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CASE DIGEST

RENATO

CAYETANO vs. CHRISTIAN

MONSOD

G.R. No. 100113. September 3, 1991.

FACTS:
Monsod was nominated by President Aquino as Chairman of the Comelec. The Commission on
Appointments confirmed the appointment despite Cayetano's objection, based on Monsod's alleged
lack of the required qualification of 10 year law practice. Cayetano filed this certiorari and
prohibition. The 1987 constitution provides in Section 1, Article IX-C: There shall be a Commission
on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of
the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a
college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately
preceding elections.However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the
Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not Monsod has been engaged in the practice of law for 10 years.
2. Whether or not the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in
confirming Monsods appointment.
HELD:
1. YES. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. It embraces the
preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the
management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients, and other works where the work
done involves the determination of the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions
(PLA vs. Agrava.) The records of the 1986 constitutional commission show that the interpretation of
the term practice of law was liberal as to consider lawyers employed in the Commission of Audit as
engaged in the practice of law provided that they use their legal knowledge or talent in their
respective work. The court also cited an article in the January 11, 1989 issue of the Business Star,
that lawyers nowadays have their own specialized fields such as tax lawyers, prosecutors, etc., that
because of the demands of their specialization, lawyers engage in other works or functions to meet
them. These days, for example, most corporation lawyers are involved in management policy
formulation. Therefore, Monsod, who passed the bar in 1960, worked with the World Bank Group
from 1963-1970, then worked for an investment bank till 1986, became member of the CONCOM in
1986, and also became a member of the Davide Commission in 1990, can be considered to have
been engaged in the practice of law as lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, lawyer-entrepreneur,
etc.
2. NO. The power of the COA to give consent to the nomination of the Comelec Chairman by the
president is mandated by the constitution. The power of appointment is essentially within the
discretion of whom it is so vested subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess the
qualification required by law. From the evidence, there is no occasion for the SC to exercise its
corrective power since there is no such grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CA.