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Unformatted text preview: STATUTORY CASES
Case Title: G.R. No. L-19650 (September 29, 1966)
Caltex (Philippines), Inc. vs. Enrico Palomar in his capacity as The Postmaster General
The case before us now is a petition for declaratory relief against Postmaster General Enrico Palomar,
parying â€œthat judgment be rendered declaring its ‗Caltex Hooded Pump Contest‘ not to be violative of
the Postal Law, and ordering respondent to allow petitioner the use of the mails to bring the contest to the
attention of the public‖.
In 1960, Caltex launched a promotional scheme called â€œCaltex Hooded Pump Contestâ€? which calls
for participants to â€œestimate the actual number of liters a hooded gas pump at each Caltex station will
dispense during a specified period.â€? The contest is open to all â€œmotor vehicle owners and/or licensed
drivresâ€?. There is neither a fee or consideration required nor a purchase required to be made. The forms
are available upon request at each Caltex station and there is also a sealed can where accomplished entry
stubs may be deposited.
Caltex wishes to use mails amongst the media for publicizing about the contest, thus, Caltex sent
representatives to the postal authorities for advance clearing for the use of mails for the contest. However,
the postal authorities denied their request in view of sections 1954 (a), 1982, and 1983 of the Revised
Administrative Code (Anti-lottery provisions of the Postal Law), which prohibits the use of mail in conveying
any information concerning non-mailable schemes, such as lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme.
Caltex sought for a reconsideration and stressed that there was no consideration involved in the part of the
contestant(s) but the Postmaster General maintained their view and even threatened Caltex that if the
contest was conducted, â€œa fraud order will have to be issued against it (Caltex) and all its
representativesâ€?. This leads to Caltex‘s filing of this petition for declaratory relief.
The court ruled that the â€œpetitioner does not violate the Postal Law and the respondent has no right to
bar the public distribution or said rules by the mailsâ€?. The respondent then appealed.
a) Whether or not the petition states a sufficient cause of action for declaratory relief?
b) Whether or not the proposed â€œCaltex Hooded Pump Contestâ€? violates the Postal Law?
Recapitulating, we hold that the petition herein states a sufficient cause of action for declaratory relief, and
that the ―Caltex Hooded Pump Contest‖ as described in the rules submitted by the appellee does not
transgress the provisions of the Postal Law. ACCORDINGLY, the judgment appealed from is affirmed. No costs.
Declaratory Relief is the interpretation of several constitutional provisions. Based on Section 1 Rule 63 of
the Rules of Court, an action for declaratory relief should be filed by a person interested under a deed, a
will, a contract or other written instrument, and whose rights are affected by a statute, an executive order, a
regulation or an ordinance.
Requisites for Declaratory Relief:
- There is justiciable controversy
- The controversy is between persons whose interests are adverse
- The party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy
- The issue is ripe for judicial determination
* The â€œCaltex Hooded Pump Contestâ€? is a mere â€œgratuitous distribution of property by
chanceâ€?. It does not qualify as a lottery due to the lack of consideration. An act to be deemed as a lottery
must constitute a (1) prize, (2) chance, and (3) consideration. The participants are not required to do
anything or purchase anything from Caltex in order to participate in the contest. The true test for having
consideration is â€œwhether the participant pays a valuable consideration for the chance, and not whether
those conducting the enterprise receive something of value in return for the distribution of the prize.â€? National Federation of Labor (NFL) v. Eisma
GR L-61236, 31 January 1984 (127 SCRA 419)
En Banc, Fernando (p): 9 concur, 1 concur with comments, 1 took no part, 1 on leave
Facts: On 5 March 1982, the National Federation of Labor filed with the Ministry of Labor and Employment
(Labor Relations Division, Zamboanga City), a petition for direct certification as the sole exclusive collective
bargaining representative of the monthly paid employees at the Lumbayao manufacturing plant of the
Zamboanga Wood Products, Inc. (Zambowood). On 17 April 1982, such employees charged the firm before
the same office for underpayment of monthly living allowances. On 3 May 1982, the union issued a notice
of strike against the firm, alleging illegal termination of Dionisio Estioca, president of the said local union;
unfair labor practice; nonpayment of living allowances; and ―employment of oppressive alien management
personnel without proper permit. The strike began on 23 May 1982.
