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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No.

196231 September 4, 2012

EMILIO A. GON ALES III, Petitioner, vs. O!!ICE O! T"E PRESI#ENT O! T"E P"ILIPPINES, $%t&'( t)ro*() $'+ repre,e'te+ b- E.ECUTI/E SECRETAR0 PA1UITO N. OC"OA, 2R., SENIOR #EPUT0 E.ECUTI/E SECRETAR0 2OSE AMOR M. AMORAN#O, O33&%er &' C)$r(e, O33&%e o3 t)e #ep*t- E4e%*t&5e Se%ret$r- 3or Le($6 A33$&r,, ATT0. RONAL#O A. GERON, #IR. RO7ENA TURINGAN8SANC"E , $'+ ATT0. CARLITO#. CATA0ONG,Respondents. x-----------------------x G.R. No. 196232 7EN#ELL 9ARRERAS8SULIT, Petitioner, vs. ATT0. PA1UITO N. OC"OA, 2R., &' )&, %$p$%&t- $, E.ECUTI/E SECRETAR0, O!!ICE O! T"E PRESI#ENT, ATT0. #ENNIS !. ORTI , ATT0. CARLO #.SULA0 $'+ ATT0. !ROILAN MONTAL9AN, .2R., &' t)e&r %$p$%&t&e, $, C"AIRMAN $'+ MEM9ERS o3 t)e O!!ICE O! MALACA:ANG LEGAL A!!AIRS, Respondents. DEC ! "N PERLAS89ERNA9E, J.: T)e C$,e #hese t$o petitions have been consolidated not because the% ste& fro& the sa&e factual &ilieu but because the% raise a co&&on thread of issues relatin' to the President(s exercise of the po$er to re&ove fro& office herein petitioners $ho clai& the protective cloa) of independence of the constitutionall%-created office to $hich the% belon' - the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #he first case, doc)eted as *.R. No. +,-./+, is a Petition for Certiorari 0$ith application for issuance of te&porar% restrainin' order or status 1uo order2 $hich assails on 3urisdictional 'rounds the Decision + dated March /+, .4++ rendered b% the "ffice of the President in "P Case No. +4-5-6-4 dis&issin' petitioner E&ilio A. *on7ales , Deput% "&buds&an for the Militar% and "ther 8a$ Enforce&ent "ffices 0M"8E"2, upon a findin' of 'uilt on the ad&inistrative char'es of *ross Ne'lect of Dut% and *rave Misconduct constitutin' a Betra%al of Public #rust. #he petition pri&aril% see)s to declare as unconstitutional !ection 90.2 of Republic Act 0R.A.2 No. -::4, other$ise )no$n as the "&buds&an Act of +,9,, $hich 'ives the President the po$er to dis&iss a Deput% "&buds&an of the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #he second case, doc)eted as *.R. No. +,-./., is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition 0$ith application for issuance of a te&porar% restrainin' order or status 1uo order2 see)in' to annul, reverse and set aside 0+2 the undated "rder. re1uirin' petitioner ;endell Barreras-!ulit to sub&it a $ritten explanation $ith respect to alle'ed acts or o&issions constitutin' serious<'rave offenses in relation to the Plea Bar'ainin' A'ree&ent 0P8EBARA2 entered into $ith Ma3or *eneral Carlos =. *arcia> and 0.2 the April :, .4++ Notice of Preli&inar% nvesti'ation,/both issued b% the "ffice of the President in "P-DC-Case No. ++-B-44/, the ad&inistrative case initiated a'ainst petitioner as a !pecial Prosecutor of the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #he petition li)e$ise see)s to declare as unconstitutional !ection 90.2 of R.A. No. -::4 'ivin' the President the po$er to dis&iss a !pecial Prosecutor of the "ffice of the "&buds&an.

#he facts fro& $hich these t$o cases separatel% too) root are neither co&plicated nor unfa&iliar. n the &ornin' of Au'ust ./, .4+4, ne$s &edia sca&pered for a &inute-b%-&inute covera'e of a hosta'e dra&a that had slo$l% unfolded ri'ht at the ver% heart of the Cit% of Manila. ;hile initial ne$s accounts $ere fra'&ented it $as not difficult to piece to'ether the stor% on the hosta'e-ta)er, Police !enior nspector Rolando Mendo7a. ?e $as a dis'runtled for&er police officer atte&ptin' to secure his reinstate&ent in the police force and to restore the benefits of a life-lon', and erst$hile be&edaled, service. #he follo$in' da%, broadsheets and tabloids $ere replete $ith stories not 3ust of the deceased hosta'e-ta)er but also of the hosta'e victi&s, ei'ht of $ho& died durin' the bun'led police operation to rescue the hapless innocents. #heir tra'ic deaths tri''ered $ord $ars of forei'n relation proportions. "ne ne$spaper headline ran the stor% in detail, as follo$s@ MAN 8A, Philippines - A dis&issed police&an ar&ed $ith an assault rifle hi3ac)ed a bus pac)ed $ith tourists, and )illed &ost of its passen'ers in a +4 hour-hosta'e dra&a sho$n live on national television until last ni'ht. =or&er police senior inspector Rolando Mendo7a $as shot dead b% a sniper at past , p.&. Mendo7a hi3ac)ed the bus and too) .+ Chinese tourists hosta'e, de&andin' his reinstate&ent to the police force. #he hosta'e dra&a dra''ed on even after the driver of the bus &ana'ed to escape and told police that all the re&ainin' passen'ers had been )illed. 8ate into the ni'ht assault forces surrounded the bus and tried to 'ain entr%, but a pair of dead hosta'es handcuffed to the door &ade it difficult for the&. Police said the% fired at the $heels of the bus to i&&obili7e it. Police used ha&&ers to s&ash $indo$s, door and $ind-shield but $ere &et $ith inter&ittent fire fro& the hosta'e ta)er. Police also used tear 'as in an effort to confir& if the re&ainin' hosta'es $ere all dead or alive. ;hen the standoff ended at nearl% , p.&., so&e four hosta'es $ere rescued alive $hile Mendo7a $as )illed b% a sniper. nitial reports said so&e /4 police&en stor&ed the bus. !hots also ran' out, sendin' b%standers sca&perin' for safet%. t too) the police&en al&ost t$o hours to assault the bus because 'unfire reportedl% ran' out fro& inside the bus. Mendo7a hi3ac)ed the tourist bus in the &ornin' and too) the tourists hosta'e. Mendo7a, $ho clai&ed he $as ille'all% dis&issed fro& the police service, initiall% released nine of the hosta'es durin' the dra&a that be'an at +4 a.&. and pla%ed out live on national television. 8ive television foota'e sho$ed Mendo7a as)in' for food for those re&ainin' in the bus, $hich $as delivered, and fuel to )eep the air-conditionin' 'oin'. #he dis'runtled for&er police officer $as reportedl% ar&ed $ith an M-+- rifle, a , && pistol and t$o hand 'renades. Mendo7a posted a hand$ritten note on the $indo$s of the bus, sa%in' Abi' deal $ill start after / p.&. toda%.A Another si'n stuc) to another $indo$ said A/ p.&. toda% deadloc).A !tressin' his de&and, Mendo7a stuc) a piece of paper $ith a hand$ritten &essa'e@ ABi' &ista)e to correct a bi' $ron' decision.A A lar'er piece of paper on the front $indshield $as headed, ARelease final decision,A apparentl% referrin' to the case that led to his dis&issal fro& the police force. Ne'otiations dra''ed on even after Mendo7a(s self-i&posed deadline.

!enior Police "fficer . *re'orio Mendo7a said his brother $as upset over his dis&issal fro& the police force. A?is proble& $as he $as un3ustl% re&oved fro& service. #here $as no due process, no hearin', no co&plaint,A *re'orio said. 8ast ni'ht, *re'orio $as arrested b% his collea'ues on suspicions of bein' an accessor% to his brother(s action. #ensions rose as relatives tried to prevent la$&en fro& arrestin' *re'orio in front of national television. #his tri''ered the crisis that eventuall% forced Mendo7a to carr% out his threat and )ill the re&ainin' hosta'es. Ne'otiators led b% !uperintendent "rlando Bebra and Chief nspector Ro&eo !alvador tried to tal) Mendo7a into surrenderin' and releasin' the .+ hosta'es, &ostl% children and three =ilipinos, includin' the driver, the tourist 'uide and a photo'rapher. Bebra reportedl% lent a cellphone to allo$ co&&unications $ith Mendo7a inside the bus, $hich $as par)ed in front ofthe Cuirino *randstand. Children could be seen pee)in' fro& the dra$n curtains of the bus $hile police ne'otiators hovered near the scene. Manila Police District 0MPD2 director Chief !uperinten-dent Rodolfo Ma'tiba% ordered the deplo%&ent of crac) police tea&s and snipers near the scene. A crisis &an-a'e&ent co&&ittee had been activated $ith Manila Dice Ma%or s)o Moreno coordinatin' the actions $ith the MPD. Earlier last ni'ht, "&buds&an Merceditas *utierre7 had a &eetin' $ith Moreno to discuss Mendo7a(s case that led to his dis&issal fro& the service. "&buds&an spo)es&an 5ose de 5esus said *utierre7 'ave a Asealed letterA to Moreno to be delivered to Mendo7a. De 5esus did not elaborate on the contents of the letter but said Moreno $as tas)ed to personall% deliver the letter to Mendo7a. MPD spo)es&an Chief nspector Ed$in Mar'are3o said Mendo7a $as apparentl% distrau'ht b% the slo$ process of the "&buds&an in decidin' his &otion for reconside-ration. ?e said the PNP- nternal Affairs !ervice and the Manila Re'ional #rial Court had alread% dis&issed cri&-inal cases a'ainst hi&. #he hosta'e dra&a be'an $hen Mendo7a fla''ed do$n the ?on' #hai #ravel #ourist bus 0#DE-:,,2, pretendin' to hitch a ride. Mar'are3o said the bus had 3ust left =ort !antia'o in ntra&uros $hen Mendo7a as)ed the driver to let hi& 'et on and ride to Cuirino *randstand. Epon reachin' the Cuirino *randstand, Mendo7a announced to the passen'ers that the% $ould be ta)en hosta'e. A?avin' $orn his 0police2 unifor&, of course there is no doubt that he alread% planned the hosta'e ta)in',A Mar'are3o said. - !and% Araneta, Nestor Etolle, Delon Porcalla, A&anda =isher, Cecille !uerte =elipe, Christi-na Mende7, AP *randstand Carna'e, #he Philippine !tar, Epdated Au'ust .6, .4+4 +.@44 AM, Dal Rodri-'ue7. 6 n a co&pletel% separate incident &uch earlier in ti&e, &ore particularl% in Dece&ber of .44/, .9-%ear-old 5uan Paolo *arcia and ./-%ear-old an Carl *arcia $ere cau'ht in the Enited !tates s&u''lin' F+44,444 fro& Manila b% concealin' the cash in their lu''a'e and &a)in' false state&ents to E! Custo&s "fficers. #he *arcia brothers pleaded 'uilt% to bul) cash s&u''lin' and a'reed to forfeit the a&ount in favor of the E! *overn&ent in exchan'e for the dis&issal of the rest of the char'es a'ainst the& and for bein' sentenced to ti&e served. nevitabl%, ho$ever, an investi'ation into the source of the s&u''led currenc% conducted b% E! =ederal A'ents and the Philippine *overn&ent unraveled a scandal of &ilitar% corruption and a&assed $ealth -- the bo%s( father, Retired Ma3or *eneral Carlos =. *arcia, for&er Chief Procure&ent "fficer of the Ar&ed =orces, had accu&ulated &ore than P /44 Million durin' his active &ilitar% service. Plunder and Anti-Mone% 8aunderin' cases $ere eventuall% filed a'ainst Ma3or *eneral *arcia, his $ife and their t$o sons before the !andi'anba%an. G.R. No. 196231 !o&eti&e in .449, a for&al char'eG for *rave Misconduct 0robber%, 'rave threats, robber% extortion and ph%sical in3uries2 $as filed before the Philippine National Police-National Capital Re'ion 0PNP-NCR2 a'ainst Manila Police District !enior nspector 0P<! nsp.2 Rolando Mendo7a, and four others, na&el%, Police nspector Nelson 8a'asca, !enior Police nspector Nestor David, Police "fficer ;ilson *avino, and Police "fficer

Roderic) 8opena. A si&ilar char'e $as filed b% the private co&plainant, Christian M. Hala$, before the "ffice of the Cit% Prosecutor, Manila, doc)eted as .!. No. 49E-4,G+.. "n 5ul% .6, .449, $hile said cases $ere still pendin', the "ffice of the Re'ional Director of the National Police Co&&ission 0NPC2 turned over, upon the re1uest of petitioner E&ilio A. *on7ales , all relevant docu&ents and evidence in relation to said case to the "ffice of the Deput% "&buds&an for appropriate ad&inistrative ad3udication.- !ubse1uentl%, Case No. "MB-P-A-49-4-:4-? for *rave Misconduct $as lod'ed a'ainst P<! nsp. Rolando Mendo7a and his fello$ police officers, $ho filed their respective verified position papers as directed. Mean$hile, on Au'ust .-, .449, .!. No. 49E-4,G+. $as dis&issed : upon a findin' that the &aterial alle'ations &ade b% the co&plainant had not been substantiated Ab% an% evidence at all to $arrant the indict&ent of respondents of the offenses char'ed.A !i&ilarl%, the nternal Affairs !ervice of the PNP issued a Resolution9 dated "ctober +:, .449 reco&&endin' the dis&issal $ithout pre3udice of the ad&inistrative case a'ainst the sa&e police officers, for failure of the co&plainant to appear in three 0/2 consecutive hearin's despite due notice. ?o$ever, on =ebruar% +-, .44,, upon the reco&&endation of petitioner E&ilio *on7ales , a Decision , in Case No. "MB-P-A-49-4-:4-? findin' P<! nsp. Rolando Mendo7a and his fello$ police officers 'uilt% of *rave Misconduct $as approved b% the "&buds&an. #he dispositive portion of said Decision reads@ 7"ERE!ORE, it is respectfull% reco&&ended that respondents P;S I',p. ROLAN#O #EL ROSARIO MEN#O A $'+ PO3 7ILSON MATIC GA/INO of PR"-ARMM, Ca&p Bri'. *en. !alipada H. Pendatun, Paran', !hariff Habunsuan> P;INSP. NELSON UR9ANO LAGASCA, SPO1 NESTOR RE0ES #A/I# $'+ PO2 RO#ERIC< SAL/A LOPE:A of Manila Police District, ?ead1uarters, Enited Nations Avenue, Manila, be &eted the penalt% of #ISMISSAL fro& the !ervice, pursuant to !ection G. 0A2, Rule D, Enifor& Rules on Ad&inistrative Cases in the Civil !ervice, $ith the accessor% penalties of forfeiture of retire&ent benefits and perpetual dis1ualification fro& ree&plo%&ent in the 'overn&ent service pursuant to !ection G9, Rule D of the sa&e Enifor& Rules of Ad&inistrative Cases in the Civil !ervice, for havin' co&&itted GRA/E MISCON#UCT. "n Nove&ber G, .44,, the% filed a Motion for Reconsideration +4 of the fore'oin' Decision, follo$ed b% a !upple&ent to the Motion for Reconsideration++ on Nove&ber +,, .44,. "n Dece&ber +6, .44,, the pleadin's &entioned and the records of the case $ere assi'ned for revie$ and reco&&endation to *raft nvesti'ation and Prosecutor "fficer Dennis 8. *arcia, $ho released a draft "rder +. on April G, .4+4 for appropriate action b% his i&&ediate superior, Director Eulo'io !. Cecilio, $ho, in turn, si'ned and for$arded said "rder to petitioner *on7ale7(s office on April .:, .4+4. Not &ore than ten 0+42 da%s after, &ore particularl% on Ma% -, .4+4, petitioner endorsed the "rder, to'ether $ith the case records, for final approval b% "&buds&an Merceditas N. *utierre7, in $hose office it re&ained pendin' for final revie$ and action $hen P<! nsp. Mendo7a hi3ac)ed a bus-load of forei'n tourists on that fateful da% of Au'ust ./, .4+4 in a desperate atte&pt to have hi&self reinstated in the police service. n the after&ath of the hosta'e-ta)in' incident, $hich ended in the tra'ic &urder of ei'ht ?on'Hon' Chinese nationals, the in3ur% of seven others and the death of P<! nsp. Rolando Mendo7a, a public outcr% a'ainst the blunderin' of 'overn&ent officials pro&pted the creation of the ncident nvesti'ation and Revie$ Co&&ittee 0 RC2,+/ chaired b% 5ustice !ecretar% 8eila de 8i&a and vice-chaired b% nterior and 8ocal *overn&ent !ecretar% 5esus Robredo. t $as tas)ed to deter&ine accountabilit% for the incident throu'h the conduct of public hearin's and executive sessions. ?o$ever, petitioner, as $ell as the "&buds&an herself, refused to participate in the RC proceedin's on the assertion that the "ffice of the "&buds&an is an independent constitutional bod%. !iftin' throu'h testi&onial and docu&entar% evidence, the RC eventuall% identified petitioner *on7ales to be a&on' those in $ho& culpabilit% &ust lie. n its Report, +6 the RC &ade the follo$in' findin's@ Deput% "&buds&an *on7ales co&&itted serious and inexcusable ne'li'ence and 'ross violation of their o$n rules of procedure b% allo$in' Mendo7a(s &otion for reconsideration to lan'uish for &ore than nine 0,2 &onths $ithout an% 3ustification, in violation of the "&buds&an prescribed rules to resolve &otions for reconsideration

in ad&inistrative disciplinar% cases $ithin five 0G2 da%s fro& sub&ission. #he inaction is 'ross, considerin' there is no opposition thereto. #he prolon'ed inaction precipitated the desperate resort to hosta'e-ta)in'. More so, Mendo7a(s de&and for i&&ediate resolution of his &otion for reconsideration is not $ithout le'al and co&pellin' bases considerin' the follo$in'@ 0a2 P! Mendo7a and four police&en $ere investi'ated b% the "&buds&an involvin' a case for alle'ed robber% 0extortion2, 'rave threats and ph%sical in3uries a&ountin' to 'rave &isconduct alle'edl% co&&itted a'ainst a certain Christian Hala$. #he sa&e case, ho$ever, $as previousl% dis&issed b% the Manila Cit% Prosecutors "ffice for lac) of probable cause and b% the PNP-NCR nternal Affairs !ervice for failure of the co&plainant 0Christian Hala$2 to sub&it evidence and prosecute the case. "n the other hand, the case $hich $as filed &uch ahead b% Mendo7a et al. a'ainst Christian Hala$ involvin' the sa&e incident, $as 'iven due course b% the Cit% Prosecutors "ffice. 0b2 #he "&buds&an exercised 3urisdiction over the case based on a letter issued &otu proprio for Deput% "&buds&an E&ilio A. *on7ale7 , directin' the PNP-NCR - $ithout citin' an% reason - to endorse the case a'ainst Mendo7a and the arrestin' police&en to his office for ad&inistrative ad3udication, thereb% sho$in' undue interest on the case. ?e also caused the doc)etin' of the case and na&ed Att%. Clarence D. *uinto of the PNP-C D*-NCR, $ho indorsed the case records, as the no&inal co&plainant, in lieu of Christian Hala$. Durin' the proceedin's, Christian Hala$ did not also affir& his co&plaint-affidavit $ith the "&buds&an or sub&it an% position paper as re1uired. 0c2 !ubse1uentl%, Mendo7a, after servin' preventive suspension, $as ad3ud'ed liable for 'rave &isconduct b% Deput% "&buds&an *on7ales 0dul% approved on Ma% .+, .44,2 based on the sole and uncorroborated co&plaint-affidavit of Christian Hala$, $hich $as not previousl% sustained b% the Cit% Prosecutor(s "ffice and the PNP nternal Affairs !ervice. =ro& the said Resolution, Mendo7a interposed a ti&el% &otion for reconsideration 0dated and filed Nove&ber G, .44,2 as $ell as a supple&ent thereto. No opposition or co&&ent $as filed thereto. 0d2 Despite the pendin' and unresolved &otion for reconsideration, the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal $as enforced, thereb% abruptl% endin' Mendo7a(s /4 %ears of service in the PNP $ith forfeiture of all his benefits. As a result, Mendo7a sou'ht ur'ent relief b% sendin' several hand-$ritten letter-re1uests to the "&buds&an for i&&ediate resolution of his &otion for reconsideration. But his re1uests fell on deaf ears. xxxx B% allo$in' Mendo7a(s &otion for reconsideration to lan'uish for nine lon' 0,2 &onths $ithout an% 3ustification, "&buds&an *utierre7 and Deput% "&buds&an *on7ales co&&itted co&plete and $anton violation of the "&buds&an prescribed rule to resolve &otions for reconsideration in ad&inistrative disciplinar% cases $ithin five 0G2 da%s fro& sub&ission 0!ec. 9, "&buds&an Rules of Procedure2. #he inaction is 'ross, there bein' no opposition to the &otion for reconsideration. Besides, the "&buds&an, $ithout first resolvin' the &otion for reconsideration, arbitraril% enforced the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal and i'nored the intervenin' re1uests for i&&ediate resolution, thereb% renderin' the inaction even &ore inexcusable and un3ust as to a&ount to 'ross ne'li'ence and 'rave &isconduct. !EC"ND, "&buds&an *utierre7 and Deput% "&buds&an *on7ales co&&itted serious disre'ard of due process, &anifest in3ustice and oppression in failin' to provisionall% suspend the further i&ple&entation of the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal a'ainst Mendo7a pendin' disposition of his unresolved &otion for reconsideration. B% enforcin' the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal $ithout resolvin' the &otion for reconsideration for over nine &onths, the t$o "&buds&an officials acted $ith arbitrariness and $ithout re'ard to due process and the constitutional

