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Republic of the Philippines

Supreme Court
Manila

EN BANC
RUSSEL ULYSSES I.NIEVES,
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 190422


Present:

- versus -

CARPIO,
VELASCO, JR.,*
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
BRION,
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,
DEL CASTILLO,
ABAD,
VILLARAMA, JR.,
PEREZ,
MENDOZA,
SERENO,
REYES, and
PERLAS-BERNABE, JJ.

JOCELYN LB. BLANCO, in her capacity as the


Regional Director, Regional Office No. V, Department Promulgated:
of Trade and Industry,
Respondent.
June 19, 2012
x----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x
RESOLUTION
REYES, J.:
Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court, seeking to annul and set aside the Decision[1] dated September 10, 2009 issued by
the Court of Appeals (CA) and the Resolution[2] dated November 24, 2009 denying the Motion

for Reconsideration thereof in CA-G.R. SP No. 102174 which reversed and set aside Resolution
Nos. 071693 and 072374 dated August 24, 2007 and December 17, 2007, respectively, of the
Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Petitioner Russel Ulysses I. Nieves (Nieves) is a regular employee of the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI) with the position of Trade and Industry Development Specialist. He
was formerly assigned to the DTIs office in Sorsogon (DTI-Sorsogon). On the other hand,
respondent Jocelyn LB. Blanco (Blanco) is the Regional Director of DTI Regional Office in
Region V.
On February 10, 2005, Blanco issued Regional Office Order No. 09 which directed
Nieves reassignment from DTI-Sorsogon to DTIs provincial office in Albay (DTIAlbay). Nieves appealed his reassignment to the CSCs Regional Office in Legazpi City (CSC
Regional Office No. V) which, however, dismissed his appeal on March 18, 2005 for his failure
to comply with the requirements of an appeal. Nieves forthwith complied with the reassignment
order and reported for work at DTI-Albay.
A year after his reassignment to DTI-Albay, Nieves requested Blanco for his
reassignment back to DTI-Sorsogon. He asserted that, under Section 6(a) of the Omnibus Rules
on Appointments and other Personnel Actions, as amended by CSC Memorandum Circular No.
02-05 (Revised Rules on Reassignment), reassignment of employees with station-specific place
of work is allowed only for a maximum period of one year. Considering that more than a year
had passed since he was reassigned to DTI-Albay, Nieves claimed that Blanco was duty-bound
to reassign him back to DTI-Sorsogon.
In a letter dated May 12, 2006, Blanco denied Nieves request, stating that the latters
appointment as Trade and Industry Development Specialist in the DTI is not station specific and,
hence, the one-year period limitation with regard to reassignment of employees does not apply to
his case.
On June 21, 2006, Nieves filed a complaint with the CSC Regional Office No. V against
Blanco, alleging that the latter committed grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and
oppression when she denied his request for reassignment back to DTI-Sorsogon. Nieves claimed
that Blancos refusal to reassign him back to DTI-Sorsogon was but an offshoot of the antipathy
between him and DTI-Sorsogon Provincial Director Leah Pagao (Pagao). Allegedly, Nieves had

previously filed a complaint with the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission against Pagao and, in
reprisal, Blanco reassigned him to DTI-Albay.
On July 12, 2006, Nieves complaint against Blanco was referred to the Office of Legal
Affairs of the CSC for appropriate action. On August 24, 2007, the CSC issued Resolution No.
071693,[3] the decretal portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the complaint against Jocelyn LB. Blanco, Regional
Director, Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office (DTI-RO) No.
V, Legazpi City is herebyDISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. The letter dated
May 12, 2006 of Regional Director Jocelyn LB. Blanco, DTI-RO No. V,
is REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. Accordingly, Russel Ulysses I. Nieves, Trade
and Industry Development Specialist, DTI-RO No. V, Legazpi City, shall be
reinstated to his original station in DTI-Sorsogon.
The Civil Service Commission Regional Office No. V,
Rawis, Legazpi City is directed to monitor the implementation of this Resolution
and to submit a report to the Commission within fifteen (15) days from receipt of
the Resolution.[4]

The CSC, invoking the provisions of Rule I, Section 5, A(4) of the Uniform Rules on
Administrative Cases, held that it does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate the charge against
Blanco for grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression, since the latter is a third
level official who is a presidential appointee.
Nevertheless, the CSC proceeded to determine the propriety of the reassignment order
issued by Blanco. The CSC pointed out that Nieves appointment as Trade and Industry
Development Specialist is not station-specific. Nevertheless, the CSC averred that this does not
mean that Nieves could be reassigned to DTI-Albay indefinitely. It ruled that under the Revised
Rules on Reassignment, a reassignment outside the geographical location, if without the consent
of the employee concerned, should not exceed the maximum period of one year. The CSC
explained that:
Rule III, Section 6(a) of the Omnibus Rules on Appointments and
Other Personnel Actions (Amended by CSC Memorandum Circular No. 2,
series of 2005), states as follows:
xxxx

6. Reassignment outside geographical location if with


consent shall have no limit. However, if it is without consent,
reassignment shall be for one (1) year only. Reassignment outside
geographical location may be from one regional office (RO) to
another RO or from the RO to the Central Office (CO) and viceversa.[]
xxxx
From the foregoing it is clear that after the lapse of one year from Nieves
reassignment, he must be reinstated to his original assignment in DTISorsogon. A perusal of his submitted appointment would show that his
appointment is not station-specific. However, this shall not prevent the
reinstatement of Nieves to his original station in DTI-Sorsogon. Due to the fact
that Nieves was reassigned to DTI-Albay which is outside the geographical
location of DTI-Sorsogon, said reassignment may only be allowed for a period of
one (1) year as it was made without the consent of Nieves. Verily, after the lapse
of the period of one (1) year from his reassignment, Nieves must be reinstated to
his original station.[5]

Blanco filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the Resolution No. 071693 but the
same was denied by the CSC in its Resolution No. 072374[6] dated December 17, 2007.
Blanco then filed a petition for review with the CA, asserting that the CSC acted without
factual and legal basis in directing the reassignment of Nieves in DTI-Sorsogon. On September
10, 2009, the CA rendered the herein assailed Decision the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolutions
No. 071693 and 072374, dated August 24, 2007 and December 17, 2007,
respectively, of the Civil Service Commission, with respect to the reinstatement of
private respondent Russel Ulysses I. Nieves, Trade and Industry Development
Specialist,
to
his
original
station
in
DTI-Sorsogon,
are
herebyREVERSED and SET ASIDE.
Petitioners Application for the Issuance of Temporary Restraining order
and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction is now MOOT and ACADEMIC.
SO ORDERED.[7]

In reversing the CSCs disposition with regard to the propriety of Nieves reassignment
back to his original station in DTI-Sorsogon, the CA asserted that the phrase reassignment

outside geographical location should be confined to reassignments from one regional office
to another or from the central office to a regional office and vice-versa. Accordingly, the CA
held that Nieves reassignment to DTI-Albay is not affected by the one-year limitation set forth
under the Revised Rules on Reassignment since the same is within the same regional
office, i.e. from DTI-Sorsogon to DTI-Albay. Thus:
From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that a reassignment outside
geographical location is a reassignment from one regional office to another
regional office or from regional office to the central office or vice versa. Since
the reassignment of respondent from DTI-Sorsogon to DTI-Albay is within
same regional office which is Region V, the same shall have no limit even if
without his consent, as long as there is no reduction in rank status and salary.[8]

Nieves sought reconsideration[9] of the Decision dated September 10, 2009 but the same
was denied by the CA in its Resolution[10] dated November 24, 2009.
Unperturbed, Nieves instituted the instant petition for review on certiorari asserting that
a reassignment outside geographical location should not be restricted to a reassignment from
one regional office to another or from the regional office to the central office and vice-versa. He
insists that it should include movement from one provincial office to another because one such
office is necessarily outside the geographical location of the other. Further, he avers that the CA
should have accorded respect and finality to the CSCs interpretation of the provisions of the
Revised Rules on Reassignment.
On the other hand, Blanco, in her Comment, [11] contends that the CA did not err when it
delimited the phrase reassignment outside geographical location as referring only to
reassignments from one regional office to another or from the regional office to the central office
and vice-versa. Thus, she asserts that Nieves could be reassigned anywhere within the
geographical location of Region V without his consent even for more than one year, provided
that there is no diminution in his rank, salary or status.
The petition lacks merit.
The CSC, being the central agency mandated to prescribe, amend, and enforce rules and
regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of the Civil Service Law and other pertinent
laws, has the power to interpret its own rules and any phrase contained in them, with its

interpretation being accorded great weight and ordinarily controls the construction of the courts.
[12]

However, courts will not hesitate to set aside such executive interpretation when it is
clearly erroneous, or when there is no ambiguity in the rule, or when the language or words used
are clear and plain or readily understandable to any ordinary reader.[13] This case falls within the
exceptions.
At the crux of the instant controversy is the proper construction of the provisions of
Section 6 of the Revised Rules on Reassignment which, in part, reads:
Sec. 6. x x x
xxxx
Reassignment shall be governed by the following rules:
1.

These rules shall apply only to employees appointed to first and second
level positions in the career and non-career services. Reassignment of
third level appointees is governed by the provisions of Presidential Decree
No. 1.

2.

Personnel movements involving transfer or detail should not be confused


with reassignment since they are governed by separate rules.

3.

Reassignment of employees with station-specific place of work


indicated in their respective appointments shall be allowed only for a
maximum period of one (1) year. An appointment is considered stationspecific when the particular office or station where the position is located
is specifically indicated on the face of the appointment paper. Stationspecific appointment does not refer to a specified plantilla item number
since it is used for purposes of identifying the particular position to be
filled or occupied by the employee.

4.

If appointment is not station-specific, the one-year maximum period


shall not apply. Thus, reassignment of employees whose appointments
do not specifically indicate the particular office or place of work has
no definite period unless otherwise revoked or recalled by the Head of
Agency, the Civil Service Commission or a competent court.

5.

If an appointment is not station-specific, reassignment to an


organizational unit within the same building or from one building to
another or contiguous to each other in one work area or compound is

allowed. Organizational unit refers to sections, divisions, and departments


within an organization.
6.

Reassignment outside geographical location if with consent shall


have no limit. However, if it is without consent, reassignment shall be
for one (1) year only. Reassignment outside geographical location
may be from one Regional Office (RO) to another RO or from the RO
to the Central Office (CO) and vice-versa.

7.

Reassignment is presumed to be regular and made in the interest of


public service unless proven otherwise or if it constitutes constructive
dismissal. x x x (Emphasis supplied)

The language of the Revised Rules on Reassignment is plain and unambiguous. The
reassignment of an employee with a station-specific place of work indicated in their
respective appointments is allowed provided that it would not exceed a maximum period of
one year. On the other hand, the reassignment of an employee whose appointment is not stationspecific has no definite period unless otherwise revoked or recalled by the Head of the Agency,
the CSC or a competent court.
Nevertheless, if the employee without a station-specific place of work is reassigned
outside the geographical location of his/her present place of work, then the following rules
apply: first, if the reassignment is with the consent of the employee concerned, then the period
of the same shall have no limit; second, if the reassignment is without the consent of the
employee concerned, then the same should not exceed the maximum period of one year.
Here, it is undisputed that Nieves appointment as a Trade and Industry Development
Specialist is not station-specific. Thus, the period of his reassignment to DTI-Albay is
indefinite, unless otherwise revoked or recalled by the Head of the Agency, the CSC or a
competent court. Further, since the reassignment of Nieves was within the same regional
office, i.e. from DTI-Sorsogon to DTI-Albay, the one-year period limitation does not apply.
Nieves insistence that a reassignment outside geographical location should likewise
include a reassignment from one provincial office to another provincial office is untenable.
To stress, the Revised Rules on Reassignment has defined, albeit ostensively, what
constitutes a reassignment outside geographical location. It states that [r]eassignment
outside geographical location may be from one [r]egional [o]ffice x x x to another [regional

office] or from the [regional office] to the [c]entral [o]ffice x x x and vice-versa.[14] A perusal of
the foregoing would show that the Revised Rules on Reassignment has clearly confined the
coverage of the phrase reassignment outside geographical location to the following: (1)
reassignment from one provincial office to another; (2) reassignment from the regional office to
the central office; and (3) reassignment from the central office to the regional office.
Nieves asserts that the use of the word may operates to confer discretion on the part of
the CSC to consider any other reassignments as one which is outside the geographical location
and that the circumstances cited in the said provision are mere examples of reassignments
outside geographical location. We do not agree.
It is true that the use of the word may ordinarily operates to confer
discretion. However, this term may be construed, as it is in this case clearly intended to be, in a
mandatory and restrictive sense.[15] The said provision used the word may to emphasize that a
reassignment outside geographical location is restricted only to either reassignment from
one regional office to another regional office or a reassignment from the central office to a
regional office and vice-versa.
Moreover, if we are to follow Nieves assertion that the instances stated in the said
provision are merely examples, then every reassignment effected by the various offices could be
considered as a reassignment outside geographical location depending on the discretion of the
CSC. Surely, this is not what the Revised Rules on Reassignment intended.
Thus, Nieves insistence that a reassignment from one provincial office to another
provincial office within the same region should likewise be considered as a reassignment
outside geographical location is clearly but a foray in the dark.
Further, Nieves assertion that his reassignment to DTI-Albay constitutes constructive
dismissal as it caused him significant financial dislocation is also devoid of merit. This is a mere
allegation that Nieves utterly failed to substantiate. It bears stressing that a reassignment is
presumed to be regular and made in the interest of public service.[16]
Anent Nieves prayer for an award of moral damages, we deny the same for lack of legal
and factual bases.

All told, we find that the CA did not commit any error in ruling that the one-year
period limitation set forth in the Revised Rules on Reassignment finds no application in the
instant case.
WHEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing disquisitions, the petition
is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated September 10, 2009 and the Resolution dated
November 24, 2009 issued by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 102174
are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court
Manila
EN BANC
VICTOR R. REYES,
substituted by his heirs, CLARIBEL G.
REYES, CLARISSA G. REYES,
and CZARINA G. REYES,
Petitioners,

- versus -

COURT OF APPEALS, CIVIL SERVICE


COMMISSION,
HON. JOSE L. ATIENZA, JR.,
in his capacity as City Mayor ofManila,
SENEN D. TOMADA,
and HERNANDO B. GARCIA,

G.R. No. 167002


Present:
CORONA, C.J.,
CARPIO,
VELASCO, JR.,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
BRION,
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,
DEL CASTILLO,
ABAD,
VILLARAMA, JR.,
PEREZ,
MENDOZA,
SERENO,
REYES, and
PERLAS-BERNABE, JJ.

Respondents.

Promulgated:
December 12, 2011

x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner Victor
R. Reyes (Reyes) assailing the August 28, 2003 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA), in CAG.R. SP No. 59616, entitled Hernando B. Garcia, petitioner, v. Senen D. Tomada, Civil Service
Commission Mayor Jose L. Atienza, Jr. in his capacity as the City Mayor of Manila,
respondents and Victor R. Reyes, Intervenor, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the assailed
resolution of the Civil Service Commission is ANNULLED and SET
ASIDE. The appointment of petitioner Hernando B. Garcia as Assistant
City Assessor of the City of Manila is UPHELD over the claims of
respondent Senen D. Tomada and intervenor Victor R. Reyes to that
position.
SO ORDERED.[2]
Reyes filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the CA in its Resolution
dated February 2, 2005.
Hence, this petition.
THE FACTUAL ANTECEDENTS
The factual and procedural antecedents have been succinctly recited in the subject
decision of the CA as follows:
On March 26, 1998, or forty-six days before the May 11,
1998 elections, then Mayor Alfredo Lim (or Lim) of the City
of Manila appointed Senen Tomada (or Tomada) as City Government
Assistant Department Head III (Assistant City Assessor, or subject
position). On the same date, Tomadas appointment, which was indicated
as Transfer with Promotion, was submitted to the Civil Service
Commission Field Office (or CSCFO) in Manila for consideration and
approval.

