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Section 17.

The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.

Rosalinda Santos vs Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig

208 SCRA 74 – APRIL 10, 1992 - Political Law – Control Power – Removal Power –
Ambassadors

FACTS: Rosalinda Santos was an ambassadress sent to Geneva for a mission. On her trip, she
bought a discounted ticket which provided that she could bring someone with her so she
brought with her her adopted daughter. Some of her co-workers complained because they
thought that Santos used government fund to finance her daughter’s fare. It was later found out
that the cost of the said ticket is actually 50% less than the amount that was given to Santos to
be used for her expenses for the trip. Nevertheless, because of her refusal to appear before the
disciplinary board, she was found guilty of misconduct. Upon her appeal to the Office of the
President and after review, then president Corazon Aquino issued Administrative Order No. 122
which declared Santos guilty of dishonesty. She was then removed from her post and was
replaced.

ISSUE: Whether or not Santos should be reinstated to her office.

HELD: No. Even though the Supreme Court found evidence which showed that Santos was not
guilty of misconduct or dishonesty as in fact what she did of securing a ticket which was 50%
the cost of what was allotted for her travel expense for tickets and thus was beneficial to the
government (for she helped save and lessen the expenses), the SC does not have the power to
reverse the recall done to Santos. She cannot be reinstated by the SC to her position for the
removal power of the president is solely her prerogative. Further, the position held by Santos is
primarily confidential. Her position lasts upon the pleasure of the president. When the pleasure
turns into displeasure she is not actually removed from her position or office but rather her term
merely expires. Also, her position involves foreign relations which is vested solely in the
executive. The SC cannot inquire upon the wisdom or unwisdom of the exercise of such
prerogative. Thus, the assignment to and recall from posts of ambassadors are prerogatives of
the President, for her to exercise as the exigencies of the foreign service and the interests of the
nation may from time to time dictate.
Ernesto Maceda vs Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, Jr.

197 SCRA 771 – Political Law – Control Power – Acts of the Executive Secretary

FACTS: The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) was created by Commonwealth Act No.
120. In 1949, it was given tax exemption by Republic Act No. 358. In 1984, Presidential Decree
No. 1931 was passed removing the tax exemption of NAPOCOR and other government owned
and controlled corporations (GOCCs). There was a reservation, however, that the president or
the Minister of Finance, upon recommendation by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB),
may restore or modify the exemption.
In 1985, the tax exemption was revived. It was again removed in 1987 by virtue of Executive
Order 93 which again provided that upon FIRB recommendation it can again be restored. In the
same year, FIRB resolved to restore the exemption. The same was approved by President
Corazon Aquino through Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, Jr. acting as her alter
ego. Ernesto Maceda assailed the FIRB resolution averring that the power granted to the FIRB
is an undue delegation of legislative power. Maceda’s claim was strengthened by Opinion 77
issued by then DOJ Secretary Sedfrey Ordoñez. Macaraig however did not give credence to the
opinion issued by the DOJ secretary.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Executive Secretary can validly ignore the legal opinion of the
Justice Secretary.

HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court first ruled that there is no undue delegation of legislative
power. First of all, since the NAPOCOR is a GOCC and is non-profit it can be exempt from
taxation. Also, Opinion 77 issued by DOJ Secretary Ordoñez was validly overruled by Macaraig.
This action by Macaraig is valid because the Executive Secretary, by authority of the President,
has the power to modify, alter or reverse the construction of a statute given by a department
secretary – pursuant to the president’s control power.
Rizal Echeche vs Court of Appeals

198 SCRA 577 – Political Law – Control Power – Defined

FACTS: Atty. Echeche was employed as Legal Officer II of the Bureau of Mines. In 1975, Letter of
Instruction No. 309 was issued by the president to purge undesirable public officers. Echeche was among
the persons listed therein and he was subsequently removed. He appealed for reinstatement for he
claimed that he is good standing; that there were no complaints against him in any court or tribunal.
After 3 years he was favorably reinstated by the Assistant Secretary of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of
Natural Resources; it was also ruled that he is entitled for back wages. He later requested for back pays
before the Department of Budget and Management. The secretary of DBM referred the issue to the Office
of the President. Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, Jr. denied the request for as per another LOI
(LOI 647), Echeche is only entitled for reemployment and not reinstatement. He appealed but the Court of
Appeals affirmed the Executive Secretary.
Echeche assailed the decision of the CA. He argues that the Court of Appeals ruled on an order which
has already become final and executory. He reasoned that the order of the Ministry of Natural Resources,
reinstating him and ordering the payment of his backwages, has attained finality. The Secretary of Budget
and Management failed to file any motion for reconsideration from the approval of payment.

ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources may
be validly reversed by the Executive Secretary.

HELD: Yes. The acts of Ministers (now Cabinet Secretaries) are reviewable by the President in the
exercise of his power of control.
“The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the
laws be faithfully executed.” (1987 Constitution, Art. VII, Sec. 17)

Control means “the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify, or set aside what a subordinate
officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for
that of the latter.” The President can, by virtue of his power of control, review, modify, alter or nullify any
action, or decision of his subordinate in the executive departments, bureaus or offices under him. He can
exercise this power motu proprio without need of any appeal from any party.
However, the President is not expected to perform in person all the multifarious executive and
administrative functions. The Office of the Executive Secretary is an auxillary unit which assists the
President. Under our constitutional set-up, the Executive Secretary acts for and in behalf of the President:
and by authority of the President, he has undisputed jurisdiction to affirm, modify, or even reverse any
order of the Secretary of Natural Resources and other Cabinet Secretaries. Where the Executive
Secretary acts “by authority of the President” his decision is that of the President.
In the case at bar, Echeche was denied by the Executive Secretary for payment of back salaries,
allowances and bonuses. The decision of the Office of the Executive Secretary must be given full faith
and credit by the Supreme Court as an act of the Chief Executive. It does not matter, though, that
considering the extensive range of authority of the Executive Secretary, the decisions of such office which
are attributable to the Executive Secretary have been performed by the Assistant or Deputy Executive
Secretaries. So even if it is a deputy who performed such action – it is still valid.
Anent the issue that the decision of the Ministry of National Resources became final and executory
(hence already immutable), Echeche was never able to prove such claim (but regardless, pursuant to the
President’s power of control, the president can still review such decision by a subordinate).
Rodolfo Ganzon vs Court of Appeals

200 SCRA 271 – Political Law – Control Power – Local Government

FACTS: Rodolfo Ganzon was the then mayor of Iloilo City. 10 complaints were filed against him
on grounds of misconduct and misfeasance of office. The Secretary of Local Government
issued several suspension orders against Ganzon based on the merits of the complaints filed
against him hence Ganzon was facing about 600 days of suspension. Ganzon appealed the
issue to the CA and the CA affirmed the suspension order by the Secretary. Ganzon asserted
that the 1987 Constitution does not authorize the President nor any of his alter ego to suspend
and remove local officials; this is because the 1987 Constitution supports local autonomy and
strengthens the same. What was given by the present Constitution was mere supervisory
power.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Secretary of Local Government, as the President’s alter ego, can
suspend and or remove local officials.

HELD: Yes. Ganzon is under the impression that the Constitution has left the President mere
supervisory powers, which supposedly excludes the power of investigation, and denied her
control, which allegedly embraces disciplinary authority. It is a mistaken impression because
legally, “supervision” is not incompatible with disciplinary authority.
The SC had occasion to discuss the scope and extent of the power of supervision by the
President over local government officials in contrast to the power of control given to him over
executive officials of our government wherein it was emphasized that the two terms, control and
supervision, are two different things which differ one from the other in meaning and extent. “In
administration law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see
that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the former
may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties.
Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify of set aside
what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the
judgment of the former for that of the latter.” But from this pronouncement it cannot be
reasonably inferred that the power of supervision of the President over local government
officials does not include the power of investigation when in his opinion the good of the public
service so requires.
The Secretary of Local Government, as the alter ego of the president, in suspending Ganzon is
exercising a valid power. He however overstepped by imposing a 600 day suspension.
Antonio Carpio vs The Executive Secretary

206 SCRA 290 – Political Law – Control Power – Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency

FACTS: In 1990, Republic Act No. 6975 entitled “AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE
NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND
LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” was passed. Antonio Carpio, as a
member of the bar and a defender of the Constitution, assailed the constitutionality of the said
law as he averred that it only interferes with the control power of the president.
He advances the view that RA 6975 weakened the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM)
by limiting its power “to administrative control” over the PNP thus, “control” remained with the
Department Secretary under whom both the NPC and the PNP were placed; that the system of
letting local executives choose local police heads also undermine the power of the president.

