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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Baguio City EN BANC G.R. No.

191002 April 20, 2010

ARTURO M. DE CASTRO, Petitioner, vs. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC) and PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL - ARROYO, Respondents. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x G.R. No. 191032 JAIME N. SORIANO, Petitioner, vs. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC), Respondent. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x G.R. No. 191057 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA), Petitioner, vs. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC), Respondent. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x A.M. No. 10-2-5-SC IN RE APPLICABILITY OF SECTION 15, ARTICLE VII OF THE CONSTITUTION TO APPOINTMENTS TO THE JUDICIARY, ESTELITO P. MENDOZA, Petitioner, x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x G.R. No. 191149 JOHN G. PERALTA, Petitioner, vs. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC). Respondent. PETER IRVING CORVERA; CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM; ALFONSO V. TAN, JR.; NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE’S LAWYERS; MARLOU B. UBANO; INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES-DAVAO DEL SUR CHAPTER, represented by its Immediate Past President, ATTY. ISRAELITO P. TORREON, and the latter in his own personal capacity as a MEMBER of the PHILIPPINE BAR; MITCHELL JOHN L. BOISER; BAGONG ALYANSANG BAYAN (BAYAN) CHAIRMAN DR. CAROLINA P. ARAULLO; BAYAN SECRETARY GENERAL RENATO M. REYES, JR.; CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY, RECOGNITION AND ADVANCE-MENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE) CHAIRMAN FERDINAND GAITE; KALIPUNAN NG DAMAYANG MAHIHIRAP (KADAMAY) SECRETARY GENERAL GLORIA ARELLANO; ALYANSA NG NAGKAKAISANG KABATAAN NG SAMBAYANAN PARA SA KAUNLARAN (ANAKBAYAN) CHAIRMAN KEN LEONARD

x . BELLO and LORETTA ANN P. x .. AQUILINO Q.. 2. PIMENTEL. 10-2-5-SC and. TAYO ANG PAG-ASA CONVENOR ALVIN PETERS.. 191002 and G.. WALDEN F.. and GUINEVERE DE LEON... No. 191057 for being premature..... INTING (IBPGovernorEastern Visayas). MARILYN STA. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL and HER EXCELLENCY GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO..-x G. (c) To submit to the incumbent President the short list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice on or before May 17..-x G. AMADOR Z.. 2010.. NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES (NUSP) CHAIRMAN EINSTEIN RECEDES.R. RESOLUTION BERSAMIN. 191420 PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION.: On March 17. vs. and STUDENT CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES (SCMP) CHAIRMAN MA. No... Puno by May 17. Petitioner.RAMOS. LEONILA DE JESUS. 191342 for lack of merit.. ROSALES.. No. 2010. and .. and 3. No. the Court: 1..R.R..R.. TERESITA GANDIONCO-OLEDAN.R. Respondent. ROMANA... 2010. TOLENTINO. No... (b) To prepare the short list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice. accordingly..M. BELLEZA ALOJADO DEMAISIP.. 191032 and G. Dismisses the petitions for certiorari and mandamus in G. and the petition for mandamus in G..Intervenors... and ATTY.R. MA.. COLLEGE EDITORS GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES (CEGP) CHAIRMAN VIJAE ALQUISOLA.. vs. J.. Grants the petition in A. Respondents. directs the Judicial and Bar Council: (a) To resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy to be created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S.. 191342 ATTY.R.. JR.. the Court promulgated its decision.. WOMEN TRIAL LAWYERS ORGANIZATION OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. 191149. holding: WHEREFORE. Petitioners. ROLAND B.. Dismisses the petitions for prohibition in G. LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS) CHAIRMAN JAMES MARK TERRY LACUANAN RIDON. No. INC. No.. represented by YOLANDA QUISUMBING-JAVELLANA... JR. VERENA KASILAG-VILLANUEVA.. (IBP Governor-Southern Luzon). JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC). CRISTINA ANGELA GUEVARRA..

