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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
January-1958 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. Nos. L-9456 & L-9481 January 6, 1958 - THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. DOMINGO DE LARA

    102 Phil 813

  • G.R. No. L-9692 January 6, 1958 - COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BATANGAS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY

    102 Phil 822

  • G.R. Nos. L-8845-46 January 7, 1958 - BATANGAS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY v. MARTIN SOUZA

    102 Phil 835

  • G.R. No. L-10202 January 8, 1958 - IN RE: SY CHHUT alias TAN BING TIONG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    102 Phil 839

  • G.R. No. L-10420 January 10, 1958 - IN RE: LIM KIM So alias FRANCISCO LIM KIM SO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    102 Phil 843

  • G.R. Nos. L-10249-60 January 14, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO CRISOSTOMO

    102 Phil 846

  • G.R. No. L-10285 January 14, 1958 - SAMPAGUITA SHOE v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS

    102 Phil 850

  • G.R. No. L-10423 January 21, 1958 - AMADO P. JALANDONI v. ANGELA MARTIR-GUANZON

    102 Phil 859

  • G.R. No. L-11000 January 21, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALICIA RAPIRAP

    102 Phil 863

  • G.R. No. L-11014 January 21, 1958 - VICTORIANA ESPIRITU v. THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

    102 Phil 866

  • G.R. No. L-10196 January 22, 1958 - SANTOS LUMBER COMPANY v. CITY OF CEBU

    102 Phil 870

  • G.R. No. L-10776 January 23, 1958 - MELITON HERRERA v. THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF THE REP. OF THE PHIL.

    102 Phil 875

  • G.R. No. L-10922 January 23, 1958 - GREGORIO P. DE GUZMAN v. JOSE B. RAMOSO

    102 Phil 883

  • G.R. No. L-12294 January 23, 1958 - UNITED PEPSI-COLA SALES ORGANIZATION (PAFLU) v. HON. ANTONIO CA‘IZARES

    102 Phil 887

  • G.R. No. L-10234 January 24, 1958 - IN RE: Victoriano Yap Subieng to be admitted a citizen of the Phil.; VICTORIANO YAP SUBIENG v. REP. OF THE PHIL.

    102 Phil 892

  • G.R. No. L-9689 January 27, 1958 - JESUS T. QUIAMBAO v. PEDRO R. PERALTA

    102 Phil 899

  • G.R. No. L-10806 January 27, 1958 - DAVID AZNAR v. ASUNCION SUCILLA

    102 Phil 902

  • G.R. No. L-11093 January 27, 1958 - LEONARDO ENAGE LABAJO v. CIRIACO ENRIQUEZ

    102 Phil 907

  • G.R. No. L-10446 January 28, 1958 - COLLEGE OF ORAL & DENTAL SURGERY v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS

    102 Phil 912

  • G.R. No. L-10874 January 28, 1958 - RUFINO D. ANDRES v. THE CROWN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

    102 Phil 919

  • G.R. No. L-10702 January 29, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIXTO CABARLES

    102 Phil 926

  • G.R. No. L-10091 January 29, 1958 - BOY SCOUTS OF THE PHIL. v. JULIANA V. ARAOS

    102 Phil 1080

  • G.R. No. L-11343 January 29, 1958 - CARLOS LEDESMA v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS

    102 Phil 931

  • G.R. No. L-11248 January 30, 1958 - ANACLETA VILLAROMAN v. QUIRINO STA. MARIA

    102 Phil 937

  • Adm. Case No. 195 January 31, 1958 - IN RE: Attorney JESUS T. QUIAMBAO

    102 Phil 940

  • G.R. No. L-8252 January 31, 1958 - JOSE C. ZULUETA v. NICANOR NICOLAS

    102 Phil 944

  • G.R. No. L-9871 January 31, 1958 - ATKINS v. B. CUA HIAN TEK

    102 Phil 948

  • G.R. No. L-9928 January 31, 1958 - REP. OF THE PHIL. v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

    102 Phil 953

  • G.R. No. L-10022 January 31, 1958 - NORTHERN MOTORS v. NATIONAL LABOR UNION

    102 Phil 958

  • G.R. No. L-10141 January 31, 1958 - REP. OF THE PHIL. v. PHILIPPINE RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

