Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 71977 February 27, 1987
DEMETRIO G. DEMETRIA, M.P., AUGUSTO S. SANCHEZ, M.P., ORLANDO S. MERCADO, M.P., HONORATO Y. AQUINO,
M.P., ZAFIRO L. RESPICIO, M.P., DOUGLAS R. CAGAS, M.P., OSCAR F. SANTOS, M.P., ALBERTO G. ROMULO, M.P.,
CIRIACO R. ALFELOR, M.P., ISIDORO E. REAL, M.P., EMIGDIO L. LINGAD, M.P., ROLANDO C. MARCIAL, M.P., PEDRO M.
MARCELLANA, M.P., VICTOR S. ZIGA, M.P., and ROGELIO V. GARCIA. M.P., petitioners,
vs.
HON. MANUEL ALBA in his capacity as the MINISTER OF THE BUDGET and VICTOR MACALINGCAG in his capacity as the
TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

D E C I S I O N
FERNAN, J.:
Assailed in this petition for prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction is the constitutionality of the first paragraph of Section 44
of Presidential Decree No. 1177, otherwise known as the “Budget Reform Decree of 1977.”
Petitioners, who filed the instant petition as concerned citizens of this country, as members of the National Assembly/Batasan Pambansa
representing their millions of constituents, as parties with general interest common to all the people of the Philippines, and as taxpayers whose
vital interests may be affected by the outcome of the reliefs prayed for”
1
listed the grounds relied upon in this petition as follows:
A. SECTION 44 OF THE „BUDGET REFORM DECREE OF 1977′ INFRINGES UPON THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW BY AUTHORIZING
THE ILLEGAL TRANSFER OF PUBLIC MONEYS.
B. SECTION 44 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1177 IS REPUGNANT TO THE CONSTITUTION AS IT FAILS TO SPECIFY THE
OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE PROPOSED TRANSFER OF FUNDS ARE TO BE MADE.
C. SECTION 44 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1177 ALLOWS THE PRESIDENT TO OVERRIDE THE SAFEGUARDS, FORM AND
PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSTITUTION IN APPROVING APPROPRIATIONS.
D. SECTION 44 OF THE SAME DECREE AMOUNTS TO AN UNDUE DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS TO THE
EXECUTIVE.
E. THE THREATENED AND CONTINUING TRANSFER OF FUNDS BY THE PRESIDENT AND THE IMPLEMENTATION THEREOF
BY THE BUDGET MINISTER AND THE TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES ARE WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF THEIR AUTHORITY
AND JURISDICTION.
2

Commenting on the petition in compliance with the Court resolution dated September 19, 1985, the Solicitor General, for the public respondents,
questioned the legal standing of petitioners, who were allegedly merely begging an advisory opinion from the Court, there being no justiciable
controversy fit for resolution or determination. He further contended that the provision under consideration was enacted pursuant to Section
16[5], Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution; and that at any rate, prohibition will not lie from one branch of the government to a coordinate
branch to enjoin the performance of duties within the latter‟s sphere of responsibility.
On February 27, 1986, the Court required the petitioners to file a Reply to the Comment. This, they did, stating, among others, that as a result of
the change in the administration, there is a need to hold the resolution of the present case in abeyance “until developments arise to enable the
parties to concretize their respective stands.”
3

Thereafter, We required public respondents to file a rejoinder. The Solicitor General filed a rejoinder with a motion to dismiss, setting forth as
grounds therefor the abrogation of Section 16[5], Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution by the Freedom Constitution of March 25, 1986, which
has allegedly rendered the instant petition moot and academic. He likewise cited the “seven pillars” enunciated by Justice Brandeis in Ashwander
v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288 (1936)
4
as basis for the petition‟s dismissal.
In the case of Evelio B. Javier v. The Commission on Elections and Arturo F. Pacificador, G.R. Nos. 68379-81, September 22, 1986, We stated
that:
The abolition of the Batasang Pambansa and the disappearance of the office in dispute between the petitioner and the private respondents — both
of whom have gone their separate ways — could be a convenient justification for dismissing the case. But there are larger issues involved that
must be resolved now, once and for all, not only to dispel the legal ambiguities here raised. The more important purpose is to manifest in the
clearest possible terms that this Court will not disregard and in effect condone wrong on the simplistic and tolerant pretext that the case has
become moot and academic.
The Supreme Court is not only the highest arbiter of legal questions but also the conscience of the government. The citizen comes to us in quest
of law but we must also give him justice. The two are not always the same. There are times when we cannot grant the latter because the issue has
been settled and decision is no longer possible according to the law. But there are also times when although the dispute has disappeared, as in this
case, it nevertheless cries out to be resolved. Justice demands that we act then, not only for the vindication of the outraged right, though gone, but
also for the guidance of and as a restraint upon the future.
