Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1953 > January 1953 Decisions > G.R. Nos. L-5059-60 January 30, 1953 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIMEON MENDOZA, ET AL.

092 Phil 570:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. Nos. L-5059-60. January 30, 1953.]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SIMEON MENDOZA, AND JOSE DIZON, Defendants-Appellees.

Solicitor General Pompeyo Diaz and Solicitor Pacifico P. de Castro for Appellant.

Jose Rivera for Appellees.


SYLLABUS


1. CONTEMPT OF COURT; TENANCY LAW; REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH ORDERS OF TENANCY LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION, NOT CONTEMPT. — Rule 64 of the Rules of Court can not be applied to cases of refusal to comply with orders issued by representatives of the Department of Justice prohibiting the working of land covered by the Tenancy Law. Rule 64 applies only to inferior and superior courts and does not comprehend contempt committed against administrative officials or bodies, unless said contempt is clearly considered and expressly defined as contempt of court, as is done in paragraph 2 of section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code.

2. CRIMINAL LAW; TENANCY LAW; REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH ORDERS OF TENANCY LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION, NOT A PENALIZED OFFENSE. — Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code is a general law and refers to administrative bodies or officers and non-judicial persons or bodies in general. It authorizes only the taking of testimony and the production of documents under subpoena duces tecum. Commonwealth Act 461 as amended by Republic Act No. 44 may, however, be considered as special or specific law referring particularly to the Department of Justice and its representatives and it authorizes said representatives not only to make investigations and summon witnesses but also to issue such orders as may be deemed necessary for the best interest of the parties concerned. Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code does not authorize the issuance of orders. It is unreasonable therefore to conclude and to hold that Commonwealth Act 461 as amended by Republic Act 44 added to section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code some acts not mentioned in the letter law punishable as contempt of Court.


D E C I S I O N


MONTEMAYOR, J.:


The Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan appeals from an order of the Court of First Instance of that province dismissing the informations for contempt in criminal cases Nos. 18969 and 18974 against Simeon Mendoza and Jose Dizon, respectively. The information against Mendoza reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That on or about the 23rd day of May, 1949, or sometime thereafter, in the municipality of Mabini, Province of Pangasinan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this court, the above- named accused, Simeon Mendoza, having been duly notified of the interlocutory order, dated May 23, 1949, rendered by Hon. Luis B. Buendia, representative of the Department of Justice under Commonwealth Act No. 461, as amended, in Tenancy case No. 13476, entitled ’Dominador Navarro, complainant, versus Simeon Mendoza, respondent,’ ordering him to desist from prohibiting the complainant-tenant, Dominador Navarro, from working his landholding located at barrio Ulombuaya, of the above-mentioned municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan, pending investigation and final disposition of the case on its merits, the aforesaid accused, Simeon Mendoza, with open and complete defiance of law, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously refuse and still refuses to comply with said order by prohibiting the said complainant, Dominador Navarro from working his above-mentioned landholding."cralaw virtua1aw library

The information against Dizon is similar to that against Mendoza. It charges Dizon with having violated the order of the representative of the Department of Justice ordering him to desist from prohibiting the complainant-tenant from working his landholding. Under separate motions filed by counsel of the accused Mendoza and Dizon, the trial court dismissed the two informations in a single order which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The cases are now before this court on the amended motions to dismiss filed by the accused in the two cases on July 13, 1951.

"The accused ask for the dismissal of both cases on the ground that the Tenancy Law Enforcement Division which issued the interlocutory order of May 23, 1951 (should be 1949), in tenancy cases Nos. 13476 and 13477, has already been abolished by his Excellency, the President of the Philippines, on January 1, 1951, by virtue of section 16 of the Executive Order No. 392 which, transferred the personnel, powers, duties, functions, records, appropriations, property and equipment of the said Tenancy Law Enforcement Division to the Court of Industrial Relations, and on the further ground, that although section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 461, as amended by Republic Act No. 44, declares that the violation of any decision or order of the said Tenancy Law Enforcement Division is punishable as contempt, triable by the Court of First Instance of the province or city, or justice of the peace of the municipality, in which the violation was committed, the law does not provide for any penalty for such contempt. In other words, it is the contention of the accused in both cases that this court has no jurisdiction over the offense charged in the informations and that the facts alleged in the said informations do not constitute an offense.

