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C.5. Rodriguez vs. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 191805. November 15, 2011.

Writ of Amparo; The writ of amparo is an extraordinary and independent remedy that provides rapid
judicial relief, as it partakes of a summary proceeding that requires only substantial evidence to make the
appropriate interim and permanent reliefs available to the petitioner.—The writ of amparo is an
extraordinary and independent remedy that provides rapid judicial relief, as it partakes of a summary
proceeding that requires only substantial evidence to make the appropriate interim and permanent reliefs
available to the petitioner. It is not an action to determine criminal guilt requiring proof beyond
reasonable doubt, or liability for damages requiring preponderance of evidence, or administrative
responsibility requiring substantial evidence that will require full and exhaustive proceedings. Rather, it
serves both preventive and curative roles in addressing the problem of extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances. It is preventive in that it breaks the expectation of impunity in the commission of these
offenses, and it is curative in that it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators by inevitably
leading to subsequent investigation and action.

Writ of Habeas Data; The writ of habeas data provides a judicial remedy to protect a person’s right to
control information regarding oneself, particularly in instances where such information is being collected
through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends.—The writ of habeas data provides a judicial
remedy to protect a person’s right to control information regarding oneself, particularly in instances
where such information is being collected through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends. As
an independent and summary remedy to protect the right to privacy—especially the right to informational
privacy—the proceedings for the issuance of the writ of habeas data does not entail any finding of
criminal, civil or administrative culpability. If the allegations in the petition are proven through substantial
evidence, then the Court may (a) grant access to the database or information; (b) enjoin the act
complained of; or (c) in case the database or information contains erroneous data or information, order
its deletion, destruction or rectification.

Writ of Amparo; Writ of Habeas Data; There is no determination of administrative, civil or criminal liability
in amparo and habeas data proceedings.—It bears stressing that since there is no determination of
administrative, civil or criminal liability in amparo and habeas data proceedings, courts can only go as far
as ascertaining responsibility or accountability for the enforced disappearance or extrajudicial killing.

Same; Command Responsibility; Nothing precludes this Court from applying the doctrine of command
responsibility in amparo proceedings to ascertain responsibility and accountability in extrajudicial killings
and enforced disappearances.—The doctrine of command responsibility may be used to determine
whether respondents are accountable for and have the duty to address the abduction of Rodriguez in
order to enable the courts to devise remedial measures to protect his rights. Clearly, nothing precludes
this Court from applying the doctrine of command responsibility in amparo proceedings to ascertain
responsibility and accountability in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Same; Same; Amparo proceedings determine investigation of the enforced disappearance.—Amparo


proceedings determine (a) responsibility, or the extent the actors have been established by substantial
evidence to have participated in whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced disappearance, and
(b) accountability, or the measure of remedies that should be addressed to those (i) who exhibited
involvement in the enforced disappearance without bringing the level of their complicity to the level of
responsibility defined above; or (ii) who are imputed with knowledge relating to the enforced
disappearance and who carry the burden of disclosure; or (iii) those who carry, but have failed to
discharge, the burden of extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the enforced disappearance. Thus,
although there is no determination of criminal, civil or administrative liabilities, the doctrine of command
responsibility may nevertheless be applied to ascertain responsibility and accountability within these
foregoing definitions.

Same; Same; The president, being the commander-in-chief of all armed forces, necessarily possesses
control over the military that qualifies him as a superior within the purview of the command responsibility
doctrine.—Having established the applicability of the doctrine of command responsibility in amparo
proceedings, it must now be resolved whether the president, as commander-in-chief of the military, can
be held responsible or accountable for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. We rule in the
affirmative. To hold someone liable under the doctrine of command responsibility, the following elements
must obtain: a. the existence of a superiorsubordinate relationship between the accused as superior and
the perpetrator of the crime as his subordinate; b. the superior knew or had reason to know that the crime
was about to be or had been committed; and c. the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable
measures to prevent the criminal acts or punish the perpetrators thereof. The president, being the
commander-in-chief of all armed forces, necessarily possesses control over the military that qualifies him
as a superior within the purview of the command responsibility doctrine.

Same; Same; The Rule on the Writ of Amparo explicitly states that the violation of or threat to the right to
life, liberty and security may be caused by either an act or an omission of a public official.—The Rule on
the Writ of Amparo explicitly states that the violation of or threat to the right to life, liberty and security
may be caused by either an act or an omission of a public official. Moreover, in the context of amparo
proceedings, responsibility may refer to the participation of the respondents, by action or omission, in
enforced disappearance.

C.6. Funa vs. Ermita, G.R. No. 184740. February 11, 2010.

Justiciable Controversy; Moot and Academic; A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a
justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no
practical use or value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of
mootness.—A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of
supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts
decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness. However, as we held in Public
Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, 494 SCRA 53 (2006) supervening events, whether intended or accidental,
cannot prevent the Court from rendering a decision if there is a grave violation of the Constitution. Even
in cases where supervening events had made the cases moot, this Court did not hesitate to resolve the
legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar, and public.

Administrative Law; Incompatible Office; While the designation was in the nature of an acting and
temporary capacity, the words “hold the office” were employed. Such holding of office pertains to both
appointment and designation because the appointee or designate performs the duties and functions of
the office. The 1987 Constitution in prohibiting dual or multiple offices, as well as incompatible offices,
refers to the holding of the office, and not to the nature of the appointment or designation, words which
were not even found in Section 13, Article VII nor in Section 7, paragraph 2, Article IX-B. To “hold” an office
means to “possess or occupy” the same, or “to be in possession and administration,” which implies nothing
less than the actual discharge of the functions and duties of the office.—Respondents’ reliance on the
foregoing definitions is misplaced considering that the above-cited case addressed the issue of whether
petitioner therein acquired valid title to the disputed position and so had the right to security of tenure.
It must be stressed though that while the designation was in the nature of an acting and temporary
capacity, the words “hold the office” were employed. Such holding of office pertains to both appointment
and designation because the appointee or designate performs the duties and functions of the office. The
1987 Constitution in prohibiting dual or multiple offices, as well as incompatible offices, refers to the
holding of the office, and not to the nature of the appointment or designation, words which were not
even found in Section 13, Article VII nor in Section 7, paragraph 2, Article IX-B. To “hold” an office means
to “possess or occupy” the same, or “to be in possession and administration,” which implies nothing less
than the actual discharge of the functions and duties of the office.

Same; Presidency; Holding of Other Office; Evidently, from this move as well as in the different
phraseologies of the constitutional provisions in question, the intent of the framers of the Constitution was
to impose a stricter prohibition of the President and his official family in so far as holding other offices or
employment in the government or elsewhere is concerned.—Evidently, from this move as well as in the
different phraseologies of the constitutional provisions in question, the intent of the framers of the
Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the President and his official family in so far as holding
other offices or employment in the government or elsewhere is concerned.

C.7. Funa vs. Agra, G.R. No. 191644. February 19, 2013.

Constitutional Law; Judicial Review; Limitations to the Power of Judicial Review.—The power of judicial
review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the
exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to assail the validity
of the subject act or issuance, that is, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such
that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be
the very lis mota of the case.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Locus Standi; To have legal standing, therefore, a suitor must show that he
has sustained or will sustain a “direct injury” as a result of a government action, or have a “material
interest” in the issue affected by the challenged official act.—The OSG does not dispute the justiciability
and ripeness for consideration and resolution by the Court of the matter raised by the petitioner. Also,
the locus standi of the petitioner as a taxpayer, a concerned citizen and a lawyer to bring a suit of this
nature has already been settled in his favor in rulings by the Court on several other public law litigations
he brought. In Funa v. Villar, 670 SCRA 579 (2012), for one, the Court has held: To have legal standing,
therefore, a suitor must show that he has sustained or will sustain a “direct injury” as a result of a
government action, or have a “material interest” in the issue affected by the challenged official act.
However, the Court has time and again acted liberally on the locus standi requirements and has accorded
certain individuals, not otherwise directly injured, or with material interest affected, by a Government
act, standing to sue provided a constitutional issue of critical significance is at stake. The rule on locus
standi is after all a mere procedural technicality in relation to which the Court, in a catena of cases
involving a subject of transcendental import, has waived, or relaxed, thus allowing non-traditional
plaintiffs, such as concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters or legislators, to sue in the public interest, albeit
they may not have been personally injured by the operation of a law or any other government act. In
David, the Court laid out the bare minimum norm before the so-called “nontraditional suitors” may be
extended standing to sue, thusly: 1.) For taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public
funds or that the tax measure is unconstitutional; 2.) For voters, there must be a showing of obvious
interest in the validity of the election law in question; 3.) For concerned citizens, there must be a showing
that the issues raised are of transcendental importance which must be settled early; and 4.) For legislators,
there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes their prerogatives as legislators. This
case before Us is of transcendental importance, since it obviously has “far-reaching implications,” and
there is a need to promulgate rules that will guide the bench, bar, and the public in future analogous
cases. We, thus, assume a liberal stance and allow petitioner to institute the instant petition.

Same; Same; Moot and Academic; Words and Phrases; A moot and academic case is one that ceases to
present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be
of no practical use or value.—A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable
controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or
value. Although the controversy could have ceased due to the intervening appointment of and assumption
by Cadiz as the Solicitor General during the pendency of this suit, and such cessation of the controversy
seemingly rendered moot and academic the resolution of the issue of the constitutionality of the
concurrent holding of the two positions by Agra, the Court should still go forward and resolve the issue
and not abstain from exercising its power of judicial review because this case comes under several of the
wellrecognized exceptions established in jurisprudence. Verily, the Court did not desist from resolving an
issue that a supervening event meanwhile rendered moot and academic if any of the following recognized
exceptions obtained, namely: (1) there was a grave violation of the Constitution; (2) the case involved a
situation of exceptional character and was of paramount public interest; (3) the constitutional issue raised
required the formulation of controlling principles to guide the Bench, the Bar and the public; and (4) the
case was capable of repetition, yet evading review.