It is in the discharge of our role in society, as above-quoted, as well as to avoid great disservice to national interest that We take cognizance of
this petition and thus deny public respondents‟ motion to dismiss. Likewise noteworthy is the fact that the new Constitution, ratified by the
Filipino people in the plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, carries verbatim section 16[5], Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution under Section
24[5], Article VI. And while Congress has not officially reconvened, We see no cogent reason for further delaying the resolution of the case at
bar.
The exception taken to petitioners‟ legal standing deserves scant consideration. The case of Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works, et al., 110 Phil.
331, is authority in support of petitioners‟ locus standi. Thus:
Again, it is well-settled that the validity of a statute may be contested only by one who will sustain a direct injury in consequence of its
enforcement. Yet, there are many decisions nullifying at the instance of taxpayers, laws providing for the disbursement of public funds, upon the
theory that the expenditure of public funds by an officer of the state for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes
a misapplication of such funds which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer. Although there are some decisions to the contrary, the
prevailing view in the United States is stated in the American Jurisprudence as follows:
In the determination of the degree of interest essential to give the requisite standing to attack the constitutionality of a statute, the general rule is
that not only persons individually affected, but also taxpayers have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditures of moneys raised by
taxation and may therefore question the constitutionality of statutes requiring expenditure of public moneys. [ 11 Am. Jur. 761, Emphasis
supplied. ]
Moreover, in Tan v. Macapagal, 43 SCRA 677 and Sanidad v. Comelec, 73 SCRA 333, We said that as regards taxpayers‟ suits, this Court
enjoys that open discretion to entertain the same or not.
The conflict between paragraph 1 of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No. 1177 and Section 16[5], Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution is
readily perceivable from a mere cursory reading thereof. Said paragraph 1 of Section 44 provides:
The President shall have the authority to transfer any fund, appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the
Executive Department, which are included in the General Appropriations Act, to any program, project or activity of any department, bureau, or
office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment.
On the other hand, the constitutional provision under consideration reads as follows:
Sec. 16[5]. No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations, however, the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of constitutional commissions may by law be authorized to augment any item in the general
appropriations law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.
The prohibition to transfer an appropriation for one item to another was explicit and categorical under the 1973 Constitution. However, to afford
the heads of the different branches of the government and those of the constitutional commissions considerable flexibility in the use of public
funds and resources, the constitution allowed the enactment of a law authorizing the transfer of funds for the purpose of augmenting an item from
savings in another item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional body concerned. The leeway granted was thus limited.
The purpose and conditions for which funds may be transferred were specified, i.e. transfer may be allowed for the purpose of augmenting an
item and such transfer may be made only if there are savings from another item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional
body.
Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of P.D. No. 1177 unduly over extends the privilege granted under said Section 16[5]. It empowers the President to
indiscriminately transfer funds from one department, bureau, office or agency of the Executive Department to any program, project or activity of
any department, bureau or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment, without regard as to whether or not
the funds to be transferred are actually savings in the item from which the same are to be taken, or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose
of augmenting the item to which said transfer is to be made. It does not only completely disregard the standards set in the fundamental law,
thereby amounting to an undue delegation of legislative powers, but likewise goes beyond the tenor thereof. Indeed, such constitutional
infirmities render the provision in question null and void.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: …” and money belonging to no one in particular, i.e. public funds, provide an even greater
temptation for misappropriation and embezzlement. This, evidently, was foremost in the minds of the framers of the constitution in meticulously
prescribing the rules regarding the appropriation and disposition of public funds as embodied in Sections 16 and 18 of Article VIII of the 1973
Constitution. Hence, the conditions on the release of money from the treasury [Sec. 18(1)]; the restrictions on the use of public funds for public
purpose [Sec. 18(2)]; the prohibition to transfer an appropriation for an item to another [See. 16(5) and the requirement of specifications [Sec.
16(2)], among others, were all safeguards designed to forestall abuses in the expenditure of public funds. Paragraph 1 of Section 44 puts all these
safeguards to naught. For, as correctly observed by petitioners, in view of the unlimited authority bestowed upon the President, “… Pres. Decree
No. 1177 opens the floodgates for the enactment of unfunded appropriations, results in uncontrolled executive expenditures, diffuses
accountability for budgetary performance and entrenches the pork barrel system as the ruling party may well expand [sic] public money not on
the basis of development priorities but on political and personal expediency.”
5
The contention of public respondents that paragraph 1 of Section
44 of P.D. 1177 was enacted pursuant to Section 16(5) of Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution must perforce fall flat on its face.
Another theory advanced by public respondents is that prohibition will not lie from one branch of the government against a coordinate branch to
enjoin the performance of duties within the latter‟s sphere of responsibility.
