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Laceste vs. Santos
56 Phil 472
Exculpatory Circumstance
Clemente Laceste and Nicolas Lachica were found guilty for the crime of rape
against Magdalena de Ocampo. Lachica married the victim and was accordingly
released from the criminal prosecution by virtue of Section 2 Art. No. 1773 and Art.
448 of the Penal Code then in force which provided that such a marriage
extinguished penal liability.
However, under the Revise Penal Code, Laceste is now also entitled (RPC took
effect January 1, 1932) to the benefits accruing from such marriage in accordance to
the last paragraph of Article 344 of the RPC which provides:
“In cases of seduction, abduction, acts of lasciviousness and rape, the
marriage of the offender with the offended party shall extinguish
criminal action or remit the penalty already imposed upon him. The
provisions of this paragraph shall also be applicable to co-principals,
accomplices and accessories after the fact of the above-mentioned
Whether or not Article 344 of the RPC shall be applied retroactively in the
case at bar.
Article 344 shall be applied retroactively. The case at bar is an exemption to
the general rule that laws are prospective, not retrospective (lex prospicit, non
respicit). The situation in the case favors the accused therefore article 22 of the RPC
shall apply. Article 22 provides that:
“Penal laws shall have a retrospective effect in so far as they favor the
person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal.”
Krivenko vs. Registry of Deeds of Manila
79 SCRA 461 (November 15, 1947)
Alexander A. Krivenko, a foreigner, bought a residential lot from the
Magdalena Estate, Inc. in December 1941, but the registration was interrupted due
to war (Second World War). In May 1945, he tried to accomplish the registration of
the aforementioned residential lot but then he was denied by the Registry of Deeds
of Manila because he was not a Filipino citizen.
The constitutional provision in question is Section 1 of article XIII of the
Constitution (1935) which provides; “Natural resources, with the exception of public
agricultural land, shall not be alienated. And with respect to public agricultural lands,
their alienation is limited to Filipino citizens.”
Krivenko contends that the land he bought is not covered by the said
constitutional provision because it was a private residential land and not a public
agricultural land.
Whether or not an alien, under our Constitution, may acquire
residential land.
Section 5 of Article XIII of the Constitution (1935) provides; “save in cases of
hereditary succession, no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned
except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands
of the public domain in the Philippines.”
It is a rule in statutory construction that a word or phrase repeated in a
statute will bear the same meaning throughout the statute, unless a different
intention appears. The only difference between “agricultural land” under Section 1
and “agricultural land’ under section 5, is that the former is public and the latter is
private. But such difference refers to the ownership and not the class of land. The
lands are the same in both sections and for the conservation of national patrimony,
what is important is the nature or class of the property regardless whether it is
owned by the State or by its citizens.
Additional Note:
In determining whether a parcel of land is agricultural, the test is not only whether it
is actually agricultural, but also its susceptibility to cultivation for agricultural
purposes. Therefore, most residential lands are also considered as agricultural lands.
Florentino and Zandueta vs. PNB
98 Phil 959, April 28, 1956
On December 27, 1953, Marcelino Florentino and Lourdes Zandueta offered to
pay their loan with PNB through a back pay certificate, but PNB refused to accept the
back pay certificate as payment for their loan.
The legal provision involved in this case is Section 2 of RA 897 which provides
that back pay certificates may be used to pay “obligations subsisting at the time of
approval of this amendatory Act for which the applicant may be directly liable to the
Government or to any of its branches or instrumentalities, or to corporations owned
or controlled by the Government, or to any citizen of the Philippines, or to any
association or corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines, who may be
willing to accept the same for such settlement.
Whether the clause “who may be willing to accept the same for such
settlement” refers to ALL antecedents (the Government, any of its branches or
instrumentalities, corporations owned or controlled by the Government) or only to
the last antecedent (any citizen of the Philippines, or any association or corporation
organized under the laws of the Philippines).
It should be noted that there is a comma before the words “or to any citizen
of the Philippines” which would separate the phrase from the preceding ones.
Therefore, the “who may be willing...” clause only refers to the last antecedent.
People vs.Subido
66 SCRA 545 (1975)
Appellant Abelardo Subido was found guilty of libel of the Court of First
Instance of Manila. The lower court’s decision reads;
“ From the facts above stated, the court finds the accused guilty of
libel and he is hereby sentenced to three (3) months of arresto mayor
with the accessory penalties of the law, to pay a fine of five hundred
(P500.00) pesos, to indemnify the offended party, Mayor Arsenio
Lacson, in the sum of ten thousand (10,000.00) pesos, with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, to pay the costs.”
Appellant has taken an appeal to the Court of Appeals, which modified the said
judgment striking out the penalty of arresto mayor and lowering the indemnity from
P10,000.00 to P5,000.00.
Appellant contends that the lower court required the subsidiary imprisonment only in
case when he will not be able to pay the indemnity and not the failure to pay the
Whether or not the lower court’s decision intended subsidiary imprisonment to
apply only to failure to pay indemnity and not the fine.
No. A careful scrutiny of the decision of the trial court reveals that the clause
“with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency” is separated by a comma (,)
from the preceding clause”is hereby sentenced to three months arresto mayor with
the accessory penalties of the law, to pay a fine of five hundred (P500.00) pesos, to
indemnify the offended party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson, in the sum of ten thousand
(10,000.00) pesos.” The use of a comma (,) in the part of the sentence is to make
“the subsidiary in case of insolvency” refer not only to non-payment of the
indemnity, but also to non-payment of the fine.
Article 39 of RPC as amended due to retroactive effect exempt subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay indemnity. Therefore, subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay the fine is applicable in the case at bar.