. because it limits an executive. Tolentino and Roland B. because it sought a mere declaratory judgment and did not involve a justiciable controversy. No.R. Rosales (Bello. Tolentino and Inting 1. The Court has not squarely ruled upon or addressed the issue of whether or not the power to designate the Chief Justice belonged to the Supreme Court en banc.).(d) To continue its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill other vacancies in the Judiciary and submit to the President the short list of nominees corresponding thereto in accordance with this decision. as well as intervenors Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Davao del Sur (IBP-Davao del Sur. Bagong Alyansang Bayan and others (BAYAN. 3. Christian Robert S. No. Peter Irving Corvera. Motions for Reconsideration Petitioners Jaime N. 191420). Jr. 6. Also filing a motion for reconsideration was Senator Aquilino Q. Thereby. the Women Trial Lawyers Organization of the Philippines (WTLOP). Pimentel.). 2. Resort to the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission is superfluous. whose belated intervention was allowed. not in Article VIII. filed their respective motions for reconsideration.. Article VII does not lead to an interpretation that exempts judicial appointments from the express ban on midnight appointments. and Philippine Bar Association (G. and is powerless to vary the terms of the clear prohibition. Boiser. The ban on midnight appointments is placed in Article VII. Ubano. The mere fact that the Chief Justice sits as ex officio head of the JBC should not prevail over the more compelling state interest for him to participate as a Member of the Court. 191032). Marlou B. Bello and Loretta Ann P.). 3.R. et al. All Justices of the Court should participate in the next deliberations.R. power. Amador Z. Alfonso V. et al. Inting (G. The Court has given too much credit to the position taken by Justice Regalado. We summarize the arguments and submissions of the various motions for reconsideration. 2. The Mendoza petition should have been dismissed. . Lim. Jr. SO ORDERED. 191342). the Court has made distinctions and has created exemptions when none exists. 5. in the aforegiven order: Soriano 1. Tan. not a judicial. the Court has raised the Constitution to the level of a venerated text whose intent can only be divined by its framers as to be outside the realm of understanding by the sovereign people that ratified it. et al. In excluding the Judiciary from the ban. Mitchell John L. Valenzuela should not be reversed. and Walden F. Soriano (G. A plain reading of Section 15. 4. No.

and the creation of the JBC. chapter or section headings. The provision expressly and clearly provides a general limitation on the appointing power of the President in prohibiting the appointment of any person to any position in the Government without any qualification and distinction. The Court has erred in failing to apply the basic principles of statutory construction in interpreting the Constitution. The Court’s strained interpretation of the Constitution violates the basic principle that the Court should not formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than what is required by the precise facts of the case. The Court has erred in directing the JBC to resume the proceedings for the nomination of the candidates to fill the vacancy to be created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Puno with a view to submitting the list of nominees for Chief Justice to President Arroyo on or before May 17. Article VII is clear and straightforward. The Constitution has installed two constitutional safeguards:. especially in the absence of a real and justiciable case assailing any specific action or inaction of the JBC.7. the only duty of the Court is to apply it. The Court has engaged in rendering an advisory opinion and has indulged in speculations. 13. The Constitution grants the Court only the power of supervision over the JBC. The petitioners. and the only exception is that on temporary appointments to executive positions. . have the clear legal standing to question the illegal composition of the JBC. The Court cannot reverse on the basis of a secondary authority a doctrine unanimously formulated by the Court en banc. or when to do it. The Court has erred in relying heavily on the title. Thus. as taxpayers and lawyers. for the Court’s duty is to apply the safeguards as they are. 12. despite precedents on statutory construction holding that such headings carried very little weight. the Court’s directing the JBC to comply with the decision constitutes a culpable violation of the Constitution and the commission of an election offense. The Constitution has provided a general rule on midnight appointments. The Court gravely erred in unilaterally ignoring the constitutional safeguard against midnight appointments. 2010. not as the Court likes them to be. 3. 8. Philippine Bar Association 1. the appointment of the successor Chief Justice is not urgently necessary. hence. 11. how to do it. The constitutional ban on appointments being already in effect. The principal purpose for the ban on midnight appointments is to arrest any attempt to prolong the outgoing President’s powers by means of proxies. 9. 2. 5. 4. the Court cannot tell the JBC what to do. 7. 6. 10. Considering that Section 15.the prohibition against midnight appointments. The practice has been for the most senior Justice to act as Chief Justice whenever the incumbent is indisposed. The attempt of the incumbent President to appoint the next Chief Justice is undeniably intended to perpetuate her power beyond her term of office. It is not within the authority of the Court to prefer one over the other.