Prior to her appointment, Tomada was assigned at the Office of the


City Treasurer of Manila as Local Treasury Operations Officer IV.
In a letter dated March 26, 1998, Tomada sought clarification from
the Commission on Elections (or COMELEC) on whether her
appointment to the subject position was prohibited under Sec. 261(g) of
the Omnibus Election Code. In a reply-letter dated April 2, 1998, the
COMELEC opined that her appointment was valid because promotional
appointments are only prohibited under said law if issued within forty-five
days prior to the May 11, 1998 elections, or between March 27,
1998 and May 11, 1998.
On April 24, 1998, CSCFO head Arturo Panaligan (or Panaligan)
wrote to the Civil Service Commission (or CSC) office requesting
clarification on the validity of Tomadas appointment given the prohibition
against certain personnel actions under Section 261(g) and (h), id., which
reads:
Sec. 261. Prohibited acts.The following shall be
guilty of an election offense:
xxx
(g) Appointment of new employees, creation of new
position, promotion, or giving salary increases.During the
period of forty-five days before a regular election and thirty
days before a special election. x x x
h) Transfers of officers and employees in the civil
service. Any public official who makes or causes any
transfer or detail whatever of any officer or employee in the
civil service including public school teachers, within the
election period except upon prior approval of the
Commission.
The CSC-NCR, in turn, referred Panaligans request to the CSC
Central Office for appropriate action.
Pending action on Tomadas appointment, however, Mayor Jose L.
Atienza, Jr. (or Mayor Atienza) assumed Lims position upon the latters
running for president in the May 11, 1998 elections. On July 1, 1998,
Mayor Atienza, who ran for and was elected as mayor of the City of Manila
in the same elections, appointed Hernando Garcia (or Garcia) to the
subject position.

On July 28, 1998, Panaligan cancelled Tomadas appointment


without awaiting the CSCs reply to his April 24, 1998 letter, explaining
that said appointment constituted a transfer which was allegedly a
violation of Sec. 261(h), id. Nevertheless, Panaligan stated that his action
was without prejudice to the CSCs resolution on the matter.
Tomada sought reconsideration of the cancellation of her
appointment, per her letter dated July 29, 1998, pointing out that the CSC
was yet to reply to Panaligans request for clarification.
On September 27, 1999, the CSC issued Resolution
No. 99,
2208 approving Tomadas promotional appointment. The resolution
pertinently reads:
Considering, therefore, that the promotional
appointment of Tomada was issued prior to the prohibited
period as provided for in the Omnibus Election Code; and
considering, further, that her movement from one office to
another is merely incidental to her promotion, the
Commission finds such personnel action not in violation of
the Omnibus Election Code and CSC Office Memorandum
No. 11, s. 1998.
On November 19, 1999, Mayor Atienza filed a petition for
reconsideration which was, however, dismissed by the CSC on May 22,
2000.
On June 7, 2000, Panaligan wrote to Mayor Atienza requesting
immediate implementation of CSC Resolution No. 99-2208 and recalling
Garcias appointment to the subject position.
On July 11, 2000, Garcia filed the instant petition for certiorari and
quo warranto, with an application for temporary restraining order and/or
preliminary injunction, ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the CSC for
recalling his appointment.
Garcia maintains that he was not notified of Tomadas appeal to the
CSC and that he assumed the subject position by virtue of a valid
appointment issued by Mayor Atienza which was approved on August 31,
1998 by Panaligan of the CSCFO. He argues that he cannot be removed
from the subject position in the guise of a recall since the ground for his
removal is not sanctioned by law.
Garcia also faults the CSC for acting on Tomadas motion for
reconsideration even as it was not made by the proper appointing
authority prescribed in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 38, Series of 1993,
and Tomada did not pay the requisite docket fee. He adds that Tomadas

right to claim the subject position is barred by prescription for failure to


file an action for quo warranto within one year from his (Garcia)
appointment to the subject position (on July 1, 1998).
For her part, Tomada counters that Garcias appointment is null
and void because, at that time, the subject position was not yet vacant as
the CSCFO disapproved her appointment only on July 27, 1998. In
support of her argument, Tomada cites Sec. 10, Rule V of the Omnibus
Rules Implementing Book V of Exec. Order No. 292 which provides that
an appointment shall remain effective until disapproved by the
Commission.
Tomada further claims superior right to the subject position
because: (i) her appointment was issued prior to that of Garcia; and (ii)
the CSCFOs disapproval of her appointment is merely conditional as
shown in the notation on her appointment letter which reads, without
prejudice to whatever resolution the Commission may issue on this
(appointment).
Anent the issue of prescription, Tomada explains that she could not
immediately institute a quo warranto proceeding against Garcia pending
the administrative proceedings before the CSC concerning the validity of
her appointment. Tomada also points out that the CSC did not violate
Garcias right to due process because a hearing is not required in CSC
proceedings which are not disciplinary in nature.
As for Mayor Atienza, he merely adopted the arguments raised by
Garcia in his petition before this Court.
Meantime, on October 12, 2000, Victor Reyes (or Reyes) filed a
motion for intervention in his alleged capacity as the incumbent Assistant
City Assessor of Manila, which was denied per resolution dated February
14, 2001 but later granted pursuant to the resolution dated August 7,
2002. In his answer-in-intervention, Reyes averred that former Manila
Mayor Gemiliano Lopez appointed him to the subject position on August
3, 1989; that when Lim assumed office in 1992 as Manila mayor, he
(Reyes) was among the officials pressured to resign from office so that Lim
could appoint his own people; that those who failed to tender courtesy
resignations were physically harassed or subjected to trumped-up criminal
and administrative charges; that he (Reyes) himself was charged with
falsification and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and
that an administrative complaint was filed against him by a certain
Amador Valdeviego.
Reyes also alleged that in light of the abovementioned
circumstances, he wrote Lim on October 1, 1993 requesting for his transfer
to the Quezon City Hall and approval of his application for sick leave for

two months, which requests were granted by Lim, and manifesting


willingness to retire if his transfer could not be effected by December 31,
1993.
Reyes further alleged that the criminal and administrative charges
against him were dismissed but despite this development which could
have allowed him to retire from the service, Lim failed to act on his
application for retirement; that on March 10, 1999, Reyes wrote Mayor
Atienza advising of his desire to re-assume the subject position; and that
when Mayor Atienza failed to act on his request, Reyes filed with the CSC a
complaint for Assumption of Office against Mayor Atienza, Garcia and the
City of Manila.
On October 18, 2000, Garcia filed a reply to Tomadas comment
alleging that her appointment has not become effective for failure to
assume the subject position; that his appointment being complete, lawful
and effective, he has superior right and title to the subject position vis-vis Tomada; and that the recall of his appointment amounted to his
removal from office without cause and without due process.
For its part, the Office of the Solicitor General (or OSG) maintains
that the CSC correctly upheld the promotional appointment of Tomada.
The OSG points out that CSC Resolution No. 99-2208 does not involve the
imposition of an administrative disciplinary measure and, therefore, the
appointee need not be previously heard thereon; and that the CSC merely
recalled Garcias appointment inasmuch as the earlier appointment of
Tomada is valid.