People vs. Yabut
58 SCRA 499 (1933)
On August 1, 1932, appellant Antonio Yabut, then a prisoner serving sentence
in the Bilibid Prison, hit Sabas Arceo, also a prisoner in the Bilibid Prison, with a
wooden club inflicting upon various physical injuries on different parts of the body
which caused the latter’s death after 24 hours. At the time of the commission of the
crime, the appellant was a recidivist, he having been previously convicted twice of
the crime of homicide and once of serious physical injuries, by virtue of final
sentences rendered by a competent tribunal. The Court of First Instance of manila, in
punishing the appellant, applied article 160 of the Revised Penal Code which states
“Commission of another crime during service of penalty imposed for
another previous offense –Penalty—Besides the provision of Rule 5 of
Article 62 any person who shall commit a felony after having been
convicted by final judgment, before beginning to serve such sentence,
or while serving the same, shall be punished by the maximum period
of the penalty prescribed by law for the new felony.
The appellant advances that the lower court erred in applying Article 160 of the RPC.
Whether or not the term “another” in the epigraph of Article 160 of the
Revised Penal Code applies only in cases where the new crime is different in
character from the former crime for which the defendant is serving the penalty.
No. It is a familiar law that when the text itself of a statute or a treaty is clear
and unambiguous, there is neither necessity nor propriety in resorting to the
preamble or headings or epigraphs of a section for the interpretation of the text
especially where such epigraphs or headings of sections are mere catchwords or
reference aids indicating the general nature of the text that follows.
Recidivist – is one who, at the time of his trial for one crime shall have been
previously convicted by final judgment of another crime embraced in the same title
of the RPC.
Habitual delinquent – when a person within a period of ten years from the date of
release, or last conviction, is found guilty of the crime of serious or less serious
physical injuries, robbery, theft, estafa, or falsification a third time or oftener.
Quasi-recidivist – any person who shall commit a felony after having been convicted
by final judgment, before beginning to serve such sentence or while serving the
same shall be punished with the maximum period of punishment prescribed by law
for the new felony.
United States vs. Go Chico
14 Phil 128 (1909)
On August 4, 1908, in the City of Manila, the appellant Go Chico displayed in
one of his stores a number of medallions in the form of small button imprinted with
the picture of Emilio Aguinaldo and the flag or banner or device used in the late
insurrection in the Philippine Island to designate and identify those in armed
insurrection against the United States. The appellant being ignorant of the law
against the display of medallions was arrested but played for acquittal based upon
two (20 propositions:
1. That before the conviction under the law cited can be had, a criminal
intent upon the part of the accused must be proved beyond a reasonable
2. That the prohibition of the law is directed against the use of identical
banners, devices, or emblems actually used during the Philippine
insurrection by those armed rebellion against the United States.
Whether or not criminal intent is a requisite of conviction in violation of
Section 1 of Act No. 1696 of the Philippine.
No. It is a mistake, a notion that positive, willful intent to violate the criminal
law as an essential ingredient in every criminal offense, and where there is an
absence of such intent, there is no offense. When the statute plainly forbids an act to
be done, and it is done by some person, the law implies conclusively the guilty
intent, although the offender was honestly mistaken as to the meaning of the law he
violates. When the language is plain and positive, and the offense is not made to
depend upon the positive, willful intent and purpose, nothing is left to interpretation.
People vs. Republic
98 Phil 665 (1956)
After his marriage to Catherine Prasnik was dissolved by a divorce decree in
the U.S., Leopoldo Prasnik and Paz Vasquez lived together as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage. Out of this relation, four (40 children was born.
These children were recognized natural children of petitioner. Prasnik filed with the
court of First Instance of Rizal a petition to adopt these four children.
The Solicitor General opposed the petition for the adoption invoking article
338 (1) of the Civil Code which provides:
“Article 338. The following may be adopted:
(1) The natural child, by the natural father or mother xxxxx”
The Solicitor General argues that this article refers only to those who has not been
acknowledged natural child.
Whether or not Article 338 (1) refers only to acknowledged natural children.
No. The law evidently intends to allow adoption of a natural child whether the
child is recognized or not, if the intention were to allow adoption of unrecognized
children, then said article would be of no useful purpose because such children would
have been validly adopted even without the provision. This is because an
unacknowledged natural child has no right whatsoever and being considered as a
total stranger to his parents, may be adopted under Article 337.
It should be borne in mind that the rights of an acknowledged natural child
are much less than those of a legitimate child and it is indeed to the greater
advantage of the latter if he be given, through legal action, a legitimate status.
This view is in keeping with modern trend that considers adoption as an act
not merely establish the relation of paternity and filiation but one which may give the
child a legitimate status.
People vs. Santayana
74 SCRA 25, November 15, 1976
On October 29, 1962, Jesus Santayana, a “special agent as appointed by Col.
Jose C. Maristela (Chief of CIS), was found in Plaza Miranda in possession of a pistol
and ammunitions. He was then convicted by the court of First Instance of Manila for
illegal possession of firearms because Santayana did not secure a license for his
possession of the weapon mentioned above.
It should be noted that at the time of his arrest, the prevailing doctrine
was the People vs. Macarandang case. It was only later that the Supreme
Court revoked the Macarandang ruling in the People vs. Mapa case.
Whether or not Santayana must be convicted for illegal possession of
No. Santayana was acquitted. At the time of his arrest (October 29, 1962),
the prevailing doctrine was People vs. Macarandang where a civilian appointed as a
secret agent is equivalent to a peace officer, therefore exempted from the license
requirements. The case of People vs. Mapa revoked the doctrine of the Macarandang
case only on August 30, 1967.
Acosta vs. Flor
5 Phil 18 (1905)
Appellant Pedro Acosta and Appellee David Flor were candidates for the Office
of the Municipal President of Laoag, Ilocos Norte. Appellee won the elections.
Appellant then filed an action praying that Flor be excluded from the exercise of the
office on account of irregularities allegedly committed during the elections.
During the trial, Acosta failed to prove that he was entitled to the office in question.
The court dismissed the action.
Whether or not can maintain the action.
