Manuel Lara vs Petronilo Del Rosario, Jr.

94 Phil 778 – Civil Law – Preliminary Title – Publication of Laws

Manuel Lara et al were former taxi drivers of Petronilo Del Rosario, Jr. In September 1950, Del Rosario sold some of his vehicles which led to Lara et al not being needed anymore. Eventually, their services were terminated. Because their employer did not give them their one month’s salary in lieu of the notice required in Article 302 of the Code of Commerce, Lara et al sued Del Rosario.

However, Del Rosario contended that the Code of Commerce was already repealed hence Lara et al have no legal basis. Del Rosario contends that the New Civil Code took effect in August 1950 or a year after release for publication.

ISSUE: When did the New Civil Code took effect?

HELD: The Supreme Court ruled that Lara et al has no legal basis for their claims since the provision of the Code of Commerce they are relying on was already repealed by the New Civil Code. Their alleged dismissal from service without notice took place in September 1950 after the New Civil Code took effect.

The Supreme Court also clarified that, in an obiter dictum, that the new Civil Code of the Philippines took effect on August 30, 1950. This date is exactly one year after the Official Gazette publishing the Code was released for circulation, the said release having been made on August 30, 1949.

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