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DE CASTRO VS. JBC ARTURO M. DE CASTRO vs.

JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC) and PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010 FACTS: The compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010 occurs just days after the coming presidential elections on May 10, 2010. These cases trace their genesis to the controversy that has arisen from the forthcoming compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17, 2010, or seven days after the presidential election. Under Section 4(1), in relation to Section 9, Article VIII, that vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Also considering that Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department) of the Constitution prohibits the President or Acting President from making appointments within two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. The JBC, in its en banc meeting of January 18, 2010, unanimously agreed to start the process of filling up the position of Chief Justice. Conformably with its existing practice, the JBC automatically considered for the position of Chief Justice the five most senior of the Associate Justices of the Court, namely: Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio; Associate Justice Renato C. Corona; Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales; Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.; and Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura. However, the last two declined their nomination through letters dated January 18, 2010 and January 25, 2010, respectively. The OSG contends that the incumbent President may appoint the next Chief Justice, because the prohibition under Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution does not apply to appointments in the Supreme Court. It argues that any vacancy in the Supreme Court must be filled within 90 days from its occurrence, pursuant to Section 4(1), Article VIII of the Constitution; that had the framers intended the prohibition to apply to Supreme Court appointments, they could have easily expressly stated so in the Constitution, which explains why the prohibition found in Article VII (Executive Department) was not written in Article VIII (Judicial Department); and that the framers also incorporated in Article VIII ample restrictions or limitations on the Presidents power to appoint members of the Supreme Court to ensure its independence from political vicissitudes and its insulation from political pressures, such as stringent qualifications for the positions, the establishment of the JBC, the specified period within which the President shall appoint a Supreme Court Justice. A part of the question to be reviewed by the Court is whether the JBC properly initiated the process, there being an insistence from some of the oppositors-intervenors that the JBC could only do so once the vacancy has occurred (that is, after May 17, 2010). Another part is, of course, whether the JBC may resume its process until the short list is prepared, in view of the provision of Section 4(1), Article VIII, which unqualifiedly requires the President to appoint one from the short list to fill the vacancy in the

Supreme Court (be it the Chief Justice or an Associate Justice) within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. ISSUE: Whether the incumbent President can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his retirement. HELD: Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII does not apply to appointments to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court or to other appointments to the Judiciary. Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict. The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), provides: Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety. The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department), states: Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof. Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the Presidents or Acting Presidents term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court. Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the Presidents or Acting Presidents term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court. Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 are obviously of the same character, in that they affect the power of the President to appoint. The fact that Section 14 and Section 16 refer only to appointments within the Executive Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also applies only to the Executive Department. This conclusion is consistent with the rule that every part of the statute must be

interpreted with reference to the context, i.e. that every part must be considered together with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment. It is absurd to assume that the framers deliberately situated Section 15 between Section 14 and Section 16, if they intended Section 15 to cover all kinds of presidential appointments. If that was their intention in respect of appointments to the Judiciary, the framers, if only to be clear, would have easily and surely inserted a similar prohibition in Article VIII, most likely within Section 4 (1) thereof.

Socrates vs COMELEC, 391 SCRA 457; G.R. No. 154512, November 12, 2002 Posted by Pius Morados on November 6, 2011 (Local Government, Recall Election: Exception to the 3 term limit) Facts: COMELEC gave due course to the Recall Resolution against Mayor Socrates of the City of Puerto Princesa, and scheduled the recall election on September 7, 2002. On August 23, 2002, Hagedorn filed his COC for mayor in the recall election. Different petitioners filed their respective petitions, which were consolidated seeking the disqualification of Hagedorn to run for the recall election and the cancellation of his COC on the ground that the latter is disqualified from running for a fourth consecutive term, having been elected and having served as mayor of the city for three (3) consecutive full terms in 1992, 1995 and 1998 immediately prior to the instant recall election for the same post. COMELECs First Division dismissed in a resolution the petitioner for lack of merit. And COMELEC declared Hagedorn qualified to run in the recall election. Issue: WON one who has been elected and served for 3 consecutive full terms is qualified to run for mayor in the recall election. Held: Yes. The three-term limit rule for elective local officials is found in Section 8, Article X of the Constitution, which states: Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. This three-term limit rule is reiterated in Section 43 (b) of RA No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, which provides:

