I. General Principles in defining Statutory Construction Whether the promotional scheme is a lottery or a gift that violates the provisions of the Postal Law (Caltex v. Palomar)
In the case at bar, there is no requirement in the rules that any fee be paid, any merchandise be bought, any service be rendered, or any value whatsoever be given for the privilege to participate. The scheme is merely a gratuitous distribution of property by chance which does not violate the provisions of the Postal Law. Construction is used where there is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. Hence, the Court is tasked to look beyond the fair exterior, to the substance, in order to unmask the real element and pernicious tendencies that the law is seeking to prevent.
What is Statutory Construction? It is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and the intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law. (Caltex v. Palomar)
II. When does statutory construction come in?
The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the law. Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them. (National Federation of Labor v. Eisma; Paat v. CA; People v. Mapa; Paras v. Comelec; Daoang v. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas)