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REMIGIO D.

ESPIRITU AND NOEL AGUSTIN, Petitioners,
v.
LUTGARDA TORRES DEL ROSARIO REPRESENTED BY SYLVIA R. ASPERILLA,
Respondents.
G.R. No. 204964, October 15, 2014 J. Leonen

FACTS : Respondent Lutgarda Torres del Rosario sought to exempt her lots, numbered 854
and 855, -both located in Angeles City, Pampanga- from the coverage of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Exemption was granted by the
then secretary of Agrarian Reform. However, the farmers in the said lots led by
Remigio Espirito opposed, saying that under the Housing and Land Regulatory
Board Resolution, and Angeles City Council Resolution, the lots were classified as
agricultural, meaning they are well under the coverage of the CARP. Espiritu’s
motion was considered by a new secretary agrarian reform, so del Rosario appealed
to the Office of the President. But, her appeal was dissmissed by the Deputy
Executive Secretary of Legal Affairs Manuel B. Gaite.

Now, respondent del Rosario assails the decision of Gaite, saying the same was void
because the latter was already appointed to the Securities and Exchange
Commission two months before the decision was rendered.

ISSUE: a. WON Gaite, in violation of Art. VII section 13, is not considered as a valid
executive department officer
b. WON Gaite’s decision is valid.

HELD: a. No. Gaite is rather a de facto officer of the President after his appointment to the
Securities and Exchange Commission, any decision he renders during this time is
presumed to be valid, binding, and effective.

b. Yes. Respondent has not presented evidence showing that the decision was
rendered beyond the power of authority. There is a presumption of regularity of
official acts, unless rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity. Del Rosario
failed to rebut the presumption.

Petition of Espiritu is granted.