CHAPTER I: EFFECT AND APPLICATION OF LAWS
Article 1. This Act shall be known as the “Civil Code of the Philippines.” (n)
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. (1a)
Art. 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. (2)
Art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (3)
Art. 5. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity. (4a)
Art. 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. (4a)
Art. 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.
When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern.
Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. (5a)
Art. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. (n)
Art. 9. No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. (6)
Art. 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail. (n)
Art. 11. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. (n)
Art. 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. (n)
Art. 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.
If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have.
In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. (7a)
Art. 14. Penal laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to the principles of public international law and to treaty stipulations. (8a)
Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. (9a)
Art. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is stipulated.
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. (10a)
Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed.
When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have, for their object, public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. (11a)
Art. 18. In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code. (16a)
HUMAN RELATIONS (n)
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.
Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Art. 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another’s property was not due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the act or event he was benefited.
Art. 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
Art. 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.
Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:
(1) Prying into the privacy of another’s residence:
(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another;
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.
Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other relief against he latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken.
Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.
Art. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.