Aquino fires Arroyo 'midnight appointees
abs-cbnNEWS.com Posted at 08/04/2010 12:43 PM | Updated as of 08/05/2010 1:50 AM MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 3) - President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday ordered the immediate removal of all "midnight appointees" of the previous administration for violating a 60-day constitutional ban on presidential appointments before a national election. Executive Order No. 2, which was signed last July 30, covers midnight appointees of the President "and other appointing authorities in departments, agencies, offices and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations" that:
were appointed “on or after March 11, 2010, including all appointments bearing dates prior to March 11,
2010 where the appointee has accepted or taken his oath, or assumed public office on or after March 11, 2010, except temporary appointments… when continued vacancies will prejudice public service…”
“those made prior to March 11, 2010 but to take effect after said date or appointments to office that would be
vacant only after March 11, 2010;
“appointments and promotions made during the period of 45 days prior to the May 10, 2010 elections in
violation of Sec 261 of the Omnibus Election Code. Presidential legal counsel Ed de Mesa said all presidential appointees whose appointments were not completed on or before March 10 are considered midnight appointees. At least 977 presidential appointees were made in all branches of government on or prior to March 10, he added. "The sheer number of these appointments gives basis to the opinion or to the belief that they were made for the purpose of depriving the next president of the prerogative of making these appointments,” he told Malacañang reporters. He added: "I am not saying that all of those 977 can be considered midnight appointees. Some of those appointments may be valid. We have to consider them one by one." De Mesa said some of the midnight appointees are prosecutors, agrarian reform officers, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries. He added that most of them have been replaced because they are co-terminus with the previous president while some were removed through Memorandum Circular 1. The presidential legal counsel said the midnight appointments were made contrary to the principle that within the presidential election period, "an outgoing administration must act only as a caretaker administration duty bound to prepare for the orderly transfer of authority to the successor and is thus enjoined from performing acts which would embarrass or obstruct the policies of the successor or negate the successor’s executive prerogative to exercise his appointing powers." Arroyo camp: Show proof of 'midnight appointments' A spokesman of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, meanwhile, challenged Malacañang to prove that appointments made by Mrs. Arroyo towards the end of her term violate a constitutional ban on midnight appointments.
it has to be done. She said Mrs. meanwhile. however. adding that presidential appointees who are affected EO could challenge it before the courts. which is the President.” With a report from Willard Cheng. Having said that. ABS-CBN News Below is the complete Executive Order No. that Aquino chose to take his oath before Supreme Court Associate Justice Carpio-Morales because of her stand on the issue of appointing a new Chief Justice during election season. "The EO cannot go beyond or higher than what the Constitutions contains." she said. which states that a presidential appointment is only completed upon the acceptance of the appointee." she said. former Presidential Management Staff chief Elena Bautista Horn denied that Mrs. which means appointment signed by the President beyond the prohibited period of the Constitution. He said the administration could issue a supplemental EO that will cover the judiciary.2 MALACAÑAN PALACE MANILA EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. More on a principle that he believes that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made an appointment that is not valid. it also mentioned a constitutional ban on appointments to the judiciary during the election period.Speaking to ANC. that is settled law. "I'd like to put on record that we never made any midnight appointments. 2
. He added. Arroyo made any midnight appointment especially since her office used to process all presidential appointments. Do they have evidence saying so?" She also challenged the wording of Executive Order No. Arroyo is maintaining the position that the constitutional ban is imposed on the appointing authority. no matter what the backlash is. Asked about reports that some of the appointments were antedated to make it appear that they were done on or before May 10.” de Mesa said. “We do not take this as an offense on the person of the Chief Justice. De Mesa said Malacañang will study possible midnight appointments in the judiciary after several reporters pointed out that former President Arroyo appointed members of the Sandiganbayan and Court of Appeals during the ban. 2. if needed. the Supreme Court already made a decision upholding the validity and the legality of the Chief Justice and again as I would say. said all branches of government are duty-bound to respect the SC's decision. she said: "They have to show proof that that is the case.
Midnight appointments in judiciary
While Aquino's Executive Order 2 covers only midnight appointees in the executive branch. and not on the person being appointed. however. “If it’s legal and something has to be done. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda. He said the President fully acknowledges a Supreme Court decision allowing the appointment of Chief Justice Renato Corona despite the appointments ban.