On 9 July 1982, Zambowood filed a complaint with the trial court against the officers and members of the
union, for ―damages for obstruction of private property with prayer for preliminary injunction and/or
restraining order.‖ The union filed a motion for the dismissal and for the dissolution of the restraining order,
and opposition to the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction, contending that the incidents of picketing
are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter pursuant to Batas Pambansa 227 (Labor Code,
Article 217) and not to the Court of First Instance. The motion was denied. Hence, the petition for certiorari.
Issue: Whether construction of the law is required to determine jurisdiction.
Held: The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come
only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by the sovereign authority which
organizes the court; and it is given only by law. Jurisdiction is never presumed; it must be conferred by law
in words that do not admit of doubt. Since the jurisdiction of courts and judicial tribunals is derived
exclusively from the statutes of the forum, the issue should be resolved on the basis of the law or statute in
force. Therefore, since (1) the original wording of Article 217 vested the labor arbiters with jurisdiction; since
(2) Presidential Decree 1691 reverted the jurisdiction with respect to money claims of workers or claims for
damages arising from employer-employee relations to the labor arbiters after Presidential Decree 1367
transferred such jurisdiction to the ordinary courts, and since (3) Batas Pambansa 130 made no change
with respect to the original and exclusive jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters with respect to money claims of
workers or claims for damages arising from employer-employee relations; Article 217 is to be applied the
way it is worded. The exclusive original jurisdiction of a labor arbiter is therein provided for explicitly. It
means, it can only mean, that a court of first instance judge then, a regional trial court judge now, certainly
acts beyond the scope of the authority conferred on him by law when he entertained the suit for damages,
arising from picketing that accompanied a strike.
The Supreme Court, thus, granted the writ of certiorari, and nullified and set aside the 20 July 1982 order
issued by the court a quo. It granted the writ of prohibition, and enjoined the Judge of said court, or
whoever acts in his behalf in the RTC to which this case is assigned, from taking any further action on the
civil case (Civil Case 716 ), except for the purpose of dismissing it. It also made permanent the
restraining order issued on 5 August 1982. Paat v. CA
GR 111107, 10 January 1997 (266 SCRA 167)
Second Division, Torres Jr. (p): 4 concurring
Facts: On 19 May 1989, Victoria de Guzman‘s truck was seized by Department of Environment and
Natural Resources personnel in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya while on its ways to Bulacan from San Jose,
Baggao, Cagayan because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest products
found concealed in the truck. On 23 May 1989, Aritao CENRO‘s Jovito Layugan issued an order of confiscation of the truck. Its owner, De Guzman, failed to submit the required explanation within the
reglementary period set by Layugan. On 22 June 1989, DENR Regional Executive Director Rogelio
Baggayan sustained the Alitao CENRO‘s action of confiscation and ordered the forfeiture of the truck
invoking Section 68-A of Presidential Decree 705, as amended by Executive Order 277. De Guzman filed
for reconsideration but was denied.
The case was appealed to the Secretary of DENR. Pending resolution, however, a suit for replevin (Civil
Case 4031), was filed by De Guzman and company against Layugan and Baggayan with the RTC Cagayan
(Branch 2), contending that the only the court is authorized to confiscate and forfeit conveyances used in
the transporting illegal forest products, pursuant to the second paragraph of Section 68. De Guzman further
contended that the seizure is illegal, as she did not use the truck in the commission of the crime (of
qualified theft under Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code, punishable under Section 68), as
allegedly admitted by the Regional Executive Director, releasing her from criminal liability. The trial court
thereafter issued a writ ordering the return of the truck to De Guzman. The petitioners filed a petition for
certiorari with the Court of Appeals. The appellate court sustained the trial court‘s order ruling that the
question involved is purely a legal one. Hence, the petition.