"The Court believes that the emended motions to dismiss are well taken. The last part of section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 461, as last amended by Republic Act No. 44, provides that disobedience to summons lawfully issued, refusal to testify, and violation of any decision or order of the Department of Justice shall be punishable as contempt, triable by the Court of First Instance of the province or city, or justice of the peace of the municipality, in which the contempt is committed. A close scrutiny however, of said section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 461, as last amended by Republic Act No. 44, will show that although disobedience to summons lawfully issued, refusal to testify and violation of any decision or order of the Department of Justice is declared contempt, the said Act, as amended, has failed to provide for any penalty for such contempt. The contempt referred to in Commonwealth Act No. 44, cannot be punished under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court because Rule 64 refers only to contempt committed against inferior or superior courts.

"The Court, therefore, believes that although the accused in these cases may have really violated the interlocutory order issued by the Tenancy Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice in tenancy cases Nos. 13476 and 13477, they cannot be punished because there is no law prescribing the penalty for such violation.

"Having reached the foregoing conclusion, it becomes unnecessary for the court to pass upon the question of jurisdiction raised by the defendants. It is also unnecessary for the court to pass upon the question as to whether these two defendants may be prosecuted for contempt in the Court of Industrial Relations, because of the abolition of the Tenancy Law Enforcement Division, and the transfer of its personnel, powers, duties, functions, records, appropriations, property and equipment to the said Court of Industrial Relations.

"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the court hereby orders the dismissal of the two above-entitled cases, with costs de oficio, and the cancellation of the bonds filed by the accused for their provisional release."cralaw virtua1aw library

The appellant fiscal through the Solicitor General claims that the lower court erred in holding that the defendants-appellees can not be punished because there is no law prescribing the penalty of the offense for which they were charged and holding that Rule 64 of the Rules of Court is not applicable in the contempt charged in the two cases. The contention is made that these cases come under section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code, and that Commonwealth Act 461 as amended by Republic Act No. 44 simply added to said section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code some acts not mentioned in the latter law punishable as contempt of court. The Solicitor General holds that in enacting Commonwealth Act 461 and Republic Act No. 44 the intention of the Legislature to provide for an effective and adequate means to enforce the lawful orders of the Department of Justice in the enactment of the Rice Share Tenancy Law is evident, and that it is presumed that said Legislature had not overlooked any detail in the performance of its duties and could not have passed the same without at the same time providing an appropriate penalty.

Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code is a general law and refers to administrative bodies or officers and non-judicial persons or bodies in general. And it authorizes only the taking of testimony and the production of documents under subpoena duces tecum. Commonwealth Act 461 as amended by Republic Act No. 44 may, however, be considered as special or specific law referring particularly to the Department of Justice and its representatives and it authorizes said representatives not only to make investigations and summon witnesses but also to issue such orders as may be deemed necessary for the best interest of the parties concerned. Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code does not authorize the issuance of orders. It is unreasonable therefore to conclude and to hold that the two laws are linked together and complement each other.

Neither may we apply Rule 64 of the Rules of Court to the two cases so as to punish as contempt of court the violation of the orders issued by Department of Justice officials under Commonwealth Act 461 as amended by Republic Act No. 44. Rule 64 of the Rules of Court applies only to inferior and superior courts and does not comprehend contempt committed against administrative officials or bodies, unless said contempt is clearly considered and expressly defined as contempt of court, as is done in paragraph 2 of section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code.

In other administrative or quasi-judicial bodies where contempts committed against them is considered as contempt of court, the law clearly and unequivocally says so. Thus Commonwealth Act 103, section 6 thereof as amended provides that any violation of any order, award, or decision of the Court of Industrial Relations shall after such order, award or decision has become final, conclusive and executory, constitute contempt of court. Again, the Securities Act, Commonwealth Act No. 83 as amended, in section 31(b) provides that failure or refusal to attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry or to produce books, papers, etc. shall be subject to discipline as in case of contempt of court. As regards the Public Service Commission, Commonwealth Act 146 as amended authorizes said commission to summarily punish for contempt at the same time mentioning the corresponding penalty. (Section 29, Commonwealth Act 146). And where any person refuses to answer any lawful inquiry or produce before the Commission books, papers, etc. called for by the Commission, upon conviction therefor by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be punished with fine or imprisonment or both. (Section 30(b), Commonwealth Act No. 146 as amended.)

From all this, it is evident that where the law desires and intends to punish any violation of or disobedience to any process or order issued by any administrative official or body, it clearly defines and terms such violation as contempt of court, or it authorizes said official or body to summarily punish for contempt, providing at the same time the corresponding penalty; and where the aid of the courts is necessary, the corresponding penalty upon conviction is also prescribed. Unfortunately, however, Commonwealth Act No. 461 as amended by Republic Act No. 44 fails to define or consider a violation of orders by Department of Justice officials of the Tenancy Division as contempt of court, or prescribe the penalty therefor.

