Legal Maxim

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Expressium facit cessare tacitum – “What is expressed puts an end to that which is implied.” This means that where a statute, by its terms, is expressly limited to matters, it may not, by interpretation or construction, be extended to other matters. This is one variation of the rule expressio unius est exclusion alterius. In the case of Espiritu v Cipriano GR 32743, 15 February 1974, the respondent had an oral contract of lease with the plaintiff. The yearly rates of rentals had been stipulated from 1954 to 1968 by both parties. But effective January 1969, the lease was converted to a month-to-month basis and the rental was increased to P30.00 a month by the plaintiff. Since the defendant failed to pay the rent, a formal notice was sent to him through registered mail. The defendant invoked that such increase in rental was prohibited under Republic Act No. 6126 (approved on June 17, 1970). He argued that there was no perfected contract covering the increased rate of rentals as he did not give his consent thereto. Supreme Court ruled on that “The law being a "temporary measure designed to meet a temporary situation", it had a limited period of operation as in fact it was so worded in clear and unequivocal language that "No lessor of a dwelling unit or land ... shall, during the period of one year from March 31, 1970, increase the monthly rental agreed upon between the lessor and lessee prior to the approval of this Act." Hence the prohibition against the increase in rentals was effective on March, 1970, up to March, 1971. Outside and beyond that period, the law did not, by the express mandate of the Act itself, operate. The said law, did not, by its express terms, purport to give a retroactive operation. It is a well-established rule of statutory construction that "Expressium facit cessare tacitum" and, therefore, no reasonable implication that the Legislature ever intended to give the law in question a retroactive effect may be accorded to the same.”

Ex necessitate legis – “By necessary implication of law.” Every statutes is understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants , including all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms. In the case of Pepsi-Cola Products Phils. v Secretary of Labor, G.R. No. 96663, 10 August 1999, in 1990, the Pepsi-Cola Employees Organization-UOEF (Union) filed a petition for certification of election to the Med-Arbiter seeking to be exclusive bargaining agent of supervisors of Pepsi-Cola Philippines Inc. The Med-arbiter granted the petition with an explicit statement that the union was an affiliate of Union de Oberos Estivadores de Filipinas (federation) together with two rank and file unions Pepsi-Cola Labor Unity (PCLU) and Pepsi-Cola Employees Union of the Philippines (PEUP). PEPSI filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a petition to Set Aside Cancel and /or revoke Charter Affiliation of the Union, entitled PCPPI- vPCEU-UEOF on the grounds that the member of the union

are managers and a supervisors union can not affiliate with a federation whose members include the rank and file union of the same company. After the petitioner’s appeal questioning the Charter Affiliation of the Union was denied by the Secretary of Labor, the petitioner then found its way through the Supreme Court through its petition for certiorari. The said Union, through a resolution dated September 1, 1992 withdrew from the Federation. Also, the petitioner questions the membership of Credit and Collection managers in the supervisors union. The court ruled that Credit and Collection managers and Accounting Managers are regarded as highly confidential employees in nature and must not be deemed eligible to join such supervisors union. The court asserts that while Article 245 of the Labor Code singles out managerial employee as ineligible to join, assist or form any labor organization, under the doctrine of necessary implication, confidential employees are similarly disqualified. According to the doctrine of necessary implication, what is impelled in a statue is as much a part thereof as that which is expressed.

Favorabilia sunt amplianda, adiosa restrigenda – “Penal laws which are favorable to the accused are given retroactive effect.” Favorable construction or interpretation should be encouraged, prejudicial comments or expressions should be restrained. In the case of Laceste v Santos, G.R. No. L-36886, 1 February 1932, the petitioner and Nicola Lachica had been prosecuted, found guilty, and sentenced to the commitment for the crime of rape. Nicola married the victim and was relieved from criminal prosecution by the in force, which provided that such a marriage extinguished penal liability, and hence, the penalty. But the petitioner continued serving his sentence, which was not affected by the marriage of his co-accused and the offended party. He is not entitled to the benefits accruing from such marriage by subsequent law issued, which provides that the marriage of the offender with the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action against the offender, co-principal, accomplices and accessories, or remit the penalty already imposed upon them. SC held that “the principle underlying our laws granting to the accused in certain cases an exception to the general rule that laws shall not be retroactive when the law in question favors the accused, has evidently been carried over into the Revised Penal Code at present in force in the Philippines through article 22. This is an exception to the general rule that all laws are prospective, not retrospective, variously contained in the following maxims: Lex prospicit, non respicit (the law looks forward, not backward); lex de futuro, judez de praeterito (the law provides for the future, the judge for the past); and adopted in a modified form with a prudent limitation in our Civil Code (article 3). Conscience and good law justify this exception, which is contained in the well-known aphorism: Favorabilia sunt amplianda, odiosa restringenda. As one distinguished author has put it, the exception

was inspired by sentiments of humanity, and accepted by science.” Thus, the court let the petitioner be immediately set at liberty.