ri'ht of an accused to the speed% disposition of his case. As lon' as his &otion for reconsideration re&ained pendin' and unresolved, Mendo7a $as also effectivel% deprived of the ri'ht to avail of the ordinar% course of appeal or revie$ to challen'e the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal before the hi'her courts and see) a te&porar% restrainin' order to prevent the further execution thereof. As such, if the "&buds&an cannot resolve $ith dispatch the &otion for reconsideration, it should have provisionall% suspended the further enforce&ent of the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal $ithout pre3udice to its rei&ple&entation if the reconsideration is eventuall% denied. "ther$ise, the "&buds&an $ill benefit fro& its o$n inaction. Besides, the liti'ant is entitled to a sta% of the execution pendin' resolution of his &otion for reconsideration. Entil the &otion for reconsideration is denied, the ad3udication process before the "&buds&an cannot be considered as co&pletel% finished and, hence, the 3ud'&ent is not %et ripe for execution. xxxx ;hen the t$o "&buds&an officials received Mendo7a(s de&and for the release of the final order resolvin' his &otion for reconsideration, the% should have perfor&ed their dut% b% resolvin' the reconsideration that sa&e da% since it $as alread% pendin' for nine &onths and the prescribed period for its resolution is onl% five da%s. "r if the% cannot resolve it that sa&e da%, then the% should have acted decisivel% b% issuin' an order provisionall% suspendin' the further enforce&ent of the 3ud'&ent of dis&issal sub3ect to revocation once the reconsideration is denied and $ithout pre3udice to the arrest and prosecution of Mendo7a for the hosta'eta)in'. ?ad the% done so, the crisis &a% have ended peacefull%, $ithout necessaril% co&pro&isin' the inte'rit% of the institution. After all, as rela%ed to the ne'otiators, Mendo7a did express $illin'ness to ta)e full responsibilit% for the hosta'e-ta)in' if his de&and for release of the final decision or reinstate&ent $as &et. But instead of actin' decisivel%, the t$o "&buds&an officials &erel% offered to revie$ a pendin' &otion for revie$ of the case, thereb% prolon'in' their inaction and a''ravatin' the situation. As expected, Mendo7a $ho previousl% berated Deput% *on7ales for alle'edl% de&andin' Php+G4,444 in exchan'e for favorabl% resolvin' the &otion for reconsideration - re3ected and branded as trash 0AbasuraA2 the "&buds&an IsicJ letter pro&isin' revie$, tri''erin' the collapse of the ne'otiations. #o prevent the situation fro& 'ettin' out of hand, the ne'otiators sou'ht the alternative option of securin' before the PNP-NCRP" an order for Mendo7a(s provisional reinstate&ent pendin' resolution of the &otion for reconsideration. Enfortunatel%, it $as alread% too late. But had the "&buds&an officials perfor&ed their dut% under the la$ and acted decisivel%, the entire crisis &a% have ended differentl%. #he RC reco&&ended that its findin's $ith respect to petitioner *on7ales be referred to the "ffice of the President 0"P2 for further deter&ination of possible ad&inistrative offenses and for the initiation of the proper ad&inistrative proceedin's. "n "ctober +G, .4+4, the "P instituted a =or&al Char'e +G a'ainst petitioner *on7ales for *ross Ne'lect of Dut% and<or nefficienc% in the Perfor&ance of "fficial Dut% under Rule K D, !ection .. of the "&nibus Rules &ple&entin' Boo) D of E.". No. .,. and other pertinent Civil !ervice 8a$s, rules and re'ulations, and for Misconduct in "ffice under !ection / of the Anti-*raft and Corrupt Practices Act.+- Petitioner filed his Ans$er+: thereto in due ti&e. !hortl% after the filin' b% the "P of the ad&inistrative case a'ainst petitioner, a co&plaint dated "ctober .,, .4+4 $as filed b% Actin' Assistant "&buds&an 5oselito P. =an'on before the nternal Affairs Board of the "ffice of the "&buds&an char'in' petitioner $ith Adirectl% or indirectl% re1uestin' or receivin' an% 'ift, present, share, percenta'e, or benefit, for hi&self or for an% other person, in connection $ith an% contract or transaction bet$een the *overn&ent and an% other part%, $herein the public officer in his official capacit% has to intervene under the la$A under !ection /0b2 of the Anti-*raft and Corrupt Practices Act, and also, $ith solicitation or acceptance of 'ifts under !ection :0d2 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical !tandards. +9 n a 5oint Resolution+, dated =ebruar% +:, .4++, $hich $as approved b% "&buds&an Ma. Merceditas N. *utierre7, the co&plaint $as dis&issed, as follo$s@

7"ERE!ORE, pre&ises considered, findin' no probable cause to indict respondent E&ilio A. *on7ales violations of !ection /0b2 of R.A. No. /4+, and !ection :0d2 of R.A. No. -:+/, the co&plaint is hereb% be IsicJ #ISMISSE#. =urther, findin' no sufficient evidence to hold respondent ad&inistrativel% liable for Misconduct, the sa&e is li)e$ise #ISMISSE#.

for

Mean$hile, the "P notified.4 petitioner that a Preli&inar% Clarificator% Conference relative to the ad&inistrative char'e a'ainst hi& $as to be conducted at the "ffice of the Deput% Executive !ecretar% for 8e'al Affairs 0"DE!8A2 on =ebruar% 9, .4++. Petitioner *on7ales alle'ed, .+ ho$ever, that on =ebruar% 6, .4++, he heard the ne$s that the "P had announced his suspension for one %ear due to his dela% in the disposition of P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s &otion for reconsideration. ?ence, believin' that the "P had alread% pre3ud'ed his case and that an% proceedin' before it $ould si&pl% be a charade, petitioner no lon'er attended the scheduled clarificator% conference. nstead, he filed an "b3ection to Proceedin's .. on =ebruar% :, .4++. Despite petitioner(s absence, ho$ever, the "P pushed throu'h $ith the proceedin's and, on March /+, .4++, rendered the assailed Decision,./the dispositive portion of $hich reads@ 7"ERE!ORE, in vie$ of the fore'oin', this "ffice finds Deput% "&buds&an E&ilio A. *on7ales 'uilt% of *ross Ne'lect of Dut% and *rave Misconduct constitutin' betra%al of public trust, and hereb% &eted out the penalt% of #ISMISSAL fro& service. !" "RDERED. ?ence, the petition. G.R. No. 196232 n April of .44G, the Actin' Deput% !pecial Prosecutor of the "ffice of the "&buds&an char'ed Ma3or *eneral Carlos =. *arcia, his $ife Clarita D. *arcia, their sons an Carl *arcia, 5uan Paulo *arcia and #i&oth% Mar) *arcia and several un)no$n persons $ith Plunder 0Cri&inal Case No. .9+4:2 and Mone% 8aunderin' 0Cri&inal Case No. !B4,CRM4+,62 before the !andi'anba%an. "n 5anuar% :, .4+4, the !andi'anba%an denied Ma3or *eneral *arcia(s ur'ent petition for bail holdin' that stron' prosecution evidence &ilitated a'ainst the 'rant of bail. "n March +-, .4+4, ho$ever, the 'overn&ent, represented b% petitioner, !pecial Prosecutor ;endell Barreras-!ulit 0ABarreras-!ulitA2 and her prosecutorial staff sou'ht the !andi'anba%an(s approval of a Plea Bar'ainin' A'ree&ent 0hereinafter referred to as AP8EBARAA2 entered into $ith the accused. "n Ma% 6, .4+4, the !andi'anba%an issued a Resolution findin' the chan'e of plea $arranted and the P8EBARA co&pliant $ith 3urisprudential 'uidelines. "utra'ed b% the bac)roo& deal that could allo$ Ma3or *eneral *arcia to 'et off the hoo) $ith nothin' but a slap on the hand not$ithstandin' the prosecution(s apparentl% stron' evidence of his culpabilit% for serious public offenses, the ?ouse of Representatives( Co&&ittee on 5ustice conducted public hearin's on the P8EBARA. At the conclusion of these public hearin's, the Co&&ittee on 5ustice passed and adopted Co&&ittee Resolution No. /,.6reco&&endin' to the President the dis&issal of petitioner Barreras-!ulit fro& the service and the filin' of appropriate char'es a'ainst her Deputies and Assistants before the appropriate 'overn&ent office for havin' co&&itted acts and<or o&issions tanta&ount to culpable violations of the Constitution and betra%al of public trust, $hich are violations under the Anti-*raft and Corrupt Practices Act and 'rounds for re&oval fro& office under the "&buds&an Act. #he "ffice of the President initiated "P-DC-Case No. ++-B-44/ a'ainst petitioner Barreras-!ulit. n her $ritten explanation, petitioner raised the defenses of pre&aturit% and the lac) of 3urisdiction of the "P $ith respect to the ad&inistrative disciplinar% proceedin' a'ainst her. #he "P, ho$ever, still proceeded $ith the case, settin' it for preli&inar% investi'ation on April +G, .4++. ?ence, the petition.

T)e I,,*e, n G.R. No. 196231, petitioner *on7ales raises the follo$in' 'rounds, to $it@ 0A2 RE!P"NDEN# "== CE "= #?E PRE! DEN#, AC# N* #?R"E*? #?E "#?ER ND D DEA8 RE!P"NDEN#!, ?A! N" C"N!# #E# "NA8 "R DA8 D !#A#E#"RB AE#?"R #B #" !EB5EC# PE# # "NER #" AN ADM N !#RA# DE NDE!# *A# "N AND #" #?EREA=#ER "RDER ? ! REM"DA8 A! DEPE#B "MBED!MAN. 0B2 RE!P"NDEN# "== CE "= #?E PRE! DEN#, AC# N* #?R"E*? #?E "#?ER ND D DEA8 RE!P"NDEN#!, *RADE8B ABE!ED #! D !CRE# "N AM"EN# N* #" 8ACH "R EKCE!! "= 5ER !D C# "N ;?EN # C"NDEC#ED #! NDE!# *A# "N AND RENDERED #! DEC ! "N N D "8A# "N "= PE# # "NER(! R *?# #" DEE PR"CE!!. 0C2 RE!P"NDEN# "== CE "= #?E PRE! DEN#, AC# N* #?R"E*? #?E ND D DEA8 RE!P"NDEN#!, *RADE8B ABE!ED #! D !CRE# "N AM"EN# N* #" 8ACH "R EKCE!! "= 5ER !D C# "N N = ND N* #?A# PE# # "NER C"MM ##ED DE8AB N #?E D !P"! # "N "= MEND"LA(! M"# "N ="R REC"N! DERA# "N. 0D2 RE!P"NDEN# "== CE "= #?E PRE! DEN#, AC# N* #?R"E*? #?E ND D DEA8 RE!P"NDEN#!, *RADE8B ABE!ED #! D !CRE# "N AM"EN# N* #" 8ACH "R EKCE!! "= 5ER !D C# "N N = ND N* #?A# PE# # "NER #""H ENDEE N#ERE!# N MEND"LA(! CA!E. 0E2 RE!P"NDEN# "== CE "= #?E PRE! DEN#, AC# N* #?R"E*? #?E ND D DEA8 RE!P"NDEN#!, *RADE8B ABE!ED #! D !CRE# "N AM"EN# N* #" 8ACH "R EKCE!! "= 5ER !D C# "N N =AE8# N* PE# # "NER ="R N"# RE8EA! N* #?E RE!"8E# "N "N MEND"LA(! M"# "N ="R REC"N! DERA# "N "R ="R N"# !E!PEND N* MEND"LA(! D !M !!A8 =R"M !ERD CE DER N* #?E ?"!#A*E CR ! !. 0=2 RE!P"NDEN# "== CE "= #?E PRE! DEN#, AC# N* #?R"E*? #?E ND D DEA8 RE!P"NDEN#!, *RADE8B ABE!ED #! D !CRE# "N AM"EN# N* #" 8ACH "R EKCE!! "= 5ER !D C# "N N = ND N* #?A# #?ERE ;A! !EB!#AN# A8 ED DENCE #" !?"; #?A# PE# # "NER DEMANDED A BR BE =R"M MEND"LA..G "n the other hand, in *.R. No. +,-./., petitioner Barreras-!ulit poses for the Court the 1uestion AS O! T"IS POINT IN TIME, 7OUL# TA<ING AN# CONTINUING TO TA<E A#MINISTRATI/E #ISCIPLINAR0 PROCEE#ING AGAINST PETITIONER 9E LA7!UL AN# 2USTI!IA9LE= .Re-stated, the pri&ordial 1uestion in these t$o petitions is $hether the "ffice of the President has 3urisdiction to exercise ad&inistrative disciplinar% po$er over a Deput% "&buds&an and a !pecial Prosecutor $ho belon' to the constitutionall%-created "ffice of the "&buds&an.

T)e Co*rt>, R*6&'( !hort of clai&in' the&selves i&&une fro& the ordinar% &eans of re&oval, petitioners asseverate that the President has no disciplinar% 3urisdiction over the& considerin' that the "ffice of the "&buds&an to $hich the% belon' is clothed $ith constitutional independence and that the%, as Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor therein, necessaril% bear the constitutional attributes of said office. #he Court is not convinced. T)e Omb*+,m$'>, $+m&'&,tr$t&5e +&,%&p6&'$r- po?er o5er $ #ep*tOmb*+,m$' $'+ Spe%&$6 Pro,e8%*tor &, 'ot e4%6*,&5e. t is true that the authorit% of the "ffice of the "&buds&an to conduct ad&inistrative investi'ations proceeds fro& its constitutional &andate to be an effective protector of the people a'ainst inept and corrupt 'overn&ent officers and e&plo%ees,.: and is subsu&ed under the broad po$ers Aexplicitl% conferredA upon it b% the +,9: Constitution and R.A. No. -::4..9 #he o&buds&an traces its ori'ins to the pri&itive le'al order of *er&anic tribes. #he !$edish ter&, $hich literall% &eans Aa'entA or Arepresentative,A co&&unicates the concept that has been carried on into the creation of the &odern-da% o&buds&an, that is, so&eone $ho acts as a neutral representative of ordinar% citi7ens a'ainst 'overn&ent abuses.., #his idea of a people(s protector $as first institutionali7ed in the Philippines under the +,:/ Constitution $ith the creation of the #anodba%an, $hich $ielded the t$in po$ers of investi'ation and prosecution. !ection -, Article K of the +,:/ Constitution provided thus@ !ec. -. #he Batasan' Pa&bansa shall create an office of the "&buds&an, to be )no$n as #anodba%an, $hich shall receive and investi'ate co&plaints relative to public office, includin' those in 'overn&ent-o$ned or controlled corporations, &a)e appropriate reco&&endations, and in case of failure of 3ustice as defined b% la$, file and prosecute the correspondin' cri&inal, civil, or ad&inistrative case before the proper court or bod%. #he fra&ers of the +,9: Constitution later envisioned a &ore effective o&buds&an vested $ith authorit% to Aact in a 1uic), inexpensive and effective &anner on co&plaints a'ainst ad&inistrative officialsA, and to function purel% $ith the Apresti'e and persuasive po$ers of his officeA in correctin' i&proprieties, inefficiencies and corruption in 'overn&ent freed fro& the ha&perin' effects of prosecutorial duties. /4 Accordin'l%, !ection +/, Article K of the +,9: Constitution enu&erates the follo$in' po$ers, functions, and duties of the "ffice of the "&buds&an, vi7@ 0+2 nvesti'ate on its o$n, or on co&plaint b% an% person, an% act or o&ission of an% public official, e&plo%ee, office or a'enc%, $hen such act or o&ission appears to be ille'al, un3ust, i&proper, or inefficient. 0.2 Direct, upon co&plaint or at its o$n instance, an% public official or e&plo%ee of the *overn&ent, or an% subdivision, a'enc% or instru&entalit% thereof, as $ell as of an% 'overn&ent-o$ned or controlled corporation $ith ori'inal charter, to perfor& and expedite an% act or dut% re1uired b% la$, or to stop, prevent, and correct an% abuse or i&propriet% in the perfor&ance of duties. 0/2 Direct the officer concerned to ta)e appropriate action a'ainst a public official or e&plo%ee at fault, and reco&&end his re&oval, suspension, de&otion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure co&pliance there$ith. 062 Direct the officer concerned, in an% appropriate case, and sub3ect to such li&itations as &a% be provided b% la$, to furnish it $ith copies of docu&ents relatin' to contracts or transactions entered into b% his office involvin' the disburse&ent or use of public funds or properties, and report an% irre'ularit% to the Co&&ission on Audit for appropriate action. 0G2 Re1uest an% 'overn&ent a'enc% for assistance and infor&ation necessar% in the dischar'e of its responsibilities, and to exa&ine, if necessar%, pertinent records and docu&ents.

0-2

Publici7e &atters covered b% its investi'ation $hen circu&stances so $arrant and $ith due prudence.

0:2 Deter&ine the causes of inefficienc%, red tape, &is&ana'e&ent, fraud, and corruption in the *overn&ent and &a)e reco&&endations for their eli&ination and the observance of hi'h standards of ethics and efficienc%. 092 Pro&ul'ate its rules of procedure and exercise such other po$ers or perfor& such functions or duties as &a% be provided b% la$./+ Con'ress thereafter passed, on Nove&ber +:, +,9,, Republic Act No. -::4, the "&buds&an Act of +,9,, to shore up the "&buds&an(s institutional stren'th b% 'rantin' it Afull ad&inistrative disciplinar% po$er over public officials and e&plo%ees,A/. as follo$s@ !ec. .+. "fficials !ub3ect to Disciplinar% Authorit%> Exceptions. - #he "ffice of the "&buds&an shall have disciplinar% authorit% over all elective and appointive officials of the *overn&ent and its subdivisions, instru&entalities and a'encies, includin' Me&bers of the Cabinet, local 'overn&ent, 'overn&ent-o$ned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials $ho &a% be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent or over Me&bers of Con'ress, and the 5udiciar%.0E&phasis supplied2 n the exercise of such full ad&inistrative disciplinar% authorit%, the "ffice of the "&buds&an $as explicitl% conferred the statutor% po$er to conduct ad&inistrative investi'ations under !ection +, of the sa&e la$, thus@ !ec. +,. Ad&inistrative co&plaints. - #he "&buds&an shall act on all co&plaints relatin', but not li&ited, to acts or o&issions $hich@ +. Are contrar% to la$ or re'ulation> .. Are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or discri&inator%> /. Are inconsistent $ith the 'eneral course of an a'enc%(s functions, thou'h in accordance $ith la$> 6. Proceed fro& a &ista)e of la$ or an arbitrar% ascertain&ent of facts> G. Are in the exercise of discretionar% po$ers but for an i&proper purpose> or -. Are other$ise irre'ular, i&&oral or devoid of 3ustification. ;hile the "&buds&an(s authorit% to discipline ad&inistrativel% is extensive and covers all 'overn&ent officials, $hether appointive or elective, $ith the exception onl% of those officials re&ovable b% i&peach&ent, the &e&bers of con'ress and the 3udiciar%, such authorit% is b% no &eans exclusive. Petitioners cannot insist that the% should be solel% and directl% sub3ect to the disciplinar% authorit% of the "&buds&an. =or, $hile !ection .+ declares the "&buds&an(s disciplinar% authorit% over all 'overn&ent officials, !ection 90.2, on the other hand, 'rants the President express po$er of re&oval over a Deput% "&buds&an and a !pecial Prosecutor. #hus@ !ection 9. Re&oval> =illin' of Dacanc%.xxxx 0.2 A Deput% or the !pecial Prosecutor, &a% be re&oved fro& office b% the President for an% of the 'rounds provided for the re&oval of the "&buds&an, and after due process. t is a basic canon of statutor% construction that in interpretin' a statute, care should be ta)en that ever% part thereof be 'iven effect, on the theor% that it $as enacted as an inte'rated &easure and not as a hod'e-pod'e of conflictin' provisions. A construction that $ould render a provision inoperative should be avoided> instead, apparentl% inconsistent provisions should be reconciled $henever possible as parts of a coordinated and

har&onious $hole.// "ther$ise stated, the la$ &ust not be read in truncated parts. Ever% part thereof &ust be considered to'ether $ith the other parts, and )ept subservient to the 'eneral intent of the $hole enact&ent. /6 A har&onious construction of these t$o apparentl% conflictin' provisions in R.A. No. -::4 leads to the inevitable conclusion that Con'ress had intended the "&buds&an and the President to exercise concurrent disciplinar% 3urisdiction over petitioners as Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor, respectivel%. #his sharin' of authorit% 'oes into the $isdo& of the le'islature, $hich prero'ative falls be%ond the pale of 3udicial in1uir%. #he Con'ressional deliberations on this &atter are 1uite insi'htful, vi7@ x x x !enator An'ara explained that the phrase $as added to hi'hli'ht the fact that the Deput% #anodba%an &a% onl% be re&oved for cause and after due process. ?e added that the President alone has the po$er to re&ove the Deput% #anodba%an. Reactin' thereto, !enator *uin'ona observed that this &i'ht i&pair the independence of the #anodba%an and su''ested that the procedural re&oval of the Deput% #anodba%an...> and that he can be re&oved not b% the President but b% the "&buds&an. ?o$ever, the Chair expressed apprehension that the "&buds&an and the Deput% "&buds&an &a% tr% to protect one another. #he Chair su''ested the substitution of the phrase Aafter due processA $ith the $ords after due notice and hearin' $ith the President as the ulti&ate authorit%. !enator *uin'ona contended, ho$ever, that the Constitution provides for an independent "ffice of the #anodba%an, and to allo$ the Executive to have disciplinar% po$ers over the #anodba%an Deputies $ould be an encroach&ent on the independence of the #anodba%an. Repl%in' thereto, !enator An'ara stated that ori'inall%, he $as not averse to the proposal, ho$ever, considerin' the Chair(s observation that vestin' such authorit% upon the #anodba%an itself could result in &utual protection, it is necessar% that an outside official should be vested $ith such authorit% to effect a chec) and balance./G ndubitabl%, the &anifest intent of Con'ress in enactin' both provisions - !ection 90.2 and !ection .+ - in the sa&e "r'anic Act $as to provide for an external authorit%, throu'h the person of the President, that $ould exercise the po$er of ad&inistrative discipline over the Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor $ithout in the least di&inishin' the constitutional and plenar% authorit% of the "&buds&an over all 'overn&ent officials and e&plo%ees. !uch le'islative desi'n is si&pl% a &easure of Achec) and balanceA intended to address the la$&a)ers( real and valid concern that the "&buds&an and his Deput% &a% tr% to protect one another fro& ad&inistrative liabilities. #his $ould not be the first instance that the "ffice of the President has loc)ed horns $ith the "&buds&an on the &atter of disciplinar% 3urisdiction. An earlier conflict had been settled in favor of shared authorit% in ?a'ad v. *o7o Dadole./- n said case, the Ma%or and Dice-Ma%or of Mandaue Cit%, and a &e&ber of the !an''unian' Panlun'sod, $ere char'ed before the "ffice of the Deput% "&buds&an for the Disa%as $ith violations of R.A. No. /4+,, R.A. No. -:+/, and the Revised Penal Code. #he pivotal issue raised therein $as $hether the "&buds&an had been divested of his authorit% to conduct ad&inistrative investi'ations over said local elective officials b% virtue of the subse1uent enact&ent of the 8ocal *overn&ent Code of +,,+ 0R.A. No. :+-42, the pertinent provision of $hich states@ !ec. -+. =or& and =ilin' of Ad&inistrative Co&plaints.- A verified co&plaint a'ainst an% errin' local elective official shall be prepared as follo$s@ 0a2 A co&plaint a'ainst an% elective official of a province, a hi'hl% urbani7ed cit%, an independent co&ponent cit% or co&ponent cit% shall be filed before the "ffice of the President. #he Court resolved said issue in the ne'ative, upholdin' the ratiocination of the !olicitor *eneral that R.A. No. :+-4 should be vie$ed as havin' conferred on the "ffice of the President, but not on an exclusive basis,

