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ust law law re vi e w, vol lvi i , no. 1, november 2012
a civilian President is the ceremonial, legal and administrative head of the armed
forces. The Constitution does not require that the President must be possessed
of military training and talents, but as Commander-in-Chief, he has the power to
direct military operations and to determine military strategy. Normally, he would
be expected to delegate the actual command of the armed forces to military
experts; but the ultimate power is his.

Given the foregoing, Governor Tan is not endowed with the power to call
upon the armed forces at his own bidding. In issuing the assailed proclamation,
Governor Tan exceeded his authority when he declared a state of emergency and
called upon the Armed Forces, the police, and his own Civilian Emergency Force.
The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution is exclusive to the
President. An exercise by another offcial, even if he is the local chief executive,
is ultra vires, and may not be justifed by the invocation of Section 465 of the Local
Government Code.


ARNOLD VICENCIO v. HON. HEYNALOO A. VILLAR, et al.
G.R. No. 182069, 3 July 2012, EN BANC (Sereno, J.)
The mandate of the Commission on Audit is to observe the policy that government
funds and property should be fully protected and conserved; and that irregular, unnecessary,
excessive or extravagant expenditures or uses of such funds and property should be prevented.
The City Council or the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Malabon (SPM),
presided by Hon. Benjamin Galauran, then acting Vice-Mayor, adopted and
approved City Ordinance No. 15-2003, entitled An Ordinance Granting Authority
to the City Vice-Mayor, Hon. Jay Jay Yambao, to Negotiate and Enter into Contract
for Consultancy Services for Consultants in the Sanggunian Secretariat Tasked to
Function in their Respective Areas of Concern.
Arnold Vicencio was elected City Vice-Mayor of Malabon. By virtue of
this offce, he also became the Presiding Offcer of the SPM and, at the same time,
the head of the Sanggunian Secretariat. Vicencio, representing the City Government
of Malabon City, entered into Contracts for Consultancy Services. After the
signing of their respective contracts, the three consultants rendered consultancy
services to the SPM. Thereafter, the three consultants were correspondingly
paid for their services pursuant to the contracts therefor. However, an Audit
Observation Memorandum (AOM) was issued disallowing the amount for being
poli ti cal law
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ust law law re vi e w, vol lvi i , no. 1, november 2012
an improper disbursement. Aggrieved by the disallowance, Vicencio appealed it
to the Adjudication and Settlement Board (ASB) of the Commission on Audit
(COA) which subsequently denied it.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Commission on Audit committed serious errors and
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction when it
affrmed ASBs decision relative to the disallowance of disbursements concerning
the services rendered by hired consultants for the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng
Malabon
HELD:
Under Section 456 of R.A. 7160, or the Local Government Code, there
is no inherent authority on the part of the city vice-mayor to enter into contracts
on behalf of the local government unit, unlike that provided for the city mayor.
Thus, the authority of the vice-mayor to enter into contracts on behalf of the city
was strictly circumscribed by the ordinance granting it. Ordinance No. 15-2003
specifcally authorized Vice-Mayor Yambao to enter into contracts for consultancy
services. As this is not a power or duty given under the law to the Offce of
the Vice-Mayor, Ordinance No. 15-2003 cannot be construed as a continuing
authority for any person who enters the Offce of the Vice-Mayor to enter into
subsequent, albeit similar, contracts.
The COAs assailed Decision was made in faithful compliance with its
mandate and in judicious exercise of its general audit power as conferred on it
by the Constitution. The COA was merely fulflling its mandate in observing
the policy that government funds and property should be fully protected and
conserved; and that irregular, unnecessary, excessive or extravagant expenditures
or uses of such funds and property should be prevented. Thus, no grave abuse of
discretion may be imputed to the COA.