the latter case accepts such reasoning and justification
to be applicable in the case. The application of the precedent is for the sake of convenience and
stability. ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice

For the intervenors to insist that Valenzuela ought not to be disobeyed, or abandoned, or reversed,
and that its wisdom should guide, if not control, the Court in this case is, therefore, devoid of CONCURRING OPINION
rationality and foundation. They seem to conveniently forget that the Constitution itself recognizes
the innate authority of the Court en banc to modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid
ABAD, J.:
down in any decision rendered en banc or in division.

On October 9, 2000 petitioner Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC), a registered


Thus, this Court had seen it fit to overturn or abandon the rulings set in its previous
cooperative established by Barangay Tawang, La Trinidad residents for the purpose of operating a
decisions. In Philippine Guardians Brotherhood, Inc. v. Commission on Elections,26 we reversed
domestic drinking water service, applied with the National Water Resources Board (the Board) for
our earlier ruling in Philippine Mines Safety Environment Association v. Commission on
a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) to maintain and operate a waterworks system within its
Elections.27 And in De Castro,28 we re-examined our decision in In re appointments of Hon.
barangay.
Valenzuela and Hon. Vallarta29 although the re-examination failed for lack of the necessary
supporting votes.
But respondent La Trinidad Water District (LTWD), a government-owned corporation1 that supplied
water within La Trinidad for domestic, industrial, and commercial purposes, opposed the
During the deliberations of the present case, a respected colleague hesitated at the idea of
application. LTWD claimed that its franchise was exclusive in that its charter provides that no
overturning a former ruling that has declared a law unconstitutional on the ground that this Court,
separate franchise can be granted within its area of operation without its prior written consent. Still,
once it declares a law null, cannot breathe life into its already dead provisions. It raises fears that
the Board granted TMPC’s application on July 23, 2002, resulting in the issuance of a five-year
the people and the other branches of government will not treat the Court’s declarations of nullity of
CPC in its favor.
laws seriously.30

LTWD contested the grant before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of La Trinidad which, after
We cannot hold that the Court is empowered to reverse its established doctrines but is powerless
hearing, rendered judgment setting aside the Board’s decision and canceling the CPC it issued to
to review laws that have been declared void; no justification simply exists for such distinctions. In
TMPC. The RTC denied TMPC’s motion for reconsideration, prompting the latter to come to this
reversing its decisions, this Court’s primary consideration is to arrive at a just and judicious ruling
Court on petition for review.
and avoiding the ill effects of a previous ruling. It is by pursuing such objectives that this Court
earns the respect of the people and the other branches of government. Precisely, this Court has
taken a contrary view in Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Morato,31 when it noted that the US Supreme Court The Court has previously held in Metropolitan Cebu Water District v. Adala2 that Section 473 of
declared the Legal Tender Acts void in Hepburn v. Griswold,32 but subsequently declared these P.D. 198,4 is unconstitutional for being contrary to Article XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution
statutes as valid in Knox v. Lee.33 We lauded the American jurists who voted for the validity of the and Article XII, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution. Some in the Court would, however, have its
Legal Tender Acts, which had been formerly declared void, and noted that a change of above ruling reexamined based on the view that Section 47 does not actually provide for an
composition in the Court could prove the means of undoing an erroneous decision.34 exclusive franchise which would violate the Constitution.

In all, Section 47 of P.D. No. 198 does not violate the constitutional proscription against exclusive The Court’s conclusion and ruling in the Adala case read:
franchises as other persons and entities may still obtain franchises for water utilities within the
district upon the consent of the local water district or upon a favorable finding by the LWUA, which,
in turn, is accountable to the Office of the President. By granting this privilege to local water Since Section 47 of P.D. 198, which vests an "exclusive franchise" upon public utilities, is clearly
districts, the law does not seek to favor private interests as these districts are GOCCs whose repugnant to Article XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution, it is unconstitutional and may not,
profits are exclusively for public use and whose expenditures the law subjects to the strictest therefore, be relied upon by petitioner in support of its opposition against respondent’s application
scrutiny. The restrictions applied to other private persons or entities are intended to protect the for CPC and the subsequent grant thereof by the NWRB.
government’s considerable investment in local water districts and to promote its policy of
prioritizing local water districts as a means of providing water utilities throughout the country. The
protectionist approach that the law has taken towards local water districts is not per se illegal as WHEREFORE, Section 47 of P.D. 198 is unconstitutional.
the Constitution does not promote a total deregulation in the operation of public utilities and is a
proper exercise by the government of its police power.
Paragraph 2, Article 7 of the New Civil Code provides that "when the courts declared a law to be
inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern."
Thus, the TMPC should have first sought the consent of LTWD’s Board of Directors, as directed
under Section 47 of P.D. No. 198. Had the Board of Directors refused to give its consent, this
Since the Court, exercising its Constitutional power of judicial review, has declared Section 47 of
action may still be reviewed by the LWUA, the entity most able to determine the financial and
P.D. 198 void and unconstitutional, such section ceased to become law from the beginning. The
Supreme Court’s power of review does not permit it to rewrite P.D. 198 in a subsequent case and
breathe life to its dead provisions. Only Congress can.

Besides, such course of action is unwise. The Court will be establishing a doctrine whereby people
and the other branches of government will not need to treat the Court’s declaration of nullity of law
too seriously. They can claim an excuse for continuing to enforce such law since even the Court
concedes that it can in another case change its mind regarding its nullity.

I fully subscribe to the majority opinion, penned by Justice Antonio T. Carpio that there exists no
justification for abandoning the Court’s previous ruling on the matter.

I vote to GRANT TMPC’s petition for review and SET ASIDE the decision of the trial court.

ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate Justice
G.R. No. 169588 October 7, 2013 23, 2003.3 A preliminary investigation took place on May 28, 2003. Respondent Benedicto
Balajadia likewise filed a case charging Jadewell president, Rogelio Tan, and four (4) of Jadewell's
employees with Usurpation of Authority/Grave Coercion in I.S. No. 2003-1935.
JADEWELL PARKING SYSTEMS CORPORATION represented by its manager and
authorized representative Norma Tan, Petitioner,
vs. In his Counter-affidavit for the two cases he filed for himself and on behalf of his co-respondents,
HON. JUDGE NELSON F. LIDUA SR., Presiding Judge of The Municipal Trial Court Branch respondent Benedicto Balajadia denied that his car was parked illegally. He admitted that he
3, Baguio City, BENEDICTO BALAJADIA, EDWIN ANG, "JOHN DOES" and "PETER removed the clamp restricting the wheel of his car since he alleged that the placing of a clamp on
DOES" Respondents. the wheel of the vehicle was an illegal act. He alleged further that he removed the clamp not to
steal it but to remove the vehicle from its clamp so that he and his family could continue using the
car. He also confirmed that he had the clamp with him, and he intended to use it as a piece of
DECISION evidence to support the Complaint he filed against Jadewell.4

LEONEN, J.: In the Resolution5 of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of San Fernando City, La Union, Acting
City Prosecutor Mario Anacleto Banez found probable cause to file a case of Usurpation of
Authority against the petitioner. Regarding the case of Robbery against respondents, Prosecutor
We are asked to rule on this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court,
Banez stated that:
praying that the assailed Decision of Branch 7 of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City and Order
dated August 15, 2005 be reversed and that Criminal Case Nos. 112934 and 112935 be ordered
reinstated and prosecuted before the Municipal Trial Court of Baguio City. We find no probable cause to charge respondents in these two (2) cases for the felony of Robbery.
The elements of Robbery, specifically the intent to gain and force upon things are absent in the
instant cases, thereby negating the existence of the crime.
Petitioner Jadewell Parking Systems Corporation is a private parking operator duly authorized to
operate and manage the parking spaces in Baguio City pursuant to City Ordinance 003-2000. It is
also authorized under Section 13 of the City Ordinance to render any motor vehicle immobile by xxxx
placing its wheels in a clamp if the vehicle is illegally parked.1

We, however, respectfully submit that the acts of respondents in removing the wheel clamps on
According to the Resolution of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, San Fernando City, La the wheels of the cars involved in these cases and their failure to pay the prescribed fees were in
Union, the facts leading to the filing of the Informations are the following: violation of Sec. 21 of Baguio City Ordinance No. 003-2000 which prescribes fines and penalties
for violations of the provisions of such ordinance. Certainly, they should not have put the law into
their own hands. (Emphasis supplied)
Jadewell Parking Systems Corporation (Jadewell), thru [sic] its General Manager Norma Tan and
Jadewell personnel Januario S. Ulpindo and Renato B. Dulay alleged in their affidavit-complaint
that on May 17, 2003, the respondents in I.S No. 2003-1996 Edwin Ang, Benedicto Balajadia and WHEREFORE, premises considered, there is probable cause against all the respondents, except
John Doe dismantled, took and carried away the clamp attached to the left front wheel of a Jeffrey Walan or Joseph Walan (who has been dragged into this controversy only by virtue of the
Mitsubishi Adventure with Plate No. WRK 624 owned by Edwin Ang. Accordingly, the car was then fact that he was still the registered owner of the Nissan Cefiro car) for violation of Section 21 of
illegally parked and left unattended at a Loading and Unloading Zone. The value of the clamp City Ord. No. 003-2000 in both cases and we hereby file the corresponding informations against
belonging to Jadewell which was allegedly forcibly removed with a piece of metal is ₱26,250.00. them in Court.6
The fines of ₱500.00 for illegal parking and the declamping fee of ₱500.00 were also not paid by
the respondents herein.
Prosecutor Banez issued this Resolution on July 25, 2003.

In I.S. No., 2003-1997, Jadewell thru [sic] its General Manager Norina C. Tan, Renato B. Dulay
and Ringo Sacliwan alleged in their affidavit-complaint that on May 7, 2003, along Upper Mabini On October 2, 2003, two criminal Informations were filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Baguio
Street, Baguio City, herein respondents Benedicto Balajadia, Jeffrey Walan and two (2) John Does City dated July 25, 2003, stating:
forcibly removed the clamp on the wheel of a Nissan Cefiro car with Plate No. UTD 933, belonging
to Jeffrey Walan which was then considered illegally parked for failure to pay the prescribed
parking fee. Such car was earlier rendered immobile by such clamp by Jadewell personnel. After That on May 17, 2003 at Baguio City and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-
forcibly removing the clamp, respondents took and carried it away depriving its owner, Jadewell, its named accused with unity of action and concerted design, did then and there, with unity of action
use and value which is ₱26,250.00. According to complainants, the fine of ₱500.00 and the and concerted design, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously forcibly dismantled [sic] and took [sic] an
declamping fee of ₱500.00 were not paid by the respondents.2 immobilizing clamp then attached to the left front wheel of a Mitsubishi Adventure vehicle with
Plate No. WRK 624 belonging to Edwin Ang which was earlier rendered immobilized by such
clamp by Jadewell Personnel's for violation of the Baguio City ordinance No. 003-2600 to the
The incident resulted in two cases filed by petitioner and respondents against each other. damage and prejudice of private complainant Jadewell Parking System Corporation (Jadewell)
Petitioner Jadewell filed two cases against respondents: Robbery under I.S. Nos. 2003-1996 and which owns such clamp worth ₱26,250.00 and other consequential damages.
2003-1997. Petitioner filed an Affidavit-Complaint against respondents Benedicto Balajadia, Jeffrey
Walan, and three (3) John Does, one of whom was eventually identified as respondent Ramon
Ang. The Affidavit-Complaint was filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City on May CONTRARY TO LAW,
San Fernando City, La Union for Baguio City, this 25th day of July 2003.7 For the guidance of the parties, the Court will make an extended resolution on one of the ground
[sic] for the motion to quash, which is that the criminal action has been extinguished on grounds of
prescription.
The cases were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 112934 and 112935 with the Municipal Trial
Court of Baguio City, Branch 3. Respondent Benedicto Balajadia and the other accused through
their counsel Paterno Aquino filed a January 20, 2004 Motion to Quash and/or Manifestation8 on These offenses are covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure being alleged violations of City
February 2, 2004. The Motion to Quash and/or Manifestation sought the quashal of the two Ordinances.
Informations on the following grounds: extinguishment of criminal action or liability due to
prescription; failure of the Information to state facts that charged an offense; and the imposition of
charges on respondents with more than one offense. Under Section 9 of the Rule [sic] on Summary Procedure, the running of the prescriptive period
shall be halted on the date the case is filed in Court and not on any date before that (Zaldivia vs.
Reyes, Jr. G.R. No. 102342, July 3, 1992, En Banc).
In their Motion to Quash, respondents argued that:

In case of conflict, the Rule on Summary Procedure as the special law prevails over Sec. 1 of Rule
1. The accused in this case are charged with violation of Baguio City Ordinance No. 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure and also Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
003-2000. must yield to Act No. 3326 or "AN ACT TO ESTABLISH PERIODS OF PRESCRIPTION FOR
VIOLATIONS PENALIZED BY SPECIAL ACTS AND MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES AND TO
PROVIDE WHEN PRESCRIPTION SHALL BEGIN TO RUN" (Ibid).
2. Article 89 of the Revised Penal [sic] provides that criminal liability is totally
extinguished by prescription of the crime.
Petitioner then filed a Petition16 for Certiorari under Rule 65 with the Regional Trial Court of Baguio
City. The case was raffled to Branch 7 of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City. Petitioners
3. Act No. 3326, as amended by Act No. 3763, provides: "Section 1. x x x Violations contended that the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
penalized by municipal ordinances shall prescribed [sic] after two months." excess of jurisdiction in dismissing Criminal Case Nos. 112934 and 112935 on the ground of
prescription. Petitioners argued that the respondent judge ruled erroneously saying that the
prescriptive period for the offenses charged against the private respondents was halted by the
4. As alleged in the Information, the offense charged in this case was committed on
filing of the Complaint/Information in court and not when the Affidavit-Complaints were filed with
May 7, 2003. 5. As can be seen from the right hand corner of the Information, the latter
the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City. Petitioner cited Section 1 of Rule 110 of the Rules
was filed with this Honorable Court on October 2, 2003, almost five (5) months after the
on Criminal Procedure:
alleged commission of the offense charged. Hence, criminal liability of the accused in
this case, if any, was already extinguished by prescription when the Information was
filed.9 x x x "criminal actions shall be instituted x x x in x x x other chartered cities, the complaint shall be
filed with the office of the prosecutor unless otherwise provided in their charter" and the last
paragraph thereof states that "the institution of the criminal action shall interrupt the running of the
In an Order10 dated February 10, 2004, respondent Judge Nelson F. Lidua, Sr., Presiding Judge of
period of prescription of the offense charged unless otherwise provided in special laws."17
the Municipal Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 3, granted the accused's Motion to Quash and
dismissed the cases.
Petitioner contended further that:
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration on February 27, 2004 responding to the February 10,
2004 Order11 to argue among other points that: the filing of the criminal complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City, not the filing
of the criminal information before this Honorable Court, is the reckoning point in determining
whether or not the criminal action in these cases had prescribed.
6.b. For another, the offenses charged have not yet prescribed. Under the law, the period of
prescription of offenses shall be interrupted by the filing of the complaint or information. While it
may be true that the Informations in these cases have been filed only on October 2, 2003, the xxxx
private complainant has, however, filed its criminal complaint on May 23, 2003, well within the
prescribed period.12
The offenses charged in Criminal Case Nos. 112934 and 112935 are covered by the Revised
13 14
Rules on Summary Procedure, not by the old Rules on Summary Procedure. Considering that the
Respondents filed their Opposition on March 24, 2004, and petitioner filed a Reply on April 1, offenses charged are for violations of a City Ordinance, the criminal cases can only be
2004. commenced by informations. Thus, it was only legally and procedurally proper for the petitioner to
file its complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City as required by Section 11 of
the new Rules on Summary Procedure, these criminal cases "shall be commenced only by
The respondent judge released a Resolution15 dated April 16, 2004 upholding the Order granting
information." These criminal cases cannot be commenced in any other way.
respondents' Motion to Quash. The Resolution held that:

Moreover, the ruling of the Supreme Court in Zaldivia vs. Reyes cited in the assailed Resolution
does not apply in this case. The offense charged in Zaldivia is a violation of municipal ordinance in
which case, the complaint should have been filed directly in court as required by Section 9 of the in other chartered cities, the Complaint shall be filed with the Office of the Prosecutor unless
old Rules on Summary Procedure. On the other hand, Criminal Case Nos. 112934 and 112935 are otherwise provided in their charters.
for violations of a city ordinance and as aforestated, "shall be commenced only by information."18

In their Comment,22 respondents maintain that respondent Judge Lidua did not err in dismissing
Thus, petitioner contended that the filing of the criminal complaint with the Office of the City the cases based on prescription. Also, respondents raise that the other grounds for dismissal they
Prosecutor stopped the running of the two-month prescriptive period. Hence, the offenses charged raised in their Motion to Quash, namely, that the facts charged constituted no offense and that
have not prescribed. respondents were charged with more than one offense, were sustained by the Metropolitan Trial
Court. Also, respondents argue that petitioner had no legal personality to assail the Orders, since
Jadewell was not assailing the civil liability of the case but the assailed Order and Resolution. This
In their Comment,19 respondents maintained that the respondent judge did not gravely abuse his was contrary to the ruling in People v. Judge Santiago23 which held that the private complainant
discretion. They held that Section 2 of Act No. 3326, as amended, provides that: may only appeal the civil aspect of the criminal offense and not the crime itself.

