A. Common provisions

Frequency: ★★★☆☆

1. Independent

The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are:
1) The Civil Service Commission (CSC);
2) The Commission on Elections (COMELEC); and
3) The Commission on Audit (COA). (Section 1, Part A, Article IX, 1987 Constitution)

2. Appointment

By the President with consent of Commission on Appointments. The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven (7) years without reappointment. (Section 1[2], Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)

Vacancy appointment only for unexpired term. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. (Section 1[2], Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)

No appointment or designation in temporary/acting capacity. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. (Section 1[2], Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)

a. Ban on appointment

Election candidate. No candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one (1) year after such election, be appointed to any office in the Government or any government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries. (Section 6, Part B, Article IX, Ibid.)

Elective official. No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure. (Section 7, Part B, Article IX, Ibid.)

Appointive official. Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. (Paragraph 2, Section 7, Part B, Article IX, Ibid.)

b. No reapointments

No re-appointment; Appointment – President + Commission on Appointments; 7-year term. The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. (Section 1[2], Part B, Ibid.; Section 1[2], Part C, Ibid.; Section 1[2], Part D, Article IX, Ibid.)

1) The 4 situations where prohibition on re-appointment is applicable

Four situations where prohibition on re-appointment will apply:
1) The first situation is where an ad interim appointee to the COMELEC, after confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, serves his full seven-year term. Such person cannot be reappointed to the COMELEC, whether as a member or as a chairman, because he will then be actually serving more than seven years.
2) The second situation is where the appointee, after confirmation, serves a part of his term and then resigns before his seven-year term of office ends. Such person cannot be reappointed, whether as a member or as a chair, to a vacancy arising from retirement because a reappointment will result in the appointee also serving more than seven years.
3) The third situation is where the appointee is confirmed to serve the unexpired term of someone who died or resigned, and the appointee completes the unexpired term. Such person cannot be reappointed, whether as a member or chair, to a vacancy arising from retirement because a reappointment will result in the appointee also serving more than seven years.
4) The fourth situation is where the appointee has previously served a term of less than seven years, and a vacancy arises from death or resignation. Even if it will not result in his serving more than seven years, a reappointment of such person to serve an unexpired term is also prohibited because his situation will be similar to those appointed under the second sentence of Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution. This provision refers to the first appointees under the Constitution whose terms of office are less than seven years, but are barred from ever being reappointed under any situation. (Matibag v. Benipayo, En Banc, G.R. No. 149036, 02 Aprl 2002)

2) Prohibition on re-appointment of “any kind”

General Rule: The phrase “without reappointment” appears twice. The first phrase prohibits reappointment of any person previously appointed for a term of seven years. The second phrase prohibits reappointment of any person previously appointed for a term of five or three years pursuant to the first set of appointees under the Constitution. In either case, it does not matter if the person previously appointed completes his term of office for the intention is to prohibit any reappointment of any kind. (Ibid.)
Exception: However, an ad interim appointment that has lapsed by inaction of the Commission on Appointments does not constitute a term of office. The period from the time the ad interim appointment is made to the time it lapses is neither a fixed term nor an unexpired term. To hold otherwise would mean that the President by his unilateral action could start and complete the running of a term of office in the COMELEC without the consent of the Commission on Appointments. This interpretation renders inutile the confirming power of the Commission on Appointments. (Ibid.)

Without reappointment – only if appointed by the President and confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. The phrase “without reappointment” applies only to one who has been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, whether or not such person completes his term of office. There must be a confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of the previous appointment before the prohibition on reappointment can apply. To hold otherwise will lead to absurdities and negate the President’s power to make ad interim appointments. (Ibid.)

In the great majority of cases, the Commission on Appointments usually fails to act, for lack of time, on the ad interim appointments first issued to appointees. If such ad interim appointments can no longer be renewed, the President will certainly hesitate to make ad interim appointments because most of her appointees will effectively be disapproved by mere inaction of the Commission on Appointments. This will nullify the constitutional power of the President to make ad interim appointments, a power intended to avoid disruptions in vital government services. (Ibid.)

2 Reasons for prohibition:
1) To prevent a second appointment for those who have been previously appointed and confirmed even if they served for less than seven years; and
2) To insure that the members of the three constitutional commissions do not serve beyond the fixed term of seven years. (Ibid.)

3) Prohibition against re-appointment v. Prohibition on temporary appointments

Prohibition against re-appointmentProhibition on temporary appointments
The prohibition on reappointment is intended to insure that there will be no reappointment of any kind. (Ibid.)The prohibition on temporary or acting appointments is intended to prevent any circumvention of the prohibition on reappointment that may result in an appointee’s total term of office exceeding seven years. (Ibid.)

Both prohibitions. The evils sought to be avoided by the twin prohibitions are very specific –reappointment of any kind and exceeding one’s term in office beyond the maximum period of seven years. (Ibid.)

Matibag v. Benipayo, En Banc (2002)
In one case involving the renewal of ad interim appointments of COMELEC commisisoners due to non-action by the Commission on Appointments, it was held that the ad interim appointments and subsequent renewals of appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason do not violate the prohibition on reappointments because there were no previous appointments that were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. A reappointment presupposes a previous confirmed appointment. The same ad interim appointments and renewals of appointments will also not breach the seven-year term limit because all the appointments and renewals of appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason are for a fixed term expiring on February 2, 2008. Any delay in their confirmation will not extend the expiry date of their terms of office. Consequently, there is no danger whatsoever that the renewal of the ad interim appointments of these three respondents will result in any of the evils intended to be exorcised by the twin prohibitions in the Constitution. The continuing renewal of the ad interim appointment of these three respondents, for so long as their terms of office expire on February 2, 2008, does not violate the prohibition on reappointments in Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution.