disciplinar% authorit% over local elective officials. Despite the fact that R.A. No. :+-4 $as the &ore recent expression of le'islative $ill, no repeal of pertinent provisions in the "&buds&an Act $as inferred therefro&. #hus said the Court@ ndeed, there is nothin' in the 8ocal *overn&ent Code to indicate that it has repealed, $hether expressl% or i&pliedl%, the pertinent provisions of the "&buds&an Act. #he t$o statutes on the specific &atter in 1uestion are not so inconsistent, let alone irreconcilable, as to co&pel us to onl% uphold one and stri)e do$n the other. ;ell settled is the rule that repeals of la$s b% i&plication are not favored, and that courts &ust 'enerall% assu&e their con'ruent application. #he t$o la$s &ust be absolutel% inco&patible, and a clear findin' thereof &ust surface, before the inference of i&plied repeal &a% be dra$n. #he rule is expressed in the &axi&, interpretare et concordare le'ibus est opti&us interpretendi, i.e., ever% statute &ust be so interpreted and brou'ht into accord $ith other la$s as to for& a unifor& s%ste& of 3urisprudence. #he funda&ent is that the le'islature should be presu&ed to have )no$n the existin' la$s on the sub3ect and not to have enacted conflictin' statutes. ?ence, all doubts &ust be resolved a'ainst an% i&plied repeal, and all efforts should be exerted in order to har&oni7e and 'ive effect to all la$s on the sub3ect. /: ;hile ?a'ad v. *o7o Dadole/9 upheld the plenar% po$er of the "ffice of the "&buds&an to discipline elective officials over the sa&e disciplinar% authorit% of the President under R.A. No. :+-4, the &ore recent case of the "ffice of the "&buds&an v. Deli3ero/, te&pered the exercise b% the "&buds&an of such plenar% po$er invo)in' !ection ./0.264 of R.A. No. -::4, $hich 'ives the "&buds&an the option to Arefer certain co&plaints to the proper disciplinar% authorit% for the institution of appropriate ad&inistrative proceedin's a'ainst errin' public officers or e&plo%ees.A #he Court underscored therein the clear le'islative intent of i&posin' Aa standard and a separate set of procedural re1uire&ents in connection $ith ad&inistrative proceedin's involvin' public school teachersA6+ $ith the enact&ent of R.A. No. 6-:4, other$ise )no$n as A#he Ma'na Carta for Public !chool #eachers.A t thus declared that, $hile the "&buds&an(s ad&inistrative disciplinar% authorit% over a public school teacher is concurrent $ith the proper investi'atin' co&&ittee of the Depart&ent of Education, it $ould have been &ore prudent under the circu&stances for the "&buds&an to have referred to the DEC! the co&plaint a'ainst the public school teacher. En1uestionabl%, the "&buds&an is possessed of 3urisdiction to discipline his o$n people and &ete out ad&inistrative sanctions upon the&, includin' the extre&e penalt% of dis&issal fro& the service. ?o$ever, it is e1uall% $ithout 1uestion that the President has concurrent authorit% $ith respect to re&oval fro& office of the Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor, albeit under specified conditions. Considerin' the principles attendin' concurrence of 3urisdiction $here the "ffice of the President $as the first to initiate a case a'ainst petitioner *on7ales, prudence should have pro&pted the "&buds&an to desist fro& proceedin' separatel% a'ainst petitioner throu'h its nternal Affairs Board, and to defer instead to the President(s assu&ption of authorit%, especiall% $hen the ad&inistrative char'e involved Ade&andin' and solicitin' a su& of &one%A $hich constitutes either 'raft and corruption or briber%, both of $hich are 'rounds reserved for the President(s exercise of his authorit% to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an. n an% case, assu&in' that the "&buds&an(s nternal Affairs Board properl% conducted a subse1uent and parallel ad&inistrative action a'ainst petitioner, its earlier dis&issal of the char'e of 'raft and corruption a'ainst petitioner could not have the effect of preventin' the "ffice of the President fro& proceedin' a'ainst petitioner upon the sa&e 'round of 'raft and corruption. After all, the doctrine of res 3udicata applies onl% to 3udicial or 1uasi-3udicial proceedin's, not to the exercise of ad&inistrative po$ers. 6. n Monte&a%or v. Bundalian,6/ the Court sustained the President(s dis&issal fro& service of a Re'ional Director of the Depart&ent of Public ;or)s and ?i'h$a%s 0DP;?2 $ho $as found liable for unexplained $ealth upon investi'ation b% the no$ defunct Philippine Co&&ission A'ainst *raft and Corruption 0PCA*C2. #he Court cate'oricall% ruled therein that the prior dis&issal b% the "&buds&an of si&ilar char'es a'ainst said official did not operate as res 3udicata in the PCA*C case. 9- (r$'t&'( e4pre,, ,t$t*torpo?er to t)e Pre,&+e't to remo5e $ #ep*t- Omb*+,m$' $'+ $ Spe%&$6 Pro,e%*tor, Co'(re,, mere6- 3&66e+ $' ob5&o*, ($p &' t)e 6$?.

!ection ,, Article K of the +,9: Constitution confers upon the President the po$er to appoint the "&buds&an and his Deputies, vi7@ !ection ,. #he "&buds&an and his Deputies shall be appointed b% the President fro& a list of at least six no&inees prepared b% the 5udicial and Bar Council, and fro& a list of three no&inees for ever% vacanc% thereafter. !uch appoint&ents shall re1uire no confir&ation. All vacancies shall be filled $ithin three &onths after the% occur. ;hile the re&oval of the "&buds&an hi&self is also expressl% provided for in the Constitution, $hich is b% i&peach&ent under !ection .66 of the sa&e Article, there is, ho$ever, no constitutional provision si&ilarl% dealin' $ith the re&oval fro& office of a Deput% "&buds&an, or a !pecial Prosecutor, for that &atter. B% enactin' !ection 90.2 of R.A. -::4, Con'ress si&pl% filled a 'ap in the la$ $ithout runnin' afoul of an% provision in the Constitution or existin' statutes. n fact, the Constitution itself, under !ection ., authori7es Con'ress to provide for the re&oval of all other public officers, includin' the Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor, $ho are not sub3ect to i&peach&ent. #hat the Deputies of the "&buds&an $ere intentionall% excluded fro& the enu&eration of i&peachable officials is clear fro& the follo$in' deliberations6G of the Constitutional Co&&ission, thus@ MR. RE*A8AD". Bes, than) %ou. "n !ection +4, re'ardin' the "&buds&an, there has been concern aired b% Co&&issioner Rodri'o about $ho $ill see to it that the "&buds&an $ill perfor& his duties because he is so&ethin' li)e a 'uardian of the 'overn&ent. #his recalls the state&ent of 5uvenal that $hile the "&buds&an is the 'uardian of the people, ACuis custodiet ipsos custodiesA, $ho $ill 'uard the 'uardiansM understand here that the "&buds&an $ho has the ran) of a chair&an of a constitutional co&&ission is also re&ovable onl% b% i&peach&ent. MR. R"ME8". #hat is the intention, Mada& President. MR. RE*A8AD". "nl% the "&buds&anM MR. M"N!"D. "nl% the "&buds&an. MR. RE*A8AD". !o not his deputies, because a& concerned $ith the phrase Ahave the ran) ofA. ;e )no$, for instance, that the Cit% =iscal of Manila has the ran) of a 3ustice of the nter&ediate Appellate Court, and %et he is not a part of the 3udiciar%. !o thin) $e should clarif% that also and read our discussions into the Record for purposes of the Co&&ission and the Co&&ittee. 6xxx #?E PRE! DEN#. #he purpose of the a&end&ent of Co&&issioner Davide is not 3ust to include the "&buds&an a&on' those officials $ho have to be re&oved fro& office onl% oni&peach&ent. s that ri'htM MR. DAD DE. Bes, Mada& President. MR. R"DR *". Before $e vote on the a&end&ent, &a% as) a 1uestionM #?E PRE! DEN#. Co&&issioner Rodri'o is reco'ni7ed. MR. R"DR *". #he "&buds&an, is this onl% one &anM MR. DAD DE. "nl% one &an. MR. R"DR *". Not includin' his deputies.

MR. M"N!"D. No.6: 0E&phasis supplied2 T)e Po?er o3 t)e Pre,&+e't to Remo5e $ #ep*t- Omb*+,m$' $'+ $ Spe%&$6 Pro,e%*tor &, Imp6&e+ 3rom )&, Po?er to Appo&'t. Ender the doctrine of i&plication, the po$er to appoint carries $ith it the po$er to re&ove. 69 As a 'eneral rule, therefore, all officers appointed b% the President are also re&ovable b% hi&. 6, #he exception to this is $hen the la$ expressl% provides other$ise - that is, $hen the po$er to re&ove is expressl% vested in an office or authorit% other than the appointin' po$er. n so&e cases, the Constitution expressl% separates the po$er to re&ove fro& the President(s po$er to appoint. Ender !ection ,, Article D of the +,9: Constitution, the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court and 3ud'es of lo$er courts shall be appointed b% the President. ?o$ever, Me&bers of the !upre&e Court &a% be re&oved after i&peach&ent proceedin's initiated b% Con'ress 0!ection ., Article K 2, $hile 3ud'es of lo$er courts &a% be re&oved onl% b% the !upre&e Court b% virtue of its ad&inistrative supervision over all its personnel 0!ections - and ++, Article D 2. #he Chairpersons and Co&&issioners of the Civil !ervice Co&&ission !ection +0.2, Article K0B2, the Co&&ission on Elections !ection +0.2, Article K0C2, and the Co&&ission on Audit !ection +0.2, Article K0D2 shall li)e$ise be appointed b% the President, but the% &a% be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent 0!ection ., Article K 2. As priorl% stated, the "&buds&an hi&self shall be appointed b% the President 0!ection ,, Article K 2 but &a% also be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent 0!ection ., Article K 2. n 'ivin' the President the po$er to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor, Con'ress si&pl% laid do$n in express ter&s an authorit% that is alread% i&plied fro& the President(s constitutional authorit% to appoint the aforesaid officials in the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #he "ffice of the "&buds&an is char'ed $ith &onu&ental tas)s that have been 'enerall% cate'ori7ed into investi'ator% po$er, prosecutorial po$er, public assistance, authorit% to in1uire and obtain infor&ation and the function to adopt, institute and i&ple&ent preventive &easures.G4 n order to ensure the effectiveness of his constitutional role, the "&buds&an $as provided $ith an over-all deput% as $ell as a deput% each for 8u7on, Disa%as and Mindanao. ?o$ever, $ell into the deliberations of the Constitutional Co&&ission, a provision for the appoint&ent of a separate deput% for the &ilitar% establish&ent $as necessitated b% Co&&issioner "ple(s la&ent a'ainst the rise $ithin the ar&ed forces of Afraternal associations outside the chain of co&&andA $hich have beco&e the co&&on soldiers( Ainfor&al 'rievance &achiner%A a'ainst in3ustice, corruption and ne'lect in the unifor&ed service,G+ thus@ n our o$n Philippine Ar&ed =orces, there has arisen in recent %ears a t%pe of fraternal association outside the chain of co&&and proposin' refor&ist ob3ectives. #he% constitute, in fact, an infor&al 'rievance &achiner% a'ainst in3ustices to the ran) and file soldier% and perceive 'raft in hi'her ran) and ne'lect of the needs of troops in co&bat 7ones. #he Refor& the Ar&ed =orces Move&ent of RAM has )ept precincts for pushin' lo'istics to the field, the i&plied accusation bein' that &ost of the resources are used up in Manila instead of sent to soldiers in the field. #he *uardians, the El Diablo and other or'ani7ations do&inated b% enlisted &en function, &ore or less, as 'rievance collectors and as &utual aid societies. #his proposed a&end&ent &erel% see)s to extend the office of the "&buds&an to the &ilitar% establish&ent, 3ust as it cha&pions the co&&on people a'ainst bureaucratic indifference. #he "&buds&an can desi'nate a deput% to help the ordinar% foot soldier 'et throu'h $ith his 'rievance to hi'her authorities. #his deput% $ill, of course $or) in close cooperation $ith the Minister of National Defense because of the necessit% to &aintain the inte'rit% of the chain of co&&and. "rdinar% soldiers, $hen the% )no$ the% can turn to a &ilitar% "&buds&an for their co&plaints, &a% not have to fall bac) on their o$n infor&al devices to obtain redress for their 'rievances. #he "&buds&an $ill help raise troop &orale in accordance $ith a &a3or professed 'oal of the President and the &ilitar% authorities the&selves. x x x #he add-on no$ for&s part of !ection G, Article K $hich reads as follo$s@

!ection G. #here is hereb% created the independent "ffice of the "&buds&an, co&posed of the "&buds&an to be )no$n as #anodba%an, one over-all Deput% and at least one Deput% each for 8u7on, Disa%as and Mindanao. A separate deputy for the military establishment shall likewise be appointed. 0E&phasis supplied2 #he inte'rit% and effectiveness of the Deput% "&buds&an for the M"8E" as a &ilitar% $atchdo' loo)in' into abuses and irre'ularities that affect the 'eneral &orale and professionalis& in the &ilitar% is certainl% of pri&ordial i&portance in relation to the President(s o$n role asCo&&ander-in-Chief of the Ar&ed =orces. t $ould not be incon'ruous for Con'ress, therefore, to 'rant the President concurrent disciplinar% authorit% over the Deput% "&buds&an for the &ilitar% and other la$ enforce&ent offices. Gr$'t&'( t)e Pre,&+e't t)e Po?er to Remo5e $ #ep*t- Omb*+,m$' +oe, 'ot #&m&'&,) t)e I'+epe'+e'%e o3 t)e O33&%e o3 t)e Omb*+,m$'. #he clai& that !ection 90.2 of R.A. No. -::4 'rantin' the President the po$er to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an fro& office totall% frustrates, if not resultantl% ne'ates the independence of the "ffice of the "&buds&an is tenuous. #he independence $hich the "ffice of the "&buds&an is vested $ith $as intended to free it fro& political considerations in pursuin' its constitutional &andate to be a protector of the people. ;hat the Constitution secures for the "ffice of the "&buds&an is, essentiall%, political independence. #his &eans nothin' &ore than that Athe ter&s of office, the salar%, the appoint&ents and discipline of all persons under the officeA are Areasonabl% insulated fro& the $hi&s of politicians.A G. And so it $as that !ection G, Article K of the +,9: Constitution had declared the creation of the independent "ffice of the "&buds&an, co&posed of the "&buds&an and his Deputies, $ho are described as Aprotectors of the peopleA and constitutionall% &andated to act pro&ptl% on co&plaints filed in an% for& or &anner a'ainst public officials or e&plo%ees of the *overn&ent !ection +., Article K . Pertinent provisions under Article K prescribes a ter& of office of seven %ears $ithout reappoint&ent !ection ++, prohibits a decrease in salaries durin' the ter& of office !ection +4, provides strict 1ualifications for the office !ection 9, 'rants fiscal autono&% !ection +6 and ensures the exercise of constitutional functions !ection +. and +/. #he cloa) of independence is &eant to build up the "ffice of the "&buds&an(s institutional stren'th to effectivel% function as official critic, &obili7er of 'overn&ent, constitutional $atchdo'G/ and protector of the people. t certainl% cannot be &ade to extend to $ron'doin's and per&it the unbridled acts of its officials to escape ad&inistrative discipline. Bein' a$are of the constitutional i&perative of shieldin' the "ffice of the "&buds&an fro& political influences and the discretionar% acts of the executive, Con'ress laid do$n t$o restrictions on the President(s exercise of such po$er of re&oval over a Deput% "&buds&an, na&el%@ 0+2 that the re&oval of the Deput% "&buds&an &ust be for an% of the 'rounds provided for the re&oval of the "&buds&an and 0.2 that there &ust be observance of due process. Reiteratin' the 'rounds for i&peach&ent laid do$n in !ection ., Article K of the +,9: Constitution, para'raph + of !ection 9 of R.A. No. -::4 states that the Deput% "&buds&an &a% be re&oved fro& office for the sa&e 'rounds that the "&buds&an &a% be re&oved throu'h i&peach&ent, na&el%, Aculpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption, other hi'h cri&es, or betra%al of public trust.A #hus, it cannot be ri'htl% said that 'ivin' the President the po$er to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an, or a !pecial Prosecutor for that &atter, $ould di&inish or co&pro&ise the constitutional independence of the "ffice of the "&buds&an. t is, precisel%, a &easure of protection of the independence of the "&buds&an(s Deputies and !pecial Prosecutor in the dischar'e of their duties that their re&oval can onl% be had on 'rounds provided b% la$. n Espinosa v. Office of the Ombudsman,G6 the Court elucidated on the nature of the "&buds&an(s independence in this $ise #he prosecution of offenses co&&itted b% public officers is vested in the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #o insulate the "ffice fro& outside pressure and i&proper influence, the Constitution as $ell as RA -::4 has endo$ed it $ith a $ide latitude of investi'ator% and prosecutor% po$ers virtuall% free fro& le'islative, executive or 3udicial intervention. #his Court consistentl% refrains fro& interferin' $ith the exercise of its po$ers, and respects the initiative and independence inherent in the "&buds&an $ho, (beholden to no one, acts as the cha&pion of the people and the preserver of the inte'rit% of public service.

