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Aytona vs.

Castillo

Facts:
Dec. 29, 1961 Pres. Carlos P. Garcia appointed Dominador R. Aytona as ad
interim Governor of the Central Bank and later on that same day, took the
corresponding oath.

Dec. 30, 1961 Pres. Elect Diosdado Macapagal assume office by noon

Dec. 31, 1961 Pres. Macapagal issued Admin Order No. 2, recalling,
withdrawing and cancelling all ad interim appointment made by Pres. Garcia
after Dec. 13, 1961 (date when Macapagal was proclaimed elected by
Congress). There were a total of 350, midnight or last minute appointment
made by Pres. Garcia.

Jan. 1, 1962 - Pres. Macapagal appointed Andres V. Castillo as ad interim


Governor of the Central Bank

Jan. 2, 1962 Both Castillo and Aytona exercised the power of their office
which developed to unpleasantness in the premises of the Central Bank and
Aytona thereafter was definitely prevented from holding office.

Aytona then instituted a proceeding (quo warranto) challenging Castillos


right to exercise the powers as Governor of Central Bank and claimed he was
validly appointed and qualified for the post making the appointment of
Castillo void.

Castillos reply was that Aytonas appointment was revoked by Admin Order
No. 2 of Macapagal.

Issue:
WON the 350 midnight appointments of former Pres. Garcia were valid?

Held:
No. It is common sense to believe that after the proclamation of the election
of President Macapagal, his was no more than a "care-taker" administration.
He was duty bound to prepare for the orderly transfer of authority the
incoming President, and he should not do acts which he ought to know,
would embarrass or obstruct the policies of his successor. The filling up
vacancies in important positions, if few, and so spaced to afford some
assurance of deliberate action and careful consideration of the need for the
appointment and the appointee's qualifications may undoubtedly be
permitted. But the issuance of 350 appointments in one night and planned
induction of almost all of them a few hours before the inauguration of the
new President may, with some reason, be regarded by the latter as an abuse
Presidential prerogatives, the steps taken being apparently a mere partisan
effort to fill all vacant positions irrespective of fitness and other conditions,
and thereby deprive the new administration of an opportunity to make the
corresponding appointments.
An ad interim appointment is exercised by the president as hes special
prerogative and is bound to be prudent to insure approval of his selection
either previous consultation with the members of the Commission on
Appointments or by thereafter explaining to them the reason such selection.
It is expected that the President should exercise double care in extending
such appointments. In the case at bar, it is hard to believe that in signing
350 appointments in one night, President Garcia exercised double care; and
therefore, such appointments fall beyond the intent and spirit of the
constitutional provision granting the Executive authority to issue ad interim
appointments.

The denial of the power to revoke after the appointee has qualified is his
equitable right however that eequity is doubtful considering the rush
conditional appointments, hurried maneuvers and other happenings
detracting from that degree of good faith, morality and propriety which form
the basic foundation of claims to equitable relief. The appointees, it might be
argued, wittingly or unwittingly cooperated with the stratagem to beat the
deadline, whatever the resultant consequences to the dignity and efficiency
of the public service. Needless to say, there are instances wherein not
only strict legality, but also fairness, justice and righteousness
should be taken into account.

WHEREFORE, the Court exercising its judgment and discretion in the


matter, hereby dismiss the action, without costs.