Administrative Law; To Hold an Office; Words and Phrases; To hold an office means to possess or to occupy
the office, or to be in possession and administration of the office, which implies nothing less than the actual
discharge of the functions and duties of the office.—It was of no moment that Agra’s designation was in
an acting or temporary capacity. The text of Section 13, 1987 Constitution, plainly indicates that the intent
of the Framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the President and the Members
of his Cabinet in so far as holding other offices or employments in the Government or in government-
owned or government controlled-corporations was concerned. In this regard, to hold an office means to
possess or to occupy the office, or to be in possession and administration of the office, which implies
nothing less than the actual discharge of the functions and duties of the office. Indeed, in the language of
Section 13 itself, 1987 Constitution, the Constitution makes no reference to the nature of the appointment
or designation. The prohibition against dual or multiple offices being held by one official must be
construed as to apply to all appointments or designations, whether permanent or temporary, for it is
without question that the avowed objective of Section 13, 1987 Constitution, is to prevent the
concentration of powers in the Executive Department officials, specifically the President, the Vice-
President, the Members of the Cabinet and their deputies and assistants. To construe differently is to
“open the veritable floodgates of circumvention of an important constitutional disqualification of officials
in the Executive Department and of limitations on the President’s power of appointment in the guise of
temporary designations of Cabinet Members, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries as officers-in-
charge of government agencies, instrumentalities, or government-owned or controlled corporations.”

Same; Multiple Offices; The only two exceptions against the holding of multiple offices are: (1) those
provided for under the Constitution, such as Section 3, Article VII, authorizing the Vice President to become
a member of the Cabinet; and (2) posts occupied by Executive officials specified in Section 13, Article VII
without additional compensation in ex officio capacities as provided by law and as required by the primary
functions of the officials’ offices.—According to Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, 494 SCRA 53 (2006),
the only two exceptions against the holding of multiple offices are: (1) those provided for under the
Constitution, such as Section 3, Article VII, authorizing the Vice President to become a member of the
Cabinet; and (2) posts occupied by Executive officials specified in Section 13, Article VII without additional
compensation in ex officio capacities as provided by law and as required by the primary functions of the
officials’ offices. In this regard, the decision in Public Interest Center, Inc. v. Elma, 494 SCRA 53 (2006),
adverted to the resolution issued on August 1, 1991 in Civil Liberties Union v. The Executive Secretary, 194
SCRA 317 (1991), whereby the Court held that the phrase “the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies
or assistants” found in Section 13, 1987 Constitution, referred only to the heads of the various executive
departments, their undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, and did not extend to other public officials
given the rank of Secretary, Undersecretary or Assistant Secretary. Hence, in Public Interest Center, Inc.
v. Elma, 494 SCRA 53 (2006), the Court opined that the prohibition under Section 13 did not cover Elma,
a Presidential Assistant with the rank of Undersecretary.

Same; Office of the Solicitor General; The powers and functions of the Office of the Solicitor General are
neither required by the primary functions nor included by the powers of the Department of Justice, and
vice versa.—Indeed, the powers and functions of the OSG are neither required by the primary functions
nor included by the powers of the DOJ, and vice versa. The OSG, while attached to the DOJ, is not a
constituent unit of the latter, as, in fact, the Administrative Code of 1987 decrees that the OSG is
independent and autonomous. With the enactment of Republic Act No. 9417, the Solicitor General is now
vested with a cabinet rank, and has the same qualifications for appointment, rank, prerogatives, salaries,
allowances, benefits and privileges as those of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals. Moreover,
the magnitude of the scope of work of the Solicitor General, if added to the equally demanding tasks of
the Secretary of Justice, is obviously too much for any one official to bear. Apart from the sure peril of
political pressure, the concurrent holding of the two positions, even if they are not entirely incompatible,
may affect sound government operations and the proper performance of duties.

Same; Same; The primary functions of the Office of the Solicitor General are not related or necessary to
the primary functions of the Department of Justice.—Clearly, the primary functions of the Office of the
Solicitor General are not related or necessary to the primary functions of the Department of Justice.
Considering that the nature and duties of the two offices are such as to render it improper, from
considerations of public policy, for one person to retain both, an incompatibility between the offices
exists, further warranting the declaration of Agra’s designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice,
concurrently with his designation as the Acting Solicitor General, to be void for being in violation of the
express provisions of the Constitution.

Same; Public Officers; De Facto Officers; Words and Phrases; A de facto officer is one who derives his
appointment from one having colorable authority to appoint, if the office is an appointive office, and
whose appointment is valid on its face. He may also be one who is in possession of an office, and is
discharging its duties under color of authority, by which is meant authority derived from an appointment,
however irregular or informal, so that the incumbent is not a mere volunteer.—A de facto officer is one
who derives his appointment from one having colorable authority to appoint, if the office is an appointive
office, and whose appointment is valid on its face. He may also be one who is in possession of an office,
and is discharging its duties under color of authority, by which is meant authority derived from an
appointment, however irregular or informal, so that the incumbent is not a mere volunteer. Consequently,
the acts of the de facto officer are just as valid for all purposes as those of a de jure officer, in so far as the
public or third persons who are interested therein are concerned.

Same; Same; Same; The Supreme Court holds that all official actions of Agra as a de facto Acting Secretary
of Justice, assuming that was his later designation, were presumed valid, binding and effective as if he was
the officer legally appointed and qualified for the office.—In order to be clear, therefore, the Court holds
that all official actions of Agra as a de facto Acting Secretary of Justice, assuming that was his later
designation, were presumed valid, binding and effective as if he was the officer legally appointed and
qualified for the office. This clarification is necessary in order to protect the sanctity of the dealings by the
public with persons whose ostensible authority emanates from the State. Agra’s official actions covered
by this clarification extend to but are not limited to the promulgation of resolutions on petitions for review
filed in the Department of Justice, and the issuance of department orders, memoranda and circulars
relative to the prosecution of criminal cases.

C.8. Pimentel, Jr. vs. Ermita, G.R. No. 164978. October 13, 2005.

Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Prohibition; As a rule, the writ of prohibition will not lie to enjoin acts
already done.—As a rule, the writ of prohibition will not lie to enjoin acts already done. However, as an
exception to the rule on mootness, courts will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of
repetition yet evading review. In the present case, the mootness of the petition does not bar its resolution.
The question of the constitutionality of the President’s appointment of department secretaries in an
acting capacity while Congress is in session will arise in every such appointment.

Constitutional Law; Appointments; Executive Department; Congress; The power to appoint is essentially
executive in nature, and the legislature may not interfere with the exercise of this executive power except
in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to interfere.—The power to appoint is
essentially executive in nature, and the legislature may not interfere with the exercise of this executive
power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to interfere. Limitations on the
executive power to appoint are construed strictly against the legislature. The scope of the legislature’s
interference in the executive’s power to appoint is limited to the power to prescribe the qualifications to
an appointive office. Congress cannot appoint a person to an office in the guise of prescribing
qualifications to that office. Neither may Congress impose on the President the duty to appoint any
particular person to an office.

Same; Same; Commission on Appointments; Even if the Commission on Appointments is composed of


members of Congress, the exercise of its powers is executive and not legislative. —Even if the Commission
on Appointments is composed of members of Congress, the exercise of its powers is executive and not
legislative. The Commission on Appointments does not legislate when it exercises its power to give or
withhold consent to presidential appointments. Thus: x x x The Commission on Appointments is a creature
of the Constitution. Although its membership is confined to members of Congress, said Commission is
independent of Congress. The powers of the Commission do not come from Congress, but emanate
directly from the Constitution. Hence, it is not an agent of Congress. In fact, the functions of the
Commissioner are purely executive in nature. x x x

Same; Same; Same; Considering the independence of the Commission on Appointments from Congress,
it is error for petitioners to claim standing in the present case as members of Congress.—Considering the
independence of the Commission on Appointments from Congress, it is error for petitioners to claim
standing in the present case as members of Congress. President Arroyo’s issuance of acting appointments
while Congress is in session impairs no power of Congress. Among the petitioners, only the following are
members of the Commission on Appointments of the 13th Congress: Senator Enrile as Minority Floor
Leader, Senator Lacson as Assistant Minority Floor Leader, and Senator Angara, Senator Ejercito-Estrada,
and Senator Osmeña as members. Thus, on the impairment of the prerogatives of members of the
Commission on Appointments, only Senators Enrile, Lacson, Angara, Ejercito-Estrada, and Osmeña have
standing in the present petition. This is in contrast to Senators Pimentel, Estrada, Lim, and Madrigal, who,
though vigilant in protecting their perceived prerogatives as members of Congress, possess no standing
in the present petition.

Same; Same; Same; Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint
automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego.—The essence of an appointment in an
acting capacity is its temporary nature. It is a stop-gap measure intended to fill an office for a limited time
until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by
an alter ego of the President, such as the office of a department secretary, the President must necessarily
appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before the permanent appointee of her choice could
assume office. Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint
automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego. An alter ego, whether temporary or
permanent, holds a position of great trust and confidence. Congress, in the guise of prescribing
qualifications to an office, cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be.

Same; Same; Same; Statutes; Section 17, Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 states that “[t]he President
may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person
to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch.”—The law expressly allows the President to
make such acting appointment. Section 17, Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 states that “[t]he President
may temporarily designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person
to perform the functions of an office in the executive branch.” Thus, the President may even appoint in
an acting capacity a person not yet in the government service, as long as the President deems that person
competent.

Same; Same; Same; Ad interim appointments are extended only during recess of Congress and are
submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection, whereas appointments in
an acting capacity may be extended any time there is a vacancy and are not submitted to the Commission
on Appointments.—In distinguishing ad interim appointments from appointments in an acting capacity, a
noted textbook writer on constitutional law has observed: Ad interim appointments must be distinguished
from appointments in an acting capacity. Both of them are effective upon acceptance. But ad interim
appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be
extended any time there is a vacancy. Moreover ad interim appointments are submitted to the
Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to
the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices
but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation by the Commission on
Appointments.

C.9.1. Aguinaldo vs. Aquino III, G.R. No. 224302. November 29, 2016.