Thomas M. Cooley in his “A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations,” Vol. 1, Eight Edition, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, explained:
… The legislative and judicial are coordinate departments of the government, of equal dignity; each is alike supreme in the exercise of its proper
functions, and cannot directly or indirectly, while acting within the limits of its authority, be subjected to the control or supervision of the other,
without an unwarrantable assumption by that other of power which, by the Constitution, is not conferred upon it. The Constitution apportions the
powers of government, but it does not make any one of the three departments subordinate to another, when exercising the trust committed to it.
The courts may declare legislative enactments unconstitutional and void in some cases, but not because the judicial power is superior in degree or
dignity to the legislative. Being required to declare what the law is in the cases which come before them, they must enforce the Constitution, as
the paramount law, whenever a legislative enactment comes in conflict with it. But the courts sit, not to review or revise the legislative action, but
to enforce the legislative will, and it is only where they find that the legislature has failed to keep within its constitutional limits, that they are at
liberty to disregard its action; and in doing so, they only do what every private citizen may do in respect to the mandates of the courts when the
judges assumed to act and to render judgments or decrees without jurisdiction. “In exercising this high authority, the judges claim no judicial
supremacy; they are only the administrators of the public will. If an act of the legislature is held void, it is not because the judges have any
control over the legislative power, but because the act is forbidden by the Constitution, and because the will of the people, which is therein
declared, is paramount to that of their representatives expressed in any law.” [Lindsay v. Commissioners, & c., 2 Bay, 38, 61; People v. Rucker, 5
Col. 5; Russ v. Com., 210 Pa. St. 544; 60 Atl. 169, 1 L.R.A. [N.S.] 409, 105 Am. St. Rep. 825] (pp. 332-334).
Indeed, where the legislature or the executive branch is acting within the limits of its authority, the judiciary cannot and ought not to interfere
with the former. But where the legislature or the executive acts beyond the scope of its constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of the judiciary
to declare what the other branches of the government had assumed to do as void. This is the essence of judicial power conferred by the
Constitution “in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law” [Art. VIII, Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution; Art.
X, Section 1 of the 1973 Constitution and which was adopted as part of the Freedom Constitution, and Art. VIII, Section 1 of the 1987
Constitution] and which power this Court has exercised in many instances. *
Public respondents are being enjoined from acting under a provision of law which We have earlier mentioned to be constitutionally infirm. The
general principle relied upon cannot therefore accord them the protection sought as they are not acting within their “sphere of responsibility” but
without it.
The nation has not recovered from the shock, and worst, the economic destitution brought about by the plundering of the Treasury by the
deposed dictator and his cohorts. A provision which allows even the slightest possibility of a repetition of this sad experience cannot remain
written in our statute books.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No. 1177 is hereby declared NULL and
VOID for being unconstitutional.
SO ORDERED
148 SCRA 208 – Political Law – Transfer of Funds – Power of the President to Realign Funds
Demetrio Demetria et al as taxpayers and members of the Batasan Pambansa sought to prohibit Manuel Alba, then
Minister of the Budget, from disbursing funds pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1177 or the Budget Reform Decree of
1977. Demetria assailed the constitutionality of paragraph 1, Section 44 of the said PD. This Section provides that:
“The President shall have the authority to transfer any fund, appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices
and agencies of the Executive Department, which are included in the General Appropriations Act, to any program,
project or activity of any department, bureau, or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its
enactment.”
Demetria averred that this is unconstitutional for it violates the 1973 Constitution.
ISSUE: Whether or not Paragraph 1, Section 44, of PD 1177 is constitutional.
HELD: No. The Constitution provides that no law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations, however,
the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of constitutional
commissions may by law be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective offices
from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.
However, paragraph 1 of Section 44 of PD 1177 unduly overextends the privilege granted under the Constitution. It
empowers the President to indiscriminately transfer funds from one department, bureau, office or agency of the
Executive Department to any program, project or activity of any department, bureau or office included in the General
Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment, without regard as to whether or not the funds to be transferred
are actually savings in the item from which the same are to be taken, or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose
of augmenting the item to which said transfer is to be made. It does not only completely disregard the standards set in the
fundamental law, thereby amounting to an undue delegation of legislative powers, but likewise goes beyond the tenor
thereof. Indeed, such constitutional infirmities render the provision in question null and void.
But it should be noted, transfers of savings within one department from one item to another in the GAA may be allowed
by law in the interest of expediency and efficiency. There is no transfer from one department to another here.



Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-17169 November 30, 1963
ISIDRO C. ANG-ANGCO, petitioner,
vs.
HON. NATALIO P. CASTILLO, ET AL., respondents.
