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CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS

1.Civil service commission


2.Commission on elections
3.Commission on audit

These cannot be abolished by any statute since they are created by the
Constitution. Each of them are expressly described in the Constitution as
independent.

Other characteristics

1. Each of them are conferred special powers and functions which cannot be
withdrawn by statute.

2. The chairmen and members of the Board are removable only by impeachment and are
given the fairly long term of seven years. The terms of office of the chairmen and
the members are staggered to lessen the opportunity for the appointment of the
majority of the body by the same president.

3. The chairmen and members of the Board cannot be reappointed or appointed in an


acting capacity.

4. The salaries of the chairmen and the members of the Board cannot be decreased
during continuance in office.

5. They are allowed to appoint their own officials and employees in accordance to
the Civil Service law.

NOTE: The chairmen and members of the commissions are subject to certain
disqualifications and inhibitions calculated to strengthen their loyalty.

SALARIES

For the chairmen, they receive P 204,000 for their annual salary; members of the
board on the other hand, receive P 180,000. They can be decreased, but cannot be
decreased during their continuance in office.

DISQUALIFICATIONS

1. They cannot hold any other office or employment, or engage in the practice of a
profession which, in any way may affect the functions of his office.

2. He cannot be financially interested--directly or indirectly in any contract,


franchise or privilege granted by the government, including its subdivisions,
agencies, and government controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

STAGGERING OF TERMS

Purposes:

1. To devote their full attention to the discharge of their duties.


2. To remove any temptation of taking advantage of their official positions for
their selfish purposes(!)

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1. The first appointees shall serve a term of seven years.


2. The original appointees are to be given five, three and seven years so that a
vacancy is
supposed to occur for every two years and to be filled by subsequent appointees
who would serve the full term of seven years.

PURPOSE: To minimize the opportunity of the President to appoint during his own
term one member or more than one group of members in the constitutional
commissions and therefore bind them to a debt of gratitude and impair their
independence. It also intends to insure continuity of the body and its policies.

REQUISITES OF THE ROTATIONAL SCHEME

1. Original members of the commission shall begin their terms on a common date.

2. Any vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term shall be filled only
for the balance of such term.

Reappointments: Are they allowed? (Explained in two cases)

1. Nacionalista v. De Vera says that it is possible. The facts, as interpreted by


the Supreme Court showed that De Vera's term was extended after an expiration of
his term, to fill in the vacancy caused by the death of Lopez-Vito. The
appointment (a promotional appointment) was not unconstitutional since De Vera had
not yer served the full term.

2. Republic v. Imperial on the other hand, answers in the negative. Once


appointed, regardless of the duration of the term, a member of the COMELEC can no
longer be reappointed because of the express prohibition of the Constitution.

OTHER PERQUISITES

--The Constitutional Commissions, like the Supreme Court are allowed to appoint
their own officials and employees in accordance to civil service laws. They also
enjoy fiscal autonomy.

PROCEEDINGS

1. Each commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its member any case
brought before them, within sixty (60) days from the date of its submission for
decision or resolution.

2. A case is deemed submitted for decision or upon the filing of the last pleading
or brief required by the rules of the Commission, or by the Commission itself.

3. Unless otherwise provided, any decision or ruling of each Commission may be


brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within 30 days
from receipt of a copy.

--People are reassured of a speedy disposition of their cases not only in the
courts of justice but also in administrative bodies like the Constitutional
Commissions.