a ruling that is reasonable and in accord with the Constitution. 1. If there is any ambiguity in Section 15. There is no evidence that the framers of the Constitution abhorred the idea of an Acting Chief Justice in all cases. no cogent reason exists to warrant the reversal of the Valenzuela pronouncement. which is to prevent political partisanship in all branches of the Government. Hence. The issues it raised were not yet ripe for adjudication. Corvera 1. 3. Article VII of the Constitution provides for presidential appointments to the Constitutional Commissions and the JBC with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. 2. There is no sufficient reason for reversing Valenzuela. 2. Section 14. The election ban under Section 15. considering that the office . There is no justiciable controversy that warrants the Court’s exercise of judicial review. Section 15. Section 16. Article VII of the Constitution applies to appointments to the Judiciary. BAYAN. The application of the principle of verba legis (ordinary meaning) would have obviated dwelling on the organization and arrangement of the provisions of the Constitution. 3. and Section 16 of Article VII apply to all presidential appointments in the Executive and Judicial Branches of the Government. 10-2-5-SC. Article VII. Thus. Article VII applies to appointments to fill a vacancy in the Court and to other appointments to the Judiciary. The creation of the JBC does not justify the removal of the safeguard under Section 15 of Article VII against midnight appointments in the Judiciary. especially considering that the Constitution must be interpreted as a whole. 2. Section 15. Resort to the deliberations or to the personal interpretation of the framers of the Constitution should yield to the plain and unequivocal language of the Constitution. the intent behind the provision. The Court’s exclusion of appointments to the Judiciary from the Constitutional ban on midnight appointments is based on an interpretation beyond the plain and unequivocal language of the Constitution. Its phrase "other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution" is enough proof that the limitation on the appointing power of the President extends to appointments to the Judiciary. because the petition did not present a justiciable controversy. 3. 5. et al. 1.IBP-Davao del Sur. The Court erred in granting the petition in A. The intent of the ban on midnight appointments is to cover appointments in both the Executive and Judicial Departments. Lim 1. A plain reading is preferred to a contorted and strained interpretation based on compartmentalization and physical arrangement. 4. Its language being unambiguous.M. et al. should have controlled. No.

Thus. 3. The factual antecedents do not present an actual case or controversy. Article VIII. The provision admits only one exception. The collective wisdom of Valenzuela Court is more important and compelling than the opinion of Justice Regalado. The framers of the Constitution clearly intended the ban on midnight appointments to cover the members of the Judiciary. 6. The next President has roughly the same time of 45 days as the incumbent President (i. Even if it is anticipated with certainty. Article VII is in conflict with Section 4(1). The form and structure of the Constitution’s titles. 4.. The 90-day mandate to fill any vacancy lasts until August 15. Article VIII. 3.1avvphi1 5. the Court has violated the principle of ut magis valeat quam pereat (which mandates that the Constitution should be interpreted as a whole. returns and qualifications of the President and Vice-President. Jr. The Court exceeded its jurisdiction in ordering the JBC to submit the list of nominees for Chief Justice to the President on or before May 17. sections. 1. and to continue its proceedings for the nomination of the candidates. Valenzuela was erroneously reversed. and draftsmanship carry little weight in statutory construction. Article VII is not incompatible with Section 4(1). When the constitutional ban is in place. 2. There is no conflict between the provisions. because the law itself makes no distinction. Article VII does not apply to a vacancy in the Court and the Judiciary runs in conflict with long standing principles and doctrines of statutory construction. WTLOP 1. because the Court sits en banc. no actual vacancy in the position of the Chief Justice has yet occurred. temporary appointments in the Executive Department. they complement each other. The clash of legal rights and interests in the present case are merely anticipated. giving more weight to the opinion of Justice Regalado to reverse the en banc decision in Valenzuela was unwarranted. The directive to the JBC sanctions a culpable violation of the Constitution and constitutes an election offense. Thus. imposed on the JBC a deadline not provided by law . There is no basis to direct the JBC to submit the list of nominees on or before May 17. Tan. 44 days) within which to scrutinize and study the qualifications of the next Chief Justice. 2010. The ruling that Section 15. or a month and a half after the end of the ban. Article VII precludes interpretation.of the Chief Justice was not yet vacant and that the JBC itself has yet to decide whether or not to submit a list of nominees to the President. such that any conflicting provisions are to be harmonized as to fully give effect to all). There is no pressing necessity for the appointment of a Chief Justice. The clear and plain language of Section 15. Fourteen other Members of the Court can validly comprise the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. chapters.e. Hence. because it granted a relief not prayed for. the JBC has more than enough opportunity to examine the nominees without haste and political uncertainty. 2010. In ruling that Section 15. the Court should not distinguish. even when it acts as the sole judge of all contests relative to the election. 7. Section 15. 2010. 4. 2. the 90-day period under Section 4(1). Article VIII is suspended.

Under Section 15. 2. 3. et al. The subordinate subject to oversight must first act not in accord with prescribed rules before the act can be redone to conform to the prescribed rules. The Constitution must be construed in its entirety. Supervision of the JBC by the Court involves oversight. the Court has ignored the basic principle of statutory construction to the effect that the literal meaning of the law must be applied when it is clear and unambiguous. the only exemption from the ban on midnight appointments is the temporary appointment to an executive position. being clear and unequivocal. 2. To exempt the appointment of the next Chief Justice from the ban on midnight appointments makes the appointee beholden to the outgoing Chief Executive. Section 15. Article VII and the pertinent records of the Constitutional Commission are clear and unambiguous. The limitation is in keeping with the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution to place a restriction on the power of the outgoing Chief Executive to make appointments. not by resort to the organization and arrangement of its provisions.or the Constitution. Boiser 1. Bello. The language of Section 15. considering that the Judiciary Act of 1948 already provides that the power and duties of the office devolve on the most senior Associate Justice in case of a vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice. Plain textual reading and the records of the Constitutional Commission support the view that the ban on midnight appointments extends to judicial appointments. 2010 at the latest. 1. Article VII. Ubano 1. . 3. and compromises the independence of the Chief Justice by having the outgoing President be continually influential. 4. Article VII does not distinguish as to the type of appointments an outgoing President is prohibited from making within the prescribed period. and lacked sufficient votes to reverse Valenzuela. There is no urgency to appoint the next Chief Justice. The Court’s reversal of Valenzuela without stating the sufficient reason violates the principle of stare decisis. Article VII. In interpreting Section 15. and that we should not distinguish where the law does not distinguish. needs no interpretation 2. The opinion of Justice Regalado is irrelevant. because Section 15. 2. The Court has erred in ordering the JBC to submit the list of nominees to the President by May 17. exercised control instead of mere supervision over the JBC. because no specific law requires the JBC to submit the list of nominees even before the vacancy has occurred. Article VII. 3.

