Legal Latin- Case and Maxim Review

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Guzman, Mark Lawrence C.
Legal Latin

“Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguere debemus”

“Where the law does not distinguish, we ought not to distinguish”

Republic of the PhilippinesSUPREME COURTManila
EN BANC DECISION
May 31, 1935
G.R. No. L-43575
JUAN TAÑADA, plaintiffvs.JOSE YULO, Secretary of Justice, EDUARDO GUTIERREZ DAVID, Judge of First Instance of the Thirteenth Judicial District, and SANTIAGO TAÑADA, Justice of the Peace of Alabat, Tayabas, defendants.

For the second time the court is called upon to determine the right of a justice of the peace (JUAN TAÑADA, plaintiff) appointed prior to the approval of Act No. 3899, but who completed sixty-five years of age subsequent to the approval of the Act and to the date, January 1, 1933, specified in the Act, to continue in office.

The answer of the Solicitor-General presents two questions, the first predicated on the contention that Act No. 3899 applies to all justices of the peace who reach the age of sixty-five years, and the second on the acceptance of a transfer by the petitioner as denoting a new appointment bringing him within the purview of the cited law.

Facts:

- Juan Tañada, the petitioner, was appointed justice of the peace of Alabat, Tayabas, by the Governor-General with the advice and consent of the Philippine Commission on December 4, 1911.

- He continued in that position until September 8, 1934, when at his own request, was “transferred from the position of justice of the peace for the municipality of Alabat, Province of Tayabas, of the same position in the municipality of Perez, same province”, by a communication signed by the Governor-General from which the foregoing is quoted.

- Tañada completed the age of sixty-five years on October 5, 1934.
- Thereupon the Judge of First Instance of Tayabas, acting in accordance with instructions from the Department of Justice, directed Tañada to cease to act as justice of the peace of Perez, Tayabas.

- The act is based on the mandate of the law found in the last proviso to section 203 of the Administrative Code, as inserted by Act No. 3899, and in the proviso to section 206 of the same Code as last amended by Act No. 2768, which read as follows:

SEC. 203. Appointment and distribution of justices of the peace. – * * * Provided, further, That the present justice and auxiliary justice of the peace who shall, at the time this Act takes effect, have completed sixty-five years of age, shall cease to hold office on January first, nineteen hundred and thirty-three; and the Governor-General, with the advise and consent of the Philippine Senate, shall make new appointments to cover the vacancies occurring by operation of this Act.

SEC 206. Tenure of office – Transfer from one municipality of another. – A justice of the peace having the requisite legal qualifications shall hold office during good behavior unless his office be lawfully abolished or merged in the jurisdiction of some other justice: Provided, That in case the public interest requires it, a justice of the peace of one municipality may be transferred to another.

“Pursuant to the provisions of section 206 of the Revised Administrative Code”,

Tañada surrendered his office under protest, and thereafter instituted this original action of quo warranto. The applicable law is found in the last proviso to section 203 of the Administrative Code, as inserted by Act No. 3899, and in the proviso to section 206 of the same Code as last amended by Act No. 2768, which read as follows: SEC. 203. Appointment and distribution of justices of the peace. – * * * Provided, further, That the present justice and auxiliary justice of the peace who shall, at the time this Act takes effect, have completed sixty-five years of age, shall cease to hold office on January first, nineteen hundred and thirty-three; and the Governor-General, with the advise and consent of the Philippine Senate, shall make new appointments to...
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