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De Facto Officers

By: Rona D. Solde


De Facto Doctrine
Is it the doctrine that a person who is
admitted and sworn into office is deemed to
be rightfully in such office until:

(a) He is ousted by judicial declaration in a proper


proceeding; or
(b) his admission thereto is declared void.
De Facto Officer
One who has reputation of being the officer that
he assumes to be, and yet is not a good officer in
point of law.
He must have acted as an officer for such a length
of tie under color of title and under such
circumstances of reputation or acquiescence by
the public and public authorities as to afford a
presumption of election or appointment and
induce people, without inquiry, and relying on
the supposition that he is the officer he assumes
to be.
When is a person a de facto officer?
1. There is no known appointment or election,
but people are induced by circumstances of
reputation or acquiescence to suppose that he
is the officer he assumes.
2. He possessed public office under color of a
known and valid appointment or election, but
he failed to conform to some precedent
requirement or condition.
When is a person a de facto officer?
3. He possessed public office under color of a
known election or appointment, but such is
VOID because:
a. He is ineligible;
b. The electing or appointing body is not
empowered to do such;
c. His exercise of his function was defective or
irregular
d. The public does not know of such ineligibility ,
want of power or defect being.
When is a person a de facto officer?
4. He possessed public office under color of an
election or an appointment by or pursuant to
a public, unconstitutional law before the same
is adjudged to be such.
Officer de Jure vs. Officer de Facto
Requisites
De Jure De Facto
A de Jure office exist De Jure office
He is legally qualified for the He assume office under color
office of right or general
He is lawfully chosen to such acquiescence by the public
office
he undertakes to perform the He actually and physically
duties of such office according possessed the office in good
to laws prescribed mode faith
Officer de Jure vs. Officer de Facto
Basis of Authority
De Jure De Facto
Right: Reputation:
He has the lawful right He possesses office and
or title to office performs its duties
under color of right,
but he is not technically
qualified to act in all
pints of law
Officer de Jure vs. Officer de Facto
Basis of Authority
De Jure De Facto
Right: Reputation:
He has the lawful right He possesses office and
or title to office performs its duties
under color of right,
but he is not technically
qualified to act in all
pints of law
Officer de Jure vs. Officer de Facto
How Ousted
De Jure De Facto
Cannot be ousted In a direct proceeding
(Quo warranto);
(not collaterally)
Officer de Jure vs. Officer de Facto
Validity of Official Acts
De Jure De Facto
Valid subject to Valid as to the public
exceptions (e.g., acting until his title to the
beyond his scope of office is adjudged
authority, etc.) insufficient.
Officer de Jure vs. Officer de Facto
Rules on Compensation
De Jure De Facto
Rightfully entitled to Conditionally entitled to
compensation; receive compensation:
The principle No work, only when no de jure
no pay is inapplicable to officer is declared;
him. He is paid only for actual
services rendered.
Officer de Facto vs. Intruder
Nature
De Facto Intruder
He becomes officer He possesses office and
under any of the four performs official acts
circumstances without actual or
mentioned above. apparent authority.
Officer de Facto vs. Intruder
Basis of Authority
De Facto Intruder
Color of right or title to None. Neither lawful
office title nor color of right
of office.
Officer de Facto vs. Intruder
Validity of Official Acts
De Facto Intruder
Valid as to public until his Absolutely VOID. His acts
title to the office is can be impeached at any
adjudged insufficient time in any proceeding
(unless and until he
continues to act for a
long time, creating a
presumption of his right
to act)
Officer de Facto vs. Intruder
Rules on Compensation
De Facto Intruder
Entitled to receive Not entitled to
compensation only compensation at all.
when no de jure officer
is declared and only for
actual services
rendered.
Example of De Facto Officers
A judge who continued to exercise his duties
after his appointment was disapproved by the
CA according to a newspaper report, but
before receiving the official notification
regarding the rejection of his appointment
(Regala v. Judge of CFI);
Example of De Facto Officers
A lawyer instructed by the Acting Provincial
Governor to file an information for homicide,
where the latter had no authority to designate
him as assistant fiscal, and where the DOJ had
not authorized him to act as such (People v.
Penesa);
Example of De Facto Officers
A third-ranking councilor who is designated to
act as mayor by an officer other than the
proper appointing authority prescribed by law,
and lacking the consent of the Provincial
Board (Codilla v. Martinez)
Not considered as De Facto Officers
A judge who has accepted an appointment as
finance secretary and yet renders a decision
after having accepted such appointment (Luna
v. Rodriguez)
Not considered as De Facto Officers
A judge whose position has already been
abolished by law, and yet promulgates a
decision in a criminal case after the abolition
and over the objection of the fiscal (People v.
So)
Legal Effect of Acts of
De Facto Officers
As regards the officers themselves
A party suing or defending in his own
right as a public officer must show that
he is an officer de jure. It is not sufficient
that he be merely a de facto officer.
Legal Effect of Acts of
De Facto Officers
As regards the public and third persons
The acts of a de facto officer are valid as to
third persons and the public until his title to
office is adjudged insufficient.
Legal Effect of Acts of
De Facto Officers
Official Acts of De Facto Officers not subject
to collateral attack
The title of a de facto officer and the
validity of his acts cannot be collaterally
questioned in proceedings to which he is not a
party, or which were not instituted to
determine the very question.
REMEDY
Quo warranto proceedings
Who may file:
The person who claims to be entitled to the
office;
The Republic of the Philippines, represented by
(a) the Solicitor-General; or
(b) a public prosecutor
Liabilities of De Facto Officers
The same degree of accountability for official acts as
that of a de jure officer.
The de facto officer may be liable for all penalties
imposed by law for any of the following acts:
a) usurping or unlawfully holding office;
b) exercising the functions of public office without lawful
right;
c) not being qualified for the public office as required by
law.
The de facto officer cannot excuse his responsibility for
crimes committed in his official capacity by asserting
his de facto status.