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STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION

FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS

GENERAL PRINCIPLES
WHAT IS STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION? CONSTRUCTION? - it is the art of seeking the intention of the legislature in enacting a statute and of applying it to a given state of facts
Construction distinguished from Interpretation CONSTRUCTION: the drawing of conclusions respecting subjects that lie beyond the direct expression of the text; has to go outside of the language of the statute and seek the help of extrinsic aid INTERPRETATION: the act of finding the true sense and meaning of words; one who interprets does not get outside the context of the statute WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY LEGAL HERMANEUTICS ? - a branch of science which establishes the principles and rules of interpretation and construction of written laws; the application and of the said principles and rules is termed as EXEGESIS.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO STUDY STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION? CONSTRUCTION?




Helps prepare the law student for the task of studying, interpreting and constructing laws in the various subjects Enables the practitioner to prepare his pleadings and court arguments and to anticipate with reasonable accuracy what the adversary would use as defense, objection or counter argument in cases involving interpretation of contract and/or construction of statute Necessary for the promulgation of future statutes such that , it may diminish ambiguities in the wordings of the statute and promotes careful study of statutes that are in pari materia Essential for a counsel to make sure that the documents that he has prepared reflect the true intention of the parties in clear and unequivocal language

FUNDAMENTAL RULES
A statute is the will of the legislature and the fundamental rule of interpretation to which all others are subordinate is that a statute is to be expounded according to the intent of them that made it. DOEA STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION INVOLVE QUESTIONS OF FACT OR OF LAW? CONSTRUCTION as applied to a document includes two(2) things: a. first, the meaning of the words and b. their legal effect or the effect which is to be given to them; the former is a question of fact while the latter is a question of law STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION: WHOSE JOB IS IT? TO DECLARE WHAT THE LAW SHALL BE IS A LEGISLATIVE POWER, BUT TO DECLARE WHAT THE LAW IS OR HAS BEEN, IS JUDICIAL. Fleete vs. Nickerson 54 L.R.A p 554

HOW IS STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION BE AFFECTED BY THE OVERLAP OF GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS?

In principle, the three branches of the government , namely, the Executive branch, Legislative and the Judicial branch, are co-equal branches of government with separate and distinct functions; in reality, however , these functions do not fit into separate airtight compartments, but often overlap

DIAGRAM I. SPHERES THAT OVERLAP

Legislative

1
Executive

3 2 Judicial

Area 1 is the overlap between the executive and the legislative functions. This area is the Rule-making Power of the executive

DIAGRAM 2

If the exercise of this rule-making power exceeds the legislative grant , judiciary will strike it out as ultra-vires

Executive

1 Legislative

DIAGRAM 3
Area 2A is the power granted to the Administrative agency to perform Quasi-Judicial functions; Area 2B is referred to as the Executive Construction (executive interpretation)

Executive
2A 2B

Judicial

DIAGRAM 4

The third area of the overlap is the primary concern of the study of Statutory Construction (overlap between the judicial and legislative)
Legislative

3
Judicial

Within the area between judicial and executive (3) , Art 9 of the Civil Code referred to it as those which judges may legislate Art. 9 provides that No judges or Court shall decline to render judgment by reason of silence, obscurity or insufficiency of law. Beyond Area 3, this will be amounting to Judicial Legislation and which may be referred to as judicial tyranny.

BASIC RULES ON STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION


The legislature cannot declare that the statute it has passed shall be so construed as not to violate a constitutional inhibition. Endencia vs. David 93 Phil 696 Courts should respect the contemporaneous construction of a statute by the executive officers who enforce it. Orencia vs. Enrile, 55 SCRA 50 The intention of the legislature must be ascertained and given weight. People vs. Concepcion, 44 Phil. 126 Courts should not incorporate matters not provided in the law by judicial ruling. Sy Kiong vs. Sarmiento, 90 Phil. 434 SCOPE OF THE APPLICATION OF THE RULES ON CONSTRUCTION Construction is resorted to only where the language is ambiguous. Ambiguity is defined as doubtfulness, doubleness in meaning or indistinctness, or uncertainty of meaning of the expression used in a written instrument.

RULES OF CONSTRUCTION NOT MANDATORY UPON THE COURTS It serves as mere suggestions It has been declared that a long and uniform construction given on a statute amounts to positive law In our jurisdiction, the judicial decisions interpreting the laws or Constitution form part of our legal system
CONSTITUTION STATUTES RESOLUTIONS ORDINANCES - to ascertain the intention and meaning of the legislature for the purpose of giving effect thereto . Daza vs. Villaroman, 69 Phil 12

SUBJECTS OF CONSTRUCTION
1. 2. 3. 4.

WHAT IS THE CARDINAL RULE OF CONSTRUCTION ?

