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G.R. Nos.

L-38215, 38216

December 22, 1933

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellant,


vs.
FAUSTINO RIVERA, defendant-appellee.
Attorney-General Jaranilla for appellant.
Gregorio A. Sea for appellee.

BUTTE, J.:
This is an appeal filed by the Attorney-General from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Tayabas sustaining demurrers to the
two amended informations and dismissing the cases filed against the appellee Faustino Rivera. The amended information in G. R. No.
38215 is as follows:
El Fiscal Provincial que subscribe, acusa a Faustino Rivera, del delito de "inculpacion de un inocente", previsto y castigado
en el articulo 363 del Codigo Penal Revisado, cometido como sigue:
Que en o hacia el dia 23 de junio de 1932, en el Municipio de Lucena, Provincia de Tayabas, Islas Filipinas, y dentro de la
jurisdiccion de este Juzgado, el referido acusado Faustino Rivera voluntaria, ilegal y maliciosamente ejecuto un acto que
directamente tendio a inculpar a Domingo Vito la comision de un delito de hurto siendo este incoente de dicho delito,
consistiendo el acto ejecutado por el acusado en la presentacion de una denuncia por escrito y bajo juramento en el Juzgado
de Paz de Lucena, Tayabas (causa criminal No. 6543), acusando, falsamente y sin causa probable alguna, a Domingo Vito de
dicho delito, causa que fue sobreseida definitivamente por falta de pruebas. Con infraccion de la ley.
The amended information in G. R. No. 38216 is as follows:
El Fiscal Provincial que suscribe, acusa a Faustino Rivera, del delito de "inculpacion de un inocente", previsto y castigado en
el articulo 363 del Codigo Penal Revisado, cometido como sigue:
Que en o hacia el dia 23 de junio de 1932, en el Municipio de Lucena, Provincia de Tayabas, Islas Filipinas, y dentro de la
jurisdiccion de este Juzgado, el referido acusado Faustino Rivera voluntaria, ilegal y maliciosamente ejecuto un acto que
directamente tendio a inculpar a Felisa Moreno la comision de un delito de hurto siendo este inocente de dicho delito,
consistiendo el acto ejecutado por el acusado en la presentacion de una denuncia por escrito y bajo juramento en el Juzgado
de Lucena, Tayabas (causa criminal No. 6543), acusando, falsamente y sin causa probable alguna, a Felisa Moreno de dicho
delito, causa que fue sobreseida definitivamente por falta de pruebas. Con infraccion de la ley.
To these informations the defendant interposed a single demurrer alleging that the facts averred in said informations do not constitute
the crime defined and punished by article 363 of the Revised Penal Code. The court below heard the two cases together and sustained
the demurrer. Upon the government's declining to amend the cases were dismissed and this appeal brought.
The appellant makes the following assignments of error:
1. In not holding that the facts alleged in the informations filed in these two cases properly fall under article 363 of the
Revised Penal Code; and
2. In sustaining the demurrer interposed to said informations and in dismissing both of these cases.
It appears from the record in criminal case No. 6543 of the justice of the peace of Lucena, Tayabas, that on June 23, 1932, the
defendant-appellee Faustino Rivera signed and swore to a complaint (Exhibit A) before said justice of the peace which is as follows:

The undersigned accuses Domingo Vito and Felisa Moreno, of the crime of theft, committed as follows:
That on or about the 22 day of June, 1932, in the municipality of Tayabas, Lucena, Province of Tayabas, Philippine Islands,
and within the jurisdiction of this court, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together, willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously, without the use of force upon things, took and carried away, on white American suit, containing one eye glass, to
the value of P30, and one buntal hat, valued at P3, two buttons at P3 each, total value, is P39, to the prejudice of the
undersigned.
Act committed is contrary to the statute in such cases made and provided:
Witnesses:
1. NICANOR ZOLETA.
2. Sgt. RANAS, Q.
(Fdo.) FAUSTINO RIVERA
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 23rd day of June, 1932, in Lucena, Tayabas.
(Fdo.) FEDERICO M. UNSON
Juez de Paz de Lucena
On June 29, 1932, the justice of the peace entered the following decision (omitting the caption):
Comparecen los acusados Domingo Vito y Felisa Moreno, ambos vec. de Lucena, Tayabas, acompaados de sus
abogados. Estos hicieron constar no culpables. Oidas las pruebas de los testigos de cargo el Juzgado sobresee el
asunto por falta de pruebas con costas de oficio.
Lucena, junio 29, 1932.
Asi se ordena.
(Fdo.) FEDERICO M. UNSON
Juez de Paz de Lucena
After the justice of the peace rendered his decision on June 29, 1932, dismissing the complaint filed against Domingo Vito and Felisa
Moreno, the latter filed separate complaints against Faustino Rivera before the same justice, charging Rivera with the offense of
incriminating an innocent person (article 363 of the Revised Penal Code) by the act of filing the said information charging them with
the crime of theft. The defendant raised the same question and objection which he repeated in the Court of First Instance on appeal,
namely, that the facts alleged did not fall under the condemnation of article 363 of the Revised Penal Code.
There is no doubt that the facts alleged in the informations above-quoted within the definition of the offense of "acusacion" or
"denuncia falsa" which is contained in article 363 of the Codigo Penal, which was superseded on January 1, 1932, by the Revised
Penal Code.
This article is as follows:
ART. 363. Se comete el delito de acusacion o denuncia falsa imputando falsamente a alguna persona hechos que, si fueren
ciertos constituirian delito de los que dan lugar a procedimiento de oficio, si esta imputacion se hiciere ante funcionario
administrativo o judicial que por razon de su cargo debiera proceder a su averiguacion o castigo.
No se procedera, sin embargo, contra el denunciador o acusador sino en vertud de sentencia firme o auto, tambien firme, de
sobreseimiento del tribunal que hubiere conocido del delito imputado.

Este mandara proceder de oficio contra el denunciador o acusador, siempre que de la causa principal resultaren meritos
bastantes para abrir el nuevo proceso.
Article 326 of the Codigo Penal does not appear in the Revised Penal Code, which contains no offense denominated "acusacion o
denuncia falsa" or its equivalent. But the Solicitor-General contends that article 363 of the Revised Penal Code should be construed to
embrace the crime of false accusation or complaint as formerly penalized under article 326 of the Codigo Penal.
Article 363 in the Spanish text which is decisive is as follows, under the heading of "Asenchanzas Inculpatorias";
ART. 363. Inculpacion de un inocente. El que, de cualquier manera que no constituyere falso testimonio, ejecutare un acto
que tienda directamente a inculpar o imputar a un inocente la comision de un delito, sera castigado con la pena de arresto
mayor.
As article 363 of the Revised Penal Code is new and this is the first case before the court calling for its interpretation, a comparison of
the article with article 326 of the former Penal Code seems expedient in view of the argument of the Government that the former "is a
reproduction of both the crime of false accusation or complaint and the crime of calumny described under said article 326 and article
452 of the old Penal Code."
In passing it may be stated that if article 363 of the Revised Penal Code could be construed to include article 452 of the old Revised
Penal Code it would have no application to the case that we are considering because article 452 of the old Penal Code which is as
follows:
ART. 452. Calumny is the false imputation of a crime upon which a prosecution might be instituted by the government of its
own motion.
does not refer to false accusations or denuncias made before an administrative or judicial officer whose duty it is to investigate or
punish such crime.
Comparing now article 363 of the Revised Penal Code with article 326 of the Revised Penal Code, it will be observed that under
article 326 of the former Penal Code, the gravamen of the offense is the imputation itself when made before an administrative or
judicial officer, whereas in article 363 of the Revised Penal Code the gravamen of the offense is performing an act which "tends
directly" to such an imputation. Article 326 of the old Penal Code punishes false prosecutions whereas article 363 of the Revised Penal
Code punishes any act which may tend directly to cause a false prosecution.
It is well settled law that where the text of a statute is clear, it is improper to resort to a caption or title to make it obscure. Such
secondary sources may be resorted to in order to remove, not to create doubt. (Cf. People vs. Yabut, 58 Phil., 499.) In the present case
we think it proper to call attention to the title immediately preceding article 363 of the Revised Penal Code which is as follows:
"Asechanzas Inculpatorias", as throwing some light on the classes of acts tend directly to lead to false prosecutions. The
word asechanza, as defined in standard dictionaries, means as follows:
"Intriga, lazo, red, zancadilla, tranquilla, amao, engao, artificio, trama, treta, especie de maquinacion urdida, de celada dispuesta
contra alguno, bien sea para perderlo enteramente, bien para jugarle (sin hundirlo) alguna mala pasada. Engao o artificio para hacer
dao a otro. Usase, por lo comun, en el plural, asechanzas. Accion y efecto de asechar." It seems to us a forced extension of the
term asechanza to bring a formal criminal complaint within the conception of intriga, engao, artificio, etc. It seems the more
reasonable and sensible interpretation to limit article 363 of the Revised Penal Code to acts of "planting" evidence and the like, which
do not in themselves constitute false prosecutions but tend directly to cause false prosecutions.
It is a well settled rule that statutes should receive a sensible construction, such as will give effect to the legislative intention and so as
to avoid an unjust or an absurd conclusion. (Lau Ow Bew vs. United States, 144 U. S., 47, 59; 36 Law. ed., 340, 344.)
It is to be noted that article 326 of the old Penal Code contains the provision that the accuser could be prosecuted only on the order of
the court, when the court was convinced upon the trial of the principal cause that there was sufficient basis for a charge of false
accusation. Article 363 of the Revised Penal Code contains no such safeguard. If we extended said article by interpretation to

administrative and judicial proceedings, it is apparent that we would open the door to a flood of prosecutions in cases where the
defendants were acquitted. There is no reason to believe that the Legislature intended such a result.
The judgment intended such a result.
G.R. No. L-42050-66 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE JUDGE AMANTE P. PURISIMA, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH VII, and
PORFIRIO CANDELOSAS, NESTOR BAES, ELIAS L. GARCIA, SIMEON BUNDALIAN, JR., JOSEPH C. MAISO,
EDUARDO A. LIBORDO, ROMEO L. SUGAY, FEDERICO T. DIZON, GEORGE M. ALBINO, MARIANO COTIA, JR.,
ARMANDO L. DIZON, ROGELIO B. PARENO, RODRIGO V. ESTRADA, ALFREDO A. REYES, JOSE A. BACARRA,
REYNALDO BOGTONG, and EDGARDO M. MENDOZA, respondents.
G.R. No. L-46229-32 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
JUDGE MAXIMO A. MACEREN, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH XVIII, and REYNALDO
LAQUI Y AQUINO, ELPIDIO ARPON, VICTOR EUGENIO Y ROQUE and ALFREDO VERSOZA, respondents.
G.R. No. L-46313-16 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
JUDGE MAXIMO A. MACEREN, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH XVIII, and JUANITO DE LA
CRUZ Y NUNEZ, SABINO BUENO Y CACAL, TIRSO ISAGAN Y FRANCISCO and BEN CASTILLO Y
UBALDO, respondents.
G.R. No. L-46997 November 20, 1978
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE WENCESLAO M. POLO, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Samar, and PANCHITO
REFUNCION, respondents.
MUOZ PALMA, J.:
These twenty-six (26) Petitions for Review filed by the People of the Philippines represented, respectively, by the Office of the City
Fiscal of Manila, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Samar, and joined by the Solicitor General, are consolidated in this one
Decision as they involve one basic question of law.
These Petitions or appeals involve three Courts of First Instance, namely: the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch VII, presided
by Hon. Amante P. Purisima (17 Petitions), the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XVIII, presided by Hon. Maximo A.
Maceren (8 Petitions) and, the Court of First Instance of Samar, with Hon. Wenceslao M. Polo, presiding, (1 Petition).
Before those courts, Informations were filed charging the respective accused with "illegal possession of deadly weapon" in violation
of Presidential Decree No. 9. On a motion to quash filed by the accused, the three Judges mentioned above issued in the respective
cases filed before them the details of which will be recounted below an Order quashing or dismissing the Informations, on
a common ground, viz, that the Information did not allege facts which constitute the offense penalized by Presidential Decree No. 9
because it failed to state one essential element of the crime.

Thus, are the Informations filed by the People sufficient in form and substance to constitute the offense of "illegal possession of
deadly weapon" penalized under Presidential Decree (PD for short) No. 9? This is the central issue which we shall resolve and dispose
of, all other corollary matters not being indispensable for the moment.
A The Information filed by the People
1. In L-42050-66, one typical Information filed with the Court presided by Judge Purisima follows:
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff, versus PORFIRIO CANDELOSAS Y DURAN, accused.
Crim. Case No. 19639
VIOLATION OF PAR. 3, PRES. DECREE No. 9 OF PROCLAMATION 1081
INFORMATION
The undersigned accuses PORFIRIO CANDELOSAS Y DURAN of a violation of paragraph 3, Presidential Decree
No. 9 of Proclamation 1081, committed as follows:
That on or about the 14 th day of December, 1974, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control one
(1) carving knife with a blade of 6- inches and a wooden handle of 5-1/4 inches, or an overall length of 11-
inches, which the said accused carried outside of his residence, the said weapon not being used as a tool or
implement necessary to earn his livelihood nor being used in connection therewith.
Contrary to law. (p. 32, rollo of L-42050-66)
The other Informations are similarly worded except for the name of the accused, the date and place of the commission of the crime,
and the kind of weapon involved.
2. In L-46229-32 and L-46313-16, the Information filed with the Court presided by Judge Maceren follows:
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff, versus REYNALDO LAQUI Y AQUINO, accused. CRIM. CASE
NO. 29677VIOL. OF PAR. 3, PD 9 IN REL. TO LOI No. 266 of the Chief Executive dated April 1, 1975
INFORMATION
The undersigned accuses REYNALDO LAQUI Y AQUINO of a VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 3,
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 9 in relation to Letter of Instruction No. 266 of the Chief Executive dated April 1,
1975, committed as follows:
That on or about the 28 th day of January, 1977, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully and knowingly carry outside of his residence a bladed and pointed weapon, to wit: an ice
pick with an overall length of about 8 inches, the same not being used as a necessary tool or implement to earn his
livelihood nor being used in connection therewith.
Contrary to law. (p. 14, rollo of L-46229-32)
The other Informations are likewise similarly worded except for the name of the accused, the date and place of the commission of the
crime, and the kind of weapon involved.
3. In L-46997, the Information before the Court of First Instance of Samar is quoted hereunder:

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, complainant, versus PANCHITO REFUNCION, accused. CRIM. CASE NO. 933
For: ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DEADLY WEAPON (VIOLATION OF PD NO. 9)
INFORMATION
The undersigned First Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Samar, accuses PANCHITO REFUNCION of the crime of
ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DEADLY WEAPON or VIOLATION OF PD NO. 9 issued by the President of the
Philippines on Oct. 2, 1972, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated Sept. 21 and 23, 1972, committed as follows:
That on or about the 6th day of October, 1976, in the evening at Barangay Barruz, Municipality of Matuginao,
Province of Samar Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorabe Court, the abovenamed accused,
knowingly, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously carried with him outside of his residence a deadly weapon called
socyatan, an instrument which from its very nature is no such as could be used as a necessary tool or instrument to
earn a livelihood, which act committed by the accused is a Violation of Presidential Decree No. 9.
CONTRARY TO LAW. (p. 8, rollo of L-46997)
B. The Orders of dismissal
In dismissing or quashing the Informations the trial courts concurred with the submittal of the defense that one essential element of
the offense charged is missing from the Information, viz: that the carrying outside of the accused's residence of a bladed, pointed or
blunt weapon is in furtherance or on the occasion of, connected with or related to subversion, insurrection, or rebellion, organized
lawlessness or public disorder.
1. Judge Purisima reasoned out, inter alia, in this manner:
... the Court is of the opinion that in order that possession of bladed weapon or the like outside residence may be
prosecuted and tried under P.D. No. 9, the information must specifically allege that the possession of bladed weapon
charged was for the purpose of abetting, or in furtherance of the conditions of rampant criminality, organized
lawlessness, public disorder, etc. as are contemplated and recited in Proclamation No. 1081, as justification
therefor. Devoid of this specific allegation, not necessarily in the same words, the information is not complete, as it
does not allege sufficient facts to constitute the offense contemplated in P.D. No. 9. The information in these cases
under consideration suffer from this defect.
xxx xxx xxx
And while there is no proof of it before the Court, it is not difficult to believe the murmurings of detained persons
brought to Court upon a charge of possession of bladed weapons under P.D. No. 9, that more than ever before,
policemen - of course not all can be so heartless now have in their hands P.D. No. 9 as a most convenient tool for
extortion, what with the terrifying risk of being sentenced to imprisonment of five to ten years for a rusted kitchen
knife or a pair of scissors, which only God knows where it came from. Whereas before martial law an extortionminded peace officer had to have a stock of the cheapest paltik, and even that could only convey the coercive
message of one year in jail, now anything that has the semblance of a sharp edge or pointed object, available even
in trash cans, may already serve the same purpose, and yet five to ten times more incriminating than the infamous
paltik.
For sure, P.D. No. 9 was conceived with the best of intentions and wisely applied, its necessity can never be
assailed. But it seems it is back-firing, because it is too hot in the hands of policemen who are inclined to
backsliding.
The checkvalves against abuse of P.D. No. 9 are to be found in the heart of the Fiscal and the conscience of the
Court, and hence this resolution, let alone technical legal basis, is prompted by the desire of this Court to apply said
checkvalves. (pp. 55-57, rollo of L-42050-66)