    102 Phil 960

  • G.R. Nos. L-10236-48 January 31, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSTACIO DE LUNA

    102 Phil 968

  • G.R. No. L-10370 January 31, 1958 - THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. MATIAS H. AZNAR

    102 Phil 979

  • G.R. No. L-10547 January 31, 1958 - THE PHIL. GUARANTY CO. v. LAURA DINIO

    102 Phil 991

  • G.R. No. L-10691 January 31, 1958 - ERLINDA STERNBERG v. GONZALO SOLOMON

    102 Phil 995

  • G.R. No. L-10747 January 31, 1958 - MARIANO DIAZ v. PASCUAL MACALINAO

    102 Phil 999

  • G.R. No. L-10902 January 31, 1958 - FLORIDA LAGMAY v. EMERENCIANA QUINIT

    102 Phil 1003

  • G.R. No. L-11024 January 31, 1958 - ALFONSO ANGELES v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, GREOGORIO STA. INES

    102 Phil 1006

  • G.R. No. L-11186 January 31, 1958 - ALFONSO CABABA v. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

    102 Phil 1013

  • G.R. No. L-11395 January 31, 1958 - SOTERA GARCIA DIMAGIBA v. HON. AMBROSIO M. GERALDEZ

    102 Phil 1016

  • G.R. No. L-11647 January 31, 1958 - FLORENTINO NAVARRO v. HON. ELOY BELLO

    102 Phil 1019

  • G.R. No. L-12724 January 31, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARIDAD CAPISTRANO

    102 Phil 1025

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. L-10285 January 14, 1958 - SAMPAGUITA SHOE v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS<br /><br />102 Phil 850

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. L-10285. January 14, 1958.]

    SAMPAGUITA SHOE AND SLIPPER FACTORY, Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OF CEBU and COURT OF TAX APPEALS, Respondents.

    Miguel Raffiñan and Florencio L. Albino for Petitioner.

    Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla and Solicitor Sumilang V. Bernardo for Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    IMPORTATION; SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE OF GOODS; REMEDY OF IMPORTER AGGRIEVED; EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES. — The appeal made available to an importer or person aggrieved by a decision or ruling of any collector of customs of the Philippines has 2 phases: first, the one provided for in Section 1380 of the Revised Administrative Code by which such party is given 15 days from the receipt of the adverse ruling or decision of the Collector to give notice in writing to the latter signifying his desire to have the matter reviewed by the Commissioner of Customs, and second, if still dissatisfied, his appeal could be projected to the Court of Tax Appeals pursuant to Section 7 of Act 1125 by filing with said tribunal a petition within 30 days from receipt of notice of the decision or ruling sought to be reviewed. As the petitioner in the present case did not interposed an appeal to the Commissioner of Customs from the decision of the Collector of Customs within the period of 15 days prescribe by law, said decision of the latter became final and executory; hence, petitioner cannot take its case on appeal to the court of Tax Appeals. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative reliefs is indeed a sound rule for it provides for a policy or orderly procedure which favors to preliminary administrative sifting process, and serves to prevent attempts to swamp the courts by a resort to them in the first instance (United State v. Sing Tuck, 194 US 161; Oklahoma Pub. Welfare Commission v. State, 186 Okla. 654. See also Rulno Lopez & Sons, Inc., v. The Court of Tax Appeals, 100 Phil., 850, 53 Off. Gaz., No. 10, p. 2065).


    D E C I S I O N


    FELIX, J.:


    This is a petition filed by the Sampaguita Shoe & Slipper Factory seeking to review the resolution of the Court of Tax Appeals in CTA Case No. 59 dismissing the petition filed therein on the ground that said Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the same. The facts of the case may be stated as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In the latter part of 1953, the Sampaguita Shoe & Slipper Factory, a business concern in the city of Cebu, ordered from the Colonial Tanning Company of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 10,000 square feet of patent leather valued at $3,300. On March 30, 1954, said goods arrived at the port of Cebu. The papers necessary for its release (Import Entry No. 1548 — C, Consular Invoice B-14877 and Central Bank Release Certificate No. 1088) were found in order, but when the shipment, contained in 5 cases, was opened for examination and appraisal, and samples of the materials were shown to the customs authorities, they were declared to be upper leather and not patent leather; thus seizure proceedings were instituted (Cebu Seizure Identification No. 154) although the goods were released upon the consignee’s filing a bond for P10,000.

