Principle of statutory construction states that where there are two statutes applicable to a particular case, that which is specially intended for the said case must prevail

On various occasions, the Court has ruled on the primacy of special laws and of their implementing regulations over the Administrative Code of 1987 in settling controversies specifically subject of these special laws. For instance, in Hon. Joson v. Exec. Sec. Torres, the Court held that the Local Government Code of 1991, the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991, and Administrative Order No. 23 (A.O. No. 23) govern administrative disciplinary proceedings against elective local officials, whereas the Rules of Court and the Administrative Code of 1987 apply in a suppletory character to all matters not provided in A.O. No. 23. The aforesaid ruling is based on the principle of statutory construction that where there are two statutes applicable to a particular case, that which is specially intended for the said case must prevail.

More significantly, in Lapid v. Court of Appeals, the Court expressly upheld the applicability of The Ombudsman Act of 1989 and the implementing rules and regulations thereof to the exclusion of the Local Government Code and the Administrative Code of 1989 on the issue of the execution of the Ombudsman’s decision pending appeal. The Court noted that petitioner therein was charged before the Office of the Ombudsman and accordingly, The Ombudsman Act of 1989 should apply exclusively. The Court explained, thus:

There is no basis in law for the proposition that the provisions of the Administrative Code of 1987 and the Local Government Code on execution pending review should be applied suppletorily to the provisions of the Ombudsman Act as there is nothing in the Ombudsman Act which provides for such suppletory application. xxx xxx  xxx

And while in one respect, the Ombudsman Law, the Administrative Code of 1987 and the Local Government Code are in pari materia insofar as the three laws relate or deal with public officers, the similarity ends there. It is a principle in statutory construction that where there are two statutes that apply to a particular case, that which was specially designed for the said case must prevail over the other. In the instant case, the acts attributed to petitioner could have been the subject of administrative disciplinary proceedings before the Office of the President under the Local Government Code or before the Office of the Ombudsman under the Ombudsman Act.  Considering however, that petitioner was charged under the Ombudsman Act, it is this law alone which should govern his case.

Thus, as between the Administrative Code of 1987 and Administrative Order No. 07, as amended, issued by the Office of the Ombudsman, the latter governs in this case which involves an administrative complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman and which raises the question of whether petitioner is entitled to a formal investigation as a matter of right.

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2008/feb2008/176478.htm

About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
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