ISSUE: Whether or not the president abdicated its control power over the PNP and NPC by
virtue of RA 6975.

HELD: No. The President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices. This
presidential power of control over the executive branch of government extends over all
executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk. Equally well accepted, as a
corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the “Doctrine of Qualified Political
Agency”. As the President cannot be expected to exercise his control powers all at the same
time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet members.
Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, “all executive
and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the
various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in
cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person on the
exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and
administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive
departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated
in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive
presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.”
Thus, and in short, “the President’s power of control is directly exercised by him over the
members of the Cabinet who, in turn, and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices
under their respective jurisdictions in the executive department.”
Additionally, the circumstance that the NAPOLCOM and the PNP are placed under the
reorganized DILG is merely an administrative realignment that would bolster a system of
coordination and cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated law
enforcement agencies and public safety agencies created under the assailed Act, the funding of
the PNP being in large part subsidized by the national government.
Malayan Integrated Industries Corporation vs Court of Appeals

213 SCRA 640 – Political Law – Control Power – Executive Secretary as the Alter Ego of the
President

FACTS: In 1977, a reclamation project was sought to be undertaken by the City of Mandaue. It
signed a contract with Malayan Integrated Industries Corporation to actualize the project. The
Justice Secretary opined that only the national government can undertake reclamation projects
however the Public Estates Authority (PEA) can delegate such function to Mandaue. The
Sanggunian of Mandaue then authorized its mayor to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement
with the PEA to validate the contract with Malayan. The project however remained hanging until
after the EDSA Revolution. The contract was re-indorsed to then president Corazon
Aquino who referred the contract back to PEA.
After this, the mayor of Mandaue chose to open a new contract with another company (F.F.
Cruz & Co.) since he deemed that the Office of the President has some reservations against the
contract with Malayan. The mayor submitted the new contract before the PEA which endorsed it
to the Office of the President which approved the same and rescinded the earlier contract
between Mandaue and Malayan. The recommendation was however signed by the Executive
Secretary and not the president herself.

ISSUE: Whether or not the recommendation was validly approved.

HELD: Yes. Although the letter to the PEA advising it of the approval of the reclamation contract
between the City of Mandaue and F.F. Cruz & Co., Inc. and the disapproval of the earlier
agreement between the City of Mandaue and MALAYAN, was signed by the Executive
Secretary, “by authority of the President,” and not by the President’s own hand, the Executive
Secretary’s action is presumed to be valid and to have been regularly performed in behalf of the
President and thus should be accorded due respect. As head of the Executive Office, the
Executive Secretary, is an alter ego of the President. One of his myriad functions is “to exercise
primary authority to sign papers `By authority of the President,’ attest executive orders and other
presidential issuances unless attestation is specifically delegated to other officials by him or by
the President; assist the President in the administration of special projects; and perform such
other functions as the President may direct”, his personality is in reality “but the projection of
that of the President,” his acts, “performed and promulgated in the regular course of business,
are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the
Chief Executive.”
The approval by the Office of the President of the reclamation contract in favor of F.F. Cruz &
Co., Inc. and the rejection of the contract with MALAYAN, is not subject to review by the courts
in view of the principle of separation of powers which accords co-equal status to the three great
branches of the government, absent any showing that the President, in doing so, acted with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Lacson-Magallanes Co., Inc. vs Jose Paño

21 SCRA 895 – Political Law – Delegation of Control Power to the Executive Secretary

FACTS: Jose Magallanes was permitted to use and occupy a land used for pasture in Davao.
The said land was a forest zone which was later declared as an agricultural zone. Magallanes
then ceded his rights to Lacson-Magallanes Co., Inc. (LMC) of which he is a co-owner.
Jose Paño was a farmer who asserted his claim over the same piece of land. The Director of
Lands denied Paño’s request. The Secretary of Agriculture likewise denied his petition hence it
was elevated to the Office of the President.
Executive Secretary Juan Pajo ruled in favor of Paño. LMC averred that the earlier decision of
the Secretary of Agriculture is already conclusive hence beyond appeal. He also averred
that the decision of the Executive Secretary is an undue delegation of power. The Constitution,
LMC asserts, does not contain any provision whereby the presidential power of control may be
delegated to the Executive Secretary. It is argued that it is the constitutional duty of the
President to act personally upon the matter.

