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Commission on Appointments

Daza vs. Singson


G.R. No. 86344
PONENTE: Cruz, J.

Summarized by Claudine Jambora

A political realignment in the HOR was caused by reorganization of the Laban ng


Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP). Due to this, HOR revised its COA representation, giving
the LP seat of Rep. Daza to LDP. He filed for petition for prohibition and injunction with
preliminary injunction, which the Court dismissed and upheld respondents election.

IMPORTANT PEOPLE
Rep. Raul A. Daza (petitioner), Rep. Luis C. Singson (respondent)
Hon. Raoul V. Victorino (respondent and Sec of Commission of Appointments)

FACTS
1. After the congressional elections of May 11, 1987, the HOR apportioned its
12 seats in COA among several political parties (Lakas ng Bansa, PDP
Laban, the Liberal Party, etc).
2. Petitioner was chosen as representative of the Liberal Party (LP).
3. Sep 16, 1988 Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) reorganized. 24 LP
members transferred to LDP. (17 LP members, 159 LDP in all)
4. HOR withdrew COA seat of petitioner and gave this to the newly-formed LDP.
5. Dec 5, 1988 HOR elected new set of representatives with original members
except petitioner. Singson added as additional LDP member.
6. Jan 13, 1989 Petitioner challenged his removal from COA and the
assumption of his seat by respondent. Court issued TRO.

ISSUE with HOLDING


1. W/N petitioner can be removed from COA (if HOR reorganization and COA
representation changes are valid)
Both parties are invoking Cunanan v. Tan (see Notes)
Petitioner: LDP is not a permanent political party because not yet registered
in accordance with Art. IX-B, Sec. 2(5)1, in relation to other Constitution
provisions. Also, LDP not yet stable and should survive in a general
congressional election.
Respondent: Reorganization at any time is allowed to reflect any changes in
the political alignments, but changes should be permanent.

1 The right to self-organization shall not be denied to government employees.

1
Court: COMELEC granted the petition of the LDP for registration as a political
party (Aug 28, 1989), weakening petitioners argument. Petitioners contention
that the party should pass the test of time not acceptable because under this
theory, a registered party obtaining the majority of the seats in the
HOR/Senate would still not be entitled to representation in COA as long as it
was organized only recently LDPs 157 members would have no COA and
HRET representation.
Petitioners contention that the party must survive general congressional
election: LDP has passed that test. It has the biggest following in HOR.
HOR has authority to change its representation in the COA to reflect
at any time the changes that may transpire in the political alignments of
its membership. Such changes must be permanent and do not include
temporary alliances/factional divisions not without permanent shifts of
allegiance.
2. W/N question raised by petitioner is political in nature
Respondent: Issue is beyond the jurisdiction of Court
Court: Court has competence to act on the matter. What is involved is the
legality and not the wisdom of the act of HOR removing the petitioner from
COA. Even if it was, Court can still resolve it under expanded jurisdiction.
3. W/N respondent has been improperly impleaded
Court: NO. Singson technically correct in saying that he did not cause Dazas
removal, but this case is treated like a petition for quo warranto for the
petitioner is questioning the respondents right to sit as COA member.
Furthermore, where serious constitutional questions are involved, the
transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be
settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of
procedure.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION
Petition DISMISSED. TRO lifted. Respondent was validly elected in COA.

DOCTRINE
Sec. 18, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution:
There shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the President of the
Senate, as ex officio Chairman, twelve Senators and twelve Members of the House of
Representatives, elected by each House on the basis of proportional representation
from the political parties and parties or organizations registered under the party-list
system represented therein. The Chairman of the Commission shall not vote, except in
the case of a tie. The Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within

2 2
thirty session days of the Congress from their submission. The Commission shall rule
by a majority vote of all the Members.

RELEVANCE TO THE LESSON


The Commission on Appointments is a body of the Congress of the Phils.
provided by the Constitution (see Doctrine). It confirms certain appointments of the
President. The members are: Senate President, ex-officio Chairman, 12 Senators and
12 HOR members.
Reorganization of the COA is valid when it is based on the proportional
representation of the political parties in the HOR (Sec 18, Art VI Consti). Additionally,
please see Court holding in #1 issue (bold text).

OTHER NOTES
1. Cunanan v. Tan about 1961 HOR elections. Allied Majority was formed by
some Nacionalista Party members with Liberal Party because they were not
contented with the House leadership. This caused reorganization of the chamber
and also affected House representation in COA (3 Nacionalista members in COA
replaced by their Allied Majority colleagues). Petitioners ad interim appointment
as Deputy Admin. of Reforestration rejected by COA and replaced by
respondent. Cunanan came to SC, contending that rejection of his appointment
was null and void because Commission was invalidly constituted.
Court agreed. Allied Majority temporary combination Nacionalista
defectors in Allied Majority had not disaffiliated from their party. COA
reorganization was invalid because it was not based on the proportional
representation of the political parties in HOR.