Juan T. David for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J .:
On October 8, 1956, the Pepsi-Cola Far East Trade Development Co., Inc. wrote a letter to the Secretary of Commerce
and Industry requesting for special permit to withdraw certain commodities from the customs house which were
imported without any dollar allocation or remittance of foreign exchange. Said commodities consisted of 1,188 units of
pepsi-cola concentrates which were not covered by any Central Bank release certificate. On the same date, the company
addressed an identical request to the Secretary of Finance who was also the Chairman of the Monetary Board of the
Central Bank. Senator Pedro Sabido, in behalf of the company, likewise wrote said official urging that authority be given
to withdraw the abovementioned concentrates. Not content with this step, he also wrote to Dr. Andres Castillo, Acting
Governor of the Central Bank, urging, the same matter. Then Secretary Hernandez wrote another letter to Dr. Castillo
stating, "Senator Sabido is taking this to you personally. Unless we have legal objection, I would like to authorize the
withdrawal of the concentrates upon payment of all charges in pesos. Please expedite action."
Almost at the same time, the Import-Export Committee of the Central Bank, thru Mr. Gregorio Licaros, submitted to the
Monetary Board a memorandum on the joint petition of the company and Sabido Law Office for authority to withdraw
the concentrates from the customs house stating therein that it sees no objection to the proposal. The Monetary Board,
however, failed to take up the matter in its meeting of October 12, 1956 for the reason that the transaction did not involve
any dollar allocation or foreign exchange, and of this decision Mr. Licaros was informed.
Having failed to secure the necessary authority from the Central Bank, on October 13, 1956, the counsel of the Pepsi-
Cola Far East Trade Development Co., Inc., approached Collector of Customs Isidro Ang-Angco in an attempt to secure
from him the immediate release of the concentrates, but this official seeing perhaps that the importation did not carry any
release certificate from the Central Bank advised the counsel to try to secure the necessary release certificate from the
No-Dollar Import Office that had jurisdiction over the case. In the morning of the same day, Mr. Aquiles J. Lopez, of
said Office, wrote a letter addressed to the Collector of Customs stating, among other things, that his office had no
objection to the release of the 1,188 units of concentrates but that it could not take action on the request as "the same is
not within the jurisdiction of the No-Dollar Import Office within the contemplation of R.A. No. 1410." The counsel
already referred to above showed the letter to Collector of Customs Ang-Angco who upon perusing it still hesitated to
grant the release. Instead he suggested that the letter be amended in order to remove the ambiguity appearing therein, but
Mr. Lopez refused to amend the letter stating that the same was neither a permit nor a release. Secretary of Finance
Hernandez having been contacted by telephone, Collector of Customs Ang-Angco read to him the letter after which the
Secretary verbally expressed his approval of the release on the basis of said certificate. Collector Ang-Angco, while still
in doubt as to the propriety of the action suggested, finally authorized the release of the concentrates upon payment of
the corresponding duties, customs charges, fees and taxes.
When Commissioner of Customs Manuel P. Manahan learned of the release of the concentrates in question he
immediately ordered their seizure but only a negligible portion thereof remained in the warehouse. Whereupon, he filed
an administrative complaint against Collector of Customs Ang-Angco charging him with having committed a grave
neglect of duty and observed a conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the customs service. On the strength of this
complaint President Ramon Magsaysay constituted an investigating committee to investigate Ang-Angco composed of
former Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla, as Chairman, and Atty. Arturo A. Alafriz and Lt. Col. Angel A. Salcedo, as
members. Together with Collector Ang-Angco, Mr. Aquiles J. Lopez, was also investigated by the same Committee,
who was also charged in a separate complaint with serious misconduct in office or conduct prejudicial to the best interest
of the State. As a result, Collector Ang-Angco was suspended from office in the latter part of December, 1956.
After the investigation, the committee submitted to President Magsaysay its report recommending that a suspension of
15 days, without pay, be imposed upon Ang-Angco chargeable against the period of his suspension. On April 1, 1957,
Collector Ang-Angco was reinstated to his office by Secretary Hernandez, but the decision on the administrative case
against him remained pending until the death of President Magsaysay. After around three years from the termination of
the investigation during which period Ang-Angco had been discharging the duties of his office, Executive Secretary
Natalio P. Castillo, by authority of the President, rendered a decision on the case on February 12, 1960 finding Ang-
Angco "guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service", and considering him resigned effective from the
date of notice, with prejudice to reinstatement in the Bureau of Customs.
Upon learning said decision from the newspapers, Collector Ang-Angco wrote a letter to President Carlos P. Garcia
calling attention to the fact that the action taken by Secretary Castillo in removing him from office had the effect of
depriving him of his statutory right to have his case originally decided by the Commissioner of Civil Service, as well as
of his right of appeal to the Civil Service Board of Appeals, whose decision under Republic Act No. 2260 is final,
besides the fact that such decision is in violation of the guaranty vouchsafed by the Constitution to officers or employees
in the civil service against removal or suspension except for cause in the manner provided by law.
In a letter dated February 16, 1960, Secretary Castillo, also by authority of the President, denied the request for
reconsideration. Not satisfied with this resolution, Collector Ang-Angco sent a memorandum to President Garcia
reiterating once more the same grounds on which he predicated his request for reconsideration. Again Secretary Castillo,
also by authority of the President, in letter dated July 1, 1960, denied the appeal. In this instance, Secretary Castillo
asserted that the President virtue of his power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices, can take
direct action and dispose of the administrative case in question inasmuch as the provisions of law that would seem to
vest final authority in subordinate officers of the executive branch of the government over administrative matters falling
under their jurisdiction cannot divest the President of his power of control nor diminish the same.
Hence, after exhausting all the administrative remedies available to him to secure his reinstatement to the office from
which he was removed without any valid cause or in violation of his right to due process of law, Collector Ang-Angco
filed before this Court the present petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with a petition for the issuance of a
preliminary mandatory injunction. The Court gave due course to the petition, but denied the request for injunction.
The main theme of petitioner is that respondent Executive Secretary Natalio P. Castillo in acting on his case by authority
of the President in the sense of considering him as resigned from notice thereof, violated the guaranty vouchsafed by the
Constitution to officers and employees in the classified service in that he acted in violation of Section 16 (i) of the Civil
Service Act of 1959 which vests in the Commissioner of Civil Service the original and exclusive jurisdiction to decide
administrative cases against officers and employees in the classified service, deprived him of his right of appeal under
Section 18 (b) of the same Act to the Civil Service Board of Appeals whose decision on the matter is final, and removed
him from the service without due process in violation of Section 32 of the same Act which expressly provides that the
removal or suspension of any officer or employee from the civil service shall be accomplished only after due process,
and of Section 4, Article XII of our Constitution which provides that "No officer or employee in the civil service shall be
removed except for cause as provided for by law." Since petitioner is an officer who belongs to the classified civil
service and is not a presidential appointee, but one appointed by the Secretary of Finance under the Revised
Administrative Code, he cannot be removed from the service by the President in utter disregard of the provisions of the
Civil Service Act of 1959.
Respondents, on their part, do not agree with this theory entertained by petitioner. They admit that if the theory is to be
considered in the light of the provisions of the Civil Service Act of 1959, the same may be correct, for indeed the Civil
Service Law as it now stands provides that all officers and employees who belong to the classified service come under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Civil Service and as such all administrative cases against them shall be
indorsed to said official whose decision may be appealed to the Civil Service Board of Appeals from whose decision no
further appeal can be taken. They also admit that petitioner belongs to the classified civil service. But it is their theory
that the pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law applicable to employees in the classified service do not apply to the
particular case of petitioner since to hold otherwise would be to deprive the President of his power of control over the
officers and employees of the executive branch of the government. In other words, respondents contend that, whether the
officers or employees concerned are presidential appointees or belong to the classified service, if they are all officers and
employees in the executive department, they all come under the control of the President and, therefore, his power of
removal may be exercised over them directly without distinction. Indeed, respondents contend that, if, as held in the case
of Negado v. Castro, 55 O.G., 10534, the President may modify or set aside a decision of the Civil Service Board of
Appeals at the instance of the office concerned, or the respondent employee, or may even do so motu propio, there would
be in the final analysis no logical difference between removing petitioner by direct action of the President and separating
him from the service by ultimate action by the President should an appeal be taken from the decision of the Civil Service
Board of Appeals to him, or if in his discretion he may motu proprio consider it necessary to review the Board's decision.
It is contended that this ruling still holds true in spite of the new provision wrought into the law by Republic Act 2260
which eliminated the power of review given to the President because the power of control given by the Constitution to
the President over officers and employees in the executive department can only be limited by the Constitution and not by
Congress, for to permit Congress to do so would be to diminish the authority conferred on the President by the
Constitution which is tantamount to amending the Constitution itself (Hebron v. Reyes, L- 9124, July 28, 1958). Indeed
this is the argument invoked by respondent Castillo in taking direct action against petitioner instead of following the
procedure outlined in the Civil Service Act of 1959 as may be seen from the following portion of his decision.
In connection with the second ground advanced in support of your petition, it is contended that in deciding the
case directly, instead of transmitting it to the Commissioner of Civil Service for original decision, his Office
deprived the respondent of his right to appeal to the Civil Service Board of Appeals. This contention overlooks
the principle that the President may modify or set aside a decision of the Civil Service Board of Appeals at the
instance of either the office concerned or the respondent employee, or may even do so motu proprio (Negado vs.