No. Acosta cannot file the action for usurpation of public office. If the
legislature had intended to give all citizens alike the right to maintain such action for
such, it would have plainly said so in order to avoid doubt on a subject of such a farreaching importance. A simple provision would have sufficed for this purpose. Far
from it, the legislature has, on the contrary, especially and specifically provided in
Sections 199, 200 and 201 of the Code of Civil Procedure those who must and may
bring such an action; and it was very clear that it was its intention to give such right
to those expressly mentioned in said sections and to no other, following the wellknown rule of law, “EXPRESSION UNIUS EST EXCLUSION ALTERIUS.”
People vs. Manantan
5 SCRA 684 (1962)
Guillermo Manantan was a Justice of peace who was accused of having
violated Section 54 of the Revised Election Code which provides:
“No justice, judge, fiscal, treasurer, or assessor of any province, no
officer or employee of the Army, no member of the national,
provincial, city, municipal or rural police, and no classified civil service
officer or employee that shall aid any candidate, or exert any influence
in any election or take part therein, except to vote, if entitled, or to
preserve public peace, if he is a peace officer.”
Manantan raised the statutory construction argument of EXPRESSIO UNIUS
EST EXCLUSION ALTERIUS. He contends that since Justice of Peace was not included
in the express enumeration of the persons prohibited from engaging in political
partisan activities, then under the principle of EXPRESSIO UNIUS ST EXCLUSION, the
position of Justice of Peace is deemed excluded. This is supported by the fact that in
the prior law, the position of justice of Peace was included.
Whether or not the principle of EXPRESSION UNIUS EST EXCLUSION is
applicable to the case at bar.
No. The legislative intent is clear. There is no room for application of the rules
of Statutory Construction because there was no omission or exclusion in this case.
Justice of Peace were not excluded but were merely called under a different term
included in the term “judges.”
Home Insurance Company vs. Eastern Shipping Lines
123 SCRA 424, July 20, 1983
The plaintiff is a foreign insurance company duly authorized to do business in
the Philippines through its agent Victor H. Bello.
On January 13, 1967, 2,361 coils of “Black Hot Rolled Copper Wire Rods”
from Osaka, Japan were shipped to Phelps Dodge Copper Products Corporation of the
Philippines. The vessel used was owned by the defendant Eastern shipping Lines. The
shipment was insured with the plaintiff, Home Insurance Company against all risks.
When the shipment arrived, some of the coils were cut loose, some were
entangled, partly cut and had to be considered as scrap. There was a shortage of
593.13 kilos from the invoiced weight according to the claims presented by the
Phelps Dodge against the plaintiff and the transportation company. For the loss and
damages, the plaintiff paid Phelps Dodge. When the plaintiff made demands to
reimburse the payment against the transportation company, Eastern Shipping Lines,
they refused to pay.
The plaintiff then filed a petition to the Court of First Instance of Manila, but
was denied due to their inability to prove their capacity to sue.
Whether or not the plaintiff, being a foreign insurance company. Has the
capacity to sue through the Philippine courts.
Yes. It has the capacity to sue.
The Corporation Law should be given an interpretation that would foster
friendly commercial intercourse among countries. The objective of the law was to
subject the foreign corporation to the jurisdiction of our courts.
The lack of capacity to sue at the time of the execution of contracts was cured
by the subsequent registration in the country.
Velasco vs. Republic of the Philippines
108 Phil 234, May 25, 1960
The petitioner, Richard Velasco, filed for naturalization before the Court of
First Instance of manila and was denied.
Velasco, a Chinese citizen, was born in the Philippines on May 12, 1932 and
has lived in the country ever since. At the time when he was filing for naturalization,
he was employed at Wilson drug Store with a salary of P150.00 per month and was
engaged to a Filipina, Noemi Eugenio.
In his application for naturalization, his qualification as to moral character was
attested by Santiago Mariano and Paz Eugenio, the mother of Noemi Eugenio.
Whether or not the trial court erred in denying the petitioner’s application for
No, because the character witness, Paz Eugenio, was the petitioner’s
prospective mother-in-law and therefore her testimony is biased. And the other
witness, Santiago Mariano was also a character witness of the petitioner’s brother.
This shows that the petitioner has a limited circle of Filipino friends.
Regarding his employment at the Wilson drug Store, which was, by the way,
partly owned by the petitioner’s mother, it was found out that it was only one month
prior to the filing for naturalization. This indicates that his employment was merely to
show token of compliance with the requirement that to become a Filipino citizen, one
must have lucrative income.
Naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly construed in favor
of the government and against the applicant.
General Rules of Construction
Power of Judicial Review to the Constitutionality of Statute Requisites
Dumalao vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. L-52245, January 22, 1980
Petitioners Patricio Dumlao, Atty. Romeo Igot and Alfredo Salapatan filed
before the Supreme Court a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction
and/or restraining order for the implementation of certain prohibitions of Batas
Pambansa No. 51, 52 and 53 for being unconstitutional. Specifically Section 4, BP 52
to be contrary to the equal protection and due process clause of the Constitution.
Section 4 (1), BP 52 disqualifies all retired elective provincial, municipal or city
official of at least 65 years to seek elective position on the same local office. Section
4 (2) disqualifies any person who has committed any act of disloyalty to the State
including acts like subversion, rebellion and other similar crimes with a prima facie
evidence for conviction. Petitioners seek judicial review to the above provisions and
to declare null and void for being violative of the Constitution.
Whether or not the petition is ready for a judicial review.
In a procedural aspect, no. the petition suffers from basic procedural
infirmities, hence, traditionally, unacceptable for judicial resolution. However, in the
substantive viewpoint, the court resolved the issue since the lection day will be held
in a few days and it involves public interest. On the part of Dumlao, Section 4 (1)
does not show any clear invalidity of the questioned provisions. Well accepted rule to
justify the nullification of a law, there must be clear and unequivocal breach of the
Constitution. On the part of Igot and Salapatan, Section 4 (2), the court was
constraint to hold that this one is such clear case. And finally, the court ruled a
partial declaration of nullity on the objectionable portion. Section 4 (1) to be valid
and constitutional and Section 4 (2) is declared null and void for being violative of
the constitutional presumption of innocence.
Petition denied as to Section 4 (1) and granted as to section 4 (2).