2. Judge Maceren in turn gave his grounds for dismissing the charges as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
As earlier noted the "desired result" sought to be attained by Proclamation No. 1081 is the maintenance of law and
order throughout the Philippines and the prevention and suppression of all forms of lawless violence as well as any
act of insurrection or rebellion. It is therefore reasonable to conclude from the foregoing premises that the carrying
of bladed, pointed or blunt weapons outside of one's residence which is made unlawful and punishable by said par. 3
of P.D. No. 9 is one thatabets subversion, insurrection or rebellion, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and public
disorder or is intended to bring about these conditions. This conclusion is further strengthened by the fact that all
previously existing laws that also made the carrying of similar weapons punishable have not been repealed, whether
expressly or impliedly. It is noteworthy that Presidential Decree No. 9 does not contain any repealing clause or
provisions.
xxx xxx xxx
The mere carrying outside of one's residence of these deadly weapons if not concealed in one's person and if not
carried in any of the aforesaid specified places, would appear to be not unlawful and punishable by law.
With the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 9, however, the prosecution, through Assistant Fiscal Hilario H.
Laqui, contends in his opposition to the motion to quash, that this act is now made unlawful and punishable,
particularly by paragraph 3 thereof, regardless of the intention of the person carrying such weapon because the law
makes it "mala prohibita". If the contention of the prosecution is correct, then if a person happens to be caught
while on his way home by law enforcement officers carrying a kitchen knife that said person had just bought from a
store in order that the same may be used by one's cook for preparing the meals in one's home, such person will be
liable for punishment with such a severe penalty as imprisonment from five to ten years under the decree. Such
person cannot claim that said knife is going to be used by him to earn a livelihood because he intended it merely for
use by his cook in preparing his meals.
This possibility cannot be discounted if Presidential Decree No. 9 were to be interpreted and applied in the manner
that that the prosecution wants it to be done. The good intentions of the President in promulgating this decree may
thus be perverted by some unscrupulous law enforcement officers. It may be used as a tool of oppression and
tyranny or of extortion.
xxx xxx xxx
It is therefore the considered and humble view of this Court that the act which the President intended to make
unlawful and punishable by Presidential Decree No. 9, particularly by paragraph 3 thereof, is one that abets or is
intended to abet subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and public disorder. (pp.
28-30, rollo of L-46229-32)
3. Judge Polo of the Court of First Instance of Samar expounded his order dismissing the Information filed before him, thus:
... We believe that to constitute an offense under the aforcited Presidential decree, the same should be or there
should be an allegation that a felony was committed in connection or in furtherance of subversion, rebellion,
insurrection, lawless violence and public disorder. Precisely Proclamation No. 1081 declaring a state of martial law
throughout the country was issued because of wanton destruction to lives and properties widespread lawlessness
and anarchy. And in order to restore the tranquility and stability of the country and to secure the people from
violence anti loss of lives in the quickest possible manner and time, carrying firearms, explosives and deadly
weapons without a permit unless the same would fall under the exception is prohibited. This conclusion becomes
more compelling when we consider the penalty imposable, which is from five years to ten years. A strict enforcement
of the provision of the said law would mean the imposition of the Draconian penalty upon the accused.
xxx xxx xxx

It is public knowledge that in rural areas, even before and during martial law, as a matter of status symbol, carrying
deadly weapons is very common, not necessarily for committing a crime nor as their farm implement but for selfpreservation or self-defense if necessity would arise specially in going to and from their farm. (pp. 18-19, rollo of L46997)
In most if not all of the cases, the orders of dismissal were given before arraignment of the accused. In the criminal case before the
Court of (First Instance of Samar the accused was arraigned but at the same time moved to quash the Information. In all the cases
where the accused were under arrest, the three Judges ordered their immediate release unless held on other charges.
C. The law under which the Informations in question were filed by the People.
As seen from the Informations quoted above, the accused are charged with illegal possession of deadly weapon in violation of
Presidential Decree No. 9, Paragraph 3.
We quote in full Presidential Decree No. 9, to wit:
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 9
DECLARING VIOLATIONS OF GENERAL ORDERS NO. 6 and NO. 7 DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1972, AND
SEPTEMBER 23, 1972, RESPECTIVELY, TO BE UNLAWFUL AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFORE.
WHEREAS, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, the Philippines has been placed under a
state of martial law;
WHEREAS, by virtue of said Proclamation No. 1081, General Order No. 6 dated September 22, 1972 and General
Order No. 7 dated September 23, 1972, have been promulgated by me;
WHEREAS, subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos and public disorder mentioned
in the aforesaid Proclamation No. 1081 are committed and abetted by the use of firearms, explosives and other
deadly weapons;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, in older to attain the desired result of the aforesaid Proclamation No. 1081 and General Orders Nos. 6
and 7, do hereby order and decree that:
1. Any violation of the aforesaid General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 is unlawful and the violator shall, upon conviction
suffer:
(a) The mandatory penalty of death by a firing squad or electrocution as a Military, Court/Tribunal/Commission
may direct, it the firearm involved in the violation is unlicensed and is attended by assault upon, or resistance to
persons in authority or their agents in the performance of their official functions resulting in death to said persons
in authority or their agent; or if such unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of crimes against persons,
property or chastity causing the death of the victim used in violation of any other General Orders and/or Letters of
Instructions promulgated under said Proclamation No. 1081:
(b) The penalty of imprisonment ranging from twenty years to life imprisonment as a Military
Court/Tribunal/commission may direct, when the violation is not attended by any of the circumstances enumerated
under the preceding paragraph;
(c) The penalty provided for in the preceding paragraphs shall be imposed upon the owner, president, manager,
members of the board of directors or other responsible officers of any public or private firms, companies,
corporations or entities who shall willfully or knowingly allow any of the firearms owned by such firm, company,
corporation or entity concerned to be used in violation of said General Orders Nos. 6 and 7.

2. It is unlawful to posses deadly weapons, including hand grenades, rifle grenades and other explosives, including,
but not limited to, "pill box bombs," "molotov cocktail bombs," "fire bombs," or other incendiary device consisting
of any chemical, chemical compound, or detonating agents containing combustible units or other ingredients in
such proportion, quantity, packing, or bottling that ignites by fire, by friction, by concussion, by percussion, or by
detonation of all or part of the compound or mixture which may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated
gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on continguous objects or of
causing injury or death of a person; and any person convicted thereof shall be punished by imprisonment ranging
from ten to fifteen years as a Military Court/Tribunal/Commission may direct.
3. It is unlawful to carry outside of residence any bladed, pointed or blunt weapon such as "fan knife," "spear,"
"dagger," "bolo," "balisong," "barong," "kris," or club, except where such articles are being used as necessary tools
or implements to earn a livelihood and while being used in connection therewith; and any person found guilty
thereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years as a Military
Court/Tribunal/Commission may direct.
4. When the violation penalized in the preceding paragraphs 2 and 3 is committed during the commission of or for
the purpose of committing, any other crime, the penalty shall be imposed upon the offender in its maximum extent,
in addition to the penalty provided for the particular offenses committed or intended to be committed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of October in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-two.
(SGD) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President
Republic of the Philippines
D. The arguments of the People
In the Comment filed in these cases by the Solicitor General who as stated earlier joins the City Fiscal of Manila and the Provincial
Fiscal of Samar in seeking the setting aside of the questioned orders of dismissal, the main argument advanced on the issue now under
consideration is that a perusal of paragraph 3 of P.D. 9 'shows that the prohibited acts need not be related to subversive activities;
that the act proscribed is essentially a malum prohibitum penalized for reasons of public policy. 1
The City Fiscal of Manila in his brief adds further that in statutory offenses the intention of the accused who commits the act is
immaterial; that it is enough if the prohibited act is voluntarily perpetuated; that P.D. 9 provides and condemns not only the carrying
of said weapon in connection with the commission of the crime of subversion or the like, but also that of criminality in general, that is,
to eradicate lawless violence which characterized pre-martial law days. It is also argued that the real nature of the criminal charge is
determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been
violated but by the actual recital of facts in the complaint or information. 2
E. Our Ruling on the matter
1. It is a constitutional right of any person who stands charged in a criminal prosecution to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him. 3
Pursuant to the above, Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, expressly requires that for a complaint or information to be sufficient
it must, inter alia state the designation of the offense by the statute, and the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the
offense. This is essential to avoid surprise on the accused and to afford him the opportunity to prepare his defense accordingly. 4
To comply with these fundamental requirements of the Constitution and the Rules on Criminal Procedure, it is imperative for the
specific statute violated to be designated or mentioned 4 in the charge. In fact, another compelling reason exists why a specification of

the statute violated is essential in these cases. As stated in the order of respondent Judge Maceren the carrying of so-called "deadly
weapons" is the subject of another penal statute and a Manila city ordinance. Thus, Section 26 of Act No. 1780 provides:
Section 26. It should be unlawful for any person to carry concealed about his person any bowie knife, dirk dagger,
kris, or other deadly weapon: ... Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction in a court
of competent jurisdiction, be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred pesos, or by imprisonment for a period
not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
Ordinance No. 3820 of the City of Manila as amended by Ordinance No. 3928 which took effect on December 4, 1957, in turn
penalizes with a fine of not more than P200.00 or imprisonment for not more than one months, or both, at the discretion of the court,
anyone who shall carry concealed in his person in any manner that would disguise its deadly character any kind of firearm, bowie
knife, or other deadly weapon ... in any public place.Consequently, it is necessary that the particular law violated be specified as there
exists a substantial difference between the statute and city ordinance on the one hand and P.D. 9 (3) on the other regarding the
circumstances of the commission of the crime and the penalty imposed for the offense.
We do not agree with petitioner that the above-mentioned statute and the city ordinance are deemed repealed by P.D. 9 (3). 5 P. D. 9(3)
does not contain any repealing clause or provision, and repeal by implication is not favored. 6 This principle holds true with greater
force with regards to penal statutes which as a rule are to be construed strictly against the state and liberally in favor of the
accused. 7 In fact, Article 7 of the New Civil Code provides that laws are repealed only by subsequent ones and their violation or nonobservance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.
Thus we are faced with the situation where a particular act may be made to fall, at the discretion of a police officer or a prosecuting
fiscal, under the statute, or the city ordinance, or the presidential decree. That being the case, the right becomes more compelling for
an accused to be confronted with the facts constituting the essential elements of the offense charged against him, if he is not to become
an easy pawn of oppression and harassment, or of negligent or misguided official action a fear understandably shared by
respondent Judges who by the nature of their judicial functions are daily exposed to such dangers.
2. In all the Informations filed by petitioner the accused are charged in the caption as well as in the body of the Information with a
violation of paragraph 3, P.D. 9. What then are the elements of the offense treated in the presidential decree in question?
We hold that the offense carries two elements: first, the carrying outside one's residence of any bladed, blunt, or pointed weapon, etc.
not used as a necessary tool or implement for a livelihood; and second, that the act of carrying the weapon was either in furtherance
of, or to abet, or in connection with subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos, or public disorder.
It is the second element which removes the act of carrying a deadly weapon, if concealed, outside of the scope of the statute or the city
ordinance mentioned above. In other words, a simple act of carrying any of the weapons described in the presidential decree is not a
criminal offense in itself. What makes the act criminal or punishable under the decree is the motivation behind it. Without that
motivation, the act falls within the purview of the city ordinance or some statute when the circumstances so warrant.
Respondent Judges correctly ruled that this can be the only reasonably, logical, and valid construction given to P.D. 9(3).
3. The position taken by petitioner that P.D. 9(3) covers one and all situations where a person carries outside his residence any of the
weapons mentioned or described in the decree irrespective of motivation, intent, or purpose, converts these cases into one of
"statutory construction." That there is ambiguity in the presidential decree is manifest from the conflicting views which arise from its
implementation. When ambiguity exists, it becomes a judicial task to construe and interpret the true meaning and scope of the
measure, guided by the basic principle that penal statutes are to be construed and applied liberally in favor of the accused and strictly
against the state.
4. In the construction or interpretation of a legislative measure a presidential decree in these cases the primary rule is to search
for and determine the intent and spirit of the law. Legislative intent is the controlling factor, for in the words of this Court in Hidalgo
v. Hidalgo, per Mr. Justice Claudio Teehankee, whatever is within the spirit of a statute is within the statute, and this has to be so if
strict adherence to the letter would result in absurdity, injustice and contradictions. 8
There are certain aids available to Us to ascertain the intent or reason for P.D. 9(3).