    Hearing was duly conducted and on May 19, 1954, the Collector of Customs of the port of Cebu rendered decision holding that in view of the difficulty in determining the purposes for which the leather in question would be utilized and in the absence of specific law or regulation prohibiting the importation of such kind of leather, the 5 cases of leather should be released to the importer upon payment of the taxes and other charges thereon. Said decision was sent by the Collector of Customs to the manager of the factory on May 21, 1954, with a letter of transmittal informing the latter that same shall not become final and executory until approved by the Commissioner of Customs.

    On June of the same year, however, the Collector of Customs amended his previous decision by reversing the ruling laid down therein and this time holding that the imported leather was primarily intended as uppers of shoes and should not be classified as patent leather. The 5 cases covered by Import Entry No. 1548-C, s. 1954, were thus declared confiscated and forfeited to the Government pursuant to the provisions of Section 1363 (f) of the Revised Administrative Code and paragraph 9 of Central Bank Circulars Nos. 44 and 45. This amended decision was likewise sent by registered mail to the manager of the establishment with the notice that appeal, if any, from said decision should be interposed with the Commissioner within 15 days from receipt of said communication, otherwise the said decision would become final and executory. Said registered mail appeared to have been received by an employee of the establishment on June 10, 1954, as evidenced by the registry return card. At the same time, the Commissioner of Customs was furnished a copy of the amended decision, which was affirmed by said official.

    On September 14, 1954, the importer received a letter from the Collector of Customs demanding the surrender of the goods subject of the proceedings or the payment of the sum of P10,000 in cash, which prompted the filing of a petition to set aside the amended decision referred to therein on the ground that the employee of said establishment who received the copy of said decision failed to give the same to the manager, who at that time was in Mindanao; that the latter actually got hold of the amended decision only on September 14, 1954, upon receipt of the letter of demand of the Collector; and that the attorney who appeared for the importer in the proceedings was not notified of said decision. It was thus prayed that the amended decision of June 1, 1954, be set aside and the respondent (Sampaguita Shoe & Slipper Factory) be given a chance to appeal from the same. This petition was again referred by the Collector of Customs to the Commissioner who in a 2nd Indorsement dated December 3, 1954 reiterated his concurrence to the amended decision. Copy of the denial of its petition was received by the importer on December 29, 1954. The importer then filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Tax Appeals and the petition for review was actually sent on January 28, 1955. This petition, which was later amended on July 6, 1955, presented among other things the questions of (1) whether or not the evidence on record warranted the finding that the leather in question was upper and not patent leather; (2) whether the reversal by the Collector of Customs of his decision was lawful; (3) whether the service of a decision upon a person other than petitioner or his attorney of record commence the running of the period to appeal; and (4) whether an appeal from a decision of the Collector to the Commissioner of Customs who had already prejudged would still be necessary and might not be considered as academic.

    The Commissioner of Customs, represented by the Solicitor General, filed a motion to dismiss contending that the decision of the Collector of Customs of Cebu was already final in view of petitioner’s failure to appeal therefrom within 15 days from receipt thereof pursuant to the provisions of Section 1380 of the Revised Administrative Code; and that even granting that the 2nd indorsement of the Commissioner, dated December 3, 1954, might be treated as a ruling or decision of said official, the petition for review was likewise filed beyond the 30-day period prescribed by law. On October 17, 1955, the Court of Tax Appeals issued a resolution holding that said tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the case by reason of petitioner’s failure to appeal to the Commissioner of Customs. The motion for the reconsideration of said ruling filed by the importer having been denied, the matter was brought to Us in a petition to review by certiorari, petitioner maintaining that the lower Court erred:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. In holding that only decisions of the Commissioner of Customs, in cases involving customs laws, may be brought on appeal to said court;

    2. In holding that the opinion of the Commissioner of Customs or his approval of the Collector’s decision in a case is not a decision which may be appealed to said court; and

    3. In holding that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for review and in dismissing the same.

    There is no question that petitioner did not interpose any appeal to the Commissioner of Customs but instead resorted to the Court of Tax Appeals upon the denial of its petition to set aside the amended decision of the Collector of Customs, supposedly in its conviction that an appeal would only be futile because the Commissioner already prejudged the case when he took a hand in the seizure of the imported goods and influenced the amendment of the decision appealed from. Furthermore, said official already manifested his stand by signifying his conformity with said amended decision in the 2nd Indorsement dated December 3, 1954.