Generali dictum genaliter est interpretandum – “A general statement is understood in a general sense.” A word of significance in a statute is to be taken in its ordinary and comprehensive sense, unless it is shown that the word is intended to be given a different or restricted meaning. The concurring opinion in the case of Macalintal v Comelec, G.R. No. 157013, 10 July 2003, a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by the petitioner, seeking a declaration that certain provisions of Republic Act No. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003) suffer from constitutional infirmity. The maxim was used by Judge Callejo, Sr. in concurring with SC decision that the provision in Section 4 of R.A. No. 9189 should be harmonized with Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution and that should be taken to mean that COMELEC can only proclaim the winning Senators and the party-partylist representatives but not the President and Vice-president. Section 4 of R.A. No. 9189 provides that the overseas absentee voter may vote for president, vice-president, senators and partylist representatives. The same provision states that “the Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of the winning candidates…” Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution gives the Congress the duty to canvass the votes and proclaim the winning candidates for president and vice-president. The judge reiterated the majority opinion the phrase proclamation of winning candidates used in the assailed statute is a sweeping statement, which thus includes even the winning candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency. Following a basic principle in statutory construction, generali dictum genaliter est interpretandum (a general statement is understood in a general sense), the said phrase cannot be construed otherwise. To uphold the assailed provision of Rep. Act No. 9189 would in effect be sanctioning the grant of a power to the COMELEC, which under the Constitution, is expressly vested in Congress; it would validate a course of conduct that the fundamental law of the land expressly forbids.

Generalia verba sunt generaliter inteligencia – “What is generally spoken shall be generally understood.” This maxim means that a general word should not be given a restricted meaning where no restriction is indicated. In the case of Diaz v IAC, G.R. No. L-66574, 21 February 1990, the petitioner had illegitimate children with Pablo Santero, who was a legitimate son of Simona and Pascual. When Pablo died, the petitioner claimed that her illegitimate children have the right to inherit from intestate estate of Pablo’s legitimate parents. On the other hand, the

respondent claimed that she was the only legitimate heir to such estates and that the illegitimate children were barred by NCC 992 which prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father and mother of such illegitimate child. Supreme Court ruled that “the determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented. If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child, then his decendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, may represent him; however, if the person to be represented is legitimate, his illegitimate descendants cannot represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may exercise right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed Article 992.” Amicus curiae Prof. Ruben Balane has this to say: “The term relatives, although used many times in the Code, is not defined by it. In accordance therefore with the canons of statutory interpretation, it should be understood to have a general and inclusive scope, inasmuch as the term is a general one. Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda.” Thus, the word "relatives" is a general term and when used in a statute it embraces not only collateral relatives but also all the kindred of the person spoken of, unless the context indicates that it was used in a more restrictive or limited sense. The court declared the respondent as the sole legitimate heir.

Generalia specialibus non derogant – “A general law does not nullify a specific or special law.” This simply means that the general terms do not restrict or modify special provisions. In the case of Villegas v Subido, G.R. No. L-25835, 30 September 1971, Mayor Villegas, the petitioner, appointed Lapid as Assistant City Treasurer, claiming the power to make such appointment under the Decentralization Act of 1967 which allows the the provincial governor, city or municipal mayor to appoint other employees, except teachers who will be paid out of provincial, city or municipal general funds, and other local funds. On the other hand Subido, respondent and Commissioner of Civil Service, opposed such appointment since there is no legal basis for such a claim in the light of what is expressly ordained in the Charter of the City of Manila, enacted in 1949, which expressly confer such power to the President of the Philippines. The Supreme Court held that “a subsequent statute, general in character as to its terms and application, is not to be construed as repealing a special or specific enactment, unless the legislative purpose to do so is manifest. A special law is not regarded as having been amended or repealed by a general law unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest.” Thus, petition of the Mayor was denied.

Hoc quidem per quam durum est sed ital ex scripta est – “It is exceedingly hard but so the law is written.”

The principle requires that the statute should be applied regardless of whether it is unwise, hard or harsh. In the case of People vs. Palermo, G.R. No. 120630, 28 June 2001, the court had established that Marcelo Palermo succeeded in having carnal knowledge of his 14 year old daughter, Merly Palermo. During the arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty. But when he was crossed examined, he admitted that he indeed raped his daughter. He was convicted and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death by RTC. His counsel appealed that the accused deserves a reduction of penalty for the sake of compassionate justice, and that reclusion perpetua would be enough for him to pay his wrong doing to his daughter in particular and to society. Supreme Court considered the plea for “compassionated justice” is legally impermissible by allowing the reduction of his penalty from death to reclusion perpetua. Compassionate justice is accorded only to one deserving of compassion within the bounds of the law. As perfectly stated in People vs. Malagar, through Justice Jose C. Vitug, "(a) father is looked up to as the protector and x x x guardian of his family, remaining ever wary of even the slightest harm that might befall it. It is difficult to thus imagine that any such man could instead stand as the predator of his own flesh and blood." Appellant has shown his bestiality and deserves the supreme penalty, lest he might feast again on Merly's younger sisters to satisfy his insatiable greed for lust. It may now be trite, but nonetheless apt, to restate the legal maxim "Hoc quidem per quam durum est sed ita lex scripta est." (The law may be exceedingly hard, but so the law is written.). Thus, SC affirmed the decision of RTC, and ordered the accused to pay damages.

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