Castro, 55 O.G, No. 51, p. 10534, Dec. 21, 1959). There would therefore be no difference in effect between direct
action by the President and ultimate action by him should an appeal be taken from the decision of the
Commissioner of Civil Service or the Civil Service Board of Appeals. The result is that the President's direct
action would be the final decision that would be reached in case an appeal takes its due course.
Thus, we see that the main issue involved herein is whether the President has the power to take direct action on the case
of petitioner even if he belongs to the classified service in spite of the provisions now in force in the Civil Service Act of
1959. Petitioner sustains the negative contending that the contrary view would deprive him of his office without due
process of law while respondents sustain the affirmative invoking the power of control given to the President by the
Constitution over all officers and employees, belonging to the executive department.
To begin with, we may state that under Section 16 (i) of the Civil Service Act of 1959 it is the Commissioner of Civil
Service who has original and exclusive jurisdiction to decide administrative cases of all officers and employees in the
classified service for in said section the following is provided: "Except as otherwise provided by law, (the Commissioner
shall) have final authority to pass upon the removal, separation and suspension of all permanent officers and employees
in the competitive or classified service and upon all matters relating to the employees." The only limitation to this power
is that the decision of the Commissioner may be appealed to the Civil Service Board of Appeals, in which case said
Board shall decide the appeal within a period of 90 days after the same has been submitted for decision, whose decision
in such case shall be final (Section 18, Republic Act 2260). It should be noted that the law as it now stands does not
provide for any appeal to the President, nor is he given the power to review the decision motu proprio, unlike the
provision of the previous law, Commonwealth Act No. 598, which was expressly repealed by the Civil Service Act of
1959 (Rep. Act 2260), which provides that the decision of the Civil Service Board of Appeals may be reversed or
modified motu proprio by the President. It is, therefore, clear that under the present provision of the Civil Service Act of
1959, the case of petitioner comes under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Civil Service, and having
been deprived of the procedure laid down therein in connection with the investigation and disposition of his case, it may
be said that he has been deprived of due process as guaranteed by said law.
It must, however, be noted that the removal, separation and suspension of the officers and employees of the classified
service are subject to the saving clause "Except as otherwise provided by law" (Section 16 [i], Republic Act No. 2260).
The question then may be asked: Is the President empowered by any other law to remove officers and employees in the
classified civil service?
The only law that we can recall on the point is Section 64 (b) of the Revised Administrative Code, the pertinent portion
of which we quote:
(b) To remove officials from office conformably to law and to declare vacant the offices held by such removed
officials. For disloyalty to the (United States) Republic of the Philippines, the (Governor-General) President of
the Philippines may at any time remove a person from any position of trust or authority under the Government of
the (Philippine Islands) Philippines.
The phrase "conformably to law" is significant. It shows that the President does not have blanket authority move any
officer or employee of the government but his power must still be subject to the law that passed by the legislative body
particularly with regard the procedure, cause and finality of the removal of persons who may be the subject of
disciplinary action. Here, as above stated we have such law which governs action to be taken against officers and
employees in classified civil service. This law is binding upon President.
Another provision that may be mentioned is Section (D) of the Revised Administrative Code, which provides:
Power to appoint and remove. — The Department Head, the recommendation of the chief of the Bureau or office
concerned, shall appoint all subordinate officers and employees appointment is not expressly vested by law in the
(Governor-General) President of the Philippines, and may remove or punish them, except as especially provided
otherwise, in accordance the Civil Service Law.
The phrase "in accordance with the Civil Service is also significant. So we may say that even granting for administrative
purposes, the President of the Philippines is considered as the Department Head of the Civil Service Commission, his
power to remove is still subject to the Civil Service Act of 1959, and we already know with regard to officers and
employees who belong to classified service the finality of the action is given to the Commissioner of Civil Service or the
Civil Board of Appeals.
Let us now take up the power of control given to President by the Constitution over all officers and employees in the
executive department which is now in by respondents as justification to override the specific visions of the Civil Service
Act. This power of control couched in general terms for it does not set in specific manner its extent and scope. Yes, this
Court in the case of Hebron v. Reyes, supra, had already occasion to interpret the extent of such power to mean "the
power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of
his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter,"
1
to distinguish it from the power of general
supervision over municipal government, but the decision does not go to the extent of including the power to remove an
officer or employee in the executive department. Apparently, the power merely applies to the exercise of control over the
acts of the subordinate and not over the actor or agent himself of the act. It only means that the President may set aside
the judgment or action taken by a subordinate in the performance of his duties.
That meaning is also the meaning given to the word "control" as used in administrative law. Thus, the Department Head
pursuant to Section 79(C) is given direct control of all bureaus and offices under his department by virtue of which he
may "repeal or modify decisions of the chiefs of said bureaus or offices", and under Section 74 of the same Code, the
President's control over the executive department only refers to matters of general policy. The term "policy" means a
settled or definite course or method adopted and followed by a government, body, or individual,
2
and it cannot be said
that the removal of an inferior officer comes within the meaning of control over a specific policy of government.