On August 28, 2003, the CA rendered the assailed decision [3] granting the petition of
Garcia and upholding his appointment over the claims of Tomada and Reyes to the position. In
justifying its ruling, the CA wrote:
At the outset, it should be observed that Tomadas appointment
actually involved two kinds of personnel action, i.e., promotion and
transfer. This is clear from the phrase transfer with promotion used in
her appointment paper by way of describing the nature of her
appointment.
Tomadas promotion did not fall within the 45-day period prior to
the May 11, 1998 elections (Sec. 261[g], Omnibus Election Code).
However, her transfer from the Office of the City Treasurer to the Office of
the City Assessor is a different matter.
Sec. 261(h) of the Omnibus Election Code prohibits any transfer or
detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil service including

public school teachers, within the election period except upon prior
approval of the Commission. Pursuant to this provision, the CSC, through
Office Memorandum (OM) No. 11, Series of 1998, issued the following
guideline:
The transfer or detail of officers and employees in the
civil service, including public school teachers pursuant to
Section 261(h) of the Omnibus Election Code for the period
beginning January
11,
1998 (Sunday)
to June
10,
1998 (Wednesday), or 120 days before election and 30 days
after election, is hereby prohibited. The phrase transfer or
detail shall be construed in general terms. Thus any
movement of officer or employee in the civil service,
including public school teachers, from one agency is
prohibited and is considered an election offense.
(Underscoring supplied)
From the foregoing, it is clear that Tomadas transfer from the
Office of the City Treasurer to the Office of the City Assessor on March
26,1998, which was during the election period, contravened the express
provisions of the Omnibus Election Code and its implementing rules and
regulations. Consequently, there is no legal basis for the CSCs stance that
the movement of Tomada from one office to another in the City
Government of Manila cannot be considered as transfer as contemplated
in Sec. 261(h) of the Omnibus Election Code and CSC Office Memorandum
No. 11, s. 1998.
To recall, CSC OM No. 11, Series of 1998, explicitly provides that the
phrase transfer or detail shall be construed in general terms. Hence, a
transfer incidental to a promotion, as in Tomadas case, is within the
purview of the prohibition against transfers during the election
period. This is as it should be in keeping with the well-entrenched rule
that where the law does not distinguish, the courts should not distinguish
(Guerrero vs. Commission on Elections, 336 SCRA 458). Ubi lex not
distinguit nec nos distinguere debemus.
In a long line of cases, it has been held that when a statute is clear
and explicit, there is no need for any extended court ratiocination thereon
there is no room for interpretation, vacillation or equivocation, only for
application (Caguioa vs. Lavina, 345 SCRA 49). Only when the law is
ambiguous or of doubtful meaning may the court interpret or construe its
true intent (Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation vs. Intermediate
Appellate Court, 320 SCRA 279).
Another reason why the instant petition should be granted is
Tomadas lack of standing to appeal the disapproval of her appointment to
the CSC. In Mathay, Jr. vs. Civil Service Commission (312 SCRA 91), the

Supreme Court ruled that only the appointing officer may ask for
reconsideration of actions taken by the CSC on appointments. Thus, the
CSC should have refrained from acting on Tomadas request for
reconsideration, the same not having been endorsed by Mayor Atienza, the
incumbent mayor of Manila and the appointing authority at the time of
disapproval of her appointment.
Consequently, CSC Resolution No. 99-2208 is contrary to law and
jurisprudence.
On the other hand, Reyes answer-in-intervention deserves scant
consideration. The CSC found that Reyes had effectively vacated the
position of Assistant City Assessor of Manila when his application for
retirement effective January 1, 1994 was approved by Lim. Having
voluntarily caused his separation from the service, he may not make a
turnabout and lay claim to said office just because his retirement benefits
were not released to him in due course. His failure to obtain said benefits
does not affect the validity of his voluntary retirement. He may avail of
remedies available under the law to compel the release of his retirement
benefits, but not his reinstatement to the subject position.
The only way Reyes can re-assume the subject position is by reappointment. Having lost his standing to claim the position he previously
held, the prayer in his answer-in-intervention must necessarily be denied.
Dissatisfied, Reyes seeks relief via this petition for review praying that the Court
1. set aside the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated 28 August
2003, the Resolution dated 02 February 2005 and Civil Service Commission
Resolution No. 99-2208 dated September 27, 1999;
2. declare the appointments of Senen Tomada and Hernando Garcia null
and void and;
3. declare petitioner Victor [R.] Reyes as the duly constituted Assistant
City Assessor for Operation of the City of Manila;
4. order the reinstatement of Victor [R.] Reyes to the said position of
Assistant City Assessor for Operation of the City of Manila;
5. order the payment of backwages of Victor [R.] Reyes from the time he
sought assumption of his office until he is restored to his position.
Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are also prayed for.[4]

To sway the Court to his position, Reyes posits that the case be decided by resolving the
following
ISSUES
I.
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS HAS
DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE, NOT THERETOFORE
DETERMINED BY THE SUPREME COURT, OR HAS DECIDED IT IN A
WAY PROBABLY NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH THE
APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT.
II.
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS HAS SO
FAR DEPARTED FROM THE ACCEPTED AND USUAL COURSE OF
JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS, OR SO FAR COMMITTED SUCH
DEPARTURE SO AS TO CALL FOR AN EXERCISE OF THE POWER OF
SUPERVISION. [5]
Garcia and the CSC filed their respective comments on the petition. Later, the City
of Manila and its City Mayor also filed their Comment.[6]
Tomada, despite notice through counsel, did not file any comment.
On September 20, 2006, Reyes passed away, leaving his heirs Claribel G. Reyes,
Clarissa G. Reyes and Czarina G. Reyes as substitute petitioners. Reyes, through his heirs,
filed his reply to the comments of the respondents. Thereafter, the Court directed the parties to
file their respective memoranda. In compliance, petitioner Reyes, substituted by his heirs; and
respondents Garcia, the CSC, the City of Manila and the City Mayor of Manila, filed their
respective memoranda.
THE COURTS RULING
The CA committed no reversible error in granting the petition of Garcia and upholding the
appointment of Garcia as Assistant City Assessor of the City of Manila over the claims of
Tomada and Reyes to that position. For said reason, Reyes could not be reinstated to the position
of Assistant City Assessor for Operation and, therefore, was not entitled to backwages.
Petitioner Victor R. Reyes
effectively vacated his post
as of January 1, 1994

Records bear out that petitioner Reyes was the Assistant City Assessor for Operation of the
City of Manila when Mayor Lim assumed office in 1992. He claimed to be one of those
pressured to tender a courtesy resignation so that Mayor Lim could appoint his own people.
Initially, he did not oblige but later, in a letter dated October 1, 1993, he manifested his desire to
be transferred to Quezon City Hall and, if it (transfer) would not be possible, to apply for
retirement. In the meantime, he requested that his sick leave be approved. The said letter reads:
HON. ALFREDO S. LIM
City Mayor
City of Manila
Sir:
I would like to request for a transfer in Quezon City Hall. In order
to facilitate all the necessary documents and clearances, I would like to
request for an allowance of three months to process. If ever I could not
transfer until December 31, 1993, then eventually, I would be applying
for a retirement effective January 1, 1994.
Requesting, His Honor, that the sick leave I filed for two months
(August & September) be approved on the basis of the medical certificate
I had submitted.
Hoping for your kind consideration. Thank you very much.
Very truly yours,
(Signed)
VICTOR R. REYES
Assistant City Assessor[7]

Mayor Lim approved his request by placing a notation on the latter itself.
Following his manifestation in his October 1, 1993 letter, he never reported for work
from January 1, 1994, never resumed working and never sought reinstatement. Instead, as
averred in his petition, when Mayor Lim resigned, he worked for his retirement benefits. He was
informed, however, by City Hall officials that he had not retired because he had not filed his
formal application for retirement.[8]

Failing to receive his retirement benefits, he filed a petition for mandamus with the
Regional Trial Court of Manila to compel the City Government of Manila to approve his claim
for said benefits.[9]
In his April 8, 1994 letter addressed to Atty. Carlos C. Antonio, City Assessor of Manila,
Reyes stated, among others, that:
I would like to request for Clearances as needed for my retirement.
Be informed that last October 1993, upon my request to his Honor Mayor
Alfredo S. Lim approved my retirement effective January 1, 1994,
including my clearances, but to my surprise the legal department of
Manila filed a case which was dismissed by the Ombudsman. [10]
On March 16, 1999, Reyes also wrote to then Presidential Assistant for Appointment and
Legislative Affairs, Hon. Rolando C. Ramirez, requesting, among others, assistance for the
supposed grave injustice that the City of Manila (under Mayor Lim and Mayor Atienza) had
committed against him since 1994, depriving him of benefits due him and his family.[11]
In a letter dated April 12, 1999 addressed to then Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora,
Reyes averred:
x x x eventually I applied for (optional) retirement effective Jan. 1, 1994 with the
necessary clearance. My letter bears the Mayors marginal notation approved
on October 22, 1993.[12]