General Rule of Construction
Judicial Legislation
National Marketing Corp. vs. Tecson, G.R. No. l-29131, August 27, 1969
On November 14, 1955, CFI Manila rendered its judgment in favor of Price
Stabilization Corporation against Miguel Tecson. The order became final and
executory on December 21, 1955. On December 21 1965, National Marketing
Corporation as successor of Price Stabilization Corporation, filed before the same
court a revival of judgment against Tecson. The defendant moved to dismiss the
complaint on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and prescription of action. The court
ruled in favor of Tecson, stating that the action had had prescribed two (2) days
before the motion was raised since 1960 and 1964 were both leap years, the action
must have prescribed on December 19, 1965. NMC appealed to the Court of Appeals
and was forwarded to the Supreme Court on March 20, 1969. NMC contended that
‘calendar year’ should be computed by the number of days it actually has. Tecson
pointed out Article 13, NCC that when law speaks of years, it must be of 365 days.
The NMC’s final contention is that if the extra 1 day of leap year does not belong to a
year, so to what years does it particularly belong.
Whether or not the extra one (1) day of leap year is counted as to the
contention of the Appellant.
No, the court ruled that even though it is true that 366 th day constitutes a
leap year and the law is silent when it comes to that subject, the court has no power
for such judicial legislation to interpret and consider the extra 1 day being included in
the leap year. Article 13, NCC explicitly provides that a year is of 365 days. If such
subject demands public interest, the revision of such provision is made through a
legislative process and not by a judicial decree.
Decision affirmed.
Lee Cho vs. Republic of the Philippines
Petitioner Lee Cho, alias Sem Lee, who was born in China, filed a petition for
naturalization before the CFI of Cebu. Said court approved the petition. The
government appealed it. Petitioner claimed that he did not file any declaration of
intention to be a Filipino citizen because he had resided in the Philippines for 30
years and had provided for his children’s primary and secondary education in school
recognized by the government, which would entitle him to an exemption under Sec.
6 of Naturalization Law.
Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to such exemption.
No. The Supreme Court ruled that the petitioner cannot claim such exemption on the
ground that he failed to provide education to two (2) of his daughters, Angelita Lee
and Lourdes Lee, who had just finished grade five and third year high school,
Decision reversed.
Velasco vs. Republic of the Philippines
A petition for naturalization filed by Richard Velasco, a Chinese citizen, before
the CFI of Manila was denied for his failure to meet the requirements of the law.
Petitioner appealed, contending that he was born and has continuously resided in the
Philippines; that he is presently employed at a drug store with a monthly salary of
P150.00 a month; that he is not suffering from any contagious disease; that he has
mingled socially with the Filipinos; that he knows how to speak and write English and
Tagalog; that he is a Catholic by faith; and has never been convicted of any crime
involving moral turpitude; that he has shown desire to embrace the customs and
tradition of the Filipinos; and that he desires to become a Filipino citizen because he
considered the Philippines as his country and the Filipinos as his countrymen.
Whether or not the trial court erred in denying the petition for naturalization.
No. It appeared that the character witness of petitioner is his mother-in-law
and as such, her testimony is biased. And that the drug store, which the petitioner
was employed, is partly owned by his mother which lead the court to believe that
petitioner’s employment is but a convenient arrangement planned out by him and his
family in order to comply with the requirements of the law.
“Naturalization Laws should be rigidly enforced and strictly construed in favor
of the government and against the applicant.”
Decision appealed from is affirmed.
Specific Rules of Construction for Different Laws
Labor Laws
Bustamante vs. NLRC
265 SCRA (1996)
The petitioners were illegally dismissed by the respondent corporation
Evergreen Farms, Inc., on June 25, 1990.
There are three (3) pertinent statutes which were considered in the case at
bar. These are:
(1) Republic Act No. 875, the Industrial Peace Act, approved on June
17, 1953, Sections 5 and 15 thereof provided this:
“Section 5. Unfair Labor Practices Cases – (c) xxx. If
after investigation, the court shall be of the opinion that
any person named in the complain has engaged in or is
engaging in any unfair labor practice, then the court
shall state that its findings of fact and shall issue and
cause to be served on such person an order requiring
such person to cease and desist from such unfair labor
practice and take such affirmative action as will
effectuate the policies of this Act, including (but not
limited to) reinstatement of employees with or without
back pay and including rights of the employees prior to
dismissal including seniority.
Section 15. Violation of Duty to Bargain Collectively. –
xxx. “Any employee who has stopped as a consequence
of such look out shall be entitled to back pay.”
(2) Presidential Decree No. 442, the Labor Code of the Philippines
which took effect on November 1, 1974. Its posture on the award
of back wages, as amended, was expressed as follows:
“Article 279. Security of Tenure. – In cases of regular
employment, the employer shall not terminate the
services of an employee except for a just cause or when
authorized by the title. An employee who is unjustly
dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement
without loss of seniority rights and to his back wages
computed from the time his compensation was withheld
from him up to the time of his reinstatement.
(3) Republic Act No. 6715 which took effect March 21, 1989 amending the
Labor Code. Article 279 thereof state in part:
“Article 279. Security of Tenure. – An employee who is
unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to
reinstatement without loss of security rights and other
privileges and to his full back wages, inclusive of
allowances and to his other benefits or their monetary
equivalent computed from the time his compensation is
withheld from him up to the time of his actual
The Court of Industrial Relations (First Division) affirmed
the decision of the labor arbiter dated April 26, 1991
with the modification that back wages shall be paid to
the date of reinstatement.
Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration.
Whether or not the petitioners are only entitled to full back wages equivalent
to three years.
No. In accordance with Republic Act No. 6715, petitioners are entitled to their
full back wages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary
equivalent, from the time their actual compensation was withheld from up to the
time of actual reinstatement.
The clear legislative intent of the amendment in Republic Act No. 675 is to
give more benefits to workers than was previously given them under the “Mercury
Drug earnings elsewhere”’
In other words, the provision calling for “full back wages” to illegally
dismissed employees is clear, plain and free from ambiguity and, therefore, must be
applied without attempted or strained interpretation.
