Monday, October 4, 2010

Aids in Construction and Interpretation of Statutes

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full texts of the cases cited. Xie xie!

Reviewer by Chester Cabalza

IV. Aids in Construction

1. Archbishop of Manila v. SSC
Extrinsic Aids

In this appeal from an order of the Social Security Commission, we uphold the Commission's Order dismissing the petition before it, on the ground that in the absence of an express provision in the Social Security Act1 vesting in the Commission the power to condone penalties, it has no legal authority to condone, waive or relinquish the penalty for late premium remittances mandatorily imposed under the Social Security Act.

When Literal Construction is not Favored

1. Paras v. Comelec

Petitioner Danilo E. Paras is the incumbent Punong Barangay of Pula, Cabanatuan City who won during the last regular barangay election in 1994. A petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by the registered voters of the barangay. Acting on the petition for recall, public respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) resolved to approve the petition, scheduled the petition signing on October 14, 1995, and set the recall election on November 13, 1995. Petitioner's argument is simple and to the point. Citing Section 74 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, which states that "no recall shall take place within one (1) year from the date of the official's assumption to office or one (1) year immediately preceding a regular local election". It is likewise a basic precept in statutory construction that a statute should be interpreted in harmony with the Constitution. Thus, the interpretation of Section 74 of the Local Government Code, specifically paragraph (b) thereof, should not be in conflict with the Constitutional mandate of Section 3 of Article X of the Constitution to "enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanism of recall, initiative, and referendum . . . ."

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