ISSUE: Whether or not the power of control may be delegated to the Executive Secretary.

HELD: Yes. It is true that as a rule, the President must exercise his constitutional powers in
person. However, the president may delegate certain powers to the Executive Secretary at his
discretion. The president may delegate powers which are not required by the Constitution for
him to perform personally. The reason for this allowance is the fact that the resident is not
expected to perform in person all the multifarious executive and administrative functions. The
office of the Executive Secretary is an auxiliary unit which assists the President. The rule which
has thus gained recognition is that “under our constitutional setup the Executive Secretary who
acts for and in behalf and by authority of the President has an undisputed jurisdiction to affirm,
modify, or even reverse any order” that the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
including the Director of Lands, may issue.
The act of the Executive Secretary, acting as the alter ego of the President, shall remain valid
until reversed, disapproved, or reprobated by the President. In this case, no reprobation was
made hence the decision granting the land to Paño cannot be reversed.
Arsenio Lacson vs Mariano Roque
92 Phil. 456 – Political Law – Supervision Over Local Governments

FACTS: The then mayor of Manila, Arsenio Lacson, broadcasted some allegedly defamatory and libelous
utterances against a certain judge (Judge Montesa). Montesa then filed a libel case against Lacson. A
special prosecutor was assigned to the case. The special prosecutor recommended the suspension of
Lacson to the President. The President, through acting Executive Secretary Mariano Roque, issued a
suspension order against Lacson.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Mayor may be suspended by the president from his post.
HELD: No. There is neither statutory nor constitutional provision granting the President sweeping
authority to remove municipal officials. It is true that the President “shall . . . exercise general supervision
over all local governments,” but supervision does not contemplate control.
The contention that the President has inherent power to remove or suspend municipal officers is not well
taken. Removal and suspension of public officers are always controlled by the particular law applicable
and its proper construction subject to constitutional limitations
The power of the President to remove officials from office as provided for in section 64 (b) of the Revised
Administrative Code must be done “conformably to law;” and only for disloyalty to the Republic of the
Philippines he “may at any time remove a person from any position of trust or authority under the
Government of the Philippines.” Again, this power of removal must be exercised conformably to law, in
this case, the allege libelous act of Lacson cannot be considered as disloyalty.

Ruben Villaluz vs Calixto Zaldivar


15 SCRA 710 – Political Law – Control Power – Removal Power – Appointees

FACTS: Ruben Villaluz was appointed as the Administrator of the Motor Vehicles Office in 1958. In 1960,
Congressman Joaquin Roces alleged that Villaluz was an ineffective leader and had caused losses to the
government. He indorsed the removal of Villaluz. Consequently, Executive Secretary Calixto Zaldivar
suspended Villaluz and ordered a committee to investigate the matter. After investigation, it was
recommended that Villaluz be removed. The president then issued an Administrative Order removing
Villaluz from his post. Villaluz averred that the president has no jurisdiction to remove him.
ISSUE: Whether or not Villaluz is under the jurisdiction of the President to be removed considering that
he is an appointee of the president.
HELD: Yes. The president has jurisdiction and not the Civil Service. The President of the Philippines has
jurisdiction to investigate and remove him since he is a presidential appointee who belongs to the non-
competitive or unclassified service under Sec 5 of Republic Act No. 2260; being a presidential appointee,
Villaluz belongs to the non-competitive or unclassified service of the government and as such he can only
be investigated and removed from office after due hearing by the President of the Philippines under the
principle that “the power to remove is inherent in the power to appoint” .
There is some point in the argument that the power of control of the President may extend to the power to
investigate, suspend or remove officers and employees who belong to the executive department if they
are presidential appointees or do not belong to the classified service for such can be justified under the
principle that the power to remove is inherent in the power to appoint but not with regard to those officers
or employees who belong to the classified service for as to them that inherent power cannot be exercised.
This is in line with the provision of our Constitution which says that “the Congress may by law vest the
appointment of the inferior officers, in the President alone, in the courts, or in heads of department”.
Jose Villena vs Secretary of the Interior

67 Phil. 451 – Political Law – Control Power – Supervision – Suspension of a Local Government
Official – Power to suspend comes with the power to remove

FACTS: Jose Villena was the then mayor of Makati in the 1930s. After investigation, the
Secretary of Interior recommended the suspension of Villena with the Office of the president
who approved the same. The Secretary then suspended Villena. Villena averred claiming that
the Secretary has no jurisdiction over the matter. The power or jurisdiction is lodged in the local
government [the governor] pursuant to sec 2188 of the Administrative Code. Further, even if the
respondent Secretary of the Interior has power of supervision over local governments, that
power, according to the constitution, must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of law
and the provisions of law governing trials of charges against elective municipal officials are
those contained in sec 2188 of the Administrative Code as amended. In other words, the
Secretary of the Interior must exercise his supervision over local governments, if he has that
power under existing law, in accordance with sec 2188 of the Administrative Code, as amended,
as the latter provisions govern the procedure to be followed in suspending and punishing
elective local officials while sec 79 (C) of the Administrative Code is the genera law which must
yield to the special law.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Secretary of Interior can suspend an LGU official under
investigation.

HELD: Yes.
There is no clear and express grant of power to the secretary to suspend a mayor of a
municipality who is under investigation. On the contrary, the power appears lodged in the
provincial governor by sec 2188 of the Administrative Code which provides that “The provincial
governor shall receive and investigate complaints made under oath against municipal officers
for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and
conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude“.
The fact, however, that the power of suspension is expressly granted by sec 2188 of the
Administrative Code to the provincial governor does not mean that the grant is necessarily
exclusive and precludes the Secretary of the Interior from exercising a similar power. For
instance, Villena admitted in the oral argument that the President of the Philippines may himself
suspend the petitioner from office in virtue of his greater power of removal (sec. 2191, as
amended, Administrative Code) to be exercised conformably to law. Indeed, if the President
could, in the manner prescribed by law, remove a municipal official; it would be a legal
incongruity if he were to be devoid of the lesser power of suspension. And the incongruity would
be more patent if, possessed of the power both to suspend and to remove a provincial official
(sec. 2078, Administrative Code), the President were to be without the power to suspend a
municipal official. The power to suspend a municipal official is not exclusive. Preventive
suspension may be issued to give way for an impartial investigation.
Juliano Alba vs Jose Evangelista

100 Phil. 683 – Political Law – Control Power – Removal of Appointed LGU officials

FACTS: Republic Act No. 603 created the City of Roxas. Section 8 thereof provides that the
vice mayor shall be appointed by the president. Pursuant to the law, Vivencio Alajar was
appointed as the mayor. Later on, the president sent communication to Alajar telling him that he
will be replaced by a new appointee, Juliano Alba. Alba was then declared as the acting mayor.
Alajar refused to leave his post and he filed a quo warranto case before Judge Jose Evangelista
who ruled in favor of him.
Alba appealed before the Supreme Court. Alba argued that section 2545 of the Revised
Administrative Code provides:
Appointment of City Officials. – The President of the Philippines shall appoint, with the consent of the
Commission on Appointments of the Congress of the Philippines, the mayor, the vice-mayor . . . and he
may REMOVE at pleasure any of the said officers . . .

Alajar however insisted that the above provision is incompatible with the constitutional inhibition
that “no officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause
as provided by law”, because the two provisions are mutually repugnant and absolutely
irreconcilable.

ISSUE: Whether or not Alajar, an appointed vice mayor, can be removed by the president upon
displeasure.

HELD: Yes. The question is whether an officer appointed for a definite time or during good
behavior, had any vested interest or contract right in his office, of which Congress could not
deprive him.
The act of Congress in creating a public office, defining its powers, functions and fixing the
“term” or the period during which the officer may claim to hold the office as of right and the
“tenure” or the term during which the incumbent actually holds the office, is a valid and
constitutional exercise of legislative power. In the exercise of that power, Congress enacted RA
603 creating the City of Roxas and providing, among others for the position of Vice-Mayor and
its tenure or period during which the incumbent Vice-Mayor holds office at the pleasure of the
President, so, the logical inference is that Congress can legally and constitutionally make the
tenure of certain officials dependent upon the pleasure of the President. Therefore, Alajar was
appointed by the pleasure of the president and can also be removed when that pleasure
ceases.
Free Telephone Workers Union vs Minister of Labor

108 SCRA 757 – Political Law – Delegation of Power – Completeness Test

FACTS: In 1981, there was an ongoing labor dispute between the Free Telephone Workers
Union (the Union) and the Philippine Long Distance Company. Eventually, the Minister of Labor
(Blas Ople) assumed jurisdiction over the issue pursuant to Article 264 of the Labor Code. The
Union assailed the provisions of Article 264 as it averred that it is an undue delegation of power
by Congress to the Minister of Labor. They averred that by granting discretion to the Minister of
Labor to whether or not refer a labor dispute for compulsory arbitration to the National Labor
Relations Commission, it also effectively granted the Minister to make or unmake the law on
free collective bargaining.