But the strongest argument against the theory of respondents is that it would entirely nullify and set at naught the
beneficient purpose of the whole civil service system implanted in this jurisdiction, which is to give stability to the
tenure of office of those who belong to the classified service, in derogation of the provisions of our Constitution which
provides that "No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by
law" (Section 4, Article XII, Constitution).Here, we have two provisions of our Constitution which are apparently in
conflict, the power of control by the President embodied in Section 10 (1), Article VII, and the protection extended to
those who are in the civil service of our government embodied in Section 4, Article XII. It is our duty to reconcile and
harmonize these conflicting provisions in a manner that may give to both full force and effect and the only logical,
practical and rational way is to interpret them in the manner we do it in this decision. As this Court has aptly said in the
case of Lacson v. Romero:
... To hold that civil service officials hold their office at the will of the appointing power subject to removal or
forced transfer at any time, would demoralize and undermine and eventually destroy the whole Civil Service
System and structure. The country would then go back to the days of the old Jacksonian Spoils System under
which a victorious Chief Executive, after the elections could if so minded, sweep out of office, civil service
employees differing in Political color or affiliation from him, and sweep in his Political followers and adherents,
especially those who have given him help, political or otherwise. (Lacson v. Romero, 84 Phil. 740, 754)
There is some point in the argument that the Power of control of the President may extend to the Power to investigate,
suspend or remove officers and employees who belong to the executive department if they are presidential appointees or
do not belong to the classified service for such can be justified under the principle that the power to remove is inherent in
the power to appoint (Lacson V. Romero, supra), but not with regard to those officers or employees who belong to the
classified service for as to them that inherent power cannot be exercised. This is in line with the provision of our
Constitution which says that "the Congress may by law vest the appointment of the inferior officers, in the President
alone, in the courts, or in heads of department" (Article VII, Section 10 [3], Constitution). With regard to these officers
whose appointments are vested on heads of departments, Congress has provided by law for a procedure for their removal
precisely in view of this constitutional authority. One such law is the Civil Service Act of 1959.
We have no doubt that when Congress, by law, vests the appointment of inferior officers in the heads of
departments it may limit and restrict power of removal as it seem best for the public interest. The constitutional
authority in Congress to thus vest the appointment implies authority to limit, restrict, and regulate the removal by
such laws as Congress may enact in relation to the officers so appointed. The head of a department has no
constitutional prerogative of appointment to officers independently of legislation of Congress, and by such
legislation he must be governed, not only in making appointments but in all that is incident thereto. (U.S. v.
Perkins, 116 U.S. 483)
In resume, we may conclude that the action taken by respondent Executive Secretary, even with the authority of the
President, in taking direct action on the administrative case of petitioner, without submitting the same to the
Commissioner of Civil Service, is contrary to law and should be set aside.
WHEREFORE, it is hereby ordered that petitioner be immediately reinstated to his office as Collector of Customs for the
Port of Manila, without prejudice of submitting his case to the Commissioner of Civil Service to be dealt with in
accordance with law. No costs.
Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Labrador, Concepcion, Barrera, Parades, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur.


Facts:
The Pepsi-Cola Co. requested for the withdrawal of pepsi-cola concentrates which were not covered by any Central
Bank release certificate. Its counsels approached Collector of Customs Ang-Angco to secure the immediate release of
the concentrates, but advised the counsel to secure the releasecertificate from the No-Dollar Import Office. The Non-
Dollar Import Office wrote a letter to Ang-Angco which stated that his office had no objection to the release of the concentrates but
could not take action on the request as it was not in their jurisdiction. Ang-Angco telephoned the Secretary of Finance who expressed his
approval of the release on the basis of said certificate. Collector Ang-Angco finally released the concentrates. When
Commissioner of Customs learned of the release he filed an administrative complaint against Collector of Customs Ang-Angco. For three
years Ang-Angco had been discharging the duties of his office. Then, Executive Secretary Castillo, by authority of the President, rendered
his judgment against the petitioner.
Issue:
Whether the President is empowered to remove officers and employees in the classified civil service.
Previous History:
Secretary Castillo asserted that the President virtue of his power of control over all executive departments, bureaus
and offices, can take direct action and dispose of the administrative casein subordinate officers of the executive branch of the
government.
Holding:
The President does not have the power to remove officers or employees in the classified civil service.
