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Lopez Vs. CSC Case Summary Assignment
Statutory Construction (University of Southeastern Philippines)
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HON. GEMILIANO C. LOPEZ, JR., in his capacity as City Mayor of Manila, Petitioner vs. THE
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, HON. DANILO R. LACUNA, in his capacity as Vice-Mayor and
Presiding Officer of the City Council of Manila, and THE CITY COUNCIL OF MANILA,
G.R. No. 87119. April 16, 1991
On Sept. 13, 1988, Danilo Lucana as the Vice-Mayor and Presiding Officer of the City Council of
Manila, submitted appointments of nineteen officers in the Executive Staff of the Office of the
Presiding Officer, City Council of Manila, through the Regional Director of NCR based on the
provisions of Section 15 of Republic Act No. 409. The City Budget Officer of Manila requested
the recommendation of the Personnel Bureau of the Mayor’s Office, which forwarded the query
about the payroll of the newly appointed employees of the City Council to the City Legal officer
who, in a third endorsement dated Sept. 19, 1988, rendered an opinion that the proper
appointing officer is the City Mayor and not the City Council.
In line with this, the Commission promulgated Resolution No. 89-075, and held that it is the City
Council to which the appointing power is vested. Petitioner also contends that Sec. 15 of R.A.
No. 409 was repealed by Sec. 4 of R.A. No. 5185 and Batas Blg. 337.
Whether or not Sec. 15 of Republic Act No. 409 has been repealed and consequently, the City
Council can no longer submit appointments to Council positions.
No. Sec. 15 of R.A. No. 409 has not been repealed.
The SC concurred with the Solicitor General’s point that it is a canon of statutory construction
that a special law prevails over a general law, regardless of their dates of passage, and the
special law is considered an exception to the general law. Every effort must be exerted to
avoid conflict of statutes and if possible, the laws must be reconciled in that manner. In the
case at bar, Republic Act No. 409 which provides specifically for the organization of the
Government of the City of Manila, is a special law. Whereas Republic Act No. 5185 and Batas
Blg. 337, which apply to municipal governments in general, are general laws. Repeals of laws by
implication moreover are not favored, and the mere repugnancy between two statutes should
be very clear to warrant the court in holding that the later in time repeals the other.
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