Not the letter that killeth, but the spirit that vivifieth

Moreover, petitioners too literal interpretation of the law leads to absurdity which we cannot countenance. Thus, in a case, the Court made the following admonition: We admonish against a too-literal reading of the law as this is apt to constrict rather than fulfill its purpose and defeat the intention of its authors. That intention is usually found not in the letter that killeth but in the spirit that vivifieth x x x The spirit, rather than the letter of a law determines its construction; hence, a statute, as in this case, must be read according to its spirit and intent. [G.R. No. 123169. November 4, 1996]