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GENERAL RULE: if statute is clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given

its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation

Verba legis

Index animi sermo speech is the index of intention

Words employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its intent

or will

Verba legis non est recedendum from the words of a statute there should be
no departure

Thus, what is not clearly provided in the law cannot be extended to those
matters outside its scope.


A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been omitted

The maxim operates only if and when the omission has been clearly established, and in such a
case what is omitted in the enumeration may not, by construction, be included therein.

Exception: where legislature did not intend to exclude the person, thing or object from the
enumeration. If such legislative intent is clearly indicated, the court may supply the omission if
to do so will carry out the clear intent of the legislature and will not do violence to its language


So-called gaps in the law develop as the law is enforced
STATCON RULE: to fill in the gap is the doctrine of necessary implication
Doctrine states that what is implied in a statute is as much a part thereof as that
which is expressed
EX NECESSITATE LEGIS from the necessity of the law
Every statutory grant of power, right or privilege is deemed to include all incidental
power, right or privilege
IN EO QUOD PLUS SIT, SIMPER INEST ET MINUS greater includes the lesser

Ejusdem generis (or the same kind or species)

General rule: where a general word or phrase follows an enumeration of particular and specific
words of the same class or where the latter follow the former, the general word or phrase is to
be construed to include, or to be restricted to, persons, things or cases akin to, resembling, or of
the same kind or class as those specifically mentioned.

Purpose: give effect to both particular or general words, by treating the particular words as
indicating the class and the general words as indicating all that is embraced in said class, although
not specifically named by the particular words
Principle: based on proposition that had the legislature intended the general words to be used
in their generic and unrestricted sense, it would have not enumerated the specific words.

Presumption: legislators addressed specifically to the particularization


Variation of the doctrine of last antecedent

Referring each to each;

Referring each phrase or expression to its appropriate object, or let each be put in its proper
place, that is, the word should be taken distributively.


Provisos, generally:

to limit the application of the enacting clause, section or provision of a statute, or

except something, or to qualify or restrain its generality, or exclude some possible
ground of misinterpretation of it, as extending to cases not intended by legislature to be
brought within its purview.


Qualifying words restrict or modify only the words or phrases to which they are immediately
associated not those which are distantly or remotely located.

Ad proximum antecedens fiat relatio nisi impediatur sententia relative words refer to the
nearest antecedents, unless the context otherwise requires

RULE: use of a comma to separate an antecedent from the rest exerts a dominant influence in
the application of the doctrine of last antecedent.