Laceste vs. Santos 56 Phil 472 Exculpatory Circumstance Facts: 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 crimes.” Issue: Whether or not Article 344 of the RPC shall be applied retroactively in the case at bar. Ruling: 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) Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not an alien, under our Constitution, may acquire residential land. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: 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). Ruling: 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) Facts: 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 fine. Issue: Whether or not the lower court’s decision intended subsidiary imprisonment to apply only to failure to pay indemnity and not the fine. Ruling: 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. Note: 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) Facts: 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 that: “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. Issue: 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. Ruling: 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) Facts: 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 doubt. 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. Issue: Whether or not criminal intent is a requisite of conviction in violation of Section 1 of Act No. 1696 of the Philippine. Ruling: 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) Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not Article 338 (1) refers only to acknowledged natural children. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not Santayana must be convicted for illegal possession of firearms. Ruling: 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) Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not can maintain the action. Ruling: 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) Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the principle of EXPRESSION UNIUS EST EXCLUSION is applicable to the case at bar. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the plaintiff, being a foreign insurance company. Has the capacity to sue through the Philippine courts. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in denying the petitioner’s application for naturalization. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the petition is ready for a judicial review. Held: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the extra one (1) day of leap year is counted as to the contention of the Appellant. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to such exemption. Held/Ruling: 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, respectively. Decision reversed. Velasco vs. Republic of the Philippines Facts: 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. Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in denying the petition for naturalization. Ruling: 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) Facts: 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 reinstatement. 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. Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are only entitled to full back wages equivalent to three years. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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 employment. 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. Issue: Whether or not the intent of the Workers’ Compensation Act applies in claiming the death benefit of the petitioner’s deceased. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: 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 son. Ruling: 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 Facts: On 30 July 2003, complainant Nestor Perez charged respondent Atty. Danilo dela Torre with misconduct unbecoming of a lawyer for representing conflicting interests. 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). Issue: Whether or not Atty. dela Torre committed misconduct unbecoming of a lawyer. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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 negligence. The CFI dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The heirs questioned the dismissal before the Supreme Court. Issue: Does the CFI have jurisdiction over the complaint? Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: 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? Ruling: 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 Facts: 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 petitioners-accused. Issue: Is Rule 50, Section 3 applicable in the given case? Ruling: 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 Facts: 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 parents. 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, and 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 LEGACY OF THE CHURCH “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. Issue: Whether or not the will of Fr. Rigor can be rendered inoperative Ruling: 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 Facts: 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 decision. Issue: 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. Ruling: 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 Facts: 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. Issue: 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. Ruling: 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.