Section 43. Term of Office. (a) x x x (b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected. The first part provides that an elective local official cannot serve for more than three consecutive terms. The clear intent is that only consecutive terms count in determining the three-term limit rule. The second part states that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not interrupt the continuity of service. The clear intent is that involuntary severance from office for any length of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and after the interruption from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive terms. After three consecutive terms, an elective local official cannot seek immediate re-election for a fourth term. The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for the same office following the end of the third consecutive term. Any subsequent election, like a recall election, is no longer covered by the prohibition for two reasons. First, a subsequent election like a recall election is no longer an immediate re-election after three consecutive terms. Second, the intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of service. Based from the deliberations of a Constitutional Commission, what the Constitution prohibits is an immediate re-election for a fourth term following three consecutive terms. The Constitution, however, does not prohibit a subsequent re-election for a fourth term as long as the re-election is not immediately after the end of the third consecutive term. A recall election mid-way in the term following the third consecutive term is a subsequent election but not an immediate re-election after the third term. Neither does the Constitution prohibit one barred from seeking immediate re-election to run in any other subsequent election involving the same term of office. What the Constitution prohibits is a consecutive fourth term. In the case of Hagedorn, his candidacy in the recall election on September 24, 2002 is not an immediate re-election after his third consecutive term which ended on June 30, 2001. The immediate re-election that the Constitution barred Hagedorn from seeking referred to the regular elections in 2001.

Socrates vs Comelec
Post under Local Government , Political Law Case Digests , Term of Office , Three-term limit

FACTS:

Hagedorn had been elected and served as mayor of Puerto Princesa City for three consecutive terms: in 1992-1995, 1995-1998 and 1998-2001. Obviously aware of the three-term limit principle, Hagedorn opted not to vie for the same mayoralty position in the 2001 elections, in which Socrates ran and eventually won. However, midway into his term, Socrates faced recall proceedings and in the recall election held, Hagedorn run for the formers unexpired term as mayor. Socrates sought Hagedorns disqualification under the three-term limit rule.

ISSUE:

WON Hagedorn is disqualified to run under the three-term limit rule

HELD:

These constitutional and statutory provisions have two parts. The first part provides that an elective local official cannot serve for more than three consecutive terms. The clear intent is that only consecutive terms count in determining the three-term limit rule. The second part states that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not interrupt the continuity of service. The clear intent is that involuntary severance from office for any length of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and after the interruption from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive terms.

After three consecutive terms, an elective official cannot immediate re-election for a fourth term, The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for a fourth term. The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for the same office following the same office following the third consecutive term. Any subsequent election, like a recall election, is no longer covered by the prohibition for two reasons: 1) A subsequent election like a recall election, is no longer an immediate reelection after the three consecutive terms; and 2) The intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of service.

After Hagedorn ceased to be mayor on June 30, 2001, he became a private citizen until the recall election of September 24, 2002 when he won by 3,018 votes over his closest opponent, Socrates.

From June 30, 2001 until the recall election on September 24, 2002, the mayor of Puerto Princesa was Socrates. During the same period, Hagedorn was simply a private citizen. This period is clearly an interruption in the continuity of Hagedorns service as mayor, not because of his voluntary renunciation, but because of a legal prohibition. (Socrates vs. Comelec, G.R. No. 154512. November 12, 2002)

Nazareno vs. City of Dumaguete 527 SCRA 509 Agustin R. Perdices won over incumbent Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo for the mayoralty post. He was to assume office on June 30, 2001. Before Perdices assumption, Remollo made fifteen (15) promotional appointments, and seventy-four (74) original appointments for various positions in the city government. July 2, 2001: Remollo dishonored the appointments made by Remollo. Leah M. Nazareno, et al, filed with the RTC of Dumaguete City a Petition for Mandamus, Injunction and Damages against the City of Dumaguete, represented by Mayor Remollo. Aug. 1, 2001: Director Abucejo of the Civil Service Commission Field Office (CSCFO) invalidated and revoked the questioned appointments as they were issued in violation of the guidelines set forth by the CSC. Aug. 3, 2001: RTC issued a writ of prelim injunction against the City Government pending the final adjudication of the case. The court reversed Director Abucejos on the ground that the questioned appointments may only be invalidated by the Regional Office upon recommendation by the CSCFO. City of Dumaguete claimed that Director Abucejos decision already became final after petitioners failed to move for reconsideration of the same. They moved for the dismissal of the injunction case. RTC denied the motion to dismiss but agreed with the finality of the decision. It permanently lifted the preliminary injunction. Nazareno et al, appealed to the CA. The appeal was denied and dismissed by the court.

