Sunday, October 23, 2011

Aisporna v CA (1982)

Aisporna v CA (1982)

Mapalad Aisporna, the wife of one Rodolfo Aisporna, an insurance agent, solicited the application of Eugenio Isidro in behalf of Perla Compana de Seguros without the certificate of authority to act from the insurance commissioner. Isidro passed away while his wife was issued  Php 5000 from the insurance policy. After the death, the fiscal instigated criminal action against Mapalad for violating sec 189 of the Insurance code for feloniously acting as agent when she solicited the application form.
In the trial court, she claimed that she helped Rodolfo as clerk and that she solicited a renewal, not a new policy from Isidro through the phone. She did this because her husband was absent when he called. She only left a note on top of her husband’s desk to inform him of what transpired. (She did not accept compensation from Isidro for her services)
Aisporna was sentenced to pay Php 500 with subsidiary costs in case of insolvency in 1971 in the Cabanatuan city court.
In the appellate court, she was found guilty of having violating par 1 of sec 189 of the insurance code.
 The OSG kept on repeating that she didn’t violate sec 189 of the insurance code.
In seeking reversal of the judgment, Aisporna assigned errors of the appellate court:
1. the receipt of compensation was not a necessary element of the crime in par 1 of sec 189 of the insurance code
2. CA erred in giving due weight to exhibits F, F1, F17 inclusive sufficient to establish petitioner’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
3. The CA erred in not acquitting the petitioner
Issues: Won a person can be convicted of having violated the 1st par of the sec 189 of the IC without reference to the 2nd paragraph of the said section. Or
Is it necessary to determine WON the agent mentioned in the 1st paragraph of the aforesaid section is governed by the definition of an insurance agent found on its second paragraph

Decision: Aisporna acquitted

Sect 189 of the I.C., par 1 states that “No insurance company doing business with the Philippine Islands nor l any agent thereof shall pay any commission or other compensation to any person for services in obtaining new insurance unless such person shall have first procured from the Insurance Commissioner a certificate of authority to act as an agent of such company as herein after provided.
No person shall act as agent, sub-agent, or broker in the solicitation of procurement of applications for insurance without obtaining a certificate from the Insurance Commissioner.
Par2 Any person who for COMPENSATION solicits or obtains insurance for any for any insurance compna or offers or assumes to act in the negotiating of such insurance shall be an insurance agent in the intent of this section and shall thereby become liable to all liabilities to which an insurance agent is subject.
Par 3 500 pseo fine for person or company violating the provisions of the section.
The court held that the 1st  par prohibited a person to act as agent without certificate of authority from the commissioner
In the 2nd par, the definition of an insurance agent is stipulated
The third paragraph provided the penalty for violating the 1st 2 rules
The appellate court said that the petitioner was penalized under the1st paragraph and not the 1nd. The fact that she didn’t receive compensation wasn’t an excuse for her acquittal because she was actually punished separately under sec 1 because she did not have a certificate of authority as under par 1.
The SC held that the definition of an insurance agent was made by CA to be limited to paragraph 2 and not applicable to the 1st paragraph.
The appellate court said that a person was an insurance agent under par 2 if she solicits insurance for compensation, but in the 1st paragraph, there was no necessity that a person solicits an insurance compensation in order to be called an agent.
The SC said that this was a reversible error.
The CA said that Aisporna didn’t receive compensation.
The SC said that  the definition of an insurance agent was found in the 2nd par of Sec 189 (check the law) The definition in the 2nd paragraph qualified the definition of an agent used in the 1st and third paragraphs.
DOCTRINE: The court held that legislative intent must be ascertained from the consideration of  the statute as a whole. The words shouldn’t be studied in isolated explanations but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning  of any of its parts in order to pronounce the harmonious whole.
Noscitur a sociis provides that where a particular word or phrase in a statement is ambiguous in itself, the true meaning may be made clear in the company it is fixed in. In applying this, the court held that the definition of an insurance agent in the 2nd paragraph was applicable in the 1st paragraph.
To receive compensation be the agent is an essential element for violation of the 1st paragraph.
The appellate court said that she didn’t receive compensation by the receipt of compensation wasn’t an essential element for violation of the 1st paragraph.
The SC said that this view wasn’t correct owing to the American insurance laws which qualified compensation as a qualifying factor in penalizing unauthorized persons who solicited insurance (Texas code and snyder’s law)   

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