ISSUE: Whether or not such provision is an undue delegation of power.

HELD: No. In the first place, this issue is not yet ripe for adjudication as the Minister of Labor
was yet to take on the entirety of the case. There is still no ground to rule that there is an
unconstitutional application of the law.
The Union failed to make out a case of undue delegation of legislative power. There could be,
however, an unconstitutional application. For while the Constitution allows compulsory
arbitration, it must be stressed that the exercise of such competence cannot ignore the basic
fundamental principle and state policy that the state should afford protection to labor. But as to
whether or not there is an unconstitutional application of the law, that is yet to be determined
since the Minister of Labor has not yet made a factual determination of the labor dispute in
issue.
There is no undue delegation in this case. The law in issue is complete and it set a sufficient
standard. The law cannot be any clearer, the coverage being limited to “strikes or lockouts
adversely affecting the national interest.”
Vicenta Oliveros-Torre vs Flores Bayot

58 SCRA 272 – Political Law – Appointments – Appellate Jurisdiction of the President – Rule on
“Next-in-Rank”

FACTS: Vicenta Oliveros-Torre and a certain Virginia Barros were both fighting over the position as the
Chief Drug Inspector (CDI) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both are more than qualified.
Rosario Capistrano was the incumbent CDI. Barros was the next in rank as she was the Supervising Drug
Inspector and even at that point she is also contesting the position with Capistrano. Capistrano went on
leave and Torre was appointed as the acting CDI.
When Capistrano’s leave expired the Secretary of Health extended Torre’s appointment until Capistrano’s
return. The said office was given due course by the Office of the President. Barros then filed a protest
before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) claiming that she has the right to the office because she was
next in rank. CSC initially declared Barros to be the rightful person to the contested position. Torre then
relinquished her office to Barros but Torre appealed to the CSC and the CSC reversed its earlier decision.
Barros appealed to the CSC and was denied hence she went to the Executive Secretary (Office of the
President). Through Under Secretary Flores Bayot, the Executive Secretary granted the appeal by Barros
and the CSC decision was reversed. Torre appealed to the Supreme Court arguing that the Office of the
President cannot review and reverse the decision of the CSC regarding appointments; she argued that
under the Civil Service Act the decision of the CSC Commissioner shall be final and executory.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Office of the President has appellate jurisdiction to review and reverse
decisions promulgated by the CSC when it comes to appointments.

HELD: Yes, the President can. Under Sec 79(c) of the Revised Administrative Code and Sec. 37 of Act
4007, the President as department head can review, modify or revoke decisions or actions of the chiefs of
bureaus, offices, divisions or service under his department as well as exercise the power expressly
vested by law in such chief or head of the bureau, office, division or service. The appellate jurisdiction of
the President on disputed appointments is also expressly affirmed by Sec. 693 of the Revised
Administrative Code which provides that
“A disbursing officer, the head of any department, bureau, or office, or the Auditor General, may apply for, and the
Commissioner of CSC shall render, a decision upon any question as to whether a position is in the unclassified or in
the unclassified civil service, or whether the appointment of any person to a classified position has been made in
accordance with law, which decision, when rendered, shall be final unless reversed by the President of the
Philippines on appeal.”

But even without such express statutory conferment of appellate jurisdiction on the President, he can at
any time by virtue of his power of control over executive departments, bureaus and offices, expressly
vested in him by the 1935 Constitution, review, modify, alter or nullify any action, or decision of his
subordinate in the executive departments, bureaus, or offices under him. He can exercise this
power motu propio without need of any appeal from any party.
Torre argued that the power of control granted by the Constitution to the President over executive
departments, bureaus, offices and services, should be limited to a review of administrative acts, not to
decisions of the Commissioner of Civil Service on contested appointments; this untenable for the law
makes no distinction as to what administrative acts and the acts of the CSC – where there is no
distinction made by law, the Court must not distinguish.
What is the doctrine of qualified political agency?