Manahan vs. Employees Compensation Commission
104 SCRA 198
The petitioner, Maria Manahan was the widow of Nazario Manahan, Jr., who
died of “enteric fever” while employed as a classroom teacher in Las Piňas Municipal
School, Las Piňas, Rizal, on May 8, 1975.
The petitioner filed a claim with the Government Service Insurance System
(GSIS) for death benefit under Presidential Decree 626.
On June 19, 1975, the GSIS denied the claim on a finding that the ailment of
Nazario Manahan, Jr. was not an occupational disease. The petitioner filed a motion
for reconsideration on the ground that the deceased was in perfect health when
admitted to the service and that the ailment of said deceased was attributable to his
GSIS affirmed the denial of the claim on the ground that “enteric fever” or
“paratyphoid” is similar in effect to “typhoid fever,” in the sense that both are
brought about by ‘salmonella organisms.”
Petitioner appealed to the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) which
affirmed the decision of the GSIS. Now, petitioner filed a petition to review the
decision of the ECC.
Whether or not the intent of the Workers’ Compensation Act applies in
claiming the death benefit of the petitioner’s deceased.
Yes. In case of doubt, it should be resolved in favor f the worker, and that
social legislation – like Women’s Compensation Act and the Labor Code – should be
liberally construed to attain their laudable objective, in other words, to give relief to
the workman and/or his dependents in the event that the former should die or
sustain an injury.
In this case, applying the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, the
presumption of compensability subsists in favor of the claimant. The decision of ECC
was set aside and the GSIS was ordered to pay the petitioner the amount of P600 as
death compensation benefit and P600 as attorney’s fees; to reimburse the petitioner
expenses incurred for medical services, hospitalization and medicines of the
deceased, Nazario Manahan , Jr., duly supported by paper receipts, and to pay
administrative fees.
See Stat Con, Laurel, p. 76
Villavert vs. Employees Compensation Commission
The petitioner, Donna Villavert, was the mother of the late Marcelino Villavert
who died of acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis on December 12, 1975. He was
employed as a code verifier in the Philippine Constabulary. The day before he died,
he performed his duties not only as a code verifier but also handled administrative
functions, computer operation and typing jobs. He was also required to render
overtime. When he went home and went to bed, Marcelino was found by his mother
gasping for breath, perspiring profusely, and mumbling incoherent words. He was
sent to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 5:30 in the morning. The petitioner
filed a claim for income benefits for the death of her son under P.D. 626.
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) denied the claim on the
ground that acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis is not an occupational disease and that
the petitioner has failed to show that there was a casual connection between the
fatal ailment Marcelino and the nature of his employment.
The petitioner appealed to the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC)
which affirmed on May 31, 1978 the decision of GSIS denying the claim. Now, this is
a petition to review the decision of the ECC.
Whether or not Article 4 of the Labor Code of the Philippines’ interpretation or
application applies in claiming the income benefits for the death of the petitioner’s
Yes. Article 4 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended, provides that
“All doubts in the implementation and interpretation of this Code, including its
implementing rules and regulations shall be resolved in favor of the labor.
The decision of the ECC was set aside and the GSIS was ordered to pay the
petitioner benefits in the amount of P6,000.00.
See Stat Con, Laurel, p. 77
Perez vs. Dela Torre
485 SCRA 547, A.C. No. 6160, 30 March 2006
On 30 July 2003, complainant Nestor Perez charged respondent Atty. Danilo
dela Torre with misconduct unbecoming of a lawyer for representing conflicting
Atty. dela Torre, while being retained by the family of the murder victim
Resurreccion Barrios assisted in the drafting of an extrajudicial confession of Sonny
Boy Ilo and Diego Avila, two suspects in the kidnapping for ransom and murder of
Mr. Barrios. The IBP recommended the suspension of Atty. dela Torre for two (2)
years for violation of Rule 15.03of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).
Whether or not Atty. dela Torre committed misconduct unbecoming of a
Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that the respondent clearly violated Rule 15.03
of the CPR which prohibits a lawyer from representing conflicting interests except by
written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
Floresca vs. Philex Mining Corp.
136 SCRA 142
Several miners were killed in a cave-in at one of Philex Mining Corp’s mine
sites. The heirs of the miners were able to recover under the Workmen’s
Compensation Act (WCA). Thereafter, a special committee report indicated that the
company failed to provide the miners with adequate safety protection. The heirs
decided to file a complaint for damages before the CFI (now RTC) of Manila.
Philex filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the action was based on
an industrial accident which is covered under the WCA and, therefore, the CFI has no
jurisdiction over the case. Philex argues that work-connected injuries are
compensable exclusively under section 5 and 46 of the WCA.
Philex further contends that the WCA covers work-connected accidents even if
the employer was negligent as the WCA under Section 4-A imposes a 50% additional
compensation in the event that the employer was negligent.
The heirs, however, contend that the CFI has jurisdiction as their complaint is
not based on the WCA but on the Civil Code provisions on damages arising out of
The CFI dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction.
The heirs questioned the dismissal before the Supreme Court.
Does the CFI have jurisdiction over the complaint?
Majority Opinion; Makasiar, J.
Several opinions [amicus curiae] were advanced as to the nature of the
remedies provided for under the WCA, namely:
1) CUMULATIVE – Justice Lazaro is of the opinion that the heirs may file a
complaint for damages (which is different from compensation under the-e
WCA) with the regular courts on the basis of the negligence of an
employer pursuant to the Civil Code provisions.
2) EXCLUSIVE – Atty. (now Senator) Angara believes that recovery under
the WCA is exclusive and therefore precludes an action of damages under
the Civil Code.
3) SELECTIVE – Atty. Bacungan believes that the remedies are selective,
i.e., the heirs had the option of choosing between availing of the
compensation under the WCA or filing an action for damages arising out of
negligence under the provisions of the Civil Code. If the heirs had chosen
one remedy and have collected under that remedy, they can no longer
avail of the other remedy.
