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CSC (1993)
Facts: Garcia is a Law graduate and was appointed as Deputy Register of Deeds VI
I with a permanent status. However, she was later assigned as Deputy Register of
Deeds II with a temporary status pursuant to EO No. 649 which authorized the re
structuring of LRC to NALTDRA and required membership of the Bar for the positio
n of Deputy Register of Deeds. She was later terminated because she was not qua
lified under the EO requirement. CSC directed that she be restored to her posit
ion under the vested right theory saying that the qualification under the EO app
lies only to new applicants. Hence this petition by NALTDRA.
Held: the requirement of Bar membership to qualify for key positions in the NALT
DRA was imposed to meet the changing circumstances and new development of the ti
mes. Garcia who formerly held the position of Deputy Register of Deeds II did
not have such qualification. It is thus clear that she cannot hold any key posit
ion in the NALTDRA, The additional qualification was not intended to remove her
from office. Rather, it was a criterion imposed concomitant with a valid reorgan
ization measure.
A final word, on the "vested right theory" advanced by respondent Civil Service
Commission. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an offic
e, or even an absolute right to hold it. Except constitutional offices which pro
vide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure, no one can be said to ha
ve any vested right in an office or its salary.
Secretary of DOTC vs. Mabalot (2002)
Facts: DOTC Secretary Garcia issued Memo No. 96-735 directing LTFRB to transfer
the functions of LTFRB-CAR to DOTC-CAR pending the creation of a Regional Franch
ising and Regulatory Office. Mabalot filed a petition for certiorari against th
is memo. DOTC Sec. again made Dep. Order 97-1025 designating DOTC-CAR as LTFRB-
CARâ s regional office for purposes of economy and effective coordination. RTC dec
lared both orders by DOTC Secretary void, hence this petition by the DOTC Secret
ary. Mabalot claims that there was undue exercise of legislative power and that
the transfer cannot be made without congressional approval.
Held: The President, through his alter-ego, may validly declare the reorganizati
on of the Department. Public office may be created in three ways: (1) by Consti
tution (2) by law (3) by authority of law. Congress vested the President with t
he power to reorganize executive agencies and redistribute functions. This case
is therefore pursuant to the third mode. The assailed orders were made pursuan
t to Admin. Order No. 26 directing various departments to establish regional off
ices in CAR. Thus the act is valid because it is as if the establishment of the
LTFRB-CAR was carried out by the President. The President also has continuing
authority to reorganize DOTC and the reorganization is valid as it was done in g
ood faith and for a valid purpose.
Preclaro vs. Sandiganbayan (1995)
Facts: DOST employed Preclaro under a written contract of services as project ma
nager to supervise the construction of a building. He was accused and convicted
of charges of graft and corruption. He appeals the decision saying that he is
not a public officer as defined in RA 3019 because he was neither elected nor ap
pointed to a public office but was hired on contractual basis.
Held: the definition in Sec. 2 (b) of RA 3019 is not restrictive as indicated by
the word â includes.â The Admin Code of 1987 reclassified public officers into caree
r service and non-career service. Those in the latter include contractual perso
nnel. Thus, Preclaro falls under the non-career service category and is a publi
c officer as defined in RA 3019. That he is not required to record his working
hours and he did not take an oath of office became unessential considerations in
view of the clear provisions of the law.
Maniego vs. People (1951)
Facts: Maniego is a laborer, had been placed in charge of issuing summons and s
ubpoenas for traffic violations in MTC Manila. He had also been permitted to wri
te motions for dismissal of prescribed traffic cases against offenders without c
ounsel, and to submit them to the Court for action, without passing through the
regular clerk. He was accused and convicted of bribery by accepting P10 in exch
ange for fixing a case of a traffic violator. He appealed, claiming that he was
not a public officer within the meaning of the Revised Penal Code and he was on
ly exercising public functions temporarily.
Held: There can be no question that petitioner was a public officer within the m
eaning of article 203, which includes all persons "who, by direct provision of l
aw, popular election or appointment by competent authority, shall take part in t
he performance of public functions in the Philippine Government, or shall perfor
m in said government or any of its branches, public duties as an employee, agent
or subordinate official or any rank or class." That definition is quite compreh
ensive, embracing as it does, every public servant from the highest to the lowes
t. For the purposes of the Penal Code, it obliterates the standard distinction i
n the law of public officers between "officer" and "employee".
Also, for the purposes of punishing bribery, the temporary performance of public
functions is sufficient to constitute a person a public official. This opinion
of the CA must be followed because the accused, although originally assigned to
the preparation of summons and subpoenas, had been allowed in some instances to
prepare motions for dismissal of traffic cases.
Laurel vs. Desierto (2002)
Facts: Vice President Laurel was named as the chairman of the National Centennia
l Committee and virtue of his being the chairman, he also became the chairman of
EXPOCORP, a corporation organized to undertake the Freedom Ring Project in rela
tion to the centennial celebration. Later in 1999, investigation was conducted
by an independent committed due to allegations of graft and corruption against L
aurel as NCC and EXPOCORP chair. The committee recommended the filing of charge
s by the Ombudsman upon which the Office of the Ombudsman took cognizance of the
case. Laurel then questioned the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman by filing this
petition, saying that (1) EXPOCORP was a private corporation, (2) that NCC is no
t a public office and (3) that he is not a public officer as defined in the Anti
-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Held: the Ombudsman has the power to investigate any malfeasance, misfeasance an
d non-feasance by a public officer or employee of the government, or of any subd
ivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or contro
lled corporations. However, is NCC a public office? Yes, it is because it exerc
ises executive functions by implementing the policies set forth in the Constitut
ion regarding history and cultural heritage, thus satisfying an important elemen
t of public office: the delegation of sovereign functions. It also follows that
Laurel is a public officer.
That he did not receive compensation is of no consequence. A salary is a usual
but not a necessary criterion for determining the nature of the position. It is
not conclusive. The salary is a mere incident and forms no part of the office.
Where a salary or fees is annexed, the office is provided for it is a naked or
honorary office, and is supposed to be accepted merely for the public good. Hen
ce, the office of petitioner as NCC Chair may be characterized as an honorary of
fice, as opposed to a lucrative office or an office of profit, i.e., one to whic
h salary, compensation or fees are attached.
It bears noting that under Section 3 (b) of Republic Act No. 6713 (The Code of C
onduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), one may be con
sidered a â public officialâ whether or not one receives compensation, thus:
â Public Officialsâ include elective and appointive officials and employees, permanen
t or temporary, whether in the career or non-career service including military a
nd police personnel, whether or not they receive compensation, regardless of amo
Fernandez vs. Sto. Tomas (1995)
Facts: CSC Commissioner Sto. Tomas with SCS Chairman Ereneta issued Resolution N
o. 94-3710 which re-organized the offices of CSC. CSC Directors De Lima and Fer
nandez were reassigned from the Central Office in Quezon City to Pampanga and Le
gazpi, respectively. They now file this petition for certiorari assailing the v
alidity of the resolution, saying that (1) CSC Commissioner had no legal authori
ty to issue the resolution, and (2) it violated their constitutional right to se
curity of tenure.
(1) The Revised Admin Code of 1987 provides for the organization of the CSC
while the Resolution re-arranged the administrative units with the goal of strea
mlining operations and improving delivery of service. It appears that the two w
ere the most qualified to act as regional directors to where they were assigned.
Hence, the reorganization was made with legitimate considerations. Also, the
Admin Code provides that the CSC has the power to make internal changes in its o
rganization, which is precisely what happened in this case. The Congress, by en
umerating the Offices in the Admin Code did not mean to freeze its organization
and validly delegated to the CSC the power to reorganize itself.
(2) Firstly, appointments to the staff of the Commission are not appointment
s to a specified public office but rather appointments to particular positions o
r ranks. Hence, they are appointed to specific positions but not to specific st
ations. Also, reassignment is a prerogative of the CSC as provided in the Admin
Code as long as it does not involve reduction in salary and rank status. Hence
the reassignment in this case does not constitute removal from office as the pe
titioners remained as Directors and would enjoy the same rank and salary. Secur
ity of tenure is constitutionally protected. However, its availability depends o
n the nature of appointment. Those who are not appointed to a particular statio
n but only to a particular position are only therefore secure in so far as their
position is concerned but they may be assigned to different stations as require
d by exigencies because this is not part of their appointment.
Segovia vs. Noel (1925)
Facts: Vicente Segovia was appointed justice of the peace and continuously occup
ied this position until having passed sixty-five milestones, he was ordered by t
he Secretary of Justice to vacate the office. He instituted friendly quo warrant
o proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Cebu to inquire into the right o
f Pedro Noel (acting justice of the peace) to occupy the office of justice of th
e peace, to oust the latter therefrom, and to procure reinstatement as justice o
f the peace. CFI found for Segovia.
Held: The law, when he Segovia was appointed, provided that the term of office o
f justices and auxiliary justices of the peace shall be two years from the first
Monday in January nearest the date of appointment. Shortly after Segovia's appo
intment, however, the law was again amended by Act. No. 1627 by providing that "
all justices of the peace and auxiliary justices of the peace shall hold office
during good behavior and those now in office shall so continue." Later amended b
y Acts Nos. 2041 and 2617, the law was ultimately codified in sections 203 and 2
06 of the Administrative Code wherein it provided that justices of the peace sha
ll serve until they have reached the age of 65. A rule of statutory construction
states that statutes shall be applied prospectively and this rule also applies
to public officers. A well-known New York decision held that "though there is n
o vested right in an office, which may not be disturbed by legislation, yet the
incumbent has, in a sense, a right to his office. If that right is to be taken a
way by statute, the terms should be clear in which the purpose is stated." In an
other case, a new constitutional provision as to the advanced age which should p
revent the incumbents of certain judicial offices from retaining them was held p
rospective; it did not apply to persons in office at the time of its taking effe
ct. Hence, the law should be given prospective effect.
Dario vs. Mison (1989)
Facts: When President Cory Aquino came into power, she proceeded to reorganize t
he government, upon which Mison, the Commissioner of Customs sent notices of ter
mination to 394 Customs officials. Some sought reinstatement from the CSC which
the latter granted to 279 of them while the others went directly to the Supreme
Court. Mison also filed a petition questioning the decision of the CSC. Also,
RA 6656 was passed, providing that all officers and employees who are found by
the Civil Service Commission to have been separated in violation of the provisio
ns of this Act, shall be ordered reinstated or reappointed. The validity of thi
s law is also put into question.
Held: All the parties agree on the validity of reorganization per se, leaving th
e question only on its nature and extent.
Invariably, transition periods are characterized by provisions for "automatic" v
acancies. They are dictated by the need to hasten the passage from the old to th
e new Constitution free from the "fetters" of due process and security of tenure
At this point, we must distinguish removals from separations arising from abolit
ion of office (not by virtue of the Constitution) as a result of reorganization
carried out by reason of economy or to remove redundancy of functions. In the la
tter case, the Government is obliged to prove good faith. In case of removals un
dertaken to comply with clear and explicit constitutional mandates, the Governme
nt is not obliged to prove anything because the Constitution allows it. Evident
ly, the question is whether or not Section 16 of Article XVIII of the 1987 Const
itution is a grant of a license upon the Government to remove career public offi
cials it could have validly done under an "automatic"-vacancy-authority and to r
emove them without rhyme or reason.
Simply, the provision benefits career civil service employees separated from the
service. And the separation contemplated must be due to or the result of (1) th
e reorganization pursuant to Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986, (2) the re
organization from February 2, 1987, and (3) the resignations of career officers
tendered in line with the existing policy and which resignations have been accep
ted. The phrase "not for cause" is clearly and primarily exclusionary, to exclud
e those career civil service employees separated "for cause." In other words, in
order to be entitled to the benefits granted under Section 16 of Article XVIII
of the Constitution of 1987, two requisites, one negative and the other positive
, must concur, to wit:
1. The separation must not be for cause, and
2. The separation must be due to any of the three situations mentioned above.
By its terms, the authority to remove public officials under the Provisional Con
stitution ended on February 25, 1987, advanced by jurisprudence to February 2, 1
987. 70 It can only mean, then, that whatever reorganization is taking place is
upon the authority of the present Charter, and necessarily, upon the mantle of
its provisions and safeguards. Hence, it cannot be legitimately stated that we a
re merely continuing what the revolutionary Constitution of the Revolutionary Go
vernment had started. We are through with reorganization under the Freedom Const
itution - the first stage. We are on the second stage - that inferred from the p
rovisions of Section 16 of Article XVIII of the permanent basic document.
What must be understood, however, is that notwithstanding her immense revolution
ary powers, the President was, nevertheless, magnanimous in her rule. This is ap
parent from Executive Order No. 17, which established safeguards against the str
ong arm and ruthless propensity that accompanies reorganizations - notwithstandi
ng the fact that removals arising therefrom were "not for cause," and in spite o
f the fact that such removals would have been valid and unquestionable. Notewor
thy is the injunction embodied in the Executive Order that dismissals should be
made on the basis of findings of inefficiency, graft, and unfitness to render pu
blic service.
Assuming, then, that this reorganization allows removals "not for cause" in a ma
nner that would have been permissible in a revolutionary setting as Commissioner
Mison so purports, it would seem that the Commissioner would have been powerles
s, in any event, to order dismissals at the Customs Bureau left and right.
Lastly, reorganizations must be carried out in good faith. In this case, Mison
failed to prove that the reorganization was indeed made in good faith because he
hired more people to replace those that he fired and no legitimate structural c
hanges have been made.
To sum up, the President could have validly removed officials before the effecti
vity of the 1987 Constitution even without cause because it was a revolutionary
government. However, from the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution, the State d
id not lose its right to reorganize resulting to removals but such reorganizatio
n must be made in good faith.
Mathay vs. Court of Appeals (1999)
Facts: During his term as Mayor, Mr. Brigido Simon appointed private respondents
to positions in the Civil Service Unit (CSU) of the local government of Quezon
City pursuant to PD 51. But because PD 51 was never published in the Official G
azette and could not be made as basis for the establishment of CSUs, CSC issued
a memo revoking all appointments to CSC. In Quezon City, this was cushioned by
the creation of the Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) by an ordinance
. Despite the provision on absorption, the regular and permanent positions in t
he DPOS were not filled due to lack of funds for the new DPOS. Mayor Simon reme
died the situation by offering private respondents contractual appointments whic
h were not renewed during Mathayâ s term. CSC held that the respondents must be re
instated, saying that the reappointment to the DPOS was automatic because of the
Held: Section 3 of the ordinance is invalid for being inconsistent with B.P. 337
. We note that Section 3 of the questioned Ordinance directs the absorption of t
he personnel of the defunct CSU into the new DPOS. The Ordinance refers to perso
nnel and not to positions. Hence, the city council or sanggunian, through the Or
dinance, is in effect dictating who shall occupy the newly created DPOS position
s. However, a review of the provisions of B.P. 337 shows that the power to appoi
nt rests exclusively with the local chief executive and thus cannot be usurped b
y the city council or sanggunian through the simple expedient of enacting ordina
nces that provide for the "absorption" of specific persons to certain positions.
By ordering petitioner to "reinstate" private respondents pursuant to the Ordina
nce, the CSC substituted its own judgment for that of the appointing power. This
cannot be done as the Civil Service Commission's power is limited to approving
or disapproving an appointment. It does not have the authority to direct that an
appointment of a specific individual be made. Once the Civil Service Commission
attests whether the person chosen to fill a vacant position is eligible, its ro
le in the appointment process necessarily ends.
Even assuming the validity of the Ordinance, the absorption contemplated therein
is not possible. Since the CSU never legally came into existence, the private r
espondents never held permanent positions. Accordingly, the private respondents'
appointments in the defunct CSU were invalid ab initio. Their seniority rights
and permanent status did not arise since they have no valid appointment. At best
, their appointments were temporary or contractual, the non-renewal of which is
no ground for reinstatement.