All the foregoing actions and inactions clearly manifest that Reyes voluntarily and
effectively separated himself from the service effective January 1, 1994. As of said date, his
position was deemed vacant. In the earlier case of Reyes v. Hon. Atienza,[13] it was written:
Still, the vitality of Reyess claim of incumbency, crucial to the cause
of action in his complaint, is severely undercut by his prior statements,
which are not disputed and even at times averred under oath, that indicate
that starting 1994, he had considered himself as having been separated from
service as Assistant City Assessor. To recapitulate, Reyes had informed the
City Assessor of Manila as early as 8 April 1994 that Mayor Lim approved
my retirement effective January 1, 1994. Reyes also averred under oath in
his petition for mandamus filed in 1995 that he retired from the service as

City Assessor of Manila. Reyes had even spent considerable energy since
1994 following up on his clearances for retirement. There is no showing
that he has attempted to perform the functions of Assistant City Assessor
since 1994. It is extremely disingenuous on the part of Reyes to suddenly
claim that all this time, he actually still was the Assistant City Assessor, a
position whose functions has since been assumed by three other persons, the
appointments of the first two never having been challenged by
him. [Emphases supplied]
As he had vacated his position, the
appointing power could, and did, appoint
his successors
Considering that his position was deemed vacant, the appointing power could, and did,
appoint his successors. Thus, Mayor Lim made two (2) subsequent appointments to the position
of Assistant City Assessor Angel R. Purisima (Purisima) and Tomada. Purisima was appointed
to the position on July 26, 1995, and his appointment was approved by the CSC on September
18, 1995. He resigned on October 31, 1996 and, in his stead, Mayor Lim appointed Tomada
on March 26, 1998.
As Tomadas appointment or transfer appeared to have been made during a prohibitive
period, it was questioned on the ground that it was violative of Section 261(g) of the Omnibus
Election Code.
As there was an unresolved controversy on Tomadas appointment, on July 1, 1998,
Mayor Atienza, who ran for and was elected as mayor of the City of Manila, appointed Garcia to
the subject position.
On July 28, 1998, Civil Service Commission Field Office (CSCFO) head, Arturo
Panaligan (Panaligan) cancelled Tomadas appointment stating, however, that his action was
without prejudice to the CSCs resolution on the matter. On September 27, 1999, the CSC issued
Resolution No. 99-2208 approving Tomadas promotional appointment. OnNovember 19, 1999,
Mayor Atienza filed a petition for reconsideration which was, however, dismissed by the CSC
on May 22, 2000. On June 7, 2000, Panaligan wrote Mayor Atienza requesting the immediate
implementation of CSC Resolution No. 99-2208 and recalling Garcias appointment to the
subject position.

On July 11, 2000, Garcia filed the petition for certiorari and quo warranto before the CA
ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the CSC for recalling his appointment.
Notably, on October 19, 2000, the CSC-NCR issued an order dismissing the complaint of
Reyes for assumption of office, which he subsequently appealed to the CSC. The CSC then
issued Resolution No. 02-0310[14] dated February 28, 2002, wherein it stated that he was
separated from the service through the mode of retirement effective January 1, 1994, and the
position which he formerly occupied, Assistant City Assessor of Manila, [was] deemed vacant on
said date.[15]
Due to the unfavorable action of the CSC-NCR, he intervened in the certiorari
proceedings instituted by Garcia against Tomada in the CA.
As earlier recited, the CA upheld the appointment of Garcia as Assistant City Assessor of
the City of Manila over the claims of Tomada and Reyes to that position. In this petition, Reyes
questioned such ruling but, interestingly, Tomada never filed her comment on his petition.
Hernando B. Garcia
acquired a legal right to
the subject position

At this juncture, the Court resolves the issue of whether or not the CA was correct in
upholding the validity of the appointment of Garcia over the claims of Tomada and Reyes.
In this regard, the Court agrees with the CA that Tomadas transfer from the Office of the
City Treasurer to the Office of the City Assessor was violative of
Section 261(h) of the
Omnibus Election Code. Said section prohibits any transfer or detail whatever of any officer or
employee in the civil service including public school teachers, within the election period except
upon prior approval of the Commission. In this regard, the CSC, through Office Memorandum
(OM) No. 11, Series of 1998, issued the following guideline:
The transfer or detail of officers and employees in the civil service,
including public school teachers pursuant to Section 261(h) of the
Omnibus Election Code for the period beginning January 11,
1998 (Sunday) to June 10, 1998 (Wednesday), or 120 days before election

and 30 days after election, is hereby prohibited. The phrase transfer or


detail shall be construed in general terms. Thus any movement of officer or
employee in the civil service, including public school teachers, from one
agency is prohibited and is considered an election offense. [Emphasis
supplied]
Another reason why the CA granted Garcias petition was Tomadas lack of standing to
appeal the disapproval of her appointment to the CSC. It cited the case of Mathay, Jr. v. Civil
Service Commission[16] where it was ruled that only the appointing officer may ask for
reconsideration of actions taken by the CSC on appointments. Thus, the CA stated that CSC
should have refrained from acting on Tomadas request for reconsideration, the same not having
been endorsed by Mayor Atienza, the incumbent mayor of Manila and the appointing authority at
the time of the disapproval of her appointment.
Moreover, as Garcia qualified, assumed office and became at that moment a government
employee or part of the civil service, he then began to enjoy the constitutional protection that
No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause
provided by law.[17] He acquired a legal right to the office which is protected not only by statute
but also by the Constitution. Therefore, he could only be removed for cause, after notice and
hearing, consistent with the requirements of due process.
Here, Garcia was not accorded due process. It was only by a letter to Garcia dated June 7,
2000 from the CSC-GSIS Field Office that the CSC officially communicated, through Manila
City Personnel Officer Josefino Reoma, that his appointment as City Government Assistant
Department Head III (Assistant City Assessor) was recalled and that Mayor Atienza was
requested to implement CSC Resolution Nos. 992208 and 001214 approving the appointment of
Tomada. He was never given an opportunity to be heard.
[18]

As Garcias appointment was valid, there was no vacancy and Reyes could not ask for
reinstatement or even reappointment. A fortiori, he (or his heirs) could not demand backwages.
Reyes never formally retired either

Retirement has been defined as a withdrawal from office, public station, business,
occupation, or public duty. It involves bilateral act of the parties, a voluntary agreement between
the employer and the employee whereby the latter, after reaching a certain age, agrees and/or

consents to sever his employment with the former.[19] Retirement plans create a contractual
obligation in which the promise to pay benefits is made in consideration of the continued faithful
service of the employee for the requisite period. Before a right to retirement benefits vests in an
employee, he must have met the stated conditions of eligibility with respect to the nature of
employment, age, and length of service. This is a condition precedent to his acquisition of rights
thereunder.[20]
In his October 1, 1993 letter to Mayor Lim, Reyes manifested his desire to be transferred
to Quezon City Hall and, if it would not be possible, to apply for retirement.
If ever I could not transfer until December 31, 1993, then eventually, I
would be applying for a retirement effective January 1, 1994.
Despite pronouncements of the CSC and the CA to the contrary, there is no evidence that
Reyes properly took the required legal steps to effect his intention of retiring.
Reyes might have intended to retire but it is clear that he did not follow the normal
process of retirement. As stated in the letter of Mayor Lim, his intended retirement required
further action on his part to complete. Elaborating, Mayor Lim wrote that he was required to
submit a formal application and in a prescribed form. [21] Thus, he could not be considered
retired for all intents and purposes and reap the benefits that flow from it. The July 23,
2001 clarificatory letter of Mayor Lim reads:
Dear Mr. Reyes,
In respon[se] to your letter-query dated July 17, 2001 and based n
your letter dated October 1, 1993 with my marginal note therein, and other
related communications shown to me, I recall to have approved your
signified intentions to take a vacation leave, transfer to Quezon
City and/or to retire.
The approval of your vacation leave took effect immediately.
However, the same marginal note of approval to my understanding did not
automatically result to transfer or retirement. The intended transfer
and/or retirement were termed in future tense and requires further action
on your part to complete. x x x.

Both instance requires formal application and in a prescribed


form. Transfer to Quezon City requires formal endorsement to the Mayor
of Quezon City, to which I do not recall having made any. On the other
hand, your application for retirement you claim to have filed did not reach
my office. I do not recall having signed your formal retirement application.
I hope that this clarification will help all concerned in resolving
whatever petition you filed with the Civil Service Commission.
(Signed)
ALFREDO S. LIM
Former City Mayor of Manila[22]

Thus, when he tried to work for his retirement benefits, he was advised by City Hall
officials that he was not entitled to them because he had not filed his formal application for
retirement.[23] Despite the same, he did not file any application. Instead, he filed a petition for
mandamus with the RTC to compel the City Government of Manila to grant his application for
retirement.[24] As earlier stated, on March 16, 1999, he also wrote then Presidential Assistant for
Appointment and Legislative Affairs, Hon. Rolando C. Ramirez, requesting assistance. [25]
Interestingly, in the earlier case, Reyes v. Hon. Atienza,[26] the Court refrained from
concluding that the legal processes pertaining to his retirement were observed since there was
uncertainty as to whether Reyes indeed retired. Indeed the record is bereft of any proof that
Reyes had indeed retired. Hence, the Court holds that he was not retired but was considered
separated from service effective January 1, 1994 and that the legal processes pertaining to his
retirement were not complied with. Pertinently, in the earlier Reyes case,[27] it was written:
x x x. Yet it is clear from the letter that the option of retirement was
not actually exercised then, but merely mentioned as a possibility, requiring
further action on the part of Reyes. What Reyes had sought approval in the
said letter was his application for sick leave and it was only such sick leave,
and not retirement, which was approved by then Mayor Lim in October of
1993.
In essence, if indeed Reyes had applied for retirement or submitted
his resignation following the normal processes, it would have been easy for
respondents to present the countervailing documents which would have
conclusively refuted Reyess claims that he still was the incumbent

Assistant City Assessor. The fact that no such documents were presented
makes us refrain from concluding that the legal processes pertaining to
resignation or retirement were observed in this case. [Emphases supplied]

In fine, Reyes had already vacated his post as of January 1, 1994, not by way of
retirement for failure to show compliance with the existing retirement requirements and
procedures, but by voluntary separation from the service. His intended retirement was not duly
processed because he failed to comply with the formal requirements of retirement. Having
voluntarily initiated his separation from the service, he could not be allowed to make a turnabout
and press claim to the subject office just because the supposed benefits due him were not
released to him in due time due to his own neglect.
As he had already passed away, the only remedy left for his heirs is to properly apply for
separation or retirement and claim the benefits from the proper office, if warranted.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.


SO ORDERED.

Republic
SUPREME
Manila

of

the

Philippines
COURT

EN BANC
G.R. No. 179255

April 2, 2009

NATIONAL
TRANSMISSION
vs.
VENUSTO D. HAMOY, JR., Respondent.
DECISION
TINGA, J.:

CORPORATION, Petitioner,

This treats of the petition for review of the decision 1 and resolution2 of the Court of
Appeals dated 30 May 2007 and 7 August 2007, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 96837
entitled, Venusto D. Hamoy, Jr. v. National Transmission Corporation & Civil Service
Commission, ordering the immediate return of Venusto Hamoy, Jr. to his original
position as Vice-President for VisMin Operations & Maintenance.
The antecedents follow.
The National Transmission Corporation (petitioner), through Resolution No. TC 20030073 dated 5 February 2003, appointed Venusto D. Hamoy, Jr. (respondent) as Vice
President under Item No. 700010-CY2003 VisMin Operations & Maintenance.
Accordingly, petitioners President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alan Ortiz
(Ortiz) issued on 1 March 2003 Civil Service Commission (CSC) Form No. 33 which
states that respondent has been appointed "(VICE-PRESIDENT JG-18) VICEPRESIDENT SG-28 with PERMANENT (status) at the National Transmission
Corporation."4 Respondent assumed his duties on 1 March 2003.
On 19 January 2004, Ortiz issued Office Order No. 2004-173 detailing respondent to
petitioners Power Center-Diliman, "under the Office of the President and CEO, to
handle Special Projects." 5 Office Order No. 2004-173 was later amended by Office
Order No. 2004-12296 under which Ortiz assigned respondent additional duties of
providing "over-all supervision, monitoring and control of all activities related to the sale
of petitioners sub-transmission assets and placed under his supervision certain
personnel of the Sub-Transmission Divestment Department.
In a memorandum dated 24 January 2005 from petitioners Human Resources
Department, respondent was notified of the impending expiration of the temporary
appointment of some of petitioners key officials and the fact that he was being
considered for one of the positions to be vacated. 7 Yet on 15 February 2005, Office
Order No. 2005-0256 was issued designating respondent as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of
the Power Systems Reliability Group (PSRG), concurrent with his duties as Vice
President for Special Projects.8
On 16 February 2005, respondent wrote Ortiz, asking that he be returned to his
original assignment as Vice President of VisMin Operations & Maintenance. He
reasoned that his detail under Office Orders No. 2004-173 and No. 2004-1229 already
exceeded one (1) year, and that his designation under Office Order No. 2005-0256
violated Section 2 of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 21, s. 2002 because he did not
give his consent thereto.9However, on the same date, Office Order No. 2005-0284
was issued superseding Office Order No. 2004-173 and amending Office Order No.
2005-0256, the
latter order stating that respondent was designated as OIC of the Power Systems
Reliability Group (PSRG).10Respondent was thus constrained to write another letter to
Ortiz, requesting reconsideration of Office Order No. 2005-0284 and reiterating the
reasons he cited in his previous letter.11

On 1 March 2005, Ortiz issued a memorandum informing respondent that his detail to
the Presidents Office was no longer in effect and, in view of the vacancy created by the
expiration of the temporary appointment of the Vice President of the PSRG, respondent
was designated as its OIC. He further stated that the matter of reassignment would be
formally raised at the Board meeting and, should the Board confirm it, a corresponding
Office Order would be issued reassigning respondent as head of the PSRG. 12 On 27
April 2005, the Board issued Resolution No. TC 2005-018, 13 approving and confirming
respondents reassignment to PSRG, and announcing the opening of selection for the
position of Vice President for VisMin Operations & Maintenance.
Respondent appealed to the CSC, praying for the annulment of Resolution No. TC
2005-018 and Office Order No. 2005-0284 on the ground that the reassignment violated
his security of tenure. 14
In Resolution No. 061030 dated 8 June 2006, 15 the CSC denied respondents appeal. It
found that respondent failed to show that his reassignment was tainted with abuse of
discretion. According to the CSC, the position to which respondent was appointed was
classified as a third-level position, which was not station-specific, and thus he could be
reassigned or transferred from one organizational unit to another within the same
agency, without violating his right to security of tenure. 16 Moreover, the CSC ruled that
his detail did not exceed the one-year period, as it was superseded initially by his
reassignment; and that his designation and reassignment had both been done to meet
the needs of the company, without making him suffer reduction in salary status and
rank. Respondent sought reconsideration of the decision, but his motion was denied by
the CSC through Resolution No. 061840 promulgated on 16 October 2006. 17
Respondent brought the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA) which disagreed with the
findings of the CSC. Citing the Administrative Code, 18 Home Insurance Guaranty
Corporation v. Civil Service Commission, 19 and Office of the Ombudsman v. Civil
Service Commission,20 the Court of Appeals held that only presidential appointees
belong to the third-level or career executive service. Thus, respondent, having been
appointed by petitioners president and not the President of the Philippines, occupies a
second- level position only.21 The appellate court also ruled that respondents position
was station-specific, despite the absence of a place of assignment in CSC Form No. 33,
since the said form specifically referred to petitioners Board Resolution No. TC 20032007, which indicated that his appointment is to the position of Vice President under
"Item No. 700010-VisMin Operations & Maintenance." The position of respondent being
station-specific, his reassignment could not exceed one (1) year per Memorandum
Circular No. 2.22
The Court of Appeals also discussed the various personnel movements effected on
respondent. Thus, when he reported to his new assignment as "Vice President of
Special Projects" per Office Order No. 2004-173, as amended by Office Order No.
2004-1229, such movement was a reassignment and not a mere detail, since there was
a movement from one organizational unit to another within the same department or
agency; that is, from his station at the office of the Vice President VisMin Operations &