Sec. 2. Prescription shall begin to run from the day of the commission of the violation of the law, In the Reply,24 petitioner argues that the respondent judge only dismissed the case on the ground
and if the same be not known at the time, from the discovery thereof and the institution of judicial of prescription, since the Resolution dated April 16, 2004 only cited that ground. The Order dated
proceeding for its investigation and punishment. February 10, 2004 merely stated but did not specify the grounds on which the cases were
dismissed. Petitioner also maintains that the proceedings contemplated in Section 2 of Act No.
3326 must include the preliminary investigation proceedings before the National Prosecution
The prescription shall be interrupted when proceedings are instituted against the guilty person, and
Service in light of the Rules on Criminal Procedure25 and Revised Rules on Summary Procedure.
shall begin to run again if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not constituting
jeopardy.20 (Emphasis supplied)
Lastly, petitioner maintains that it did have legal personality, since in a Petition for Certiorari,
"persons aggrieved x x x may file a verified petition"26 before the court.
Respondents argued that Zaldivia v. Reyes21 held that the proceedings mentioned in Section 2 of
Act No. 3326, as amended, refer to judicial proceedings . Thus, this Court, in Zaldivia, held that the
filing of the Complaint with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor was not a judicial proceeding. The Petition is denied.
The prescriptive period commenced from the alleged date of the commission of the crime on May
7, 2003 and ended two months after on July 7, 2003. Since the Informations were filed with the
Municipal Trial Court on October 2, 2003, the respondent judge did not abuse its discretion in The resolution of this case requires an examination of both the substantive law and the procedural
dismissing Criminal Case Nos. 112934 and 112935. rules governing the prosecution of the offense. With regard to the prescription period, Act No.
3326, as amended, is the only statute that provides for any prescriptive period for the violation of
special laws and municipal ordinances. No other special law provides any other prescriptive
In a Decision dated April 20, 2005, the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City Branch 7, through period, and the law does not provide any other distinction. Petitioner may not argue that Act No.
Judge Clarence F. Villanueva, dismissed the Petition for Certiorari. The Regional Trial Court held 3326 as amended does not apply.
that, since cases of city ordinance violations may only be commenced by the filing of an
Information, then the two-month prescription period may only be interrupted by the filing of
Informations (for violation of City Ordinance 003-2000) against the respondents in court. The In Romualdez v. Hon. Marcelo,27 this Court defined the parameters of prescription:
Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 7, ruled in favor of the respondents and upheld the
respondent judge’s Order dated February 10, 2004 and the Resolution dated April 16, 2004.
In resolving the issue of prescription of the offense charged, the following should be considered:
(1) the period of prescription for the offense charged; (2) the time the period of prescription starts
Petitioners then filed a May 17, 2005 Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the to run; and (3) the time the prescriptive period was interrupted.28 (Citation omitted)
Regional Trial Court in an August 15, 2005 Order.

With regard to the period of prescription, it is now without question that it is two months for the
Hence, this Petition. offense charged under City Ordinance 003-2000.

The principal question in this case is whether the filing of the Complaint with the Office of the City The commencement of the prescription period is also governed by statute. Article 91 of the
Prosecutor on May 23, 2003 tolled the prescription period of the commission of the offense Revised Penal Code reads:
charged against respondents Balajadia, Ang, "John Does," and "Peter Does."

Art. 91. Computation of prescription of offenses. — The period of prescription shall commence to
Petitioner contends that the prescription period of the offense in Act No. 3326, as amended by Act run from the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their
No. 3763, does not apply because respondents were charged with the violation of a city ordinance agents, and shall be interrupted by the filing of the complaint or information, and shall commence
and not a municipal ordinance. In any case, assuming arguendo that the prescriptive period is to run again when such proceedings terminate without the accused being convicted or acquitted,
indeed two months, filing a Complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor tolled the prescription or are unjustifiably stopped for any reason not imputable to him.
period of two months. This is because Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides that, in Manila and
The offense was committed on May 7, 2003 and was discovered by the attendants of the petitioner The Complaint was received on May 30, 1990, and the Information was filed with the Metropolitan
on the same day. These actions effectively commenced the running of the prescription period. Trial Court of Rodriguez on October 2, 1990. This Court ruled that:

The procedural rules that govern this case are the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure. As it is clearly provided in the Rule on Summary Procedure that among the offenses it covers are
violations of municipal or city ordinances, it should follow that the charge against the petitioner,
which is for violation of a municipal ordinance of Rodriguez, is governed by that rule and not
SECTION 1. Scope – This rule shall govern the summary procedure in the Metropolitan Trial Section 1 of Rule 110.
Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Municipal Circuit
Trial Courts in the following cases falling within their jurisdiction:
Where paragraph (b) of the section does speak of "offenses falling under the jurisdiction of the
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts," the obvious reference is to Section 32(2)
xxxx of B.P. No. 129, vesting in such courts:

B. Criminal Cases: (2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment of not exceeding
four years and two months, or a fine of not more than four thousand pesos, or both such fine and
imprisonment, regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties, including the civil
(1) Violations of traffic laws, rules and regulations;
liability arising from such offenses or predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value, or
amount thereof; Provided, however, That in offenses involving damage to property through criminal
(2) Violations of the rental law; negligence they shall have exclusive original jurisdiction where the imposable fine does not exceed
twenty thousand pesos.

(3) Violations of municipal or city ordinances (Emphasis supplied)


These offenses are not covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure.

Section 11 of the Rules provides that:


Under Section 9 of the Rules on Summary Procedure, "the complaint or information shall be filed
directly in court without need of a prior preliminary examination or preliminary investigation." Both
Sec. 11. How commenced. — The filing of criminal cases falling within the scope of this Rule shall parties agree that this provision does not prevent the prosecutor from conducting a preliminary
be either by complaint or by information: Provided, however, that in Metropolitan Manila and in investigation if he wants to. However, the case shall be deemed commenced only when it is filed in
Chartered Cities, such cases shall be commenced only by information, except when the offense court, whether or not the prosecution decides to conduct a preliminary investigation. This means
cannot be prosecuted de officio. that the running of the prescriptive period shall be halted on the date the case is actually filed in
court and not on any date before that.
The Local Government Code provides for the classification of cities. Section 451 reads:
This interpretation is in consonance with the afore-quoted Act No. 3326 which says that the period
of prescription shall be suspended "when proceedings are instituted against the guilty party." The
SEC. 451. Cities, Classified. – A city may either be component or highly urbanized: Provided, proceedings referred to in Section 2 thereof are "judicial proceedings," contrary to the submission
however, that the criteria established in this Code shall not affect the classification and corporate of the Solicitor General that they include administrative proceedings. His contention is that we must
status of existing cities. Independent component cities are those component cities whose charters not distinguish as the law does not distinguish. As a matter of fact, it does.
prohibit their voters from voting for provincial elective officials. Independent component cities shall
be independent of the province.
At any rate, the Court feels that if there be a conflict between the Rule on Summary Procedure and
Section 1 of Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the former should prevail as the special
Cities in the Philippines that were created by law can either be highly urbanized cities or law. And if there be a conflict between Act No. 3326 and Rule 110 of the Rules on Criminal
component cities. An independent component city has a charter that proscribes its voters from Procedure, the latter must again yield because this Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power,
voting for provincial elective officials. It stands that all cities as defined by Congress are chartered is not allowed to "diminish, increase or modify substantive rights" under Article VIII, Section 5(5) of
cities. In cases as early as United States v. Pascual Pacis,29 this Court recognized the validity of the Constitution. Prescription in criminal cases is a substantive right.30
the Baguio Incorporation Act or Act No. 1963 of 1909, otherwise known as the charter of Baguio
City.
Jurisprudence exists showing that when the Complaint is filed with the Office of the Prosecutor
who then files the Information in court, this already has the effect of tolling the prescription period.
As provided in the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, only the filing of an Information tolls the The recent People v. Pangilinan31categorically stated that Zaldivia v. Reyes is not controlling as far
prescriptive period where the crime charged is involved in an ordinance. The respondent judge as special laws are concerned. Pangilinan referred to other cases that upheld this principle as well.
was correct when he applied the rule in Zaldivia v. Reyes. However, the doctrine of Pangilinan pertains to violations of special laws but not to ordinances.

In Zaldivia v. Reyes, the violation of a municipal ordinance in Rodriguez, Rizal also featured similar There is no distinction between the filing of the Information contemplated in the Rules of Criminal
facts and issues with the present case. In that case, the offense was committed on May 11, 1990. Procedure and in the Rules of Summary Procedure. When the representatives of the petitioner
filed the Complaint before the Provincial Prosecutor of Baguio, the prescription period was running. b) by the filing of the complaint or information with the court even if it is merely for
It continued to run until the filing of the Information. They had two months to file the Information purposes of preliminary examination or investigation, or even if the court where the
and institute the judicial proceedings by filing the Information with the Municipal Trial Court. The complaint or information is filed cannot try the case on its merits.
conduct of the preliminary investigation, the original charge of Robbery, and the subsequent
finding of the violation of the ordinance did not alter the period within which to file the Information.
Respondents were correct in arguing that the petitioner only had two months from the discovery However, for an offense covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure, the period of prescription is
and commission of the offense before it prescribed within which to file the Information with the interrupted only by the filing of the complaint or information in court.
Municipal Trial Court.
xxxx
Unfortunately, when the Office of the Prosecutor filed the Informations on October 5, 2003, the
period had already prescribed. Thus, respondent Judge Nestor Lidua, Sr. did not err when he
For violation of a special law or ordinance, the period of prescription shall commence to run from
ordered the dismissal of the case against respondents. According to the Department of Justice –
the day of the commission of the violation, and if the same is not known at the time, from the
National Prosecutors Service Manual for Prosecutors, an Information is defined under Part I,
discovery and the institution of judicial proceedings for its investigation and punishment. The
Section 5 as:
prescription shall be interrupted only by the filing of the complaint or information in court and shall
begin to run again if the proceedings are dismissed for reasons not constituting double jeopardy.
SEC. 5. Information. - An information is the accusation in writing charging a person with an (Emphasis supplied).1âwphi1
offense, subscribed by the prosecutor, and filed with the court. The information need not be placed
under oath by the prosecutor signing the same.
Presidential Decree No. 127532 reorganized the Department of Justice’s Prosecution Staff and
established Regional State Prosecution Offices. These Regional State Prosecution Offices were
The prosecutor must, however, certify under oath that – assigned centers for particular regions where the Informations will be filed. Section 6 provides that
the area of responsibility of the Region 1 Center located in San Fernando, La Union includes Abra,
Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mt. Province, Pangasinan, and the cities of Baguio,
a) he has examined the complainant and his witnesses; Dagupan, Laoag, and San Carlos.

b) there is reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed and that the The Regional Prosecutor for Region 1 or his/her duly assigned prosecutor was designated to file
accused is probably guilty thereof; the Information within the two-month period provided for in Act No. 3326, as amended.1âwphi1

c) the accused was informed of the complaint and of the evidence submitted against The failure of the prosecutor to seasonably file the Information is unfortunate as it resulted in the
him; and dismissal of the case against the private respondents. It stands that the doctrine of Zaldivia is
applicable to ordinances and their prescription period. It also upholds the necessity of filing the
Information in court in order to toll the period. Zaldivia also has this to say concerning the effects of
d) the accused was given an opportunity to submit controverting evidence. its ruling:

As for the place of the filing of the Information, the Manual also provides that: The Court realizes that under the above interpretation, a crime may prescribe even if the complaint
is filed seasonably with the prosecutor's office if, intentionally or not, he delays the institution of the
necessary judicial proceedings until it is too late. However, that possibility should not justify a
SEC. 12. Place of the commission of offense. - The complaint or information is sufficient if it states
misreading of the applicable rules beyond their obvious intent as reasonably deduced from their
that the crime charged was committed or some of the ingredients thereof occurred at some place
plain language.
within the jurisdiction of the court, unless the particular place in which the crime was committed is
an essential element of the crime, e.g. in a prosecution for violation of the provision of the Election
Code which punishes the carrying of a deadly weapon in a "polling place," or if it is necessary to The remedy is not a distortion of the meaning of the rules but a rewording thereof to prevent the
identify the offense charged, e.g., the domicile in the offense of "violation of domicile." problem here sought to be corrected.33

Finally, as for the prescription period, the Manual provides that: WHEREFORE the Petition is DENIED.

SEC. 20. How Period of Prescription Computed and Interrupted. - For an offense penalized under SO ORDERED.
the Revised Penal Code, the period of prescription commences to run from the day on which the
crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their agents, and shall be interrupted:
MARVIC MARIO VICTOR F. LEONEN
Associate Justice
a) by the filing of the complaint with the Office of the City/Provincial Prosecutor; or with
the Office of the Ombudsman; or
G.R. No. L-16704 March 17, 1962 conferred upon the administrative agency by law, partake of the nature of a statute, and
compliance therewith may be enforced by a penal sanction provided in the law. This is so because
statutes are usually couched in general terms, after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives,
VICTORIAS MILLING COMPANY, INC., petitioner-appellant, remedies and sanctions intended by the legislature. The details and the manner of carrying out the
vs. law are often times left to the administrative agency entrusted with its enforcement. In this sense, it
SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSION, respondent-appellee. has been said that rules and regulations are the product of a delegated power to create new or
additional legal provisions that have the effect of law. (Davis, op. cit., p. 194.) .
Ross, Selph and Carrascoso for petitioner-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General and Ernesto T. Duran for respondent-appellee. A rule is binding on the courts so long as the procedure fixed for its promulgation is followed and
its scope is within the statutory authority granted by the legislature, even if the courts are not in
agreement with the policy stated therein or its innate wisdom (Davis, op. cit., 195-197). On the
BARRERA, J.:
other hand, administrative interpretation of the law is at best merely advisory, for it is the courts
that finally determine what the law means.
On October 15, 1958, the Social Security Commission issued its Circular No. 22 of the following
tenor: .
Circular No. 22 in question was issued by the Social Security Commission, in view of the
amendment of the provisions of the Social Security Law defining the term "compensation"
Effective November 1, 1958, all Employers in computing the premiums due the contained in Section 8 (f) of Republic Act No. 1161 which, before its amendment, reads as follows:
System, will take into consideration and include in the Employee's remuneration all .
bonuses and overtime pay, as well as the cash value of other media of remuneration.
All these will comprise the Employee's remuneration or earnings, upon which the 3-
(f) Compensation — All remuneration for employment include the cash value of any
1/2% and 2-1/2% contributions will be based, up to a maximum of P500 for any one
remuneration paid in any medium other than cash except (1) that part of the
month.
remuneration in excess of P500 received during the month; (2) bonuses, allowances or
overtime pay; and (3) dismissal and all other payments which the employer may make,
Upon receipt of a copy thereof, petitioner Victorias Milling Company, Inc., through counsel, wrote although not legally required to do so.
the Social Security Commission in effect protesting against the circular as contradictory to a
previous Circular No. 7, dated October 7, 1957 expressly excluding overtime pay and bonus in the
Republic Act No. 1792 changed the definition of "compensation" to:
computation of the employers' and employees' respective monthly premium contributions, and
submitting, "In order to assist your System in arriving at a proper interpretationof the term
'compensation' for the purposes of" such computation, their observations on Republic Act 1161 (f) Compensation — All remuneration for employment include the cash value of any
and its amendment and on the general interpretation of the words "compensation", "remuneration" remuneration paid in any medium other than cash except that part of the remuneration
and "wages". Counsel further questioned the validity of the circular for lack of authority on the part in excess of P500.00 received during the month.
of the Social Security Commission to promulgate it without the approval of the President and for
lack of publication in the Official Gazette.
It will thus be seen that whereas prior to the amendment, bonuses, allowances, and overtime pay
given in addition to the regular or base pay were expressly excluded, or exempted from the
Overruling these objections, the Social Security Commission ruled that Circular No. 22 is not a rule definition of the term "compensation", such exemption or exclusion was deleted by the amendatory
or regulation that needed the approval of the President and publication in the Official Gazette to be law. It thus became necessary for the Social Security Commission to interpret the effect of such
effective, but a mere administrative interpretation of the statute, a mere statement of general policy deletion or elimination. Circular No. 22 was, therefore, issued to apprise those concerned of the
or opinion as to how the law should be construed. interpretation or understanding of the Commission, of the law as amended, which it was its duty to
enforce. It did not add any duty or detail that was not already in the law as amended. It merely
stated and circularized the opinion of the Commission as to how the law should be
Not satisfied with this ruling, petitioner comes to this Court on appeal.
construed. 1äwphï1.ñët

The single issue involved in this appeal is whether or not Circular No. 22 is a rule or regulation, as
The case of People v. Jolliffe (G.R. No. L-9553, promulgated on May 30, 1959) cited by appellant,
contemplated in Section 4(a) of Republic Act 1161 empowering the Social Security Commission
does not support its contention that the circular in question is a rule or regulation. What was there
"to adopt, amend and repeal subject to the approval of the President such rules and regulations as
said was merely that a regulation may be incorporated in the form of a circular. Such statement
may be necessary to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Act."
simply meant that the substance and not the form of a regulation is decisive in determining its
nature. It does not lay down a general proposition of law that any circular, regardless of its
There can be no doubt that there is a distinction between an administrative rule or regulation and substance and even if it is only interpretative, constitutes a rule or regulation which must be
an administrative interpretation of a law whose enforcement is entrusted to an administrative body. published in the Official Gazette before it could take effect.
When an administrative agency promulgates rules and regulations, it "makes" a new law with the
force and effect of a valid law, while when it renders an opinion or gives a statement of policy, it
The case of People v. Que Po Lay (50 O.G. 2850) also cited by appellant is not applicable to the
merely interprets a pre-existing law (Parker, Administrative Law, p. 197; Davis, Administrative Law,
present case, because the penalty that may be incurred by employers and employees if they
p. 194). Rules and regulations when promulgated in pursuance of the procedure or authority
refuse to pay the corresponding premiums on bonus, overtime pay, etc. which the employer pays
to his employees, is not by reason of non-compliance with Circular No. 22, but for violation of the
specific legal provisions contained in Section 27(c) and (f) of Republic Act No. 1161.

We find, therefore, that Circular No. 22 purports merely to advise employers-members of the
System of what, in the light of the amendment of the law, they should include in determining the
monthly compensation of their employees upon which the social security contributions should be
based, and that such circular did not require presidential approval and publication in the Official
Gazette for its effectivity.