Issues: Whether construction admits that the authority to confiscate or to forfeit conveyances belongs to
Whether the truck was used in the commission of an offense under Section 68 of Presidential
Decree 705, as amended by Executive Order 277 Held: The construction that conveyances are subject of confiscation by the courts exclusively (pursuant to
Section 28, paragraph 2) unduly restricts the clear intention of the law and inevitably reduces the other
provision of Section 68-A, aside to the fact that conveyances are not mentioned nor included in the former
provision. In the construction of statutes, it must be read in such a way as to give effect to the purpose
projected in the statute. Statutes should be construed in the light of the object to be achieved and the evil or
mischief to be suppressed, and they should be given such construction as will advance the object,
suppress the mischief, and secure the benefits intended. In the case at bar, the phrase ―to dispose of the
same‖ is broad enough to cover the act of forfeiting conveyances in favor of the government. The only
limitation is that it should be made ―in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter.‖
Further, when the statute is clear and explicit, there is hardly room for any extended court ratiocination or
rationalization of the law. The language of the amendatory executive order, when it eliminated the phrase
―shall be guilty of qualified theft as defined and punished under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal
Code ― and inserted the words ― shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Article 309 and 310 of
the Revised Penal Code,‖ meant that the act of cutting, gathering, collecting, removing, or possessing
forest products without authority constitutes a distinct offense independent now from the crime of theft
under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code, but the penalty to be imposed is that provided for
under Article 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code.
The Supreme Court granted the petition, reversed and set aside the 16 October decision and 14 July 1992
resolution of the CA, made permanent the restraining order promulgated on 27 September 1993, and
directed the DENR secretary to resolve the controversy with utmost dispatch. People v. Mapa
GR L-22301, 30 August 1967 (20 SCRA 1164)
En Banc, Fernando (p): 9 concur
Facts: Mario M. Mapa was charged for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in an information
dated 14 August 1962 in violation of Section 878 of the Revise Administrative Code in connection with
Section 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended by CA 56 and as further amended by RA 4.
Accused admits to possession of firearm on ground of being a secret agent of Governor Feliciano Leviste
of Batangas. On 27 November 1963, the lower court rendered a decision convicting the accused of the
crime and sentenced him to imprisonment for one year and one day to two years. As the appeal involves a
question of law, it was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether or not a secret agent duly appointed and qualified as such of the governor is exempt from
the requirement of having a license of firearm Held: The law is explicit that it is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm, detached parts of firearms
or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or implement used or intended to be used in the manufacture of
firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition except when such firearms are in possession of such public
officials and public servants for use in the performance of their official duties; as those firearms and
ammunitions which are regularly and lawfully issued to officers, soldiers, sailors or marines, the Philippines
Constabulary, guards in the employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police, provincial governors,
lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of
provincial prisoners and jails. It is the first and fundamental duty of courts to apply the law; Construction
and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate
without them. The law cannot be any clearer, there being no provision made for a secret agent.
Reliance in the decision in People v. Macarandang is misplaced, and the case no longer speaks with
authority to the extent that the present decision conflicts with. It may be note that in People v.
Macarandang, a secret agent was acquitted on appeal on the assumption that the appointment of the
accused as a secret agent to assist in the maintenance of peace and order campaigns and detection of
crimes sufficiently put him within the category of a ‗peace officer‘ equivalent even to a member of the
municipal police expressly covered by section 879, Thus, in the present case, therefore, the conviction
The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed judgment. Daoang v. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas
GR L-34568, 28 March 1988 (159 SCRA 369)
Second Division, Padilla (p): 4 concurring
Facts: On 23 March 1971, spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy filed a petition with the Municipal Court of
San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte seeking the adoption of minors Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos. However,
minors Roderick and Rommel Daoang, assisted by their father and guardian ad litem, the petitioners herein
filed an opposition to the said adoption. They contended that the spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy had
a legitimate daughter named Estrella Agonoy, oppositors mother, who died on 1 March 1971, and therefore
said spouses were disqualified to adopt under Article 335 of the Civil Code, which provides that those who
have legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children or children by legal fiction cannot adopt.