Pet&t&o'er Go'@$6e, m$- 'ot be remo5e+ 3rom o33&%e ?)ere t)e A*e,t&o'e+ $%t,, 3$66&'( ,)ort o3 %o',t&t*t&o'$6 ,t$'+$r+,, +o 'ot %o',t&t*te betr$-$6 o3 p*b6&% tr*,t. ?avin' no$ settled the 1uestion concernin' the validit% of the President(s po$er to re&ove the Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor, $e no$ 'o to the substance of the ad&inistrative findin's in "P Case No. +4-5-6-4 $hich led to the dis&issal of herein petitioner, Deput% "&buds&an E&ilio A. *on7ales, . At the outset, the Court finds no cause for petitioner *on7ales to co&plain si&pl% because the "P proceeded $ith the ad&inistrative case a'ainst hi& despite his non-attendance thereat. Petitioner $as ad&ittedl% able to file an Ans$er in $hich he had interposed his defenses to the for&al char'e a'ainst hi&. Due process is satisfied $hen a person is notified of the char'e a'ainst hi& and 'iven an opportunit% to explain or defend hi&self. n ad&inistrative proceedin's, the filin' of char'es and 'ivin' reasonable opportunit% for the person so char'ed to ans$er the accusations a'ainst hi& constitute the &ini&u& re1uire&ents of due process. GG Due process is si&pl% havin' the opportunit% to explain one(s side, or an opportunit% to see) a reconsideration of the action or rulin' co&plained of.G#he essence of due process is that a part% is afforded reasonable opportunit% to be heard and to sub&it an% evidence he &a% have in support of his defense.G: Mere opportunit% to be heard is sufficient. As lon' as petitioner $as 'iven the opportunit% to explain his side and present evidence, the re1uire&ents of due process are satisfactoril% co&plied $ith because $hat the la$ abhors is an absolute lac) of opportunit% to be heard.G9 Besides, petitioner onl% has hi&self to bla&e for li&itin' his defense throu'h the filin' of an Ans$er. ?e had s1uandered a subse1uent opportunit% to elucidate upon his pleaded defenses b% ada&antl% refusin' to attend the scheduled Clarificator% Conference despite notice. #he "P recounted as follo$s t bears notin' that respondent Deput% "&buds&an *on7ale7 $as 'iven t$o separate opportunities to explain his side and ans$er the =or&al Char'e a'ainst hi&. n the first instance, respondent $as 'iven the opportunit% to sub&it his ans$er to'ether $ith his docu&entar% evidence, $hich opportunit% respondent actuall% availed of. n the second instance, this "ffice called a Clarificator% Conference on 9 =ebruar% .4++ pursuant to respondent(s express election of a for&al investi'ation. Despite due notice, ho$ever, respondent Deput% "&buds&an refused to appear for said conference, interposin' an ob3ection based on the unfounded notion that this "ffice has pre3ud'ed the instant case. Respondent havin' been 'iven actual and reasonable opportunit% to explain or defend hi&self in due course, the re1uire&ent of due process has been satisfied. G, n ad&inistrative proceedin's, the 1uantu& of proof necessar% for a findin' of 'uilt is substantial evidence,-4$hich is &ore than a &ere scintilla and &eans such relevant evidence as a reasonable &ind &i'ht accept as ade1uate to support a conclusion. -+ #he fact, therefore, that petitioner later refused to participate in the hearin's before the "P is not a hindrance to a findin' of his culpabilit% based on substantial evidence, $hich onl% re1uires that a decision &ust Ahave so&ethin' upon $hich it is based.A -. =actual findin's of ad&inistrative bodies are controllin' $hen supported b% substantial evidence. -/ #he "P(s pronounce&ent of ad&inistrative accountabilit% a'ainst petitioner and the i&position upon hi& of the correspondin' penalt% of re&oval fro& office $as based on the findin' of 'ross ne'lect of dut% and 'rave &isconduct in office a&ountin' to a betra%al of public trust, $hich is a constitutional 'round for the re&oval b% i&peach&ent of the "&buds&an 0!ection ., Article K , +,9: Constitution2, and a statutor% 'round for the President to re&ove fro& office a Deput% "&buds&an and a !pecial Prosecutor !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act. #he "P held that petitioner(s $ant of care and $ron'ful conduct consisted of his unexplained action in directin' the PNP-NCR to elevate P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s case records to his office> his failure to verif% the basis for re1uestin' the "&buds&an to ta)e over the case> his pronounce&ent of ad&inistrative liabilit% and i&position of the extre&e penalt% of dis&issal on P<! nsp. Mendo7a based upon an unverified co&plaint-affidavit> his inordinate haste in i&ple&entin' P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s dis&issal not$ithstandin' the latter(s non-receipt of his

cop% of the Decision and the subse1uent filin' of a &otion for reconsideration> and his apparent unconcern that the pendenc% of the &otion for reconsideration for &ore than five &onths had deprived P<! nsp. Mendo7a of available re&edies a'ainst the i&&ediate i&ple&entation of the Decision dis&issin' hi& fro& the service. #hus, ta)in' into consideration the factual deter&inations of the RC, the alle'ations and evidence of petitioner in his Ans$er as $ell as other docu&entar% evidence, the "P concluded that@ 0+2 petitioner failed to supervise his subordinates to act $ith dispatch on the draft resolution of P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s &otion for reconsideration and thereb% caused undue pre3udice to P<! nsp. Mendo7a b% effectivel% deprivin' the latter of the ri'ht to challen'e the dis&issal before the courts and prevent its i&&ediate execution, and 0.2 petitioner sho$ed undue interest b% havin' P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s case endorsed to the "ffice of the "&buds&an and resolvin' the sa&e a'ainst P<! nsp. Mendo7a on the basis of the unverified co&plaint-affidavit of the alle'ed victi& Christian Hala$. #he invariable rule is that ad&inistrative decisions in &atters $ithin the executive 3urisdiction can onl% be set aside on proof of 'ross abuse of discretion, fraud, or error of la$. -6 n the instant case, $hile the evidence &a% sho$ so&e a&ount of $ron'doin' on the part of petitioner, the Court seriousl% doubts the correctness of the "P(s conclusion that the i&puted acts a&ount to 'ross ne'lect of dut% and 'rave &isconduct constitutive of betra%al of public trust. #o sa% that petitioner(s offenses, as the% factuall% appear, $ei'h heavil% enou'h to constitute betra%al of public trust $ould be to i'nore the si'nificance of the le'islature(s intent in prescribin' the re&oval of the Deput% "&buds&an or the !pecial Prosecutor for causes that, theretofore, had been reserved onl% for the &ost serious violations that 3ustif% the re&oval b% i&peach&ent of the hi'hest officials of the land. ;ould ever% ne'li'ent act or &isconduct in the perfor&ance of a Deput% "&buds&an(s duties constitute betra%al of public trust $arrantin' i&&ediate re&oval fro& officeM #he 1uestion calls for a deeper, circu&spective loo) at the nature of the 'rounds for the re&oval of a Deput% "&buds&an and a !pecial Prosecutor vis-a-vis co&&on ad&inistrative offenses. Betra%al of public trust is a ne$ 'round for i&peach&ent under the +,9: Constitution added to the existin' 'rounds of culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption and other hi'h cri&es. ;hile it $as dee&ed broad enou'h to cover an% violation of the oath of office, -G the i&preciseness of its definition also created apprehension that Asuch an overarchin' standard &a% be too broad and &a% be sub3ect to abuse and arbitrar% exercise b% the le'islature.A -- ndeed, the catch-all phrase betra%al of public trust that referred to Aall acts not punishable b% statutes as penal offenses but, nonetheless, render the officer unfit to continue in officeA-:could be easil% utili7ed for ever% conceivable &isconduct or ne'li'ence in office. ?o$ever, deliberatin' on so&e $or)able standard b% $hich the 'round could be reasonabl% interpreted, the Constitutional Co&&ission reco'ni7ed that hu&an error and 'ood faith precluded an adverse conclusion. MR. D 88AC"R#A@ x x x "ne last &atter $ith respect to the use of the $ords Abetra%al of public trustA as e&bod%in' a 'round for i&peach&ent that has been raised b% the ?onorable Re'alado. a& not a la$%er so can anticipate the difficulties that a la%&an &a% encounter in understandin' this provision and also the possible abuses that the le'islature can co&&it in interpretin' this phrase. t is to be noted that this 'round $as also su''ested in the +,:+ Constitutional Convention. A revie$ of the 5ournals of that Convention $ill sho$ that it $as not included> it $as construed as enco&passin' acts $hich are 3ust short of bein' cri&inal but constitute 'ross faithlessness a'ainst public trust, t%rannical abuse of po$er, inexcusable ne'li'ence of dut%, favoritis&, and 'ross exercise of discretionar% po$ers. understand fro& the earlier discussions that these constitute violations of the oath of office, and also heard the ?onorable Davide sa% that even the cri&inal acts that $ere enu&erated in the earlier +,:/ provision on this &atter constitute betra%al of public trust as $ell. n order to avoid confusion, $ould it not be clearer to stic) to the $ordin' of !ection . $hich reads@ A&a% be re&oved fro& office on i&peach&ent for and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, and other hi'h cri&es, 'raft and corruption or D "8A# "N "= ? ! "A#? "= "== CEA, because if betra%al of public trust enco&passes the earlier acts that $ere enu&erated, then it $ould behoove us to be e1uall% clear about this last provision or phrase. MR. N"88ED"@ x x x thin) $e $ill &iss a 'olden opportunit% if $e fail to adopt the $ords Abetra%al of public trustA in the +,9- Constitution. But $ould li)e hi& to )no$ that $e are a&enable to an% possible a&end&ent. Besides, thin) plain error of 3ud'&ent, $here circu&stances &a% indicate that there is 'ood faith, to &% &ind,

$ill not constitute betra%al of public trust if that state&ent $ill alla% the fears of difficult% in interpretin' the ter&.A-9 0E&phasis supplied2 #he Constitutional Co&&ission eventuall% found it reasonabl% acceptable for the phrase betra%al of public trust to refer to Aacts $hich are 3ust short of bein' cri&inal but constitute 'ross faithlessness a'ainst public trust, t%rannical abuse of po$er, inexcusable ne'li'ence of dut%, favoritis&, and 'ross exercise of discretionar% po$ers.A-, n other $ords, acts that should constitute betra%al of public trust as to $arrant re&oval fro& office &a% be less than cri&inal but &ust be attended b% bad faith and of such 'ravit% and seriousness as the other 'rounds for i&peach&ent. A Deput% "&buds&an and a !pecial Prosecutor are not i&peachable officers. ?o$ever, b% providin' for their re&oval fro& office on the sa&e 'rounds as re&oval b% i&peach&ent, the le'islature could not have intended to redefine constitutional standards of culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption, other hi'h cri&es, as $ell as betra%al of public trust, and appl% the& less strin'entl%. ?ence, $here betra%al of public trust, for purposes of i&peach&ent, $as not intended to cover all )inds of official $ron'doin' and plain errors of 3ud'&ent, this should re&ain true even for purposes of re&ovin' a Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor fro& office. ?ence, the fact that the 'rounds for i&peach&ent have been &ade statutor% 'rounds for the re&oval b% the President of a Deput% "&buds&an and !pecial Prosecutor cannot di&inish the seriousness of their nature nor the acuit% of their scope. Betra%al of public trust could not suddenl% AoverreachA to cover acts that are not vicious or &alevolent on the sa&e level as the other 'rounds for i&peach&ent. #he tra'ic hosta'e-ta)in' incident $as the result of a confluence of several unfortunate events includin' s%ste& failure of 'overn&ent response. t cannot be solel% attributed then to $hat petitioner *on7ales &a% have ne'li'entl% failed to do for the 1uic), fair and co&plete resolution of the case, or to his error of 3ud'&ent in the disposition thereof. Neither should petitioner(s official acts in the resolution of P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s case be 3ud'ed based upon the resultin' deaths at the Cuirino *randstand. #he failure to i&&ediatel% act upon a part%(s re1uests for an earl% resolution of his case is not, b% itself, 'ross ne'lect of dut% a&ountin' to betra%al of public trust. Records sho$ that petitioner too) considerabl% less ti&e to act upon the draft resolution after the sa&e $as sub&itted for his appropriate action co&pared to the len'th of ti&e that said draft re&ained pendin' and unacted upon in the "ffice of "&buds&an Merceditas N. *utierre7. ?e revie$ed and denied P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s &otion for reconsideration $ithin nine 0,2 calendar da%s rec)oned fro& the ti&e the draft resolution $as sub&itted to hi& on April .:, .4+4 until he for$arded his reco&&endation to the "ffice of "&buds&an *utierre7 on Ma% -, .4+4 for the latter(s final action. Clearl%, the release of an% final order on the case $as no lon'er in his hands. Even if there $as inordinate dela% in the resolution of P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s &otion and an unexplained failure on petitioner(s part to supervise his subordinates in its pro&pt disposition, the sa&e cannot be considered a vicious and &alevolent act $arrantin' his re&oval for betra%al of public trust. More so because the ne'lect i&puted upon petitioner appears to be an isolated case. !i&ilarl%, petitioner(s act of directin' the PNP- A! to endorse P<! nsp. Mendo7a(s case to the "&buds&an $ithout citin' an% reason therefor cannot, b% itself, be considered a &anifestation of his undue interest in the case that $ould a&ount to $ron'ful or unla$ful conduct. After all, ta)in' co'ni7ance of cases upon the re1uest of concerned a'encies or private parties is part and parcel of the constitutional &andate of the "ffice of the "&buds&an to be the Acha&pion of the people.A #he factual circu&stances that the case $as turned over to the "ffice of the "&buds&an upon petitioner(s re1uest> that ad&inistrative liabilit% $as pronounced a'ainst P<! nsp. Mendo7a even $ithout the private co&plainant verif%in' the truth of his state&ents> that the decision $as i&&ediatel% i&ple&ented> or that the &otion for reconsideration thereof re&ained pendin' for &ore than nine &onths cannot be si&pl% ta)en as evidence of petitioner(s undue interest in the case considerin' the lac) of evidence of an% personal 'rud'e, social ties or business affiliation $ith an% of the parties to the case that could have i&pelled hi& to act as he did. #here $as li)e$ise no evidence at all of an% briber% that too) place, or of an% corrupt intention or 1uestionable &otivation. Accordin'l%, the "P(s pronounce&ent of ad&inistrative accountabilit% a'ainst petitioner and the i&position upon hi& of the correspondin' penalt% of dis&issal &ust be reversed and set aside, as the findin's of ne'lect of dut% or &isconduct in office do not a&ount to a betra%al of public trust. ?ence, the President, $hile he &a%

be vested $ith authorit%, cannot order the re&oval of petitioner as Deput% "&buds&an, there bein' no intentional $ron'doin' of the 'rave and serious )ind a&ountin' to a betra%al of public trust. #his is not to sa%, ho$ever, that petitioner is relieved of all liabilit% for his acts sho$in' less than dili'ent perfor&ance of official duties. Althou'h the ad&inistrative acts i&puted to petitioner fall short of the constitutional standard of betra%al of public trust, considerin' the "P(s factual findin's of ne'li'ence and &isconduct a'ainst petitioner, the Court dee&s it appropriate to refer the case to the "ffice of the "&buds&an for further investi'ation of the char'es in "P Case No. +4-5-6-4 and the i&position of the correspondin' ad&inistrative sanctions, if an%. nas&uch as there is as %et no existin' 'round 3ustif%in' his re&oval fro& office, petitioner is entitled to reinstate&ent to his for&er position as Deput% "&buds&an and to the pa%&ent of bac)$a'es and benefits correspondin' to the period of his suspension. T)e O33&%e o3 t)e Pre,&+e't &, 5e,te+ ?&t) ,t$t*tor- $*t)or&t- to pro%ee+ $+m&'&,tr$t&5e6- $($&',t pet&t&o'er 9$rrer$,8S*6&t to +eterm&'e t)e e4&,te'%e o3 $'- o3 t)e (ro*'+, 3or )er remo5$6 3rom o33&%e $, pro5&+e+ 3or *'+er t)e Co',t&t*t&o' $'+ t)e Omb*+,m$' A%t. Petitioner Barreras-!ulit, on the other hand, has been resistin' the President(s authorit% to re&ove her fro& office upon the aver&ent that $ithout the !andi'anba%an(s final approval and 3ud'&ent on the basis of the P8EBARA, it $ould be pre&ature to char'e her $ith acts and<or o&issions Atanta&ount to culpable violations of the Constitution and betra%al of public trust,A $hich are 'rounds for re&oval fro& office under !ection 9, para'raph 0.2 of the "&buds&an Act of +,9,> and $hich also constitute a violation of !ection /, para'raph 0e2 of Republic Act No. /4+, 0Anti-*raft and Corrupt Practices Act2 - causin' undue in3ur% to the *overn&ent or 'ivin' an% private part% an% un$arranted benefits, advanta'e or preference throu'h &anifest partialit%, evident bad faith or 'ross inexcusable ne'li'ence. ;ith reference to the doctrine of pre3udicial procedural antecedent, petitioner Barreras-!ulit asserts that the propriet% of ta)in' and continuin' to ta)e ad&inistrative disciplinar% proceedin' a'ainst her &ust depend on the final disposition b% the !andi'anba%an of the P8EBARA, explainin' that if the !andi'anba%an $ould uphold the P8EBARA, there $ould no lon'er be an% cause of co&plaint a'ainst her> if not, then the situation beco&es ripe for the deter&ination of her failin's. #he ar'u&ent $ill not hold $ater. #he incidents that have ta)en place subse1uent to the sub&ission in court of the P8EBARA sho$s that the P8EBARA has been practicall% approved, and that the onl% thin' $hich re&ains to be done b% the !andi'anba%an is to pro&ul'ate a 3ud'&ent i&posin' the proper sentence on the accused Ma3or *eneral *arcia based on his ne$ pleas to lesser offenses. "n Ma% 6, .4+4, the !andi'anba%an issued a resolution declarin' that the chan'e of plea under the P8EBARA $as $arranted and that it co&plied $ith 3urisprudential 'uidelines. #he !andi'anba%an, thereafter, directed the accused Ma3or *eneral *arcia to i&&ediatel% conve% in favor of the !tate all the properties, both real and personal, enu&erated therein. "n Au'ust ++, .4+4, the !andi'anba%an issued a resolution, $hich, in order to put into effect the reversion of Ma3or *eneral *arcia(s ill-'otten properties, ordered the correspondin' 'overn&ent a'encies to cause the transfer of o$nership of said properties to the Republic of the Philippines. n the &eanti&e, the "ffice of the !pecial Prosecutor 0"!P2 infor&ed the !andi'anba%an that an "rder :4 had been issued b% the Re'ional #rial Court of Manila, Branch .+ on Nove&ber G, .4+4 allo$in' the transfer of the accused(s fro7en accounts to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to the ter&s of the P8EBARA as approved b% the !andi'anba%an. &&ediatel% after the "!P infor&ed the !andi'anba%an that its Ma% 6, .4+4 Resolution had been substantiall% co&plied $ith, Ma3or *eneral *arcia &anifested:+ to the !andi'anba%an on Nove&ber +,, .4+4 his readiness for sentencin' and for the $ithdra$al of the cri&inal infor&ation a'ainst his $ife and t$o sons. Ma3or *eneral *arcia(s Motion to Dis&iss,:. dated Dece&ber +-, .4+4 and filed $ith the !andi'anba%an, reads@ +.4 #he Co-Accused $ere i&pleaded under the theor% of conspirac% $ith the Principal Accused M*en. Carlos =. *arcia 0A=P Ret.2, 0Principal Accused2 $ith the alle'ation that the act of one is the act of the others. #herefore, $ith the approval b% the ?onorable Court of the Plea Bar'ainin' A'ree&ent executed b% the

Principal Accused, the char'es a'ainst the Co-Accused should li)e$ise be dis&issed since the char'es a'ainst the& are anchored on the sa&e char'es a'ainst the Principal Accused. "n Dece&ber +-, .4+4, the !andi'anba%an allo$ed accused Ma3or *eneral *arcia to plead 'uilt% to the lesser offenses of direct briber% and violation of !ection 60b2, R.A. No. ,+-4, as a&ended. Epon Ma3or *eneral *arcia(s &otion, and $ith the express confor&it% of the "!P, the !andi'anba%an allo$ed hi& to post bail in both cases, each at a &easl% a&ount of P /4,444.44. #he approval or disapproval of the P8EBARA b% the !andi'anba%an is of no conse1uence to an ad&inistrative findin' of liabilit% a'ainst petitioner Barreras-!ulit. ;hile the court(s deter&ination of the propriet% of a plea bar'ain is on the basis of the existin' prosecution evidence on record, the disciplinar% authorit%(s deter&ination of the prosecutor(s ad&inistrative liabilit% is based on $hether the plea bar'ain is consistent $ith the conscientious consideration of the 'overn&ent(s best interest and the dili'ent and efficient perfor&ance b% the prosecution of its public dut% to prosecute cri&es a'ainst the !tate. Conse1uentl%, the disciplinin' authorit%(s findin' of ineptitude, ne'lect or $illfulness on the part of the prosecution, &ore particularl% petitioner !pecial Prosecutor Barreras-!ulit, in failin' to pursue or build a stron' case for the 'overn&ent or, in this case, enterin' into an a'ree&ent $hich the 'overn&ent finds A'rossl% disadvanta'eous,A could result in ad&inistrative liabilit%, not$ithstandin' court approval of the plea bar'ainin' a'ree&ent entered into. Plea bar'ainin' is a process in cri&inal cases $hereb% the accused and the prosecution $or) out a &utuall% satisfactor% disposition of the case sub3ect to court approval.:/ #he essence of a plea bar'ainin' a'ree&ent is the allo$ance of an accused to plead 'uilt% to a lesser offense than that char'ed a'ainst hi&. !ection ., Rule ++- of the Revised Rules of Cri&inal Procedure provides the procedure therefor, to $it@ !EC. .. Plea of 'uilt% to a lesser offense. -- At arrai'n&ent, the accused, $ith the consent of the offended part% and the prosecutor, &a% be allo$ed b% the trial court to plead 'uilt% to a lesser offense $hich is necessaril% included in the offense char'ed. After arrai'n&ent but before trial, the accused &a% still be allo$ed to plead 'uilt% to said lesser offense after $ithdra$in' his plea of not 'uilt%. No a&end&ent of the co&plaint or infor&ation is necessar%. 0!ec. 6, Cir. /9-,92 Plea bar'ainin' is allo$able $hen the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to establish the 'uilt of the accused of the cri&e char'ed.:6 ?o$ever, if the basis for the allo$ance of a plea bar'ain in this case is the evidence on record, then it is si'nificant to state that in its earlier Resolution :G pro&ul'ated on 5anuar% :, .4+4, the !andi'anba%an had evaluated the testi&onies of t$ent% 0.42 prosecution $itnesses and declared that Athe con'lo&eration of evidence presented b% the prosecution is vie$ed b% the Court to be of stron' character that &ilitates a'ainst the 'rant of bail.A Not$ithstandin' this earlier rulin' b% the !andi'anba%an, the "!P, unexplainabl%, chose to plea bar'ain $ith the accused Ma3or *eneral *arcia as if its evidence $ere suddenl% insufficient to secure a conviction. At this 3uncture, it is not a&iss to e&phasi7e that the Astandard of stron' evidence of 'uilt $hich is sufficient to den% bail to an accused is &ar)edl% hi'her than the standard of 3udicial probable cause $hich is sufficient to initiate a cri&inal case.A:- ?ence, in li'ht of the apparentl% stron' case a'ainst accused Ma3or *eneral *arcia, the disciplinin' authorit% $ould be hard-pressed not to loo) into the $h%s and $herefores of the prosecution(s turnabout in the case. #he Court need not touch further upon the substantial &atters that are the sub3ect of the pendin' ad&inistrative proceedin' a'ainst petitioner Barreras-!ulit and are, thus, better left to the co&plete and effective resolution of the ad&inistrative case before the "ffice of the President. #he challen'e to the constitutionalit% of !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act has, nonetheless, failed to obtain the necessar% votes to invalidate the la$, thus, )eepin' said provision part of the la$ of the land. #o recall, these cases involve t$o distinct issues@ 0a2 the constitutionalit% of !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act> and 0b2 the validit% of the ad&inistrative action of re&oval ta)en a'ainst petitioner *on7ales. ;hile the Court voted unani&ousl% to reverse the decision of the "P re&ovin' petitioner *on7ales fro& office, it $as e1uall% divided in its opinion on the constitutionalit% of the assailed statutor% provision in its t$o deliberations held on April +:, .4+. and !epte&ber 6, .4+.. #here bein' no &a3orit% vote to invalidate the la$, the Court, therefore,

dis&isses the challen'e to the constitutionalit% of !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act in accordance $ith !ection .0d2, Rule +. of the nternal Rules of the Court. ndeed, !ection 60.2, Article D of the +,9: Constitution re1uires the vote of the &a3orit% of the Me&bers of the Court actuall% ta)in' part in the deliberation to sustain an% challen'e to the constitutionalit% or validit% of a statute or an% of its provisions. 7"ERE!ORE, in G.R. No. 196231, the decision of the "ffice of the President in "P Case No. +4-5-6-4 isRE/ERSE# $'+ SET ASI#E. Petitioner E&ilio A. *on7ales is ordered REINSTATE# $ith pa%&ent of bac)$a'es correspondin' to the period of suspension effective i&&ediatel%, even as the "ffice of the "&buds&an is directed to proceed $ith the investi'ation in connection $ith the above case a'ainst petitioner. n G.R. No. 196232, ;eA!!IRM the continuation of "P-DC Case No. ++-B-44/ a'ainst !pecial Prosecutor ;endell Barreras-!ulit for alle'ed acts and o&issions tanta&ount to culpable violation of the Constitution and a betra%al of public trust, in accordance $ith !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act of +,9,. #he challen'e to the constitutionalit% of !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act is hereb% #ENIE#. !" "RDERED. ESTELA M. PERLAS89ERNA9E Associate 5ustice ;E C"NCER@ MARIA LOUR#ES P. A. SERENO Chief 5ustice ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate 5ustice TERESITA 2. LEONAR#O8#E CASTRO Associate 5ustice #IOS#A#O M. PERALTA Associate 5ustice MARIANO C. #EL CASTILLO Associate 5ustice MARTIN S. /ILLARAMA, 2R. Associate 5ustice 2OSE CATRAL MEN#O A Associate 5ustice CER# = CA# "N certif% that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case $as assi'ned to the $riter of the opinion of the Court. M$. LOUR#ES P. A. SERENO Chief 5ustice PRES9ITERO 2. /ELASCO, 2R. Associate 5ustice ARTURO #. 9RION Associate 5ustice LUCAS P. 9ERSAMIN Associate 5ustice RO9ERTO A. A9A# Associate 5ustice 2OSE PORTUGAL PERE Associate 5ustice 9IEN/ENI#O L. RE0ES Associate 5ustice

!oot'ote,
+

Annex AA,A rollo 0 *.R. No. +,-./+2, pp. :.-9-. Annex AA,A rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./.2, p. .-. Annex AC,A id. at //.