Maintenance to the Office of the President and CEO. Respondent remained in his place
of reassignment beyond 16 February 2005 because he was designated additional
duties, virtually extending his reassignment beyond the one-year period. The third
personnel movement on 16 February 2005, as OIC of the PSRG, was also a nullity
because it extended further his original reassignment, and worse, the appointment was
made despite respondents vigorous objection, said the Court of Appeals. 23 Finally, it
concluded that while respondents position, rank and salary had remained unchanged
throughout the said movements, he suffered much financial deprivation, considering
that he had to spend for his own travel expenses to Cebu City to be with his family.24
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but its motion was denied on 7 August 2007
for lack of merit.25
Before this Court, petitioner imputes the following errors to the Court of Appeals, thus:
a. in classifying the position held by Hamoy, Jr. as TransCo Vice President as a
mere second level and not a third level position;
b. in declaring that presidential appointment is a requirement for a position to be
classified as belonging to the third level thus disregarding the clear provisions of
CSC Memorandum Circular No. 21, series of 1994 and prevailing jurisprudence;
c. in holding that Hamoy, Jr. was appointed to a station-specific position;
d. in classifying the first movement of Hamoy from his original assignment in the
VisMin Operations and Maintenance to the office of the president as a
"reassignment" and not a detail;"
e. in declaring that Hamoys reassignment was not made in accordance with civil
service laws, rules, and regulations.26
On the other hand, respondent maintains that he was appointed to a second-level
position and, thus, he is not under the Career Executive Service (CES). He adds that he
was, in fact, appointed to a station-specific position. Moreover, he claims that his
reassignments were made in violation of the rules and constitute constructive
dismissal.27
The petition has no merit.
In arguing that respondent belongs to the CES, petitioner invokes Memorandum
Circular No. 21, which reads in part:
1. Positions covered by the Career Executive Service
(a) x x x

(b) In addition to the above identified positions and other positions of the same
category which had been previously classified and included in the CES, all other
third level positions of equivalent category in all branches and instrumentalities of
the national government, including government owned and controlled
corporations with original charters are embraced within the Career Executive
Service provided that they meet the following criteria:
,
1. the position is a career position;
2. the position is above division chief level;
3. the duties and responsibilities of the position require the performance of
executive and managerial functions.
Petitioner also cites Caringal v. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 28 and
Erasmo v. Home Insurance Guaranty Corporation 29 to show that a presidential
appointment is not required before a position in a government corporation is classified
as included in the CES. 30 We are not convinced.
The Administrative Code specifies the positions in the Civil Service as follows:
Section 8. Classes of positions in the Career Service.( 1) Classes of positions in the
career service appointment to which requires examinations shall be grouped into three
major levels as follows:
(a) The first level shall include clerical, trades, crafts and custodial service
positions which involve non-professional or sub-professional work in a nonsupervisory or supervisory capacity requiring less than four years of collegiate
studies;
(b) The second level shall include professional, technical, and scientific positions
which involve professional, technical or scientific work in a non-supervisory or
supervisory capacity requiring at least four years of college work up to Division
Chief levels; and
(c) The third level shall cover positions in the Career Executive Service. 31
Positions in the CES under the Administrative Code include those of Undersecretary,
Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director,
Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified
by the Career Executive Service Board, all of whom are appointed by the
President.32 Simply put, third-level positions in the Civil Service are only those belonging
to the Career Executive Service, or those appointed by the President of the Philippines.
This was the same ruling handed down by the Court in Office of the Ombudsman v. Civil

Service Commission,33 wherein the Court declared that the CES covers presidential
appointees only.
In the said case, the CSC disapproved the Office of the Ombudsmans (OMBs) request
for approval of the proposed qualification standards for the Director II position in the
Central Administrative Service and Finance Management Service. The OMB proposed
that said position required "Career Service Professional/Relevant Eligibility for Second
Level position." According to the CSC, the Director II position belonged to third-level
eligibility and is thus covered by the Career Executive Service. Settling the issue, this
Court ruled thus:
Thus, the CES covers presidential appointees only. As this Court ruled in Office of the
Ombudsman v. CSC:
"From the above-quoted provision of the Administrative Code, persons occupying
positions in the CES are presidential appointees. xxx" (emphasis supplied)
Under the Constitution, the Ombudsman is the appointing authority for all officials and
employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, except the Deputy Ombudsmen. Thus, a
person occupying the Position of Director II in the Central Administrative Service or
Finance and Management Service of the Office of the Ombudsman is appointed by the
Ombudsman, not by the President. As such, he is neither embraced in the CES nor
does he need to possess CES eligibility.34
Respondent was appointed Vice-President of VisMin Operations & Maintenance by
Transco President and CEO Alan Ortiz, and not by the President of the Republic. On
this basis alone, respondent cannot be considered as part of the CES.
Caringal and Erasmo cited by petitioner are not in point. There, the Court ruled that
appointees to CES positions who do not possess the required CES eligibility do not
enjoy security of tenure. More importantly, far from holding that presidential appointment
is not required of a position to be included in the CES, we learn from Caringal that the
appointment by the President completes the attainment of the CES rank, thus:
Appointment to CES Rank
Upon conferment of a CES eligibility and compliance with the other requirements
prescribed by the Board, an incumbent of a CES position may qualify for appointment to
a CES rank. Appointment to a CES rank is made by the President upon the
recommendation of the Board. This process completes the officials membership in the
CES and most importantly, confers on him security of tenure in the CES.
To classify other positions not included in the above enumeration as covered by the
CES and require appointees thereto to acquire CES or CSE eligibility before acquiring
security of tenure will lead to unconstitutional and unlawful consequences. It will result
either in (1) vesting the appointing power for non- CES positions in the President, in

violation of the Constitution; or (2) including in the CES a position not held by
presidential appointee, contrary to the Administrative Code 35
Interestingly, on 9 April 2008, CSC Acting Chairman Cesar D. Buenaflor issued Office
Memorandum No. 27, s. 2008, which states in part:
For years, the Commission has promulgated several policies and issuances identifying
positions in the Career Service above Division Chief Level performing executive and
managerial functions as belonging to the Third Level covered by the Career Executive
Service (CES) and those outside the CES, thus, requiring third level eligibility for
purposes of permanent appointment and security of tenure.
However, the issue as to whether a particular position belongs to the Third Level has
been settled by jurisprudence enshrined in Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation
v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 95450 dated March 19, 1993 and Office of the
Ombudsman (OMB) v. Civil Service Commission; G.R. No. 162215 dated July 30, 2007,
where the Honorable Supreme Court ruled citing the provision of Section 7(3) Chapter
2, Title I-A, Book V of Administrative Code of 1987, that the Third Level shall cover
positions in the Career Executive Service (CES). Positions in the Career Executive
Service consists of Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Assistant
Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department
Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career
Executive Service Board (CESB), all of whom are appointed by the President. To
classify other positions not included in the above enumeration as covered by the CES
and require appointees thereto to acquire CES or CSE eligibility before acquiring
security of tenure will lead to unconstitutional and unlawful consequences. It will result
either: in (1) vesting the appointing power for non-CES positions in the President, in
violation of the Constitution; or, (2) including in the CES a position not held by
presidential appointee, contrary to the Administrative Code.
xxx
While the above-cited ruling of the Supreme Court refer to particular positions in the
OMB and HIGC, it is clear, however, that the intention was to make the doctrine
enunciated therein applicable to similar and comparable positions in the bureaucracy. To
reiterate, the Third Level covers only the positions in the CES as enumerated in the
Administrative Code of 1987 and those identified by the CESB as of equivalent rank, all
of whom are appointed by the President of the Philippines. Consequently, the doctrine
enshrined in these Supreme Court decisions has ipso facto nullified all resolutions,
qualification standards, pronouncements and/or issuances of the Commission insofar as
the requirement if third level eligibility to non-CES positions is concerned.
In view thereof, OM No. 6, series of 2008 and all other issuances of the Commission
inconsistent with the afore-stated law and jurisprudence are likewise deemed repealed,
superseded and abandoned. x x x36 (Emphasis supplied)