It simply means that “the President is not expected to perform in person the multifarious
executive and administrative functions. The Office of the Executive Secretary is an auxillary unit
which assists the President. Under our constitutional set-up, the Executive Secretary acts for
and in behalf of the President: and by authority of the President, he has undisputed jurisdiction
to affirm, modify, or even reverse any order of the Secretary of Natural Resources and other
Cabinet Secretaries. Where the Executive Secretary acts "by authority of the President" his
decision is that of the President. (Lacson-Magallanes Co., Inc. vs. Pano, 21 SCRA 895).
Spouses Renato Constantino, Jr. and Lourdes Constantino vs Jose Cuisia

472 SCRA 505 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – The Executive Department – Qualified
Political Agency – when not applied – Borrowing Powers of the President

FACTS: During the Corazon Aquino regime, her administration came up with a scheme to reduce the country’s
external debt. The solution resorted to was to incur foreign debts. Three restructuring programs were sought to
initiate the program for foreign debts – they are basically buyback programs and bond-conversion programs. The
spouses Renato Constantino, Jr. and Lourdes Constantino, as a taxpayers, and in behalf of their minor children who
are Filipino citizens, together with FFDC (Freedom From Debt Coalition) averred that the buyback and bond-
conversion schemes were onerous and they do not constitute the loan “contract” or “guarantee” contemplated in Sec.
20, Art. VII of the Constitution. And assuming that the President has such power, unlike other powers which may be
validly delegated by the President, the power to incur foreign debts is expressly reserved by the Constitution in the
person of the President, hence, the respondents herein, Central Bank Governor Josse Cuisia et al, cannot incur
debts for the Philippines or such power can be delegated to them. Constantino argue that the gravity by which the
exercise of the power will affect the Filipino nation requires that the President alone must exercise this power. They
argue that the requirement of prior concurrence of an entity specifically named by the Constitution–the Monetary
Board–reinforces the submission that not respondents but the President “alone and personally” can validly bind the
country. Hence, they would like Cuisia et al to stop acting pursuant to the said scheme.

ISSUE: Whether or not the President of the Philippines can validly delegate her debt power to the respondents.

HELD: Yes. There is no question that the president has borrowing powers and that the President may contract or
guarantee foreign loans in behalf of this country with prior concurrence of the Monetary Board. It makes no distinction
whatsoever and the fact that a debt or a loan may be onerous is irrelevant. On the other hand, the President can
delegate this power to her direct subordinates. The evident exigency of having the Secretary of Finance implement
the decision of the President to execute the debt-relief contracts is made manifest by the fact that the process of
establishing and executing a strategy for managing the government’s debt is deep within the realm of the expertise of
the Department of Finance, primed as it is to raise the required amount of funding, achieve its risk and cost
objectives, and meet any other sovereign debt management goals. If the President were to personally exercise every
aspect of the foreign borrowing power, he/she would have to pause from running the country long enough to focus on
a welter of time-consuming detailed activities–the propriety of incurring/guaranteeing loans, studying and choosing
among the many methods that may be taken toward this end, meeting countless times with creditor representatives
to negotiate, obtaining the concurrence of the Monetary Board, explaining and defending the negotiated deal to the
public, and more often than not, flying to the agreed place of execution to sign the documents. This sort of
constitutional interpretation would negate the very existence of cabinet positions and the respective expertise which
the holders thereof are accorded and would unduly hamper the President’s effectivity in running the government. The
act of the Cuisia et al are not unconstitutional.

Exception
There are certain acts which, by their very nature, cannot be validated by subsequent approval or ratification by the
President. There are certain constitutional powers and prerogatives of the Chief Executive of the Nation which must
be exercised by him in person and no amount of approval or ratification will validate the exercise of any of those
powers by any other person. Such, for instance, in his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and proclaim
martial law and the exercise by him of the benign prerogative of pardon (mercy).
There are certain presidential powers which arise out of exceptional circumstances, and if exercised, would involve
the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least call for the supersedence of executive prerogatives over those
exercised by co-equal branches of government. The declaration of martial law, the suspension of the writ of habeas
corpus, and the exercise of the pardoning power notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of the accused, all
fall within this special class that demands the exclusive exercise by the President of the constitutionally vested power.
The list is by no means exclusive, but there must be a showing that the executive power in question is of similar
gravitas and exceptional import.