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Case #/Name G.R. No.

191890 December 04, 2012


Parties EVALYN I. FETALINO and AMADO M. CALDERON, Petitioners,
MANUEL A. BARCELONA, JR., Petitioner-Intervenor
vs
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent

Topic/Point of Strict & Liberal Construction


Discussion
Facts On February 10, 1998, President Ramos extended an interim appointment to the petitioners as
Comelec Commissioners, each for a term of seven (7) years, pursuant to Section 2, Article IX-D of the
1987 Constitution. Eleven days later (or on February 21, 1998), Pres. Ramos renewed the petitioners’
ad interim appointments for the same position. Congress, however, adjourned in May 1998 before the
CA could act on their appointments. The constitutional ban on presidential appointments later took
effect and the petitioners were no longer re-appointed as Comelec Commissioners.7 Thus, the
petitioners merely served as Comelec Commissioners for more than four months, or from February
16, 1998 to June 30, 1998.
Subsequently, on March 15, 2005, the petitioners applied for their retirement benefits and monthly
pension with the Comelec, pursuant to R.A. No. 1568
On February 6, 2007, the Comelec issued Resolution No. 07-0202 granting the petitioners a pro-rated
gratuity and pension. The petitioners filed for the recomputation but Comelec disapproved the claim
Petitioner intervenor Manuel A. Barcelona, Jr. later joined the petitioners in questioning the assailed
resolution. Like the petitioners, Barcelona did not complete the full seven-year term as Comelec
Commissioner since he served only from February 12, 2004 to July 10, 2005
In the main, both the petitioners and Barcelona pray for a liberal interpretation of Section 1 of R.A.
No. 1568. They submit that the involuntary termination of their ad interim appointments as Comelec
Commissioners should be deemed by this Court as a retirement from the service
Barcelona’s benefits were discontinued
Issue Whether the petitioners are entitled to the full five-year lump sum gratuity provided for by R.A. No.
1568? NO
Held/Ruling No, because there are requirements provided under RA NO 1568:
(1) Retirement from the service for having completed the term of office
(2) Incapacity to discharge the duties of their office;
(3) Death while in the service; and
(4) Resignation after reaching the age of sixty (60) years but before the expiration of the term
of office. In addition, the officer should have rendered not less than twenty years of service
in the government at the time of retirement
The petitioners’ service was only considered tenure, not the completion of term.
When the law, in this case, RA 1568 refers to completion of term of office, it can only mean finishing
up to the end of the seven year term
Therefore, one whose ad interim appointment expires cannot be said to have completed his term of
office so as to fall under the provisions of Section 1 of RA 1568 that would entitle him to a lump sum
benefit of five (5) years salary
The petitioners’ appeal to liberal construction of Section 1 of R.A. No. 1568 is misplaced since the law
is clear and unambiguous. We emphasize that the primary modality of addressing the present case is
to look into the provisions of the retirement law itself. Guided by the rules of statutory construction in
this consideration, we find that the language of the retirement law is clear and unequivocal; no room
for construction or interpretation exists, only the application of the letter of the law
Supplemental Notes Commission on Elections (Co melee) Resolution No. 8808 issued on March 30, 2010.2 Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 1568, as amended,3 extends a five-year lump sum gratuity to the chairman or any member
of the Comelec upon retirement, after completion of the term of office; incapacity; death; and
resignation after reaching 60 years of age but before expiration of the term of office.
An ad interim appointment, one that is made when Congress is in recess, allows the appointee to
perform the functions and powers of the position until rejected by the CA or until the next
adjournment of Congress
Strict construction is that construction according to the letter of a statute, which recognizes nothing that is not expressed, takes
the language used in its exact meaning, and admits no equitable consideration. It simply means that the scope of statute shall
not be extended or enlarged by implication, intendment, or equitable consideration beyond the literal meaning of its terms

Liberal Construction is equitable construction as will enlarge the letter of a statute to accomplish its intended purpose, carry
out its intent, or promote justice. It is that construction which expands the meaning of a statute to meet cases which are clearly
within the spirit or reason thereof or within the evil which the statute was designed to remedy, or which gives a statute its
generally accepted meaning to the end that the most comprehensive application thereof may be accorded.
Case #/Name G.R. No. 169942 January 24, 2011
Parties BARANGAY DASMARIÑAS thru BARANGAY CAPTAIN MA. ENCARNACION R. LEGASPI, Petitioner,
vs.
CREATIVE PLAY CORNER SCHOOL, DR. AMADO J. PIAMONTE, REGINA PIAMONTE TAMBUNTING, CELINE
CONCEPCION LEBRON and CECILE CUNA COLINA, Respondents
Topic/Point of Strict and Liberal Construction
Discussion
Facts Petitioner alleged that respondents falsified and used the Barangay Clearance and Official Receipt
purportedly issued in the name of CPC by the Office of the Barangay Captain of Dasmariñas Village, Makati
City of which Lepaspi was Barangay Captain.

Respondents averred that petitioner's assertion that they were owners of CPC is a mere allegation without
proof. They also pointed out that the complaint neither shows any operative act committed by any of the
respondents in perpetrating the crime charged nor identified who among them actually committed it. They
thus insisted that no probable cause exists to warrant their indictment for the offense charged

In Sep 2004, case was dismissed due to lack of probable cause. Petitioner brought the case to DOJ thru a
Petition for Review, but was denied by DOJ. On 3rd time, petitione brought this case to Court of Appeals.
Before petitioner was able to file its petition, it first sought for an 15 day- extension of time. After the
extension lapses, the petitioned requested yet again for 5 day extension of 5 days. But CA denies the
‘Second Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review’ and DISMISS the Petition for Review for
having been filed beyond the period allowed by the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. His reason for 2nd
extension was due to the death of a relative of this lawyer Atty. Maria Katrina Bote-Veguillas.
petitioner prayed that the CA set aside rules of technicalities as it claimed that the slight delay in the filing
of the petition did not after all result to the prejudice of respondents. More importantly, it believed that
the merits of the case justify the relaxation of technical rules
Petitioner notes that the CA in dismissing the petition merely focused on the technical infirmity and did
not even bother to take a look at its substance. Petitioner believes that if only the CA examined the
records of the case, it would find that the substantial merits of the case are enough to override technical
deficiencies.
It’s like the petition asking the Court to put the technicalities aside, and consider his reasons.
Issue The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in dismissing the Petition For Review on a mere technicality,
without considering the substantive grounds on which the Petition For Review was based? NO
Held/Ruling No, as per Section 4, Rule 43 of Rules of Court. The CA mentioned that the reason for the second motion
was not compelling enough.
Reasons why they CA denied petition:
a. Third extension is not authorized by the rules of court.
b. no details as to the degree of relationship between Atty. Bote-Veguillas and the deceased was
given for the court
c. This could also be handled by another lawyer of the law firm where Atty Bote is affiliated with

"It is true that litigation is not a game of technicalities and that the rules of procedure should not be strictly
followed in the interest of substantial justice. However, it does not mean that the Rules of Court may be
ignored at will. It bears emphasizing that procedural rules should not be belittled or dismissed simply
because their non-observance may have resulted in prejudice to a party’s substantial rights. Like all rules,
they are required to be followed except only for the most persuasive of reasons
Supplemental Notes Section 4 . Period of appeal. The appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the award,
judgment, final order or resolution, or from the date of its last publication, if publication is required by law
for its effectivity, or of the denial of petitioner’s motion for new trial or reconsideration duly filed in
accordance with the governing law of the court or agency a quo. Only one (1) motion for reconsideration
shall be allowed.
Case #/Name
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Topic/Point of
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Supplemental Notes