The allegations of the complaint indicate that there was a breach of contract
which may justify an award for damages under the pertinent provisions of the Civil
Code. The question now is whether or not the action for damages will prosper,
notwithstanding the fact that the heirs have already received compensation under
the WCA.
The Court agreed with the petition of Atty. Bacungan that the two remedies
are selective. The WCA is based on a theory of compensation distinct from existing
theories on damages. Recovery under the WCA is not based on any theory on the
part of the employer.
Since the two remedies are distinct and the heirs have the option of selecting
which remedy to avail of, are the heirs now precluded from selecting the remedy
under the Civil Code, considering that they had already availed of (and received
compensation) under the WCA?
The heirs have a choice but they cannot pursue both choices simultaneously.
The court, however, noted that the heirs only learned of the negligence report
after they had already availed and received compensation under the WCA; they thus
could not make an intelligent and informed choice at the time they opted for the
WCA remedy.
The heirs were thus allowed to pursue the Civil Code remedy but they are not
entitled to recover under both remedies. Any payment they received under the WCA
shall be deducted from the court’s award of damages, if any.
Manuel Guerrero and Maria Guerrero vs. CA and Apolinario Benitez
In 1969, plaintiff Apolinario Benitez was taken by defendants-spouses Manuel
and Maria Guerrero to take care of their 60 heads of cows which were grazing within
their 21-hectare coconut plantation situated at Maria Aurrora, Sub-province of
Aurora, Quezon. The petitioners entered into an agreement on May 2, 1973 which in
clear and categorical terms establishes respondent as a tenant. Plaintiff was allowed
for that purpose to put up a hut where he and his family stayed. In addition, he was
made to clean the already fruit bearing coconut trees. During harvest time which
usually comes every three months, he was also made to pick coconuts and gather
the fallen ones from a 16-hecatre portion of the 21-hectare plantation. For his work
related to the coconuts, he shared 1/3 of the proceeds from the copra he processed
and sold in the market. For attending to the cows he was paid P500 a year.
In 1973, plaintiff was refrained from gathering coconuts from the 10-hectare
portion of the 16-hectare part of the plantation from where he used to gather
coconuts. He felt aggrieved. He brought the matter to the Office of the President in
Malacaňang, and to an execution of an agreement that their relationship will be
guided by the provisions of R.A. 1199. Defendants Guerreros also caused to be
demolished a part of the cottage where plaintiff and his family lived, hence, this case
for reinstatement with damages. The lower court decides in favor of Benitez.
Petition for review poses the following questions of law by Guerreros by virtue
of Agricultural Tenancy Act (Republic Act 1199) and Agricultural Reform Code
(Republic Act 3844) challenged decision by the courts below, based as they are on
such share tenancy agreements, have lost their validity cessante ratio legis, cessat
ipsa lex.
Whether or not a tenancy relationship exists between the parties Manuel
Guerrero, et al. and Apolinario Benitez, et al. as to determine their respective rights
and obligations to one another?, Agricultural Tenancy Act (RA 1199) and Agricultural
Reform Code (RA 3844) is applied to this case?
RA 1199, RA 3844, RA 6389 and PD 1038 (Strengthening the Security of
Tenure Tillers in Non-Rice/Corn Producing Agricultural lands) all provide for the
security of tenure of agricultural tenants. Ejectment may be effected only if there is
violation in the part of the tenant. Respondent Benitez has physically possessed the
landholding continuously from 1969 until he was ejected from it. A hired laborer
would not build his own house at his expense at the risk of losing the same upon his
dismissal or termination any time. Such conduct is more consistent with that of an
agricultural tenant who enjoys security of tenure under the law. Cultivation is
another important factor in determining the existence of tenancy relationships and
they have a “tercio basis’ that is, a 1/3 to 2/3 sharing in favor of the petitionerlandowners.
Juan and Filomena Bello vs. CA, Judge Francisco Llamas and RP
Petitioners spouses were charged on August 25, 1970 for estafa before the
City Court of Pasay and they were convicted and sentenced under respondent city
court’s decision on February 26, 1971 to six (6) months and one (1) day of prision
correccional and to indemnify the offended party the sum of P1,000.00 with costs of
suit. The offended party, Atty. de Guzman, had represented his son who was a
suspect with two others for robbery before the City Fiscal’s Office (CFI) and upon
case dismissal of the charged P1,000.00 as attorney’s fees, and since they had no
money to pay him, required them to sign the receipt dated June 25, 1970 in his
favor for an imaginary lady’s ring to sell “on commission basis” for P1,000.00.
Commission basis when his only association with them was his demand of payment
of his P1,000.00 attorney’s fee.
Petitioners filed their notice of appeal of the adverse judgment to CFI of Pasay
City, but the prosecution filed a “petition to dismiss appeal”. He appeal had been
taken directly to the Court of Appeals (CA) as provided by Section 87 of the Judiciary
Act 296, as amended.
Petitioners opposed the prosecution’s dismissal motion and invoking the
analogous provision of Rule 50, Section 3. The CFI ordered the dismissal of the
appeal and remand of the records to the city court “for execution of judgment.”
Petitioners averred that they were not notified of the order of dismissal.
Hence, they filed with the city court their “motion to elevate appeal to the CA” on
December 7, 1971.
Petitioners spouses then filed on January 14, 1972 their petition for prohibition and
mandamus against the People and respondent city and to compel respondent city
court to elevate their appeal to the CA.
The CA, however, per its decision on December 17, 1973, dismissed the petition,
after finding that the city court’s judgment was directly appealable to it.
The decision of the CA dismissing the petition is hereby set aside and in lieu
thereof, judgment is hereby rendered granting the petition against respondent city
court which is hereby enjoined from executing its judgment of conviction against
Is Rule 50, Section 3 applicable in the given case?