    Section 1380 of the Revised Administrative Code explicitly provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 1380. REVIEW BY COMMISSIONER. — The person aggrieved by the decision of the Collector of Customs in any matter presented upon protest or by his action in any seizure may, within fifteen days after notification in writing by the Collector of his action or decision, give written notice to the Collector signifying his desire to have the matter reviewed by the Commissioner.

    Thereupon, the collector of customs shall forthwith transmit all the papers in the cause to the Commissioner, who shall approve, modify, or reverse the action of his subordinate and shall take such steps and make such order or orders as may be necessary to give effect to his decision.

    Petitioner, however, asserts that Section 11 of Republic Act No. 1125, which reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 11. WHO MAY APPEAL; EFFECT OF APPEAL. — Any person, association or corporation adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the Collector of Internal Revenue, the Collector of Customs, or any provincial or city Board of Assessment Appeals may file an appeal in the Court of Tax Appeals within thirty days after receipt of such decision or ruling.

    x       x       x


    speaks of appeals from decision of the Collector of Customs and thus concludes that an appeal may be brought directly to the Court of Tax Appeals without the necessity of first bringing the matter to the attention of the Commissioners. On the other hand, Section 7 of the same statute conferring jurisdiction on the said Court of Tax Appeals prescribes the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 7. JURISDICTION. — The Court of Tax Appeals shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal, as herein provided —

    x       x       x


    (2) Decisions of the Commissioner of Customs in cases involving liability for customs duties, fees or other money charges; seizure, detention or release of property affected; fines, forfeitures or other penalties imposed in relation thereto, or other matters arising under the Customs Law or other law or part of law administered by the Bureau of Customs;

    x       x       x


    Respondent Court of Tax Appeals in trying to offer an explanation on this apparent inconsistency in the wording of the Law, expresses its belief that such was brought about by an oversight on the part of the Legislature and contends that the phrase "Collector of Customs" appearing in section 11 should properly be read as Commissioner of Customs." In disputing this line of argument of the Tax Court, petitioner contends that there is no need for such interpretation because the language of the law is clear and that even granting that there exists an inconsistency Section 11 must prevail over Section 7 because the former provision is latest in the order of position. It is likewise intimated that Republic Act No. 1125 opens 2 recourses for aggrieved parties, one under Section 7 and another falling under Section 11 thereof. We cannot countenance this argument because while it is true that where the language of a statute is plain and unambiguous there is no occasion for construction, even though other meanings could be found (Crawford, Statutory Construction, sec. 162, p. 250-251), yet, considering that in the instant case, the apparent inconsistency already pointed out creates a certain degree of vagueness that may likely result in confusion in the application of the law, the court, must of necessity step in and exercise its duty to interpret it and determine the intent of Congress in enacting the same. An examination of the Congressional Record bearing the discussions on H. Bill No. 175, which eventually became Republic Act No. 1125, in the hope that it could shed light on the matter, elicits no result. It is significant, however, that in the explanatory note of the bill and the discussions that ensued following the presentation of the same for the consideration of the lawmaking body, reference was consistently made to cases arising from decisions of the Collector of Internal Revenue, Commissioner of Customs and Boards of Assessment Appeals. It must also be remembered that the Court of Tax Appeals merely took over the functions previously exercised by the defunct Board of Tax Appeals and the Courts of First Instance, which then had jurisdiction to review decisions of the Commissioner of Customs and pass upon matters arising under the Customs Laws (Executive Order No. 401-A, Jan. 5, 1953, Sec. 1380, Revised Administrative Code). Moreover, in the case of Rufino Lopez & Sons, Inc. v. Court of Tax Appeals, * 53 Off. Gaz., No. 10, p. 3065, this Court, resolving the same question herein involved, has already pronounced through Mr. Justice Marceliano Montemayor that the Legislature must have meant and intended to say Commissioner of Customs instead of Collector of Customs in the framing of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 1125, and in effect rectified said clerical error. It would really seem illogical that in laying down the jurisdiction of the Tax Court, the law would confine the same to the review of decisions of the Commissioner of Customs and then in the same breath allow aggrieved parties to appeal directly from decisions of the Collector to the same Court.

