Mecano vs. Commission on Audit

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ANTONIO A. MECANO, petitioner,

G.R. No. 103982
December 11, 1992


Antonio Mecano is a Director II of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). He was hospitalized for cholecystitis on account of which he incurred medical and hospitalization expenses, the total amount of which he is claiming from the Commission on Audit.

Mecano requested for reimbursement for his expenses on the ground that he is entitled to the benefits under Section 699 of the Revised Administrative Code (RAC) which is a provision covering allowances of government employees in case of injury, death, or sickness incurred in performance of duty. Undersecretary of Justice Bello III denied Mecano’s claim reasoning that the RAC being relied upon was repealed by the Administrative Code of 1987 (Admin. Code). Mecano then re-­submitted his claim with a copy of the opinion of then Secretary of Justice Drilon stating that the Admin. Code did not operate to repeal or abrogate in its entirety the RAC, including the particular Section 699 of the latter as the repealing clause of the Admin. Code is merely a general repealing provision. The request was approved by the Department of Justice and forwarded to the Commission on Audit.

However, COA Chairman Eufemio C. Domingo denied Mecano’s claim on the ground that Section 699 of the RAC had been repealed by the Admin. Code, solely for the reason that the same section was not restated nor re-­enacted in the Admin. Code.

In the present petition, Mecano argue Sec. 699 of the RAC remains operative despite the enactment of the Admin. Code. On the other hand, COA contend that the enactment of the Admin. Code operated to revoke or supplant in its entirety the RAC as such was the clear intent of the legislature in enacting the Admin. Code.


Did the Admin. Code repeal or abrogate Section 699 of the RAC?


NO, the Admin. Code did not repeal or abrogate Sec. 699 of the RAC.

The Repealing Clause of the Admin. Code provides that “All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, or portions thereof, inconsistent with this Code are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.” This is a general repealing provision (implied repeal) for it failed to identify or designate the act or acts that are intended to be repealed. There are two categories of repeal by implication. The first is where provisions in the two acts on the same subject matter are in an irreconcilable conflict, the later act to the extent of the conflict constitutes an implied repeal of the earlier one. The second is if the later act covers the whole subject of the earlier one and is clearly intended as a substitute, it will operate to repeal the earlier law.

It is clear that there can be no implied repeal of Sec. 699 of the RAC by the Admin. Code. Under the first category, it was not established that there is any irreconcilable conflict between the two codes. Irreconcilable inconsistency takes place when the two statutes cover the same subject matter;; they are so clearly inconsistent and incompatible with each other that they cannot be reconciled or harmonized;; and both cannot be given effect, that is, that one law cannot be enforced without nullifying the other. The new Code does not cover nor attempt to cover the entire subject matter of the old Code In fact, there is no provision on sickness benefits of the nature being claimed by petitioner in the Admin. Code. Nor is there implied repeal under the second category for such is only possible if the revised statute or code was intended to cover the whole subject to be a complete and perfect system in itself and that it is clear intent of the legislature that the later act be the substitute to the prior act. As stated in the opinion of Secretary Drilon, the Admin. Code cover only those aspects of government that pertain to administration, organization and procedure.

It is a well-­settled rule of statutory construction that repeals of statutes by implication are not favored. The presumption is against inconsistency and repugnancy for the legislature is presumed to know the existing laws on the subject and not to have enacted inconsistent or conflicting statutes.

Hence, Sec. 699 of the RAC remains operative.

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