Dal Rodri'ue7, *randstand Carna'e, #he Philippine !tar, Au'ust .6, .4+4 Nhttp@<<$$$.philstar.co&<Article.aspxMarticle dO-4G-/+Ppublication!ubCate'or% dO-/Q 0visited 5anuar% G, .4++2.
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Char'e !heet, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./+2, p. 9:. d. at ./+. Resolution dated Au'ust .-, .449, id. at .//-./G. d. at +.9. d. at +G/-+G9. d. at .4/-.+-. Annex A=,A id. at +/.-+/-. Annex AN,A id. at .66-.6,. #he President issued 5oint Depart&ent "rder No. 4+-.4+4 creatin' the RC. As 1uoted in the Petition in *.R. No. +,-./+, rollo, pp. +:-.4. Annex AC,A id. at /... R. A. No. /4+,. Rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./+2, pp. /.6-/6-. R.A. No. -:+/. Annex A;,A rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./+2, pp. /9--649. Annex A!,A id. at /::. Petition, id. at 9. Annex AD,A id. at /94-/9/. Annex AA,A id. at :.-9-.

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+:

+9

+,

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Annex AB,A rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./.2, pp. .:-/4. Petition, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./+2, pp. ./-.6. Petition, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./.2, p. +4. 8edes&a v. Court of Appeals, G4/ Phil. /,- 0.44G2.

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"ffice of the "&buds&an v. Masin' and #a%actac, *.R. No. +-G6+-, 5anuar% .., .449, G6. !CRA .G/.
.,

De 8eon, . Philippine Constitutional 8a$ Principles and Cases, 9GG 0.4462. Bernas, !.5., #he ntent of the +,9- Constitution ;riters, ::+ 0+,,G2. d. at +6/-+66. "ffice of the "&buds&an v. Deli3ero, 5r., *.R. No. +:.-/G, "ctober .4, .4+4, -/6 !CRA +/G.

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Malaria E&plo%ees and ;or)ers Association of the Philippines, nc. 0ME;AP2 v. Executive !ecretar% Ro&ulo, *.R. No. +-44,/, 5ul% /+, .44:, G.9 !CRA -:/, -9..
/6

Philippine nternational #radin' Corporation v. Co&&ission on Audit, *.R. No. +9/G+:, 5une .., .4+4, -.+ !CRA 6-+, citin' 8and Ban) of the Philippines v. AM! =ar&in' Corporation, G-, !CRA +G6, +9/ 0.4492 and Mactan-Cebu nternational Airport Authorit% v. Er'ello, G.4 !CRA G+G, G/G 0.44:2.
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!ee Co&&ent of the "ffice of the !olicitor *eneral, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./+2, pp. :4,-:+4. /.+ Phil. -46 0+,,G2. d. at -+/--+6 d. !upra note /+. !ection ./. =or&al nvesti'ation.xxxx 0.2 At its option, the "ffice of the "&buds&an &a% refer certain co&plaints to the proper disciplinar% authorit% for the institution of appropriate ad&inistrative proceedin's a'ainst errin' public officers or e&plo%ees, $hich shall be deter&ined $ithin the period prescribed in the civil service la$. x x x

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64

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!upra note /+, at +6-. Monte&a%or v. Bundalian, *.R. No. +6,//G, 5ul% +, .44/, 64G !CRA .-6. d.

6.

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66

!ec... #he President, the Dice-President, the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court, the Me&bers of the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an &a% be re&oved fro& office, on i&peach&ent for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption, other hi'h cri&es, or betra%al of public trust. All other public officers and e&plo%ees &a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$, but not b% i&peach&ent.
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As 1uoted in "ffice of the "&buds&an v. Court of Appeals, *.R. No. +6-69-, 6,/ Phil. -/, ::-94 0.44G2.
6-

Records of the +,9- Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. , 5ul% .-, +,9-, pp. .:/-.:6. Records of the +,9- Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. , 5ul% .-, +,9-, p. /4G. A'uirre, 5r. v. De Castro, /:9 Phil. :+6 0+,,,2. Cru7, Carlo 8., #he 8a$ of Public "fficers, +G6-+GG 0+,,.2.

6:

69

6,

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!ec. +/, Article K > De 8eon, ?ector, . Philippine Constitutional 8a$, 9-4 0.4462, citin' Concerned "fficials of the M;!! v. Delas1ue7, /+4 Phil. G6, 0+,,G2 and *arcia-Rueda v. Pascasio, /66 Phil. /./ 0+,,:2.
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Bernas, !.5., #he ntent of the +,9- Constitution ;riters, ::/-::6 0+,,G2.

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De 8eon, . Philippine Constitutional 8a$ Principles and Cases, 9G: 0.4462, citin' Del. R.D. R"B8E!, #he "&buds&an, in C.R. Monte3o, "n the +,:/ Constitution, ./..
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d. at 9G,-9-4. /,: Phil. 9.,, 9/+ 0.4442, cited in An'eles v. Desierto, G/. Phil. -6:, -G- 0.44-2. Ca%a'o v. 8ina, 69, Phil. :/G 0.44G2. 8ibres v. N8RC, /-: Phil. +94 0+,,,2. Concerned "fficials of M;!! v. Das1ue7, /+4 Phil. G6, 0+,,G2.

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AMA Co&puter Colle'e-East Ri7al v. 'nacio, *.R. No. +:9G.4, 5une ./, .44,, G,4 !CRA -//, -G6 citin' Casi&iro v. #ando', 6,9 Phil. --4, --- 0.44G2.
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"P Decision, p. :, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./+2, p. :9.

-4

=una, Dennis B., #he 8a$ on the Ad&inistrative Accountabilit% of Public "fficers, G4, 0.4+42, citin' "ffice of the Court Ad&inistrator v. Buco%, A.M. No. P-,/-,G/, Au'ust .G, +,,6, ./G !CRA G99> #olentino v. CA, ./6 Phil. .9 0+,9:2, Bia) na Bato Minin' Co. v. #anco, .:+ Phil. //, 0+,,+2.
-+

Rules of Court, Rule +//, !ec.G> Nicolas v. Desierto, 699 Phil. +G9 0.4462> An' #iba% v. Court of ndustrial Relations, -, Phil -/G 0+,642. !upra note -4, at G++. Dadubo v. C!C, *.R. No. +4-6,9, 5une .9, +,,/, ../ !CRA :6:.

-.

-/

-6

Assistant Executive !ecretar% for 8e'al Affairs of the "ffice of the President v. Court of Appeals, .G+ Phil. .- 0+,9,2, citin' 8ovina v. Moreno, ++9 Phil. +64+ 0+,-/2.
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5oa1uin *. Bernas, #he +,9: Constitution of the Philippines@ A Co&&entar%, ,,. 0+,,-2. Records of the +,9- Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. , p. .9-. !upra note at -G. Records of the +,9- Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. , pp. .9/-.96. d. at .9-. Annex A.A of the !upple&ental Co&&ent on the Petition, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./.2, p. .+.. Annex A+,A id. at .+4-.++ Annex A/,A id. at .+/-.+G.

--

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-9

-,

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Daan v. !andi'anba%an, *.R. Nos. +-/,:.-::, March .9, .449, GG4 !CRA .//, citin' People v. Dillara&a, 5r., .+4 !CRA .6-, .G+-.G. 0+,,.2.
:6

People v. Dillara&a, 5r., *.R. No. ,,.9:, 5une ./, +,,., .+4 !CRA .6-> People v. Parohino', +9G Phil. .-- 0+,942> People v. Ha%anan, +:. Phil. :.9 0+,:92.
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Annex A:A of the !upple&ental Co&&ent on the Petition, rollo 0*.R. No. +,-./.2, pp. ..G-.-9.

:-

8eviste v. Ala&eda, *.R. No. +9.-::, Au'ust /, .4+4, -.- !CRA G:G, -49> Cabrera v. Marcelo, 69: Phil. 6.: 0.4462.

#he 8a$phil Pro3ect - Arellano 8a$ =oundation

CONCURRING OPINION CARPIO, J.: "ur Constitution does not i&part a fixed and ri'id concept of independence a&on' the offices that it creates. ;hile it declares certain bodies as A(independentA, $e cannot assu&e that the independence of the "&buds&an+is the sa&e as the independence of the 5udiciar%. Neither is the independence of the Constitutional Co&&issions the sa&e as that of the National Econo&ic and Develop&ent Authorit%, the Ban')o !entral n' Pilipinas or the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts .. #his Court cannot &a)e a Aone si7e fits allA concept of independence because the Constitution itself differentiates the de'ree of independence of these bodies. n this case, the petitions see) to stri)e do$n !ection 90.2 of Republic Act No. -+:4 or the "&buds&an Act of +,9, $hich dele'ates to the President the po$er to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an or the !pecial Prosecutor Afor an% of the 'rounds provided for the re&oval of the "&buds&an, and after due process.A #he provision alle'edl% co&pro&ises the independence of the "&buds&an b% i&posin' an external disciplinar% authorit%, na&el% the President.

a'ree $ith the ponencia that !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act does not violate the Constitution. #he constitutional principle of independence does not obviate the possibilit% of a chec) fro& another bod%. After all, one of the constitutive principles of our constitutional structure is the s%ste& of chec)s and balances- a chec) that is not $ithin a bod%, but outside of it. #his is ho$ our de&ocrac% operates - on the basis of distrust. / . !ection ., Article K of the +,9: Constitution prescribes ho$ all public officers and e&plo%ees, both i&peachable and non-i&peachable, &a% be re&oved. !ection . provides@ #he President, the Dice-President, the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court, the Me&bers of the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an &a% be re&oved fro& office, on i&peach&ent for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption, other hi'h cri&es, or betra%al of public trust. All other public officers and e&plo%ees &a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$, but not b% i&peach&ent. 0Boldfacin' and underscorin' supplied2 !ection . of Article K consists of t$o parts. #he first sentence identifies the public officials $ho are sub3ect to re&oval onl% b% i&peach&ent. #he second sentence explicitl% leaves to the discretion of Con'ress, throu'h an i&ple&entin' la$, the re&oval of all other public officers and e&plo%ees. n other $ords, b% statin' that all other non- i&peachable officers and e&plo%ees A&a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$A - the Constitution expressl% 'rants to Con'ress the po$er to deter&ine the &anner and cause of re&oval, includin' $ho $ill be the disciplinar% authorit%, of non-i&peachable officers and e&plo%ees. Clearl%, !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act is valid and constitutional since Con'ress is expressl% e&po$ered to le'islate such la$ pursuant to !ection ., Article K of the Constitution. #he ori'inal text of !ection .6 of Article K did not include the second sentence. G ts subse1uent inclusion $as onl% &eant to exclude Aall other public officers and e&plo%eesA fro& re&oval throu'h i&peach&ent. "ther$ise, Con'ress $ould have the plenar% po$er to re&ove public officers and e&plo%ees throu'h i&peach&ent or throu'h an% other &ode of re&oval. #hus, at the outset, the fra&ers of the +,9: Constitution sa$ no need to textuali7e this po$er- for it $as alread% ta)en for 'ranted as part of the plenar% po$er of Con'ress. ?o$ever, to li&it this plenar% po$er of Con'ress, the fra&ers expressl% excluded i&peach&ent as a &ode of re&ovin' Aall other public officers and e&plo%ees.A #his Court has repeatedl% declared that the Constitution Aconfers plenar% le'islative x x x po$ers sub3ect onl% to li&itations provided in the Constitution.A - #hus, in insertin' the second sentence in !ection 90.2, Article K of the +,9: Constitution, the fra&ers intended to li&it i&peach&ent onl% to public officers enu&erated in the first sentence of !ection .@ MR. RE*A8AD". propose to add in !ection . as a last sentence thereof as alread% a&ended the follo$in'@ A88 "#?ER PEB8 C "== CER! AND EMP8"BEE! MAB BE REM"DED =R"M "== CE A! PR"D DED BB 8A; BE# N"# BB MPEAC?MEN#. #he reason for the a&end&ent is this@ ;hile !ection . enu&erates the i&peachable officers, there is nothin' that $ill prevent the le'islature as it stands no$ fro& providin' also that other officers not enu&erated therein shall also be re&ovable onl% b% i&peach&ent, and that has alread% happened. Ender !ection + of P.D. No. +-4-, the !andi'anba%an Decree, 3ustices of the !andi'anba%an &a% be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent, unli)e their counterparts in the then Court of Appeals. #he% are, therefore, a privile'ed class on the level of the !upre&e Court. n the Co&&ittee on Constitutional Co&&issions and A'encies, there are &an% co&&issions $hich are sou'ht to be constitutionali7ed - if &a% use the phrase - and the end result $ould be that if the% are constitutional co&&issions, the co&&issioners there could also be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent. ;hat is there to prevent the Con'ress later - because of the lac) of this sentence that a& see)in' to add - fro& providin' that officials of certain offices, althou'h nonconstitutional, cannot also be re&oved except b% i&peach&entM #?E PRE! D N* "== CER 0Mr. #reRas2. ;hat does the Co&&ittee sa% on the proposed a&end&ent of Co&&issioner Re'aladoM

MR. M"N!"D. Ma% $e as) Co&&issioner Re'alado a fe$ 1uestionsM Does this &ean that $ith this provision, the other officers in the case of the !andi'anba%an $ould not be re&ovable b% i&peach&entM MR. RE*A8AD". =or the present and durin' the interi& and until the ne$ Con'ress a&ends P.D. No. +-4-, that provision still stands. But the proposed a&end&ent $ill not prevent the le'islature fro& subse1uentl% repealin' or a&endin' that portion of the la$. Also, it $ill prevent the le'islature fro& providin' for favoured public officials as not re&ovable except b% i&peach&ent. MR. M"N!"D. Mr. Presidin' "fficer, the Co&&ittee is $illin' to accept the a&end&ent of Co&&issioner Re'alado. #?E PRE! D N* "== CER 0Mr. #reRas2. #he proposed a&end&ent of Co&&issioner Re'alado has been accepted b% the Co&&ittee.: 0E&phasis supplied2 Clearl%, Con'ress has the po$er and discretion to dele'ate to the President the po$er to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an or the !pecial Prosecutor under !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act. ;hile the +,9: Constitution alread% e&po$ers the "&buds&an to investi'ate 9 and to reco&&end to re&ove, a Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor, this does not preclude Con'ress fro& providin' other &odes of re&oval. #he Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor are not a&on' the i&peachable officers under the +,9: Constitution. #hus, as expressl% provided in !ection ., Article K of the Constitution, the% A&a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$.A Con'ress, pursuant to this constitutional provision and in the exercise of its plenar% po$er, enacted the "&buds&an Act, conferrin' on the President the po$er to re&ove the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor as provided in !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act. ?o$ever, the "&buds&an Act also 'rants the "&buds&an the authorit% to re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor throu'h the 'eneral 'rant of disciplinar% authorit% over all elective and appointive officials, in reiteration of !ections +/0+2 and 0.2, Article K of the Constitution@ +4 Section 21. Officials Subject to isciplinary Authority! E"ceptions. - #he "ffice of the "&buds&an shall have disciplinar% authorit% over all elective and appointive officials of the *overn&ent and its subdivisions, instru&entalities and a'encies, includin' Me&bers of the Cabinet, local 'overn&ent, 'overn&ent-o$ned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials $ho &a% be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent or over Me&bers of Con'ress, and the 5udiciar%. ++ n vie$ of !ection 90.2 and !ection .+ of the "&buds&an Act, the le'islative intent is to 'rant concurrent 3urisdiction to the President and the "&buds&an in the re&oval of the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor. An Aendeavor should be &ade to har&oni7e the provisions of a la$ x x x so that each shall be effective.A+. #his is not a hollo$ precept of statutor% construction. #his is based not onl% on de&ocratic principle but also on the separation of po$ers, that this Court should not be so casual in voidin' the acts of the popularl% elected le'islature unless there is a clear violation of the Constitution. . ;hen the +,9: Constitution spea)s of AindependentA bodies, it does not &ean co&plete insulation fro& other offices. #he text, histor% and structure of the Constitution conte&plate chec)s and balances that result in the expansion, contraction or concurrence of po$ers, a coordinate functionin' a&on' different bodies of 'overn&ent that is not li&ited to the executive, le'islative and 3udicial branches, but includes the AindependentA constitutional bodies. #he ver% structure of our 'overn&ent belies the clai& that AindependentA bodies necessaril% have exclusive authorit% to discipline its officers. Not all constitutional declarations are enforceable b% courts. +/ ;e declared so&e of the& as not self-executin' such as the Declaration of Principles and !tate Policies under Article . +6 ?o$ever, the independence of constitutional bodies is a 3udiciall% enforceable nor&. #extuall%, the Constitution does not define the ter&

AindependentA and thus, the contours of this principle &a% not be i&&ediatel% clear. #he 1uestion therefore arises@ to $hat extent can this Court enforce the independence of bodies li)e the "&buds&anM Can $e i&pose a particular notion of independence, a&idst the silence of the constitutional text, to the extent of nullif%in' an act of Con'ressM #he ans$er lies in the Constitution itself $hich circu&scribes the exercise of 3udicial po$er. #he Constitution clearl% intended different de'rees of independence a&on' the AindependentA bodies that it created. =or so&e, such as the National Econo&ic and Develop&ent Authorit%, Ban')o !entral n' Pilipinas and Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts, the operationali7ation of independence is constitutionall% co&&itted to the discretion of Con'ress.+G =or the others, li)e the Civil !ervice Co&&ission, the Co&&ission on Audit and the Co&&ission on Elections, le'islative po$er is decidedl% &ore li&ited, +- $ith express 'uarantees li)e fiscal autono&% +: and rule-&a)in' po$er on pleadin's and practice.+9 #he Constitution does not enu&erate in detail all the possible le'islative po$ers. #he Constitution has vested Con'ress $ith plenar% po$ers- as the 'eneral repositor% of the police po$er of the !tate- to fill-in 'aps in the Constitution for the 'overnance of this countr%. ?o$ever, $hen the Constitution expressl% e&po$ers Con'ress to do a specific act - li)e expressl% e&po$erin' Con'ress to provide the &ode of re&oval of all noni&peachable 'overn&ent officers and e&plo%ees, there can be no doubt $hatsoever that Con'ress can enact such a la$. An% readin' of the +,9: Constitution does not $arrant the conclusion that all bodies declared b% the Constitution as AindependentA have exclusive disciplinar% authorit% over all their respective officials and e&plo%ees. Enli)e the 5udiciar% $here such exclusivit% is expressl% provided for in the Constitution, +, there is no reason to read such provision in the "&buds&an $here the Constitution is silent. "n the contrar%, the constitutional provision that non-i&peachable officers and e&plo%ees A&a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$A re&oves an% doubt that Con'ress can deter&ine the &ode of re&oval of non-i&peachable officers and e&plo%ees of AindependentA bodies other than the 5udiciar%. An AindependentA bod% does not have exclusive disciplinar% authorit% over its officials and e&plo%ees unless the Constitution expressl% so provides, as in the case of the 5udiciar%. #here are other constitutional bodies declared Aindependent,A .4 but disciplinar% authorit% is statutoril% lod'ed so&e$here else..+ Ender the Ne$ Central Ban) Act 0Republic Act No. :-G/2, the President also has the po$er to re&ove a &e&ber of the Monetar% Board on specified 'rounds... #here is nothin' ano&alous in this &ode of re&oval because the Constitution expressl% authori7es the le'islature to provide for such &ode of re&oval. #his Court cannot enforce a speculative notion of independence - that an AindependentA bod% has exclusive disciplinar% authorit% - for doin' so $ould be a species of 3udicial le'islation or a dis'uised constitutional a&end&ent. . #his Court has no business li&itin' the plenar% po$er of Con'ress unless the Constitution expressl% so li&its it. #he fact that different constitutional bodies are treated differentl% under the Constitution sho$s that independence is a broadl% delineated nor&. ;ith this level of 'eneralit%, the constitutional &eanin' of independence is onl% that of independent decision-&a)in' that is free fro& partisanship and political pressures. t does not even &ean fiscal autono&% unless the Constitution sa%s so. ./ #hus, it is 'enerall% left to Con'ress to particulari7e the &eanin' of independence, sub3ect onl% to specific constitutional li&itations. Nothin' in the Constitution tells us that an AindependentA bod% necessaril% has exclusive disciplinar% authorit% over its officials and e&plo%ees. A co&pletel% AindependentA bod% is alien to our constitutional s%ste&. #here is no office that is insulated fro& a possible correction fro& another office. #he executive, le'islative and 3udicial branches of 'overn&ent operate throu'h the s%ste& of chec)s and balances. All independent constitutional bodies are sub3ect to revie$ b% the courts. A fiscall% autono&ous bod% is sub3ect to audit b% the Co&&ission on Audit, and Con'ress cannot be co&pelled to appropriate a bi''er bud'et than that of the previous fiscal %ear. .6 !ection 90.2 of the "&buds&an Act is consistent $ith our s%ste& of chec)s and balances. #he provision is a narro$ for& of dele'ation $hich e&po$ers the President to re&ove onl% t$o officers in the "ffice of the

