Ponente: REGALA, J.
[D]efendant Guillermo Manantan was charged with a violation Section 54 of the Revised Election Code in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. The defense moved to dismiss the information on the ground that as justice of the peace the defendant is one of the officers enumerated in Section 54 of the Revised Election Code. The lower court denied the said motion. A second motion was filed by defense counsel who cited in support thereof the decision of the Court of Appeals in People vs. Macaraeg applying the rule of “expressio unius, est exclusion alterius”. The lower court dismissed the information against the accused upon the authority of the ruling in the case cited by the defense. The issue was raised to the Supreme Court.
Whether or not a justice of the peace was included in the prohibition of Section 54 of the Revised Election Code.
YES. The order of dismissal entered by the trial court should be set aside and this case was remanded for trial on the merits.
The application of the rule of casus omissus does not proceed from the mere fact that a case is criminal in nature, but rather from a reasonable certainty that a particular person, object or thing has been omitted from a legislative enumeration. In the present case, and for reasons already mentioned, there has been no such omission. There has only been a substitution of terms. On law reason and public policy, defendant-appellee’s contention that justices of the peace are not covered by the injunction of Section 54 must be rejected. To accept it is to render ineffective a policy so clearly and emphatically laid down by the legislature.
Although it was observed that both the Court of Appeals and the trial court applied the rule of “expressio unius, est exclusion alterius” in arriving at the conclusion that justices of the peace are not covered by Section 54, the rule has no application. If the legislature had intended to exclude a justice of the peace from the purview of Section 54, neither the trial court nor the Court of Appeals has given the reason for the exclusion. Indeed, there appears no reason for the alleged change. Hence, the rule of expressio unius est exclusion alterius has been erroneously applied.