Quo Warranto; Rule 66 of the Revised Rules of Court particularly identifies who can file a special civil action
of Quo Warranto.— The Petition at bar is for (a) Quo Warranto under Rule 66 of the Revised Rules of
Court; and (b) Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the same Rules. Rule 66 of the Revised Rules of
Court particularly identifies who can file a special civil action of Quo Warranto.

Same; Petitioners, as nominees for the 16th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, did not have a clear right to
said position, and therefore not proper parties to a quo warranto proceeding. Being included in the list of
nominees had given them only the possibility, but not the certainty, of being appointed to the position,
given the discretionary power of the President in making judicial appointments.—Petitioners Aguinaldo,
et al., as nominees for the 16th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, did not have a clear right to said position,
and therefore not proper parties to a quo warranto proceeding. Being included in the list of nominees had
given them only the possibility, but not the certainty, of being appointed to the position, given the
discretionary power of the President in making judicial appointments. It is for this same reason that
respondents Jorge-Wagan, et al., nominees for the 21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, may not be
impleaded as respondents or unwilling plaintiffs in a quo warranto proceeding. Neither can the IBP initiate
a quo warranto proceeding to oust respondents Musngi and Econg from their currents posts as
Sandiganbayan Associate Justices for the IBP does not qualify under Rule 66, Section 5 of the Revised
Rules of Court as an individual claiming to be entitled to the positions in question.

Presidential Immunity; The President is granted the privilege of immunity from suit “to assure the exercise
of Presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief
Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder’s time, also demands
undivided attention.”—The Court finds it proper to drop President Aquino as respondent taking into
account that when this Petition was filed on May 17, 2016, he was still then the incumbent President who
enjoyed immunity from suit. The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved in the system of
government of this country, even though not expressly reserved in the 1987 Constitution. The President
is granted the privilege of immunity from suit “to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and functions
free from any hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a
job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder’s time, also demands undivided attention.”

Locus Standi; Words and Phrases; “Legal standing” means a personal and substantial interest in the case
such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is
being challenged; while “interest” refers to material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the
decree or act assailed, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental
interest.—The Court will exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is brought before it by a party
who has the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal question. “Legal standing” means a personal
and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result
of the governmental act that is being challenged; while “interest” refers to material interest, an interest
in issue and to be affected by the decree or act assailed, as distinguished from mere interest in the
question involved, or a mere incidental interest.

Certiorari; Exceptions to the strict observance of the sixty (60)day period for filing a petition for certiorari.—
Just like any rule, however, there are recognized exceptions to the strict observance of the 60-day period
for filing a petition for certiorari, viz.: (1) most persuasive and weighty reasons; (2) to relieve a litigant
from an injustice not commensurate with his failure to comply with the prescribed procedure; (3) good
faith of the defaulting party by immediately paying within a reasonable time from the time of the default;
(4) the existence of special or compelling circumstances; (5) the merits of the case; (6) a cause not entirely
attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the rules; (7) a lack of any
showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory; (8) the other party will not be unjustly
prejudiced thereby; (9) fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence without appellant’s fault; (10)
peculiar legal and equitable circumstances attendant to each case; (11) in the name of substantial justice
and fair play; (12) importance of the issues involved; and (13) exercise of sound discretion by the judge
guided by all the attendant circumstances.

Constitutional Law; Judicial and Bar Council; Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution provides that
the Members of the Supreme Court (SC) and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President
from a list of at least three (3) nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for every vacancy.—
Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution provides that “[t]he Members of the Supreme Court and
judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared
by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy.”

Judicial and Bar Council; The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is a body, representative of all the stakeholders
in the judicial appointment process, intended to rid the process of appointments to the Judiciary of the
evils of political pressure and partisan activities.—The JBC was created under the 1987 Constitution with
the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It is a body, representative of all the
stakeholders in the judicial appointment process, intended to rid the process of appointments to the
Judiciary of the evils of political pressure and partisan activities.

Same; The power to recommend of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) cannot be used to restrict or limit the
President’s power to appoint as the latter’s prerogative to choose someone whom he/she considers worth
appointing to the vacancy in the Judiciary is still paramount.—It should be stressed that the power to
recommend of the JBC cannot be used to restrict or limit the President’s power to appoint as the latter’s
prerogative to choose someone whom he/she considers worth appointing to the vacancy in the Judiciary
is still paramount. As long as in the end, the President appoints someone nominated by the JBC, the
appointment is valid.

Same; Sandiganbayan; President Aquino was not obliged to appoint one new Sandiganbayan Associate
Justice from each of the six (6) shortlists submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). —The Court finds
herein that President Aquino was not obliged to appoint one new Sandiganbayan Associate Justice from
each of the six shortlists submitted by the JBC, especially when the clustering of nominees into the six
shortlists encroached on President Aquino’s power to appoint members of the Judiciary from all those
whom the JBC had considered to be qualified for the same positions of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.

Presidential Appointments; The President’s power to appoint members of a collegiate court, such as the
Sandiganbayan, is the power to determine the seniority or order of preference of such newly appointed
members by controlling the date and order of issuance of said members’ appointment or commission
papers.—It bears to point out that part of the President’s power to appoint members of a collegiate court,
such as the Sandiganbayan, is the power to determine the seniority or order of preference of such newly
appointed members by controlling the date and order of issuance of said members’ appointment or
commission papers.

Same; Judicial and Bar Council; By designating the numerical order of the vacancies, the Judicial and Bar
Council (JBC) would be establishing the seniority or order of preference of the new Sandiganbayan
Associate Justices even before their appointment by the President and, thus, unduly arrogating unto itself
a vital part of the President’s power of appointment.—By already designating the numerical order of the
vacancies, the JBC would be establishing the seniority or order of preference of the new Sandiganbayan
Associate Justices even before their appointment by the President and, thus, unduly arrogating unto itself
a vital part of the President’s power of appointment.

Same; Same; The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), in sorting the qualified nominees into six (6) clusters, one
(1) for every vacancy, could influence the appointment process beyond its constitutional mandate of
recommending qualified nominees to the President.—Furthermore, the JBC, in sorting the qualified
nominees into six clusters, one for every vacancy, could influence the appointment process beyond its
constitutional mandate of recommending qualified nominees to the President.

Same; Same; Clustering impinges upon the President’s power of appointment, as well as restricts the
chances for appointment of the qualified nominees.—Clustering impinges upon the President’s power of
appointment, as well as restricts the chances for appointment of the qualified nominees, because (1) the
President’s option for every vacancy is limited to the five to seven nominees in the cluster; and (2) once
the President has appointed from one cluster, then he is proscribed from considering the other nominees
in the same cluster for the other vacancies.

Same; Same; The clustering by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) of the qualified nominees for the six (6)
vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate Justice appears to have been done arbitrarily, there being no clear
basis, standards, or guidelines for the same.—There is no explanation for the shift in practice by the JBC,
which impaired the power of the President to appoint under the 1987 Constitution and his statutory
authority to determine seniority in a collegiate court. The clustering by the JBC of the qualified nominees
for the six vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate Justice appears to have been done arbitrarily, there
being no clear basis, standards, or guidelines for the same. The number of nominees was not even equally
distributed among the clusters.

Same; President Aquino validly exercised his discretionary power to appoint members of the Judiciary when
he disregarded the clustering of nominees into six (6) separate shortlists for the vacancies for the 16th,
17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justices.—In view of the foregoing, President
Aquino validly exercised his discretionary power to appoint members of the Judiciary when he disregarded
the clustering of nominees into six separate shortlists for the vacancies for the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th,
20th and 21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justices. President Aquino merely maintained the well-
established practice, consistent with the paramount Presidential constitutional prerogative, to appoint
the six new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices from the 37 qualified nominees, as if embodied in one JBC
list.
Same; Judicial and Bar Council; The President is not bound by the clustering of nominees by the Judicial
and Bar Council (JBC) and may consider as one the separate shortlists of nominees concurrently submitted
by the JBC.—The President is not bound by the clustering of nominees by the JBC and may consider as one
the separate shortlists of nominees concurrently submitted by the JBC. As the Court already ratiocinated
herein, the requirements and qualifications, as well as the power, duties, and responsibilities are the same
for all the vacant posts in a collegiate court; and if an individual is found to be qualified for one vacancy,
then he/she is also qualified for all the other vacancies. It is worthy of note that the JBC, in previous
instances of closely successive vacancies in collegiate courts, such as the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court, faithfully observed the practice of submitting only a single list of nominees for all the
available vacancies, with at least three nominees for every vacancy, from which the President made his
appointments on the same occasion.

Intervention; The allowance or disallowance of a motion for intervention rests on the sound discretion of
the court after consideration of the appropriate circumstances. It is not an absolute right.—Intervening in
a case is not a matter of right but of sound discretion of the Court. The allowance or disallowance of a
motion for intervention rests on the sound discretion of the court after consideration of the appropriate
circumstances. It is not an absolute right. The statutory rules or conditions for the right of intervention
must be shown.

LEONEN, J., Concurring Opinion:

Judicial Review; Judicial and Bar Council; View that the independent character of the Judicial and Bar
Council (JBC) as a constitutional body does not remove it from the Court’s jurisdiction when the assailed
acts involve grave abuse of discretion.— Nonetheless, the independent character of the Judicial and Bar
Council as a constitutional body does not remove it from the Court’s jurisdiction when the assailed acts
involve grave abuse of discretion.

Same; Same; View that the expanded power of judicial review gives the court the authority to strike down
acts of all government instrumentalities that are contrary to the Constitution.—Judicial review is the
mechanism provided by the Constitution to settle actual controversies and to determine whether there
has been grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. The
expanded power of judicial review gives the court the authority to strike down acts of all government
instrumentalities that are contrary to the Constitution.

Same; Same; View that the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) may have acted in excess of its constitutional
mandate to recommend nominees to the President when it clustered the Sandiganbayan applicants, in six
(6) separate groups, purportedly to account for each newly created division.—The Judicial and Bar Council
may have acted in excess of its constitutional mandate to recommend nominees to the President when it
clustered the Sandiganbayan applicants, in six separate groups, purportedly to account for each newly
created division. There seems to be no rational basis in the positioning of the applicants in their respective
clusters, with some of the shortlists containing five names, while others having six, and two clusters even
containing as many as seven names.