Thus, petitioner can no longer invoke Section 1(b) of Memorandum Circular (MC) No.
21, it being inconsistent with the afore-quoted Office Memorandum and thus deemed
repealed by no less than the CSC itself.
Having settled the nature of respondents position, we now determine the validity of
respondents reassignment from Vice President for VisMin Operations & Maintenance to
Vice President of Special Projects under Office Order No. 2004-173, as amended by
Office Order No. 2004-1229.
The Revised Rules on Reassignment37 provides in part:
Sec. 6. x x x. Reassignment shall be governed by the following rules:
1. These rules shall apply only to employees appointed to first and second
level positions in the career and non-career services. Reassignment of
third level appointees is governed by the provisions of Presidential Decree
No. 1.
2. Personnel movements involving transfer or detail should not confused
with reassignment since they are governed by separate rules.
3. Reassignment of employees with station-specific place of work indicated
in their respective appointments shall be allowed only for a maximum
period of one (1) year. An appointment is considered station-specific when
the particular office or station where the position is located is specifically
indicated on the face of the appointment paper. Station-specific
appointment does not refer to a specified plantilla item number since it is
used for purposes of identifying the particular position to be filled or
occupied by the employee.
4. If appointment is not station-specific, the one-year maximum shall not
apply. Thus, reassignment of employees whose appointments do not
specifically indicate the particular office or place of work has no definite
period unless otherwise revoked or recalled by the Head of Agency, the
Civil Service Commission or a competent court.
5. If an appointment is not station-specific, reassignment to an
organizational unit within the same building or from one building to
another or contiguous to each other in one work area or compound is
allowed. Organizational unit refers to sections, divisions, and departments
within an organization.
6. Reassignment outside geographical location if with consent shall have
no limit. However, if it is without consent, reassignment shall be for one (1)
year only. Reassignment outside of geographical location may be from one

Regional Office (RO) to another RO or from the RO to the Central Office


(CO) and vice-versa.1avvphi1
7. Reassignment is presumed to be regular and made in the interest of
public service unless proven otherwise or if it constitutes constructive
dismissal x x x
a) Reassignment of an employee to perform duties and
responsibilities inconsistent with the duties and responsibilities of
his/her position such as from a position of dignity to a more servile
or menial job;
b) Reassignment to an office not in the existing organizational
structure;
c) Reassignment to an existing office but the employee is not given
any definite duties and responsibilities;
d) Reassignment that will cause significant financial dislocation or
will cause difficulty or hardship on the part of the employee because
of geographical location; and
e) Reassignment that is done indiscriminately or whimsically
because the law is not intended as a convenient shield for the
appointing/disciplining authority to harass or oppress a subordinate
on
the
pretext
of
advancing
and
promoting
public
interest.38 [Emphasis supplied).
Petitioner claims that respondent was not appointed to a station-specific position
because his appointment paper, CS Form No. 33, does not indicate any specific work
station.39 This being the case, he is entitled to security of tenure with respect only to the
position of Vice President, and he may be reassigned from his original assignment in
the VisMin Operations & Maintenance to his new assignment in the Power Systems
Reliability Group.40 On the other hand, the Court of Appeals, relying on Board
Resolution No. TC 2003-2007, which indicated that respondents appointment was to
the position of Vice President under "Item No. 700010-VisMin Operations and
Maintenance," held that his appointment was station-specific. 41
We do not agree with petitioner. It is not disputed that an appointment is considered
station-specific when the particular office or station where the position is located is
specifically indicated on the face of the letter of appointment (Form No. 33). In this case,
the letter of appointment itself makes specific reference to a Board Resolution, by virtue
of which respondent was appointed as Vice President for VisMin Operations and
Maintenance, thereby rendering the Board Resolution an integral part of the letter of
appointment. The letter of appointment states:

Republika
NATIONAL
Diliman, Lungsod ng Quezon

ng
TRANSMISSION

MR.
VENUSTO
National
Diliman, Quezon City

Pilipinas
CORPORATION

D.
Transmission

HAMOY,

JR.
Corporation

MR. HAMOY:
Kayo ay nahirang na (VICE PRESIDENT JG-18) (VICE PRESIDENT SG-28) na may
katayuang PERMANENT sa Pambansang Korporasyon sa Transmisyon sa pasahod na
EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY SIX THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY PESOS
( P856,320) piso. Ito ay magkakabisa sa petsa ng pagganap ng tungkulin subalit di
aaga sa petsa ng pagpirma ng puno ng tanggapan o appointing authority.
Ang appointment na ito ay REEMPLOYMENT PURSUANT TO TRANSCO BOARD
RES. NO. 2003-07 DATED 2/5/03 bilang kapalit ni N/A na N/A at ayon sa Plantilya Item
Blg. 7000010 CY2003, Pahina ______.42 (Emphasis supplied)
Sumasainyo,
ALAN
T.
President & CEO Puno ng Tanggapan
MAR
Petsa ng Pagpirma

ORTIZ,
01

Ph.D.
2003

The pertinent portions of Board Resolution No. TC 2003-007 read, thus:


RESOLUTION NO. TC 2003-007
xxx
WHEREAS, after careful evaluation and deliberation of the qualifications of the
applicants consistent with the Boards Guidelines, the following executives are hereby
appointed as follows:
a) x x x
xxx
j). Item No. 700010-VisMin Operations &MaintenanceMr. Venusto D. Hamoy, Jr.

APPROVED AND CONFIRMED, February 5, 2003.43 (Emphasis supplied)


In other words, it is clear from the filled-up Form No. 33 or the letter of appointment that
the appointment was issued pursuant to Board Resolution No. TC 2003-007. The
appointment papers explicit reference to the Board Resolution, which in turn cited "Item
No. 700010-VisMin Operations & Maintenance," indicated that respondents work
station was the VisMin Operations & Maintenance. As "VisMin" stands for the VisayasMindanao, the Vice-President for VisMin Operations, who is respondent, necessarily
has to hold office in Cebu where petitioner has offices for its Visayas-Mindanao
Operations.
Having been appointed to a station-specific position, whatever reassignment may be
extended to respondent cannot exceed one year.1avvphi1
A reassignment is a movement of an employee from one organizational unit to
another in the same department or agency which does not involve a reduction in
rank, status or salary and does not require the issuance of an appointment. A
detail, on the other hand, is a movement from one agency to another. 44 Respondents
movement from the Office of the Vice-President Vis-Min Operations & Management in
January of 2004 to the Office of the President and CEO in Diliman, Quezon City to
handle Special Projects on 16 February 2004 was a reassignment, as he was moved
from one department to another within the same agency. Necessarily therefore,
such movement should last only until 16 February 2005, or one year thereafter.
However, respondent was designated additional duties on 16 February 2005, which
further extended his stay in the Diliman office. When respondent was designated as
OIC of the PSRG, his reassignment was extended once more. In addition, the
reassignments were made without his consent, nay, despite his objections. These
personnel movements are clear violations of the Revised Rules.
All told, the Court finds no reason to overturn the Decision of the Court of
Appeals.1avvphi1.zw+
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision and resolution of the Court of
Appeals dated 30 May 2007 and 7 August 2007, respectively, are AFFIRMED. Costs
against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED