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CSC v Sala (1997, Regalado) FACTS: Salas was appointed by the Pagcor Chairman, as Internal Security Staff at the

at the Manila Pavillion Hotel Casino. Salas employment was terminated by the Board of Pagcor, due to loss of confidence. He was engaged in proxy betting. Salas requested the Board for reinvestigation. Denied. He later appealed to the MSPB (Merit Systems Protection Board). Denied also. The reason was that he was a confidential employee, and that Salas was not dismissed from the service, only that his term of office merely expired (by the loss of confidence). He appealed to the CSC. Denied again. He appealed to the CA. The CA rendered a decision finding that Salas is not a confidential employee, hence cannot be dismissed on ground of loss of confidence. The CA applied the PROXIMITY RULE. CSC appealed the ruling. CSC contends that PD 1869, which created Pagcor, treats all employees of the casino as confidential appointees, and that based on the function as member of Internal Security, Salas occupies a confidential position. CSC reiterates the rulings of the MSPB. CSC argues also that even if Salas occupied the lowest position in the organizational ladder, he still performed one of the most sensitive positions in the corporation. Salas on the other hand, argued that it is the actual nature of the employees function and not the designation which should determine whether the position is primarily confidential

ISSUE: WON Salas was a confidential employee? HELD:NO There are 2 instances when a position may be considered primarily confidential: 1) when the President, upon CSC recommendation, declares a position to be such 2) in the absence of such declaration, when by the nature of the functions of office, there exists a close intimacy between the appointee and the appointing power, which insures freedom of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of personal trust, or confidential matters of state. Since the enactment of the Civil Service Law of 1959, it is the nature of the position which finally determines whether a position is primarily confidential, policy determining or highly technical. The PD 1869 (which says that Pagcor employees are confidential), is merely an initial determination that is NOT CONCLUSIVE in case of conflict. Thus, Sec 16 of PD1869 cannot be given a literally stringent application without compromising the constitutionally protected right of an employee to security of tenure. In the deliberations of the Con-Com, Fr. Bernas said that the initial determination is made by the legislative, but the final decision is done by the court. Thus, the SC has the final say whether a position is policy determining, primarily confidential or highly technical. It is determined not by its title, but by the NATURE OF THE TASK THAT IS ENTRUSTED TO IT.

Fr. Bernas further says that it is not enough that the law calls it primarily confidential to make it such, it is the NATURE OF THE DUTIES which makes it confidential. Thus, it is apparent that the purpose of declaring a position to be policy determining, primarily confidential, or highly technical, is to EXEMPT THESE CATEGORIES from COMPETITIVE EXAM as a means for determining fitness and merit. These positions are still covered by security of tenure, although they are considered NON-COMPETITIVE only in the sense that the appointees do NOT HAVE TO UNDERGO COMPETITIVE EXAM for purposes of determining merit and fitness. Thus, the contention that Pagcor employees are declared confidential appointees by operation of law must be rejected. As to the proximity rule, still Salas is not a confidential employee. Every appointment implies confidence, but much more than ordinary confidence reposed in the occupant of a position that is primarily confidential. To be considered as such, the predominant reason why he was chose by the appointing authority should be was the latters belief that he can share a close intimate relationship with the occupant, which ensures freedom of discussion, without fear of embarrassment or misgivings of possible betrayal of personal trust or confidential matters of state. PROXIMITY RULE: Where the position occupied is remote from that of the appointing authority, the element of trust between them is no longer predominant. Hence, not confidential. Here, there is no close intimacy between a Internal Security Staff and the Chairman of the Pagcor. Although appointed by the Chairman, he does not directly report to the Chairman, but to the Area Supervisor. As the lowest in the chain of command, Salas does not enjoy primarily close intimacy which characterizes confidential employee. Lastly, an Security Staff belongs to the bottom of the level of salary scale, having a Pay Class 2 only, where the highest level is Class 12.