It hardly need be said that the Commission's interpretation of the amendment embodied in its
Circular No. 22, is correct. The express elimination among the exemptions excluded in the old law,
of all bonuses, allowances and overtime pay in the determination of the "compensation" paid to
employees makes it imperative that such bonuses and overtime pay must now be included in the
employee's remuneration in pursuance of the amendatory law. It is true that in previous cases, this
Court has held that bonus is not demandable because it is not part of the wage, salary, or
compensation of the employee. But the question in the instant case is not whether bonus is
demandable or not as part of compensation, but whether, after the employer does, in fact, give or
pay bonus to his employees, such bonuses shall be considered compensation under the Social
Security Act after they have been received by the employees. While it is true that terms or words
are to be interpreted in accordance with their well-accepted meaning in law, nevertheless, when
such term or word is specifically defined in a particular law, such interpretation must be adopted in
enforcing that particular law, for it can not be gainsaid that a particular phrase or term may have
one meaning for one purpose and another meaning for some other purpose. Such is the case that
is now before us. Republic Act 1161 specifically defined what "compensation" should mean "For
the purposes of this Act". Republic Act 1792 amended such definition by deleting same
exemptions authorized in the original Act. By virtue of this express substantial change in the
phraseology of the law, whatever prior executive or judicial construction may have been given to
the phrase in question should give way to the clear mandate of the new law.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Resolution appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs
against appellant. So ordered.

Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon and
De Leon, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 84850 June 29, 1989 respondent then filed his "Comment" on the Office of the Solicitor General's Comment of 18 March
1988.

RICARDO A. LLAMADO, petitioner,


vs. In a Resolution dated 17 June 1988, the Court of Appeals, through Mr. Justice Magsino, denied
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and LEON GAW, respondents. the Petition for Probation. A dissenting opinion was filed by Mr. Justice Bellosillo while Mr. Justice
Santiago submitted a concurring opinion. Petitioner moved for reconsideration which Motion was
denied by the Court of Appeals on 23 August 1988, with another, briefer, dissenting opinion from
Ambrosio Padilla, Mempin & Reyes Law Offices for petitioner. Mr. Justice Bellosillo.

FELICIANO, J.: Petitioner now asks this Court to review and reverse the opinion of the majority in the Court of
Appeals and, in effect, to accept and adopt the dissenting opinion as its own.
Petitioner Ricardo A. Llamado was Treasurer of Pan Asia Finance Corporation. Together with
Jacinto N. Pascual, Sr., President of the same corporation, petitioner Llamado was prosecuted for The issue to be resolved here is whether or not petitioner's application for probation which was
violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 in Criminal Case No. 85-38653, Regional Trial Court of filed after a notice of appeal had been filed with the trial court, after the records of the case had
Manila, Branch 49. The two (2) had co-signed a postdated check payable to private respondent been forwarded to the Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeals had issued the notice to file
Leon Gaw in the amount of P186,500.00, which check was dishonored for lack of sufficient funds. Appellant's Brief, after several extensions of time to file Appellant's Brief had been sought from and
granted by the Court of Appeals but before actual filing of such brief, is barred under P.D. No. 968,
as amended.
In a decision dated 10 March 1987, the trial court convicted the petitioner alone, since jurisdiction
over the person of Pascual, who had thoughtfully fled the country, had not been obtained.
Petitioner was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of one (1) year of prision correccional and to P.D. No. 968, known as the Probation Law of 1976, was promulgated on 24 July 1976. Section 4
pay a fine of P 200,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Petitioner was also of this statute provided as follows:
required to reimburse respondent Gaw the amount of P186,500.00 plus the cost of suit.

Sec. 4. Grant of Probation. Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the


On 20 March 1987, after the decision of the trial court was read to him, petitioner through counsel court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant and
orally manifested that he was taking an appeal. Having been so notified, the trial court on the same upon application at any time of said defendant, suspend the execution of
day ordered the forwarding of the records of the case to the Court of Appeals. On 9 July 1987, said sentence and place the defendant on probation for such period and
petitioner through his counsel received from the Court of Appeals a notice to file his Appellant's upon such terms and conditions as it may deem best.
Brief within thirty (30) days. Petitioner managed to secure several extensions of time within which
to file his brief, the last extension expiring on 18 November 1987. 1
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of
imprisonment or a fine only. An application for probation shall be filed with
Petitioner Llamado, even while his Appellant's Brief was being finalized by his then counsel of the trial court, with notice to the appellate court if an appeal has been taken
record, sought advice from another counselor. On 30 November 1987, petitioner, with the from the sentence of conviction. The filing of the application shall be
assistance of his new counsel, filed in the Regional Trial Court a Petition for Probation invoking deemed a waiver of the right to appeal, or the automatic withdrawal of a
Presidential Decree No. 968, as amended. The Petition was not, however, accepted by the lower pending appeal.
court, since the records of the case had already been forwarded to the Court of Appeals.

An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable. (Emphasis


Petitioner then filed with the Court of Appeals Manifestation and Petition for Probation" dated 16 supplied)
November 1987, enclosing a copy of the Petition for Probation that he had submitted to the trial
court. Petitioner asked the Court of Appeals to grant his Petition for Probation or, in the alternative,
to remand the Petition back to the trial court, together with the records of the criminal case, for It will be noted that under Section 4 of P.D. No. 968, the trial court could grant an application for
consideration and approval under P.D. No. 968, as amended. At the same time, petitioner prayed probation "at any time" "after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant" and certainly after
that the running of the period for the filing of his Appellant's Brief be held in abeyance until after the "an appeal has been taken from the sentence of conviction." Thus, the filing of the application for
Court of Appeals shall have acted on his Petition for Probation. probation was "deemed [to constitute] automatic withdrawal of a pending appeal."

In a "Manifestation and Motion" dated 3 March 1988 and filed with the Court of Appeals, petitioner On 1 December 1977, Section 4 of P.D. No. 968 was amended by P.D. No. 1257 so as to read as
formally withdrew his appeal conditioned, however, on the approval of his Petition for Probation. 2 follows:

Complying with a Resolution of the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Sec. 4. Grant of Probation. Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the
Comment stating that it had no objection to petitioner Llamado's application for probation. Private court may, senteafter it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant
respondent-complainant, upon the other hand, sought and obtained leave to file a Comment on but before he begins to serve his sentence and upon his application,
petitioner Llamado's application for probation, to which Comment, petitioner filed a Reply. Private suspend the execution of said sentence and place the defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may In sharp contrast with Section 4 as amended by PD No. 1257, in its present form, Section 4
deem best. establishes a much narrower period during which an application for probation may be filed with the
trial court: "after [the trial court] shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant and — within the
period for perfecting an appeal — ." As if to provide emphasis, a new proviso was appended to the
The prosecuting officer concerned shall be notified by the court of the filing of the application for first paragraph of Section 4 that expressly prohibits the grant of an application for probation "if the
probation and he may submit his comment on such application within ten days from receipt of the defendant has perfected an appeal from the judgment of conviction." It is worthy of note too that
notification. Section 4 in its present form has dropped the phrase which said that the filing of an application for
probation means "the automatic withdrawal of a pending appeal". The deletion is quite logical since
an application for probation can no longer be filed once an appeal is perfected; there can,
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of
therefore, be no pending appeal that would have to be withdrawn.
imprisonment or a fine with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
An application for probation shall be filed with the trial court, with notice to
the appellate court if an appeal has been taken from the sentence of In applying Section 4 in the form it exists today (and at the time petitioner Llamado was convicted
conviction. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the by the trial court), to the instant case, we must then inquire whether petitioner Llamado had
right to appeal, or the automatic withdrawal of a pending appeal. In the submitted his application for probation "within the period for perfecting an appeal." Put a little
latter case, however, if the application is filed on or after the date of the differently, the question is whether by the time petitioner Llamado's application was filed, he had
judgment of the appellate court, said application shall be acted upon by the already "perfected an appeal" from the judgment of conviction of the Regional Trial Court of
trial court on the basis of the judgment of the appellate court. (Emphasis Manila.
supplied)

The period for perfecting an appeal from a judgment rendered by the Regional Trial Court, under
Examination of Section 4, after its amendment by P.D. No. 1257, reveals that it had established a Section 39 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Section 19 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines for the
prolonged but definite period during which an application for probation may be granted by the trial Implementation of B.P. Blg. 129 and under the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, or
court. That period was: 'After [the trial court] shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant but more specifically Section 5 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Court, is fifteen (15) days from the
before he begins to serve his sentence." Clearly, the cut-off time-commencement of service of promulgation or notice of the judgment appealed from. It is also clear from Section 3 (a) of Rule
sentence-takes place not only after an appeal has been taken from the sentence of conviction, but 122 that such appeal is taken or perfected by simply filing a notice of appeal with the Regional Trial
even after judgement has been rendered by the appellate court and after judgment has become Court which rendered the judgment appealed from and by serving a copy thereof upon the People
final. Indeed, in this last situation, Section 4, as amended by P.D. No. 1257 provides that "the of the Philippines. As noted earlier, petitioner Llamado had manifested orally and in open court his
application [for probation] shall be acted upon by the trial court on the basis of the judgment of the intention to appeal at the time of promulgation of the judgment of conviction, a manifestation at
appellate court"; for the appellate court might have increased or reduced the original penalty least equivalent to a written notice of appeal and treated as such by the Regional Trial Court.
imposed by the trial court. It would seem beyond dispute then that had the present case arisen
while Section 4 of the statute as amended by P.D. No. 1257 was still in effect, petitioner Llamado's
application for probation would have had to be granted. Mr. Llamado's application for probation Petitioner urges, however, that the phrase "period for perfecting an appeal" and the clause "if the
was filed well before the cut-off time established by Section 4 as then amended by P.D. No. 1257. defendant has perfected an appeal from the judgment of conviction" found in Section 4 in its
current form, should not be interpreted to refer to Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Court; and that
the "whereas" or preambulatory clauses of P.D. No. 1990 did not specify a period of fifteen (15)
On 5 October 1985, however, Section 4 of the Probation Law of 1976 was once again amended. days for perfecting an appeal. 3 It is also urged that "the true legislative intent of the amendment
This time by P.D. No. 1990. As so amended and in its present form, Section 4 reads as follows: (P.D. No. 1990) should not apply to petitioner who filed his Petition for probation at the earliest
opportunity then prevailing and withdrew his appeal." 4
Sec. 4. Grant of Probation. Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial
court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant, Petitioner invokes the dissenting opinion rendered by Mr. Justice Bellosillo in the Court of Appeals.
and upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an Petitioner then asks us to have recourse to "the cardinal rule in statutory construction" that "penal
appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on laws [should] be liberally construed in favor of the accused," and to avoid "a too literal and strict
probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may application of the proviso in P.D. No. 1990" which would "defeat the manifest purpose or policy for
deem best; Provided, That no application for probation shall be entertained which the [probation law] was enacted-."
or granted if the defendant has perfected an appeal from the judgment of
conviction.
We find ourselves unable to accept the eloquently stated arguments of petitioner's counsel and the
dissenting opinion. We are unable to persuade ourselves that Section 4 as it now stands, in
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of authorizing the trial court to grant probation "upon application by [the] defendant within the period
imprisonment or a fine only An application for probation shall be filed with for perfecting an appeal" and in reiterating in the proviso that
the trial court. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the
right to appeal.
no application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant
has perfected an appeal from the judgment of conviction.
An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable. (Emphasis
supplied)
did not really mean to refer to the fifteen-day period established, as indicated above, by B.P. Blg. inserting them there, making them fit personal ideas of what the legislature
129, the Interim Rules and Guidelines Implementing B.P. Blg. 129 and the 1985 Rules on Criminal ought to have done or what parties should have agreed upon, giving them
Procedure, but rather to some vague and undefined time, i.e., "the earliest opportunity" to withdraw meanings which they do not ordinarily have cutting, trimming, fitting,
the defendant's appeal. The whereas clauses invoked by petitioner did not, of course, refer to the changing and coloring until lawyers themselves are unable to advise their
fifteen-day period. There was absolutely no reason why they should have so referred to that period clients as to the meaning of a given statute or contract until it has been
for the operative words of Section 4 already do refer, in our view, to such fifteen-day submitted to some court for its interpretation and construction. 6
period. Whereas clauses do not form part of a statute, strictly speaking; they are not part of
the operative language of the statute. 5 Nonetheless, whereas clauses may be helpful to the extent
they articulate the general purpose or reason underlying a new enactment, in the present case, an The point in this warning may be expected to become sharper as our people's grasp of English is
enactment which drastically but clearly changed the substantive content of Section 4 existing steadily attenuated.
before the promulgation of P.D. No. 1990. Whereas clauses, however, cannot control the specific
terms of the statute; in the instant case, the whereas clauses of P.D. No. 1990 do not purport to
There is another and more fundamental reason why a judge must read a statute as the legislative
control or modify the terms of Section 4 as amended. Upon the other hand, the term "period for
authority wrote it, not as he would prefer it to have been written. The words to be given meaning
perfecting an appeal" used in Section 4 may be seen to furnish specification for the loose language
whether they be found in the Constitution or in a statute, define and therefore limit the authority
"first opportunity" employed in the fourth whereas clause. "Perfection of an appeal" is, of course, a
and discretion of the judges who must apply those words. If judges may, under cover of seeking
term of art but it is a term of art widely understood by lawyers and judges and Section 4 of the
the "true spirit" and "real intent" of the law, disregard the words in fact used by the law-giver, the
Probation Law addresses itself essentially to judges and lawyers. "Perfecting an appeal" has no
judges will effectively escape the constitutional and statutory limitations on their authority and
sensible meaning apart from the meaning given to those words in our procedural law and so the
discretion. Once a judge goes beyond the clear and ordinary import of the words of the legislative
law-making agency could only have intended to refer to the meaning of those words in the context
authority, he is essentially on uncharted seas. In a polity like ours which enshrines the fundamental
of procedural law.
notion of limiting power through the separation and distribution of powers, judges have to be
particularly careful lest they substitute their conceptions or preferences of policy for that actually
Turning to petitioner's invocation of "liberal interpretation" of penal statutes, we note at the outset projected by the legislative agency. Where a judge believes passionately that he knows what the
that the Probation Law is not a penal statute. We, however, understand petitioner's argument to be legislative agency should have said on the particular matter dealt with by a statute, it is easy
really that any statutory language that appears to favor the accused in a criminal case should be enough for him to reach the conclusion that therefore that was what the law-making authority
given a "liberal interpretation." Courts, however, have no authority to invoke "liberal interpretation' was really saying or trying to say, if somewhat ineptly As Mr. Justice Frankfurter explained:
or "the spirit of the law" where the words of the statute themselves, and as illuminated by the
history of that statute, leave no room for doubt or interpretation. We do not believe that "the spirit of
Even within their area of choice the courts are not at large. They are
law" may legitimately be invoked to set at naught words which have a clear and definite meaning
confined by the nature and scope of the judicial function in its particular
imparted to them by our procedural law. The "true legislative intent" must obviously be given effect
exercise in the field of interpretation. They are under the constraints
by judges and all others who are charged with the application and implementation of a statute. It is
imposed by the judicial function in our democratic society. As a matter of
absolutely essential to bear in mind, however, that the spirit of the law and the intent that is to be
verbal recognition certainly, no one will gainsay that the function in
given effect are to be derived from the words actually used by the law-maker, and not from some
construing a statute is to ascertain the meaning of words used by the
external, mystical or metajuridical source independent of and transcending the words of the
legislature. To go beyond it is to usurp a power which our democracy has
legislature.
lodged in its elected legislature. The great judges have constantly
admonished their brethren of the need for discipline in observing the
The Court is not here to be understood as giving a "strict interpretation rather than a "liberal" one to limitations A judge must not rewrite a statute, neither to enlarge nor to
Section 4 of the Probation Law of 1976 as amended by P.D. No. 1990. "Strict" and "liberal" are contract it. Whatever temptations the statesmanship of policy-making might
adjectives which too frequently impede a disciplined and principled search for the meaning which wisely suggest, construction must eschew interpolation and evisceration He
the law-making authority projected when it promulgated the language which we must apply. That must not read in by way of creation. He must not read out except to avoid
meaning is clearly visible in the text of Section 4, as plain and unmistakable as the nose on a patent nonsense of internal contradictions. ... 7
man's face. The Court is simply reading Section 4 as it is in fact written. There is no need for the
involved process of construction that petitioner invites us to engage in, a process made necessary
Petitioner finally argues that since under Section 4 of Probation Law as amended has vested in the
only because petitioner rejects the conclusion or meaning which shines through the words of the
trial court the authority to grant the application for probation, the Court of Appeals had no
statute. The first duty of a judge is to take and apply a statute as he finds it, not as he would like it
jurisdiction to entertain the same and should have (as he had prayed in the alternative) remanded
to be. Otherwise, as this Court in Yangco v. Court of First Instance of Manila warned, confusion
instead the records to the lower court. Once more, we are not persuaded. The trial court lost
and uncertainty in application will surely follow, making, we might add, stability and continuity in the
jurisdiction over the case when petitioner perfected his appeal. The Court of Appeals was not,
law much more difficult to achieve:
therefore, in a position to remand the case except for execution of judgment. Moreover, having
invoked the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, petitioner is not at liberty casually to attack that
. . . [w]here language is plain, subtle refinements which tinge words so as to jurisdiction when exercised adversely to him. In any case, the argument is mooted by the
give them the color of a particular judicial theory are not only unnecessary conclusion that we have reached, that is, that petitioner's right to apply for probation was lost when
but decidedly harmful. That which has caused so much confusion in the he perfected his appeal from the judgment of conviction.
law, which has made it so difficult for the public to understand and know
what the law is with respect to a given matter, is in considerable
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CAGR No. 04678 is hereby AFFIRMED. No
measure the unwarranted interference by judicial tribunals with the English
pronouncement as to costs.
language as found in statutes and contracts, cutting the words here and
G.R. No. 83896 February 22, 1991 Sec. 3. In order to fully protect the interest of the government in government-owned or
controlled corporations, at least one-third (1/3) of the members of the boards of such
corporation should either be a secretary, or undersecretary, or assistant secretary.
CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, petitioner,
vs.
THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, respondent. Petitioners maintain that this Executive Order which, in effect, allows members of the Cabinet, their
undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or positions in addition
to their primary positions, albeit subject to the limitation therein imposed, runs counter to Section
G.R. No. 83815 February 22, 1991 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution,2 which provides as follows:

ANTI-GRAFT LEAGUE OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. and CRISPIN T. REYES, petitioners, Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their
vs. deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any
PHILIP ELLA C. JUICO, as Secretary of Agrarian Reform; CARLOS DOMINGUEZ, as other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure,
Secretary of Agriculture; LOURDES QUISUMBING, as Secretary of Education, Culture and directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be
Sports; FULGENCIO FACTORAN, JR., as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources; financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege
VICENTE V. JAYME, as Secretary of Finance; SEDFREY ORDOÑEZ, as Secretary of Justice; granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
FRANKLIN N. DRILON, as Secretary of Labor and Employment; LUIS SANTOS, as Secretary including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall
of Local Government; FIDEL V. RAMOS, as Secretary of National Defense; TEODORO F. strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.
BENIGNO, as Press Secretary; JUANITO FERRER, as Secretary of Public Works and
Highways; ANTONIO ARRIZABAL, as Secretary of Science and Technology; JOSE
CONCEPCION, as Secretary of Trade and Industry; JOSE ANTONIO GONZALEZ, as It is alleged that the above-quoted Section 13, Article VII prohibits public respondents, as members
Secretary of Tourism; ALFREDO R.A. BENGZON, as Secretary of Health; REINERIO D. of the Cabinet, along with the other public officials enumerated in the list attached to the petitions
REYES, as Secretary of Transportation and Communication; GUILLERMO CARAGUE, as as Annex "C" in G.R. No.
Commissioner of the Budget; and SOLITA MONSOD, as Head of the National Economic 838153 and as Annex "B" in G.R. No. 838964 from holding any other office or employment during
Development Authority, respondents. their tenure. In addition to seeking a declaration of the unconstitutionality of Executive Order No.
284, petitioner Anti-Graft League of the Philippines further seeks in G.R. No. 83815 the issuance of
the extraordinary writs of prohibition and mandamus, as well as a temporary restraining order
Ignacio P. Lacsina, Luis R. Mauricio, Antonio R. Quintos and Juan T. David for petitioners in directing public respondents therein to cease and desist from holding, in addition to their primary
83896. positions, dual or multiple positions other than those authorized by the 1987 Constitution and from
Antonio P. Coronel for petitioners in 83815. receiving any salaries, allowances, per diems and other forms of privileges and the like
appurtenant to their questioned positions, and compelling public respondents to return, reimburse
or refund any and all amounts or benefits that they may have received from such positions.

