Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Case Digest: G.R. No. L-6355-56. August 31, 1953. 93 Phil 696

Pastor M. Endencia and Fernando Jugo, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. Saturnino David, as Collector of Internal Revenue, defendant-appellant.

Facts: This is a joint appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila declaring section 13 of Republic Act No. 590 unconstitutional, and ordering the appellant Saturnino David as Collector of Internal Revenue to re-fund to Justice Pastor M. Endencia the sum of P1,744.45, representing the income tax collected on his salary as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals in 1951, and to Justice Fernando Jugo the amount of P2,345.46, representing the income tax collected on his salary from January 1,1950 to October 19, 1950, as Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals, and from October 20, 1950 to December 31,1950, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, without special pronouncement as to costs.

Issue: Whether or not Republic Act No. 590, particularly section 13, can justify and legalize the collection of income tax on the salary of judicial officers. 

Ruling: No. The Supreme Court reiterated the doctrine laid down in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, to the effect that the collection of income tax on the salary of a judicial officer is a diminution thereof and so violates the Constitution. It is further held that the interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive province and jurisdiction of the Judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in such a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting said statute, especially when the interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs counter to a previous interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of the land.

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