TOPIC OUTLINE
GENERAL PRINCIPLES STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION OR JUDICIAL LEGISLATION LITERAL CONSTRUCTION EXECUTIVE CONSTRUCTION SUBJECTS OF CONSTRUCTION INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC TYPES OF STATUTES PARTICULAR LATIN RULES CONSTRUCTION OF WORDS AND PHRASES SPECIAL OR GENERAL (LAW) EXTERNAL AIDS PRESUMPTIONS REPEALS

CASES TO STUDY

GENERAL PRINCIPLES a. Definition Caltex (Philippines) Inc. vs. Palomar 18 SCRA 247 b. Nature of the Rules in Statutory Construction PCFI vs. NTC and PLDT 125 SCRA 854 (1983) 131 SCRA 200 (1984) c. Rule on Ambiguity - NFI vs. EISMA 127 SCRA 419 - Dao-Ang Vs. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas 159 SCRA 369 d. On Legislative Interpretation - Endencia vs. David

93 Phil. 696

e. On Executive Construction -Ramos vs. CIR GR. No. L-22753, December 18, 1967 - PAFLU vs. BLR 72 SCRA 396 -PAWU vs, NLRC 106 SCRA 444 -IBAA Employees Union vs. Inciong 132 SCRA 663 -Chartered Bank Employees Association vs. Ople, 138 SCRA 273 -Orencia vs. Enrile 55 SCRA 580

f. On Judicial Interpretation - Sy Kiong vs. Sarmiento, - Floresca vs. Philex Mining, 90 Phil. 434 135 SCRA 142

g. Legislative Intent - Aisporna vs. CA and People, 113 SCRA 459 -China Bank vs. Ortega 49 SCRA 355 - Prasnik vs. Republic 98 Phil. 665 -People vs. Concepcion 44 Phil 126 -De Jesus vs. City of Manila 29 Phil. 73 - Regalado vs. Yulo 61 Phil 173

h. Literal Construction  - Abellana vs. Marave 57 SCRA 106  - IBAA Employees Union vs. Inciong 132 SCRA 663 or  Chartered Bank Employee s Association vs. Ople 138 SCRA 273 SUBJECTS OF CONSTRUCTION a. Constitution/Statute  - Perfecto vs. Meer 85 Phil. 552 or  - Endencia vs. David 93 Phil. 696  - NITAFAN vs. CIR 152 SCRA 284  - Aglipay vs. Ruiz 64 Phil. 201 (Preamble)  - Ayson vs. Provincial Board 39 Phil. 931 (One subject bill)  - Sumulong vs. COMELEC 73 Phil. 257  (Practical rather than Technical  Construction of Subject)  - People vs. Echavez 95 SCRA 663 (Whereas Clause) b. Publication Requirement  - Tanada vs. Tuvera 136 SCRA 27 (1985)  Tanada vs. Tuvera 146 SCRA 446 (1986) c. Ordinance  -Primicias vs. Municipality of Urdaneta, Pangasinan  93 SCRA 462

Interpretation of Specific Types of Statutes a. Penal Statutes  - Us. Vs. Abad Santos 36 Phil. 243 or  People vs Purisima 86 SCRA 542 b. Tax Laws  - Serfino vs. Court of Tax Appeals 154 SCRA 19 c. Labor Laws  Manahan vs. Employment Compensation Commission 104 SCRA 198 - Villavert vs. Employees Compensation Commission 110 SCRA 233 d. Insurance Law  Ty vs. First National Surety and Assurance Co.,Inc. 1 SCRA 1324  Panaton vs. Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. 2 CA Report 783

e. Corporate Law  Home Insurance Co., vs. Eastern Shipping Lines 123 SCRA 425 (1983) f. Naturalization law  - Co vs. republic  - Velasco vs. Republic  - Lee Cho vs. Republic

108 Phil. 265 108 Phil. 234 106 Phil. 775

g. Agrarian Reform Laws  - Guerrero vs. CA 142 SCRA 136

(1986)

h. Rules of Court  Bello vs. CA 56 SCRA 509  Lacsamana vs. IAC 143 SCRA 643 (1986)  Abellana vs. Marave 57 SCRA 106

i. Expropriation Law/Right of Eminent Domain  City of Manila vs. Chinese Community 40 Phil 448 j. Debtor Protection Laws  Javellana vs. Mirasol 40 Phil 761 k. Election Laws  Villanueva vs. COMELEC (1985) l. Wills  Tampoy vs. Alberastine

140 SCRA 352

107 Phil. 100

PARTICULAR RULES ON CONSTRUCTION (Latin Maxims) a. VERBA LEGIS  IBAA Employees Union vs. Inciong  132 SCRA 663 b. RATIO LEGIS  Villanueva vs. COMELEC (dissenting opinion of Justice Aquino) 140 SCRA 353, 359 c. MENS LEGISLATORES - Prasnik vs. Republic 98 Phil. 665  Matabuena vs. Cervantes 38 SCRA 284 d. DURA LEX SED LEX  -People vs. Macarandang 106 Phil. 715  -People vs. Mapa 20 SCRA 1164  -People vs. Santayana 74 SCRA 25

e.

EXPRESSIO UNIOS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS - Republic vs. Estenzo -Acosta vs. Flor EJUSDEM GENERIS Mutuc vs. COMELEC 36 SCRA 228 Gotiaco vs. Union Insurance Society of Canilon 40 Phil. 40 People vs. Echavez 95 SCRA 663 US vs. Sto . Nino 13 Phil. 141 -Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila vs Social Security System 1 SCRA 10 CASUS OMISSUS - People vs. Manantan 5 SCRA 684 - Lopez vs. CA 100 Phil. 850 NOSCITUR A SOCIIS Sanciangco vs. Rono 137 SCRA 671 Caltex (Phil) vs. Palomar 18 SCRA 247 99 SCRA 651 5 Phil 18

 

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STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION

BY: RUBEN E. AGPALO JOSE JESUS G. LAUREL RUPERTO MARTIN

END OF LECTURE