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PIMENTEL, JR. v.

ERMITA (2005)
Petitioner: Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., Edgardo Angara, Juan Ponce Enrile, Luisa Ejercito-Estrada,
Jinggoy Estrada, Panfilo Lacson, Alfredo Lim, Jamby Madrigal
Respondents: Exec. Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Florencio Abad, Avelino Cruz, Michael
Defensor, Joseph Durano, Raul Gonzalez, Alberto Romulo, Rene Villa and Arthur Yap.
DOCTRINE: Courts will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of repetition yet
evading review.
FACTS:
Congress commences its regular session on 26 July 2004. The Commission of
Appointments, composed of Senators and Representatives, was constituted on 25
August 2004.
Meanwhile, Pres. Gloria Arroyo issued appointments for the acting secretaries of nine
departments of the executive branch. They took oath of office and assumed their duties
soon after.
Congress adjourned on 22 September 2004. On the following day, Pres. Arroyo issued
ad intermin appointments to the same people for the same positions.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Pres. Arroyo's appointments are unconstitutional as they do not have the
consent of the Commission of Appointments while Congress is in session.
PROVISIONS:
EO 292, Section 16 and 17: The President has the power to appoint officials as
provided for by the Constitution and the law. The President can also temporarily
designate any person in government service or any competent person in the executive
branch when the officer assigned is ill or absent (among many other reasons), or when
there is a vacancy. Temporary designations must not exceed one year.
RATIO:
Though it may be argued the petition is moot, there are exceptions. As an exception to
the rule of court on mootness, it will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of
repetition yet evading review. In this case, similar questions could crop up every time the
President exercises appointment powers when Congress is in session.
Mootness of petition does not bar its resolution as questions of such acts by the
President (as illustrated in this case) will always arise.
The power and nature to appoint is executive in nature. Legislature may not interfere
with the exercise of executive power unless the Constitution allows it to.