    Petitioner, however, advanced the theory that the respondent Commissioner’s concurrence to the amended decision of the Collector of Customs embodied in the 2nd Indorsement dated December 3, 1954, may be considered a decision from which appeal may be interposed. It is an elementary rule in procedure that a decision must be in writing, personally and directly prepared by the judge (or person or body lawfully authorized to issue the same), signed by him, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based (Sec. 1, Rule 35, Rules of Court). In expressing his conformity with the amended decision, it may be argued that the findings of fact and the ruling of the Collector of Customs had been adopted by the Commissioner and thus the 2nd Indorsement containing said conformity meets the requirements of the Rules of Court. We must remember, however, that the Commissioner of Customs, as head of that Bureau (Insular Collector of Customs), exercises the power of supervision and control over his subordinates (Sec. 1152, R.A.C.) . It will be observed that in the instant case the action of the Commissioner as regards matters referred to him by the Collector was only supervisory in nature and his conformity or disagreement to the rulings of the latter did not transform said decisions into that of the Commissioner. Independently of the opinion of the Commissioner on matters brought to his attention for advise by the Collector, the parties therefore still have the right to appeal the controversy to him for the proper determination of his office. As the law on the matter actually stands, We find that the appeal made available to an importer or person aggrieved by a decision or ruling of any collector of customs of the Philippines has 2 phases: first, the one provided for in Section 1380 of the Revised Administrative Code, i.e., such party is given 15 days from receipt of the adverse ruling or decision of the Collector to give notice in writing to the latter signifying his desire to have the matter reviewed by the Commissioner of Customs, and second, if still dissatisfied, his appeal could be projected to the Court of Tax Appeals pursuant to Section 7 of Act 1125 by filing with said tribunal a petition within 30 days from receipt of notice of the decision or ruling sought to be reviewed.

    In the case at bar, it appears that the importer failed to observe the procedure laid down by Section 1380 of the Revised Administrative Code aforementioned, thus, the lower Court acted properly in dismissing the petition filed therein in view of petitioner’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative reliefs is indeed a sound rule for it provides for a policy of orderly procedure which favors a preliminary administrative sifting process, and serves to prevent attempts to swamp the courts by a resort in them in the first instance (United States v. Sing Tuck, 194 US 161, 48 L ed 917, 24 S Ct 621; Oklahoma Pub. Welfare Commission v. State 186 Okla. 654, 105 P. (d) 547, 130 ALR 873). As already ruled in the aforementioned case of Rufino Lopez & Sons, Inc. v. The Court of Tax Appeals, supra, "it is a sound rule that before one resorts to the Courts, the administrative remedy provided by law should first be exhausted." As petitioner herein did not interpose an appeal to the Commissioner of Customs from the decision of the Collector of Customs of Cebu within the period of 15 days prescribed by law, said decision of the latter became final and executory; hence, petitioner cannot take its case on appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals. Anyway, and even if We would consider that it could, We find that petitioner has also failed to appeal from any Commissioner of Customs’ decision on the matter to the Court of Tax Appeals within the time prescribed by Section 11 of Republic Act No. 1125.

    As the third issue raised by petitioner necessarily rests on the soundness of the first 2 questions already discussed, and considering the conclusions thus arrived at, there is no need for US to pass upon the same.

    Wherefore, the resolution of the Court of Tax Appeals in Case No. 59 submitted to us for review, is hereby affirmed, with costs against petitioner. It is so ordered.

    Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J. B. L. and Endencia, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    * 100 Phil., 850.

    G.R. No. L-10285 January 14, 1958 - SAMPAGUITA SHOE v. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS<br /><br />102 Phil 850


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