Same; Same; Presidential Appointments; View that President Aquino did not commit grave abuse of
discretion in disregarding the shortlists submitted to him by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) and treating
all six (6) shortlists as one (1) shortlist from which he can choose the new Sandiganbayan justices.—
President Aquino did not commit grave abuse of discretion in disregarding the shortlists submitted to him
by the Judicial and Bar Council and treating all six shortlists as one shortlist from which he can choose the
new Sandiganbayan justices.

Same; Same; Same; View that the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is not mandated to submit its revised
internal rules to the Supreme Court (SC) for approval.—The Judicial and Bar Council is not mandated to
submit its revised internal rules to the Supreme Court for approval. The question as to whether the Judicial
and Bar Council must submit its existing rules to the Supreme Court was not raised as an issue in this case.

Same; Same; Same; View that exercise of the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) power of judicial review over the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) must always be balanced with the JBC’s independent nature.—The exercise
of this Court’s power of judicial review over the Judicial and Bar Council must always be balanced with the
Judicial and Bar Council’s independent nature. The Court’s authority over the Judicial and Bar Council
should, thus, be considered as primarily administrative, with the Chief Justice, as the ex officio Chair,
exercising overall administrative authority in the execution of the Judicial and Bar Council’s mandate.

Same; Same; Same; View that the Supreme Court (SC) cannot meddle in the Judicial and Bar Council’s
(JBC’s) internal rules and policies precisely because doing so would be an unconstitutional affront to the
JBC's independence.--The Constitution has provided the qualifications of the members of the judiciary,
but has given the Judicial and Bar Council the latitude to promulgate its own set of rules and procedures
to effectively ensure its mandate. This Court cannot meddle in the Judicial and Bar Council’s internal rules
and policies precisely because doing so would be an unconstitutional affront to the Judicial and Bar
Council’s independence.

Same; Same; Same; View that the vetting by the Supreme Court (SC) of the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC’s)
internal rules do not fall under the power of judicial review as there is no justiciable controversy in the
absence of clashing legal rights.— Thus, the vetting by this Court of the Judicial and Bar Council’s internal
rules do not fall under the power of judicial review as there is no justiciable controversy in the absence of
clashing legal rights.

C.9.2. Aguinaldo vs. Aquino III, G.R. No. 224302. February 21, 2017.

Judges; Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges; The present Motion for Inhibition has failed to comply
with Rule 8, Section 2 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court (SC), which requires that “[a] motion for
inhibition must be in writing and under oath and shall state the grounds therefor.”—The present Motion
for Inhibition has failed to comply with Rule 8, Section 2 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, which
requires that “[a] motion for inhibition must be in writing and under oath and shall state the grounds
therefor.” Yet, even if technical rules are relaxed herein, there is still no valid ground for the inhibition of
the ponente. There is no ground for the mandatory inhibition of the ponente from the case at bar. The
ponente has absolutely no personal interest in this case. The ponente is not a counsel, partner, or member
of a law firm that is or was the counsel in the case; the ponente or her spouse, parent, or child has no
pecuniary interest in the case; and the ponente is not related to any of the parties in the case within the
sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to an attorney or any member of a law firm who is counsel of
record in the case within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity. The ponente is also not privy to
any proceeding in which the JBC discussed and decided to adopt the unprecedented method of clustering
the nominees for the six simultaneous vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate Justice into six separate
short lists, one for every vacancy. The ponente does not know when, how, and why the JBC adopted the
clustering method of nomination for appellate courts and even the Supreme Court.

Appointments; Judicial and Bar Council; Jurisdiction; The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) cannot impair the
President’s power to appoint members of the Judiciary and his statutory power to determine the seniority
of the newly-appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justices.—The JBC invokes its independence, discretion,
and wisdom, and maintains that it deemed it wiser and more in accord with Article VIII, Section 9 of the
1987 Constitution to cluster the nominees for the six simultaneous vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate
Justice into six separate short lists. The independence and discretion of the JBC, however, is not without
limits. It cannot impair the President’s power to appoint members of the Judiciary and his statutory power
to determine the seniority of the newly-appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justices. The Court cannot
sustain the strained interpretation of Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution espoused by the JBC,
which ultimately curtailed the President’s appointing power.

Same; The requirements and qualifications, as well as the powers, duties, and responsibilities are the same
for all vacant posts in a collegiate court, such as the Sandiganbayan; and if an individual is found to be
qualified for one (1) vacancy, then he/she is found to be qualified for all the other vacancies — there are
no distinctions among the vacant posts.—The Court emphasizes that the requirements and qualifications,
as well as the powers, duties, and responsibilities are the same for all vacant posts in a collegiate court,
such as the Sandiganbayan; and if an individual is found to be qualified for one vacancy, then he/she is
found to be qualified for all the other vacancies — there are no distinctions among the vacant posts. It is
improbable that the nominees expressed their desire to be appointed to only a specific vacant position
and not the other vacant positions in the same collegiate court, when neither the Constitution nor the law
provides a specific designation or distinctive description for each vacant position in the collegiate court.
The JBC did not cite any cogent reason in its Motion for Reconsideration-in-Intervention for assigning a
nominee to a particular cluster/vacancy. The Court highlights that without objective criteria, standards,
or guidelines in determining which nominees are to be included in which cluster, the clustering of
nominees for specific vacant posts seems to be at the very least, totally arbitrary. The lack of such criteria,
standards, or guidelines may open the clustering to manipulation to favor or prejudice a qualified
nominee.

Same; As long as in the end, the President appoints someone nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council
(JBC), the appointment is valid, and he, not the JBC, determines the seniority of appointees to a collegiate
court.—It is also not clear to the Court how, as the JBC avowed in its Motion for Reconsideration, the
clustering of nominees for simultaneous vacancies in collegiate courts into separate short lists can rid the
appointment process to the Judiciary of political pressure; or conversely, how the previous practice of
submitting a single list of nominees to the President for simultaneous vacancies in collegiate courts,
requiring the same qualifications, made the appointment process more susceptible to political pressure.

The 1987 Constitution itself, by creating the JBC and requiring that the President can only appoint judges
and Justices from the nominees submitted by the JBC, already sets in place the mechanism to protect the
appointment process from political pressure. By arbitrarily clustering the nominees for appointment to
the six simultaneous vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate Justice into separate short lists, the JBC
influenced the appointment process and encroached on the President’s power to appoint members of
the Judiciary and determine seniority in the said court, beyond its mandate under the 1987 Constitution.
As the Court pronounced in its Decision dated November 29, 2016, the power to recommend of the JBC
cannot be used to restrict or limit the President’s power to appoint as the latter’s prerogative to choose
someone whom he/she considers worth appointing to the vacancy in the Judiciary is still paramount. As
long as in the end, the President appoints someone nominated by the JBC, the appointment is valid, and
he, not the JBC, determines the seniority of appointees to a collegiate court.

Same; The declaration of the Supreme Court (SC) that the clustering of nominees by the Judicial and Bar
Council (JBC) for the simultaneous vacancies that occurred by the creation of six (6) new positions of
Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan is unconstitutional was only incidental to its ruling that President
Aquino is not bound by such clustering in making his appointments to the vacant Sandiganbayan Associate
Justice posts.—The declaration of the Court that the clustering of nominees by the JBC for the
simultaneous vacancies that occurred by the creation of six new positions of Associate Justice of the
Sandiganbayan is unconstitutional was only incidental to its ruling that President Aquino is not bound by
such clustering in making his appointments to the vacant Sandiganbayan Associate Justice posts. Other
than said declaration, the Court did not require the JBC to do or to refrain from doing something insofar
as the issue of clustering of the nominees to the then six vacant posts of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice
was concerned.

Velasco, Jr., J., Separate Opinion:

Appointments; Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges; View that there is no compelling reason for
Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro (Justice Leonardo-De Castro) to inhibit in the case at bar.—
I agree that there is no compelling reason for Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro (Justice
Leonardo-De Castro) to inhibit in the case at bar. Justice Leonardo-De Castro explained at length the
extent of her participation, or nonparticipation, in the closed door meetings of the JBC when she was still
a consultant thereof. She is not privy to the decision of the JBC to approve the rule on the clustering of
nominees, much less to its implementation.

Leonen, J., Separate Opinion:

Advisory Opinions; View that the Supreme Court (SC) should rule on the issues as it does not render advisory
opinions.—I concur in the result insofar as the finding that respondents did not gravely abuse their
discretion in making appointments to the Sandiganbayan as all six vacancies were opened for the first
time. I do not find any reasonable basis to cluster nominees in this case, where the law created
simultaneous new vacancies for a collegial court. I agree with the ponencia that future vacancies for
collegial appellate courts and this Court, are not at issue in this case. Hence, this Court should rule on the
issues as it does not render advisory opinions.

Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges; View that the Supreme Court (SC), in its Internal Rules, provided
the grounds on which a member of the Court must inhibit himself or herself from participating in the
resolution of the case, and none of the cited reasons apply to the ponente.—I likewise concur in the
ponencia’s denial of the Motion for Inhibition filed by the Judicial and Bar Council. This Court, in its Internal
Rules, provided the grounds on which a member of the Court must inhibit himself or herself from
participating in the resolution of the case, and none of the cited reasons apply to the ponente. I am
convinced that there is no reason for the ponente to voluntarily inhibit herself from resolving or
participating in this case. The ponente has adequately explained that she was neither privy nor consulted
by the Judicial and Bar Council on the move to cluster the applicants to the newly created Sandiganbayan
positions into six (6) separate shortlists. I see no reason to doubt the ponente’s statement of impartiality.
In the years that I have worked alongside the ponente, I have personally witnessed her unblemished
character and unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law. Historically, her moral compass has
never waned. I have no reason to doubt her impartiality in this case.

Same; Judicial and Bar Council; View that without the participation of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC),
the doctrine in this case will only be about the discretion of the President when there are simultaneous
vacancies in newly created divisions of a collegial court.—The Judicial and Bar Council should be allowed
to intervene in the case. As the party who committed the act of clustering the Sandiganbayan applicants
— an act that was eventually declared unconstitutional — the Judicial and Bar Council clearly has a legal
interest in the matter under litigation. Without the participation of the Judicial and Bar Council, the
doctrine in this case will only be about the discretion of the President when there are simultaneous
vacancies in newly created divisions of a collegial court. This policy should not extend to other vacancies
caused by retirements in the future.

Appointments; Judicial and Bar Council; Jurisdiction; View that more than a technical committee, the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has the power to examine the judicial philosophies of the applicants and
make selections, which it submits to the President. The President may have the final discretion to choose,
but he or she chooses only from that list.—The Judicial and Bar Council is not merely a technical committee
that evaluates the fitness and integrity of applicants in the Judiciary. It is a constitutional organ
participating in the process that guides the direction of the Judiciary. Its composition represents a cross
section of the legal profession, retired judges and Justices, and the Chief Justice. More than a technical
committee, it has the power to examine the judicial philosophies of the applicants and make selections,
which it submits to the President. The President may have the final discretion to choose, but he or she
chooses only from that list.

Courts; Sandiganbayan; View that as a collegial court, the Sandiganbayan seats members who equally
share power and sit in divisions of three (3) members each.—As a collegial court, the Sandiganbayan seats
members who equally share power and sit in divisions of three (3) members each. The numerical
designation of each division only pertains to the seniority or order of precedence based on the date of
appointment. The Rule on Precedence is in place primarily for the orderly functioning of the
Sandiganbayan, as reflected in Rule II, Section 1 of the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan.

Appointments; View that applicants in collegial courts apply only once even when there are simultaneous
vacancies because among divisions in a collegial court, there is no substantial difference to justify the
creation of separate shortlists or clusters for each vacancy.—In single courts such as the regional trial
courts or municipal trial courts, each branch carries its own station code and acts separately and
independently from other coequal branches. On the other hand, the Sandiganbayan divisions, as part of
a collegial court, do not possess similar station codes. This is because there is no discernible difference
between the divisions, and decisions are made not by one justice alone but by a majority or all of the
members sitting in a division or En Banc. This reinforces the collegial nature of the Sandiganbayan: one
that is characterized by the equal sharing of authority among the members. Additionally, in single courts,
applicants may apply for each available vacancy; thus, to find the same applicant in shortlists for vacancies
in different single courts is common. On the other hand, applicants in collegial courts apply only once even
when there are simultaneous vacancies because among divisions in a collegial court, there is no
substantial difference to justify the creation of separate shortlists or clusters for each vacancy.
Judicial and Bar Council; View that the Constitution may have provided the qualifications of the members
of the Judiciary, but it has given the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) the latitude to promulgate its own set
of rules and procedures to effectively ensure its mandate.—I reiterate that the Judicial and Bar Council is
not mandated to submit its revised internal rules to this Court for approval. Jardeleza v. Sereno, 733 SCRA
279 (2014), emphasized that this Court’s power of judicial review is only to ensure that rules are followed.
It has neither the power to lay down these rules nor the discretion to modify or replace them. The Internal
Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council is necessary and incidental to the function conferred to it by the
Constitution. The Constitution may have provided the qualifications of the members of the Judiciary, but
it has given the Judicial and Bar Council the latitude to promulgate its own set of rules and procedures to
effectively ensure its mandate. This Court cannot meddle in the Judicial and Bar Council’s internal rules
and policies. To do so would be an unconstitutional affront to the Judicial and Bar Council’s independence.

Caguioa, J., Separate Opinion:

Appointments; View that so long as the grouping of at least three (3) nominees for every vacancy by the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) did not impinge on the President’s appointing power, there is, in my view, no
violation of the Constitution.—President Aquino was presented with six lists to fill up the six vacancies in
the Sandiganbayan. Each list has at least three nominees. An appointment coming from each of the six
lists would be in keeping with the Constitutional provision. I cannot see it otherwise. Thus, had President
Aquino picked one from each of the six lists prepared by the JBC, I would not have declared his action
unconstitutional. My basis is the plain language of the above Constitutional provision which mandates the
JBC to recommend nominees to any vacancy in the judiciary — to prepare a list of at least three nominees
for every vacancy. So long as the grouping of at least three nominees for every vacancy by the JBC did not
impinge on the President’s appointing power, there is, in my view, no violation of the Constitution. Thus,
I cannot view as grave abuse of discretion the act of the JBC in adopting the six lists it came up with
following its “textualist approach of constitutional interpretation.”

Same; View that President Aquino chose to disregard Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC’s) clustering, and
considered all the thirty seven (37) nominees named in the six (6) lists, is likewise “textually compliant”
with Section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution (i.e., because there are at least three [3] nominees for each
of the six Associate Justice positions).—That President Aquino chose to disregard JBC’s clustering, and
considered all the 37 nominees named in the six lists, is likewise “textually compliant” with Section 9,
Article VIII of the Constitution (i.e., because there are at least three nominees for each of the six Associate
Justice positions). For this reason, I cannot find the act of President Aquino as constituting grave abuse of
discretion. In fine, I find nothing unconstitutional in the questioned action of the JBC — in the same
manner that I find nothing unconstitutional in the act of President Aquino in disregarding the clustering
done by the JBC, and in choosing Associate Justices for each of the vacancies “outside” of the “clustered”
lists provided by the JBC.

C.9.3. Aguinaldo vs. Aquino III, G.R. No. 224302. August 8, 2017.

Judicial and Bar Council; Clustering of Nominees; MR Resolution and Supplement-MR-Resolution lack merit
given the admission of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) itself in its previous pleadings of lack of consensus
among its own members on the validity of the clustering of nominees for the six (6) simultaneous vacancies
in the Sandiganbayan, further bolstering the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court (SC) against the
validity of such clustering.—Presently for resolution of the Court are the following Motions of the JBC: (a)
Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated 21 February 2017 (MRResolution), filed on March 17,
2017; and (b) Motion to Admit Attached Supplement to Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution
dated 21 February 2017 and the Supplement to Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated 21
February 2017 (Supplement-MR-Resolution) filed on March 24, 2017. The aforementioned MR-Resolution
and Supplement-MR-Resolution lack merit given the admission of the JBC itself in its previous pleadings
of lack of consensus among its own members on the validity of the clustering of nominees for the six
simultaneous vacancies in the Sandiganbayan, further bolstering the unanimous decision of the Court
against the validity of such clustering. The lack of consensus among JBC members on the validity of the
clustering also shows that the ponente’s decision in this case did not arise from personal hostility — or
any other personal consideration — but solely from her objective evaluation of the adverse constitutional
implications of the clustering of the nominees for the vacant posts of Sandigan bayan Associate Justice.

Judges; Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges; There is no factual or legal basis for the ponente to inhibit
herself from the present case.—It bears to stress that the Court also unanimously held in its Resolution
dated February 21, 2017 that there is no factual or legal basis for the ponente to inhibit herself from the
present case. Worth reiterating below is the ponente’s explanation in the Resolution dated February 21,
2017 that there was no conflict of interest on her part in rendering judgment in this case, and even in her
voting in Jardeleza v. Sereno, 733 SCRA 279 (2014), considering that she had absolutely no participation
in the decisions made by the JBC that were challenged before this Court in both cases.

C.10. Rufino vs. Endriga, G.R. No. 139554. July 21, 2006.

Courts; Judicial Review; Moot and Academic Questions; For the Court to exercise its power of adjudication,
there must be an actual case or controversy—one that involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of
opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution, and one not moot or based on extra-legal or other
similar considerations not cognizable by courts of justice. —We first consider the Rufino group’s
contention that the Endriga group’s quo warranto suit should have been dismissed for being moot. The
Rufino group argued that when the Endriga group’s terms subsequently expired, there was no more actual
controversy for the Court to decide. For the Court to exercise its power of adjudication, there must be an
actual case or controversy—one that involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims
susceptible of judicial resolution. The case must not be moot or based on extra-legal or other similar
considerations not cognizable by courts of justice. A case becomes moot when its purpose has become
stale.

Judicial Review; Moot and Academic Questions; There are times when the controversy is of such character
that to prevent its recurrence, and to assure respect for constitutional limitations, the Supreme Court must
pass on the merits of a case.—The purpose of the quo warranto petition was to oust the Rufino group
from the CCP Board and to declare the Endriga group as the rightful trustees of the CCP Board. It may
appear that supervening events have rendered this case moot with the resignation of the Rufino group as
well as the expiration of the terms of the Endriga group based on their appointments by then President
Ramos. A “new” set of CCP trustees had been appointed by President MacapagalArroyo and subsequently
elected by the CCP Board. However, there are times when the controversy is of such character that to
prevent its recurrence, and to assure respect for constitutional limitations, this Court must pass on the
merits of a case. This is one such case.
Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); Presidential Decree No. 15 (PD 15); Constitutional Law; The Court
cannot refrain from passing upon the constitutionality of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 if only to prevent a
repeat of this regrettable controversy and to protect the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from being
periodically wracked by internecine politics.—The constitutional question that gave rise to these issues
will continue to spawn the same controversy in the future, unless the threshold constitutional question is
resolved—the validity of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 on the manner of filling vacancies in the CCP Board.
While the issues may be set aside in the meantime, they are certain to recur every four years, especially
when a new President assumes office, generating the same controversy all over again. Thus, the issues
raised here are capable of repetition, yet evading review if compromises are resorted every time the same
controversy erupts and the constitutionality of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is not resolved. The Court
cannot refrain from passing upon the constitutionality of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 if only to prevent a
repeat of this regrettable controversy and to protect the CCP from being periodically wracked by
internecine politics. Every President who assumes office naturally wants to appoint his or her own trustees
to the CCP Board. A frontal clash will thus periodically arise between the President’s constitutional power
to appoint under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and the CCP trustees’ power to elect their
fellow trustees under Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15.

Judicial Review; It is the Supreme Court’s duty to apply the 1987 Constitution in accordance with what it
says and not in accordance with how the Legislature or the Executive would want it interpreted—this Court
has the final word on what the law means.—This Court may, in the exercise of its sound discretion, brush
aside procedural barriers and take cognizance of constitutional issues due to their paramount importance.
It is the Court’s duty to apply the 1987 Constitution in accordance with what it says and not in accordance
with how the Legislature or the Executive would want it interpreted. This Court has the final word on what
the law means. The Court must assure respect for the constitutional limitations embodied in the 1987
Constitution.

Presidency; Power of Appointment; Separation of Powers; Usurpation of this fundamentally Executive


power of appointment by the Legislative and Judicial branches violates the system of separation of powers
that inheres in our democratic republican government; Under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution, the President appoints three groups of officers—the first group refers to the heads of the
Executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces
from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in the
President by the Constitution, the second group refers to those whom the President may be authorized
by law to appoint, and the third group refers to all other officers of the Government whose appointments
are not otherwise provided by law; Under the same Section 16, there is a fourth group of lower-ranked
officers whose appointments Congress may by law vest in the heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards.—The power to appoint is the prerogative of the President, except in those
instances when the Constitution provides otherwise. Usurpation of this fundamentally Executive power
by the Legislative and Judicial branches violates the ment. Under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution, the President appoints three groups of officers. The first group refers to the heads of the
Executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces
from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in the
President by the Constitution. The second group refers to those whom the President may be authorized
by law to appoint. The third group refers to all other officers of the Government whose appointments are
not otherwise provided by law. Under the same Section 16, there is a fourth group of lower-ranked officers
whose appointments Congress may by law vest in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards. The present case involves the interpretation of Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution
with respect to the appointment of this fourth group of officers. The President appoints the first group of
officers with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The President appoints the second and
third groups of officers without the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The President appoints
the third group of officers if the law is silent on who is the appointing power, or if the law authorizing the
head of a department, agency, commission, or board to appoint is declared unconstitutional. Thus, if
Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is found unconstitutional, the President shall appoint the trustees of the CCP
Board because the trustees fall under the third group of officers.

Power of Appointment; Constitutional Law; The express language of the Constitution and the clear intent
of its framers point to only one conclusion—the officers whom the heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards may appoint must be of lower rank than those vested by law with the power to
appoint.—The framers of the 1987 Constitution clearly intended that Congress could by law vest the
appointment of lower-ranked officers in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. The
deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission explain this intent beyond any doubt. The framers
of the 1987 Constitution changed the qualifying word “inferior” to the less disparaging phrase “lower in
rank” purely for style. However, the clear intent remained that these inferior or lower in rank officers are
the subordinates of the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards who are vested by law
with the power to appoint. The express language of the Constitution and the clear intent of its framers
point to only one conclusion—the officers whom the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards may appoint must be of lower rank than those vested by law with the power to appoint.

Same; Congress may vest the authority to appoint only in the heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards.—Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution authorizes Congress to vest “in
the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards” the power to appoint lower-ranked officers.
Section 16 provides: The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in
the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.
(Emphasis supplied) In a department in the Executive branch, the head is the Secretary. The law may not
authorize the Undersecretary, acting as such Undersecretary, to appoint lower ranked officers in the
Executive department. In an agency, the power is vested in the head of the agency for it would be
preposterous to vest it in the agency itself. In a commission, the head is the chairperson of the
commission. In a board, the head is also the chairperson of the board. In the last three situations, the law
may not also authorize officers other than the heads of the agency, commission, or board to appoint lower
ranked officers.

Same; Presidency; The President’s power to appoint which is a self-executing power vested by the
Constitution itself and thus not subject to legislative limitations or conditions.—The grant of the power to
appoint to the heads of agencies, commissions, or boards is a matter of legislative grace. Congress has the
discretion to grant to, or withhold from, the heads of agencies, commissions, or boards the power to
appoint lower-ranked officers. If it so grants, Congress may impose certain conditions for the exercise of
such legislative delegation, like requiring the recommendation of subordinate officers or the concurrence
of the other members of the commission or board. This is in contrast to the President’s power to appoint
which is a self-executing power vested by the Constitution itself and thus not subject to legislative
limitations or conditions. The power to appoint conferred directly by the Constitution on the Supreme
Court en banc and on the Constitutional Commissions is also self-executing and not subject to legislative
limitations or conditions.

Words and Phrases; The word “heads” refers to the chairpersons of the commissions or boards and not
to their members.—The Constitution authorizes Congress to vest the power to appoint lowerranked
officers specifically in the “heads” of the specified offices, and in no other person. The word “heads” refers
to the chairpersons of the commissions or boards and not to their members, for several reasons.

Power of Appointment; The Supreme Court en banc is the appointing power.—The 1987 Constitution
speaks of vesting the power to appoint “in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards.” This is consistent with Section 5(6), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution which
states that the “Supreme Court shall x x x [a]ppoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in
accordance with the Civil Service Law,” making the Supreme Court en banc the appointing power. In sharp
contrast, when the 1987 Constitution speaks of the power to appoint lower-ranked officers in the
Executive branch, it vests the power “in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.”

Constitutional Law; Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); The Chairman of the Cultural Center of the
Philippines (CCP) board is the “head” of the CCP who may be vested by law, under Section 16, Article VII of
the 1987 Constitution, with the power to appoint lower-ranked officers of the CCP; The CCP, being
governed by a board, is not an agency but a board for purposes of Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution.—The Chairman of the CCP Board is the “head” of the CCP who may be vested by law, under
Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, with the power to appoint lower-ranked officers of the
CCP. Under PD 15, the CCP is a public corporation governed by a Board of Trustees. Section 6 of PD 15, as
amended, states: Board of Trustees.—The governing powers and authority of the corporation shall be
vested in, and exercised by, a Board of eleven (11) Trustees who shall serve without compensation. The
CCP, being governed by a board, is not an agency but a board for purposes of Section 16, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution.

Same; Power of Appointment; Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution allows heads of departments,
agencies, commissions, or boards to appoint only “officers lower in rank” than such “heads of departments,
agencies, commissions, or boards”—this excludes a situation where the appointing officer appoints an
officer equal in rank as him; Insofar as it authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to elect their co-trustees,
Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is unconstitutional.—Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is thus irreconcilably
inconsistent with Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 empowers
the remaining trustees of the CCP Board to fill vacancies in the CCP Board, allowing them to elect their
fellow trustees. On the other hand, Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution allows heads of
departments, agencies, commissions, or boards to appoint only “officers lower in rank” than such “heads
of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.” This excludes a situation where the appointing officer
appoints an officer equal in rank as him. Thus, insofar as it authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to
elect their co-trustees, Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is unconstitutional because it violates Section 16,
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

Power of Appointment; Words and Phrases; It does not matter that Section 6(b) of PD 15 empowers the
remaining trustees to “elect” and not “appoint” their fellow trustees for the effect is the same, which is to
fill vacancies in the CCP Board.—It does not matter that Section 6(b) of PD 15 empowers the remaining
trustees to “elect” and not “appoint” their fellow trustees for the effect is the same, which is to fill
vacancies in the CCP Board. A statute cannot circumvent the constitutional limitations on the power to
appoint by filling vacancies in a public office through election by the co-workers in that office. Such
manner of filling vacancies in a public office has no constitutional basis.

Same; The creation of an independent appointing power inherently conflicts with the President’s power to
appoint.—Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP trustees the independent appointing power of their
fellow trustees. The creation of an independent appointing power inherently conflicts with the President’s
power to appoint. This inherent conflict has spawned recurring controversies in the appointment of CCP
trustees every time a new President assumes office. In the present case, the incumbent President
appointed the Endriga group as trustees, while the remaining CCP trustees elected the same Endriga group
to the same positions. This has been the modus vivendi in filling vacancies in the CCP Board, allowing the
President to appoint and the CCP Board to elect the trustees. In effect, there are two appointing powers
over the same set of officers in the Executive branch. Each appointing power insists on exercising its own
power, even if the two powers are irreconcilable. The Court must put an end to this recurring anomaly.

Presidency; Power of Control; The presidential power of control over the Executive branch of government
extends to all executive employees from the Department Secretary to the lowliest clerk, a constitutional
power that is self-executing and which does not require any implementing law; Congress cannot limit or
curtail the President’s power of control over the Executive branch. —There is another constitutional
impediment to the implementation of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15. Under our system of government, all
Executive departments, bureaus, and offices are under the control of the President of the Philippines.
Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides: The President shall have control of all the
executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
(Emphasis supplied) The presidential power of control over the Executive branch of government extends
to all executive employees from the Department Secretary to the lowliest clerk. This constitutional power
of the President is self-executing and does not require any implementing law. Congress cannot limit or
curtail the President’s power of control over the Executive branch.

Same; Same; Every government office, entity, or agency must fall under the Executive, Legislative, or
Judicial branches, or must belong to one of the independent constitutional bodies, or must be a quasi-
judicial body or local government unit; Since the CCP does not fall under the Legislative or Judicial branches
of government, and neither is it also one of the independent constitutional bodies, nor a quasi-judicial body
or a local government unit, the CCP must fall under the Executive branch; Since the President exercises
control over “all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices,” the President necessarily exercises
control over the CCP which is an office in the Executive branch.—Every government office, entity, or agency
must fall under the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches, or must belong to one of the independent
constitutional bodies, or must be a quasi-judicial body or local government unit. Otherwise, such
government office, entity, or agency has no legal and constitutional basis for its existence. The CCP does
not fall under the Legislative or Judicial branches of government. The CCP is also not one of the
independent constitutional bodies. Neither is the CCP a quasi-judicial body nor a local government unit.
Thus, the CCP must fall under the Executive branch. Under the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, any
agency “not placed by law or order creating them under any specific department” falls “under the Office
of the President.” Since the President exercises control over “all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices,” the President necessarily exercises control over the CCP which is an office in the Executive branch.
In mandating that the President “shall have control of all executive x x x offices,” Section 17, Article VII of
the 1987 Constitution does not exempt any executive office—one performing executive functions outside
of the independent constitutional bodies—from the President’s power of control. There is no dispute that
the CCP performs executive, and not legislative, judicial, or quasi-judicial functions.

Same; Same; There can be no instance under the Constitution where an officer of the Executive branch is
outside the control of the President—any office in the Executive branch that is not under the control of the
President is a lost command whose existence is without any legal or constitutional basis.—The President’s
power of control applies to the acts or decisions of all officers in the Executive branch. This is true whether
such officers are appointed by the President or by heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards. The power of control means the power to revise or reverse the acts or decisions of a subordinate
officer involving the exercise of discretion. In short, the President sits at the apex of the Executive branch,
and exercises “control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices.” There can be no instance
under the Constitution where an officer of the Executive branch is outside the control of the President.
The Executive branch is unitary since there is only one President vested with executive power exercising
control over the entire Executive branch. Any office in the Executive branch that is not under the control
of the President is a lost command whose existence is without any legal or constitutional basis.

Power of Control; The Legislature cannot validly enact a law that puts a government office in the Executive
branch outside the control of the President in the guise of insulating that office from politics or making it
independent.—The Legislature cannot validly enact a law that puts a government office in the Executive
branch outside the control of the President in the guise of insulating that office from politics or making it
independent. If the office is part of the Executive branch, it must remain subject to the control of the
President. Otherwise, the Legislature can deprive the President of his constitutional power of control over
“all the executive x x x offices.” If the Legislature can do this with the Executive branch, then the
Legislature can also deal a similar blow to the Judicial branch by enacting a law putting decisions of certain
lower courts beyond the review power of the Supreme Court. This will destroy the system of checks and
balances finely structured in the 1987 Constitution among the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial
branches. Of course, the President’s power of control does not extend to quasi-judicial bodies whose
proceedings and decisions are judicial in nature and subject to judicial review, even as such quasi-judicial
bodies may be under the administrative supervision of the President. It also does not extend to local
government units, which are merely under the general supervision of the President.

Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); Presidential Decree No. 15; Presidency; Power of Control; Section
6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP a self-perpetuating entity, virtually outside the control of the
President—such a public office or board cannot legally exist under the 1987 Constitution.—Section 6(b)
and (c) of PD 15, which authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to fill vacancies in the Board, runs afoul
with the President’s power of control under Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. The intent of
Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is to insulate the CCP from political influence and pressure, specifically from
the President. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP a self-perpetuating entity, virtually outside the
control of the President. Such a public office or board cannot legally exist under the 1987 Constitution.

Same; Power of Control; Section 3 of PD 15 stating that the CCP “shall enjoy autonomy of policy and
operation” may give the CCP Board a free hand in initiating and formulating policies and undertaking
activities, but ultimately these policies and activities are all subject to the President’s power of control.—
Section 3 of PD 15, as amended, states that the CCP “shall enjoy autonomy of policy and operation x x x.”
This provision does not free the CCP from the President’s control, for if it does, then it would be
unconstitutional. This provision may give the CCP Board a free hand in initiating and formulating policies
and undertaking activities, but ultimately these policies and activities are all subject to the President’s
power of control.

Same; Same; Constitutional Law; By stating that the “President shall have control of all the executive x x x
offices,” the 1987 Constitution empowers the President not only to influence but even to control all offices
in the Executive branch, including the CCP—control is far greater than, and subsumes, influence.—The
CCP is part of the Executive branch. No law can cut off the President’s control over the CCP in the guise of
insulating the CCP from the President’s influence. By stating that the “President shall have control of all
the executive x x x offices,” the 1987 Constitution empowers the President not only to influence but even
to control all offices in the Executive branch, including the CCP. Control is far greater than, and subsumes,
influence.

Same; Appointments Clause; Constitutional authority to make appointments within the executive branch
is governed solely by the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, which is broad enough to cover all
possible appointment scenarios.—Constitutional authority to make appointments within the executive
branch is governed solely by the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, which is broad enough to cover
all possible appointment scenarios. The provision states: SECTION 16. The President shall nominate and,
with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments,
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel
or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall
also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by
law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the
appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of
departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. The first sentence of the Appointments Clause
enumerates the officers whom only the President may appoint, subject to the consent of the Commission
of Appointments. There is no doubt that no official of the CCP, or any GOCC for that matter, is included in
this first category of appoint-ees. The second and third sentences must be examined together. The second
sentence authorizes the President to appoint all other officers whose appointments are not otherwise
provided for by law, or those whom he may be authorized to appoint by law. This authority must be
appreciated with the third sentence, which authorizes Congress to vest the appointment of other officers
lower in rank to the President, the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards.

Appointments Clause; Words and Phrases; “Boards,” as used in the Appointments Clause does not pertain
to the boards of directors of government or public corporations such as the CCP— such GOCCs are properly
considered as agencies which nonetheless fall within the same classification in the Appointments Clause;
The term “board” or “Board,” as utilized in the administrative bureaucracy, may pertain to different
entities performing different functions under different mandates.—I submit that “boards,” as used in the
Appointments Clause, does not pertain to the boards of directors of government or public corporations
such as the CCP. Such GOCCs are properly considered as agencies which nonetheless fall within the same
classification in the Appointments Clause. The term “board” or “Board,” as utilized in the administrative
bureaucracy, may pertain to different entities performing different functions under different mandates.
There are several prominent government agencies which use the nomenclature “Board,” such as the
Monetary Board (MB), the Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board (HLURB), the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB),
and the former Energy Regulatory Board, among others. Collegial bodies such as the Boards just
mentioned have long formed part of the executive superstructure, along with departments, agencies and
commissions. Hence, it came as no surprise that all four (4) entities were lumped together in the
Appointments Clause.

Same; Same; The term “Board,” used in a general sense, has been defined as a representative body
organized to perform a trust or to execute official or representative functions, or a group of persons with
managerial, supervisory or investigatory functions.— The CCP itself may be considered as an agency since
under the Administrative Code, an agency includes a government-owned or controlled corporation. The
term “Board,” used in a general sense, has been defined as a representative body organized to perform a
trust or to execute official or representative functions, or a group of persons with managerial, supervisory
or investigatory functions. There is no doubt that sovereign executive functions can be delegated through
duly constituted Boards, such as the HLURB or MTRCB, and it is commonly understood that the Boards in
those cases refer to a group of individuals vested with the exercise of governmental functions. However,
boards do not normally have independent juridical personality, unlike corporations.

Power of Appointment; Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); It is the CCP board itself that is the “head”
of the CCP or acts as such head.—Who then is the “head” of the CCP? The majority suggests that it is the
Chairperson of the CCP board. I respectfully differ but maintain that it is the CCP board itself that is the
“head” of the CCP or acts as such head. The majority’s conclusion is predicated on the premise that the
CCP should be classified as a board (Board) and not an agency. However, as I pointed out, the CCP as a
GOCC should instead be considered as an agency. Indeed, the CCP Board of Trustees cannot exercise any
function or power outside the context of its mandate as the governing authority of the CCP.

Same; Appointments Clause; The proper construction of “head” should be functional in approach, focusing
on the entity that exercises the actual governing authority rather than searching for a single individual
who could be deemed by reason of title as representative of the CCP; Pursuant to the Appointments Clause,
Congress may vest on the CCP board, as the head of the CCP, the power to appoint officers of the CCP.—I
feel that the majority has succumbed to the temptation in regarding the term “head” as exclusively
referring to a singular personality. Such a reading, I respectfully submit, is unduly formalistic. The proper
construction of “head” should be functional in approach, focusing on the entity that exercises the actual
governing authority rather than searching for a single individual who could be deemed by reason of title
as representative of the CCP. For the objective of the Appointments Clause is to allow the power to
appoint to be exercised by the final governing authority of a department, agency, commission or board
(Board) over its junior officers. It would be patently absurd to insist that the constitutional intent is to
authorize the repose of such appointing power instead to an individual officer whose acts are still subject
to confirmation by a higher authority within that office. Interpretatio talis in ambiguis semper freinda est,
ut eviatur inconveniens et absurdum. Thus, pursuant to the Appointments Clause, Congress may vest on
the CCP board, as the head of the CCP, the power to appoint officers of the CCP. The controversy in this
case lies though in the appointment of the members of the Board of Trustees themselves, and not the
particular officers of the CCP. Thus, the question is this: Can the Board of Trustees be validly empowered
by law to appoint its own members, as it is so under the CCP Charter?

Presidency; Power of Control; Congress; Evidently, there is a looming clash between the prerogative of the
President to exercise control over the executive branch, and the prerogative of Congress to dictate through
legislation the metes and bounds of a government corporation with original charter.—Our laws similarly
sustain the theoretical underpinning that a chartered GOCC is a creature of the legislative branch of
government, even as it falls within the executive branch. As noted earlier, Section 6 of the Corporation
Code states that “[c]orporations created by special laws or charters shall be governed primarily by the
provisions of the special law or charter creating them or applicable to them” Thus, it is Congress, and not
the executive branch, which determines a chartered GOCC’s corporate structure, purposes and functions.
This basic point should be beyond controversy. Yet, the majority implies that Congress cannot limit or
curtail the President’s power of control over the Executive branch, and from that context, declares that a
law authorizing the CCP Board of Trustees to appoint its own members runs afoul with the President’s
power of control. Evidently, there is a looming clash between the prerogative of the President to exercise
control over the executive branch, and the prerogative of Congress to dictate through legislation the
metes and bounds of a government corporation with original charter. The scope of the potential
controversy could also extend not only to GOCCs with original charters, but also to other public offices
created by law. Outside of those offices specifically created by the Constitution itself, the creation and
definition of the bureaucracy that constitutes the executive branch of government is an incident of the
legislative power to make laws. The power to create public offices is inherently legislative, and generally
includes the power to modify or abolish it.

Power of Removal; Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs); Even as public offices or


GOCCs may fall within the control and supervision of the executive branch, Congress has the power,
through legislation, to enact whatever restrictions it may deem fit to prescribe for the public good.—I
submit that as a means of checking executive power, the legislature is empowered to impose reasonable
statutory limitations in such exercise, over such areas wherein the legislative jurisdiction to legislate is
ceded. As stated earlier, among such areas within the province of Congress is the creation of public offices
or GOCCs. Even as such public offices or GOCCs may fall within the control and supervision of the executive
branch, Congress has the power, through legislation, to enact whatever restrictions it may deem fit to
prescribe for the public good.