ISSUE:

(1) Whether or not the petition for injunction filed by Nazareno et al. is premature? YES!

HELD/RATIO:
Nazareno et al. prematurely filed the injunction because there was still no invalidation of their appointments. The filing was only prompted by Mayor Perdices announcement that he was dishonoring the appointments made by former mayor Remollo. The invalidation only took place on August 1, 2001. After the invalidation, they could still file an appeal with the CSC Regional Office. Thus, they had ample administrative remedies under the law to protect their rights but they chose to go straight to the regular courts. Injunction is not designed to protect contingent or future rights, and as such, the possibility of irreparable damage without proof of actual existing right is no ground for injunction. The Court refused to rule on the validity of the appointments since it was the subject of a separate petition for review before the Court of Appeals. Thus, it held that there was no need for the separate case of injunction since Nazareno et al. are given by law and related rules adequate remedies to protect their rights and interests.

Delos Santos v. Mallare G.R. No. L-3881 August 31, 1950 Tuason, J. Facts: Eduardo de los Santos, the petitioner, was appointed City Engineer of Baguio on July 16, 1946, by the President, appointment which was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on August 6, and on the 23rd of that month, he qualified for and began to exercise the duties and functions of the position. On June 1, 1950, Gil R. Mallare was extended an ad interimappointment by the President to the same position, after which, on June 3, the Undersecretary of the Department of Public Works and Communications directed Santos to report to the Bureau of Public Works for another assignment. Santos refused to vacate the office, and when the City Mayor and the other officials named as Mallare's co-defendants ignored him and paid Mallare the salary corresponding to the position, he commenced these proceedings. Issue: whether or not the removal of the petitioner from his present position for assignment to another position violates Section 4, Article XII of the 1935 Constitution which provides that "No

officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law." Held: Yes. Section 1, Article XII of the Constitution ordains: "A Civil Service embracing all branches and subdivisions of the Government shall be provided by law. Appointments in the Civil Service, except as those which are policy-determining, primarily confidential or highly technical in nature, shall be made only according to merit and fitness, to be determined as far as practicable by competitive examination." Section 670 of the Revised Administrative Code provided that "Persons in the Philippine civil service pertain either to the classified service," and went on to say that "The classified service embraces all not expressly declared to be in the unclassified service." Then section 671 described persons in the unclassified service as "officers, other than the provincial treasurers and assistant directors of bureaus or offices, appointed by the President of the Philippines, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments of the National Assembly, and all other officers of the government whose appointments are by law vested in the President of the Philippines alone." Three specified classes of positions policy-determining, primarily confidential and highly technical are excluded from the merit system and dismissal at pleasure of officers and employees appointed therein is allowed by the Constitution. None of these exceptions obtain in the present case. The office of city engineer is neither primarily confidential, policy-determining, nor highly technical. A confidential position denotes not only confidence in the aptitude of the appointee for the duties of the office but primarily close intimacy which insures freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of personal trust or confidential matters of state. Nor is the position of city engineer policy-determining. A city engineer does not formulate a method of action for the government or any of its subdivisions. His job is to execute policy, not to make it. With specific reference to the City Engineer of Baguio, his powers and duties are carefully laid down for him be section 2557 of the Revised Administrative Code and are essentially ministerial in character. Finally, the position of city engineer is technical but not highly so. A city engineer is not required nor is he supposed to possess a technical skill or training in the supreme or superior degree, which is the sense in which "highly technical" is employed in the Constitution. There are hundreds of technical men in the classified civil service whose technical competence is not lower than that of a city engineer. As a matter of fact, the duties of a city engineer are eminently administrative in character and could very well be discharged by non-technical men possessing executive ability.

SC decision regarding primarily confidential position