The Court finds merit in the petition and holds that the CFI acted with grave
abuse of discretion in dismissing petitioners-accused’s appeal. We find that the CA
also acted with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing their petition instead of
setting aside the challenged order of the CFI. The appellate court while recognizing
that petitioners’ appeal taken to the CFI was “procedurally wrong.”
Rule 50, Section 3. (In a misdirected appeal to the CA of a case that pertains
to the CFI’s jurisdiction, the said Rule expressly provides that the CA “shall not
dismiss the appeal but shall certify to the proper court.”
Parish Priest of Roman Catholic Church of Victoria, Tarlac vs. Rigor
No. L-22036, 30 April 1979
This case is about the efficaciousness or the enforceability of a device of rice
lands located at Guimba, Nueva Ecija, with a total area of around 44 hectares. That
estate was made in the will of the late Fr. Pascual Rigor, a native of Victoria, Tarlac,
in favor of his nearest male relative who would study priesthood.
The parish priest of Victoria who claimed to be a trustee of the said lands
appealed to the SC from the decision of the CA affirming the order of the probate
court, declaring that the said devise was inoperative (Rigor vs. Parish Priest of
Roman Catholic Church of Victoria, Tarlac, CA-G.R. No. 24319-R, 1 August 1963).
Fr. Rigor, a parish priest of Pulilan, Bulacan, died on Aug. 9, 1935, leaving a
will executed on Oct. 29, 1933 which was probated by the C. F. I. of Tarlac. In its
order of Dec. 5, 1935, named as devises in the will were the testator’s nearest
relatives, namely, his tree sisters: Florencia Rigor- Escobar, Belina Rigor-Manaloto
and Nestora Rigor-Quiambao. The testator also gave a devise to his cousin,
Fortunato Gamalinda.
In addition the will contained the following controversial bequest:
1. That he bequeathed the rice lands to anyone of his nearest male relatives
who would pursue an ecclesiastical career until his ordination as a priest.
2. the devisee could not sell the rice lands
3. That the devisee at the inception of his studies in sacred theology could enjoy
and administer the rice lands, and once ordained as a priest, he could
continue enjoying and administering the same up to the time of his death but
the devisee would seize to enjoy and administer the rice lands if he
discontinued his studied for the priesthood.
4. That if the devisee became a priest, he would be obliged to celebrated every
year twenty masses wit prayers for the repose of the soul of Fr. Rigor and his
5. That if the devisee is excommunicated, he would be divested of the legacy ad
administration of the rice lands would pass to the incumbent parish priest of
Victoria and his successors.
6. That during the interval of time that there is not qualified devisee, as
contemplated above, the administration of the rice lands would under the
responsibility of the incumbent parish priest of Victoria and his successors,
7. That the parish priest administrator of the rice lands would accumulate
annually the product thereof, obtaining or getting from the annual produce
five percent thereof for his administration and of his corresponding to the
twenty masses with prayers that the parish priest would celebrate for each
year, depositing the balance of the income of the devisee in the bank in the
name of his bequest.
To implement the foregoing bequest, the administratrix, in 1940 submitted the
project of partition containing the ff. item
“that it be adjudicated in favor of the legacy purported to be given to the nearest
male relative who shall take the Priesthood, and in the interim to be administered
by the actual Catholic priest of the Roman Catholic Church, of Victoria, Tarlac,
Philippines, or his successors the real properties herein below indicated to wit:
Judge Cruz in his order of Aug. 15, 1940 approving the project of partition,
directed that after payment if the obligations of the estate (including the sum of
P3,132.26 due to the Church of the Victoria Parish) the administratrix should deliver
to the devisee their respective shares.
In as much as no nephew of the testator claimed the devise and as the
administratrix and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no
right to administer the rice lands, the sale where not delivered to the ecclesiastic.
The testate proceeding remained pending.
About thirteen years after the approval of the project of partition, on Feb. 19,
1954, the petitioner filed in the pending testate proceeding a petition praying for the
appointment of a new administrator (succeeding the deceased administratrix,
Florencia Rigor), who should deliver to the church the said rice lands, and further
praying that the possessors thereof be ordered to render an accounting of the fruits.
The probate court granted the petition. On Jan. 31, 1957 the petitioner filed another
petition for the delivery of rice lands to the church as trustee.
Whether or not the will of Fr. Rigor can be rendered inoperative
Yes. In view of the testamentary provisions, it may be presumed that the
testator really intends to hand down the Riceland to the nearest male relative who
would become a priest, who is forbidden to sell the rice lands, who would lose the
devise if he will discontinue to his studies for the priesthood, or having been
ordained as a priest was excommunicated, and who would be obliged to say twenty
masses with prayers annually for he repose soul of the testator and his parents.
On the other hand, it is clear that the parish priest of Victoria would
administer the rice lands in two conditions: during the interval of time that no
nearest relative of the testator would study for the priesthood and that in case the
nearest relative being ordained a priest and was excommunicated.
In 1935, when the testator died, his nearest legal heirs were his three sisters
and second degree relatives: Mr. Escobar, Mrs. Manaloto and Mrs. Quiambao. When
the testator specified his nearest male relative; he must have had in mind his
nephew or a son of his sister, who would be his third degree relative, or possibly a
grand nephew. But since he could not prognosticate the exact date of his death or
state with certitude what category of nearest male relative would be living at the
time of his death he could not specify that his nearest male relative would be his
nephew or grand nephews (the son of his nephew or niece) and so he had to used
the term “nearest male relative”.
Under Article 1025, of the Civil Code, which states that “In order to be
capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the
succession opens, except in the case of representation, when it is proper”, this court
held that the said bequest refers to the nearest male relative living at the time of his
death and not anytime after his death.
Moreover, it was contended by the legal heirs that the said devisee reality
intended for the testators nephew and godchild, Ramon Quiambao, who was the son
of his sister, Mrs. Nestora Quiambao. To prove the contention, the legal heir
presented in the lower court an affidavit of Beatriz Gamalinda, the maternal
grandmother of Edgardo Cunanan who exposed that after Fr. Rigor’s death, her own
son, Valentin Gamalinda, Jr., did not claim the devise, although he was studying for
the Priesthood at the san Carlos Seminary, because she (Beatriz) knew that Fr. Rigor
had intended that devise for his nearest male relative belonging to the Rigor family.