Specifically, petitioner Anti-Graft League of the Philippines charges that notwithstanding the
aforequoted "absolute and self-executing" provision of the 1987 Constitution, then Secretary of
FERNAN, C.J.:p Justice Sedfrey Ordoñez, construing Section 13, Article VII in relation to Section 7, par. (2), Article
IX-B, rendered on July 23, 1987 Opinion No. 73, series of 1987,5 declaring that Cabinet members,
These two (2) petitions were consolidated per resolution dated August 9, 1988 1 and are being their deputies (undersecretaries) and assistant secretaries may hold other public office, including
resolved jointly as both seek a declaration of the unconstitutionality of Executive Order No. 284 membership in the boards of government corporations: (a) when directly provided for in the
issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on July 25, 1987. The pertinent provisions of the assailed Constitution as in the case of the Secretary of Justice who is made an ex-officio member of the
Executive Order are: Judicial and Bar Council under Section 8, paragraph 1, Article VIII; or (b) if allowed by law; or (c) if
allowed by the primary functions of their respective positions; and that on the basis of this Opinion,
the President of the Philippines, on July 25, 1987 or two (2) days before Congress convened on
Sec. 1. Even if allowed by law or by the ordinary functions of his position, a member of July 27, 1987: promulgated Executive Order No. 284.6
the Cabinet, undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive officials of the
Executive Department may, in addition to his primary position, hold not more than two
positions in the government and government corporations and receive the Petitioner Anti-Graft League of the Philippines objects to both DOJ Opinion No. 73 and Executive
corresponding compensation therefor; Provided, that this limitation shall not apply to ad Order No. 284 as they allegedly "lumped together" Section 13, Article VII and the general provision
hoc bodies or committees, or to boards, councils or bodies of which the President is in another article, Section 7, par. (2), Article I-XB. This "strained linkage" between the two
the Chairman. provisions, each addressed to a distinct and separate group of public officers –– one, the President
and her official family, and the other, public servants in general –– allegedly "abolished the clearly
separate, higher, exclusive, and mandatory constitutional rank assigned to the prohibition against
Sec. 2. If a member of the cabinet, undersecretary or assistant secretary or other multiple jobs for the President, the Vice-President, the members of the Cabinet, and their deputies
appointive official of the Executive Department holds more positions than what is and subalterns, who are the leaders of government expected to lead by example." 7 Article IX-B,
allowed in Section 1 hereof, they (sic) must relinquish the excess position in favor of Section 7, par. (2)8 provides:
the subordinate official who is next in rank, but in no case shall any official hold more
than two positions other than his primary position.
Sec. 7. . . . . . Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporation or their subsidiaries."

Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no


appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the government or any We rule in the negative.
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
A foolproof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention underlying the provision under
consideration. Thus, it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in
The Solicitor General counters that Department of Justice DOJ Opinion No. 73, series of 1987, as mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption, and the evils, if any, sought to be
further elucidated and clarified by DOJ Opinion No. 129, series of 19879 and DOJ Opinion No. 155, prevented or remedied. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times,
series of 1988,10 being the first official construction and interpretation by the Secretary of Justice of and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. The object is to
Section 13, Article VII and par. (2) of Section 7, Article I-XB of the Constitution, involving the same ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision
subject of appointments or designations of an appointive executive official to positions other than and the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby, in order to construe the whole as to make the
his primary position, is "reasonably valid and constitutionally firm," and that Executive Order No. words consonant to that reason and calculated to effect that purpose.11
284, promulgated pursuant to DOJ Opinion No. 73, series of 1987 is consequently constitutional. It
is worth noting that DOJ Opinion No. 129, series of 1987 and DOJ Opinion No. 155, series of 1988
construed the limitation imposed by E.O. No. 284 as not applying to ex-officio positions or to The practice of designating members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants as members of
positions which, although not so designated as ex-officio are allowed by the primary functions of the governing bodies or boards of various government agencies and instrumentalities, including
the public official, but only to the holding of multiple positions which are not related to or government-owned and controlled corporations, became prevalent during the time legislative
necessarily included in the position of the public official concerned (disparate positions). powers in this country were exercised by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos pursuant to his
martial law authority. There was a proliferation of newly-created agencies, instrumentalities and
government-owned and controlled corporations created by presidential decrees and other modes
In sum, the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 284 is being challenged by petitioners on the of presidential issuances where Cabinet members, their deputies or assistants were designated to
principal submission that it adds exceptions to Section 13, Article VII other than those provided in head or sit as members of the board with the corresponding salaries, emoluments, per diems,
the Constitution. According to petitioners, by virtue of the phrase "unless otherwise provided in this allowances and other perquisites of office. Most of these instrumentalities have remained up to the
Constitution," the only exceptions against holding any other office or employment in Government present time.
are those provided in the Constitution, namely: (1) The Vice-President may be appointed as a
Member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII thereof; and (2) the Secretary of
Justice is an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article This practice of holding multiple offices or positions in the government soon led to abuses by
VIII. unscrupulous public officials who took advantage of this scheme for purposes of self-enrichment.
In fact, the holding of multiple offices in government was strongly denounced on the floor of the
Batasang Pambansa.12 This condemnation came in reaction to the published report of the
Petitioners further argue that the exception to the prohibition in Section 7, par. (2), Article I-XB on Commission on Audit, entitled "1983 Summary Annual Audit Report on: Government-Owned and
the Civil Service Commission applies to officers and employees of the Civil Service in general and Controlled Corporations, Self-Governing Boards and Commissions" which carried as its Figure No.
that said exceptions do not apply and cannot be extended to Section 13, Article VII which applies 4 a "Roaster of Membership in Governing Boards of Government-Owned and Controlled
specifically to the President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet and their deputies or Corporations as of December 31, 1983."
assistants.

Particularly odious and revolting to the people's sense of propriety and morality in government
There is no dispute that the prohibition against the President, Vice-President, the members of the service were the data contained therein that Roberto V. Ongpin was a member of the governing
Cabinet and their deputies or assistants from holding dual or multiple positions in the Government boards of twenty-nine (29) governmental agencies, instrumentalities and corporations; Imelda R.
admits of certain exceptions. The disagreement between petitioners and public respondents lies on Marcos of twenty-three (23); Cesar E.A. Virata of twenty-two (22); Arturo R. Tanco, Jr. of fifteen
the constitutional basis of the exception. Petitioners insist that because of the phrase "unless (15); Jesus S. Hipolito and Geronimo Z. Velasco, of fourteen each (14); Cesar C. Zalamea of
otherwise provided in this Constitution" used in Section 13 of Article VII, the exception must be thirteen (13); Ruben B. Ancheta and Jose A. Roño of twelve (12) each; Manuel P. Alba, Gilberto O.
expressly provided in the Constitution, as in the case of the Vice-President being allowed to Teodoro, and Edgardo Tordesillas of eleven (11) each; and Lilia Bautista and Teodoro Q. Peña of
become a Member of the Cabinet under the second paragraph of Section 3, Article VII or the ten (10) each.13
Secretary of Justice being designated an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council under
Article VIII, Sec. 8 (1). Public respondents, on the other hand, maintain that the phrase "unless
otherwise provided in the Constitution" in Section 13, Article VII makes reference to Section 7, par. The blatant betrayal of public trust evolved into one of the serious causes of discontent with the
(2), Article I-XB insofar as the appointive officials mentioned therein are concerned. Marcos regime. It was therefore quite inevitable and in consonance with the overwhelming
sentiment of the people that the 1986 Constitutional Commission, convened as it was after the
people successfully unseated former President Marcos, should draft into its proposed Constitution
The threshold question therefore is: does the prohibition in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 the provisions under consideration which are envisioned to remedy, if not correct, the evils that
Constitution insofar as Cabinet members, their deputies or assistants are concerned admit of the flow from the holding of multiple governmental offices and employment. In fact, as keenly observed
broad exceptions made for appointive officials in general under Section 7, par. (2), Article I-XB by Mr. Justice Isagani A. Cruz during the deliberations in these cases, one of the strongest selling
which, for easy reference is quoted anew, thus: "Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary points of the 1987 Constitution during the campaign for its ratification was the assurance given by
functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the its proponents that the scandalous practice of Cabinet members holding multiple positions in the
government and collecting unconscionably excessive compensation therefrom would be therefore, more cheeks and restraints on them are called for because there is more possibility of
discontinued. abuse in their case."14

But what is indeed significant is the fact that although Section 7, Article I-XB already contains a Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or
blanket prohibition against the holding of multiple offices or employment in the government employment in the government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary
subsuming both elective and appointive public officials, the Constitutional Commission should see functions of their positions, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only
it fit to formulate another provision, Sec. 13, Article VII, specifically prohibiting the President, Vice- when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article I-XB is
President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants from holding any other office or meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and
employment during their tenure, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution itself. employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the
President, the Vice- President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants.

Evidently, from this move as well as in the different phraseologies of the constitutional provisions in
question, the intent of the framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the This being the case, the qualifying phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" in
President and his official family in so far as holding other offices or employment in the government Section 13, Article VII cannot possibly refer to the broad exceptions provided under Section 7,
or elsewhere is concerned. Article I-XB of the 1987 Constitution. To construe said qualifying phrase as respondents would
have us do, would render nugatory and meaningless the manifest intent and purpose of the
framers of the Constitution to impose a stricter prohibition on the President, Vice-President,
Moreover, such intent is underscored by a comparison of Section 13, Article VII with other Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants with respect to holding other offices or
provisions of the Constitution on the disqualifications of certain public officials or employees from employment in the government during their tenure. Respondents' interpretation that Section 13 of
holding other offices or employment. Under Section 13, Article VI, "(N)o Senator or Member of the Article VII admits of the exceptions found in Section 7, par. (2) of Article IX-B would obliterate the
House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the Government . . .". Under distinction so carefully set by the framers of the Constitution as to when the high-ranking officials of
Section 5(4), Article XVI, "(N)o member of the armed forces in the active service shall, at any time, the Executive Branch from the President to Assistant Secretary, on the one hand, and the
be appointed in any capacity to a civilian position in the Government,including government-owned generality of civil servants from the rank immediately below Assistant Secretary downwards, on the
or controlled corporations or any of their subsidiaries." Even Section 7 (2), Article IX-B, relied upon other, may hold any other office or position in the government during their tenure.
by respondents provides "(U)nless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his
position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government."
Moreover, respondents' reading of the provisions in question would render certain parts of the
Constitution inoperative. This observation applies particularly to the Vice-President who, under
It is quite notable that in all these provisions on disqualifications to hold other office or employment, Section 13 of Article VII is allowed to hold other office or employment when so authorized by the
the prohibition pertains to an office or employment in the government and government-owned or Constitution, but who as an elective public official under Sec. 7, par. (1) of Article I-XB is absolutely
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. In striking contrast is the wording of Section 13, Article ineligible "for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his
VII which states that "(T)he President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their tenure." Surely, to say that the phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" found in
deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other Section 13, Article VII has reference to Section 7, par. (1) of Article I-XB would render meaningless
office or employment during their tenure." In the latter provision, the disqualification is absolute, not the specific provisions of the Constitution authorizing the Vice-President to become a member of
being qualified by the phrase "in the Government." The prohibition imposed on the President and the Cabinet,15 and to act as President without relinquishing the Vice-Presidency where the
his official family is therefore all-embracing and covers both public and private office or President shall not nave been chosen or fails to qualify.16 Such absurd consequence can be
employment. avoided only by interpreting the two provisions under consideration as one, i.e., Section 7, par. (1)
of Article I-XB providing the general rule and the other, i.e., Section 13, Article VII as constituting
the exception thereto. In the same manner must Section 7, par. (2) of Article I-XB be construed vis-
Going further into Section 13, Article VII, the second sentence provides: "They shall not, during
a-vis Section 13, Article VII.
said tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be
financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the
Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or It is a well-established rule in Constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries." These sweeping, all-embracing prohibitions imposed to be separated from all the others, to be considered alone, but that all the provisions bearing upon
on the President and his official family, which prohibitions are not similarly imposed on other public a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great
officials or employees such as the Members of Congress, members of the civil service in general purposes of the instrument.17 Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and
and members of the armed forces, are proof of the intent of the 1987 Constitution to treat the interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution18 and one section is not
President and his official family as a class by itself and to impose upon said class stricter to be allowed to defeat another, if by any reasonable construction, the two can be made to stand
prohibitions. together.19

Such intent of the 1986 Constitutional Commission to be stricter with the President and his official In other words, the court must harmonize them, if practicable, and must lean in favor of a
family was also succinctly articulated by Commissioner Vicente Foz after Commissioner Regalado construction which will render every word operative, rather than one which may make the words
Maambong noted during the floor deliberations and debate that there was no symmetry between idle and nugatory.20
the Civil Service prohibitions, originally found in the General Provisions and the anticipated report
on the Executive Department. Commissioner Foz Commented, "We actually have to be stricter
with the President and the members of the Cabinet because they exercise more powers and, Since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition
on the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants with
respect to holding multiple offices or employment in the government during their tenure, the The Court had occasion to explain the meaning of an ex-officio position in Rafael vs. Embroidery
exception to this prohibition must be read with equal severity. On its face, the language of Section and Apparel Control and Inspection Board,31 thus: "An examination of section 2 of the questioned
13, Article VII is prohibitory so that it must be understood as intended to be a positive and statute (R.A. 3137) reveals that for the chairman and members of the Board to qualify they need
unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding multiple government offices or employment. Verily, only be designated by the respective department heads. With the exception of the representative
wherever the language used in the constitution is prohibitory, it is to be understood as intended to from the private sector, they sit ex-officio. In order to be designated they must already be holding
be a positive and unequivocal negation.21 The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this positions in the offices mentioned in the law. Thus, for instance, one who does not hold a previous
Constitution" must be given a literal interpretation to refer only to those particular instances cited in appointment in the Bureau of Customs, cannot, under the act, be designated a representative from
the Constitution itself, to wit: the Vice-President being appointed as a member of the Cabinet under that office. The same is true with respect to the representatives from the other offices. No new
Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as President in those instances provided under Section 7, appointments are necessary. This is as it should be, because the representatives so
pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice being ex-officiomember of the Judicial designated merely perform duties in the Board in addition to those already performed under their
and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII. original appointments."32

