Civil Law

Lorenzo Tañada vs Juan Tuvera (1985)

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G.R. No. 63915 – 136 SCRA 27 – Civil Law – General Principles – Publication of Laws – Presidential Proclamations

Invoking the people’s right to be informed on matters of public concerns as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable they must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, Lorenzo Tañada et al seek a writ of mandamus to compel Juan Tuvera (then executive secretary to President Ferdinand Marcos) to publish and/or to cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various Presidential Decrees (PDs), Letters of Instructions (LOIs), Proclamations (PPs), Executive Orders (EOs), and Administrative Orders (AOs) issued by the then president.

ISSUE: Whether or not the various PDs et al must be published before they shall take effect.

HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court held that the fact that a PD or LOI states its date of effectivity does not preclude their publication in the Official Gazette as they constitute important legislative acts, particularly in the present case where the president may on his own issue laws. The clear objective of this provision is to give the public general adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim ignorantia legis non excusat (Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith). Publication is indispensable.

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