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Matibag vs benipayo

Matibag vs benipayo

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Published by Ross Lyne

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Published by: Ross Lyne on Sep 25, 2011
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09/03/2013

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Matibag vs. Benipayo, G.R. No. 149036, April 2, 2002
FACTS:
 
COMELEC en banc appointed petitioner as “Acting Director IV” of the EID. Such appointmentwas renewed in “temporary” capacity twice, first by Chairperson Demetrio and then by
Commissioner Javier. Later, PGMA appointed, ad interim, Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman, andBorra and Tuason as COMELEC Commissioners, each for a term of 7 yrs. The three took theiroaths of office and assumed their positions. However, since the Commission on Appointmentsdid not act on said appointments, PGMA renewed the ad interim appointments.
ISSUES:
 
Whether or not the assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason on the basis of thead interim appointments issued by the President amounts to a temporary appointmentprohibited by Sec. 1(2), Art. IX-C
 
Assuming that the first ad interim appointments and the first assumption of office byBenipayo, Borra and Tuason are legal, whether or not the renewal of their ad interimappointments and subsequent assumption of office to the same positions violate theprohibition on reappointment under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX-C
 
RULING:
 Nature of an Ad Interim AppointmentAn ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediatelyand can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office.The fact that is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter itspermanent character. The Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent incharacter by making it effective until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or untilthe next adjournment of Congress. The second paragraph of Sec.16, Art.VII of the Constitutionprovides as follows:
“The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress,
whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only untildisapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the
Congress.”
 Thus, the ad interim appointment remains effective until such disapproval or next adjournment,signifying that it can no longer be withdrawn or revoked by the President. xxx
...the term “ad interim appointment”…
means a permanent appointment made by thePresident in the meantime that Congress is in recess. It does not mean a temporaryappointment that can be withdrawn or revoked at any time. The term, although not found inthe text of the Constitution, has acquired a definite legal meaning under Philippine
 
 jurisprudence.Rights of an Ad Interim AppointeeAn ad interim appointee who has qualified and assumed office becomes at that moment agovernment employee and therefore part of the civil service. He enjoys the constitution
protection that “[n]o officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspendedexcept for cause provided by law.” Thus,
an ad interim appointment becomes complete andirrevocable once the appointee has qualified into office. The withdrawal or revocation of an adinterim appointment is possible only if it is communicated to the appointee before the momenthe qualifies, and any withdrawal or revocation thereafter is tantamount to removal from office.Once an appointee has qualified, he acquires a legal right to the office which is protected notonly by statute but also by the Constitution. He can only be removed for cause, after notice andhearing, consistent with the requirements of due process.How Ad Interim Appointment is TerminatedAn ad interim appointment can be terminated for two causes specified in the Constitution. Thefirst cause is the disapproval of his ad interim appointment by the Commission onAppointments. The second cause is the adjournment of Congress without the Commission onAppointments acting on his appointment. These two causes are resolutory conditions expresslyimposed by the Constitution on all ad interim appointments. These resolutory conditionsconstitute, in effect, a Sword of Damocles over the heads of ad interim appointees. No one,however, can complain because it is the Constitution itself that places the Sword of Damoclesover the heads of the ad interim appointees.Ad Interim Appointment vs. Temporary AppointmentWhile an ad interim appointment is permanent and irrevocable except as provided by law, anappointment or designation in a temporary or acting capacity can be withdrawn or revoked atthe pleasure of the appointing power. A temporary or acting appointee does not enjoy anysecurity of tenure, no matter how briefly. This is the kind of appointment that the Constitutionprohibits the President from making to the three independent constitutional commissions,including the COMELEC xxxWas the renewal of appointment valid?There is no dispute that an ad interim appointee disapproved by the Commission onAppointments can no longer be extended a new appointment. The disapproval is a finaldecision of the Commission on Appointments in the exercise of its checking power on theappointing authority of the President. The disapproval is a decision on the merits, being arefusal by the Commission on Appointments to give its consent after deliberating on thequalifications of the appointee. Since the Constitution does not provide for any appeal fromsuch decision, the disapproval is final and binding on the appointee as well as on the appointing

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