The principles of constitutional construction favor the exemption of the Judiciary from the ban on midnight appointments. 10-2-5-SC. The decision expands the constitutional powers of the President in a manner totally repugnant to republican constitutional democracy. Comments The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the JBC separately represent in their respective comments. The Court erred in granting the petition in A. because the JBC has not yet decided at the time the petitions were filed whether the incumbent President has the power to appoint the new Chief Justice. . Section 15. Pimentel 1. having yet to interview the candidates. and is tantamount to a judicial amendment of the Constitution without proper authority.M. and because the JBC. 3. The JBC will abide by the final decision of the Court. The Court has the duty to consider and resolve all issues raised by the parties as well as other related matters. The consolidated petitions should have been dismissed for prematurity. Thus. the interpretation should always be one that protects the citizenry from an ever expanding grant of authority to its representatives. The statement undermines the independence of the JBC. The JBC may be compelled to submit to the President a short list of its nominees for the position of Chief Justice. rational. 3. but in accord with its constitutional mandate and its implementing rules and regulations.1awph!1 5. 2. 2. Any constitutional interpretative changes must be reasonable. The incumbent President has the power to appoint the next Chief Justice. No.3. has not submitted a short list to the President. in harmonizing seemingly conflicting provisions of the Constitution. 2. JBC 1. thus: OSG 1. 4. and conformable to the general intent of the Constitution as a limitation to the powers of Government and as a bastion for the protection of the rights of the people. Article VII does not apply to the Judiciary. because the petition did not present a justiciable controversy. The statement in the decision that there is a doubt on whether a JBC short list is necessary for the President to appoint a Chief Justice should be struck down as bereft of constitutional and legal basis.

3. In a hierarchical judicial system like ours. The one highest court does not bind itself. as well as in some of the motions for reconsideration do not refer to either Section 15. It simply means that a principle underlying the decision in one case is deemed of imperative authority. the decisions of the higher courts bind the lower courts. 4. The grounds of the motions for reconsideration were already resolved by the decision and the separate opinion. but to Section 13. His comment asserts: 1. No. Article VIII. controlling the decisions of like cases in the same court and in lower courts within the same jurisdiction. Article VIII is to amend the Constitution. is not obliged to follow blindly a particular decision that it determines. the requisites for judicial review are not required. where judges make law as binding as an Act of Parliament. not only of those 3 called upon to abide by them. In the former. especially with a new membership. He states that the motions for reconsideration were directed at the administrative matter he initiated and which the Court resolved. 2010. Considering that the JBC itself has yet to take a position on when to submit the short list to the proper appointing authority. The administrative matter he brought invoked the Court’s power of supervision over the JBC as provided by Section 8(1). Article VIII of the Constitution. to call for a rectification. which was whyValenzuela was docketed as an administrative matter. Mendoza (A. But ours is not a common-law . 10-2-5-SC) submits his comment even if the OSG and the JBC were the only ones the Court has required to do so. Ruling We deny the motions for reconsideration for lack of merit. the Court. but the courts of co-ordinate authority do not bind each other. Stare decisis derives its name from the Latin maxim stare decisis et non quieta movere. to the extent that they are applicable..e. for all the matters being thereby raised and argued. The adherence to precedents is strict and rigid in a common-law setting like 6 the United Kingdom. The contention has no basis. as the highest court of the land. The portions of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission quoted in the dissent of Justice Carpio Morales. Judicial decisions assume the same authority as a statute itself and. because the decisions of the trial courts may be appealed to higher courts and for that reason are probably not the best evidence of the 2 rules of law laid down. unless and until the decision in question is reversed or overruled by a court of competent authority. until authoritatively abandoned. the criteria that must control the actuations. The decisions relied upon as precedents are commonly those of appellate courts. Thus. as distinguished from the Court’s adjudicatory power under Section 1. not being new. after re5 examination. Nonetheless. i. Article VII to Section 4(1) and Section 9. First: Most of the movants contend that the principle of stare decisis is controlling. and accordingly insist that the 1 Court has erred in disobeying or abandoning Valenzuela. the Court opts to dwell on some matters only for the purpose of clarification and emphasis. To apply Section 15. may be guided but is not controlled by precedent. but also of those duty-bound to enforce obedience to them. it has effectively solicited the exercise by the Court of its power of supervision over the JBC.For his part. petitioner Estelito P. The Court. necessarily become. Article VII or Section 4(1). to adhere to precedent and not to unsettle things that are settled.M. Article VII (on nepotism). Article VIII. 2. have all been resolved by the decision of March 17. being invested with the innate 4 authority to rule according to its best lights.

