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4.31 What is implied should not be against the law.

The statutory grant of power does not include such incidental power which cannot be exercised
without violating the constitution, the statute conferring the power, or the other laws on the same

For example, where a President was empowered to appoint a public officer for a fixed term,
unless sooner removed, the implication is that the President cannot remove him without just
cause as provided for by the law. An inferential authority to remove at pleasure cannot be
induced, since the existence of a defined term, ipso facto, negates such inference, and implies
contrary presumptions that the public officer shall hold office to the end of his term, subject to
removal for cause. However, where the statute fixes the term of office to be at the pleasure of the
appointing power as distinguished from a statute which makes the appointed officer removable at
the pleasure of the appointing power, the power to appoint carries with it the power to remove at
any time.

4.35 What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.

What the law prohibits cannot, in some other way, be legally accomplished. This principle is
expressed in the axiom that what cannot, be done directly cannot be done indirectly. Quando
aliquid prohibetur ex directo, probetur et per obliqum. It is a settled proposition of law that what
cannot be done directly, is not permissible to be done obliquely, meaning thereby, whatever is
prohibited by law to be done, cannot legally be effected by an indirect and circuitous
contrivance. This doctrine was illustrated in the case of Tanjuico vs Domingo:


G.R. No. 96422 February 28, 1994

FACTS: Tantuico was Chairman of COA. He sought clearance in 1985 which was granted. He
applied for another clearance in 1986 after his retirement but this was not signed by the new
Chairman Guingona. The next Chairman Domingo required a committee to audit transactions
during Tantuico’s term. but indorsed Tantuico’s retirement to GSIS. Domingo informed Tantuico
of the approval of his retirement but withheld half of the benefits which will be subjected to the
results of the final audit.

ISSUE: WON Tantuico’s benefits were validly withheld.

HELD: Tantuico was already issued an initial clearance during his tenure. He also applied for a
second clearance which was signed by all the officials, except the Chairman. Whatever
infirmities or limitations existed in said clearances were cured after Domingo favorably indorsed
petitioner's application for retirement to GSIS
Regardless of petitioner's monetary liability to the government that may be discovered from the
audit concerning his fiscal responsibility as former COA Chairman, Domingo cannot withhold
the benefits due Tantuico under the retirement laws.

Also, under Section 4 of R.A. No. 1568 (An Act to Provide Life Pension to the Auditor General
and the Chairman or Any Member of the Commission of Elections), the benefits granted by said
law to the Auditor General and the Chairman and Members of the Commission on Elections shall
not be subject to garnishment, levy or execution.
Under Section 33 of P.D. No. 1146, as amended (The Revised Government Service Insurance
Act of 1977), the benefits granted thereunder "shall not be subject, among others, to attachment,
garnishment, levy or other processes."

Retirement laws are liberally interpreted in favor of the retiree because the intention is to provide
for the retiree's sustenance and comfort, when he is no longer capable of earning his livelihood