Lorenzo Tañada vs Juan Tuvera (1986)

November 5, 2010
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146 SCRA 446 – Civil Law – Preliminary Title – Publication – Presidential Proclamations etc – What “unless otherwise provided” means in Article 2 of the Civil Code

With the Supreme Court’s decision that ordered Tuvera et al to publish in the Official Gazette the unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published, they shall have no binding force and effect, Tuvera et al move for reconsideration and clarification.

ISSUE: Whether or not publication should be made in the Official Gazette or elsewhere as long as the people were sufficiently informed.

HELD: The Supreme Court cannot rule upon the wisdom of a law or repeal or modify it if it finds the same as impractical. That is not its function for such is the function of the legislature. The task of the Supreme Court is merely to interpret and apply the law as conceived and approved by the political departments of the government in accordance with prescribed procedure. Hence, the Court declared that all laws shall immediately upon their approval or as soon thereafter as possible, be published in full in the Official Gazette, to become effective only after 15 days from their publication, or on another date specified by the legislature, in accordance with Article 2 of the Civil Code. The clause “unless otherwise provided” pertains to the date of publication and not the requirement of publication.

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