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Answers to Phil Bar Exams 1987-2006 Political Law

Answers to Phil Bar Exams 1987-2006 Political Law

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12/10/2012

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No. 15 Pedro Cruz, the City Engineer of
Baguio, retired. To fill the vacant position, the
City Mayor appointed Jose Reyes, a civil
engineer who formerly worked under Cruz but
had been assigned to the Office of the Mayor
for the past five years.

Vicente Estrada, the Assistant City
Engineer filed a protest with the Civil Service
Commission claiming that being the officer next
in rank he should have been appointed as City
Engineer.

1) Who has a better right to be appointed to the
contested position?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

1) On the assumption that Jose Reyes

possesses

the

minimum

qualification

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006)

138

requirements prescribed by law for the position,
the appointment extended to him is valid.
Consequently, he has a better right than
Vicente Estrada.

The claim of Estrada that being the
officer next in rank he should have been
appointed as City Engineer is not meritorious. It
is a settled rule that the appointing authority is
not limited to promotion in filling up vacancies
but may choose to fill them by the appointment
of persons with civil service eligibility
appropriate to the position. Even if a vacancy
were to be filled by promotion, the concept of
"next in rank" does not import any mandatory
requirement that the person next in rank must
be appointed to the vacancy. What the civil
service law provides is that if a vacancy is filled
by promotion, the person holding the position
next in rank thereto "shall be considered for
promotion." Espanol v. Civil Service
Commission 206 SCRA 715,

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER;

Neither Jose Reyes nor Vicente Estrada has a
better right to be appointed City Engineer. As
held in Barrozo vs. Civil Service Commission,
198 SCRA 487, the appointing authority is not
required to appoint the one next-in-rank to fill a
vacancy. He is allowed to fill it also by the
transfer of an employee who possesses civil
service eligibility.

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