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Daoang vs. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas Daoang v.

Municipal Judge of San Nicolas GR L-34568, 28 March 1988 (159 SCRA 369)

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. Caltex vs Palomar Case Digest Caltex v. Palomar GR L-19650, 29 September 1966 (18 SCRA 247) Facts: In 1960, Caltex (Phils) Inc. conceived a promotional scheme Caltex Hooded Pump Contest calculated to drum up patronage for its products, calling for participants therein to estimate the actual number of liters a hooded gas pump at each Caltex station will dispense during a specified period. For the privilege to participate, no fee or consideration is required to be paid. Neither a purchase of Caltex products is required. Entry forms were available upon request at each Caltex station where a sealed can was provided for the deposit of accomplished entry stubs. Foreseeing the extensive use of the mails, not only as amongst the mediator publicizing the contest but also for the transmission of communications relative thereto, representations were made by Caltex with the postal authorities for the contest to be cleared in advance for mailing, in view of sections 1954(a), 1982 and 1983 of the Revised Administrative Code. Such overtures were formalized in a letter to the Postmaster General, dated 31 October 1960, in which the Caltex, thru counsel, enclosed a copy of the contest rules and endeavored to justify its position that the contest does not violate the anti-lottery provisions of the Postal Law. Unimpressed, the then Acting Postmaster General Enrico Palomar opined that the scheme falls within the purview of the provisions aforesaid and declined to grant the requested clearance. Caltex thereupon invoked judicial intervention by filing a petition for declaratory relief against the Postmaster General, praying that 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. The trial court ruled that the contest does not violate the Postal Code and that the Postmaster General has no right to bar the public distribution of the contest rules by the mails. The Postmaster General appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issues: *Whether construction should be employed in the case. * Whether the contest is a lottery or a gift enterprise that violates the provisions of the Postal Law. Held: Construction is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. In the present case, the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably require an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. This is as much a question of construction or interpretation as any other. The Court is tasked to look beyond the fair exterior, to the substance, in order to unmask the real element and pernicious tendencies that the law is seeking to prevent. Lottery extends to all schemes for the distribution of prizes by chance, such as policy playing, gift exhibitions, prize concerts, raffles at fairs, etc., and various forms of gambling. The three essential elements of a lottery are: (1) consideration, (2) prize, and (3) chance. Gift enterprise, on the other hand, is commonly applied to a sporting artifice under which goods are sold for their market value but by way of inducement each purchaser is given a chance to win a prize. Further, consonant to the well-known principle of legal hermeneutics noscitur a sociis, the term under construction should be accorded no other meaning than that which is consistent with the nature of the word associated therewith. Hence, if lottery is prohibited only if it involves a consideration, so also must the term gift enterprise be so construed. Significantly, there is not in the law the slightest indicium of any intent to eliminate that element of consideration from the gift enterprise therein included. Gratuitous distribution of property by lot or chance does not constitute lottery, if it is not resorted to as a device t o evade the law and no consideration is derived, directly or indirectly, from the party receiving the chance, gambling spirit not being cultivated or stimulated thereby. Thus, gift enterprises and similar schemes therein contemplated are condemnable only if, like lotteries, they involve the element of consideration. In the present case, there is no requirement in the rules that any fee be paid, any merchandise be bought, any service be rendered, or any value whatsoever be given for the privilege to participate; for the scheme to be deemed a lottery. Neither is there is a sale of anything to which the chance offered is attached as an inducement to the purchaser for the scheme to be deemed a gift enterprise. The scheme is merely a gratuitous distribution of property by chance. The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed judgment, without costs. No. Caltex may be granted declaratory relief, even if Enrico Palomar simply applied the clear provisions of the law to a given set of facts as embodied in the rules of the contest. For, construction is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. In this case, the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably required an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. Also, the Court is tasked to look beyond the fair exterior, to the substance, in order to unmask the real element that the law is seeking to prevent or prohibit. MUTUC VS COMELEC G.R. No. L-32717 November 26, 1970 FACTS: Mutuc was a candidate for delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1970). His candidacy was given due course by the COMELEC but he was prohibited from playing his campaign jingle on his mobile units because this is an apparent violation of COMELECs band to purchase, produce, request or distribute sample ballots, or electoral propaganda gadgets such as pens, lighters, fans (of whatever nature), flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, bandanas, shirts, hats, matches, cigarettes, and the like, whether of domestic or foreign origin. It was COMELECs contention that the jingle proposed to be used by petitioner is the recorded or

taped voice of a singer and therefore a tangible propaganda material (falling under and the likes category), under the above COMELEC statute subject to confiscation. HELD: 1. By virtue of Ejusdem Generis, general words following any enumeration must be of the same class as those specifically referred to. It did contend, however, that one of its provisions referred to above makes unlawful the distribution of electoral propaganda gadgets, mention being made of pens, lighters, fans, flashlights, athletic goods or materials, wallets, bandanas, shirts, hats, matches, and cigarettes, and concluding with the words and the like. For respondent Commission, the last three words sufficed to justify such an order. We view the matter differently. What was done cannot merit our approval under the well-known principle of ejusdem generis, the general words following any enumeration being applicable only to things of the same kind or class as those specifically referred to. It is quite apparent that what was contemplated in the Act was the distribution of gadgets of the kind referred to as a means of inducement to obtain a favorable vote for the candidate responsible for its distribution. 2. This is a curtailment of Freedom of Expression. The Constitution prohibits the abridgment of the freedom of speech The intent of the law to minimize election expenses as invoked by respondent Commission, laudable as it may be, should not be sought at the cost of the candidate's constitutional rights in the earnest pursuit of his candidacy, but is to be fulfilled in the strict and effective implementation of the Act's limitation in section 12(G) on the total expenditures that may be made by a candidate or by another person with his knowledge and consent. Endencia, M.P. and F. Jugo vs. D. Saturnino, as collector of Internal Revenue G.R. No. L-6355-56 August 31, 1953 En Banc Facts: After the ruling of Court of First Instance of Manila declaring R.A. 590 unconstitutional and thereby ordering the respondent David Saturnino to re-fund Justices M. Endencia and F. Hugo of the income taxes decreased from their salaries, the petitioners in joint appeal questioned the constitutionality of Republic Act 590. The lower court, citing the case Perfecto vs. Meer, exhaustively declared that the collection of income taxes is a violation of the Philippines Constitution. The Solicitor General on the side of the defendant stated that the legislative body were not in favor of the Courts decision over Perfecto vs. Meer and immediately enacted R.A. 380 thereby imposing taxes to the Judicial Officers. The Court in the case questioned the legal basis of the Act. Issue: Whether or not sec. 13 of R.A. 590 can justify and legalize the collection of income taxes on the salary of Judicial officers. Ruling: The Supreme Court in its decision, citing sec. 9 Art. 8 of the Constitution, declared R.A. 590 unconstitutional. It construed that the law is clear in its provision that compensation of Judicial officers shall not be diminished in their continuance of their office and the imposition of the taxes on their salaries is a clear diminution of the salary. It held that when a statute transgresses the authority vested in the legislature, it is the duty of the court to declare it unconstitutional. It further explained that the action of the legislative body as stated by the Solicitor General is a violation of Separation of Power among branches of the government. The enactment of the statute because the legislative congress is not in favor of Supreme Courts decision shows that the former also interpreted the Act. It was ruled by the court that it is only the Supreme Court that has the power to interpret the Law and Congress shall not interfere as the latters function is to enact the law.