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G.R. No.

202242 July 17, 2012

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, Petitioner,


vs.
JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, SEN. FRANCIS JOSEPH G. ESCUDERO and REP.
NIEL C. TUPAS, JR., Respondents.

G.R. Nos. 166948-59 August 29, 2012

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,


vs.
MEINRADO ENRIQUE A. BELLO, MANUEL S. SA TUITO, **** MINVILUZ S.
CAMINA, JOELITA TRABUCO, ABEL,IO JUANEZA, ROSALINDA D. TROPEL,
FELIPE Y. VILLAROSA, RAUL APOSAGA, HERMIE BARBASA and ROSARIO
BARBASA-PERLAS, Respondents.

G.R. No. 188315 August 25, 2010

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
ISIDRO FLORES y LAGUA, Accused-Appellant.

G.R. No. L-47848 August 23, 1978

TABLANTE-TUNGOL ENTERPRISES, petitioner,


vs.
HON. CARMELO C. NORIEL, ELISEO E. PEAFLOR and ASSOCIATION OF
DEMOCRATIC LABOR ORGANIZATION, respondents.

G.R. No. 169143 February 2, 2007


[Formerly G.R. No. 138328]

PEOPLE OF THE PHLIPPINES, Appellee


vs.
SIMPLICIO DELANTAR, Appellant.
NOSCITUR A SOCIIS

The general rule is that when the law is clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be applied
in its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation, however, when there is
ambiguity the court may construe or interpret its meaning. One of the legal maxims used
whenever there is ambiguity is the doctrine of noscitur a sociis. These latin term for literally
means it is known by the company it keeps, it is the concept that the intended meaning of an
ambiguous word depends on the context in which it is used1.

Moreover, under the maxim noscitur a sociis, where a particular word or phrase is
ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings, its correct construction may be
made clear and specific by considering the company of words in which it is founded or with
which it is associated.2This is because a word or phrase in a statute is always used in association
with other words or phrases, and its meaning may, thus, be modified or restricted by the latter.3
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 a harmonious whole. A statute must be so construed as
to harmonize and give effect to all its provisions whenever possible.4 In short, every meaning to
be given to each word or phrase must be ascertained from the context of the body of the statute
since a word or phrase in a statute is always used in association with other words or phrases and
its meaning may be modified or restricted by the latter.

In Yusen Air and Sea Services, Inc. v. Villamor, the Court used to clarify the scope of paragraph
3, and any other paragraph of Article 217 of the Labor Code, as amended. It is of the conclusion
that the examination of the terms themselves of Article 217, as last amended by B.P. Blg 227,
and even though earlier versions of Article 217 of the Labor Code expressly brought within the
jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters and the NLRC "cases arising from employer-employee
relations," which clause was not expressly carried over, in printers ink, in Article 217 as it exists
today. For it cannot be presumed that money claims of workers which do not arise out of or in
connection with their employer-employee relationship, and which would therefore fall within the
general jurisdiction of regular courts of justice, were intended by the legislative authority to be
taken away from the jurisdiction of the courts and lodged with Labor Arbiters on an exclusive
basis. The Court, therefore, believes and so holds that the "money claims of workers" referred to
in paragraph 3 of Article 217 embraces money claims which arise out of or in connection with
the employer-employee relationship, or some aspect or incident of such relationship. Put a little

1
https://thelawdictionary.org/noscitur-a-sociis/
2
Coca-Cola Bottlers, Phils., Inc. (CCBPI), Naga Plant v. Gomez, G.R. No. 154491, November 14, 2008, 571 SCRA 18,
37; People v. Delantar, G.R. No. 169143, February 2, 2007, 514 SCRA 115, 139; and Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 255
Phil. 71 (1989), citing Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon, 75 Phil. 371 (1945).
3
People v. Delantar, G.R. No. 169143, February 2, 2007, 514 SCRA 115, 139; Republic v. Sandiganbayan, 255 Phil.
71 (1989), citing Co Kim Chan v. Valdez, 75 Phil. 371 (1945).
4
Uy v. Sandiganbayan, 407 Phil. 154, 180 (2001).
differently, that money claims of workers which now fall within the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters are those money claims which have some reasonable causal
connection with the employer-employee relationship.