First, the presence of events which led to or precipitated the enactment of P.D. 9. These events are clearly spelled out in the "Whereas"
clauses of the presidential decree, thus: (1) the state of martial law in the country pursuant to Proclamation 1081 dated September 21,
1972; (2) the desired result of Proclamation 1081 as well as General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 which are particularly mentioned in P.D. 9;
and (3) the alleged fact that subversion, rebellion, insurrection, lawless violence, criminality, chaos, aid public disorder mentioned in
Proclamation 1081 are committed and abetted by the use of firearms and explosives and other deadly weapons.
The Solicitor General however contends that a preamble of a statute usually introduced by the word "whereas", is not an essential
part of an act and cannot enlarge or confer powers, or cure inherent defects in the statute (p. 120, rollo of L-42050-66); that
the explanatory note or enacting clause of the decree, if it indeed limits the violation of the decree, cannot prevail over the text
itself inasmuch as such explanatory note merely states or explains the reason which prompted the issuance of the decree. (pp. 114-115,
rollo of 46997)
We disagree with these contentions. Because of the problem of determining what acts fall within the purview of P.D. 9, it becomes
necessary to inquire into the intent and spirit of the decree and this can be found among others in the preamble or, whereas" clauses
which enumerate the facts or events which justify the promulgation of the decree and the stiff sanctions stated therein.
A "preamble" is the key of the statute, to open the minds of the makers as to the mischiefs which are to be remedied,
and objects which are to be accomplished, by the provisions of the statute." (West Norman Timber v. State, 224 P. 2d
635, 639, cited in Words and Phrases, "Preamble"; emphasis supplied)
While the preamble of a statute is not strictly a part thereof, it may, when the statute is in itself ambiguous and
difficult of interpretation, be resorted to, but not to create a doubt or uncertainty which otherwise does not exist."
(James v. Du Bois, 16 N.J.L. (1 Har.) 285, 294, cited in Words and Phrases, "Preamble")
In Aboitiz Shipping Corporation, et al. v. The City of Cebu, et al. this Court had occasion to state that '(L)egislative intent must be
ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole, and not of an isolated part or a particular provision alone. This is a
cardinal rule of statutory construction. For taken in the abstract, a word or phrase might easily convey a meaning quite different from
the one actually intended and evident when the word or phrase is considered with those with which it is associated. Thus, an
apparently general provision may have a limited application if read together with other provisions. 9
Second, the result or effects of the presidential decree must be within its reason or intent.
In the paragraph immediately following the last "Whereas" clause, the presidential decree states:
NOW, THEREFORE, I , FERDINAND E. MARCOS, Commander-in-Chief of an the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, in order to attain the desired result of the aforesaid Proclamation No. 1081 and General Orders Nos. 6
and 7, do hereby order and decree that:
xxx xxx xxx
From the above it is clear that the acts penalized in P.D. 9 are those related to the desired result of Proclamation
1081 and General Orders Nos. 6 and 7. General Orders Nos. 6 and 7 refer to firearms and therefore have no
relevance to P.D. 9(3) which refers to blunt or bladed weapons. With respect to Proclamation 1081 some of the
underlying reasons for its issuance are quoted hereunder:
WHEREAS, these lawless elements having taken up arms against our duly constituted government and against our
people, and having committed and are still committing acts of armed insurrection and rebellion consisting of armed
raids, forays, sorties, ambushes, wanton acts of murders, spoilage, plunder, looting, arsons, destruction of public
and private buildings, and attacks against innocent and defenseless civilian lives and property, all of which
activities have seriously endangered and continue to endanger public order and safety and the security of the
nation, ...
xxx xxx xxx

WHEREAS, it is evident that there is throughout the land a state of anarchy and lawlessness, chaos and disorder,
turmoil and destruction of a magnitude equivalent to an actual war between the forces of our duly constituted
government and the New People's Army and their satellite organizations because of the unmitigated forays, raids,
ambuscades, assaults, violence, murders, assassinations, acts of terror, deceits, coercions, threats, intimidations,
treachery, machinations, arsons, plunders and depredations committed and being committed by the aforesaid
lawless elements who have pledged to the whole nation that they will not stop their dastardly effort and scheme until
and unless they have fully attained their primary and ultimate purpose of forcibly seizing political and state power
in this country by overthrowing our present duly constituted government, ... (See Book I, Vital Documents on the
Declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, pp. 13-39)
It follows that it is only that act of carrying a blunt or bladed weapon with a motivation connected with or related to the afore-quoted
desired result of Proclamation 1081 that is within the intent of P.D. 9(3), and nothing else.
Statutes are to be construed in the light of purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be remedied. (U.S. v.
American Tracking Association, 310 U.S. 534, cited in LVN Pictures v. Philippine Musicians Guild, 110 Phil. 725,
731; emphasis supplied)
When construing a statute, the reason for its enactment should be kept in mind, and the statute should be construed
with reference to its intended scope and purpose. (Statutory Construction by E.T. Crawford, pp. 604-605, cited in
Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Filipinas Compania de Seguros, 107 Phil. 1055, 1060; emphasis supplied)
5. In the construction of P.D. 9(3) it becomes relevant to inquire into the consequences of the measure if a strict adherence to the letter
of the paragraph is followed.
It is a salutary principle in statutory construction that there exists a valid presumption that undesirable consequences were never
intended by a legislative measure, and that a construction of which the statute is fairly susceptible is favored, which will avoid all
objectionable, mischievous, indefensible, wrongful, evil, and injurious consequences. 9-a
It is to be presumed that when P.D. 9 was promulgated by the President of the Republic there was no intent to work a hardship or an
oppressive result, a possible abuse of authority or act of oppression, arming one person with a weapon to impose hardship on another,
and so on. 10
At this instance We quote from the order of Judge Purisima the following:
And while there is no proof of it before the Court, it is not difficult to believe the murmurings of detained persons
brought to Court upon a charge of possession of bladed weapons under P.D. No. 9, that more than ever before,
policemen - of course not all can be so heartless now have in their hands P.D. No. 9 as a most convenient tool for
extortion, what with the terrifying risk of being sentenced to imprisonment of five to ten years for a rusted kitchen
knife or a pair of scissors, which only God knows where it came from. Whereas before martial law an extortionminded peace officer had to have a stock of the cheapest paltik, and even that could only convey the coercive
message of one year in jail, now anything that has the semblance of a sharp edge or pointed object, available even
in trash cans, may already serve the same purpose, and yet five to ten times more incriminating than the infamous
paltik. (pp. 72-73, rollo L-42050-66)
And as respondent Judge Maceren points out, the people's interpretation of P.D. 9(3) results in absurdity at times. To his example We
may add a situation where a law-abiding citizen, a lawyer by profession, after gardening in his house remembers to return the bolo
used by him to his neighbor who lives about 30 meters or so away and while crossing the street meets a policeman. The latter upon
seeing the bolo being carried by that citizen places him under arrest and books him for a violation of P.D. 9(3). Could the presidential
decree have been conceived to produce such absurd, unreasonable, and insensible results?
6. Penal statutes are to be construed strictly against the state and liberally in favor of an accused.

American jurisprudence sets down the reason for this rule to be "the tenderness of the law of the rights of individuals; the object is to
establish a certain rule by conformity to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of the court limited." 11 The purpose is not to
enable a guilty person to escape punishment through a technicality but to provide a precise definition of forbidden acts. 12
Our own decisions have set down the same guidelines in this manner, viz:
Criminal statutes are to be construed strictly. No person should be brought within their terms who is not clearly
within them, nor should any act be pronounced criminal which is not made clearly so by the statute. (U.S. v. Abad
Santos, 36 Phil. 243, 246)
The rule that penal statutes are given a strict construction is not the only factor controlling the interpretation of
such laws, instead, the rule merely serves as an additional, single factor to be considered as an aid in determining
the meaning of penal laws. (People v. Manantan, 5 SCRA 684, 692)
F. The Informations filed by petitioner are fatally defective.
The two elements of the offense covered by P.D. 9(3) must be alleged in the Information in order that the latter may constitute a
sufficiently valid charged. The sufficiency of an Information is determined solely by the facts alleged therein. 13 Where the facts are
incomplete and do not convey the elements of the crime, the quashing of the accusation is in order.
Section 2(a), Rule 117 of the Rules of Court provides that the defendant may move to quash the complaint or information when the
facts charged do not constitute an offense.
In U.S.U. Gacutan, 1914, it was held that where an accused is charged with knowingly rendering an unjust judgment under Article
204 of the Revised Penal Code, failure to allege in the Information that the judgment was rendered knowing it to be unjust, is fatal. 14
In People v. Yadao, 1954, this Court through then Justice Cesar Bengzon who later became Chief Justice of the Court affirmed an
order of the trial court which quashed an Information wherein the facts recited did not constitute a public offense as defined in Section
1, Republic Act 145. 15
G. The filing of these Petitions was unnecessary because the People could have availed itself of other available remedies below.
Pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court follow:
Rule 117, Section 7. Effect of sustaining the motion to quash. If the motion to quash is sustained the court may
order that another information be filed. If such order is made the defendant, if in custody, shall remain so unless he
shall be admitted to bail. If such order is not made or if having been made another information is not filed
withuntime to be specified in the order, or within such further time as the court may allow for good cause shown, the
defendant, if in custody, shall be discharged therefrom, unless he is in custody on some other charge.
Rule 110, Section 13. Amendment. The information or complaint may be amended, in substance or form, without
leave of court, at any time before the defendant pleads; and thereafter and during the trial as to all matters of form,
by leave and at the discretion of the court, when the same can be done without prejudice to the rights of the
defendant.
xxx xxx xxx
Two courses of action were open to Petitioner upon the quashing of the Informations in these cases, viz:
First, if the evidence on hand so warranted, the People could have filed an amended Information to include the second element of the
offense as defined in the disputed orders of respondent Judges. We have ruled that if the facts alleged in the Information do not
constitute a punishable offense, the case should not be dismissed but the prosecution should be given an opportunity to amend the
Information. 16

Second, if the facts so justified, the People could have filed a complaint either under Section 26 of Act No. 1780, quoted earlier, or
Manila City Ordinance No. 3820, as amended by Ordinance No. 3928, especially since in most if not all of the cases, the dismissal
was made prior to arraignment of the accused and on a motion to quash.
Section 8. Rule 117 states that:
An order sustaining the motion to quash is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense unless the motion
was based on the grounds specified in section 2, subsections (f) and (h) of this rule.
Under the foregoing, the filing of another complaint or Information is barred only when the criminal action or liability had been
extinguished (Section 2[f]) or when the motion to quash was granted for reasons of double jeopardy. (ibid., [h])
As to whether or not a plea of double jeopardy may be successfully invoked by the accused in all these cases should new complaints
be filed against them, is a matter We need not resolve for the present.
H. We conclude with high expectations that police authorities and the prosecuting arm of the government true to the oath of office
they have taken will exercise utmost circumspection and good faith in evaluating the particular circumstances of a case so as to reach
a fair and just conclusion if a situation falls within the purview of P.D. 9(3) and the prosecution under said decree is warranted and
justified. This obligation becomes a sacred duty in the face of the severe penalty imposed for the offense.
On this point, We commend the Chief State Prosecutor Rodolfo A. Nocon on his letter to the City Fiscal of Manila on October 15,
1975, written for the Secretary, now Minister of Justice, where he stated the following:
In any case, please study well each and every case of this nature so that persons accused of carrying bladed
weapons, specially those whose purpose is not to subvert the duly constituted authorities, may not be unduly
indicted for the serious offenses falling under P.D. No. 9. 17
Yes, while it is not within the power of courts of justice to inquire into the wisdom of a law, it is however a judicial task and
prerogative to determine if official action is within the spirit and letter of the law and if basic fundamental rights of an individual
guaranteed by the Constitution are not violated in the process of its implementation. We have to face the fact that it is an unwise and
unjust application of a law, necessary and justified under prevailing circumstances, which renders the measure an instrument of
oppression and evil and leads the citizenry to lose their faith in their government.
WHEREFORE, We DENY these 26 Petitions for Review and We AFFIRM the Orders of respondent Judges dismissing or quashing the
Information concerned, subject however to Our observations made in the preceding pages 23 to 25 of this Decision regarding the
right of the State or Petitioner herein to file either an amended Information under Presidential Decree No. 9, paragraph 3, or a new
one under other existing statute or city ordinance as the facts may warrant.
Without costs.

G.R. No. L-39419 April 12, 1982


MAPALAD AISPORNA, petitioner,
vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
DE CASTRO, J.:
In this petition for certiorari, petitioner-accused Aisporna seeks the reversal of the decision dated August 14, 1974 1 in CA-G.R. No.
13243-CR entitled "People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Mapalad Aisporna, defendant-appellant" of respondent Court of
Appeals affirming the judgment of the City Court of Cabanatuan 2 rendered on August 2, 1971 which found the petitioner guilty for

having violated Section 189 of the Insurance Act (Act No. 2427, as amended) and sentenced her to pay a fine of P500.00 with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.
Petitioner Aisporna was charged in the City Court of Cabanatuan for violation of Section 189 of the Insurance Act on November 21,
1970 in an information 3 which reads as follows:
That on or before the 21st day of June, 1969, in the City of Cabanatuan, Republic of the Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously act as agent in the solicitation or procurement of an application for insurance by soliciting therefor the
application of one Eugenio S. Isidro, for and in behalf of Perla Compania de Seguros, Inc., a duly organized
insurance company, registered under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, resulting in the issuance of a Broad
Personal Accident Policy No. 28PI-RSA 0001 in the amount not exceeding FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00)
dated June 21, 1969, without said accused having first secured a certificate of authority to act as such agent from the
office of the Insurance Commissioner, Republic of the Philippines.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
The facts, 4 as found by the respondent Court of Appeals are quoted hereunder:
IT RESULTING: That there is no debate that since 7 March, 1969 and as of 21 June, 1969, appellant's husband,
Rodolfo S. Aisporna was duly licensed by Insurance Commission as agent to Perla Compania de Seguros, with
license to expire on 30 June, 1970, Exh. C; on that date, at Cabanatuan City, Personal Accident Policy, Exh. D was
issued by Perla thru its author representative, Rodolfo S. Aisporna, for a period of twelve (12) months with
beneficiary as Ana M. Isidro, and for P5,000.00; apparently, insured died by violence during lifetime of policy, and
for reasons not explained in record, present information was filed by Fiscal, with assistance of private prosecutor,
charging wife of Rodolfo with violation of Sec. 189 of Insurance Law for having, wilfully, unlawfully, and
feloniously acted, "as agent in the solicitation for insurance by soliciting therefore the application of one Eugenio S.
Isidro for and in behalf of Perla Compaa de Seguros, ... without said accused having first secured a certificate of
authority to act as such agent from the office of the Insurance Commission, Republic of the Philippines."
and in the trial, People presented evidence that was hardly disputed, that aforementioned policy was issued with
active participation of appellant wife of Rodolfo, against which appellant in her defense sought to show that being
the wife of true agent, Rodolfo, she naturally helped him in his work, as clerk, and that policy was merely a renewal
and was issued because Isidro had called by telephone to renew, and at that time, her husband, Rodolfo, was absent
and so she left a note on top of her husband's desk to renew ...
Consequently, the trial court found herein petitioner guilty as charged. On appeal, the trial court's decision was affirmed by the
respondent appellate court finding the petitioner guilty of a violation of the first paragraph of Section 189 of the Insurance Act. Hence,
this present recourse was filed on October 22, 1974. 5
In its resolution of October 28, 1974, 6 this Court resolved, without giving due course to this instant petition, to require the respondent
to comment on the aforesaid petition. In the comment 7 filed on December 20, 1974, the respondent, represented by the Office of the
Solicitor General, submitted that petitioner may not be considered as having violated Section 189 of the Insurance Act. 8 On April 3,
1975, petitioner submitted his Brief 9 while the Solicitor General, on behalf of the respondent, filed a manifestation 10 in lieu of a Brief
on May 3, 1975 reiterating his stand that the petitioner has not violated Section 189 of the Insurance Act.
In seeking reversal of the judgment of conviction, petitioner assigns the following errors 11 allegedly committed by the appellate court:
1. THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT RECEIPT OF COMPENSATION IS
NOT AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE CRIME DEFINED BY THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 189
OF THE INSURANCE ACT.
2. THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN GIVING DUE WEIGHT TO EXHIBITS F, F-1, TO F17, INCLUSIVE SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH PETITIONER'S GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

3. THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING HEREIN PETITIONER.


We find the petition meritorious.
The main issue raised is whether or not a person can be convicted of having violated the first paragraph of Section 189 of the
Insurance Act without reference to the second paragraph of the same section. In other words, it is necessary to determine whether or
not the agent mentioned in the first paragraph of the aforesaid section is governed by the definition of an insurance agent found on its
second paragraph.
The pertinent provision of Section 189 of the Insurance Act reads as follows:
No insurance company doing business within the Philippine Islands, nor any agent thereof, shall pay any
commission or other compensation to any person for services in obtaining new insurance, unless such person shall
have first procured from the Insurance Commissioner a certificate of authority to act as an agent of such company as
hereinafter provided. No person shall act as agent, sub-agent, or broker in the solicitation of procurement of
applications for insurance, or receive for services in obtaining new insurance, any commission or other
compensation from any insurance company doing business in the Philippine Islands, or agent thereof, without first
procuring a certificate of authority so to act from the Insurance Commissioner, which must be renewed annually on
the first day of January, or within six months thereafter. Such certificate shall be issued by the Insurance
Commissioner only upon the written application of persons desiring such authority, such application being approved
and countersigned by the company such person desires to represent, and shall be upon a form approved by the
Insurance Commissioner, giving such information as he may require. The Insurance Commissioner shall have the
right to refuse to issue or renew and to revoke any such certificate in his discretion. No such certificate shall be
valid, however, in any event after the first day of July of the year following the issuing of such certificate. Renewal
certificates may be issued upon the application of the company.
Any person who for compensation solicits or obtains insurance on behalf of any insurance company, or transmits for
a person other than himself an application for a policy of insurance to or from such company or offers or assumes to
act in the negotiating of such insurance, shall be an insurance agent within the intent of this section, and shall
thereby become liable to all the duties, requirements, liabilities, and penalties to which an agent of such company is
subject.
Any person or company violating the provisions of this section shall be fined in the sum of five hundred pesos. On
the conviction of any person acting as agent, sub-agent, or broker, of the commission of any offense connected with
the business of insurance, the Insurance Commissioner shall immediately revoke the certificate of authority issued to
him and no such certificate shall thereafter be issued to such convicted person.
A careful perusal of the above-quoted provision shows that the first paragraph thereof prohibits a person from acting as agent, subagent or broker in the solicitation or procurement of applications for insurance without first procuring a certificate of authority so to
act from the Insurance Commissioner, while its second paragraph defines who is an insurance agent within the intent of this section
and, finally, the third paragraph thereof prescribes the penalty to be imposed for its violation.
The respondent appellate court ruled that the petitioner is prosecuted not under the second paragraph of Section 189 of the aforesaid
Act but under its first paragraph. Thus
... it can no longer be denied that it was appellant's most active endeavors that resulted in issuance of policy to
Isidro, she was there and then acting as agent, and received the pay thereof her defense that she was only acting
as helper of her husband can no longer be sustained, neither her point that she received no compensation for
issuance of the policy because
any person who for compensation solicits or obtains insurance on behalf of any insurance
company or transmits for a person other than himself an application for a policy of insurance to or
from such company or offers or assumes to act in the negotiating of such insurance, shall be an
insurance agent within the intent of this section, and shall thereby become liable to all the duties,

requirements, liabilities, and penalties, to which an agent of such company is subject. paragraph 2,
Sec. 189, Insurance Law,
now it is true that information does not even allege that she had obtained the insurance,
for compensation
which is the gist of the offense in Section 189 of the Insurance Law in its 2nd paragraph, but what appellant
apparently overlooks is that she is prosecuted not under the 2nd but under the 1st paragraph of Sec. 189 wherein it is
provided that,
No person shall act as agent, sub-agent, or broker, in the solicitation or procurement of
applications for insurance, or receive for services in obtaining new insurance any commission or
other compensation from any insurance company doing business in the Philippine Island, or agent
thereof, without first procuring a certificate of authority to act from the insurance commissioner,
which must be renewed annually on the first day of January, or within six months thereafter.
therefore, there was no technical defect in the wording of the charge, so that Errors 2 and 4 must be overruled. 12
From the above-mentioned ruling, the respondent appellate court seems to imply that the definition of an insurance agent under the
second paragraph of Section 189 is not applicable to the insurance agent mentioned in the first paragraph. Parenthetically, the
respondent court concludes that under the second paragraph of Section 189, a person is an insurance agent if he solicits and obtains an
insurance for compensation, but, in its first paragraph, there is no necessity that a person solicits an insurance for compensation in
order to be called an insurance agent.
We find this to be a reversible error. As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General, the definition of an insurance agent as found in
the second paragraph of Section 189 is intended to define the word "agent" mentioned in the first and second paragraphs of the
aforesaid section. More significantly, in its second paragraph, it is explicitly provided that the definition of an insurance agent is
within the intent of Section 189. Hence
Any person who for compensation ... shall be an insurance agent within the intent of this section, ...
Patently, the definition of an insurance agent under the second paragraph holds true with respect to the agent mentioned in the other
two paragraphs of the said section. The second paragraph of Section 189 is a definition and interpretative clause intended to qualify
the term "agent" mentioned in both the first and third paragraphs of the aforesaid section.
Applying the definition of an insurance agent in the second paragraph to the agent mentioned in the first and second paragraphs would
give harmony to the aforesaid three paragraphs of Section 189. Legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the
statute as a whole. The particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole
and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce harmonious
whole. 13 A statute must be so construed as to harmonize and give effect to all its provisions whenever possible. 14 The meaning of the
law, it must be borne in mind, is not to be extracted from any single part, portion or section or from isolated words and phrases,
clauses or sentences but from a general consideration or view of the act as a whole. 15 Every part of the statute must be interpreted with
reference to the context. This means that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept
subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment, not separately and independently. 16 More importantly, the doctrine of
associated words (Noscitur a Sociis) provides that where a particular word or phrase in a statement is ambiguous in itself or is equally
susceptible of various meanings, its true meaning may be made clear and specific by considering the company in which it is found or
with which it is associated. 17
Considering that the definition of an insurance agent as found in the second paragraph is also applicable to the agent mentioned in the
first paragraph, to receive a compensation by the agent is an essential element for a violation of the first paragraph of the aforesaid
section. The appellate court has established ultimately that the petitioner-accused did not receive any compensation for the issuance of
the insurance policy of Eugenio Isidro. Nevertheless, the accused was convicted by the appellate court for, according to the latter, the

receipt of compensation for issuing an insurance policy is not an essential element for a violation of the first paragraph of Section 189
of the Insurance Act.
We rule otherwise. Under the Texas Penal Code 1911, Article 689, making it a misdemeanor for any person for direct or indirect
compensation to solicit insurance without a certificate of authority to act as an insurance agent, an information, failing to allege that
the solicitor was to receive compensation either directly or indirectly, charges no offense. 18 In the case of Bolen vs. Stake, 19 the
provision of Section 3750, Snyder's Compiled Laws of Oklahoma 1909 is intended to penalize persons only who acted as insurance
solicitors without license, and while acting in such capacity negotiated and concluded insurance contracts for compensation. It must be
noted that the information, in the case at bar, does not allege that the negotiation of an insurance contracts by the accused with
Eugenio Isidro was one for compensation. This allegation is essential, and having been omitted, a conviction of the accused could not
be sustained. It is well-settled in Our jurisprudence that to warrant conviction, every element of the crime must be alleged and
proved. 20
After going over the records of this case, We are fully convinced, as the Solicitor General maintains, that accused did not violate
Section 189 of the Insurance Act.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is reversed and the accused is acquitted of the crime charged, with costs de oficio.
G.R. No. L-13160

January 30, 1960

BIENVENIDO NERA, petitioner-appellee,


vs.
PAULINO GARCIA, Secretary of Health, and TRANQUILINO ELICANO, Director of Hospitals, respondents-appellants.
Jose Tumanong Guerrero for appellee.
Acting Solicitor General Guillermo E. Torres and Solicitor Camilo D. Quiason for appellants.
MONTEMAYOR, J.:
Respondents are appealing the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila, dated October 30, 1957, ordering them to reinstate
petitioner Bienvenido Nera to his former position as clerk in the Maternity and Children's Hospital, and to pay him his back salary
from the date of his suspension until reinstatement.
The facts in this case are not in dispute. Petitioner Nera a civil service eligible, was at the time of his suspension, serving as clerk in
the Maternity and Children's Hospital, a government institution under the supervision of the Bureau of Hospitals and the Department
of Health. In the course of his employment, he served as manager and cashier of the Maternity Employer's Cooperative Association,
Inc. As such manager and cashier, he was supposed to have under his control funds of the association. On May 11, 1956, he was
charged before the Court of First Instance of Manila with malversation, Criminal Case No. 35447, for allegedly misappropriating the
sum of P12,636.21 belonging to the association.
Some months after the filing of the criminal case, one Simplicio Balcos, husband of the suspended administrative officer and cashier
of the Maternity and Children's Hospital, named Gregoria Balcos, filed an administrative complaint case then pending against him.
Acting upon this administrative complaint and on the basis of the information filed in the criminal case, as well as manager and
cashier of the association, he was liable in the amount of P12,636.21, the executive officer, Antonio Rodriguez, acting for and in the
absence of the Director of Hospitals, required petitioner of the communication, Exhibit D, why he should not be summarily dismissed
from the service for acts involving dishonesty. This period of seventy-two hours was extended to December 20, 1956. Before the
expiration of the period as extended, that is, on December 19, 1956, Nera received a communication from respondent Director of
Hospital suspending him from office as clerk of the Maternity and Children's Hospital, effective upon receipt thereof. This suspension
carried the approval of respondent thereof. This suspension carried the approval of respondent Garcia, Secretary of Health.
The petitioner asked the PCAC to intervene on his behalf, which office recommended to respondents the lifting of the suspension of
petitioner. Upon failure of respondents to follow said recommendation, petitioner asked respondents for a reconsideration of his
suspension, which request was denied. Petitioner then filed the present special action of prohibition, certiorari and mandamus to
restrain respondents from proceeding with the administrative case against him until after the termination of the criminal case; to annul

the order of suspension dated December 19., 1956, and to compel respondents to lift the suspension. After hearing of this special civil
action, the appealed decision was illegally suspended, first because the suspension came before he was able to file his answer to the
administrative complaint, thereby depriving him "of his right to a fair hearing and an opportunity to present his defense, thus violating
the due process clause"; also, that assuming for a moment that petitioner were guilty of malversation or misappropriation of the funds
of the association, nevertheless, said irregularity had no connection with his duly as clerk of the Maternity and Children's Hospital.
In connection with the suspension of petitioner before he could file his answer to the administrative complaint, suffice it say that the
suspension was not a punishment or penalty for the acts of dishonesty and misconduct in office, but only as a preventive measure.
Suspension is a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. If after such investigation, the charges are established and the
person investigated is found guilty of acts warranting his removal, then he is removed or dismissed. This is the penalty. There is,
therefore, nothing improper in suspending an officer pending his investigation and before the charges against him are heard and he
given an opportunity to prove his innocence.
As to the holding of the trial court about dishonesty or misconduct in office having connection with one's duties and functions in order
to warrant punishment, this involves an interpretation of Section 694 of the Revised Administrative Code, which for purpose of
reference we reproduced below:
SEC. 694. Removal or suspension. No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for
cause as provided by law.
The President of the Philippines may suspend any chief or assistant chief of a bureau or office and in the absence of special
provision, any other officer appointed by him, pending an investigation of his bureau or office. With the approval of the
proper head of department, the chief of a bureau in his bureau or under his authority pending an investigation, if the charge
against such subordinate or employee involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of
duty. (Emphasis supplied).
It will be observed from the last four lines of the second paragraph that there is a comma after the words dishonesty and oppression,
thereby warranting the conclusion that only the phrase "grave misconduct or neglect "is qualified by the words "in the performance of
duty". In other words, dishonesty and oppression to warrant punishment or dismissal, need not be committed in the course of them
performance of duty by the person charged.
Section 34 of Republic Act No. 2260, known as the Civil Service Act on 1959, which refers to the same subject matter of [preventive
suspension, throws some light on this seeming ambiguity. We reproduced said section 34;
SEC. 34. Preventive Suspension. The President of the Philippines may suspend any chief or assistant chief of a bureau or office and
in the absence of special provision, any other officer appointed by him, pending an investigation of the charges against such officer or
pending an investigation of his bureau or office. With the approval of the proper Head of Department, the chief of a bureau or office
may likewise preventively suspend any subordinate officer or employee in his bureau or under his authority pending an investigation,
if the charge against such officer, or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or to believe that the
performance of duty, or if there are strong reason to believe that the respondent is guilty of charges which would warrant his removal
from the service. (Emphasis supplied).
It will be noticed that it introduces a small change into Section 694 of the Revised Penal Code by placing a comma after the words
"grave misconduct," so that the phrase "in the performance or neglect", as it did under Section 694 of the Revised Administrative
Code, now qualifies only the last word "neglect", thereby making clear the person charged is guilty merely to neglect, the same must
be in the performance of his duty; but that when he is charged with dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct these need have no
relation to the performance of duty. Thus is readily understandable. If a Government officer or employee is dishonest or is guilty of
oppression or grave misconduct, even if said defects of character are not connected with his force, they affect his right to continue in
office. The Government cannot well tolerate in its service a dishonest official, even if he performs his duties correctly and well,
because by reason of his government position, he is given more and ample opportunity to commit acts of dishonesty against his fellow
men, even against offices and entities of the Government other than the office where he is employed; and by reason of his office, he
enjoys and possesses a certain influence and power which renders the victims of his grave misconduct, oppression and dishonesty less
disposed and prepared to resist and to counteract his evil acts and actuations. As the Solicitor General well pointed out in his brief,

"the private life of an employee cannot be segregated from his public life. Dishonesty inevitably reflects on the fitness of the officer or
employee to continue in office and the discipline and morals of the service."
It may not be amiss to state here that the alleged misappropriation involved in the criminal case is not entirely disconnected with the
office of the petitioner. True, the Maternity Employee's Cooperative Association that own, the funds said to have been misappropriated
is a private entity. However, as its name implies a, it is an association composd of the employees of the Maternity Children's Hospital
where petitioner was serving as an employee. Moreover, if petitioner was designated to and occupied the position of manager and
cashier of said association, it was because he was an employee of the Maternity and Children's Hospital. The contention though
indirect, and, in the opinion of some, rather remote, exists and is there.
The trial court cites a cases of Mondano vs. Silvosa 97 Phil., 143; 51 Off. Gaz., [6], 284 Lacson vs. Roque (92 Phil., 456; 49 Off. Gaz.,
93), and others to support its holding that an official may not be suspended for]irregularities not committed in connection with his
office.
These cases, however, involve elective officials who stand on ground different from that of an appointive officer or employee, and
whose suspension pending investigation is governed by other laws. Furthermore, an elective officer, elected by popular vote, is
directly responsible only to the community that elected him. Ordinarily, he is not amendable to rules of official conduct governing
appointive officials, and so, may not be fortwith and summarily suspended, unless his conduct and acts of irregularity have some
connection with his office. Furthermore, an elective official has a definite term of office, relatively of short duration; naturally, since
suspension from his office said suspension should not be ordered and done unless necessary to prevent further damage or injury to the
office and to the people dealing with said officer.
In view of the conclusion that we have arrived at, we deem it unnecessary to discuss and determine the other questions raised in the
appeal. In view of the foregoing, the appealed decision is hereby reversed, with costs.
G.R. No. L-1960

November 26, 1948

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
FLORENTINO ABILONG, defendant-appellant.
Carlos Perfecto for appellant.
Assistant Solicitor General Ruperto Kapunan, Jr., and Solicitor Manuel Tomacruz for appellee.
MONTEMAYOR, J.:
Florentino Abilong was charged in the Court of First Instance of Manila with evasion of service of sentence under the following
information:
That on or about the 17th day of September, 1947, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, being then a convict
sentenced and ordered to serve two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of destierro during which he should not enter
any place within the radius of 100 kilometers from the City of Manila, by virtue of final judgment rendered by the municipal
court on April 5, 1946, in criminal case No. B-4795 for attempted robbery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously evade the service of said sentence by going beyond the limits made against him and commit vagrancy.
Contrary to law.
Upon arraignment he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, with
the accessory penalties of the law and to pay the costs. He is appealing from that decision with the following assignment of error:
1. The lower court erred in imposing a penalty on the accused under article 157 of the Revised Penal Code, which does not
cover evasion of service of "destierro."
Counsel for the appellant contends that a person like the accused evading a sentence of destierro is not criminally liable under the
provisions of the Revised Penal Code, particularly article 157 of the said Code for the reason that said article 157 refers only to

persons who are imprisoned in a penal institution and completely deprived of their liberty. He bases his contention on the word
"imprisonment" used in the English text of said article which in part reads as follows:
Evasion of service of sentence. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed
upon any convict who shall evade service of his sentence by escaping during the term of his imprisonment by reason of final
judgment.
The Solicitor General in his brief says that had the original text of the Revised Penal Code been in the English language, then the
theory of the appellant could be uphold. However, it is the Spanish text that is controlling in case of doubt. The Spanish text of article
157 in part reads thus:
ART. 157. Quebrantamiento de sentencia. Sera castigado con prision correccional en sus grados medio y maximo el
sentenciado que quebrantare su condena, fugandose mientras estuviere sufriendo privacion de libertad por sentencia
firme; . . . .
We agree with the Solicitor General that inasmuch as the Revised Penal Code was originally approved and enacted in Spanish, the
Spanish text governs (People vs. Manaba, 58 Phil., 665, 668). It is clear that the word "imprisonment" used in the English text is a
wrong or erroneous translation of the phrase "sufriendo privacion de libertad" used in the Spanish text. It is equally clear that although
the Solicitor General impliedly admits destierro as not constituting imprisonment, it is a deprivation of liberty, though partial, in the
sense that as in the present case, the appellant by his sentence of destierro was deprived of the liberty to enter the City of Manila. This
view has been adopted in the case of People vs. Samonte, No. 36559 (July 26, 1932; 57 Phil., 968) wherein this Court held, as quoted
in the brief of the Solicitor General that "it is clear that a person under sentence of destierro is suffering deprivation of his liberty and
escapes from the restrictions of the penalty when he enters the prohibited area." Said ruling in that case was ratified by this Court,
though, indirectly in the case of People vs. Jose de Jesus, (45 Off. Gaz. Supp. to No. 9, p. 370)1, where it was held that one evades the
service of his sentence of destierrowhen he enters the prohibited area specified in the judgment of conviction, and he cannot invoke
the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law which provides that its provisions do not apply to those who shall have escaped
from confinement or evaded sentence.
In conclusion we find and hold that the appellant is guilty of evasion of service of sentence under article 157 of the Revised Penal
Code (Spanish text), in that during the period of his sentence of destierro by virtue of final judgment wherein he was prohibited from
entering the City of Manila, he entered said City.
Finding no reversible error in the decision appealed from, the same is hereby affirmed with costs against the appellant. So ordered.
Moran, C. J., Paras, Feria, Pablo, Bengzon and Tuason, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-9144


March 27, 1915
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
VENANCIO DE GUZMAN (alias CACALASAN), defendant-appellant.
Bernabe de Guzman for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Harvey for appellee.
CARSON, J.:
Venancio de Guzman, the defendant and appellant in this case, was convicted in the court below of the crime of asesinato (murder) and
sentenced to life imprisonment.
The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that, on the day and at place mentioned in the information, De Guzman, who was
walking through a field with Pedro and Serapio Macarling and Rufino Garin, deceased, struck the latter on the head, knocked him
down and held him on the ground while Pedro Macarling stabbed him to death. There is and there can be no question as to his guilt of
the crime of which he was convicted in the court below, the only question raised on this appeal being his right to exemption from
prosecution for the crime thus committed, on the ground that a former information, charging the same offense, had been dismissed as
to him in order that he might testify as a witness for the prosecution.

It appears that some time prior to the trial of the case at bar an information was duly filed charging De Guzman, jointly with the two
Macarlings, with the murder of Guzman entered into an agreement with the fiscal under the terms of which he promised to appear and
testify as a witness for the Government at the trial of his coaccused, and to tell the truth as to all that occurred, provided the
information was dismissed as to him and he himself was not brought to trial. With the consent of the court, and in pursuance of this
agreement, he was not arraigned nor brought to trial, and the information was dismissed as to him. One of his coaccused pleaded
guilty and the other not guilty, and thereafter the case came on for trial. after several witnesses had been called, De Guzman was
placed on the witness stand, and denied all knowledge of the murder. He denied that he had ever said anything implicating his
coaccused, and swore that a statement made by him before a justice of the peace was false, and that it had been made through fear of
certain police officer. Question by the court developed that he had made still another statement to one Natnat, implication his
coaccused, but he swore that statement had also been made through fear; and repudiating all former statements made by him, he
declared that they were false, and had been procured by the prosecuting officials of the Government by the use of improper and illegal
methods.
The Solicitor-General, relying on the provisions of sections 34, 35 and 365 of General orders No. 58, recommends the discharge of the
appellant, and that he be set at liberty forthwith, adding in the concluding paragraph of his brief that, although such action would result
"in a palpable misdismissal and expressly bars a future prosecution" for the crime charged in the information which was dismissed as
to him. We do not think so, and hold that, it conclusively appearing that appellant failed to carry out his agreement with the fiscal, and
had knowingly and falsely testified at the trial of his coaccused, and that he fraudulently secured the dismissal of the former
information, the state was wholly within its rights in bringing him to trial, and convicting and sentencing him for the crime with which
he was charged in the former information.
Section 34, 35, and 36 of General orders No. 58, upon which counsel for defense and the Solicitor-General rely, are as follows:
SEC. 34. When two or more persons shall be included in the same charge, the court, at any time before the defendants have
entered upon their defense or upon the application of the counsel of the Government, may direct any defendant to be
discharged, that he may be a witness for the United States.
SEC. 35. When tow or more persons shall be included in the same charge, and the court shall be of opinion in respect to a
particular defendant that there is not sufficient evidence to put him on his defense, it must order him to be discharged before
the evidence is closed, that he may be a witness for his codefendant.
SEC. 36. The order indicated in sections thirty-four and thirty-five shall amount to an acquittal of the defendant discharged,
and shall be a bar to future prosecution for the same offense.
These sections constitute a part of the notably short, compact and concise military order issued April 23, 1900, which prescribed, in
very summary terms, the procedure to be followed in criminal cases in the various courts of the Islands authorized to administer
justice under American Sovereignty, and which continues in force, with a few amendments, to the present day. We have frequently
held that, for the proper construction and application of the terms and provisions of legislative enactment's which have been borrowed
from or of times essential to review the legislative history of such enactments and to find an authoritative guide for their interpretation
and application in the decision of American and English courts of last resort construing and applying similar legislation in those
countries. (Kepner vs. U.S., 195 U.S., 100; 11 Phil. Rep., 669; Serra vs. Mortiga, 204 U.S., 470; 11 Phil. Rep., 762; Alzua vs. Johnson,
21 Phil. Rep., 308.) Indeed it is a general rule of statutory construction that courts may take judicial notice of the original and history
of the statutes which they are called upon to construe and administer, and of the facts which affect their derivation, validity and
operation (2 Lewis Sutherland on Statutory Construction, sec. 309). This author in section 456, citing numerous cases in support of the
doctrine, says also that:
Where the meaning of a statute or any statutory provision is not plain, a court is warranted in availing itself of all legitimate
aids to ascertain the true intention; and among them are some extraneous facts. The object sought to be accomplished
exercises a potent influence in determining the meaning of not only the principal but also the minor provisions of a statute. To
ascertain it fully the court will be greatly assisted by knowing, and it is permitted to consider, the mischief intended to be
removed or suppressed, or the necessity of any kind which induced the enactment. If the statute has been in force for a long
period it may be useful to know what was the contemporary construction; its practical construction; the sense of the legal
profession in regard to it; the course and usages of business which it will affect.

The dismissal of complaints or informations as to one of several persons charged with the commission of an offense in order that he
may used as witness against his coaccused, and the making of agreements whereby quickly persons are sometimes assured of
exemption from criminal prosecution on condition that they testify against their coparticipants in the commission of a crime, would
appear to have been authorized under the provisions of General Orders No. 58, as a necessary incident to the supplanting of the old
system of criminal procedure with a system borrowed, in large part, from English and American precedents. This, doubtless, as a result
of the emphasis placed by the new system on the presumption of innocence in favor of an accused persons, on the requirement that the
Government must establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt before the accused is called upon to defend himself, on the prohibitions
against compelling an accused persons to be a witness against himself, and against the drawing of inferences of guilt from the silence
of the accused. Experience, under English and American procedural methods, has shown that without the aid of informers testifying
against their coparticipants in crime, many guilty parties would escape, where the facts which would sustain a conviction are known
only to the guilty persons themselves. Indeed, we do not doubt that the making of such agreements as the one under consideration
would be held to have authorized under the new system of criminal procedure upon the authority of American and English precedents,
even had it not been expressly recognized and provided for in General orders No. 58.
In the Whiskey Cases (9 Otto, 594; 25 L. ed., 399), we find an interesting history of the original and growth of the practice under
consideration. It there appears that aciently, under the common law of England, the criminal could not interpose such an agreement
with the state as a plea in bar to the prosecution for the offense with which he was charged, but that the faithful performance of the
agreement entitled him to an equitable rights to a recommendation to executive clemency. In more recent times, however, the practice
has been quite generally recognized by statutory enactment in many jurisdiction, and under the statutes the faithful performance of the
agreement is held to be a complete bar to a subsequent prosecution of the criminal. A search of the year books shows but few cases in
which a defendant, after making an agreement with the prosecution to testify what he knows about the commission of the crime, failed
go comply with his promise. In the discussion of the general subject, however, there is much dicta to the effect that the criminal must
act in good faith and testify fully and fairly as to what he knows concerning the crime, in order to claim immunity. (The Whiskey
Cases, supra; Rex vs. Rudd, Crowp., 331, as quoted in 41 N.J.L., 17; 4 Blackstone's Com., 330.)
The question arose in Texas under a statute providing that: "The attorney representing the State may at any time under the rules
provided in article 37 dismiss a prosecution as to one or more defendants indicated with others, and the person so discharged may be
introduced as a witness by either party." (Texas Code crim. Proc., art 709.)
Article 37 provides that when a district attorney desires to dismiss a case he shall file a written statement, setting not occur without the
permission of the presiding judge, who shall be satisfied that the reasons so stated are good and sufficient to allow such dismissal.
These statutory provisions, as will be seen, are not widely dissimilar from our own, though we have no provision requiring a written
statement of the reasons for dismissal to accompany motions of this nature, a feature nevertheless which might well be adopted by the
trial courts without the necessity for statutory enactment. In Ex parte Greenhaw (41 Tex. Crim. R., 278), the court touched upon the
question of the obligation of the accused to keep faith with the State under such an agreement and said: "I can find no case in which
the question has been directly presented as to the terms of this character of contract; I think, however, it may be fairly deduced from
the authorities that the state or Sovereign can contract with the accomplice upon the following terms only: In consideration that he
shall testify fully and fairly as to all he knows in regard to the guilt of his associates in the particular case in which the contract is
made, that he will receive immunity from punishment as to such case. . . . Again, it is agreed that there must be a compliance with the
terms of the contract on the part of the accomplice before he can claim immunity. . . . so it follows, if the accomplice testifies corruptly
or falsely he cannot claim immunity."
In the later case of Goodwin vs. State (158 S. W., 274), the supreme court of Texas had the question of good faith on the part of the
informer directly presented to it. The defendant had been jointly indicted with one Butler for adultery. She agreed with the prosecuting
officer that if he would dismiss the case against her she would testify fully on the trial of her codefendant. The case was thereupon
dismissed as to her, but when her codefendant was tried she refused to testify against him fully. She contended that the State was
bound by its agreement, and that she could not thereafter be prosecuted. The supreme court, in sustaining the court's refusal to
consider her discharge as a plea in abatement, said: "If she had carried out her agreement with the State and testified fully as she
agreed on the trial of Butler then the States would have been bound by said agreement, and could not thereafter have prosecuted her.
But certainly the State was not found by its agreement unless she carried out her agreement with it. As shown above she refused to do
so."

The Texas statute is silent, as is our own, as to the consequence of bad faith on the part of the accused, and yet, as we have seen, the
Texas court held that a discharge of this kind, secured in bad faith, did not exempt the informer from prosecution unless he keeps faith
with the Government.
The more common form of the statutory declaration of this practice appears to be at permit any person accused of crime to testify
concerning it at the request of the prosecuting officer, with the understanding that when a person has so testified he shall done in
connection with such crime. This is the method adopted in various immunity clauses in Acts of Congress (see Act of Feb. 25, 1903, 32
Star., 854, 903, 904, c. 775), with a proviso that persons committing perjury, when so called upon to testify, may be punished therefor.
(For a discussion of his history and an enumeration of these laws, see U.S. vs. Swift, 186 Fed., 1002.)
The constitution of Oklahoma, however, contains the following provision which, like our own statute, has no proviso authorizing a
prosecution: "Any person having acknowledge or possession of facts that tend to establish the guilt of any other person or corporation
charged with an offense against the laws of the State shall not be excused from giving testimony or producing evidence, when legally
called upon so to do, on the ground that it may tend to incriminate him under the laws of the State; but no person shall be prosecuted
or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may so testify or
produce evidence."
In discussing the effect of the failure of a defendant to keep faith with the Government when called upon to testify against his
codefendants under this constitutional provision, the supreme court of that State recently said: "In this respect our immunity clause
differs from the statute of Wisconsin, which reserves the right of prosecution for perjury committed in the giving of such testimony.
Touching this reservation the supreme court of Wisconsin, in the case of State vs. Murphy (128 Wis., 201), in discussing the question
as to whether or not under this statute a witness could only secure immunity when he had testified to the truth, said: 'The statute itself,
however, refutes any such meaning, for it expressly reserves the right to prosecute for perjury "in giving such testimony."'
The same reservation is contained in the Acts of Congress granting immunity. See United States Comp. St. 1901, p. 3173
(Act Feb. 11, 1893, c. 83 27 Stat., 443). If Congress had thought that a person who testified falsely in answer to question of
an incriminating character would be subject to prosecution for perjury, why the necessity for this reservation? We have no
such reservation in our constitutional provision; and, as before said, if we should follow the precedents, when the witness
does not speak the truth, the State would be left without redress, although the witness had violated the purpose and spirit of
the constitution. We cannot believe that it was the purpose of the intelligent and just-loving of Oklahoma, when they voted
for the adoption of the constitution, to grant immunity to any man, based upon a lie, or, in other words, that they intended that
the commission of perjury should atone for an offense already committed. It is a familiar rule of common law, common
sense, and common justice that a legal right cannot be based upon fraud. We therefore hold that the witness who claims
immunity on account of self-incriminatory testimony which he had been compelled to give must act in good faith with the
State, and must make truthful replies to the question which are propounded to him, and which he had been compelled to
answer, and that any material concealment or suppression of the truth on his part will deprive him of the immunity provided
by the constitution; and the witness must testify to something which, if true, would tend to criminate him. This immunity is
only granted to those who earn it by testifying in good faith. In our judgment any other construction would be an insult to and
a libel upon the intelligence of the people of Oklahoma, an outrage on law, and a prostitution of justice. (Scribner vs. State,
132 Pac., 933, 940.)
From a review of the history and development of the practice under consideration, and reasoning along the line of the above cited, we
are all agreed that the failure of the accused in the case at bar, faithfully and honestly to carry out his undertaking to appear as a
witness and to tell the truth at the trial of his coaccused, deprived him of the right to plead his former dismissal as a bar to his
prosecution in the case now before us.
We have found considerable difficulty however in coming to an agreement as to the precise scope of the rule thus adopted. All are
agreed that in the absence of the above cited provisions of section 36 of General Orders No. 58, which provides that an order
discharging one of two or more accused persons that he may be a witness for the prosecution "shall amount to an acquittal of the
defendant thus discharged and shall be a bar to further prosecution for the same offense," a corrupt and fraudulent agreement, or an
agreement not faithfully with by the accused would be no bar to further prosecution. Some of the members of the court are of opinion
that notwithstanding this provision, such agreements are always vitiated by the failure of the accused to testify honestly and faithfully,
it matters not whether the accused is discharged at or before the trial, other members of the court, of whom the writer of this opinion is
one, are inclined to believe that while the general rule as held by the majority is applicable in all cases where the agreement is made

and the order of discharge is entered before the trial actually begins, it is limited and restricted by the provisions of section 36, and that
in any case wherein an accused person is thus discharged after he has entered on trial, the discharge amounts to an acquittal and bar a
further prosecution. This on the assumption (questioned by various members of the court) that sections 34, 35 and 36 purport only to
deal with, and do in fact deal only with incidents of "the trial," and declare merely what the procedure shall being cases of such
discharges after the trial has begun.
But however this may be, we are all agreed that in the case at bar, in which the order discharging defendant was made before the trial
began, appellant was not entitled to have the order of discharge held to amount to an acquittal or a bar to further prosecution.
We find no errors in the proceedings prejudicial to the substantial rights of the accused, and the judgment convicting and sentencing
him should therefore be affirmed, with the costs of this instance against him. So ordered.
Arellano, C.J., and Torres, J., concur.
Araullo, J., dissents.

G.R. No. 106724 February 9, 1994


THE NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, represented by its Acting Chairman, Cesar Sarino, Teodolo C. Natividad, ViceChairman and Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. Virgilio H. David, Edgar Dula Torre, Guillermo P. Enriquez, Commissioners, and
Chief Supt. Levy D. Macasiano Director for Personnel,petitioners,
vs.
Honorable Judge Salvador de Guzman, Jr., Chief Supt. Norberto M. Lina, Chief Supt. Ricardo Trinidad, Jr., Sr. Supt. Manuel
Suarez, Supt. Justito B. Tagum, Sr. Supt. Tranquilino Aspiras, Sr., Supt. Ramon I. Navarro,
Sr. Supt. Ramon I. Navarro, Sr. Supt. Jose P. Suria, Sr. Supt. Agaton Abiera, Chief Insp. Bienvenido Torres, and the National
(ROTC) Alumni Association Inc. (NARRA), represented by its President Col. Benjamin Gundran, and Director Hermogenes
Peralta, Jr., respondents.
BIDIN, J.:
The case at bar had its origin in the implementation of the compulsory retirement of PNP officers as mandated in Sec. 39, RA 6975,
otherwise known as "An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local
Government",
which
took
effect
on
January 2, 1991. Among others, RA 6975 provides for a uniform retirement system for PNP members. Section 39 thereof reads:
Sec. 39. Compulsory Retirement. Compulsory retirement, for officer and non-officer, shall be upon the attainment
of age fifty-six (56); Provided, That, in case of any officer with the rank of chief superintendent, director or deputy
director general, the Commission may allow his retention in the service for an unextendible period of one (1) year.
Based on the above provision, petitioners sent notices of retirement to private respondents who are all members of the defunct
Philippine Constabulary and have reached the age of fifty-six (56).
In response, private respondents filed a complaint on December 19, 1991 for declaratory relief with prayer for the issuance of an ex
parte restraining order and/or injunction (docketed as Civil Case No. 91-3498) before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 142.
In their complaint, respondents aver that the age of retirement set at fifty-six (56) by Section 39 of RA 6975 cannot be applied to them
since they are also covered by Sec. 89 thereof which provides:

Any provision hereof to the contrary notwithstanding, and within the transition period of four (4) years following the
effectivity of this Act, the following members of the INP shall be considered compulsorily retired:
a) Those who shall attain the age of sixty (60) on the first year of the effectivity of this Act.
b) Those who shall attain the age of fifty-nine (59) on the second year of the effectivity of this Act.
c) Those who shall attain the age of fifty-eight (58) on the third year of the effectivity of this Act.
d) Those who shall attain the age of fifty-seven (57) on the fourth year of the effectivity of this Act.
It is the submission of respondents that the term "INP" includes both the former members of the Philippine Constabulary and the local
police force who were earlier constituted as the Integrated National Police (INP) by virtue of
PD 765 in 1975.
On the other hand, it is the belief of petitioners that the 4-year transition period provided in Section 89 applies only to the local police
forces who previously retire, compulsorily, at age sixty (60) for those in the ranks of Police/Fire Lieutenant or higher (Sec. 33, PD
1184); while the retirement age for the PC had already been set at fifty-six (56) under the AFP law.
On December 23, 1991, respondent judge issued a restraining order followed by a writ of injunction on January 8, 1992 upon posting
of a P100,000.00 bond by private respondents.
After the parties have submitted their respective pleadings, the case was submitted for resolution and on August 14, 1992, the
respondent judge rendered the assailed decision, the decretal portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the court hereby declares that the term "INP" in Section 89 of the PNP Law includes all members of
the present Philippine National Police, irrespective of the original status of the present members of the Philippine
National Police before its creation and establishment, and that Section 39 thereof shall become operative after the
lapse of the
four-year transition period.
The preliminary injunction issued is made permanent.
SO ORDERED. (Rollo, pp. 29-30)
Petitioners filed the instant petition on October 8, 1992 seeking the reversal of the above judgment. On January 12, 1993, the Court
resolved to treat the respondents' Comment as Answer and gave due course to the petition.
In ruling in favor of private respondents, respondent judge observed, among others, that:
It may have been the intention of Congress to refer to the local police forces as the "INP" but the PNP Law failed to
define who or what constituted the INP. The natural recourse of the court is to trace the source of the "INP" as courts
are permitted to look to prior laws on the same subject and to investigate the antecedents involved. There is nothing
extant
in the statute books except that
which was created and established under
PD 765 pursuant to the mandate of Article XV of the 1973 Constitution providing that the "State shall establish and
maintain an integrated national police force whose organization, administration and operation shall be provided by
law." Heretofore, INP was unknown. And the said law categorically declared the PC "as the principal component of
the Integrated National Police" (Sec. 5, PD 765).
The court was supplied by respondents (petitioners herein) with excerpts taken from the discussion amongst the
members of Congress concerning the particular provision of Section 89. The court is not persuaded by said
discussion; it was a simple matter for the members of the legislature to state precisely in clear and unequivocal terms
their meaning, such as "integrated police" as used in PD 765. Instead, they employed "INP", a generic term that

includes the PC as the principal component of the INP, supra. In failing to categorically restrict the application of
Section 89 as the members of legislature are said to have intended, it gave rise to the presumption that it has not
limited nor intended to limit the meaning of the word when the bill was finally passed into law . It is not difficult for
the court to also presume that in drafting the wording of the PNP Law, the legislators were aware of the historical
legislative origin of the "INP".
xxx xxx xxx
The court takes particular note of the fact that Section 89 is found in the Transitory Provisions of the law which do
not provide for any distinction between the former PC officers and those belonging to the civilian police forces.
These provision are specifically enacted to regulate the period covering the dissolution of the PC and the creation of
the PNP, a period that necessarily would be attended by imbalances and or confusion occasioned by the wholesale
and mass integration. In fact, the retirement payment scheme of the INP is still to be formulated, leaving the
impression that nothing is really settled until after the transition of four years has lapsed. Section 89 therefore
prevails over Section 39 up to the year 1995 when the retirement age for the members of the PNP shall then be age
56; after the year 1995, Section 39 shall then be the applicable law on retirement of PNP members. ( Rollo, pp. 2728; emphasis supplied)
Petitioners disagree and claim that the use of the term INP in Sec. 89 does not imply the same meaning contemplated under PD 765
wherein it is provided:
Sec. 1. Constitution of the Integrated National Police. There is hereby established and constituted the Integrated
National Police (INP) which shall be composed of the Philippine Constabulary as the nucleus, and the integrated
police
forces
as
established
by
Presidential
Decrees
Nos. 421, 482, 531, 585 and 641, as components, under the Department of National Defense.
On the other hand, private respondents assert that being the nucleus of the Integrated National Police (INP) under PD 765, former
members of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) should not be discriminated against from the coverage of the term "INP" in Sec. 89, RA
6975. Clearly, it is argued, the term "INP" found in Section 89 of RA 6975 refers to the INP in PD 765. Thus, where the law does not
distinguish, the courts should not distinguish.
Does the law, RA 6975, distinguish INP from the PC? Petitioners submit that it does and cite Sections 23 and 85 to stress the
point, viz.:
Sec. 23. Composition. Subject to the limitations provided for in this Act, the Philippine National Police,
hereinafter referred to as the PNP, is hereby established, initially consisting of the members of the police forces who
were integrated into the Integrated National Police (INP) pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 765, and the officers
and enlisted personnel of the Philippine Constabulary (PC). . .
xxx xxx xxx
The permanent civilian employees of the present PC, INP, Narcotics Command, CIS and the technical command of
the AFP assigned with the PC, including NAPOLCOM hearing officers holding regular items as such, shall be
absorbed by the Department as employees thereof, subject to existing laws and regulations.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 85. Phase of Implementation. The implementation of this Act shall be undertaken in three (3) phases, to wit:
Phase I Exercise of option by the uniformed members of the Philippine Constabulary, the PC elements assigned
with the Narcotics Command, CIS, and the personnel of the technical services of the AFP assigned with the PC to
include the regular CIS investigating agents and the operatives and agents of the NAPOLCOM Inspection,
Investigation and Intelligence Branch, and the personnel of the absorbed National Action Committee on Anti-

Hijacking (NACAH) of the Department of National Defense, to be completed within six (6) months from the date of
the effectivity of this Act. At the end of this phase, all personnel from the INP, PC, technical Services, NACAH, and
NAPOLCOM Inspection, Investigation and Intelligence Branch shall have been covered by official orders assigning
them to the PNP . . .
xxx xxx xxx
. . . Any PC-INP officer or enlisted personnel may, within the twelve-month period from the effectivity of this Act,
retire . . .
Phase III . . . To accomplish the tasks of Phase III, the Commission shall create a Board of Officers composed of
the following: NAPOLCOM Commissioner as Chairman and one (1) representative each from the PC, INP, Civil
Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management.
Section 86 of the same law further provides:
Sec. 86. Assumption by the PNP of Police Functions. The PNP shall absorb the functions of the PC, the INP and
the Narcotics Command upon the effectivity of this Act.
From a careful perusal of the above provisions, it appears therefore that the use of the term INP is not synonymous with the PC. Had it
been otherwise, the statute could have just made a uniform reference to the members of the whole Philippine National Police (PNP)
for retirement purposes and not just the INP. The law itself distinguishes INP from the PC and it cannot be construed that "INP" as
used in Sec. 89 includes the members of the PC.
And contrary to the pronouncement of respondent judge that the law failed to define who constitutes the INP, Sec. 90 of RA 6975 has
in fact defined the same. Thus,
Sec. 90. Status of Present NAPOLCOM, PC-INP. Upon the effectivity of this Act, the present National Police
Commission and the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police shall cease to exist. The Philippine
Constabulary, which is the nucleus of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police shall cease to be a
major service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Integrated National Police, which is the civilian
component of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police, shall cease to be the national police force and
lieu thereof, a new police force shall be established and constituted pursuant to this Act. (emphasis supplied)
It is not altogether correct to state, therefore, that the legislature failed to define who the members of the INP are. In this regard, it is of
no moment that the legislature failed to categorically restrict the application of the transition period in Sec. 89 specifically in favor of
the local police forces for it would be a mere superfluity as the PC component of the INP was already retirable at age fifty-six (56).
Having defined the meaning of INP, the trial court need not have belabored on the supposed dubious meaning of the term.
Nonetheless, if confronted with such a situation, courts are not without recourse in determining the construction of the statute with
doubtful meaning for they may avail themselves of the actual proceedings of the legislative body. In case of doubt as to what a
provision of a statute means, the meaning put to the provision during the legislative deliberations may be adopted (De Villa v. Court of
Appeals,
195 SCRA 722 [1991] citing Palanca v. City of Manila, 41 Phil. 125 [1920]; Arenas v. City of San Carlos, 82 SCRA 318 [1978]).
Courts should not give a literal interpretation to the letter of the law if it runs counter to the legislative intent (Yellow Taxi and Pasay
Transportation Workers' Association v. Manila Yellow Taxi Cab. Co., 80 Phil. 83 [1948]).
Examining the records of the Bicameral Conference Committee, we find that the legislature did intent to exclude the members of the
PC from the coverage of Sec. 89 insofar as the retirement age is concerned, thus:
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Well, it seems what people really want is one common rule, so if it is fiftysix, fifty-six; of course, the PC wants sixty for everybody. Of course, it is not acceptable to us in the sense that we

tied this up really to the question of: If you are lax in allowing their (the PC) entry into the PNP, then tighten up the
retirement. If we will be strict in, like requiring examinations and other conditions for their original entry, then since
we have sifted out a certain amount of undesirables, then we can allow a longer retirement age. That was the
rationale, that was the tie-up. Since we are relaxing the entry, we should speed up . . .
THE CHAIRMAN. (REP. GUTANG). Exit.
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA) . . . the retirement, the exit.
THE CHAIRMAN. (REP. GUTANG). So let me get it very clear, Mr. Chairman. Fifty-six, let's say, that will not
make any adjustment in the PC because there (they) are (retirable at age) fifty-six.
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Kaya nga, wala na silang masasabi.
THE CHAIRMAN. (REP. GUTANG). In the case of the Police, since they are retireable now at sixty, for the
officers,
it
will
be
applicable to them on a one-year every year basis for a total period of four years transition. (Bicameral Conference
Committee on National Defense, March 12, 1990)
REP. GUTANG. On the first year of effectivity, the police will retire at 60 years.
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Sixty.
REP. GUTANG. On the second year, 59.
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Oo.
REP. GUTANG. On the third year, 58.
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Fifty-eight. So 'yung 55, on the third year, 58, doon siya re-retire.
REP. GUTANG. Oo.
SEN. SAGUISAG. So kung 55, when the law becomes effective . . .
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). He will retire at 58, doon siya aabot.
REP. UNICO. Pwede.
SEN. SAGUISAG. Dahil 'yon, may time to . . .
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Walang problema dito sa transition ng pulis, acceptable ito, eh.
THE CHAIRMAN. (REP. COJUANGCO). Sa PC?
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). PC, walang mawawala sa kanila, 56 ang retirement age nilang talaga, eh.
Kaya
ayaw
ko
ngang dagdagan 'yung 56 nila at 'yon din ang sa Armed Forces, 56. (Ibid., May 22, 1990)
In applying the provisions of Sec. 89 in favor of the local police force as established in PD 765, the Court does not, in any manner,
give
any
undue preferential treatment in favor of the other group. On the contrary, the Court is merely giving life to the real intent of the
legislators based on the deliberations of the Bicameral Conference Committee that preceded the enactment of RA 6975.

The legislative intent to classify the INP in such manner that Section 89 of RA 6975 is applicable only to the local police force is clear.
The question now is whether the classification is valid. The test for this is reasonableness such that it must conform to the following
requirements: (1) It must be based upon substantial distinctions; (2) It must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It must not be
limited to existing conditions only; (4) It must apply equally to all members of the same class (People vs. Cayat, 68 Phil. 12 [1939]).
The classification is based upon substantial distinctions. The PC, before the effectivity of the law (RA 6975), were already retirable at
age
56
while
the
local
police
force
were
retirable
at
60,
and
governed
by
different
laws
(P.D. 1184, Sec. 33 and Sec. 50). The distinction is relevant for the purpose of the statute, which is to enable the local police force to
plan for their retirement which would be earlier than usual because of the new law. Section 89 is merely transitory, remedial in nature,
and loses its force and effect once the four-year transitory period has elapsed. Finally, it applies not only to some but to all local police
officers.
It may be appropriate to state at this point that it seems absurd that a law will grant an extension to PC officers' retirable age from 56
to 60 and then gradually lower it back to 56 without any cogent reason at all. Why should the retirement age of PC officers be
increased during the transitory period to the exclusion of other PC officers who would retire at age 56 after such period? Such
absurdity was never contemplated by the law and would defeat its purpose of providing a uniform retirement age for PNP members.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The writ of injunction issued on January 8, 1992 is hereby LIFTED and the assailed
decision of respondent judge is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-3881

August 31, 1950

EDUARDO DE LOS SANTOS, petitioner,


vs.
GIL R. MALLARE, LUIS P. TORRES, in his capacity as City Mayor, PANTALEON PIMENTEL, in his capacity as City
Treasurer and RAFAEL USON, in his capacity as City Auditor, respondents.
Francisco S. Reyes for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Bautista Angelo and Solicitor Augusto Luciano for respondents.
Jose P. Laurel and Abelardo Subido as amici curiae.
TUASON, J.:
This is an original action of quo warranto questioning the legality of the appointment of respondent Gil R. Mallare to the office of city
engineer for the City of Baguio which the petitioner occupied and claims to be still occupying. The real issue however is the legality
of the petitioner's removal from the same office which would be the effect of Mallare's appointment if the same be allowed to stand. It
is the petitioner's contention that under the Constitution he can not be removed against his will and without cause. The complaint
against the other respondents has to do merely with their recognition of Mallare as the lawful holder of the disputed office and is
entirely dependent upon the result of the basic action against the last-mentioned respondent (Mallare).
Stripped of details unessential to the solution of the case, the facts are that Eduardo de los Santos, the petitioner, was appointed City
Engineer of Baguio on July 16, 1946, by the President, appointment which was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on
August 6, and on the 23rd of that month, he qualified for and began to exercise the duties and functions of the position. On June 1,
1950, Gil R. Mallare was extended an ad interimappointment by the President to the same position, after which, on June 3, the
Undersecretary of the Department of Public Works and Communications directed Santos to report to the Bureau of Public Works for
another assignment. Santos refused to vacate the office, and when the City Mayor and the other officials named as Mallare's codefendants ignored him and paid Mallare the salary corresponding to the position, he commenced these proceedings.
The petitioner rests his case on Article XII of the Constitution, section 4 of which reads: "No officer or employee in the Civil Service
shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law."

It is admitted in respondents' answer that the City Engineer of Baguio "belongs to the unclassified service." And this Court, in an
exhaustive opinion by Mr. Justice Montemayor in the case of Lacson vs. Romero, 47 Off. Gaz., 1778, involving the office of
provincial fiscal, ruled that officers or employees in the unclassified as well as those in the classified service are protected by the
above-cited provision of the organic law. But there is this difference between the Lacson case and the case at bar: Section 2545 of the
Revised Administrative Code, which falls under Chapter 61 entitled "City of Baguio," authorizes the Governor General (now the
President) to remove at pleasureany of the officers enumerated therein, one of whom is the city engineer. The first question that
presents itself is, is this provision still in force?
Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution declares that "All laws of the Philippine Islands shall continue in force until the
inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines; thereafter, such laws shall remain operative, unlessinconsistent with this
Constitution, until amended, altered, modified, or repealed by the Congress of the Philippines, . . . ."
It seems plain beyond doubt that the provision of section 2545 of the Revised Administrative Code, he (Governor-General now
President) may remove at pleasure any of the said appointive officers," is incompatible with the constitutional inhibition that "No
officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law." The two provisions are
mutually repugnant and absolutely irreconcilable. One in express terms permits what the other in similar terms prohibits.
The Constitution leaves it to the Congress to provide for the cause of removal, and it is suggested that the President's pleasure is itself
a cause. The phrase "for cause" in connection with the removals of public officers has acquired a well-defined concept. "It means for
reasons which the law and sound public policy recognized as sufficient warrant for removal, that is, legal cause, and not merely causes
which the appointing power in the exercise of discretion may deem sufficient. It is implied that officers may not be removed at the
mere will of those vested with the power of removal, or without any cause. Moreover, the cause must relate to and affect the
administration of the office, and must be restricted to something of a substantial nature directly affecting the rights and interests of the
public."(43 Am. Jur., 47, 48.)
Reconsideration of the decision in Lacson vs. Romero as far as officers in the unclassified service are concerned is urged. It is
contended that only officers and employees in the classified service should be brought within the purview of Article XII of the
Constitution.
Section 1 of this article ordains: "A Civil Service embracing all branches and subdivisions of the Government shall be provided by
law. Appointments in the Civil Service, except as those which are policy-determining, primarily confidential or highly technical in
nature, shall be made only according to merit and fitness, to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination." The first
clause is a definition of the scope of Civil Service, the men and women which section 4 protects. It seems obvious from that definition
that the entire Civil Service is contemplated, except positions "which are policy-determining, primarily confidential or highly
technical in nature." This theory is confirmed by the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 177 on November 30, 1936 to implement
Article XII of the Constitution. Commonwealth Act No. 177 explains Civil Service almost in the identical words of that article of the
organic law. As a contemporaneous construction, this Act affords an index to the meaning of Civil Service as conceived by the framers
of the Constitution. "The principle of contemporaneous construction may be applied to the construction given by the legislature to the
constitutional provisions dealing with legislative powers and procedure. Though not conclusive, such interpretation is generally
conceded as being entitled to great weight." (U.S. vs. Sprague, 282 U.S., 716; 75 L. ed. 640; 51 S. Ct., 220; 71 A.L.R., 1381; Den ex
dem. Murray vs.Hoboken Land and Improv. Co., 18 How. [U.S.], 272; 15 L. ed., 372; Clark vs. Boyce, 20 Ariz., 544; 185 P., 136,
citing R.C.L.; 11 Am. Jur. 699.) The principle of express mention and implied exclusion may be made use of also to drive home this
point.
We are led to the same conclusion by the existing provisions at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. Civil Service as
embracing both classes of officers and employees possessed definite legal and statutory meaning when the Constitution was approved.
Section 670 of the Revised Administrative Code already provided that "Persons in the Philippine civil service pertain either to the
classified service," and went on to say that "The classified service embraces all not expressly declared to be in the unclassified
service." Then section 671 described persons in the unclassified service as "officers, other than the provincial treasurers and assistant
directors of bureaus or offices, appointed by the President of the Philippines, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments of
the National Assembly, and all other officers of the government whose appointments are by law vested in the President of the
Philippines alone."

The rules of the construction inform us that the words use in the constitution are to be given the sense they have in common use.
(Okanogan Indians vs. United States, 279, U.S., 665; 64 A.L.R., 1434; 73 Law ed., 894.) It has been said that we must look to the
history of the times, examine the state of things existing when the Constitution was framed and adopted, (Rhode
Islands vs. Massachusetts, 12 Pet., 657; 9 Law ed., 1233), and interpret it in the light of the law then in operation. (Mattox vs. United
States, 156, U.S., 237; 39 Law ed., 409.)
Attention is drawn to supposed inconveniences of tying the hands of the appointing power in changing and shifting officers in the
unclassified service. "If it is argued all important officers and employees of the government falling within the unclassified
service as enumerated in section 671 of the Revised Administrative Code as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 177, may not be
removed by the President except for cause as provided by law, . . . the President would be seriously crippled in the discharge of the
grave duty and responsibility laid upon him by the Constitution to take care that the laws faithfully executed."
Questions of expediency are, of course, beyond the province of the court to take into account in the interpretation of laws or of the
Constitution where the language is otherwise clear. But the argument is, we think, unsound even if the case be approached from this
angle. It contains its own refutation. The Constitution and the law implementing it afford adequate safeguards against such
consequences as have been painted.
The argument proceeds, contrary to its context, on the assumption that removes of civil service officers and employees are absolutely
prohibited, which is not the case. The Constitution authorizes removals and only requires that they be for cause. And the occasions for
removal would be greatly diminished if the injunction of section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution that appointments in the civil
service shall be made only according to merit and fitness, to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination would
be adhered of meticulously in the first place.
By far greater mischiefs would be fomented by an unbridled authority to remove. Such license would thwart the very aims of the
Constitution which are expounded by Dean Aruego, himself a member of the Constitutional Convention, in the following remarks
copied with approval in Lacson vs. Romero, supra:
The adoption of the "merit system" in government service has secured efficiency and social justice. It eliminates the political
factor in the selection of civil employees which is the first essential to an efficient personnel system. It insures equality of
opportunity to all deserving applicants desirous of a career in the public service. It advocates a new concept of the public
office as a career open to all and not the exclusive patrimony of any party or faction to be doled out as a reward for party
service.
The "merit system" was adopted only after the nations of the world took cognizance of its merits. Political patronage in the
government service was sanctioned in 1879 by the Constitutional right of President of the United States to act alone in the
matter of removals. From the time of Andrew Jackson the principle of the "To the victor belongs the spoils' dominated the
Federal Government. The system undermined moral values and destroyed administrative efficiency.
Since the establishment of the American Regime in the Philippines we have enjoyed the benefits of the "merit system." The
Schurmann Commission advocated in its reports that "the greatest care should be taken in the selection of the officials for
administration. They should be men of the highest character and fitness, and partisan politics should be entirely separated
from the government." The fifth act passed by the Philippine Commission created a Board of Civil Service. It instituted a
system here that was far more radical and thorough than that in the United States. The Governor-General after William Taft
adopted the policy of appointing Filipinos in the government regardless of their party affiliation. As the result of these the
personnel of the Civil Service had gradually come to be one of which the people of the United States could feel justly proud.
Necessity for Constitutional provision. The inclusion in the constitution of provisions regarding the "merit system" is a
necessity of modern times. As its establishment secures good government the citizens have a right to accept its guarantee as a
permanent institution.
Separation, suspension, demotions and transfers. The "merit system" will be ineffective if no safeguards are placed
around the separation and removal of public employees. The Committee's report requires that removals shall be made only
for "causes and in the manner provided by law. This means that there should be bona fide reasons and action maybe taken

only after the employee shall have been given a fair hearing. This affords the public employees reasonable security of tenure.
(II Aruego's Framing of the Constitution, 886, 887, 890.)
As has been seen, three specified classes of positions policy-determining, primarily confidential and highly technical are
excluded from the merit system and dismissal at pleasure of officers and employees appointed therein is allowed by the Constitution.
These positions involved the highest degree of confidence, or are closely bound out with and dependent on other positions to which
they are subordinate, or are temporary in nature. It may truly be said that the good of the service itself demands that appointments
coming under this category determinable at the will of the officer that makes them.
The office of city engineer is neither primarily confidential, policy-determining, nor highly technical.
Every appointment implies confidence, but much more than ordinary confidence is reposed in the occupant of a position that is
primarily confidential. The latter phrase denotes not only confidence in the aptitude of the appointee for the duties of the office but
primarily close intimacy which insures freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of
personal trust or confidential matters of state. Nor is the position of city engineer policy-determining. A city engineer does not
formulate a method of action for the government or any its subdivisions. His job is to execute policy, not to make it. With specific
reference to the City Engineer of Baguio, his powers and duties are carefully laid down for him be section 2557 of the Revised
Administrative Code and are essentially ministerial in character. Finally, the position of city engineer is technical but not highly so. A
city engineer is not required nor is he supposed to possess a technical skill or training in the supreme or superior degree, which is the
sense in which "highly technical" is, we believe, employed in the Constitution. There are hundreds of technical men in the classified
civil service whose technical competence is not lower than that of a city engineer. As a matter of fact, the duties of a city engineer are
eminently administrative in character and could very well be discharged by non-technical men possessing executive ability.
Section 10 of Article VIII of the Constitution requires that "All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty or law shall be heard
and decided by the Supreme Court in banc," and warns that "no treaty or law may be declared unconstitutional without the
concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of the Court." The question arises as to whether this judgment operates as invalidation of
section 2545 of the Revised Administrative Code or a part of it so as to need at least eight votes to make effective. The answer should
be in negative.
We are not declaring any part of section 2545 of the Revised Administrative Code unconstitutional. What we declare is that the
particular provision thereof which gave the Chief Executive power to remove officers at pleasure has been repealed by the
Constitution and ceased to be operative from the time that instrument went into effect. Unconstitutionally, as we understand it, denotes
life and vigor, and unconstitutional legislation presupposes posteriority in point of time to the Constitution. It is a statute that "attempts
to validate and legalize a course of conduct the effect of which the Constitution specifically forbids (State exrel. Mack vs. Guckenberger, 139 Ohio St., 273; 39 NE. [2d], 840.) A law that has been repealed is as good as if it had never been
enacted, and can not, in the nature of things, contravene or pretend to contravene constitutional inhibition. So, unlike legislation that is
passed in defiance of the Constitution, assertive and menacing, the questioned part of section 2545 of the Revised Administrative
Code does not need a positive declaration of nullity by the court to put it out of the way. To all intents and purposes, it is non-existent,
outlawed and eliminated from the statute book by the Constitution itself by express mandate before this petitioner was appointed.
Incidentally, the last discussion answers and disposes of the proposition that in accepting appointment under section 2545 of the
Revised Administrative Code, the petitioner must be deemed to have accepted the conditions and limitations attached to the
appointment. If the clause of section 2545 which authorized the President to remove officers of the City of Baguio at pleasure had
been abrogated when petitioner's appointment was issued, the appointee can not presumed to have abided by this condition.
We therefore hold that the petitioner is entitled to remain in office as City Engineer of Baguio with all the emoluments, rights and
privileges appurtenant thereto, until he resigns or is removed for cause, and that respondent Mallare's appointment is ineffective in so
far as it may adversely affect those emoluments, rights and privileges. Without costs.
Moran, C.J., Ozaeta, Paras, Pablo, and Montemayor, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. L-11988

April 4, 1918

JACINTO MOLINA, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JAMES J. RAFFERTY, Collector of Internal Revenue, defendant-appellant.
Acting Attorney-General Paredes for appellant.
Araneta & Zaragoza for appellee.
FISHER, J.:
After the publication of the decision announced under the date of February 1st., 1918, 1 counsel for appellee presented a petition for a
rehearing. This petition was granted and oral argument of the motion was permitted. Two of the members of the court, as constituted at
the time of the argument on the motion for a rehearing, were not present when the case was first submitted and did not participate in
the original decision.
Upon the facts, as correctly stated in the original majority decision, a majority of the members of the court as now constituted is in
favor of setting aside the original decision and affirming the judgment of the trial court.
Plaintiff contends that the fish produced by him are to be regarded as an "agricultural product" within the meaning of that term as used
in paragraph (c) of section 41 of Act No. 2339 (now section 1460 of the Administrative Code of 1917), in forced when the disputed tax
was levied, and that he is therefore exempt from the percentage tax on merchants' sales established by section 40 of Act No. 2339, as
amended.
The provision upon which the plaintiff relies reads as follows:
In computing the tax above imposed transactions in the following commodities shall be excluded: . . . (c) Agricultural
products when sold by the producer or owner of the land where grown, whether in their original state or not. (Act No. 2339,
sec. 41.)
The same exemption, with a slight change in wording, is now embodied in section 1460 of the Administrative Code, of 1917.
The question of law presented by this appeal, as we view, is not whether fish in general constitute an agricultural products, but
whether fish produced as were those upon which the tax in question was levied are an agricultural product.
As stated by judged Cooley in his great work on taxation:
The underlying principle of all construction is that the intent of the legislature should be sought in the words employed to
express it, and that when found it should be made to govern, . . . . If the words of the law seem to be of doubtful import, it
may then perhaps become necessary to look beyond them in order to ascertain what was in the legislative mind at the time the
law was enacted; what the circumstances were, under which the action was taken; what evil, if any, was meant to be
redressed; . . . . And where the law has contemporaneously been put into operation, and in doing so a construction has
necessarily been put upon it, this construction, especially if followed for some considerable period, is entitled to great respect,
as being very probably a true expression of the legislative purpose, and is not lightly to be overruled, although it is not
conclusive. (Cooley on Taxation [Vol. 1] 3d. Ed., p. 450.)
The first inquiry, therefore, must relate to the purpose of the Legislative had in mind in establishing the exemption contained in the
clause now under consideration. It seems reasonable to assume that it was due to the belief on the part of the law making body that by
exempting agricultural products from this tax the farming industry would be favored and the development of the resources of the
country encouraged. It is a fact, of which we take judicial cognizance, that there are immense tracts of public land in this country, at
present wholly unproductive, which might be made fruitful by cultivation, and that large sums of money go abroad every year for the
purchase of food substances which might be grown here. Every dollar's worth of food which the farmer produces and sells in these
Islands adds directly to the wealth of the country. On the other hand, in the process of distribution of commodities to the ultimate
consumer, no direct increase in value results solely from their transfer from one person to another in the course of commercial
transactions. It is fairly to be inferred from the statute that the object and purpose of the Legislature was, in general terms, to levy the