WHEREAS. or giving salary increases. (1) Any head. et . 1998 of Hon. and that the position shall not be filled in a manner that may influence the election. JBC and PGMA G. The only known exceptions to this prohibition are (1) temporary appointments in the executive positions when continued vacancies will prejudice public service of endanger public safety and in the light of the recent Supreme Court decision in the case of. Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that “Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term. based on established jurisprudence.RECALLING. The Commission shall not grant the authority sought unless. al. Prohibited Acts.”. 9. a new employee may be appointed in the case of urgent need: Provided. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. As an exception to the foregoing provisions. – During the period of forty-five days before a regular election and thirty days before a special election. including those in government-owned or controlled corporations. promotion. temporary or casual. or creates and fills any new position. – The following shall be guilty of an election offense: (g) Appointments of new employees. a President or Acting President shall not make appointments. WHEREAS. De Castro. it is imperative to recall. WHEREAS. withdraw. 98-5-01-SC Nov. 1998). except upon prior authority to the Commission. Sec. however. the Supreme Court interpreted this provision to mean that the President is neither required to make appointments nor allowed to do so during the two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of her term. Vallarta as Judges of the Regional Trial Court of Branch 62 of Bago City and Branch 24 of Cabanatuan City. that notice of the appointment shall be given to the Commission within three days from the date of the appointment. an appointment is deemed complete only upon acceptance of the appointee. WHEREAS. whether national or local. 17 March 2010. in the case of “In re: Appointments dated March 30. WHEREAS.R No. official or appointing officer of a government office. WHEREAS. who appoints or hires any new employee. it is necessary to uphold the principle that appointments to the civil service must be made on the basis of merit and fitness. vs. in order to strengthen the civil service system. it is satisfied that the position to be filled is essential to the proper functioning of the office or agency concerned. Mateo Valenzuela and Hon. 15. except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service of endanger public safety.”. (2) appointments to the Judiciary. including government-owned or controlled corporations. creation of new position.
. respectively” (AM no. Any appointment or hiring in violation of this provision shall be null and void. Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that: “Section 261. AND REVOKING APPOINTMENTS ISSUED BY THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL BAN ON MIDNIGHT APPOINTMENTS. (2) Any government official who promotes or gives any increase of salary or remuneration or privilege to any government official or employee. 191002. it appears on record that a number of appointments were made on or about 10 March 2010 in complete disregard of the intent and spirit of the constitutional ban on midnight appointment and which deprives the new administration of the power to make its own appointment. agency or instrumentality. whether provisional. and revoke all appointments made in violation of the letter and spirit of the law. WITHDRAWING.
in the year Two Thousand and Ten. Executive Secretary
. Temporary designations. withdrawn. SECTION 4. SECTION 5. Repealing Clause. the other sections or provision not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect. (Sgd. or assumed public office on or after March 11. – This Executive order shall take effect immediately. by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as President of the Philippines. Effectivity. SECTION 6. – The following appointments made by the former President and other appointing authorities in departments. OCHOA. JR. as defined under Section 1. Midnight appointments. 2010. 2010. BENIGNO S. Recall. ) PAQUITO N.NOW. offices. (c) Appointments and promotions made during the period o f 45 days prior to the May 10. or taken his oath. are hereby recalled. AQUINO III. and Revocation of Midnight Appointments. (b) Those made prior to March 11. but to take effect after said date or appointments to office that would be vacant only after March 11. 2010 elections in violation
of Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code. do hereby order and direct that: SECTION 1. until the replacement of the OIC has been appointed and qualified. Midnight Appointments Defined. rules and regulations or part thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. THEREFORE. SECTION 2. The positions covered or otherwise affected are hereby declared vacant. 2010. Withdraw. the Executive Secretary may designate an officer-in-charge (OIC) to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of any of those whose appointment has been recalled.) BENIGNO S. shall be considered as midnight appointments: (a) Those made on or after March 11. including government-owned or controlled corporations. except temporary appointments in the executive positions when continued vacancies will prejudice public service or endanger public safety as may be determined by the appointing authority. AQUINO III By the President: (Sgd. 2010. and revoked. SECTION 3. 2010 where the appointee has accepted. I. – When necessary to maintain efficiency in public service and ensure the continuity of government operations. – All executive issuances. orders. – If any section or provision of this executive order shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid. this 30th day of July. agencies. and instrumentalities. DONE in the City of Manila. including all appointments bearing dates prior to March 11. Separability Clause.