4. Internal Rules

Promulgate internal rules. Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. (Section 6, Part A, Article IX, 1987 Constitution)

Same; Limitation. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. (Section 6, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)

4. Decision

Majority vote. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. (Section 7, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)

When deemed submitted for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the Commission or by the Commission itself. (Section 7, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)

Certiorari. Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty (30) days from receipt of a copy thereof. (Section 7, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)

Decision, binding only after promulgation. A decision becomes binding only after its promulgation.  If at the time it is promulgated, a judge or member of the collegiate court who had earlier signed or registered his vote has vacated office, his vote on the decision must automatically be withdrawn or cancelled. (Dumayas v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 141952-53, 20 April 2001)

5. Ancillary functions

As may be provided by law. Each Commission shall perform such other functions as may be provided by law. (Section 8, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)

6. Institutional independence and safeguards

Institutional independence and safeguards:
1) Constitutional-creations.The Constitutional Commissions are created by the 1987 Constitution. (Article IX, 1987 Constitution)
2) Independent.The Constitutional Commissions are expressly described as independent in the 1987 Constitution. (Section 1, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)
3) Powers and functions derived from the 1987 Constitution. The powers and functions of the Constitutional Commissions are derived from the 1987 Constitution. (Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)
4) Qualifications and disqualifications. The Chairperson and the Members are subject to qualifications and disqualifiactions under the 1987 Constitution. (Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)
5) Security of tenure and impeachment. The Chairperson and the Members may only be removed by impeachment under the 1987 Constitution. (Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)
6) Long and guaranteed term of office. The term of office of the Chairperson and the Members is guaranteed and long at seven (7) years under the 1987 Constitution. (Paragraph 2, Section 1, Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)
7) Staggered terms of office. The terms of office of the Chairperson and the Members are staggered to avoid appointment of the majority by the same President. (Paragraph 2, Section 1, Part B, C, and D, Article IX, Ibid.)
8) No reappointment. The Chairperson and the Members may not be reappointed. (Ibid.)
9. No temporary appointment or acting capacity. The Chairperson and the Members may not be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. (Ibid.)
10) Vacancy appointment for unexpired term only. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. (Ibid.)
11) Salaries are fixed by law and may not be increased during  tenure. The salary of the Chairman and the Members shall be fixed by law and shall not be decreased during their tenure. (Section 3, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)
12) Officials and employees. The Constitutional Commissions shall appoint their officials and employees in accordance with law. (Section 4, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)
13) Fiscal autonomy. The Constitutional Commissions shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved annual appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released. (Section 5, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)
14) Internal rules of procedure. Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. (Section 6, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)
15) Majority vote in decision-making. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter brought before it within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission for decision or  resolution. (Section 7, Part A, Article IX, Ibid.)

Independent; While executive in nature – not under control of the President.Article IX-A, Section 1, of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional Commissions as “independent.” Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the President of the Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions. Each of these Commissions conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its own discretion. Its decisions, orders and rulings are subject only to review on Certiorari by this Court as provided by the Constitution in Article IX-A, Section 7. (Brillantes, Jr. v. Yorac, En Banc, 18 December 1990)

No temporary appointment or acting capacity. Each of the Constitutional Commissions conducts its own proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules and in the exercise of its own discretion… The choice of a temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that discretion. That discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President of the Philippines… A designation as Acting Chairman is by its very terms essentially temporary and therefore revocable at will. No cause need be established to justify its revocation. (Brillantes, Jr. v. Yorac, supra.)

Fiscal autonomy. As envisioned in the Constitution, the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Audit, the Commission on Elections, and the Office of the Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of compensation not exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation and pay plans of the government and allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed by them in the course of the discharge of their functions. (Bengzon v. Drilon, G.R. No. 103524, 15 April 1992)

Same; Freedom from outside control. Fiscal autonomy means freedom from outside control. (Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Appraised Value of the Properties Purchased by the Retired Chief/Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, En Banc, A.M. No. 11-7-10-SC, 31 July 2012)

•••••

BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question V, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

State whether or not the following acts are constitutional: (2% each)

(c) The designation by the President of an acting Associate Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission;

Suggested Answer:

It is unconstitutional. The 1987 Constitution prohibits appointment or designation of a Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission in a temporary or acting capacity.

••••

Disclaimer: All information herein is for educational and general information only intended for those preparing for the bar exam. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

Share:

Mock Bar Exam Schedules

Test your knowledge. Practice answering questions, repeatedly and continuously — that’s how you prepare for the bar exam. Don’t mindlessly read throughout your bar exam review and expect you can effectively answer during your bar exam.

Mock Bar Exam: Labor Law

The Mock Bar Exam (MBE) for Labor Law will simulate previous bar exam questions, including the time limit. The objective

Related: Political Law

D. Checks and balances

Frequency: ★★☆☆☆ 1. CONCEPT The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in

Feedback

We value feedback.
Help us improve by with your suggestions and comments.
Thank you in advance

Syllabus-based

Reviewers

A. Conditions of employment

Frequency: ★★★★★ 1. Covered employees/workers Hours worked Time spent are considered hours worked in the following cases: 1) All hours

I. Eminent Domain

Frequency: ★★★☆☆ 1. Concept Concept: Eminent domain. Eminent domain – is the power of the State to take private property

Updated

Suggested Answers

error: Content is protected.