: In 1960, the petitioner, Caltex (Philippines) Inc., launched a promotional scheme called "Caltex Hooded Pump Contest" which calls for participants to estimate the actual number of liters a hooded gas pump of each Caltex Station will dispense within a specific period. Such contest is open to all motor vehicle owners and/or licensed drivers. There is no required fee or consideration, and there is no need for the contestants to purchase the products of Caltex. The forms are available upon request at each Caltex Station and there is a sealed can where accomplished entry stubs may be deposited. Then, seeing the extensive use of mails for publicizing and transmission of communication purposes, Caltex sent representatives to the postal authorities for advance clearing for the use of mails for the contest. But then, the Postmaster General, Enrico Palomar, denied the request of Caltex in view of Sections 1954 (a), 1982 and 1983 of the Revised Administrative Code. The aforesaid sections prohibits the use of mail conveying any information concerning non-mailable schemes, such as lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme. Consequently, Caltex invoked a judicial intervention by filing a petition of declaratory relief against the Postmaster General, ordering the Postmaster General to allow the petitioner to use the mails to bring the contest to the attention of the public and that the aforesaid contest is not violative of the Postal Law. Issue
Whether or not the scheme proposed by Caltex is within the coverage of the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably requires an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. Held
No. Caltex may be granted declaratory relief, even if Enrico Palomar simply applied the clear provisions of the law to a given set of facts as embodied in the rules of the contest. For, construction is the art or process of discovering and expounding the meaning and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its application to a given case is not explicitly provided for in the law.
In this case, the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably required an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. Also, the Court is tasked to look beyond the fair exterior, to the substance, in order to unmask the real element that the law is seeking to prevent or prohibit.