City of Manila and Treasurer vs. Judge Gomez [G.R. No. L-37251. August 31, 1981]

15 Aug

Ponente: AQUINO, J.


Section 64 of the Revised Charter of Manila, Republic Act No. 409, which took effect on June 18, 1949, fixed the annual realty tax at one and one-half percent. On the other hand, Section 4 of the Special Education Fund Law, Republic Act No. 5447, which took effect on January 1, 1969, imposed “an annual additional tax of one per centum on the assessed value of real property in addition to the real property tax regularly levied thereon under existing laws” but “the total real property tax shall not exceed a maximum of three per centrum. That maximum limit gave the municipal board of Manila the Idea of fixing the realty tax at three percent. [B]y means of Ordinance No. 7125, approved by the city mayor on December 26, 1971 and effective beginning the third quarter of 1972, the board imposed an additional one-half percent realty tax.

Esso Philippines, Inc. paid under protest and later filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Manila for the recovery of it. It contended that the additional one-half percent tax is void because it is not authorized by the city charter nor by any law (Civil Case No. 88827). After hearing, the trial court declared the tax ordinance void and ordered the city treasurer of Manila to refund to Esso the said tax. The City of Manila and its treasurer appealed under Republic Act No. 5440 (which superseded Rule 42 of the Rules of Court) with the ruling of Judge Gomez brought about the jurisdiction to the Supreme Court.


Whether or not the additional one-half percent realty tax is legal and valid.


YES. By necessary implication.


The Supreme Court held that the doctrine of implications in statutory construction and sustained the City of Manila’s contention that the additional one-half percent realty tax was sanctioned by the provision in Section 4 of the Special Education Fund Law. The doctrine of implications means that “that which is plainly implied in the language of a statute is as much a part of it as that which is expressed”. The obvious implication is that an additional one-half percent tax could be imposed by municipal corporations. Inferentially, that law (the ordinance) fixed at two percent the realty tax that would accrue to a city or municipality. Section 4 of the Special Education Fund Law, as confirmed by the Real Property Tax Code (later), in prescribing a total realty tax of three percent impliedly authorized the augmentation by one-half percent of the pre-existing one and one- half percent realty tax.

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Case Digests, Statutory Construction


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