Moreover, Mrs. Gamalinda further stated that her own grandchild, Edgardo Cunanan,
was not the one contemplated in Fr. Rigor’s will and that Edgardo’s father told her
that he was not consulted by the parish priest of Victoria before the latter filed his
second motion for reconsideration which was based on the ground that the testator’s
grandnephew, Edgardo, was studying for the priesthood at the San Jose Seminary.
Unfortunately, Edgardo ceased to be a seminarian in 1961 and for that reason the
legal heirs informed the CA that the probate court’s order adjudicating the rice land
to the parish priest of Victoria had no more leg to stand up.
Following the interpretation of the will, the question would be whether at the
time Fr. Rigor died in 1935 he had a nephew who was studying for priesthood. That
was answered in paragraph 4 of the appellant’s petitions of February 19, 1954 and
January 31, 1957 wherein he alleged that “ no nearest male relative of the late Fr.
Rigor ha sever studied for the priesthood. Inasmuch as the testator was not survived
by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest
in question was ineffectual or inoperative. Thus, the administration of the rice land
by the parish priest of Victoria, as the envisaged in the will, was likewise inoperative.
In connection to this, the CA correctly ruled that this case is covered by Art. 888 of
the old Civil Code, now Art. 956, which provides that “if the bequest for any reasons
should be inoperative, it shall be merged into the state, except in cases of
substitution and those in which the right of accretion exists.”
This case is also covered by Art. 912 (2) of the old Civil Code, now Art. 960
(2), which provides that legal succession takes place when the will (does not
disposed of all that belongs to the testator). There being no substitution nor
accretion as to the said rice lands, the same should be distributed among the
testator’s legal heirs. The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition of the
said rice lands.
Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. TMX Sales, Inc.
205 SCRA 184
Private respondent TMX Sales, Inc. filed its quarterly income tax return for
the 1st quarter of 1981 and consequently paying an income tax on May 15, 1981.
During the subsequent quarters, TMX Sales suffered losses so that when it filed its
annual ITR for the year ended December 31, 1981, it declared net loss amounting to
P6,156,525.00. Thereafter, TMX filed with the Appellate Division of BIR a claim to
refund in the amount of P247,010.00 representing overpaid income tax. This was not
acted upon by the Commissioner of BIR, so, TMX filed for review before the Court of
Tax Appeals (CTA) against Commissioner of BIR to pay the said overpaid income tax.
Commissioner of BIR averred that the petitioner4 is barred from claiming considering
that more than two years had already elapsed between the payments. Consequently,
CTA granted the petition of TMX and ordering the Commissioner of BIR to refund the
amount claimed. Thus, petitioner Commissioner of BIR seeks for the reversal of CTA
Whether or not the two-year prescriptive period to claim a refund of
erroneously collected tax provided for in Section 292 of the National Internal
Revenue Code commence to run from the date the quarterly income tax was paid or
from the date of filing of the Final Adjustment Return.
The filing of a quarterly income tax return required in Section 85 (now Section
68) and implemented per BIR Form 1702-Q and payment of quarterly income tax
should only be considered mere installments of the annual tax due. Consequently,
the two-year prescriptive period provided in Section 292 of the Tax Code should be
computed from the date of filing the Adjustment Return or Annual Income Tax
Return and final payment of income tax. Thus, TMX Sales, Inc. suit for a refund on
March 14, 1984 is not yet barred by prescription. Petition denied. Decision affirmed.
Madrigal and Paterno vs. James J. Rafferty and Concepcion
G.R. No. L-12287, August 7, 1918
Vicente Madrigal and Susana Paterno were legally married prior to January 1,
1914. The marriage was contracted under the provisions of law concerning conjugal
partnerships (sociedad de gananciales). On February 25,1915, Vicente Madrigal filed
sworn declaration on the prescribed form with the Collector of Internal Revenue
(CIR), showing, as his total net income for the year 1914, the sum of P292,302.73.
Subsequently Madrigal submitted the claim that the said P292,302.73 did not
represent his income for the year 1914, but was in fact the income of the conjugal
partnership existing between himself and his wife Susana Paterno, and that in
computing and assessing the additional income tax provided by the Act of Congress
of October 3, 1913, the income declared by Vicente Madrigal should be divided into
two equal parts, one-half to be considered the income of Vicente Madrigal and the
other half of Susana Paterno.
The Plaintiffs want for the recovery of the sum P3,786.08, alleged to have
been wrongfully and illegally collected by the defendants from the plaintiff, Vicente
Madrigal, under the provisions of the Act of Congress known as the Income Tax Law.
The burden of the complaint is that if the income tax for the year 1914 had been
correctly and lawfully computed there would have been due payable by each of the
plaintiff the sum of P2,921.09, which taken together amounts to a total of P5,842.18
instead of P9,669.21, erroneously and unlawfully collected from the plaintiff Vicente
Madrigal, with the result that plaintiff Madrigal has paid as income tax for the year
1914, P3,786.08, in excess of the sum lawfully due and payable.
Whether or not the taxes imposed by the Income Tax Law are, as the name
implies, taxes upon income tax and not capital and property.
In all instances, the income of husband and wife whether from separate
estates or not, is taken as a whole for the purpose of the normal tax. Where the wife
has income from a separate estate makes return made by her husband, while the
incomes are added together for the purpose of normal tax they are taken separately
for the purpose of the additional tax. In this case, the wife has no separate income
within the contemplation of the Income Tax Law. The Income Tax Law was drafted
by the Congress of the United States and has been by the Congress extended to the
Philippine Islands. Being thus a law of American origin and being peculiarly intricate
in its provisions, the authoritative decision of the official who is charged with
enforcing it has peculiar force for the Philippines. It has come to be a well-settled
rule that great weight should be given to the construction placed upon a revenue
law, whose meaning is doubtful, by the department charged with its execution.