and are themselves apparently contravening their avowed reliance on the principles of statutory construction. Article VII. chairmen or heads of bureaus or offices. Another instance is the movants’ unhesitating willingness to read into Section 4(1) and Section 9. A judicial pronouncement in an earlier decision may be followed as a precedent in a subsequent case only when its reasoning and justification are relevant. That is self-contradiction at its worst. and the court in the latter case accepts such reasoning and justification to be applicable to the case. Article VIII. Article VII. disregarding the absence from Section 15. Article VII even completely omits any reference to the Judiciary. Second: Some intervenors are grossly misleading the public by their insistence that the Constitutional Commission extended to the Judiciary the ban on presidential appointments during the period stated in Section 15. . Interpolation of words is unnecessary. And. a provision on nepotism. withdrew the proposal to include the Judiciary in Section 13. Davide. either with or without the omitted word or words. and no words can be interpolated in 9 them. In the end. the addition of new words may alter the thought intended to be conveyed." such that the final version of the second paragraph of Section 13. the Court in this case is. including government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. Section 4(1) and Section 9 should be left as they are. because the primary source of the legislative intent is in the language of the 10 law itself. Jr. The movants gravely err in their posture. therefore. even where the meaning of the law is clear and sensible. Jr. For the intervenors to insist that Valenzuela ought not to be disobeyed. For one. to wit: Section 13. Article VII or Section 4(1). given that their meaning is clear and explicit. They seem to conveniently forget that the Constitution itself recognizes the innate authority of the Court en banc to 7 modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid down in any decision rendered en banc or in division. xxx The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree of the President shall not during his tenure be appointed as Members of the Constitutional Commissions. interpolation is improper. or reversed. Yet. or abandoned. the movants. hence.system. the express applicability of the ban under Section 15. or as Secretaries. Last: The movants take the majority to task for holding that Section 15. because the law is more than likely to fail to express the legislative intent with the interpolation. Commissioner Davide. insist that the ban applied to the Judiciary under the principle of verba legis. and that its wisdom should guide. if not control. for doing so would generally constitute an encroachment upon the field of the Constitutional Commission. In other words. judicial precedents are not always strictly and rigidly followed. Article VII during the period provided therein. Article VII does not apply to appointments in the Judiciary. Article VII 8 "(t)o avoid any further complication. Rather. despite the silence of said provisions thereon. but only Section 13. both of Article VIII. The deliberations that the dissent of Justice Carpio Morales quoted from the records of the Constitutional Commission did not concern either Section 15. The application of the precedent is for the sake of convenience and stability. Undersecretaries. They aver that the Court either ignored or refused to apply many principles of statutory construction. The records of the Constitutional Commission show that Commissioner Hilario G. however. Article VII of the express extension of the ban on appointments to the Judiciary. devoid of rationality and foundation. had proposed to include judges and justices related to the President within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity among the persons whom the President might not appoint during his or her tenure. construction cannot supply the omission. or the Office of the Ombudsman.

ACCORDINGLY. We cannot permit the meaning of the Constitution to be stretched to any unintended point in order to suit the purposes of any quarter. a majority of them are now granting to her the authority to appoint the successor of the retiring Chief Justice. SO ORDERED. Yet. the motions for reconsideration are denied with finality. she is now left with an imperative duty under the Constitution to fill up the vacancies created by such inexorable retirements within 90 days from their occurrence. The Members of the Court vote on the sole basis of their conscience and the merits of the issues. Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself. 2010 has fittingly observed: Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15. None of the Members of the Court could have prevented the Members composing the Court when she assumed the Presidency about a decade ago from retiring during her prolonged term and tenure. That such specification was not done only reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of the President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer to the Members of the Supreme Court. Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court. Final Word It has been insinuated as part of the polemics attendant to the controversy we are resolving that because all the Members of the present Court were appointed by the incumbent President. They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15. Any claim to the contrary proceeds from malice and condescension. for their retirements were mandatory.Thus. most likely in Section 4 (1). Neither the outgoing President nor the present Members of the Court had arranged the current situation to happen and to evolve as it has. Her official duty she must comply with. they could have explicitly done so. So must we ours who are tasked by the Constitution to settle the controversy. Article VIII. the decision of March 17. The insinuation is misguided and utterly unfair. .

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