"&buds&an, i.e. the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor. #he proposition that an external disciplinar% authorit% co&pro&ises the "&buds&an(s independence fails to reco'ni7e that the Constitution expressl% authori7es Con'ress to deter&ine the &ode of re&oval of all non-i&peachable officers and e&plo%ees. t also fails to reco'ni7e that under a s%ste& of chec)s and balances, an external disciplinar% authorit% is desirable and is often the nor&. n disciplinar% cases, the +,9: Constitution e&po$ers the "&buds&an to direct the proper disciplinar% authorit% Ato ta)e appropriate action a'ainst a public official or e&plo%ee at fault, and reco&&end his re&oval, suspension, de&otion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure co&pliance there$ith.A .G #his is further i&ple&ented b% the "&buds&an Act $hich provides that Aat its option, the "ffice of the "&buds&an &a% refer certain co&plaints to the proper disciplinar% authorit% for the institution of appropriate ad&inistrative proceedin's a'ainst errin' public officers or e&plo%ees, $hich shall be deter&ined $ithin the period prescribed in the civil service la$.A.Clearl%, the "&buds&an is not constitutionall% e&po$ered to act alone. Con'ress can even authori7e the Depart&ent of 5ustice or the "ffice of the President to investi'ate cases $ithin the 3urisdiction of the "&buds&an. !i&ilarl%, the "&buds&an can investi'ate public officers and e&plo%ees $ho are under the disciplinar% authorit% of heads of other bodies or a'encies. .: #he cases cited in the ponencia, i.e. ?a'ad v. *o7o-Dadofe.9 and "ffice of the "&buds&an v. Deli3ero, 5r.., - illustrate that concurrent 3urisdiction does not i&pair the independence of the "&buds&an. Duplication of functions &a% not at all ti&es pro&ote efficienc%, but it is not proscribed b% the Constitution. Accordin'l%, vote to #EN0 the petition in *.R. No. +,-./., and to GRANT in part the petition in *.R. No. +,-./+, in accordance $ith the ponencia of 5ustice Estela M. Perlas-Be&abe. ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate 5ustice

!oot'ote,
+

C"N!# #E# "N!, Art. K , !ec. G@ #here is hereb% created the independent "ffice of the "&buds&an, co&posed of the "&buds&an to be )no$n as #anodba%an, one overall Deput% and at least one Deput% each for 8u7on, Disa%as, and Mindanao. A separate Deput% for the &ilitar% establish&ent &a% li)e$ise be appointed.
.

#here are the bodies that the +,9: Constitution considers as Aindependent.A !ee C"N!# #E# "N!, Art. K -A, !ec. +> Art. K , !ecs. , and .4@ Art. K , !ec. +:.
/

!ee 5. E8B, DEM"CRACB AND D !#RE!#@ A #?E"RB "= 5ED C A8 RED E; 0.44.2.

As a&ended and consolidated b% the Co&&ittee on Accountabilit% of Public "fficers of the +,9Constitutional Co&&ission.
G

REC"RD, C"N!# #E# "NA8 C"MM !! "N .-/ 0.- 5ul% +,9-2.

Marcos v. Man'lapus, .G9 Phil. 6:,, 6,, 0+,9,2> Dera v. Avelino, *.R. No. 8-G6/, /+ Au'ust +,6-, :: Phil. +,.> "ple v. #orres, *.R. No. +.:-9G, ./ 5ul% +,,9, /G6 Phil. ,69.
:

REC"RD, C"N!# #E# "NA8 C"MM !! "N /G--/G: 0.9 5ul% +,9-2.

C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K , !ec. +/0+2@ nvesti'ate on its o$n, or on co&plaint b% an% person, an% act or o&ission of an% public official, e&plo%ee, office or a'enc%, $hen such act or o&ission appears to be ille'al, un3ust, i&proper, or inefficient.
,

C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K , !ec. +/0/2@ Direct the officer concerned to ta)e appropriate action a'ainst a public official or e&plo%ee at fault, and reco&&end his re&oval, suspension, de&otion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure co&pliance there$ith. 0E&phasis supplied2+4 !ee notes 9 and ,.
++

R.A. No. -::4, !ec. .+.

+.

Dalera v. #uason, 5r., 94 Phil. 9./, 9.: 0+,692. !ee also Mactan-Cebu nternational Airport Authorit% v. Er'ello, *.R. No. +-..99, 6 April .44:, G.4 !CRA G+G, G/G, citin' Civil !ervice Co&&ission v. 5oson, 5r., *.R. No. +G6-:6, .: Ma% .446, 6., !CRA ::/, :9-.
+/

#aRada v. An'ara, //9 Phil. G6- 0+,,:2> Manila Prince ?otel v. *overn&ent !ervice nsurance !%ste&, //G Phil. 9. 0+,,:2> Hilosba%an, nc. v. Morato, /+- Phil. -G. 0+,,G2.
+6

d. C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K , !ecs. , and .4> Art. K , !ec. +:.

+G

+-

!ee C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K-A, !ec. / 0the salaries of the Chair&an and the Co&&issioners are fixed b% la$ but shall not be decreased durin' their tenure2, !ec. 6 0appoint&ent of other officials and e&plo%ees in accordance $ith la$2 and !ec. 9 0the constitutional co&&issions &a% perfor& other functions as &a% be provided b% la$2.
+:

C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K-A, !ec. G. C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K-A, !ec. -.

+9

+,

C"N!# #E# "N, Art. D , !ec. - 0A#he !upre&e Court shall have ad&inistrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.A2 and !ec. ++ 0Ax x x #he !upre&e Court en banc shall have the po$er to discipline 3ud'es of lo$er courts, or order their dis&issal b% a vote of &a3orit% of the Me&bers $ho actuall% too) part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.A2.
.4

!upra, note .. d.

.+

..

R.A. No. :-G/, !ec. +4. Re&oval. - #he President &a% re&ove an% &e&ber of the Monetar% Board for an% of the follo$in' reasons@ 0a2 f the &e&ber is subse1uentl% dis1ualified under the provisions of !ection 9 of this Act> or 0b2 f he is ph%sicall% or &entall% incapacitated that he cannot properl% dischar'e his duties and responsibilities and such incapacit% has lasted for &ore than six 0-2 &onths> or 0c2 f the &e&ber is 'uilt% of acts or operations $hich are of fraudulent or ille'al character or $hich are &anifestl% opposed to the ai&s and interests of the Ban')o !entral> or 0d2 f the &e&ber no lon'er possesses the 1ualifications specified in !ection 9 of this Act. !ee also REC"RD!, C"N!# #E# "NA8 C"MM !! "N -++ 0.. Au'ust +,9-2@

#?E PRE! DEN#. Co&&issioner Rodri'o is reco'ni7ed. MR. R"DR *". Mada& President, &a% as) a 1uestion for clarificationM #he section sa%s, A#he Con'ress shall establish an independent central &onetar% authorit%.A M% 1uestion has reference to the $ord Aindependent.A ?o$ is independence of this authorit% supported b% the ConstitutionM n the case of the 3udiciar%, the Me&bers are independent because the% have a fixed ter& and the% &a% not be re&oved except b% i&peach&ent or so&e ver% difficult process. #his applies to the different constitutional co&&issions. But in the case of this central &onetar% authorit% $hich $e call AindependentA, ho$ is this independence &aintainedM MR. D 88E*A!. #he thin)in' is@ Con'ress, in establishin' that independent central &onetar% authorit%, should provide a fixed ter&. Actuall% that $as contained in the ori'inal Davide a&end&ent but $e thou'ht of leavin' it up to Con'ress to deter&ine that ter&- a fixed ter& of probabl% five %ears or seven %ears servin' in the &onetar% board. MR. R"DR *". Does this include that the% &a% not be re&oved except b% i&peach&ent b% the Con'ressM MR. D 88E*A!. Exactl%. MR. R"DR *". 5ust li)e the &e&bers of the other constitutional co&&issionsM MR. D 88E*A!. Bes. #hat is $h% $e sa% that the% shall be sub3ect to the sa&e disabilities or dis1ualifications as the &e&bers of the constitutional co&&issions. MR. R"DR *". Are $e leavin' that to Con'ressM MR. D 88E*A!. #hat is ri'ht. MR. R"DR *"@ #han) %ou.
./

Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts E&plo%ees( Association v. Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts, *.R. No. +GG//-, .+ 5ul% .44-, 6,- !CRA ..-.
.6

!ee C"N!# #E# "N, Art. D , !ec. /> Art. K-A, !ec. G> Art. K , !ec. +6. C"N!# #E# "N, Art. K , !ec. +/, par. 0/2. E&phasis supplied. R.A. No. -::4, !ec. ./0.2.

.G

.-

.:

#he Ad&inistrative Code of +,9: 0Executive "rder No. .,.2 provides that the heads of a'encies are 'enerall% e&po$ered to investi'ate and decide &atters involvin' disciplinar% actions a'ainst officers and e&plo%ees under their 3urisdiction. ADM N !#RA# DE C"DE, B""H D, #itle , !ubtitle A, Chapter :, !ecs. 6:, par. 0.2 and 69, par. 0+2.
.9

*.R. No. +494:., +. Dece&ber +,,G, .G+ !CRA .6.. *.R. No. +:.-/G, .4 "ctober .4+4, -/6 !CRA +/G.

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#he 8a$phil Pro3ect - Arellano 8a$ =oundation

CONCURRING AN# #ISSENTING OPINION 9RION, J.: #he present case consists of t$o consolidated petitions, *.R. No. +,-./+ and *.R. No. +,-./.. concur $ith the ponencia(s &ain conclusion that petitioner E&ilio *on7ales 0in *.R. No. +,-./+, referred to as *on7ales or petitioner *on7ales2 is not 'uilt% of the char'es leveled a'ainst hi&. But $ith due respect, I disagree with the conclusion that Section 8(2) of Republic Act (RA) No. !!" (which e#powers the $resident to re#o%e a &eput' (#buds#an or a Special $rosecutor) is constitutionall' %alid. #he petition of ;endell Barreras-!ulit 0*.R. No. +,-./., referred to as !ulit or petitioner !ulit2 co&&onl% shares $ith *.R. No. +,-./+ the issue of the constitutionalit% discussed belo$, the ad&inistrative proceedin's a'ainst !ulit should be halted and nullified as she pra%s for in her petition. G.R. No. 196231 is a petition 1uestionin' the validit% of the ad&inistrative proceedin's conducted b% the "ffice of the President a'ainst *on7ales $ho $as the Deput% "&buds&an for Militar% and "ther 8a$ Enforce&ent "ffices. #he action a'ainst hi& before the "ffice of the President consists of an ad&inistrative char'e for *ross Ne'lect of Dut% and<or nefficienc% in the Perfor&ance of "fficial Dut% 0under !ection .., Rule K D of the "&nibus Rules &ple&entin' Boo) D of Executive "rder No. .,. and other pertinent Civil !ervice la$s, rules and re'ulations2, and of Misconduct in "ffice 0under !ection / of the Anti-*raft and Corrupt Practices Act IRA No. /4+,2.+ #he ad&inistrative case a'ainst *on7ales $as reco&&ended b% the ncident nvesti'ation and Revie$ Co&&ittee 0 RC2 in connection $ith the hi3ac)in' of a tourist bus resultin' in the death of the hi3ac)er and of so&e passen'ers> the hi3ac)er then accused *on7ales of ille'al exactions and of dela%in' the disposition of his "&buds&an case. "n March /+, .4++, the "ffice of the President found. *on7ales 'uilt% of *ross Ne'lect of Dut% and *rave Misconduct constitutin' betra%al of public trust, and penali7ed hi& $ith dis&issal fro& office. n G.R. No. 196232, petitioner !ulit, a !pecial Prosecutor in the "ffice of the "&buds&an, see)s to halt and nullif% the on'oin' ad&inistrative proceedin's conducted b% the "ffice of the President a'ainst her. !ulit $as char'ed $ith violatin' !ection /0e2 of RA No. /4+, and for havin' co&&itted acts and<or o&issions tanta&ount to culpable violations of the Constitution, and betra%al of public trust. n behalf of the "ffice of the "&buds&an, !ulit entered into a plea bar'ain $ith Ma3or *eneral Carlos =. *arcia $ho had been char'ed $ith Plunder and Mone% 8aunderin'. Because of the plea bar'ain, !ulit $as re1uired to sho$ cause $h% an ad&inistrative case should not be filed a'ainst her. !he raised in her ;ritten Explanation of March .6, .4++ the i&per&issibilit% and i&propriet% of ad&inistrative disciplinar% proceedin's a'ainst her because the "ffice of the President has no 3urisdiction to discipline and penali7e her. / #he t$o petitions - *.R. No. +,-./+ and *.R. No. +,-./. - share a co&&on issue@ $hether the President has the po$er to discipline or re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an or a !pecial Prosecutor in the "ffice of the "&buds&an fro& office. ;hile the ponencia resolves this issue in favor of the President, &t &, m- %o',&+ere+ 5&e? t)$t t)e po?er to +&,%&p6&'e or remo5e $' o33&%&$6 o3 t)e O33&%e o3 t)e Omb*+,m$' ,)o*6+ be 6o+(e+ o'6- ?&t) t)e Omb*+,m$' $'+ 'ot ?&t) t)e O33&%e o3 t)e Pre,&+e't, &' 6&()t o3 t)e &'+epe'+e'%e t)e Co',t&t*t&o' (*$r$'tee, t)e O33&%e o3 t)e Omb*+,m$'. #he "ffice of the "&buds&an is a ver% po$erful 'overn&ent constitutional a'enc% tas)ed to enforce the accountabilit% of public officers. !ection .+ of #he "&buds&an Act of +,9, 0RA No. -::42 concreti7es this constitutional &andate b% providin' that@

!ection .+. Official Subject to isciplinary Authority! E"ceptions. - #he "ffice of the "&buds&an shall have disciplinar% authorit% over all elective and appointive officials of the *overn&ent and its subdivisions, instru&entalities and a'encies, includin' Me&bers of the Cabinet, local 'overn&ent, 'overn&ent-o$ned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials $ho &a% be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent or over Me&bers of Con'ress, and the 5udiciar%. 0E&phasis ours2 #he "&buds&an(s dut% to protect the people fro& un3ust, ille'al and inefficient acts of all public officials e&anates fro& !ection +., Article K of the Constitution. #hese broad po$ers include all acts of &alfeasance, &isfeasance, and nonfeasance of all public officials, includin' Me&bers of the Cabinet and )e% Executive officers, durin' their tenure. #o support these broad po$ers, the Constitution sa$ it fit to insulate the "ffice of the "&buds&an fro& the pressures and influence of officialdo& and partisan politics 6 and fro& fear of external reprisal b% &a)in' it an AindependentA office. !ection G, Article K of the Constitution expressed this intent, as follo$s@ !ection G. #here is hereb% created the independent "ffice of the "&buds&an, co&posed of the "&buds&an to be )no$n as #anodba%an, one overall Deput% and at least one Deput% each for 8u7on, Disa%as, and Mindanao. A separate Deput% for the &ilitar% establish&ent &a% li)e$ise be appointed. 0E&phasis ours2 t is in this li'ht that the 'eneral authorit% of the "ffice of the President to discipline all officials and e&plo%ees the President has the authorit% to appoint,G should be considered. n &ore concrete ter&s, sub3ectin' the officials of the "ffice of the "&buds&an to discipline and re&oval b% the President, whose own alter e#os and officials in the E"ecutive epartment are subject to the Ombudsman$s disciplinary authority, cannot but seriousl% place at ris) the independence of the "&buds&an and her officials, and &ust conse1uentl% run counter to the independence that the Constitution 'uarantees the "ffice of the "&buds&an. ;hat is true for the "&buds&an &ust be e1uall% true, not onl% for her Deputies but for other lesser officials of that "ffice $ho act as dele'ates and a'ents of the "&buds&an in the perfor&ance of her duties. #he "&buds&an can hardl% be expected to place her co&plete trust in subordinate officials $ho are not as independent as she is, if onl% because the% are sub3ect to pressures and controls external to her "ffice. #his need for co&plete trust is true in an ideal settin' and truer still in a %oun' de&ocrac% li)e the Philippines $here 'raft and corruption is still a &a3or proble& for the 'overn&ent. =or these reasons, !ection 90.2 of RA No. -::4-0providin' that the President &a% re&ove a Deput% "&buds&an2 clearl% runs a'ainst the constitutional intent and should, thus, be declared void. !i'nificantl%, the possible unconstitutional effects of !ection 90.2 of RA No. -::4 $ere not un)no$n to the fra&ers of this la$. #hese possibilities $ere brou'ht b% then !enator #eofisto *uin'ona to the fra&ers( attention as earl% as the con'ressional deliberations@ Reactin' thereto, !enator *uin'ona observed that this &i'ht i&pair the independence of the #anodba%an and su''ested that the procedural re&oval of the Deput% #anodba%an xxx be not b% the President but b% the "&buds&an. xxxx !enator *uin'ona contended, ho$ever, that the Constitution provides for an independent "ffice of the #anodba%an, and to allo$ the Executive to have disciplinar% po$ers over the #anodba%an Deputies $ould be an encroach&ent on the independence of the #anodba%an. : Despite !enator *uin'ona(s ob3ections, Con'ress passed RA No. -::4 and the ob3ected !ection 90.2 into la$.9;hile it &a% be clai&ed that the con'ressional intent is clear after the *uin'ona ob3ection $as considered and re3ected b% Con'ress, such clarit% and the overridin' con'ressional action are not enou'h to insulate the assailed provision fro& constitutional infir&it% if one, in fact, exists. #his is particularl% true if the infir&it% relates to a core constitutional principle - the independence of the "&buds&an - that belon's to the sa&e classification as the constitutionall%-'uaranteed independence that the 5udiciar% en3o%s. #o be sure, neither the Executive nor the 8e'islative can create the po$er that !ection 90.2 'rants $here the Constitution confers

none., ;hen exercised authorit% is dra$n fro& a vacuu&, &ore so $hen the authorit% runs counter to constitutional intents, this Court is obli'ated to intervene under the po$ers and duties 'ranted and i&posed on it b% Article D of the Constitution. +4#he alternative for the Court is to be re&iss in the perfor&ance of its o$n constitutional duties. More co&pellin' and &ore persuasive than the reason expressed in the con'ressional deliberations in discernin' constitutional intent should be the deliberations of the Constitutional Co&&ission itself on the independence of the "&buds&an. Co&&issioner =loren7 Re'alado of the Constitutional Co&&ission openl% expressed his concerns on the &atter, fearin' that an% for& of presidential control over the "ffice of the "&buds&an $ould di&inish its independence@ n other $ords, Mada& President, $hat actuall% spa$ned or caused the failure of the 3ustices of the #anodba%an insofar as &onitorin' and fiscali7in' the 'overn&ent offices are concerned $as due to t$o reasons@ =irst, al&ost all their ti&e $as ta)en up b% cri&inal cases> and second, since the% $ere under the "ffice of the President, their funds ca&e fro& that office. have a snea)in' suspicion that the% $ere prevented fro& &a)in' ad&inistrative &onitorin' because of the sensitivit% of the then head of that office, because if the #anodba%an $ould &a)e the correspondin' reports about failures, &alfunctions or o&issions of the different &inistries, then that $ould reflect upon the President $ho $anted to clai& the alle'ed confidence of the people. xxxx t is said here that the #anodba%an or the "&buds&an $ould be a toothless or a paper ti'er. #hat is not necessaril% so. f he is toothless, then let us 'ive hi& a little &ore teeth b% &a)in' hi& independent of the "ffice of the President because it is no$ a constitutional creation, so that the insidious tentacles of politics, as has al$a%s been our proble&, even $ith PAR*", PCAPE and so forth, $ill not deprive hi& of the opportunit% to render service to 5uan de la Cru7. x x x. #here is supposed to be created a constitutional officeconstitutionali7ed to free it fro& those tentacles of politics- and $e 'ive it &ore teeth and have the correspondin' le'islative provisions for its bud'et, not a bud'et under the "ffice of the President. xxxx x x x. =or that reason, Mada& President, support this co&&ittee report on a constitutionall% created "&buds&an and further as) that to avoid havin' a toothless ti'er, there should be further provisions for statistical and lo'istical support.++ 0E&phases ours.2 #he intention of the Constitutional Co&&ission to )eep the "ffice of the "&buds&an independent fro& the President could not have been &ade an% clearer than $hen Co&&issioner Christian Monsod vehe&entl% re3ected the reco&&endation of Co&&issioner Blas "ple $ho had su''ested to the Co&&ittee that the "ffice of the "&buds&an be placed under the Executive@ MR. "P8E. x x x Ma% direct a 1uestion to the Co&&itteeM xxx ;ill the Co&&ittee consider later an a&end&ent xxx, b% $a% of desi'natin' the office of the "&buds&an as a constitutional ar& for 'ood 'overn&ent, efficienc% of the public service and the inte'rit% of the President of the Philippines, instead of creatin' another a'enc% in a )ind of ad&inistrative li&bo $hich $ould be accountable to no one on the pretext that it is a constitutional bod%M MR. M"N!"D. #he Co&&ittee discussed that durin' our co&&ittee deliberations and $hen $e prepared the report, it $as the opinion of the Co&&ittee- and believe it still is- that it &a% not contribute to the effectiveness of this office of the "&buds&an precisel% because &an% of the culprits in inefficienc%, in3ustice and i&propriet% are in the executive depart&ent. #herefore, as $e sa$ the $ron' i&ple&entation of the #anodba%an $hich $as under the tre&endous influence of the President, it $as an ineffectual bod% and $as reduced to the function of a special fiscal.

#he $hole purpose of the our proposal is precisel% to separate those functions and to produce a vehicle that $ill 'ive true &eanin' to the concept of "&buds&an. #herefore, $e re'ret that $e cannot accept the proposition.+. #he state&ents &ade b% Co&&issioner Monsod e&phasi7ed a ver% lo'ical principle@ the Executive po$er to re&ove and discipline &e&bers of the "ffice of the "&buds&an, or to exercise an% po$er over the&, $ould result in an absurd situation $herein the "ffice of the "&buds&an is 'iven the dut% to ad3udicate on the inte'rit% and co&petence of the ver% persons $ho can re&ove or suspend its &e&bers. E1uall% relevant is the i&pression that $ould be 'iven to the public if the rule $ere other$ise. A co&plainant $ith a 'rievance a'ainst a hi'h-ran)in' official of the Executive, $ho appears to en3o% the President(s favor, $ould be discoura'ed fro& approachin' the "&buds&an $ith his co&plaint> the co&plainant(s i&pression 0even if &isplaced2, that the "&buds&an $ould be susceptible to political pressure, cannot be avoided. #o be sure, such an i&pression $ould erode the constitutional intent of creatin' an "ffice of the "&buds&an as cha&pion of the people a'ainst corruption and bureaucrac%. #hese vie$s, to &% &ind, de&olish the concern raised in Con'ress to 3ustif% !ection 90.2 of RA No. -::4- i.e., that vestin' the authorit% to re&ove the #anodba%an on the "&buds&an $ould result in &utual protection.+/ #his con'ressional concern, too, is a needless one as it is inconsistent $ith the s%ste& of chec)s and balance that our le'al structure establishes. At the practical constitutional level, the #anodba%an 0no$ the "ffice of the !pecial Prosecutor2 cannot protect the "&buds&an $ho is an i&peachable officer, as the po$er to re&ove the "&buds&an rests $ith Con'ress as the representative of the people.+6 "n the other hand, should the "&buds&an atte&pt to shield the #anodba%an fro& ans$erin' for an% violation, the &atter &a% be raised $ith the !upre&e Court on appeal +G or b% !pecial Civil Action for Certiorari,+- $hichever &a% be applicable, in addition to the i&peach&ent proceedin's to $hich the "&buds&an &a% be sub3ected. =or its part, the !upre&e Court is a non-political independent bod% &andated b% the Constitution to settle 3udicial and 1uasi-3udicial disputes, $hose 3ud'es and e&plo%ees are not sub3ect to the disciplinar% authorit% of the "&buds&an and $hose neutralit% $ould be less 1uestionable. n these li'hts, the chec)s and balance principle that underlies the Constitution can be appreciated to be full% operational. find it si'nificant that the "ffice of the "&buds&an is not the onl% 'overn&ental bod% labeled as AindependentA in our Constitution. #he list includes the 5udiciar%, +: the Constitutional Co&&issions 0Co&&ission on Elections, Co&&ission on Audit, and the Civil !ervice Co&&ission2, +9 the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts,+, a central &onetar% authorit%,.4 and, to a certain extent, the National Econo&ic Develop&ent Authorit%..+ #hese bodies, ho$ever, are 'ranted various de'rees of AindependenceA and these variations &ust be clarified to full% understand the context and &eanin' of the AindependentA status conferred on the office of the "&buds&an. #he independence en3o%ed b% the "ffice of the "&buds&an, b% the Constitutional Co&&issions, and b% the 5udiciar% shares certain characteristics - the% do not o$e their existence to an% act of Con'ress, but are created b% the Constitution itself> additionall%, the% all en3o% fiscal autono&%. .. =or &ost, if not for all of these AindependentA bodies, the fra&ers of the Constitution intended that the% be insulated fro& political pressure. As a chec)s and balance &echanis&, the Constitution, the Rules of Court, and their i&ple&entin' la$s provide &easures to chec) on the AindependenceA 'ranted to the Constitutional Co&&issions and the "ffice of the "&buds&an> the !upre&e Court, as the final arbiter of all le'al 1uestions, &a% revie$ the decisions of the Constitutional Co&&issions and the "ffice of the "&buds&an, especiall% $hen there is 'rave abuse of discretion. ./ "f course, foisted over the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court is the po$er of i&peach&ent that Con'ress has the authorit% to initiate, and carr% into its lo'ical end a &eritorious i&peach&ent case..6 !uch is the s%&&etr% that our Constitution provides for the har&onious balance of all its co&ponent and AindependentA parts. n Ben'7on v. Drilon,.G $e ruled on the fiscal autono&% of the 5udiciar%, and ruled a'ainst the interference that the President &a% brin'. n doin' so, $e &aintained that the independence, and the flexibilit% of the 5udiciar%, the Constitutional Co&&issions and the "ffice of the "&buds&an are crucial to our le'al s%ste&@

#he 5udiciar%, the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an &ust have the independence and flexibilit% needed in the dischar'e of their constitutional duties. #he i&position of restrictions and constraints on the &anner the independent constitutional offices allocate and utili7e the funds appropriated for their operations is anathe&a to fiscal autono&% and violative not onl% the express &andate of the Constitution but especiall% as re'ards the !upre&e Court, of the independence and separation of po$ers upon $hich the entire fabric of our constitutional s%ste& is based. As in the case of the "ffice of the "&buds&an, the constitutional deliberations explain the Constitutional Co&&issions( need for independence. n the deliberations for the +,:/ Constitution, the dele'ates a&ended the +,/G Constitution b% providin' for a constitutionall%-created Civil !ervice Co&&ission, instead of one created b% la$, based on the precept that the effectivit% of this bod% is dependent on its freedo& fro& the tentacles of politics@ DE8E*A#E *EN *END" x x x 0b2 because $e believe that the Civil !ervice created b% la$ has not been able to eradicate the ills and evils envisioned b% the fra&ers of the +,/G Constitution> because $e believe that the Civil !ervice created b% la$ is beholden to the creators of that la$ and is therefore not politics-free, not 'raft-free and not corruption-free> because $e believe that as lon' as the la$ is the reflection of the $ill of the rulin' class, the Civil !ervice that $ill be created and recreated b% la$ $ill not serve the interest of the people but onl% the personal interest of the fe$ and the enhance&ent of fa&il% po$er, advance&ent and presti'e. .#he deliberations of the +,9: Constitution on the Co&&ission on Audit, on the other hand, hi'hli'hted the develop&ents in the past Constitutions 'eared to$ards insulatin' the Co&&ission on Audit fro& political pressure@ MR. 5AM R. x x x ;hen the +,/G Constitution $as enacted, the auditin' office $as constitutionali7ed because of the increasin' necessit% of e&po$erin' the auditin' office to $ithstand political pressure. =indin' a sin'le Auditor to be 1uite insufficient to $ithstand political pressure, the +,:/ Constitution established the Co&&ission consistin' of three &e&bers- a chair&an and t$o co&&issioners. .: n %rillantes, &r. v. 'orac,.9 $e pointedl% e&phasi7ed that the Constitutional Co&&issions, $hich have been characteri7ed under the Constitution as Aindependent,A are not under the control of the President, even if the% dischar'e functions that are executive in nature. =aced $ith a te&porar% presidential appoint&ent in the Co&&ission on Elections, this Court vi'orousl% denied the President the authorit% to interfere in these constitutional bodies@ #he lac) of a statutor% rule coverin' the situation at bar is no 3ustification for the President of the Philippines to fill the void b% extendin' the te&porar% desi'nation in favor of the respondent. #his is still a 'overn&ent of la$s and not of &en. #he proble& alle'edl% sou'ht to be corrected, if it existed at all, did not call for presidential action. #he situation could have been handled b% the &e&bers of the Co&&ission on Elections the&selves $ithout the participation of the President, ho$ever $ell-&eanin'. xxxx x x x. But $hile concedin' her 'ood$ill, $e cannot sustain her act because it conflicts $ith the Constitution. #he Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts, also created b% the Constitution as an AindependentA office, ., en3o%s lesser independence since it $as not 'ranted fiscal autono&%, in the &anner fiscal autono&% $as 'ranted to the offices above-discussed. #he lac) of fiscal autono&% not$ithstandin', the fra&ers of the +,9: Constitution clearl% expressed their desire to keep the (ommission independent from the e"ecutive branch and other political leaders)

MR. M"N!"D. ;e see the &erits of the ar'u&ents of Co&&issioner Rodri'o. f $e explain to hi& our concept, he can advise us on ho$ to reconcile his position $ith ours. #he position of the co&&ittee is that $e need a bod% that $ould be able to $or) and cooperate $ith the executive because the Co&&issioner is ri'ht. Man% of the services needed b% this co&&ission $ould need not onl% the cooperation of the executive branch of the 'overn&ent but also of the 3udicial branch of 'overn&ent. #his is 'oin' to be a per&anent constitutional co&&ission over ti&e. ;e also $ant a co&&ission to function even under the $orst circu&stance $hen the executive &a% not be ver% cooperative. ?o$ever, the 1uestion in our &ind is@ Can it still function durin' that ti&eM ?ence, $e are $illin' to accept su''estions fro& Co&&issioner Rodri'o on ho$ to reconcile this. ;e reali7e the need for coordination and cooperation. ;e also $ould li)e to build in so&e safe'uards that it $ill not be rendered useless b% an uncooperative executive. xxxx MR. *ARC A. #han) %ou ver% &uch, Mada&e President. Before $e address the procedural 1uestion $hich Co&&issioner Rodri'o re1uested, $ould li)e to touch on a ver% i&portant 1uestion $hich thin) is at the ver% heart of $hat $e are tr%in' to propose- the independence of this Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts. xxx ;hen $as $or)in' as a researcher for A&nest% nternational, one of &% areas of concern $as 8atin A&erica. headed a &ission to Colo&bia in +,94. re&e&ber the conversation $ith President 5ulio Cesar #urba% A%ala and he told &e that in Colo&bia, there $ere no political prisoners. #his is a ver% co&&on experience $hen one 'oes to 'overn&ents to investi'ate hu&an ri'hts. =ro& there, $e proceeded to the Procuraduria *eneral to the Attorne%-*eneral, to the Ministr% of 5ustice, to the Ministr% of Defense, and nor&all% the ans$ers that one $ill 'et are@ A#here are no political prisoners in our countr%A> A#orture is not co&&itted in this countr%.A Der% often, $hen international co&&issions or or'ani7ations on hu&an ri'hts 'o to a countr%, the &ost credible or'ani7ations are independent hu&an ri'hts bodies. Der% often these are private or'ani7ations, &an% of $hich are prosecuted, such as those $e find in &an% countries in 8atin A&erica. n fact, $hat $e are proposin' is an independent bod% on hu&an ri'hts, $hich $ould provide 'overn&ents $ith credibilit% precisel% because it is independent of the present ad&inistration. ;hatever it sa%s on the hu&an ri'hts situation $ill be credible because it is not sub3ect to pressure or control fro& the present political leadership. !econdl%, $e all )no$ ho$ political fortunes co&e and 'o. #hose $ho are in po$er %esterda% are in opposition toda% and those $ho are in po$er toda% &a% be in the opposition to&orro$. #herefore, if $e have a Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts that $ould investi'ate and &a)e sure that the ri'hts of each one is protected, then $e shall have a bod% that could stand up to an% po$er, to defend the ri'hts of individuals a'ainst arrest, unfair trial, and so on./4 0E&phases ours.2 !i&ilarl%, the Constitution 'rants Con'ress the authorit% to establish an independent central &onetar% authorit%./+Ender these ter&s, this office is not constitutionall%-created nor does it possess fiscal autono&%. ;hen as)ed $hat AindependenceA &eans in this provision, Co&&issioner Bernardo Dille'as a'ain reiterated the intention of various fra&ers for it to be independent of the e"ecutive branch) MR. D 88E*A!. No, this is a for&ula intended to prevent $hat happened in the last re'i&e $hen the fiscal authorities sided $ith the executive branch and $ere s%ste&aticall% in control of &onetar% polic%. #his can lead to disastrous conse1uences. ;hen the fiscal and the &onetar% authorities of a specific econo&% are co&bined, then there can be a lot of irresponsibilit%. !o, this $ord AindependentA refers to the executive branch. /. #he National Econo&ic Develop&ent Authorit%, no&inall% desi'nated as Aindependent,A differs fro& the other si&ilarl%-described a'encies because the constitutional provision that provides for its creation i&&ediatel% puts it under the control of the executive.// #his differin' shade of AindependenceA is supported b% the state&ents &ade durin' the constitutional deliberations@ MR. M"N!"D. believe that the $ord AindependentA here, as $e ans$ered Co&&issioner A7cuna, $as &eant to be independent of the le'islature because the NEDA under the present la$ is under the "ffice of the President.

MR. C"8ABC". Bes. n other $ords, the &e&bers of that a'enc% are appointed b% the PresidentM MR. D 88E*A!. #hat is ri'ht. MR. M"N!"D. Bes. MR. D 88E*A!. #he President heads the NEDA./6 Co&&issioner Monsod continues b% explainin' that the% did not constitutionali7e the National Econo&ic Develop&ent Authorit%, and, in accordance $ith the second para'raph of !ection ,, Article K of the +,9: Constitution, even left to Con'ress the discretion to abolish the office@ MR. M"N!"D. Durin' the Co&&ittee hearin's, there $ere proposals to chan'e the co&position of the 'overnin' bod% not onl% of the Monetar% Board but also of the NEDA. #hat is $h% if $e notice in this Article, $e did not constitutionali7e the NEDA an%&ore unli)e in the +,:/ Constitution. ;e are leavin' it up to Con'ress to deter&ine $hether or not the NEDA is needed later on. #he idea of the Co&&ittee is that if $e are 'oin' for less 'overn&ent and &ore private sector initiative, later on it &a% not be necessar% to have a plannin' a'enc%. #hus, it &a% not be necessar% to constitutionali7e a plannin' a'enc% an%&ore. !o this provision leaves roo& for the le'islature not onl% to revise the co&position of the 'overnin' bod%, but also to re&ove the NEDA once it is no lon'er needed in its 3ud'&ent. /G #hese deliberative considerations &a)e it abundantl% clear that $ith the exception of the National Econo&ic Develop&ent Authorit%, the independent constitutional bodies $ere consistentl% intended b% the fra&ers to beindependent from e"ecutive control or supervision or any form of political influence. #his perspective abundantl% clarifies that the cases cited in the ponencia - ?on. ?a'ad v. ?on. *o7odadole/- and "ffice of the "&buds&an v. Deli3ero, 5r./: - are not in point. #hese cases refer to the disciplinar% authorit% of the Executive over a public school teacher and a local elective official. Neither of these officials belon's to independent constitutional bodies $hose actions should not even be tainted $ith an% appearance of political influence. n &% vie$, the closest and &ost appropriate case to cite as exe&plar of independence fro& executive control is Bautista v. !enator !alon'a,/9 $here this Court cate'oricall% stated, $ith respect to the independent Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts, that the tenure of its Co&&issioners could not be placed under the discretionar% po$er of the President@ ndeed, the Court finds it extre&el% difficult to conceptuali7e ho$ an office conceived and created b% the Constitution to be independent - as the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts - and vested $ith the delicate and vital functions of investi'atin' violations of hu&an ri'hts, pinpointin' responsibilit% and reco&&endin' sanctions as $ell as re&edial &easures therefor, can trul% function $ith independence and effectiveness, $hen the tenure in office of its Chair&an and Me&bers is &ade dependent on the pleasure of the President. Executive "rder No. +-/-A, bein' antithetical to the constitutional &andate of independence for the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts has to be declared unconstitutional./, Also in point as another AindependenceA case is Att%. Macalintal v. Co&elec, 64 this ti&e involvin' the Co&&ission on Elections, $hich 'ave the Court the opportunit% to consider even the &ere revie$ of the rules of the Co&&ission on Elections b% Con'ress a Atra&plin'A of the constitutional &andate of independence of these bodies. "bviousl%, the &ere revie$ of rules places considerabl% less pressure on these bodies than the Executive(s po$er to discipline and re&ove )e% officials of the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #he caution of, and the stron' $ords used b%, this Court in protectin' the Co&&ission on Elections( independence should - in addition to those expressed before the Constitutional Co&&issions and in Con'ress in the course of fra&in' RA No. -::4 - spea) for the&selves as reasons to invalidate the &ore pervasive authorit% 'ranted b% !ection 90.2 of RA No. -::4.

#hus, in the case of independent constitutional bodies, $ith the exception of the National Econo&ic Develop&ent Authorit%, the principle that the President should be allo$ed to re&ove those $ho& he is e&po$ered to appoint 0because of the i&plied po$er to dis&iss those he is e&po$ered to appoint 6+2 should find no application. Note t)$t t)e ?&t))o6+&'( o3 t)e po?er to remo5e &, 'ot $ ,tr$'(er to t)e P)&6&pp&'e %o',t&t*t&o'$6 ,tr*%t*re. =or exa&ple, $hile the President is e&po$ered to appoint the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court and the 3ud'es of the lo$er courts,6. he cannot re&ove an% of the&> the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court can be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent and the lo$er court 3ud'es can be re&oved onl% b% the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court en banc. #his is one of the &odes b% $hich the independence of the 5udiciar% is ensured and is an express ed'e of the 5udiciar% over the other AindependentA constitutional bodies. !i&ilarl%, the President can appoint Chair&en and Co&&issioners of the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an and her Deputies,6/ but the Constitution cate'oricall% provides that the Chair&en of the Constitutional Co&&issions and the "&buds&an can onl% be re&oved b% i&peach&ent. 66 #he absence of a constitutional provision providin' for the re&oval of the Co&&issioners and Deput% "&buds&en does not &ean that Con'ress can e&po$er the President to discipline or re&ove the& in violation of the independence that the Constitution textuall% and expressl% provides. 6G As &e&bers of independent constitutional bodies, the% should be si&ilarl% treated as lo$er court 3ud'es, sub3ect to discipline onl% b% the head of their respective offices and sub3ect to the 'eneral po$er of the "&buds&an to dis&iss officials and e&plo%ees $ithin the 'overn&ent for cause. No reason exists to treat the& differentl%. ;hile a'ree $ith 5ustice Carpio(s opinion that the Constitution e&po$ered Con'ress to deter&ine the &anner and causes for the re&oval of non-i&peachable officers, $e cannot si&pl% construe !ection ., Article K of the Constitution to be a blan)et authorit% for Con'ress to e&po$er the President to re&ove all other public officers and e&plo%ees, includin' those under the independent constitutional bodies. ;hen the Constitution states that Con'ress &a% provide for the re&oval of public officers and e&plo%ees b% la$, it does not &ean that the la$ can violate the provisions and principles laid out in the Constitution. #he provision reads@ #he President, the Dice-President, the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court, the Me&bers of the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an &a% be re&oved fro& office on i&peach&ent for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption, other hi'h cri&es, or betra%al of public trust. All other public officers and e&plo%ees &a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$, but not b% i&peach&ent. 0e&phasis and underscorin' ours2 #he deliberations of the Constitutional Co&&issions, as 1uoted b% 5ustice Carpio, explain an i&portant aspect of the second sentence of !ection ., Article K of the Constitution- that it $as not the intent to $iden the discretion of Con'ress in providin' for the re&oval of a public officer> the intent $as to li&it its po$ers. #he second sentence of !ection ., Article K $as provided to li&it the public officers $ho can onl% be re&oved b% i&peach&ent. #his li&itation is one &ade necessar% b% past experiences. n an earlier la$, Presidential Decree No. +-4-, Con'ress provided, b% la$, that 3ustices of the !andi'anba%an 0$ho are not included in the enu&eration2 &a% onl% be re&oved b% i&peach&ent. Co&&issioner Re'alado insisted on addin' the second sentence of Section 2, Article *+ of the (onstitution to prevent (on#ress from e"tendin# the more strin#ent rule of ,removal only by impeachment, to favored public officers.6Elti&atel%, the 1uestion no$ before this Court 'oes bac) to $hether the Constitution intended to allo$ political entities, such as the Executive, to discipline public officers and e&plo%ees of independent constitutional bodies. f this is the intent, then Con'ress cannot have the authorit% to place the po$er to re&ove officers of these Aindependent constitutional bodiesA under executive disciplinar% authorit% unless other$ise expressl% authori7ed b% the Constitution itself. fir&l% ta)e this position because the drafters repeatedl% and painsta)in'l% drafted the constitutional provisions on the independent constitutional bodies to separate the& fro& executive control. Even after the other dele'ates &ade it clear that the easier path $ould be to place these bodies under the control of the President, the &a3orit% nevertheless voted a'ainst these &oves and e&phaticall% expressed its refusal to have these offices be &ade in an% $a% under the disciplinar% authorit% of the Executive. #his constitutional intent rendered it necessar% for the Constitution to provide the instances $hen executive interference &a% be allo$ed. n the case of the National Econo&ic Develop&ent Authorit%, the Constitution

explicitl% provided that the President &a% exert control over this bod%. #he Constitution $as also explicit $hen it e&po$ered the President to appoint the officers of the other AindependentA bodies, and even then, this po$er $as 1ualified@ 0+2 in the cases of the Constitutional Co&&issions, b% 'ivin' the chair&en and the &e&bers sta''ered ter&s of seven %ears to lessen the opportunit% of the sa&e President to appoint the &a3orit% of the bod%>6: and 0.2 in the case of the "&buds&an and his Deputies, b% li&itin' the President(s choice fro& a list prepared b% the 5udicial and Bar Council.69 #hus, $e cannot &aintain a li'ht and cavalier attitude in our constitutional interpretation and &erel% sa% that the AindependenceA of the constitutional bodies is $hatever Con'ress $ould define it at an% 'iven ti&e. n the cases have cited - Bautista v. !enator !alon'a,6, Att%. Macalintal v. Co&elec,G4 and Brillantes, 5r. v. BoracG+ this Court did not &erel% leave it to the 8e'islature or the Executive to freel% interpret $hat AindependenceA &eans. ;e reco'ni7ed in the ter& a &eanin' full% in accord $ith the intent of the Constitution. #his intent $as the sa&e 'uidin' li'ht that drove this Court to rule that the President cannot deter&ine the tenure of the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts Chair&an and Me&bers> that Con'ress cannot enact a la$ that e&po$ers it to revie$ the rules of the Co&&ission on Elections> and that the President cannot even &a)e interi& appoint&ents in the Co&&ission on Elections. After haltin' these lesser infractions based on the constitutional concept of Aindependence,A it $ould be stran'e - in fact, it $ould be inconsistent and illo'ical for us - to rule at this point that Con'ress can actuall% allo$ the President to exercise the po$er of re&oval that can produce a chillin' effect in the perfor&ance of the duties of a !pecial Prosecutor or of the Deput% "&buds&an. dra$ attention to the fact that !ections ,, +4, ++ and +., Article K of the Constitution do not onl% refer to the "&buds&an, but also to the "&buds&an(s Deputies. !ection , provides for their appoint&ent process. ;hile the President can appoint the&, the appoint&ent should be &ade fro& the no&inations of the 5udicial and Bar Council and the appoint&ents do not re1uire confir&ation. !ection +4 'ives the "&buds&an and the Deputies the sa&e ran) and salar% as the Chair&en and Me&bers of the Constitutional Co&&ission. #he salar% &a% not be di&inished durin' their ter&. !ection ++ dis1ualifies the& fro& reappoint&ent and participation in the i&&ediatel% succeedin' elections, in order to insulate the& further fro& politics. !ection +. desi'nates the "&buds&an and the Deputies as Aprotectors of the peopleA and directs the& to act pro&ptl% on all co&plaints a'ainst public officials or e&plo%ees.1-wphi1 Ender this structure providin' for ter&s and conditions full% supportive of Aindependence,A it &a)es no sense to insulate their appoint&ents and their salaries fro& politics, but not their tenure. "ne cannot si&pl% ar'ue that the President(s po$er to discipline the& is li&ited to specified 'rounds, since the &ere filin' of a case a'ainst the& can result in their suspension and can interrupt the perfor&ance of their functions, in violation of !ection +., Article K of the Constitution. ;ith onl% one ter& allo$ed under !ection ++, a Deput% "&buds&an or !pecial Prosecutor re&ovable b% the President can be reduced to the ver% sa&e ineffective "ffice of the "&buds&an that the fra&ers had foreseen and carefull% tried to avoid b% &a)in' these offices independent constitutional bodies. At the &ore practical level, $e cannot si&pl% turn a blind e%e or for'et that the $or) of the "ffice of the "&buds&an, li)e the Constitutional Co&&issions, can place the officers of the Executive branch and their superior in a bad li'ht. ;e cannot insist that the "&buds&an and his Deputies loo) into all co&plaints, even a'ainst those a'ainst Executive officials, and thereafter e&po$er the President to stifle the effectiveness of the "&buds&an and his or her Deputies throu'h the 'rant of disciplinar% authorit% and the po$er of re&oval over these officers. Co&&on and past experiences tell us that the President is onl% hu&an and, li)e an% other, can be displeased. At the ver% least, 'rantin' the President the po$er of re&oval can be counterproductive, especiall% $hen other less political officers, such as the "&buds&an and the 5udiciar%, alread% have the 3urisdiction to resolve ad&inistrative cases a'ainst public officers under the "ffice of the "&buds&an. *iven the support of the Constitution, of the Records of the Constitutional Co&&ission, and of previousl% established 3urisprudence, $e cannot uphold the validit% of !ection 90.2 of RA No. -::4 &erel% because a si&ilar constitutionall%-unsupported provision exists under RA No. :-G/. Ender our le'al s%ste&, statutes 'ive

$a% to the Constitution, to the intent of its fra&ers and to the correspondin' interpretations &ade b% the Court. t is not, and should not be, the other $a% around. 3oin the ponente in declarin' that the Deput% "&buds&en and !pecial Prosecutors should not escape accountabilit% for their $ron'doin' or inefficienc%. differ onl% in allo$in' the President, an elective official $hose position is pri&aril% political, to discipline or re&ove &e&bers of independent constitutional bodies such as the "ffice of the "&buds&an. #hus, the ad&inistrative proceedin's conducted b% the "ffice of the President a'ainst petitioner *on7ales should be voided and those a'ainst petitioner !ulit discontinued. 8astl%, $hile find the proceedin's before the "ffice of the President constitutionall% infir&, nothin' in this opinion should prevent the "&buds&an fro& conductin' the proper investi'ations and, $hen called for, fro& filin' the proper ad&inistrative proceedin's a'ainst petitioners *on7ales and !ulit. n the case of *on7ales, further investi'ation &a% be &ade b% the "&buds&an, but onl% for aspects of his case not other$ise covered b% the Court(s Decision. ARTURO #. 9RION Associate 5ustice

!oot'ote,
+

Rollo, Dol. +, p. /... d. at :.-9-. Rollo, Dol. ., p. 9.

!ee Depart&ent of 5ustice v. ?on. 8i$a', 6,+ Phil. .:4, .9/ 0.44G2> and Deloso v. Do&in'o, *.R. No. ,4G,+, Nove&ber .+, +,,4, +,+ !CRA G6G, GG4-GG+.
G

Att%. A'uirre, 5r. v. De Castro, /:9 Phil. :+6, :.- 0+,,,2> ?on. Ba'atsin' v. ?on. Melencio-?errera, +-4 Phil. 66,, 6G9 0+,:G2> and 8acson v. Ro&ero, 96 Phil. :64, :6, 0+,6,2.
-

!ection 9. Re&oval> =illin' of Dacanc%.xxxx 0.2 A Deput% or the !pecial Prosecutor &a% be re&oved fro& office b% the President for an% of the 'rounds provided for the re&oval of the "&buds&an, and after due process.

Ponencia, p. ... d. at ..-./. Bautista v. !enator !alon'a, .G6 Phil. +G-, +:, 0+,9,2. C"N!# #E# "N, Article D , !ections + and G0.2. Record of the Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. ., 5ul% .-, +,9-, p. .,6. d. at .,6.

+4

++

+.

+/

Ponencia, p. ... C"N!# #E# "N, Article K , !ection .. RA No. -::4, !ection .:. RE8E! "= C"ER#, Rule -G. C"N!# #E# "N, Article D , !ections +, ., /, -, +4 and ++. d., Article K0A2, !ection +. d., Article K , !ection +:0+2. d., Article K , !ection .4. bid. d., Article D , !ection /> Article K0A2, !ection G> and Article K , !ection +6. d., Article D , !ection G. d., Article K , !ection .. *.R. No. +4/G.6 and A.M. No. ,+-9-..G-CA, April +G, +,,., .49 !CRA +//, +G4.

+6

+G

+-

+:

+9

+,

.4

.+

..

./

.6

.G

.-

!peech, !ession of =ebruar% +9, +,:., as cited in A#he +,9: Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines@ A Co&&entar%A b% 5oa1uin Bernas, .44/ ed., p. +44,.
.:

Record of the Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. +, 5ul% +G, +,9-, pp. G/.-G//. *.R. No. ,/9-:, Dece&ber +9, +,,4, +,. !CRA /G9, /-+. !ection +:0+2, Article K of the +,9: Constitution reads@

.9

.,

!ection +:. 0+2 #here is hereb% created an independent office called the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts.
/4

Records of the Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. /, Au'ust .:, +,9-, pp. :69-:6,. !ection .4, Article K of the +,9: Constitution reads@ !ection .4. #he Con'ress shall establish an independent central &onetar% authorit%, the &e&bers of $hose 'overnin' board &ust be natural-born =ilipino citi7ens, of )no$n probit%, inte'rit%, and patriotis&, the &a3orit% of $ho& shall co&e fro& the private sector.

/+

/.

Record of the Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. /, Au'ust +/, +,9-, p. .-9. !ection ,, Article +. of the +,9: Constitution reads@ !ection ,. #he Con'ress &a% establish an independent econo&ic and plannin' a'enc% headed b% the President, $hich shall, after consultations $ith the appropriate public a'encies,

//

various private sectors, and local 'overn&ent units, reco&&end to Con'ress, and i&ple&ent continuin' inte'rated and coordinated pro'ra&s and policies for national develop&ent. Entil Con'ress provides other$ise, the National Econo&ic and Develop&ent Authorit% shall function as the independent plannin' a'enc% of the 'overn&ent.
/6

Record of the Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. /, Au'ust +/, +,9-, p. .-/. d. at .-/-.-6. /.+ Phil. -46 0+,,G2. *.R. No. +:.-/G, "ctober .4, .4+4, -/6 !CRA +/G. !upra note ,. d. at +9/-+96. 6G/ Phil. G9-, -G9--G, 0.44/2.

/G

/-

/:

/9

/,

64

6+

!upra note G. !ection +:, Article D , and !ection 6, Article K of the Constitution li)e$ise provide that@ !ection +:. #he President shall have control of all the executive depart&ents, bureaus, and offices. ?e shall ensure that the la$s be faithfull% executed. !ection 6. #he President of the Philippines shall exercise 'eneral supervision over local 'overn&ents.
6.

C"N!# #E# "N, Article D , !ection ,.

6/

d., Article K0B2, !ection +0.2> Article K0C2, !ection +0.2> Article K0D2, !ection +0.2> and Article K , !ection ,.
66

d., Article K , !ection .. d., Article K0A2, !ection + and Article K , !ection G read@ !ection +. #he Constitutional Co&&issions, $hich shall be independent, are the Civil !ervice Co&&ission, the Co&&ission on Elections, and the Co&&ission on Audit. !ection G. #here is hereb% created the independent "ffice of the "&buds&an, co&posed of the "&buds&an to be )no$n as #anodba%an, one overall Deput% and at least one Deput% each for 8u7on, Disa%as, and Mindanao. A separate Deput% for the &ilitar% establish&ent &a% li)e$ise be appointed.

6G

6-

Record of the Constitutional Co&&ission, Dol. ., 5ul% .9, +,9-, p. /G- reads@ MR. RE*A8AD". xxx #he reason for the a&end&ent is this@ ;hile !ection . enu&erates the i&peachable officers, there is nothin' that $ill prevent the le'islature as it stands no$ fro& providin' also that other officers not enu&erated therein shall also be re&ovable onl% b% i&peach&ent, and that has alread% happened.

Ender !ection + of P.D. No,, +-4-, the !andi'anba%an Decree, 3ustices of the !andi'anba%an &a% be re&oved onl% b% i&peach&ent, unli)e their counterparts in the then Court of Appeals. #he% are, therefore, a privile'ed class xxx xxxx MR. RE*A8AD". xxx But the proposed a&end&ent $ith not prevent the le'islature fro& subse1uentl% repealin' or a&endin' that portion of the la$ PD No. +-4-. Also, it $ill prevent the le'islature fro& providin' for favored public officials as not re&ovable except b% i&peach&ent.
6:

C"N!# #E# "N, Article K-B, C, and D, !ection +0.2. d., Article K , !ection ,. !upra note ,. !upra note /,. !upra note .:.

69

6,

G4

G+

#he 8a$phil Pro3ect - Arellano 8a$ =oundation

#ISSENTING OPINION A9A#, J.: #his case is not too co&plicated. !ection 90.2 of Republic Act 0R.A.2 -::4 'ave the "ffice of the President 0"P2 the po$er to investi'ate and re&ove fro& office the Deputies "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor $ho $or) ,irectl% under the supervision and control of the "&buds&an. Esin' this po$er, the "P investi'ated and found petitioner E&ilio *on7ales , Deput% "&buds&an . for the Militar% and "ther 8a$ Enforce&ent "ffices, 'uilt% of 'ross ne'lect in handlin' the pendin' case a'ainst a police officer $ho subse1uentl% hi3ac)ed a tourist bus. Esin' the sa&e po$er, the "P initiated a si&ilar investi'ation of a case a'ainst petitioner ;endell Barreras-!ulit, the !pecial Prosecutor, for alle'ed corruption, she havin' allo$ed her office to enter into a plea-bar'ainin' a'ree&ent $ith Ma3or *eneral Carlos =. *arcia $ho had been char'ed $ith plunder. *on7ales and !ulit filed separate petitions, the first in *.R. +,-./+ and the second in *.R. +,-./.. *on7ales assails the correctness of the "P decision that dis&issed hi& fro& the service. Both challen'es the constitutionalit% of !ection 90.2 of R.A. -::4 $hich 'ave the President the po$er to investi'ate and re&ove the&. #he ponencia $ould have the Court uphold the constitutionalit% of !ection 90. , R.A. -::4 that e&po$ers the President to investi'ate and re&ove Deput% "&buds&an *on7ales and !pecial Prosecutor !ulit fro& office. t ar'ues that, althou'h the Constitution expressl% provides for the re&oval of 0e "&buds&an hi&self, $hich is b% i&peach&ent, it fails to provide a procedure for the re&oval fro& office of a Deput% "&buds&an or !pecial Prosecutor. B% enactin' !ection 90.2 of R.A. -::4, Con'ress si&pl% filled in a void that the Constitution itself authori7es. #he ponencia relies on !ection ., Article K of the Constitution for support@ Section 2. #he President, the Dice-President, the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court, the Me&bers of the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an &a% be re&oved fro& office on i&peach&ent for, and

conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, briber%, 'raft and corruption, other hi'h cri&es, or betra%al of public trust. All other public officers and e&plo%ees &a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$, but not b% i&peach&ent. 0E&phasis ours2 #he re&oval fro& office of a Deput% "&buds&an or a !pecial Prosecutor, sa%s the ponencia, falls in the cate'or% of public officers and e&plo%ees that A&a% be re&oved fro& office as provided b% la$.A #rue enou'h, the above !ection . above provides that onl% the President, the Dice-President, the Me&bers of the !upre&e Court, the Me&bers of the Constitutional Co&&issions, and the "&buds&an &a% be re&oved b% i&peach&ent and that other public officers and e&plo%ees &a% be re&oved b% la$. But this cannot literall% be ta)en to &ean that Con'ress &a% authori7e the President to investi'ate and re&ove all non-i&peachable public officers and e&plo%ees. !urel%, Con'ress &a% not authori7e the President to exercise this po$er a'ainst those that the Constitution expressl% or i&plicitl% shields fro& his influence or intervention. =or instance, Con'ress cannot authori7e the President to re&ove lo$er court 3ud'es, althou'h the% are not sub3ect to i&peach&ent, since such authorit% is reserved b% the Constitution to the !upre&e Court. + =urther, as the Court held in Bautista v. !alon'a,. althou'h the Chair&an and Me&bers of the Co&&ission on ?u&an Ri'hts are not i&peachable public officials, their ter&s cannot be &ade to depend on the pleasure of the President since the Constitution perceives the& as exercisin' functions independent of hi&. Actuall%, there $as no existin' AvoidA in the &atter of the re&oval of the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor $hen Con'ress enacted R.A. -::4. Ad&inistrative Code of +,9:, then in force, alread% vested in heads of offices, includin' the "&buds&an, the po$er to investi'ate and ta)e disciplinar% action a'ainst all officers and e&plo%ees under hi&, the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor included. / n subse1uentl% enactin' R.A. -::4, Con'ress in effect re&oved such po$er of investi'ation and re&oval, insofar as the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor $ere concerned, fro& the "&buds&an and transferred the sa&e to the President. As $ill shortl% be sho$n belo$, such $restin' of po$er fro& the "&buds&an is an appallin' blo$ to his constitutionall% &andated independence fro& the influence and threats of the other depart&ents and a'encies of 'overn&ent. !ection G, Article K of the +,9: Constitution provides@ !ection G. #here is hereb% created the independent "ffice of the "&buds&an, co&posed of the "&buds&an to be )no$n as #anodba%an, one overall Deput%, and at least one Deput% each for 8u7on, Disa%as and Mindanao. A separate Deput% for the &ilitar% establish&ent &a% li)e$ise be appointed. 0E&phasis supplied2 #he Constitution has reasons for &a)in' the "ffice of the "&buds&an Aindependent.A ts pri&ordial dut% is to investi'ate and discipline all elective and appointive 'overn&ent officials. 6 !pecificall%, !ection +/, Article K of the Constitution vests in that "ffice the absolute po$er to investi'ate an% &alfeasance, &isfeasance, or nonfeasance of public officers or e&plo%ees. #his function places it a notch hi'her than other 'rievance-handlin', investi'atin' bodies. ;ith the exception of those $ho are re&ovable onl% b% i&peach&ent, the "ffice of the "&buds&an can investi'ate and ta)e action a'ainst an% appointive or elected official for corruption in office, be the% Con'ress&en, !enators, Depart&ent !ecretaries, *overnors, Ma%ors, or Baran'a% Captains. #hus, the "ffice of the "&buds&an needs to be insulated fro& the pressures, interventions, or vindictive acts of partisan politics.G #he Court has itself refrained fro& interferin' $ith the "ffice of the "&buds&an(s exercise of its po$ers. t is not the Court but the "&buds&an $ho is the cha&pion of the people and the preserver of the inte'rit% of public service.- #he "ffice of the "&buds&an, $hich includes the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor, cannot be beholden to or fearful of an% one, the President included. : #he po$er to i&peach is a function of chec) and balance under the Constitution. But the po$er to re&ove Apublic officers and e&plo%eesA fro& office, in the real& of ad&inistrative la$, is a function of supervision, if not control. Heepin' the Deputies in the "ffice of the "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor independent as the Constitution co&&ands and sub3ectin' the& to the President(s control or supervision are inco&patible ideas.

#o sa% that the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor $ill re&ain independent of the President not$ithstandin' that he can investi'ate and re&ove the& fro& office at an% ti&e is the e1uivalent of sa%in' that &on)e%s 'ro$ out of trees. f there is an% one that the holder of public office fears, it is that person $ho has the po$er to re&ove hi&. f the Court $ere to uphold the Constitutionalit% of !ection 90.2 of R.A. -::4, then the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor $ill be able to openl% def% the orders of the "&buds&an and disre'ard his policies $ithout fear of disciplinar% sanction fro& hi&. #he la$ &a)es the& sub3ect to investi'a6on and re&oval onl% b% the President. t is hi& the% have to obe% and $ill obe%. !urel%, this is not $hat the Constitution conte&plates in an AindependentA "ffice of the "&buds&an. #he present cases are precisel% in point. #he "&buds&an did not herself appear to re'ard *on7ales and !ulit(s actuations in the sub3ect &atters of the cases a'ainst the& $orth% of disciplinar% action. But, 'iven that the !ecretar% of 5ustice, an alter e'o of the President, too) an opposite vie$, the President dei'ned to investi'ate the&. n effect, the President is able to substitute his 3ud'&ent for that of the "&buds&an in a &atter concernin' function of the latter(s office. #his 'ives the President a &easure of control over the "&buds&an(s $or). =ro& here on, if the Court chooses to uphold the constitutionalit% of !ection 90. of R.A. -::4, the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor should be consultin' the "ffice of the President or the !ecretar% of 5ustice before the% act in an% case in $hich the latter has an interest. #his is the ludicrous and unpalatable situation that the fra&ers of the Constitution envisa'ed and sou'ht to avoid $hen the% 'ranted the "ffice of the "&buds&an independence fro& others $ho $ield 'overn&ental po$ers. 9 , therefore, vote to 'rant the petitions, declare !ection 90.2 of Republic Act -::4 that e&po$ers the President to re&ove the Deput% "&buds&an and the !pecial Prosecutor unconstitutional and void, annul the decision of he "ffice of the President a'ainst Deput% "&buds&an E&ilio *on7ales dated March /+, .4++, and per&anentl% en3oin that "ffice fro& further proceedin' $ith the ad&inistrative case a'ainst !pecial Prosecutor ;endell Barreras-!ulit. RO9ERTO A. A9A# Associate 5ustice

!oot'ote,
+

!ection ++, Article D

of the +,9: Constitution -

A#he Me&bers of the !upre&e Court and 3ud'es of lo$er courts shall hold office durin' 'ood behavior until the% reach the a'e of sevent% %ears or beco&e incapacitated to dischar'e the duties of their office. #he !upre&e Court en banc shall have the po$er to discipline 3ud'es of lo$er courts, or order their dis&issal b% a vote of a &a3orit% of the Me&bers $ho actuall% too) part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.A 0E&phasis ours2
.

.G6 Phil. +G-, +9/-+96 0+,9,2. !ec. 6:, par. 0.2, Chapter -, !ubtitle A, #itle K. #he "&buds&an Act of +,9,, !ection .+. Depart&ent of 5ustice v. 8i$a', 6,+ Phil. .:4, .9/ 0.44G2. Di&a%u'a v. "ffice of the "&buds&an, G.9 Phil. 6., 69 0.44-2.

d. !ection +., Article K of the +,9: Constitution.