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Felizardo S. Pacete, petitioner, vs.

The Secretary of the Commission on
Appointments Congress of the Philippines, the Secretary of Justice, and
the Disbursing Officer of the Department of Justice, respondents
Fernando, J. (23 July 1971)
Facts:
Felizardo S. Pacete alleged that he was appointed by the then President of the
Philippines on August 31, 1964 as Municipal Judge of Pigcawayan, Cotabato. He
assumed office on September 11, 1964, and as his appointment was made during
the recess of Congress, it was submitted to the Commission on Appointments at its
next session in 1965. It was confirmed on May 20, 1964.
On February 7, 1966, the then Secretary of Justice, told petitioner to vacate
his position as municipal judge, stating that his appointment had been bypassed.
Petitioner sought clarification from the then Secretary of the Commission on
Appointments. He was informed that on May 21, 1965, a day after his confirmation,
one of the members of the Commission on Appointments, the then Senator Rodolfo
Guanzon, wrote to its Chairman stating that he was filing a motion for the
reconsideration of the confirmation of the appointment of Pacete as municipal judge
of Pigcawayan, Cotabato, in view of derogatory information received. The then
Secretary of the Commission on Appointments notified the then Secretary of Justice
accordingly, following what he considered to be the practice that the presentation of
such a letter vacated the confirmation on the appointment. Respondent Secretary of
Justice then told petitioner that he should vacate his position as municipal judge, as
he had not been duly confirmed. The Disbursing Officer of the Department of Justice
then withheld Pacete’s salaries.
Pacete filed a counter petition, and the respondents answered that there was
no violation of the Constitution, as the question is merely one of interpretation or
construction of the internal rules of the Commission, which cannot be subject to
judicial inquiry.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the filing of a motion of consideration automatically vacates
the confirmation of the appointment
2. Whether or not the court can make a judicial inquiry into the internal rules of
the Commission on Appointments
Held:
1. No, the confirmation was not automatically vacated.
2. The court can make judicial inquiry.
Ratio:
1. Based on the language of Rule 21 of the Revised Rules of the Commission, “a
mere motion for reconsideration to a confirmation duly made which is not
approved cannot have the effect of setting aside such confirmation.”

the appointment is effective “until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress. so his appointment is constitutionally protected. The interpretation of this rule of the Commission on Appointments defeats the right of an individual to a public office. By the Constitution. The courts can inquire into legislative acts and executive orders when private rights are violated. 2. so this matter can be inquired into.Also. appointments when Congress is in recess take effect at once. .” Petitioner received a unanimous vote of confirmation.