The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under Section 13, Article VII The term "primary" used to describe "functions" refers to the order of importance and thus means
of the Constitution must not, however, be construed as applying to posts occupied by the chief or principal function. The term is not restricted to the singular but may refer to the
Executive officials specified therein without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as plural.33 The additional duties must not only be closely related to, but must be required by the
provided by law and as required22 by the primary functions of said officials' office. The reason is official's primary functions. Examples of designations to positions by virtue of one's primary
that these posts do no comprise "any other office" within the contemplation of the constitutional functions are the Secretaries of Finance and Budget sitting as members of the Monetary Board,
prohibition but are properly an imposition of additional duties and functions on said officials.23 To and the Secretary of Transportation and Communications acting as Chairman of the Maritime
characterize these posts otherwise would lead to absurd consequences, among which are: The Industry Authority34 and the Civil Aeronautics Board.
President of the Philippines cannot chair the National Security Council reorganized under
Executive Order No. 115 (December 24, 1986). Neither can the Vice-President, the Executive
Secretary, and the Secretaries of National Defense, Justice, Labor and Employment and Local If the functions required to be performed are merely incidental, remotely related, inconsistent,
Government sit in this Council, which would then have no reason to exist for lack of a chairperson incompatible, or otherwise alien to the primary function of a cabinet official, such additional
and members. The respective undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, would also be functions would fall under the purview of "any other office" prohibited by the Constitution. An
prohibited. example would be the Press Undersecretary sitting as a member of the Board of the Philippine
Amusement and Gaming Corporation. The same rule applies to such positions which confer on the
cabinet official management functions and/or monetary compensation, such as but not limited to
The Secretary of Labor and Employment cannot chair the Board of Trustees of the National chairmanships or directorships in government-owned or controlled corporations and their
Manpower and Youth Council (NMYC) or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration subsidiaries.
(POEA), both of which are attached to his department for policy coordination and guidance.
Neither can his Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries chair these agencies.
Mandating additional duties and functions to the President, Vice-President, Cabinet Members, their
deputies or assistants which are not inconsistent with those already prescribed by their offices or
24
The Secretaries of Finance and Budget cannot sit in the Monetary Board. Neither can their appointments by virtue of their special knowledge, expertise and skill in their respective executive
respective undersecretaries and assistant secretaries. The Central Bank Governor would then be offices is a practice long-recognized in many jurisdictions. It is a practice justified by the demands
assisted by lower ranking employees in providing policy direction in the areas of money, banking of efficiency, policy direction, continuity and coordination among the different offices in the
and credit.25 Executive Branch in the discharge of its multifarious tasks of executing and implementing laws
affecting national interest and general welfare and delivering basic services to the people. It is
consistent with the power vested on the President and his alter egos, the Cabinet members, to
Indeed, the framers of our Constitution could not have intended such absurd consequences. A have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices and to ensure that the laws are
Constitution, viewed as a continuously operative charter of government, is not to be interpreted as faithfully executed.35 Without these additional duties and functions being assigned to the President
demanding the impossible or the impracticable; and unreasonable or absurd consequences, if and his official family to sit in the governing bodies or boards of governmental agencies or
possible, should be avoided.26 instrumentalities in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by their primary
functions, they would be supervision, thereby deprived of the means for control and resulting in an
unwieldy and confused bureaucracy.
To reiterate, the prohibition under Section 13, Article VII is not to be interpreted as covering
positions held without additional compensation in ex-officio capacities as provided by law and as
required by the primary functions of the concerned official's office. The term ex-officio means "from It bears repeating though that in order that such additional duties or functions may not transgress
office; by virtue of office." It refers to an "authority derived from official character merely, not the prohibition embodied in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, such additional duties
expressly conferred upon the individual character, but rather annexed to the official position." Ex- or functions must be required by the primary functions of the official concerned, who is to perform
officio likewise denotes an "act done in an official character, or as a consequence of office, and the same in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law, without receiving any additional
without any other appointment or authority than that conferred by the office."27 An ex- compensation therefor.
officio member of a board is one who is a member by virtue of his title to a certain office, and
without further warrant or appointment.28 To illustrate, by express provision of law, the Secretary of
Transportation and Communications is the ex-officioChairman of the Board of the Philippine Ports The ex-officio position being actually and in legal contemplation part of the principal office, it
Authority,29 and the Light Rail Transit Authority.30 follows that the official concerned has no right to receive additional compensation for his services
in the said position. The reason is that these services are already paid for and covered by the
compensation attached to his principal office. It should be obvious that if, say, the Secretary of
Finance attends a meeting of the Monetary Board as an ex-officio member thereof, he is actually face."43 The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people
and in legal contemplation performing the primary function of his principal office in defining policy adopting it than in the framers's understanding thereof.44
in monetary and banking matters, which come under the jurisdiction of his department. For such
attendance, therefore, he is not entitled to collect any extra compensation, whether it be in the form
of a per them or an honorarium or an allowance, or some other such euphemism. By whatever It being clear, as it was in fact one of its best selling points, that the 1987 Constitution seeks to
name it is designated, such additional compensation is prohibited by the Constitution. prohibit the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies or assistants from
holding during their tenure multiple offices or employment in the government, except in those
cases specified in the Constitution itself and as above clarified with respect to posts held without
It is interesting to note that during the floor deliberations on the proposal of Commissioner additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by the
Christian Monsod to add to Section 7, par. (2), Article IX-B, originally found as Section 3 of the primary functions of their office, the citation of Cabinet members (then called Ministers) as
General Provisions, the exception "unless required by the functions of his position," 36 express examples during the debate and deliberation on the general rule laid down for all appointive
reference to certain high-ranking appointive public officials like members of the Cabinet were officials should be considered as mere personal opinions which cannot override the constitution's
made.37 Responding to a query of Commissioner Blas Ople, Commissioner Monsod pointed out manifest intent and the people' understanding thereof.
that there are instances when although not required by current law, membership of certain high-
ranking executive officials in other offices and corporations is necessary by reason of said officials'
primary functions. The example given by Commissioner Monsod was the Minister of Trade and In the light of the construction given to Section 13, Article VII in relation to Section 7, par. (2),
Industry.38 Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, Executive Order No. 284 dated July 23, 1987 is
unconstitutional. Ostensibly restricting the number of positions that Cabinet members,
undersecretaries or assistant secretaries may hold in addition to their primary position to not more
While this exchange between Commissioners Monsod and Ople may be used as authority for than two (2) positions in the government and government corporations, Executive Order No. 284
saying that additional functions and duties flowing from the primary functions of the official may be actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express
imposed upon him without offending the constitutional prohibition under consideration, it cannot, mandate of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless
however, be taken as authority for saying that this exception is by virtue of Section 7, par. (2) of otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.
Article I-XB. This colloquy between the two Commissioners took place in the plenary session of
September 27, 1986. Under consideration then was Section 3 of Committee Resolution No. 531
which was the proposed article on General Provisions.39 At that time, the article on the Civil The Court is alerted by respondents to the impractical consequences that will result from a strict
Service Commission had been approved on third reading on July 22, 1986,40 while the article on application of the prohibition mandated under Section 13, Article VII on the operations of the
the Executive Department, containing the more specific prohibition in Section 13, had also been Government, considering that Cabinet members would be stripped of their offices held in an ex-
earlier approved on third reading on August 26, 1986.41 It was only after the draft Constitution had officio capacity, by reason of their primary positions or by virtue of legislation. As earlier clarified in
undergone reformatting and "styling" by the Committee on Style that said Section 3 of the General this decision, ex-officio posts held by the executive official concerned without additional
Provisions became Section 7, par. (2) of Article IX-B and reworded "Unless otherwise allowed by compensation as provided by law and as required by the primary functions of his office do not fall
law or by the primary functions of his position. . . ." under the definition of "any other office" within the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition.
With respect to other offices or employment held by virtue of legislation, including chairmanships or
directorships in government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, suffice it to
What was clearly being discussed then were general principles which would serve as constitutional say that the feared impractical consequences are more apparent than real. Being head of an
guidelines in the absence of specific constitutional provisions on the matter. What was primarily at executive department is no mean job. It is more than a full-time job, requiring full attention,
issue and approved on that occasion was the adoption of the qualified and delimited phrase specialized knowledge, skills and expertise. If maximum benefits are to be derived from a
"primary functions" as the basis of an exception to the general rule covering all appointive public department head's ability and expertise, he should be allowed to attend to his duties and
officials. Had the Constitutional Commission intended to dilute the specific prohibition in said responsibilities without the distraction of other governmental offices or employment. He should be
Section 13 of Article VII, it could have re-worded said Section 13 to conform to the wider precluded from dissipating his efforts, attention and energy among too many positions of
exceptions provided in then Section 3 of the proposed general Provisions, later placed as Section responsibility, which may result in haphazardness and inefficiency. Surely the advantages to be
7, par. (2) of Article IX-B on the Civil Service Commission. derived from this concentration of attention, knowledge and expertise, particularly at this stage of
our national and economic development, far outweigh the benefits, if any, that may be gained from
a department head spreading himself too thin and taking in more than what he can handle.
That this exception would in the final analysis apply also to the President and his official family is
by reason of the legal principles governing additional functions and duties of public officials rather
than by virtue of Section 7, par. 2, Article IX-B At any rate, we have made it clear that only the Finding Executive Order No. 284 to be constitutionally infirm, the court hereby orders respondents
additional functions and duties "required," as opposed to "allowed," by the primary functions may Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Fulgencio Factoran, Jr., Secretary of Local
be considered as not constituting "any other office." Government45 Luis Santos, Secretary of National Defense Fidel V. Ramos, Secretary of Health
Alfredo R.A. Bengzon and Secretary of the Budget Guillermo Carague to immediately relinquish
their other offices or employment, as herein defined, in the government, including government-
While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. With respect to the other named
constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution, respondents, the petitions have become moot and academic as they are no longer occupying the
resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail42 as said proceedings are powerless to vary positions complained of.
the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear.1âwphi1Debates in the constitutional
convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members, and as indicating the
reasons for their votes, but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not During their tenure in the questioned positions, respondents may be considered de facto officers
talk, much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the and as such entitled to emoluments for actual services rendered.46 It has been held that "in cases
force of fundamental law. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its where there is no de jure,officer, a de facto officer, who, in good faith has had possession of the
office and has discharged the duties pertaining thereto, is legally entitled to the emoluments of the
office, and may in an appropriate action recover the salary, fees and other compensations
attached to the office. This doctrine is, undoubtedly, supported on equitable grounds since it
seems unjust that the public should benefit by the services of an officer de facto and then be freed
from all liability to pay any one for such services.47 Any per diem, allowances or other emoluments
received by the respondents by virtue of actual services rendered in the questioned positions may
therefore be retained by them.

WHEREFORE, subject to the qualification above-stated, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive
Order No. 284 is hereby declared null and void and is accordingly set aside.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin,
Medialdea, Regalado and Davide, Jr., JJ., concur.
Sarmiento and Griño-Aquino, JJ., took no part.
G.R. No. L-12727 February 29, 1960 From this judgment, petitioner and intervenor interposed the present appeal.

MANILA JOCKEY CLUB, INC., petitioner-appellant, The issue is the proper placement of the six (6) additional racing days given to the Philippine
vs. Charity Sweepstakes Office, in virtue of Republic Act No. 1502, approved on June 16, 1956.
GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS BOARD, ET AL., respondents-appellees.
PHILIPPINE RACING CLUB, INC., petitioner-intervenor-appellant.
The authorized racing days specifically designated and distributed in Section 4 of Republic Act No.
309, the basic law on horse racing in the Philippines, as later amended by Republic Act No. 983,
Lichauco, Picazo and Agcaoili for appellant. are as follows:
First Assistant Government Corporate Counsel Simeon M. Gopengco and Attorney Pedro L.
Bautista for appellee PCSO.
Assistant Solicitor General Jose P. Alejandro and Solicitor Pacifico P. de Castro for the other A. Sundays:
appellees. (1) For the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society .................. 12 Sundays
Cesar S. de Guzman for appellant.
(2) For the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) . 6 Sundays
(3) For the White Cross, Inc. ............................................. 4 Sundays
BARRERA, J.:
(4) For the Grand Derby Race of the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society
........................................................ 1 Sunday
This is a petition for declaratory relief filed by petitioner Manila Jockey Club, Inc., in the Court of Total ................................................................ 23 Sundays
First Instance Manila (Civil Case No. 31274), in which the Philippine Racing Club, Inc., intervened
as party in interest with leave of court, praying that judgment be rendered against respondents (5) For private individuals and entities duly licensed by the GAB, other Sundays not
reserved under this Act, as may be determined by the GAB ........................................... 29 Sundays
Games and Amusements Board (GAB), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and
Executive Secretary Fortunato de Leon: or 30 for Leap years
Total for the year .................... 52 Sundays
or 53 for leap years.
(a) Interpreting Republic Acts Nos. 309 and 1502 in such a manner that the 30
Sundays unreserved for charitable institutions and therefore belonging to the private B. Saturdays:
racing clubs under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 309 continue to pertain to said private (1) For the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society ..... 12 Saturdays
entities, and that the 6 additional sweepstakes races authorized under Republic Act
No. 1502 should be held on 6 of the 12 Saturdays not reserved for any private entity or (2) For the White Cross, Inc. ....................................... 4 Saturdays
particular charitable institution under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 309, or on any other (3) For private Individuals and entities duly licensed by GAB and as may be determined
day of the week besides Sunday, Saturday and legal holiday; by it .................................. 24 Saturdays
(4) For races authorized by the President for charitable, relief, or civic purposes other
(b) Holding that respondent PCSO does not have the right or power to appropriate or than the particular charitable institutions named above, all other Saturdays not reserved
use the race tracks and equipment of petitioner without its consent, nor can for the latter .................... 12 Saturdays
respondents compel petitioner to so allow such use of its race tracks and equipment Total ................................................................ 52 Saturdays
under pain of having its license revoked. C. Legal Holidays: All, except Thursday and Friday of the Holy Week, July 4th and
December 30th, have been reserved for private individuals and entities duly licensed
by the GAB.
Respondents duly filed their respective answers to said petition and the case was heard. After
hearing, the court, on July 5, 1957, rendered a decision which, in part, reads:
As stated, Republic Act No. 1502 increased the sweepstakes draw and races of the PCSO to
twelve, but without specifying the days on which they are to be run. To accommodate these
The court does not deem it necessary to rule on the deprivation of property of the
additional races, the GAB resolved to reduce the number of Sundays assigned to private
petitioner and the intervenor without due process of law, as feared by them, because
individuals and entities by six. Appellants protested, contending that the said increased should be
as they have stated, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is using their premises
taken from the 12 Saturdays reserved to the President, for charitable, relief, or civic purposes, or
and equipment under separate contracts of lease voluntarily and willingly entered into
should be assigned to any other day of the week besides Sunday, Saturday, and legal holiday.
by the parties upon payment of a corresponding rental. There is therefore no
deprivation of property without due process of law.
Appellants' contention cannot be sustained. Section 4 Republic Act No. 309, as amended by
Republic Act No. 983, by express terms, specifically reserved 23 Sundays and 16 Saturdays for
Wherefore, the court is of the opinion and so holds that once a month on a Sunday not
the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society, the White Cross, Inc. and the PCSO, and 12 Saturdays to
reserved for the Anti-Tuberculosis Society, the White Cross and other charitable
the President for other charitable, relief, or civic purposes. These days can not be disposed of by
institutions by Section 4 of Republic Act No. 309, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes
the GAB without authority of law. As to the remaining racing days, the law provides:
Office is authorized to hold one regular sweepstakes draw and races, pursuant to
Section 9 of Republic Act No. 1502, thus reducing the number of Sundays which may
be alloted to private entities by the Games and Amusements Board. . . .
SEC. 4. Racing days.—Private individuals and entities duly licensed by the expressive of the views and motives of individual members and are not safe guides and, hence,
Commission on Races (now GAB) may hold horse races on Sundays not reserved may not be resorted to in ascertaining the meaning and purpose of the lawmaking body. It is
under this Act, on twenty-four Saturdays as may be determined by the said impossible to determine with certainty what construction was put upon an act by the members of
Commission (GAB), and on legal holidays, except Thursday and Friday of Holy Week, the legislative body that passed the bill, by resorting to the speeches of the members thereof.
July fourth, commonly known as Independence Day, and December thirtieth, Those who did not speak, may not have agreed with those who did; and those who spoke, might
commonly known as Rizal Day. differ from each other.1

It is clear from the above-quoted provision that appellants have no vested right to the unreserved In view of these conflicting authorities, no appreciable reliance can safely be placed on any of
Sundays, or even to the 24 Saturdays (except, perhaps, on the holidays), because their holding of them. It is to be noted in the specific case before us, that while Congressmen Marcos and Abeleda
races on these days is merely permissive, subject to the licensing and determination by the GAB. were, admittedly, of the view that the additional sweepstakes races may be inserted in the club
When, therefore, Republic Act No. 1502 was enacted increasing by six (6) the sweepstakes draw races, still there is nothing in Republic Act No. 1502, as it was finally enacted, which would indicate
and races, but without specifying the days for holding them, the GAB had no alternative except to that such an understanding on the part of these two members of the Lower House of Congress
make room for the additional races, as it did, form among the only available racing days were received the sanction or conformity of their colleagues, for the law is absolutely devoid of any
unreserved by any law — the Sundays on which the private individuals and entities have been such indication. This is, therefore, not a case where a doubtful wording is sought to be interpreted;
permitted to hold their races, subject to licensing and determination by the GAB. rather, if we adopt appellants' theory, we would be supplying something that does not appear in
the statute. It is pertinent to observe here that, as pointed out by one of appellants' own cited
authorities,2 in the interpretation of a legal document, especially a statute, unlike in the
It is suggested that the GAB should have chosen any week days or Saturday afternoons. In the interpretation of an ordinary written document, it is not enough to obtain information to the intention
first place, week days are out of the question. The law does not authorize the holding of horse or meaning of the author or authors, but also to see whether the intention or meaning has been
races with betting on week days (See Article 198 of the Revised Penal Code). Secondly, expressed in such a way as to give it legal effect and validity. In short, the purpose of the inquiry, is
sweepstakes races have always been held on Sundays. Besides, it is not possible to hold them on not only to know what the author meant by the language he used, but also to see that the language
Saturday afternoons as, it is claimed, a whole day is necessary for the mixing of the sweepstakes used sufficiently expresses that meaning. The legal act, so to speak, is made up of two elements
balls, the drawing of winning sweepstakes numbers, and the running of the sweepstakes races. Be — an internal and an external one; it originates in intention and is perfected by expression. Failure
that as it may, since the law has given certain amount of discretion to the GAB in determining and of the latter may defeat the former. The following, taken from 59 Corpus Juris 1017, is in the line
allocating racing days not specifically reserved, and since the court does not find that a grave with this theory:
abuse of this discretion has been committed, there seems to be no reason, legal or otherwise, to
set aside the resolution of the GAB.
The intention of the legislature to which effect must be given is that expressed in the
statute and the courts will not inquire into the motives which influence the legislature, or
Furthermore, appellants contend that even granting that the six (6) additional sweepstakes races individual members, in voting for its passage; nor indeed as to the intention of the
should be run on Sundays, yet if they are held on a club race day, the GAB should only insert them draftsman, or the legislature, so far as it has been expressed in the act. So, in
in the club races and not given the whole day to the PCSO, to the exclusion of appellants. In ascertaining the meaning of a statute the court will not be governed or influenced by
support of this contention, the following quotation from the debate in the House of Representatives the views or opinions of any or all members of the legislature or its legislative
before voting on House Bill No. 5732, which became Republic Act No. 1502, is cited: committees or any other persons.

Mr. ABELEDA. If there are no more amendments, I move that we vote on the measure. Upon the other hand, at the time of the enactment of Republic Act No. 1502 in June, 1956, the
long, continuous, and uniform practice was that all sweepstakes draws and races were held on
Sundays and during the whole day. With this background, when Congress chose not to specify in
Mr. MARCOS. Mr. Speaker, before we proceed to vote on this bill, I want to make it of
express terms how the additional sweepstakes draws and races would be held, it is safe to
record that it is the clear intention of the House to increase by two the ten regular and
conclude that it did not intend to disturb the then prevailing situation and practice.
special Sweepstakes races making it all in all, twelve, and that in cases where a
sweepstakes race falls in a club race days the Sweepstakes races should be inserted
in the club race. "On the principle of contemporaneous exposition, common usage and practice under the statute,
or a course of conduct indicating a particular undertaking of it, will frequently be of great value in
determining its real meaning, especially where the usage has been acquired in by all parties
Mr. ABELEDA. The gentleman from Ilocos Norte is correct. . . . (t.s.n., Proceedings in
concerned and has extended over a long period of time; . . . (59 C. J. 1023).
House of Representatives, Congress, May 17, 1956; emphasis supplied.)

Likewise, the language of Republic Act No. 1502 in authorizing the increase, clearly speaks of
Appellants cite in their briefs a number of authorities sustaining the view that in the interpretation of
regular sweepstakes draws and races. If the intention of Congress were to authorize additional
statutes susceptible of widely differing constructions, legislative debates and explanatory
sweepstakes draws only which could, admittedly, be inserted in the club races, the law would not
statements by members of the legislature may be resorted to, to throw light on the meaning of the
have included regular races; and since regular sweepstakes races were specifically authorized,
words used in the statutes. Upon the other hand, the appellees, likewise, quote in their briefs other
and it would be confusing, inconvenient, if not impossible to mix these sweepstakes races with the
authorities to the effect that statements made by the individual members of the legislature as to the
regular club races all on the same day (and it has never been done before), the conclusion seems
meaning of provisions in the bill subsequently enacted into law, made during the general debate on
inevitable that the additional sweepstakes draws and races were intended to be held on a whole
the bill on the floor of each legislative house, following its presentation by a standing committee,
day, separate and apart from the club races.
are generally held to be in admissable as an aid in construing the statute. Legislative debates are
Appellants' contention that to compel them to permit the PCSO to use their premises and
equipment against their will would constitute deprivation of property without due process of law,
deserves no serious consideration. As the lower court has found, every time the PCSO uses
appellants' premises and equipment, they are paid rentals in accordance with the terms of
separate contracts of lease existing between them and the PCSO.

The decision appealed from, being in consonance with the above findings and considerations of
this Court, the same is hereby affirmed, with costs against the appellants. So ordered.

Paras, C. J., Bengzon, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J. B. L., Endencia, and Gutierrez David,
JJ., concur.
G.R. No. L-5955 September 19, 1952 It will be seen that under this section, when the office of municipal president (now mayor)
become permanently vacant the vice-president stepped into the office. The section omitted
reference to temporary vacancy of such office because section 2195 governed that contingency. In
JOSE L. LAXAMANA, petitioner, this regard sections 2180 and 2195 supplemented each other. Paragraph (a) of section 2180
vs. applied to municipal offices in general, other than that of the municipal president.
JOSE T. BALTAZAR, respondent.

Under the Revised Administrative Code, — specially the two sections indicated — there was no
Gerardo S. Limlingan and Jose L. Baltazar for petitioner. doubt in Government circles that when the municipal president was suspended from office, the
Macapagal, Punzalan and Yabut for respondent. vice-president took his place.
Ramon Duterte and Pedro Lopez as amici curiae.

Temporary vacancy in office of municipal president. — Paragraph (a) of this section


BENGZON, J.: (2180) should be construed to cover only municipal offices other than the office of
president. Section 2195 of the Administrative Code should be applied in case of the
absence, suspension, or other temporary disability of the municipal president. (Op.
When in July 1952 the mayor of Sexmoan, Pampanga, was suspended, the vice-mayor Jose T.
Atty. Gen. Sept. 21, 1917; Ins. Aud. Oct. 23, 1927.) (Araneta, Administrative Code Vol.
Salazar, assumed office as mayor by virtue of section 2195 of the Revised Administrative Code.
IV p. 2838)
However, the provincial governor, acting under section 21 (a) of the Revised Election Code (R.A.
180), with the consent of the provincial board appointed Jose L. Laxamana, as mayor of Sexmoan,
who immediately took the corresponding official oath. Municipal president cannot designate acting president. — There is no provision of law
expressly or implied authorizing the municipal president to designate any person to act
in his stead during his temporary absence or disability. From the provision of section
Result: this quo warranto proceeding, based solely on the petitioner's proposition that the section
2195 of the code, it is clear that the vice-president or, if there be no vice-president, the
first mentioned has been repealed by the subsequent provision of the Revised Election Code.
councilor who at the last general election received the highest number of votes, should
automatically (without any formal designation) discharge the duties of the president.
If there was such repeal, this petition should be granted, and Laxamana declared the lawful mayor (Op. Ins. Aud. March 2, 1926) (Araneta Administrative Code Vol. IV, p. 2839)
of Sexmoan. Otherwise it must be denied.1
Now it is reasonable to assume that the incorporation of the above section 2180 into the Revised
The two statutory provisions read as follows: Election Law as section 21 (a) did not have the effect of enlarging its scope,2 to supersede or
repeal section 2195, what with the presumption against implied repeals.3 "Where a statute has
received a contemporaneous and practical interpretation and the statute as interpreted is re-
SEC. 2195. — Temporary disability of the mayor. Upon the occasion of the absence, enacted, the practical interpretation is accorded greater weight than it ordinarily receives, and is
suspension, or other temporary disability of the Mayor, his duties shall be discharged regarded as presumptively the correct interpretation of the law. The rule here is based upon the
by the Vice-Mayor, or if there be no Vice-Mayor, by the councilor who at the last theory that the legislature is acquainted with the contemporaneous interpretation of a statute,
general election received the highest number of votes. especially when made by an administrative body or executive officers charged with the duty of
administering or enforcing the law, and therefore impliedly adopts the interpretation upon re-
enactment." (Sutherland Statutory Construction, sec. 5109.)
SEC. 21 (a). Vacancy in elective provincial, city or municipal office. — Whenever a
temporary vacancy in any elective local office occurs, the same shall be filled by
appointment by the President if it is a provincial or city office, and by the provincial Indeed, even disregarding their origin, the allegedly conflicting sections, could be interpreted in the
governor, with the consent of the Provincial Board, if it is a municipal office. (R.A. 180, light of the principle of statutory construction that when a general and a particular provision are
the Revised Election Code. inconsistent the latter is paramount to the former (sec. 288, Act 190). In other words, section 2195
referring particularly to vacancy in the office of mayor, must prevail over the general terms of
section 21 (a) as to vacancies of municipal (local) offices. Otherwise stated, section 2195 may be
SEC. 21 (a) — The portion relating to municipal offices — was taken from section 2180 of the deemed an exception to or qualification of the latter.4 "Where one statute deals with a subject in
Revised Administrative Code, which partly provided: general terms, and another deals with a part of the same subject in a more detailed way, the two
should be harmonized if possible; but if there is any conflict, the latter will prevail, regardless of
whether it was passed prior to the general statute." (Sutherland Statutory Construction, sec. 5204)
SEC. 2180. Vacancies in municipal office. — (a) In case of a temporary vacancy in any
municipal office, the same shall be filled by appointment by the provincial governor,
with the consent of the provincial board. In a recent decision,5 we had occasion to pass on a similar situation — repeal by subsequent
general provision of a prior special provision — and we said,:
(b) In case of a permanent vacancy in any municipal office, the same shall be filled by
appointment by the provincial board, except in case of a municipal president, in which It is well-settled that a special and local statute, providing for a particular case or class
the permanent vacancy shall be filled by the municipal vice-president. . . . of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its terms, provisions and
application, unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest, although the terms of the
general act are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law. . . . It
is a canon of statutory construction that a later statute, general in its terms and not
expressly repealing a prior special statute, will ordinarily not affect the special
provisions, of such earlier statute. (Steamboat Company vs. Collector, 18 Wall. (U.S.),
478; Cass County vs. Gillett, 100 U.S. 585; Minnesota vs. Hitchcock, 185 U.S. 373,
396.)

Where there are two statutes, the earlier special and the later general — the terms of
the general brood enough to include the matter provided for in the special — the fact
that one is special and the other is general creates a presumption that the special is to
be considered as remaining an exception to the general, one as a general law of the
land, the other as the law of a particular case. (State vs. Stoll, 17 Wall. (U.S.) 425)

In fact even after the Revised Election Code was enacted, the Department of the Interior and the
office of executive Secretary who are charged with the supervision of provincial and municipal
governments have "consistently held that in case of the suspension or other temporary disability of
the mayor, the vice-mayor shall, by operation of law, assume the office of the mayor, and if the
vice-mayor is not available, the said office shall be discharged by the first councilor." (Annex 5 of
the answer.)

Needless to say, the contemporaneous construction placed upon the statute by the executive
officers charged with its execution deserves great weight in the courts.6

Consequently it is our ruling that when the mayor of a municipality is suspended, absent or
temporarily unable, his duties should be discharged by the vice-mayor in accordance with sec.
2195 of the Revised Administrative Code.

This quo warranto petition is dismissed with costs. So ordered.1âwphïl.nêt

Paras, C.J., Pablo, Padilla, Montemayor, Jugo, Bautista Angelo and Labrador, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 168546 July 23, 2008 In view of the foregoing, the Court finds accused Michael Padua y Tordel guilty of [v]iolation of
Sec. 5 Art. II of R.A. No. 9165 in relation to R.A. No. 8369 Sec. 5 par. (a) and (i) thereof, and
therefore, sentences him to suffer an indeterminate sentence of six (6) years and one (1) day of
MICHAEL PADUA, Petitioner, Prision Mayor as minimum to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal as
vs. maximum and a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱500,000.00).
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

No subsidiary imprisonment, however, shall be imposed should [the] accused fail to pay the fine
DECISION pursuant to Art. 39 par. 3 of the Revised Penal Code.

QUISUMBING, J.: SO ORDERED.14

This petition for review assails the Decision1 dated April 19, 2005 and Resolution2 dated June 14, Padua subsequently filed a Petition for Probation15 dated February 10, 2004 alleging that he is a
2005, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 86977 which had respectively dismissed Michael minor and a first-time offender who desires to avail of the benefits of probation under Presidential
Padua’s petition for certiorari and denied his motion for reconsideration. Padua’s petition for Decree No. 96816 (P.D. No. 968), otherwise known as "The Probation Law of 1976" and Section 70
certiorari before the Court of Appeals assailed the Orders dated May 11, 2004 3 and July 28, of Rep. Act No. 9165. He further alleged that he possesses all the qualifications and none of the
20044 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 168, Pasig City, which had denied his petition for disqualifications under the said laws.
probation.

The RTC in an Order17 dated February 10, 2004 directed the Probation Officer of Pasig City to
The facts, culled from the records, are as follows: conduct a Post-Sentence Investigation and submit a report and recommendation within 60 days
from receipt of the order. The City Prosecutor was also directed to submit his comment on the said
petition within five days from receipt of the order.
On June 16, 2003, petitioner Michael Padua and Edgar Allan Ubalde were charged before the
RTC, Branch 168, Pasig City of violating Section 5,5 Article II of Republic Act No. 9165,6 otherwise
known as the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002," for selling dangerous drugs.7 The On April 6, 2004, Chief Probation and Parole Officer Josefina J. Pasana submitted a Post-
Information reads: Sentence Investigation Report to the RTC recommending that Padua be placed on probation.18

The Prosecution, through the undersigned Public Prosecutor, charges Edgar Allan Ubalde y However, on May 11, 2004, public respondent Pairing Judge Agnes Reyes-Carpio issued an Order
Velchez a.k.a. "Allan" and Michael Padua y Tordel a.k.a. "Mike", with the crime of violation of denying the Petition for Probation on the ground that under Section 2419 of Rep. Act No. 9165, any
Sec. 5, Art. II, Republic Act No. 9165 in relation to R.A. [No.] 8369, Sec. 5 par. (a) and (i), person convicted of drug trafficking cannot avail of the privilege granted by the Probation Law. The
committed as follows: court ruled thus:

On or about June 6, 2003, in Pasig City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the Before this Court now is the Post-Sentence Investigation Report (PSIR) on minor Michael Padua y
accused, Edgar Allan Ubalde y Velchez and Michael Padua y Tordel, a minor, seventeen (17) Tordel prepared by Senior Parole and Probation Officer Teodoro Villaverde and submitted by the
years old, conspiring and confederating together and both of them mutually helping and aiding one Chief of the Pasig City Parole and Probation Office, Josefina J. Pasana.
another, not being lawfully authorized to sell any dangerous drug, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously sell, deliver and give away to PO1 Roland A. Panis, a police poseur-
buyer, one (1) folded newsprint containing 4.86 grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops, which was In the aforesaid PSIR, Senior PPO Teodoro Villaverde recommended that minor Michael Padua y
found positive to the tests for marijuana, a dangerous drug, in violation of the said law. Tordel be placed on probation, anchoring his recommendation on Articles 189 and 192 of P.D.
603, otherwise known as the Child and Welfare Code, as amended, which deal with the
suspension of sentence and commitment of youthful offender. Such articles, therefore, do not find
Contrary to law.8 application in this case, the matter before the Court being an application for probation by minor
Michael Padua y Tordel and not the suspension of his sentence.
When arraigned on October 13, 2003, Padua, assisted by his counsel de oficio, entered a plea of
not guilty.9 On the other hand, Section 70 is under Article VIII of R.A. 9165 which deals with the Program for
Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Dependents. Sections 54 to 76, all under Article VIII of R.A.
9165 specifically refer to violations of either Section 15 or Section 11. Nowhere in Article VIII was
During the pre-trial conference on February 2, 2004, however, Padua’s counsel manifested that his
[v]iolation of Section 5 ever mentioned.
client was willing to withdraw his plea of not guilty and enter a plea of guilty to avail of the benefits
granted to first-time offenders under Section 7010 of Rep. Act No. 9165. The prosecutor interposed
no objection.11 Thus, the RTC on the same date issued an Order12 stating that the former plea of More importantly, while the provisions of R.A. 9165, particularly Section 70 thereof deals with
Padua of not guilty was considered withdrawn. Padua was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty. Hence, Probation or Community Service for First- Time Minor Offender in Lieu of Imprisonment, the Court
in a Decision13 dated February 6, 2004, the RTC found Padua guilty of the crime charged: is of the view and so holds that minor Michael Padua y Tordel who was charged and convicted of
violating Section 5, Article II, R.A. 9165, cannot avail of probation under said section in view of the The trial court and the Court of Appeals have legal basis in applying Section 24, Article
provision of Section 24 which is hereunder quoted: II of R.A. 9165 instead of Section 70, Article VIII of the same law.

"Sec. 24. Non-Applicability of the Probation Law for Drug Traffickers and Pushers. – Any person II.
convicted for drug trafficking or pushing under this Act, regardless of the penalty imposed by the
Court, cannot avail of the privilege granted by the Probation Law or Presidential Decree No. 968,
as amended." (underlining supplied) Section 32 of A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC otherwise known as the "Rule on Juveniles in
Conflict with the Law" has no application to the instant case.24

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Probation filed by Michael Padua y Tord[e]l
should be, as it is hereby DENIED. Simply, the issues are: (1) Did the Court of Appeals err in dismissing Padua’s petition for
certiorari assailing the trial court’s order denying his petition for probation? (2) Was Padua’s right
under Rep. Act No. 9344,25 the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006," violated? and (3) Does
SO ORDERED.20 Section 3226 of A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC otherwise known as the "Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with
the Law" have application in this case?

Padua filed a motion for reconsideration of the order but the same was denied on July 28, 2004.
He filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the Court of Appeals assailing the order, but the As to the first issue, we rule that the Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing Padua’s petition for
Court of Appeals, in a Decision dated April 19, 2005, dismissed his petition. The dispositive portion certiorari.
of the decision reads:

For certiorari to prosper, the following requisites must concur: (1) the writ is directed against a
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit and tribunal, a board or any officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribunal, board
ordered DISMISSED. or officer has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law.27
SO ORDERED.21

"Without jurisdiction" means that the court acted with absolute lack of authority. There is "excess of
Padua filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court of Appeals decision but it was denied. Hence, jurisdiction" when the court transcends its power or acts without any statutory authority. "Grave
this petition where he raises the following issues: abuse of discretion" implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as to be
equivalent to lack or excess of jurisdiction. In other words, power is exercised in an arbitrary or
despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice, or personal hostility, and such exercise is so
I.
patent or so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal either to
perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.28
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE
DENIAL OF THE PETITION FOR PROBATION WHICH DEPRIVED PETITIONER’S
A review of the orders of the RTC denying Padua’s petition for probation shows that the RTC
RIGHT AS A MINOR UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. [02-1-18-SC]
neither acted without jurisdiction nor with grave abuse of discretion because it merely applied the
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS [THE] RULE ON JUVENILES IN CONFLICT WITH THE
law and adhered to principles of statutory construction in denying Padua’s petition for probation.
LAW.