Finding the order appealed from to be in accordance with law, the same is hereby affirmed. No costs.

Paras C.J., Feria, Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Tuason. Reyes, Jugo, Bautista Angelo and Labrador, JJ., concur.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





January-1953 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-3773 January 2, 1953 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. URBANO VIRAY, ET AL.

    092 Phil 415

  • G.R. No. L-4358 January 2, 1953 - JOSE SAMINIADA v. EPIFANIO MATA, ET AL.

    092 Phil 426

  • G.R. No. L-4531 January 10, 1953 - ANG SI HENG, ET AL. v. WELLINGTON DEP’T. STORE INC., ET AL.

    092 Phil 448

  • G.R. No. L-6225 January 10, 1953 - ARSENIO H. LACSON v. MARCIANO ROQUE, ET AL.

    092 Phil 456

  • G.R. No. L-4008 January 15, 1953 - APOLONIA SANTIAGO v. ANGELA DIONISIO, ET AL.

    092 Phil 495

  • G.R. No. L-4377 January 23, 1953 - FERNANDO BAQUIAL v. FELIX AMIHAN, ET AL.

    092 Phil 501

  • G.R. No. L-4871 January 26, 1953 - IN RE: ANG LAM v. HILARIO PEREGRINA

    092 Phil 506

  • G.R. No. L-5041 January 27, 1953 - BAY BOULEVARD SUBD., INC. v. FRANCISCO SYCIP, ET AL.

    092 Phil 508

  • G.R. No. L-5164 January 27, 1953 - CONRADO V. SINGSON, ET AL. v. CRISANTO ARAGON, ET AL.

    092 Phil 514

  • G.R. No. L-3683 January 28, 1953 - BANGON DU v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    092 Phil 519

  • G.R. No. L-4588 January 28, 1953 - IN RE: MATEO LIM v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    092 Phil 522

  • G.R. No. L-5270 January 28, 1953 - PNB v. GLICERIO JAVELLANA, ET AL.

    092 Phil 525

  • G.R. No. L-4963 January 29, 1953 - MARIA USON v. MARIA DEL ROSARIO, ET AL.

    092 Phil 530

  • G.R. Nos. L-2708 & L-3355-60 January 30, 1953 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SEGUNDO M. ACIERTO

    092 Phil 534

  • G.R. No. L-3602 January 30, 1953 - WONG SIU TONG v. ALEJO AQUINO

    092 Phil 545

  • G.R. No. L-3813 January 30, 1953 - PAUKI MADALE, ET AL. v. PASEYANAN BAY SA RAYA, ET AL.

    092 Phil 558

  • G.R. No. L-4551 January 30, 1953 - CHAN KIM LIAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    092 Phil 561

  • G.R. No. L-4904 January 30, 1953 - CEBU PORTLAND CEMENT CO. v. PHIL. LAND-AIR-SEA LABOR UNION

    092 Phil 563

  • G.R. No. L-5042 January 30, 1953 - FELICIDAD AMBAT v. DIRECTOR OF LANDS

    092 Phil 567

  • G.R. Nos. L-5059-60 January 30, 1953 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SIMEON MENDOZA, ET AL.

    092 Phil 570

  • G.R. No. L-5121 January 30, 1953 - J. P. HEILBRONN CO. v. NATIONAL LABOR UNION

    092 Phil 575

  • G.R. No. L-5129 January 30, 1953 - FRANCISCO ARAGON, ET AL. v. CONRADO ARAGON, ET AL.

    092 Phil 578

  • G.R. No. L-5159 January 30, 1953 - CANAS PLANTATION CO. v. BUREAU OF FORESTRY

    092 Phil 581

  • G.R. No. L-5346 January 30, 1953 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO AGUILANDO, ET AL.

    092 Phil 583

  • G.R. No. L-5360 January 30, 1953 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEANDRO DIMAPILIS

    092 Phil 589

  • G.R. No. L-5527 January 30, 1953 - SALVADOR FERNANDEZ v. PABLO GARCIA, ET AL.

    092 Phil 592

  • G.R. No. L-5654 January 30, 1953 - LUIS SAN JUAN v. SANTOS CALDERON, ET AL.

    092 Phil 598

  • G.R. No. L-4347 January 31, 1953 - ELPIDIO JAVELLANA v. DOMINADOR BARILEA

    092 Phil 600