Reasoning:
It is clear that under the present provision of the Civil Service Act of 1959, the case of petitioner comes under the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Commissioner of Civil Service, and having been deprived of the procedure laid down in connection with the investigation and disposition of
his case, it may be said that he has been deprived of due process as guaranteed by said law. The Power of control of the President may
extend to the Power to investigate, suspend or remove officers and employees who belong to the executive department if they are
presidential appointees but not with regard to those officers or employees who belong to the classified service for as to them that inherent
power cannot be exercised. This is in line with the provision of our Constitution which says that "the Congress may by law vest the
appointment of the inferior officers, in the President alone, in the courts, or in heads of department" (Article VII, Section 10 [3], Constitution).
With regard to these officers whose appointments are vested on heads of departments, Congress has provided by law for a procedure for
their removal precisely in view of this constitutional authority. One such law is the Civil Service Act of 1959.
Significance:
It well established in this case that it is contrary to law to take direct action on the administrative case of an employee under classified service
even with the authority of the President without submitting the case to the Commissioner of Civil Service
Araneta vs. Gatmaitan GR Nos. L-8895, L-9191, April 30, 1957

FACTS:
The League of Municipal Mayors of municipalities near the San Miguel Bay, betweenthe provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines
Norte, manifested in a resolution that theycondemn the operation of trawls in the said area and resolving to petition the President of
thePhilippines to regulate fishing in San Miguel Bay. In another resolution, the same League of Mayors prayed that the President ban the
operation of trawls in the San Miguel Bay area. Inresponse to the pleas, the President issued EO 22 prohibiting the use of trawls in San
MiguelBay but the EO was amended by EO 66 apparently in answer to a resolution of the ProvincialBoard of Camarines Sur recommending
the allowance of trawl-fishing during the typhoonseason only. Subsequently, EO 80 was issued reviving EO 22.Thereafter, a group of
Otter trawl operators filed a complaint for injunction praying that theSecretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Director
of Fisheries be enjoined fromenforcing said executive order and to declare the same null and void. The Court held that untilthe trawler is
outlawed by legislative enactment, it cannot be banned from San Miguel Bay byexecutive proclamation and held that the EOs 22 and 66 are
invalid.
ISSUES:
1. W/N the President has authority to issue EOs 22, 66 and 802. W/N the said EOs were valid as it was not in the exercise of legislative powers
undulydelegated to the President
HELD:
1. YES. Under sections 75 and 83 of the Fisheries law, the restriction and banning of trawlfishing from all Philippine waters come within the
powers of the Secretary of Agricultureand Natural Resources. However, as the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resourcesexercises its
functions subject to the general supervision and control of the President of the Philippines, the President can exercise the same power and
authority throughexecutive orders, regulations, decrees and proclamations upon recommendation of theSecretary concerned. Hence, EOs
22,66 and 80 restricting and banning of trawl fishingfrom San Miguel Bay are valid and issued by authority of law.2. YES. For the protection
of fry or fish eggs and small immature fishes, Congress intendedwith the promulgation of the Fisheries Act, to prohibit the use of any fish net or
fishingdevise like trawl nets that could endanger and deplete our supply of seafood, and to thatend authorized the Secretary of Agriculture and
Natural Resources to provide byregulations and such restrictions as he deemed necessary in order to preserve theaquatic resources of the land.
When the President, in response to the clamor of thepeople and authorities of Camarines Sur issued EO 80 absolutely prohibiting fishing
bymeans of trawls in all waters comprised within the San Miguel Bay, he did nothing butshow an anxious regard for the welfare of the
inhabitants of said coastal province anddispose of issues of general concern which were in consonance and strict conformitywith the law.

Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC
Facts: Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Representative of the
First District of Leyte. Private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, a candidate for the same position, filed a petition for
cancellation and disqualification with the COMELEC alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement
for residency. Private respondent contended that petitioner lacked the Constitution's one-year residency requirement for
candidates for the House of Representatives.
Issue: Whether or not petitioner has satisfied the residency requirement as mandated by Art. VI, Sec. 6 of the
Constitution.
Ruling: WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a
seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April
24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order the
Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.
For election purposes, residence is used synonymously with domicile. The Court upheld the qualification of petitioner,
despite her own declaration in her certificate of candidacy that she had resided in the district for only 7 months, because
of the following: (a) a minor follows the domicile of her parents; Tacloban became petitioner's domicile of origin by
operation of law when her father brought the family to Leyte; (b) domicile of origin is lost only when there is actual
removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of abandoning the former residence and establishing a new one, and
acts which correspond with the purpose; in the absence of clear and positive proof of the concurrence of all these, the
domicile of origin should be deemed to continue; (c) the wife does not automatically gain the husband's domicile
because the term "residence" in Civil Law does not mean the same thing in Political Law; when petitioner married
President Marcos in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessarium;
(d) even assuming that she gained a new domicile after her marriage and acquired the right to choose a new one only
after her husband died, her acts following her return to the country clearly indicate that she chose Tacloban, her domicile
of origin, as her domicile of choice.