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Time and again [courts] have decreed that statutes are to be construed in the light of the purposes to be achievedand the evils sought to be remedied. Thus in construing a statute the reason for its enactment should be kept in mindand the statute should be construed with reference to the intended scope and purpose. The court may consider thespirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or woulddefeat the clear purpose of the lawmakers.S TAT U T O R Y C O N S T R U C T I O N R E V I E W E RB Y: S A R A H K R I S T I N D E G U Z M A N , 2 0 1 4
S TAT C O NC H A P T E R S I – V I I IB O O K : N O L I D I A ZP R O F E S S O R : F I S C A L M A R C E L O M E N D O Z AWhile the act of petitioner may be covered by other provisions of law, such does not constitute an offense within theconcept of C.A. No. 142 as amended under which he is prosecuted. Moreover, as C.A. No. 142 is a penal statute, itshould be construed strictly against the State and in favor of the accused. The reason for this principle is thetenderness of the law for the rights of individuals and the object is to establish a certain rule by conformity to whichmankind would be safe, and the discretion of the court limited.S TAT U T O R Y C O N S T R U C T I O N R E V I E W E RB Y: S A R A H K R I S T I N D E G U Z M A N , 2 0 1 4
S TAT C O NC H A P T E R S I – V I I IB O O K : N O L I D I A ZP R O F E S S O R : F I S C A L M A R C E L O M E N D O Z APENAL LAWS ARE CONSTRUED LIBERALLY IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINESVS. WALPAN LADJAALAMY MILAPILG.R. NOS. 136149-51. SEPTEMBER 19, 2000Appellee: People of the PhilippinesAppellant: Walpan Ladjaalam alias “Warpan”FACTS:Four Informations were filed against appellant Walpan Ladjaalam in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Zamboanga City(Branch 16), three of which he was found guilty, to wit: 1) maintaining a drug den in violation of Section 15-A, ArticleIII, of Republic Act No. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972); 2) illegal possession of firearm and ammunition inviolation of Presidential Decree No. 1866 as amended by Republic Act. No. 8294; and 3) direct assault with multipleattempted homicide. The following information was provided by the prosecution:1) In the afternoon of September 24, 1997, more than thirty (30) policemen proceeded to the house of appellant andhis wife to serve the search warrant when they were met by a volley of gunfire coming from the second floor of thesaid house. They saw that it was the appellant who fired the M14 rifle towards them.2) After gaining entrance, two of the police officers proceeded to the second floor where they earlier saw appellantfiring the rifle. As he noticed their presence, the appellant jumped from the window to the roof of a neighboringhouse. He was subsequently arrested at the back of his house after a brief chase.