Padua was charged and convicted for violation of Section 5, Article II of Rep. Act No. 9165 for
II.
selling dangerous drugs. It is clear under Section 24 of Rep. Act No. 9165 that any person
convicted of drug trafficking cannot avail of the privilege of probation, to wit:
WHETHER OR NOT [THE] ACCUSED[’S] RIGHT [TO BE RELEASED UNDER
RECOGNIZANCE] HAS BEEN VIOLATED OR DEPRIVED IN THE LIGHT OF R.A.
SEC. 24. Non-Applicability of the Probation Law for Drug Traffickers and Pushers. – Any person
9344 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS AN ACT ESTABLISHING A COMPREHENSIVE
convicted for drug trafficking or pushing under this Act, regardless of the penalty imposed
JUVENILE JUSTICE AND WELFARE SYSTEM, CREATING THE JUVENILE
by the Court, cannot avail of the privilege granted by the Probation Law or Presidential
JUSTICE AND WELFARE COUNCIL UNDER DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Decree No. 968, as amended. (Emphasis supplied.)
APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND OTHER PURPOSES.22

The law is clear and leaves no room for interpretation. Any person convicted for drug trafficking or
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), representing public respondent, opted to adopt its
pushing, regardless of the penalty imposed, cannot avail of the privilege granted by the Probation
Comment23 as its Memorandum. In its Comment, the OSG countered that
Law or P.D. No. 968. The elementary rule in statutory construction is that when the words and
phrases of the statute are clear and unequivocal, their meaning must be determined from the
I. language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly what it says.29 If a statute is
clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without
attempted interpretation. This is what is known as the plain-meaning rule or verba legis. It is CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
expressed in the maxim, index animi sermo, or speech is the index of intention.30 Furthermore, Associate Justice
there is the maxim verba legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a statute there should be
no departure.31
DANTE O. TINGA PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
Associate Justice Associate Justice
Moreover, the Court of Appeals correctly pointed out that the intention of the legislators in Section
24 of Rep. Act No. 9165 is to provide stiffer and harsher punishment for those persons convicted of
drug trafficking or pushing while extending a sympathetic and magnanimous hand in Section 70 to
drug dependents who are found guilty of violation of Sections 1132 and 1533 of the Act. The law
ARTURO D. BRION
considers the users and possessors of illegal drugs as victims while the drug traffickers and
Associate Justice
pushers as predators. Hence, while drug traffickers and pushers, like Padua, are categorically
disqualified from availing the law on probation, youthful drug dependents, users and possessors
alike, are given the chance to mend their ways.34 The Court of Appeals also correctly stated that ATTESTATION
had it been the intention of the legislators to exempt from the application of Section 24 the drug
traffickers and pushers who are minors and first time offenders, the law could have easily declared
so.35 I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the
case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

The law indeed appears strict and harsh against drug traffickers and drug pushers while protective
of drug users. To illustrate, a person arrested for using illegal or dangerous drugs is meted only a LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
penalty of six months rehabilitation in a government center, as minimum, for the first offense under Associate Justice
Section 15 of Rep. Act No. 9165, while a person charged and convicted of selling dangerous drugs Chairperson
shall suffer life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five Hundred Thousand Pesos
(₱500,000.00) to Ten Million Pesos (₱10,000,000.00) under Section 5, Rep. Act No. 9165.
CERTIFICATION

As for the second and third issues, Padua cannot argue that his right under Rep. Act No. 9344, the
"Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006" was violated. Nor can he argue that Section 32 of A.M. Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation, I
No. 02-1-18-SC otherwise known as the "Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law" has certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the
application in this case. Section 6836 of Rep. Act No. 9344 and Section 32 of A.M. No. 02-1-18-SC case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
both pertain to suspension of sentence and not probation.
REYNATO S. PUNO
Furthermore, suspension of sentence under Section 3837 of Rep. Act No. 9344 could no longer be Chief Justice
retroactively applied for petitioner’s benefit. Section 38 of Rep. Act No. 9344 provides that once a
child under 18 years of age is found guilty of the offense charged, instead of pronouncing the
judgment of conviction, the court shall place the child in conflict with the law under suspended
sentence. Section 4038 of Rep. Act No. 9344, however, provides that once the child reaches 18
years of age, the court shall determine whether to discharge the child, order execution of sentence,
or extend the suspended sentence for a certain specified period or until the child reaches the
maximum age of 21 years. Petitioner has already reached 21 years of age or over and thus,
could no longer be considered a child39 for purposes of applying Rep. Act 9344. Thus, the
application of Sections 38 and 40 appears moot and academic as far as his case is concerned.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated April 19, 2005 and the
Resolution dated June 14, 2005 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:
G.R. No. 133478 January 16, 2002 Lorilyn further testified that appellant was always doing it (sexual intercourse) to her but
could not recall the dates. Appellant would always threaten her every time she would
not follow his evil wishes. Lorilyn's mother knew about the incident but did nothing. She
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, told Lorilyn not to tell her "uncles" about the incident as they might hurt appellant (p.
vs. 15, ibid.).
SALUSTIANO CALLOS, accused-appellant.

Lorilyn was able to finally reveal her harrowing experience to "Rosemarie" and her "Ate
PER CURIAM: Chu" when the latter found her in their house crying. When asked why she was crying
she told her (Ate Chu) about the incident. "Ate Chu" got mad at appellant and told
Lorilyn that they should tell her uncle (Ate Chu's father) the incident. Lorilyn instead
Respect for a woman's life includes giving due regard to her innocence, honor, and purity. When
pleaded to "Ate Chu" not to tell her uncle because appellant would her "again" (p.
these virtues are violated, the offender reveals his utter disregard for womanhood and the more it
16, ibid.).
becomes appalling when the violator is a girl's own father.

Despite her mother's threats, Lorilyn continued to narrate her experience in the hands
Before us on automatic review is the decision of the Regional Trial Court of the 5th Judicial Region
of appellant. She testified that on November 29, 1994, at about 2:00 p.m., she,
(Branch 15, Tabaco, Albay) imposing upon appellant Salustiano Callos the supreme penalty of
together with her brothers, was in their house when appellant told Lorilyn's "brothers" to
death for two counts of rape.
leave the house for them to take a bath in the river. Appellant prevented Lorilyn from
leaving the house. He told her that if she disobeyed his wish, he would punish her.
Two informations were filed upon complaint of Lorilyn Callos, appellant's own 12-year old After Lorilyn's "brothers" left, appellant told Lorilyn to get inside their house. Lorilyn
daughter, on January 22, 1996. The Information in Criminal Case No. T-2708 charged: refused but appellant got a whip and commanded her to do as told. Inside the house,
appellant ordered Lorilyn to undress. Lorilyn initially refused but when appellant
threatened to whip her with a piece of wood, Lorilyn obligingly followed out of fear.
That on or about November 17, 1994, at more or less 8:00 o'clock in the evening, at Then, appellant inserted his penis into her "private part." Lorilyn tried to free herself
Purok 4, Barangay Bantayan, Municipality of Tabaco, Province of Albay, Philippines from appellant but failed because appellant was on top of her. While appellant was on
and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the above-named accused with lewd top of her, he was sucking and mashing her breast. Lorilyn kept on crying while
design and by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully appellant was doing his demonic acts (pp. 22-24, ibid.).
and feloniously have carnal knowledge with her 12-year-old daughter, LORILYN
CALLOS, against her will, to her damage and prejudice.
Thereafter, Lorilyn said to appellant that she would tell her mother what he did to her.
Appellant threatened Lorilyn not to tell her mother otherwise he would punish her.
(p. 13, Records, T-2708.) Appellant also told Lorilyn not to tell her brothers about the incident. After their brief
exchange of words, appellant ordered Lorilyn to change her clothes and leave the
house (pp. 24-25, ibid.).
The Information in the second case, Criminal Case No. T-2709, charged a rape committed on
November 29, 1994 in the same Purok 4 in Bantayan, Tabaco, Albay.
Dr. Amalia Guiruba, the rural health physician of Tabaco, Albay testified that she
physically examined Lorilyn on December 1, 1995. She found out that Lorilyn's labia
Upon arraignment, appellant pleaded not guilty and joint trial on the merits accordingly ensued. majora and minora are coaptated. She also found deep lacerations at 6:00 o'clock,
The evidence presented by both the prosecution and defense is summarized in the People's Brief 9:00 o'clock and 3:00 o'clock positions which could have been caused by an insertion
thusly: of an erect penis. She further testified that it is possible that the lacerations could have
been inflicted on the date of the rape incidents as appearing in the medico-legal report
(Exhibit E) (pp. 15-21, TSN, December 16, 1996).
On November 17, 1994, at about 8:00 in the evening, Lorilyn Callos, together with her
brothers, Arjay (nine [9] years old), Gerald (seven [7] years old) Jason (five [5] years
old), Mark John (three [3] years old), and Jessa May (two [2] years old), was sleeping Resurreccion Barasona, a policeman stationed at Tabaco, Albay testified that on
in their house at Bantayan, Tabaco, Albay (p. 4-11, TSN, May 21, 1996). While they November 30, 1995, Lorilyn and Lourdes Callos went to their police station and lodged
were thus sleeping, Lorilyn was suddenly awakened when appellant (her father) went a complaint for rape against appellant. Consequently, policeman Barasona entered
on top of her. After that, appellant pulled down her panties. Lorilyn pulled it back but said complaint in their police blotter identified as Blotter Entry No. 27541 (Exhibit F)
appellant prevailed (p. 18, TSN, September 2, 1996). Thereafter, appellant held her (pp. TSN, Jan. 20, 1997).
breasts and succeeded in inserting her penis into her "private part." Lorilyn wanted to
free herself from appellant but could not do so because appellant pinned her down.
Lorilyn felt pain when appellant inserted his penis into her "private part." Feeling (pp. 89-94, Rollo.)
helpless, Lorilyn cried. Appellant told her not to cry (pp. 7-8, ibid.).

In both cases, the trial court, in its decision dated October 24, 1997, found appellant guilty as
Lorilyn testified that appellant was on top of her only for a while because one of her charged. Consequently, the death penalty was imposed in each case and appellant was ordered to
brothers woke up. After appellant consummated his beastly desire, Lorilyn noticed indemnify Lorilyn in the amount of P50,000.00 in each case (p. 29, Rollo).
there was blood on her "private part" (pp. 4-20, TSN September 2, 1996).1âwphi1.nêt
Appellant in the present automatic review advances the lone, shot-gut argument that the real age A: I cried a lot when I learned about it, sir. I realized that I had done something
of the victim was not duly established. He does not question the propriety of his conviction on the wrong.
two counts of the crime of rape, limiting himself to merely arguing that the death penalty imposed
by the trial court is not in accord with the recent pronouncements of this Court in People vs.
Perez (G.R. No. 122764, September 28, 1998) and People vs. Javier(G.R. No. 126096, July 26, (pp. 9, 15, tsn, Feb. 18, 1997.)
1999), where we held that the special qualifying circumstances required in Republic Act No. 7659
must be duly alleged and proved before the death penalty may be properly imposed. This
This admission of appellant in open court shows that he indeed raped his daughter on the night of
notwithstanding, in carrying out our bounden duty to review all cases where the death penalty has
November 17, 1994.
been imposed, we perused and examined the record of the case to determine if appellant is at all
liable. The record, however, indubitably supports the finding of the trial court relative to its
conviction of the appellant for the crime of rape. Regarding the rape alleged to have been committed on November 29, 1994, appellant was,
however, absolutely silent, which muteness becomes an eloquent admission of the crime charged
(People vs. Calayca, 301 SCRA 192 [1999]). More importantly, Lorilyn categorically testified that
As to the incident on November 17, 1994, appellant claimed that he attended a birthday party of
she was raped by appellant on November 29, 1994, aside from the other numerous occasions
his uncle and came home in so drunken a state that he passed out right outside his house. He
when she was similarly abused. Such testimony, which oftentimes is the only evidence that can be
frankly admitted he did something wrong, that is, he almost molested his daughter had it not been
offered to prove the guilt of the perpetrator, is sufficient to sustain a conviction (People vs.
for the timely intervention of his wife. He further testified that he whipped his daughter because she
Villaluna, 303 SCRA 518 [1999]; People vs. Banela, 301 SCRA 84 [1999]). No woman, especially
broke the radio.
one who is of the tender age, would concoct a horrendous tale, allow an examination of her private
parts, and thereafter permit herself to be subjected to public trial and forced to relive such
However, on cross-examination, the following declarations were elicited from appellant: horrifying experience, if she is not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended
and punished (People vs. Almaden, 305 SCRA 157 [1999]; People vs. Ayo, 305 SCRA 543
[1999]; People vs. Monfero, 308 SCRA 396 [1999]), even if the family's honor is at stake, and even
Q: You said that you had already asked for forgiveness, am I correct? if it is her own father that she would be sending to prison (People vs. Bation, 305 SCRA 253
[1999]. The long standing rule is that when an alleged victim of rape says she was violated, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape had been inflicted on her, and so long as her
A: Yes, sir. testimony meets the test of credibility, the accused may be convicted on the basis thereof (People
vs. Ambray, 303 SCRA 697 [1999] People vs. De La Cuesta, 304 SCRA 83 [1999]; People vs.
Maglantay, 304 SCRA 272 [1999]; People vs. Vaynoco, 305 SCRA 93 [1999]). The findings of the
Q: And you also said that you had asked for forgiveness because you had done
trial court on this score should, therefore, be upheld.
something wrong?

Now to the issue of whether there is independent evidence of Lorilyn's age to qualify the rape and
A: Yes, sir.
to justify the penalty of death. Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
Republic Act No. 7659, the attendant circumstances of minority and relationship qualify the crime
Q: And that something which is wrong was the sexual intercourse you had with of rape, increasing the penalty from reclusion perpetua to death. In order to impose the higher
your daughter Lorelyn Corral (sic) on November 17, 1994? penalty, the duality and concurrence of both circumstances must be alleged and proved (People
vs. Perez, 296 SCRA 17 [1998]). The People, in its brief, claims that there is sufficient evidence to
establish the age of the victim at the time of rape. Lorilyn Callos testified that she was 13 at the
A: Yes, sir. time she was put on the stand. She also testified that she was born on August 6, 1982; hence, was
12 years old at the time of commission of the crime. She also disclosed to the examining physician
that she was 13 years old at the time of her examination. She informed Policeman Barasona that
x x x she was 13 years old when she lodged a complaint against appellant on November 30, 1995. Even
appellant declared that his daughter was 14 years old at the time of his testimony (p. 6, tsn,
February 18, 1997), making her 12 years old at the time of the commission of the crime.
x x x

x x x Although not stated in the People's brief, in our review of the record, we noted that the minutes of
the hearing indicate that Lorilyn Callos' birth certificate was presented and marked during trial.
Although said document was never formally offered in evidence and, therefore, strictly speaking,
Q: And in the early morning of the following day, you had learned that you did does not form part of the record of exhibits of the case, it is to be significantly considered that the
something wrong to your daughter? defense counsel admitted the authenticity of the birth certificate (Order of Judge Mamerto M.
Buban, Jr., October 2, 1996).

A: I was informed about it by my wife, sir.


In the determination of each element of the case, only moral certainty is required. In People vs. De
la Cruz (G.R. Nos. 131167-68, August 23, 2000), the Court held that the prosecution proved the
Q: Knowing that you had sexual intercourse with your daughter, what did you do? minority of the victim beyond reasonable doubt through the testimony of the victim's mother. In the
present case, appellant himself, Lorilyn's own father, testified that his daughter was a minor at the
time of the commission of the offense. Adding to that the various documents presented in court as
well as pertinent testimony, one can hardly doubt that indeed, Lorilyn was a minor at the time she
was raped.

It must be stressed that in criminal cases, the determination of the guilt of the accused, and along
with it the proper penalty to be imposed, is coupled with the grave responsibility of safeguarding
the accused's life and liberty, bearing in mind that all doubts should be resolved in favor of the
accused. Imposing the death penalty should be exercised with extreme caution, and only in
instances where the guilt of the accused is proven beyond reasonable doubt, wherein both
substantive and procedural due process are observed, can it be upheld. In this case, there exists
no doubt that Lorilyn's age was sufficiently proved. The Court, therefore, must sustain the
conviction of the accused.

The lower court's award of civil indemnity should, however, be modified. Civil indemnity, which is
actually in the nature of actual or compensatory damages, is mandatory upon the finding of the fact
of rape (People vs. Banago, 309 SCRA 417 [1999]). If the crime of rape is effectively qualified by
any of the circumstances under which the penalty of death is authorized, the civil indemnity for the
victim shall not be less than P75,000 (People vs. Mahinay, 302 SCRA 455 [1999], People vs.
Ambray, 303 SCRA 697 [1999]; People vs. Bolatete, 303 SCRA 709 [1999]). In addition, moral
damages, fixed in the amount of P50,000.00, per count, should also be awarded to the rape victim
without need for pleading or proof of the basis thereof (People vs. Banela, 301 SCRA 84
[1999]; People vs. Alba, 305 SCRA 811 [1999]).1âwphi1.nêt

The saddest part of this story is the remorse of appellant, which came a little too late. After the
prosecution had presented its evidence, defense counsel moved to set aside appellant's plea of
not guilty and requested that appellant be re-arraigned so that he may voluntarily change his plea
to guilty (p. 2, tsn, Feb. 13, 1997), turning such plea into a mitigating circumstance. Under Section
7, Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code, a plea of guilty can be considered a mitigating
circumstance if done before the prosecution presents it evidence. In the event, the prosecution did
not consent to this desperate attempt of appellant to qualify for a lower penalty. The trial court
argued and did not re-arraign appellant. Dura lex sed lex. Ultimately, we have to follow the law.

Four members of the Court maintain their position that Republic Act No. 7659, insofar as it
prescribes the death penalty, is unconstitutional; nevertheless, they submit to the ruling of the
Court, by a majority vote, that the law is constitutional and that the death penalty should be
accordingly imposed.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court is AFFIRMED with modification. Accused-appellant
SALUSTIANO CALLOS is convicted of 2 counts of qualified rape and sentenced to DEATH on
each count. Civil indemnity in the amount of P75,000 and moral damages in the amount of
P50,000 for each count or a total of P250,000 is also awarded. No pronouncement as to costs.

In accordance with Article 83 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 25 of Republic
Act 7659, upon finality of this decision, let the certified true copy of the record of this case be
forthwith forwarded to the Office of the President for possible exercise of executive clemency.

SO ORDERED.

Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing,
Pardo, Buena, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., Sandoval-Gutierrez, and Carpio, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 14129 July 31, 1962 SEC. 449. Persons prohibited from influencing elections. — No judge of the First
Instance, justice of the peace, or treasurer, fiscal or assessor of any province and no
officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary, or any Bureau or employee of the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellant, classified civil service, shall aid any candidate or exert influence in any manner in any
vs. election or take part therein otherwise than exercising the right to vote.
GUILLERMO MANANTAN, defendant-appellee.

When, therefore, section 54 of the Revised Election Code omitted the words "justice of the peace,"
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellant. the omission revealed the intention of the Legislature to exclude justices of the peace from its
Padilla Law Office for defendant-appellee. operation.

REGALA, J.: The above argument overlooks one fundamental fact. It is to be noted that under Section 449 of
the Revised Administrative Code, the word "judge" was modified or qualified by the phrase "of First
instance", while under Section 54 of the Revised Election Code, no such modification exists. In
This is an appeal of the Solicitor General from the order of the Court of First Instance of
other words, justices of the peace were expressly included in Section 449 of the Revised
Pangasinan dismissing the information against the defendant.
Administrative Code because the kinds of judges therein were specified, i.e., judge of the First
Instance and justice of the peace. In Section 54, however, there was no necessity therefore to
The records show that the statement of the case and the facts, as recited in the brief of plaintiff- include justices of the peace in the enumeration because the legislature had availed itself of the
appellant, is complete and accurate. The same is, consequently, here adopted, to wit: more generic and broader term, "judge." It was a term not modified by any word or phrase and was
intended to comprehend all kinds of judges, like judges of the courts of First Instance, Judges of
the courts of Agrarian Relations, judges of the courts of Industrial Relations, and justices of the
In an information filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan in the Court of First peace.
Instance of that Province, defendant Guillermo Manantan was charged with a violation
Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. A preliminary investigation conducted by said
court resulted in the finding a probable cause that the crime charged as committed by It is a well known fact that a justice of the peace is sometimes addressed as "judge" in this
defendant. Thereafter, the trial started upon defendant's plea of not guilty, the defense jurisdiction. It is because a justice of the peace is indeed a judge. A "judge" is a public officer, who,
moved to dismiss the information on the ground that as justice of the peace the by virtue of his office, is clothed with judicial authority (U.S. v. Clark, 25 Fed. Cas. 441, 422).
defendant is one of the officers enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election According to Bouvier Law Dictionary, "a judge is a public officer lawfully appointed to decide
Code. The lower court denied the motion to dismiss holding that a justice of the peace litigated questions according to law. In its most extensive sense the term includes all officers
is within the purview Section 54. A second motion was filed by defense counsel who appointed to decide litigated questions while acting in that capacity, including justices of the peace,
cited in support thereof the decision of the Court of Appeals in People vs. Macaraeg, and even jurors, it is said, who are judges of facts."
(CA-G.R. No. 15613-R, 54 Off. Gaz., pp. 1873-76) where it was held that a justice of
the peace is excluded from the prohibition of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code.
A review of the history of the Revised Election Code will help to justify and clarify the above
Acting on this second motion to dismiss, the answer of the prosecution, the reply of the
conclusion.
defense, and the opposition of the prosecution, the lower court dismissed the
information against the accused upon the authority of the ruling in the case cited by the
defense. The first election law in the Philippines was Act 1582 enacted by the Philippine Commission in
1907, and which was later amended by Act. Nos. 1669, 1709, 1726 and 1768. (Of these 4
amendments, however, only Act No. 1709 has a relation to the discussion of the instant case as
Both parties are submitting this case upon the determination of this single question of law: Is a
shall be shown later.) Act No. 1582, with its subsequent 4 amendments were later on incorporated
justice the peace included in the prohibition of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code?
Chapter 18 of the Administrative Code. Under the Philippine Legislature, several amendments
were made through the passage of Acts Nos. 2310, 3336 and 3387. (Again, of these last 3
Section 54 of the said Code reads: amendments, only Act No. 3587 has pertinent to the case at bar as shall be seen later.) During the
time of the Commonwealth, the National Assembly passed Commonwealth Act No. 23 and later on
enacted Commonwealth Act No. 357, which was the law enforced until June 1947, when the
No justice, judge, fiscal, treasurer, or assessor of any province, no officer or employee Revised Election Code was approved. Included as its basic provisions are the provisions of
of the Army, no member of the national, provincial, city, municipal or rural police force Commonwealth Acts Nos. 233, 357, 605, 666, 657. The present Code was further amended by
and no classified civil service officer or employee shall aid any candidate, or exert any Republic Acts Nos. 599, 867, 2242 and again, during the session of Congress in 1960, amended
influence in any manner in a election or take part therein, except to vote, if entitled by Rep. Acts Nos. 3036 and 3038. In the history of our election law, the following should be noted:
thereto, or to preserve public peace, if he is a peace officer.

Under Act 1582, Section 29, it was provided:


Defendant-appellee argues that a justice of the peace is not comprehended among the officers
enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. He submits the aforecited section was
taken from Section 449 of the Revised Administrative Code, which provided the following: No public officer shall offer himself as a candidate for elections, nor shall he be eligible
during the time that he holds said public office to election at any municipal, provincial or
Assembly election, except for reelection to the position which he may be holding, and
no judge of the First Instance, justice of the peace, provincial fiscal, or officer or in any election nor take part therein, except to vote, if entitled thereto, or to preserve
employee of the Philippine Constabulary or of the Bureau of Education shall aid any public peace, if he is a peace officer.
candidate or influence in any manner or take part in any municipal, provincial, or
Assembly election under the penalty of being deprived of his office and being
disqualified to hold any public office whatsoever for a term of 5 year: Provide, however, This last law was the legislation from which Section 54 of the Revised Election Code was taken.
That the foregoing provisions shall not be construe to deprive any person otherwise
qualified of the right to vote it any election." (Enacted January 9, 1907; Took effect on
It will thus be observed from the foregoing narration of the legislative development or history of
January 15, 1907.)
Section 54 of the Revised Election Code that the first omission of the word "justice of the peace"
was effected in Section 48 of Commonwealth Act No. 357 and not in the present code as averred
Then, in Act 1709, Sec. 6, it was likewise provided: by defendant-appellee. Note carefully, however, that in the two instances when the words "justice
of the peace" were omitted (in Com. Act No. 357 and Rep. Act No. 180), the word "judge" which
preceded in the enumeration did not carry the qualification "of the First Instance." In other words,
. . . No judge of the First Instance, Justice of the peace provincial fiscal or officer or whenever the word "judge" was qualified by the phrase "of the First Instance", the words "justice of
employee of the Bureau of Constabulary or of the Bureau of Education shall aid any the peace" would follow; however, if the law simply said "judge," the words "justice of the peace"
candidate or influence in any manner to take part in any municipal provincial or were omitted.
Assembly election. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deprived
of his office or employment and shall be disqualified to hold any public office or
employment whatever for a term of 5 years, Provided, however, that the foregoing The above-mentioned pattern of congressional phraseology would seem to justify the conclusion
provisions shall not be construed to deprive any person otherwise qualified of the right that when the legislature omitted the words "justice of the peace" in Rep. Act No. 180, it did not
to vote at any election. (Enacted on August 31, 1907; Took effect on September 15, intend to exempt the said officer from its operation. Rather, it had considered the said officer as
1907.) already comprehended in the broader term "judge".

Again, when the existing election laws were incorporated in the Administrative Code on March 10, It is unfortunate and regrettable that the last World War had destroyed congressional records
1917, the provisions in question read: which might have offered some explanation of the discussion of Com. Act No. 357 which
legislation, as indicated above, has eliminated for the first time the words "justice of the peace."
Having been completely destroyed, all efforts to seek deeper and additional clarifications from
SEC. 449. Persons prohibited from influencing elections. — No judge of the First these records proved futile. Nevertheless, the conclusions drawn from the historical background of
Instance, justice of the peace, or treasurer, fiscal or assessor of any province and no Rep. Act No. 180 is sufficiently borne out by reason hid equity.
officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary or any Bureau or employee of the
classified civil service, shall aid any candidate or exert influence in any manner in any
election or take part therein otherwise than exercising the right to vote. (Emphasis Defendant further argues that he cannot possibly be among the officers enumerated in Section 54
supplied) inasmuch as under that said section, the word "judge" is modified or qualified by the phrase "of any
province." The last mentioned phrase, defendant submits, cannot then refer to a justice of the
peace since the latter is not an officer of a province but of a municipality.
After the Administrative Code, the next pertinent legislation was Act No. 3387. This Act reads:

Defendant's argument in that respect is too strained. If it is true that the phrase "of any province"
SEC. 2636. Officers and employees meddling with the election. — Any judge of the necessarily removes justices of the peace from the enumeration for the reason that they are
First Instance, justice of the peace, treasurer, fiscal or assessor of any province, any municipal and not provincial officials, then the same thing may be said of the Justices of the
officer or employee of the Philippine Constabulary or of the police of any municipality, Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeals. They are national officials. Yet, can there be any
or any officer or employee of any Bureau of the classified civil service, who aids any doubt that Justices of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeals are not included in the
candidate or violated in any manner the provisions of this section or takes part in any prohibition? The more sensible and logical interpretation of the said phrase is that it qualifies
election otherwise by exercising the right to vote, shall be punished by a fine of not less fiscals, treasurers and assessors who are generally known as provincial officers.
than P100.00 nor more than P2,000.00, or by imprisonment for not less than 2 months
nor more than 2 years, and in all cases by disqualification from public office and
deprivation of the right of suffrage for a period of 5 years. (Approved December 3, The rule of "casus omisus pro omisso habendus est" is likewise invoked by the defendant-
1927.) (Emphasis supplied.) appellee. Under the said rule, a person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held
to have been omitted intentionally. If that rule is applicable to the present, then indeed, justices of
the peace must be held to have been intentionally and deliberately exempted from the operation of
Subsequently, however, Commonwealth Act No. 357 was enacted on August 22, 1938. This law Section 54 of the Revised Election Code.
provided in Section 48:

The rule has no applicability to the case at bar. The maxim "casus omisus" can operate and apply
SEC. 48. Active Interventation of Public Officers and Employees. — No justice, judge, only if and when the omission has been clearly established. In the case under consideration, it has
fiscal, treasurer or assessor of any province, no officer or employee of the Army, the already been shown that the legislature did not exclude or omit justices of the peace from the
Constabulary of the national, provincial, municipal or rural police, and no classified civil enumeration of officers precluded from engaging in partisan political activities. Rather, they were
service officer or employee shall aid any candidate, nor exert influence in any manner merely called by another term. In the new law, or Section 54 of the Revised Election Code, justices
of the peace were just called "judges."
In insisting on the application of the rule of "casus omisus" to this case, defendant-appellee cites The weakest link in our judicial system is the justice of the peace court, and to so
authorities to the effect that the said rule, being restrictive in nature, has more particular application construe the law as to allow a judge thereof to engage in partisan political activities
to statutes that should be strictly construed. It is pointed out that Section 54 must be strictly would weaken rather than strengthen the judiciary. On the other hand, there are cogent
construed against the government since proceedings under it are criminal in nature and the reasons found in the Revised Election Code itself why justices of the peace should be
jurisprudence is settled that penal statutes should be strictly interpreted against the state. prohibited from electioneering. Along with Justices of the appellate courts and judges
of the Court of First Instance, they are given authority and jurisdiction over certain
election cases (See Secs. 103, 104, 117-123). Justices of the peace are authorized to
Amplifying on the above argument regarding strict interpretation of penal statutes, defendant hear and decided inclusion and exclusion cases, and if they are permitted to campaign
asserts that the spirit of fair play and due process demand such strict construction in order to give for candidates for an elective office the impartiality of their decisions in election cases
"fair warning of what the law intends to do, if a certain line is passed, in language that the common would be open to serious doubt. We do not believe that the legislature had, in Section
world will understand." (Justice Holmes, in McBoyle v. U.S., 283 U.S. 25, L. Ed. 816). 54 of the Revised Election Code, intended to create such an unfortunate situation. (pp.
708, Appellant's Brief.)
The application of the rule of "casus omisus" does not proceed from the mere fact that a case is
criminal in nature, but rather from a reasonable certainty that a particular person, object or thing Another factor which fortifies the conclusion reached herein is the fact that the administrative or
has been omitted from a legislative enumeration. In the present case, and for reasons already executive department has regarded justices of the peace within the purview of Section 54 of the
mentioned, there has been no such omission. There has only been a substitution of terms. Revised Election Code.

The rule that penal statutes are given a strict construction is not the only factor controlling the In Tranquilino O. Calo, Jr. v. The Executive Secretary, the Secretary of Justice, etc. (G.R. No. L-
interpretation of such laws; instead, the rule merely serves as an additional, single factor to be 12601), this Court did not give due course to the petition for certiorari and prohibition with
considered as an aid in determining the meaning of penal laws. This has been recognized time preliminary injunction against the respondents, for not setting aside, among others, Administrative
and again by decisions of various courts. (3 Sutherland, Statutory Construction, p. 56.) Thus, Order No. 237, dated March 31, 1957, of the President of the Philippines, dismissing the petitioner
cases will frequently be found enunciating the principle that the intent of the legislature will govern as justice of the peace of Carmen, Agusan. It is worthy of note that one of the causes of the
(U.S. vs. Corbet, 215 U.S. 233). It is to be noted that a strict construction should not be permitted separation of the petitioner was the fact that he was found guilty in engaging in electioneering,
to defeat the policy and purposes of the statute (Ash Sheep Co. v. U.S., 252 U.S. 159). The court contrary to the provisions of the Election Code.
may consider the spirit and reason of a statute, as in this particular instance, where a literal
meaning would lead to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose of the
law makers (Crawford, Interpretation of Laws, Sec. 78, p. 294). A Federal District court in the U.S. Defendant-appellee calls the attention of this Court to House Bill No. 2676, which was filed on
has well said: January 25, 1955. In that proposed legislation, under Section 56, justices of the peace are already
expressly included among the officers enjoined from active political participation. The argument is
that with the filing of the said House Bill, Congress impliedly acknowledged that existing laws do
The strict construction of a criminal statute does not mean such construction of it as to not prohibit justices of the peace from partisan political activities.
deprive it of the meaning intended. Penal statutes must be construed in the sense
which best harmonizes with their intent and purpose. (U.S. v. Betteridge 43 F. Supp.
53, 56, cited in 3 Sutherland Statutory Construction 56.) The argument is unacceptable. To begin with, House Bill No. 2676 was a proposed amendment to
Rep. Act No. 180 as a whole and not merely to section 54 of said Rep. Act No. 180. In other
words, House Bill No. 2676 was a proposed re-codification of the existing election laws at the time
As well stated by the Supreme Court of the United States, the language of criminal statutes, that it was filed. Besides, the proposed amendment, until it has become a law, cannot be
frequently, has been narrowed where the letter includes situations inconsistent with the legislative considered to contain or manifest any legislative intent. If the motives, opinions, and the reasons
plan (U.S. v. Katz, 271 U.S. 354; See also Ernest Brunchen, Interpretation of the Written Law expressed by the individual members of the legislature even in debates, cannot be properly taken
(1915) 25 Yale L.J. 129.) into consideration in ascertaining the meaning of a statute (Crawford, Statutory Construction, Sec.
213, pp. 375-376), a fortiori what weight can We give to a mere draft of a bill.
Another reason in support of the conclusion reached herein is the fact that the purpose of the
statute is to enlarge the officers within its purview. Justices of the Supreme Court, the Court of On law reason and public policy, defendant-appellee's contention that justices of the peace are not
Appeals, and various judges, such as the judges of the Court of Industrial Relations, judges of the covered by the injunction of Section 54 must be rejected. To accept it is to render ineffective a
Court of Agrarian Relations, etc., who were not included in the prohibition under the old statute, are policy so clearly and emphatically laid down by the legislature.
now within its encompass. If such were the evident purpose, can the legislature intend to eliminate
the justice of the peace within its orbit? Certainly not. This point is fully explained in the brief of the
Solicitor General, to wit: Our law-making body has consistently prohibited justices of the peace from participating in partisan
politics. They were prohibited under the old Election Law since 1907 (Act No. 1582 and Act No.
1709). Likewise, they were so enjoined by the Revised Administrative Code. Another which
On the other hand, when the legislature eliminated the phrases "Judge of First expressed the prohibition to them was Act No. 3387, and later, Com. Act No. 357.
Instance" and justice of the peace", found in Section 449 of the Revised Administrative
Code, and used "judge" in lieu thereof, the obvious intention was to include in the
scope of the term not just one class of judges but all judges, whether of first Instance Lastly, it is observed that both the Court of Appeals and the trial court applied the rule of
justices of the peace or special courts, such as judges of the Court of Industrial "expressio unius, est exclusion alterius" in arriving at the conclusion that justices of the peace are
Relations. . . . . not covered by Section 54. Said the Court of Appeals: "Anyway, guided by the rule of exclusion,
otherwise known as expressio unius est exclusion alterius, it would not be beyond reason to infer
that there was an intention of omitting the term "justice of the peace from Section 54 of the
Revised Election Code. . . ."

The rule has no application. If the legislature had intended to exclude a justice of the peace from
the purview of Section 54, neither the trial court nor the Court of Appeals has given the reason for
the exclusion. Indeed, there appears no reason for the alleged change. Hence, the rule
of expressio unius est exclusion alterius has been erroneously applied. (Appellant's Brief, p. 6.)

Where a statute appears on its face to limit the operation of its provisions to particular
persons or things by enumerating them, but no reason exists why other persons or
things not so enumerated should not have been included, and manifest injustice will
follow by not so including them, the maxim expressio unius est exclusion alterius,
should not be invoked. (Blevins v. Mullally 135 p. 307, 22 Cal. App. 519.) .

FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, the order of dismissal entered by the trial court should be set aside
and this case is remanded for trial on the merits.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Barrera and Makalintal, JJ., concur.
Padilla and Dizon, JJ., took no part.
Reyes, J.B.L., J., is on leave.