Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Aisporna v. CA [GR L-39419, 12 April 1982 (113 SCRA 459)]

Facts: Since 7 March and on 21 June 1969, a Personal Accident Policy was issued by Perla Compania de Seguros, through its authorized agent Rodolfo Aisporna, for a period of 12 months with the beneficiary designated as Ana M. Isidro. The insured died by violence during lifetime of policy. Mapalad Aisporna participated actively with the aforementioned policy. 

For reason unexplained, an information was filed against Mapalad Aisporna, Rodolfo’s wife, with the City Court of Cabanatuan for violation of Section 189 of the Insurance Act on 21 November 1970, or acting as an agent in the soliciting insurance without securing the certificate of authority from the office of the Insurance Commissioner. Mapalad contends that being the wife of true agent, Rodolfo, she naturally helped him in his work, as clerk, and that policy was merely a renewal and was issued because Isidro had called by telephone to renew, and at that time, her husband, Rodolfo, was absent and so she left a note on top of her husband’s desk to renew. On 2 August 1971, the trial court found Mapalad guilty and sentenced here to pay a fine of P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs. On appeal and on 14 August 1974, the trial court’s decision was affirmed by the appellate court (CA-GR 13243-CR). Hence, the present recourse was filed on 22 October 1974. On 20 December 1974, the Office of the Solicitor General, representing the Court of Appeals, submitted that Aisporna may not be considered as having violated Section 189 of the Insurance Act. 

Issue: Whether Mapalad Aisporna is an insurance agent within the scope or intent of the Insurance Act 

Held: Legislative intent must be ascertained from a consideration of the statute as a whole. The particular words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce harmonious whole. In the present case, the first paragraph of Section 189 prohibits a person from acting as agent, subagent or broker in the solicitation or procurement of applications for insurance without first procuring a certificate of authority so to act from the Insurance Commissioner; while the second paragraph defines who is an insurance agent within the intent of the section; while the third paragraph prescribes the penalty to be imposed for its violation. The appellate court’s ruling that the petitioner is prosecuted not under the second paragraph of Section 189 but under its first paragraph is a reversible error, as the definition of insurance agent in paragraph 2 applies to the paragraph 1 and 2 of Section 189, which is “any person who for compensation shall be an insurance agent within the intent of this section.” Without proof of compensation, directly or indirectly, received from the insurance policy or contract, Mapalad Aisporna may not be held to have violated Section 189 of the Insurance Act. “Under the Texas Penal Code 1911, Article 689, making it a misdemeanor for any person for direct or indirect compensation to solicit insurance without a certificate of authority to act as an insurance agent, an information, failing to allege that the solicitor was to receive compensation either directly or indirectly, charges no offense. In the case of Bolen vs. Stake,19 the provision of Section 3750, Snyder's Compiled Laws of Oklahoma 1909 is intended to penalize persons only who acted as insurance solicitors without license, and while acting in such capacity negotiated and concluded insurance contracts for compensation. It must be noted that the information, in the case at bar, does not allege that the negotiation of an insurance contracts by the accused with Eugenio Isidro was one for compensation. This allegation is essential, and having been omitted, a conviction of the accused could not be sustained. It is well-settled in our jurisprudence that to warrant conviction, every element of the crime must be alleged and proved. After going over the records of this case, we are fully convinced, as the Solicitor General maintains, that accused did not violate Section 189 of the Insurance Act.”

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