Issue: Whether the spouses Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos are disqualified to adopt under paragraph
1 of Article 335 of the Civil Code.
Held: The words used in paragraph (1) of Article 335 of the Civil Code, in enumerating the persons who
cannot adopt, are clear and unambiguous. When the New Civil Code was adopted, it changed the word
―descendant,‖ found in the Spanish Civil Code to which the New Civil Code was patterned, to ―children.‖
The children thus mentioned have a clearly defined meaning in law and do not include grandchildren. Well known is the rule of statutory construction to the effect that a statute clear and unambiguous on its face
need not be interpreted. The rule is that only statutes with an ambiguous or doubtful meaning may be the
subjects of statutory construction. In the present case, Roderick and Rommel Daoang, the grandchildren of
Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos-Agonoy, cannot assail the adoption of Quirino Bonilla and Wilson
Marcos by the Agonoys.
The Supreme Court denied the petition, and affirmed the judgment of the Municipal Court of San Nicolas,
Ilocos Norte (Special Proceedings 37), wthout pronouncement as to costs. Paras v. Comelec (Resolution)
GR 123169, 4 November 1996 (264 SCRA 49)
En Banc, Francisco (p): 14 concurring
Facts: Danilo E. Paras is the incumbent Punong Barangay of Pula, Cabanatuan City who won during the
1994 barangay election. A petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by the registered voters of
the barangay, which was approved by the Comelec. Petition signing was scheduled on 14 October 1995,
where at least 29.30% of the registered voters signed the petition, well above the 25% requirement
provided by law. The Comelec also set the recall election on 13 November 1995, but which was deferred to
16 December 1995 due to the petitioner‘s opposition. To prevent the holding of the recall election, petitioner
filed before the RTC Cabanatuan City a petition for injunction (Special Proceeding Civil Action 2254-AF),
with the trial court issuing a restraining order. After conducting a summary hearing, the trial court lifted the
restraining order, dismissed the petition and required petitioner and his counsel to explain why they should
not be cited for contempt for misrepresenting that the barangay recall election was without Comelec
In a resolution dated 5 January 1996, the Comelec, for the third time, re-scheduled the recall election on 13
January 1996; hence, the instant petition for certiorari with urgent prayer for injunction. The petitioner
contends that no recall can take place within one year preceding a regular local election, the Sangguniang
Kabataan elections slated on the first Monday of May 1996. He cited Associated Labor Union v. LetrondoMontejo to support the argument, the Court in which case considered the SK election as a regular local
election. Issue: Whether the Sangguniang Kabataan election is to be construed as a regular local election in a recall
Held: It is a rule in statutory construction that every part of the statute must be interpreted with reference to
the context, i.e., that every part of the statute must be considered together with the other parts, and kept
subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. Further, the spirit, rather than the letter of a law
determines its construction; hence, a statute must be read according to its spirit and intent. The too literal
interpretation of the law leads to absurdity which the Court cannot countenance. A too-literal reading of the
law constrict rather than fulfill its purpose and defeat the intention of its authors. That intention is usually
found not in ―the letter that killeth but in the spirit that vivifieth‖. In the present case, Paragraph (b) of
Section 74 construed together with paragraph (a) merely designates the period when such elective local
official may be subject of a recall election. The Sangguniang Kabataan elections cannot be considered a
regular election, as this would render inutile the recall provision of the Local Government Code. It would be
more in keeping with the intent of the recall provision of the Code to construe regular local election as one
referring to an election where the office held by the local elective official sought to be recalled will be
contested and be filled by the electorate.
The Supreme Court, however, has to dismiss the petition for having become moot and academic, as the
next regular elections involving the barangay office concerned were seven months away. Thus, the
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