tax in question, significantly termed the "merchant's tax," upon all persons engaged in making a profit upon goods produced by others,
but to exempt from the tax all persons directly producing goods from the land. In order to accomplish this purpose the Legislature,
instead of attempting an enumeration of exempted products, has grouped them all under the general designation of "agricultural
products."
It seems to require no argument to demonstrate that it is just as much to the public interest to encourage the artificial propagation and
growth of fish as of corn, pork, milk or any other food substance. If the artificial production of fish is held not to be included within
the exemption of the statute this conclusion must be based upon the inadequacy of the language used by the Legislature to express its
purpose, rather than the assumption that it was actually intended to exclude producers of artificially grown fish from the benefits
conferred upon producers of other substances brought into the store of national wealth by the arts of husbandry and animal industry.
While we have no doubt that the land occupied by the ponds in which the fish in question are grown is agricultural land within the
meaning of the Acts of Congress and of the Philippine Commission under consideration in the case of Map vs. Insular Government (10
Phil. Rep., 175) and others cited in the original majority opinion, it does not seem to us that this conclusion solves the problem. A man
might cultivate the surface of a tract of land patented to him under the mining law, but the products of such soil would not for that
reason, we apprehend, be any the less "agricultural products." Conversely, the admission that the land upon which these fishponds are
constructed is not to be classified as mineral or forest land, does not lead of necessity to the conclusion that everything produced upon
them is for that reason alone to be deemed an "agricultural product" within the meaning of the statute under consideration.
"Agriculture" is an English word made upon of Latin words "ager," a field, and "cultura," cultivation. It is defined by Webster's New
International Dictionary as meaning in its broader sense, "The science and art of the production of plants and animal useful to
man . . ."
In Dillard vs. Webb (55 Ala., 468) it is held that the words "agriculture" includes "the rearing, feeding and managing of live stock."
The same view was expressed in the case of Binzel vs. Grogan (67 Wis., 147).
Webster defines "product" to be "anything that is produced, whether as the result of generation, growth, labor, or thought ... ," while
"grow" is defined in the Century Dictionary as meaning "to cause to grow; cultivate; produce, raise . . .."
While it is true that in a narrow and restricted sense agricultural products are limited to vegetable substances directly resulting from
the tillage of the soil, it is evident from the definitions quoted that the term also includes animal which derived their sustenance from
vegetable growths, and are therefore indirectly the product of the land. Thus it has been held that "The product of the dairy and the
product of the poultry yard, while it does not come directly out of the soil is necessarily connected with the soil . . . and is therefore
farm produce. (District of Columbia vs. Oyster, 15 D. C., 285.)
In the case of Mayor vs. Davis (6 Watts & Sergeant [Penn. Rep.], 269) the court said:
Swine horses, meat cattle, sheep, manure, cordwood, hay, vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk, butter, lard . . . are strictly produce of
the farm . . .
Without attempting to further multiply examples, we think it may safely be asserted that courts and lexicographers are in accord in
holding that the term "agricultural products" is not limited in its meaning to vegetable growth, but includes everything which serves to
satisfy human needs which is grown upon the land, whether it pertain to the vegetable kingdom, or to the animal kingdom. It is true
that there is no decision which as yet has held that the fish grown in ponds are an agricultural product, but that is no reason why we
should not so hold if we find that such fish fall within the scope of the meaning of the term. Of necessity, the products of land tend
constantly to multiply in number and variety, as population increases and new demands spring up. In California there are farms
devoted to the growth of frogs for the market. In many places in North America foxes and other animals usually found wild are reared
in confinement for their fur. In Japan land is devoted to the culture of the silkworm and the growth of the plants necessary for the food
of those insects. Bees are everywhere kept for the wax and honey into which the land is made to produce by those engaged in these
occupations are "agricultural products" in the same sense in which poultry, eggs, and butter have been held to be agricultural products.
Now, if the purpose of agriculture, in the broader sense of the term, is to obtain from the land the products to which it is best adapted
and through which it will yield the greatest return upon the expenditure of a given amount of labor and capital, can it not be said that it
is just as much an agricultural process to enclose a given area of land with dykes, flood it with water, grow aquatic plants in it, and

feed fish with the plants so produced as to fence in it and allow poultry to feed upon the plants naturally or artificially grown upon the
surface? In the last analysis the result is the same a given area of land produces a certain amount of food. In the one case it is the
flesh of poultry, in the other the flesh of fish. It has been agreed between the parties that an important article of diet consumed by fish
grown in a pond consists of certain marine plants which grow from roots which affix themselves to the bottom of the pond. In a real
sense, therefore, the fish are just as truly a product of the land as are poultry or swine, living upon its vegetable growths, aquatic or
terrestrial. Thus, land may truly be said to produce fish, although it is true that the producer is not a fisherman. Neither is one who
grows foxes for their pelts a hunter. As contended by counsel, the inquiry is not whether fish in general constitute an agricultural
product, but whether fish artificially grown and fed in confinement are to be so regarded. Honey produced by one who devotes his
land to apiculture might be so regarded, even if we were to admit that wild honey gathered in the forest is not. Pigeons kept in
domestication and fed by the owner would fall within the definition. Wild pigeons obtained by a hunter would not. Firewood gathered
in a natural forest is not an agricultural product, but firewood cut from bacauan trees planted for that purpose has been held to be such
a product, and its producer exempt from the merchant's tax. (Mercado vs. Collector of Internal Revenue, 32 Phil. Rep., 271.) Other
comparisons might be made, many of which will be found in the opinion in which two of the members of the court expressed their
dissent from the original majority opinion, but enough have been given to make our position clear.
During the many hears that the statute before us has been in existence, since it first appeared, substantially in its present form, in
section 142 of Act No. 1189, passed in 1904, no attempt has been made, until this case arose, to construe it as not applying to fish
grown in ponds, and much weight should be given to this long continued administrative interpretation. The opinion of the AttorneyGeneral, cited by Justice Malcolm, will be found on examination to have no bearing upon the present inquiry, as in that case question
was, not whether fish grown and fed in ponds were agricultural products, but whether ". . . fishermen, shell and pearl gatherers . . ."
were liable to the occupation tax. There is nothing in the opinion to indicate that the word "fishermen" was used to mean men growing
fish in ponds, and it must, therefore, be assumed that it was used in its proper grammatical sense to designate persons engaged in
catching fish not artificially produced.
The decision in the case of The United States vs. Laxa (36 Phil. Rep., 670) is not controlling, as the reasoning upon which it is based
was not concurred in by four members of the court. Furthermore, the Laxa case might be distinguished from the one now under
consideration, were it necessary to do so, in that it has been stipulated in this case that fish cultivated in ponds subsist largely upon
aquatic plants which grow from roots which attach themselves to the bottom of the pond, and are therefore in a real sense a product of
the land, while in the Laxa case the evidence was that they subsisted solely upon free floating algae.
We are therefore of the opinion, and so hold, that the decision heretofore rendered herein must be set aside, and the judgment of the
lower court affirmed. So ordered.
Arellano,
Araullo, J., dissents.

C.J.,

Torres

and

Johnson,

JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-45642 February 28, 1978


RAMON SALARIA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. CARLOS R. BUENVIAJE, Executive Judge, Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, Branch VII, Iriga City and
ANTONIO V. MENDIOLA, respondents.
Rosario R Rapanut (CLA0), for petitioner.
Mendez, Mendez & Associates for private respondent.

GUERRERO, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, Branch VII, Iriga City, dated
January 19,1977, in Civil Case No. Ir-431, entitled "Antonio V. Mendiola vs. Ramon Salaria which affirmed with modification the
decision of the City Court of Iriga

Ramon Salaria, the petitioner herein, had been staying on the land of Eliodoro Cailao situated at San Roque, Iriga City as a lessee
since September 18, 1930 when he bought the house of Rufino Llagas constructed thereon. Ramon Salaria and Eliodoro Cailao agreed
that the former pay a monthly render total of P6.00, latter raised to P10.00, but they had no agreement regarding its duration. In
December, 1972, Cailao advised not to pay anymore and to vacate the land for he was seen it to Ceferina Flores, wife of Antonio
Mendiola, private respondent herein. The land was eventually sold to Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Mendiola for P300.00 as evidenced by the
Deed of Absolute Sales We dated June 15, 1974 although the sale was consummated as early as 1973. After December, 1972, no
rentals were collected anymore either by Eliodoro Cailao or Antonio Mendiola for which reason petitioner deposited with the Clerk of
Court the amount of P200.00 (Exhibits "1" and "2"). Cailao and the wife of Antonio Mendiola several times reminded the petitioner to
vacate the premises On May 16, 1974, Ceferina Flores wrote the petitioner a letter asking him to vacate the premises until July, 1974,
otherwise, a suit would be filed against the latter. On August 23, 1974, a complaint for unlawful detainer was filed by Antonio
Mendiola against Ramon Salaria in Branch II of the City Court of Iriga.
Petitioner Ramon, Salaria as defendant below, filed a modification to dismiss dated September 6, 1974 on the ground that the
complaint states no cause of action, as Presidential Decree No. 20 suspends the provision of paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of the Civil
Code and that the need of the plaintiff (private respondent herein) of the premises for his own use does not fall within the exception
provided by the said Decree.
Respondent judge issued an Order dated September 26, 1974 denying the defendant's motion to dismiss and setting the case for
hearing.
In his answer dated October 21, 1974, defendant (petitioner herein) admitted that he has been occupying the residential lot of Eliodoro
Cailao as lessee, but that the lease was without a fixed period. He denied the allegation that the lease was on a monthly basis and
asserted that it was on a yearly basis. He also admitted that he received a letter from the wife of the plaintiff but denied the rest of the
allegations. As special and affirmative defenses, defendant alleged that the complaint states no cause of action against the defendant as
the same is suspended by Presidential Decree No. 20, Section 4; and that the City Court has no jurisdiction over the nature of the
matter at issue, there being no law to support it. By way of counterclaim, defendant alleged that because of the unwarranted filing of
the instant action, plaintiff knowing fully well that it has no basis in fact or in law, defendant was exposed to actual and moral
damages for which plaintiff should be held liable.
After hearing, the City Court rendered a decision, the positive portion of which reads as follows:
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered.
1. Ordering the defendant to vacate the premises in question within three (3) months from receipt of the decision.
2. Considering that the defendant is financialy hard up, he is excused by this Court to pay the back rentals from
January, 1973 up to the time he vacates the premises and for which reason the Clerk of Court is directed to deliver to
the defendant upon demand the amount of P200.00 as consignation by him.
3. There is no award for damages to plaintiff but the counterclaim is dismissed for lack of merit and defendant
ordered to pay the costs of this suit.
SO ORDERED.
Upon appeal to the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, the decision was affirmed with modification. The defendant was ordered
to vacate the premises of the land in question upon finality of said decision and plaintiff was granted authority to withdraw the amount
of P200.00 from the Clerk of Court of the City Court.
The main issues to be resolved in this petition are:
1. Whether or not under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 20, the private respondent can eject the petitioner
from the lot in question on the ground that he needs the lot for his own use; and

2. Whether or not this case is covered by Presidential Decree No. 20.


Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 20 states that
Sec. 4. Except when the lease is for a definite period, the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of the Civil
Code of the Philippines insofar as they refer to dwelling unit or land on which another's dwelling is located shall be
suspended until otherwise provided; but other provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court of the Philippines
on lease contracts, insofar as they are not in conflict with the provisions of this Act shall apply.
Article 1673 of the Civil Code provides as follows:
Art. 1673. The lessor may judicially eject the lessee for any of the following causes:
(1) When the period agreed upon, or that which is fixed for the duration of leases under Articles 1682 and 1687, has
expired;
(2) Lack of payment of the price stipulated;
(3) Violation of any of the conditions agreed upon in the contract;
(4) When the lessee devotes the thing leased to any used or service not stipulated which causes the deterioration
thereof-, or if he does not observe the requirements in No. 2 of Article 1657, as regards the use thereof.
It appearing that no fixed period has been agreed upon for the duration of the lease between the original owner of the subject lot and
the petitioner, the case comes under the provision of Article 1687 of the Civil Code, which states
Art. 1687. If the period for the lease has not been fixed, it is understood to be from year to year, if the rent agreed
upon is annually; from month to month, if it is monthly; from week to week, if the rent is weekly; and from day to
day, if the rent is to be paid daily. However, even though a monthly rent is paid, and no period for the lease has been
set, the courts may fix a longer term for the lease after the lessee has occupied the premises for over one year. If the
rent is weekly, the courts may likewise determine a longer period after the lessee has been in possession for over six
months. In case of daily rent, the courts may also fix a longer period after the lessee has stayed in the place for over
one month.
Construing Sec. 4 of Presidential Decree No. 20 in relation to Art. 1673 par. I and Art. 1687 of the Civil Code, it is clear and explicit
that Presidential Decree No. 20 suspends paragraph (1) of Article 1673. Hence, the petitioner cannot be ejected at the expiration of the
period provided under Article 1687 of the Civil Code.
The ground relied upon by the lessor in this case, namely, personal use of the property by the owners or lessors or their families is not
one of the causes for judicial ejectment of lessees enumerated in Article 1673 of the New Civil Code in relation to Section 4 of
Republic Act No. 6359, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 20. Accordingly, the lessee, petitioner herein, cannot be ordered to
vacate the premises of the land in question pursuant to said law. Petitioner cites Memorandum Circular No. 970 issued by the Office of
the President on March 15, 1977, clarifying Presidential Decree No. 20, which states:
WHEREAS, there have been many reports that many owners or lessors of residential lands and buildings covered by
Presidential Decree No. 20 have been ejecting, with the help of certain lower courts, their tenants on the ground that
the former or their families will use the leased property;
WHEREAS, in a long time of opinions rendered by this Office in the construction and interpretation of Presidential
Decree No. 20, personal use by the owners or lessors or their families of covered dwelling units occupied by bona
fide tenants is not a recognized cause for judicial ejectment of the latter, and

WHEREAS, to allow eviction of lessees for the reason alone that the premises are needed by the owners or lessors
or their families will open the floodgates for abuse and circumvention of Presidential Decree No. 20 thereby setting
to naught the intent and purpose of the President to protect and assist the low-income families comprising the bulk
of rented dwelling place occupants;
WHEREFORE, it is hereby made clear for the benefit of all concerned that, except for the causes for judicial
ejectment of lessees enumerated in Article 1673 of the New Civil Code in relation to Section 4 of Republic Act No.
6359, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 20, bona fide covenants of dwelling places covered by said decree are
not subject to eviction, particularly if the only cause of action thereof is personal use of the property by the owners
or their families.
By Authority of the President:
(Sgd.) RONALDO B. ZAMORA
Presidential Assistant for Legal Affairs
The Memorandum quoted above is directly in point to the issue of the case at bar. Although the construction put by the executive
branch of the government on a particular law is not necessarily binding upon the courts, it must be given some weight as it comes
from that branch of the government caned upon to implement the law. (Gabio vs. Ganzon, No. L-11664, March 16,1961, 1 SCRA
713,718)
The construction of the office charged with implementing and enforcing the provision of a statute should be giving controlling weight.
(Asturias Sugar Central, Inc. vs. Commissioner of Customs, l 9337, Sept. 30, 1969, 29 SCRA 617).
Even before the enactment of Presidential PD No. 20, there were previous laws designed to protect the low-income members of our
society, namely, Republic Act Nos. 6126 and 6359 suspending the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of the Civil Code
insofar as they refer to dwelling units or land on which another's dwelling units or on which another's dwelling is located
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 6126 states that
The provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of the Civil Code insofar as they refer to dwelling units or land on
which another's dwelling is located shall be suspended for the period of one year from the effectivity of this Act; but
other provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court of the Philippines on lease contracts, insofar as they are
not in conflict with the provisions of this Act, shall apply.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 6359 reads Except when the lease is for definite period, the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of the Civil Code insofar
as they refer to dwelling unit or land on which another's dwelling is located shall be suspended for two years from
the effectivity of this Act; but other provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court of the Philippines on lease
contracts, insofar as they are not in conflict with the provisions of this Act, shall apply.
Sec. 4 of Republic Act No. 6359 was later amended by Presidential Decree No. 20 which changed the phrase "shall be suspended for
two years from the effectivity of this Act" to should be suspended until otherwise provided."
In the case at bar, the old and new owners of the lot had refused to receive payment of the rent offered by petitioner who thereupon
consigned the money with the Court. The consignation of the rentals due has the effect of payment, thereby releasing the lessee from
the obligation to pay the lessor. (Ponce de Leon vs. Santiago Syjuco, Inc., 90 Phil. 311; Art. 1256, New Civil Code).
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is reversed, except with respect to that portion of the decision which authorized Antonio
Mendiola to withdraw the amount of P200.00 from the Clerk of Court of the City Court. The petitioner is, however, ordered to pay

back rentals for the period of his stay on the land at the rate of P10.00 a month, which is not covered by the deposit. No costs.
Judgment reversed.
SO ORDERED.
Makasiar, Muoz Palma, and Fernandez, JJ., concur.
Teehankee (Chairman), concurs in the result.