Constitutional Law; Presidency; The Constitution is allergic to an omnipotent presidency, and thus, the law
is the limit.—The ruling of the Court today is boon for those quarters which wish to concede to the
presidency as much power as there can be. Sadly, it comes at the expense of the time-honored prerogative
of Congress to legislate laws. The power of Congress to enact legislative charters with any sort of
restrictions that would be enforced is now severely put in doubt. The power of Congress to fix the terms
of the offices it creates is now controvertible. The President has been given the green light to remove at
will officials whose terms of offices are set by law, without regard to the constitutional guarantee of
security of tenure to these officials. All these wrought simply because for the majority, the CCP Board of
Trustees somehow transubstantiated itself into the CCP itself. I have consistently advocated a generous
interpretation of presidential authority, owing to my firm belief in the potency of the inherent and residual
powers implicit in the highest office of the land. Still, the Constitution is allergic to an omnipotent
presidency, and thus, the law is the limit. This is a live tiger that the majority has set loose today, one
utterly capable of inflicting great pain on the delicate balance that safeguards the separation of powers.

C.11. De Castro vs. Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010.

Judicial Review; Locus Standi; Requisites; Words and Phrases; In public or constitutional litigations, the
Court is often burdened with the determination of the locus standi of the petitioners due to the ever-
present need to regulate the invocation of the intervention of the Court to correct any official action or
policy in order to avoid obstructing the efficient functioning of public officials and offices involved in public
service; Black defines locus standi as “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.”—
Black defines locus standi as “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.” In public or
constitutional litigations, the Court is often burdened with the determination of the locus standi of the
petitioners due to the ever-present need to regulate the invocation of the intervention of the Court to
correct any official action or policy in order to avoid obstructing the efficient functioning of public officials
and offices involved in public service. It is required, therefore, that the petitioner must have a personal
stake in the outcome of the controversy, for, as indicated in Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air
Terminals Co., Inc., 402 SCRA 612 (2003): The question on legal standing is whether such parties have
“alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness
which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of
difficult constitutional questions.” Accordingly, it has been held that the interest of a person assailing the
constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. He must be able to show, not only that the law
or any government act is invalid, but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some
direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way.
It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to
which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason
of the statute or act complained of.

Presidency; Appointments; Midnight Appointment Ban; The prohibition against presidential appointments
under Section 15, Article VII does not extend to appointments in the Judiciary.—In the consolidated
petitions, the petitioners, with the exception of Soriano, Tolentino and Inting, submit that the incumbent
President can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his retirement on May 17, 2010, on the
ground that the prohibition against presidential appointments under Section 15, Article VII does not
extend to appointments in the Judiciary. The Court agrees with the submission.

Same; Same; Statutory Construction; Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in
Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly
done so—they could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions.—As can be seen, Article
VII is devoted to the Executive Department, and, among others, it lists the powers vested by the
Constitution in the President. The presidential power of appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15 and
16 of the Article. Article VIII is dedicated to the Judicial Department and defines the duties and
qualifications of Members of the Supreme Court, among others. Section 4(1) and Section 9 of this Article
are the provisions specifically providing for the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. In particular,
Section 9 states that the appointment of Supreme Court Justices can only be made by the President upon
the submission of a list of at least three nominees by the JBC; Section 4(1) of the Article mandates the
President to fill the vacancy within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. Had the framers intended
to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of Members of the
Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering
of the provisions. They would have easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15,
Article VII as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII
itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only reveals that the
prohibition against the President or Acting President making appointments within two months before the
next presidential elections and up to the end of the President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer
to the Members of the Supreme Court.
Same; Same; Same; Judgments; The reference to the records of the Constitutional Commission did not
advance or support the result in In Re Appointments Dated March 30, 1998 of Hon. Mateo A. Valenzuela
and Hon. Placido B. Vallarta as Judges of the Regional Trial Court of Branch 62, Bago City and of Branch
24, Cabanatuan City, respectively (Valenzuela), 298 SCRA 408 (1998). —The reference to the records of
the Constitutional Commission did not advance or support the result in Valenzuela. Far to the contrary,
the records disclosed the express intent of the framers to enshrine in the Constitution, upon the initiative
of Commissioner Eulogio Lerum, “a command [to the President] to fill up any vacancy therein within 90
days from its occurrence,” which even Valenzuela conceded. The exchanges during deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission on October 8, 1986 further show that the filling of a vacancy in the Supreme
Court within the 90-day period was a true mandate for the President.

Same; Same; Same; Same; The usage in Section 4(1), Article VIII of the Constitution of the word shall—an
imperative, operating to impose a duty that may be enforced—should not be disregarded; Section 4(1)
imposes on the President the imperative duty to make an appointment of a Member of the Supreme Court
within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy—the failure by the President to do so will be a clear
disobedience to the Constitution; The 90-day limitation fixed in Section 4(1), Article VIII for the President
to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court was undoubtedly a special provision to establish a definite
mandate for the President as the appointing power.—Moreover, the usage in Section 4(1), Article VIII of
the word shall—an imperative, operating to impose a duty that may be enforced—should not be
disregarded. Thereby, Sections 4(1) imposes on the President the imperative duty to make an
appointment of a Member of the Supreme Court within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy. The
failure by the President to do so will be a clear disobedience to the Constitution. The 90-day limitation
fixed in Section 4(1), Article VIII for the President to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court was undoubtedly
a special provision to establish a definite mandate for the President as the appointing power, and cannot
be defeated by mere judicial interpretation in Valenzuela to the effect that Section 15, Article VII prevailed
because it was “couched in stronger negative language.” Such interpretation even turned out to be
conjectural, in light of the records of the Constitutional Commission’s deliberations on Section 4 (1),
Article VIII.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Valenzuela arbitrarily ignored the express intent of the Constitutional
Commission to have Section 4 (1), Article VIII stand independently of any other provision, least of all one
found in Article VII—a misinterpretation like Valenzuela should not be allowed to last after its false
premises have been exposed; Valenzuela now deserves to be quickly sent to the dustbin of the unworthy
and forgettable.—In this connection, PHILCONSA’s urging of a revisit and a review of Valenzuela is timely
and appropriate. Valenzuela arbitrarily ignored the express intent of the Constitutional Commission to
have Section 4 (1), Article VIII stand independently of any other provision, least of all one found in Article
VII. It further ignored that the two provisions had no irreconcilable conflict, regardless of Section 15,
Article VII being couched in the negative. As judges, we are not to unduly interpret, and should not accept
an interpretation that defeats the intent of the framers. Consequently, prohibiting the incumbent
President from appointing a Chief Justice on the premise that Section 15, Article VII extends to
appointments in the Judiciary cannot be sustained. A misinterpretation like Valenzuela should not be
allowed to last after its false premises have been exposed. It will not do to merely distinguish Valenzuela
from these cases, for the result to be reached herein is entirely incompatible with what Valenzuela
decreed. Consequently, Valenzuela now deserves to be quickly sent to the dustbin of the unworthy and
forgettable. We reverse Valenzuela.
Same; Same; Same; Judicial and Bar Council; Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in
Section 15, Article VII, the Court has no doubt that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition
to appointments made in the Executive Department; If midnight appointments in the mold of Aytona v.
Castillo, 4 SCRA 1 (1962), were made in haste and with irregularities, or made by an outgoing Chief
Executive in the last days of his administration out of a desire to subvert the policies of the incoming
President or for partisanship, the appointments to the Judiciary made after the establishment of the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) would not be suffering from such defects because of the JBC’s prior
processing of candidates.—Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15, Article
VII, we have no doubt that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition to appointments made
in the Executive Department. The framers did not need to extend the prohibition to appointments in the
Judiciary, because their establishment of the JBC and their subjecting the nomination and screening of
candidates for judicial positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior process of the JBC ensured that
there would no longer be midnight appointments to the Judiciary. If midnight appointments in the mold
of Aytona were made in haste and with irregularities, or made by an outgoing Chief Executive in the last
days of his administration out of a desire to subvert the policies of the incoming President or for
partisanship, the appointments to the Judiciary made after the establishment of the JBC would not be
suffering from such defects because of the JBC’s prior processing of candidates. Indeed, it is axiomatic in
statutory construction that the ascertainment of the purpose of the enactment is a step in the process of
ascertaining the intent or meaning of the enactment, because the reason for the enactment must
necessarily shed considerable light on “the law of the statute,” i.e., the intent; hence, the enactment
should be construed with reference to its intended scope and purpose, and the court should seek to carry
out this purpose rather than to defeat it.

Same; Presidency; Appointments; Judicial and Bar Council; The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has no
discretion to submit the list of nominees to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court to the President after the
vacancy occurs, because that shortens the 90day period allowed by the Constitution for the President to
make the appointment.—Section 4(1) and Section 9, Article VIII, mandate the President to fill the vacancy
in the Supreme Court within 90 days from the occurrence of the vacancy, and within 90 days from the
submission of the list, in the case of the lower courts. The 90-day period is directed at the President, not
at the JBC. Thus, the JBC should start the process of selecting the candidates to fill the vacancy in the
Supreme Court before the occurrence of the vacancy. Under the Constitution, it is mandatory for the JBC
to submit to the President the list of nominees to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court in order to enable
the President to appoint one of them within the 90-day period from the occurrence of the vacancy. The
JBC has no discretion to submit the list to the President after the vacancy occurs, because that shortens
the 90-day period allowed by the Constitution for the President to make the appointment. For the JBC to
do so will be unconscionable on its part, considering that it will thereby effectively and illegally deprive
the President of the ample time granted under the Constitution to reflect on the qualifications of the
nominees named in the list of the JBC before making the appointment.

Same; Same; Same; Same; The duty of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to submit a list of nominees before
the start of the President’s mandatory 90-day period to appoint is ministerial, but its selection of the
candidates whose names will be in the list to be submitted to the President lies within the discretion of the
JBC.— The duty of the JBC to submit a list of nominees before the start of the President’s mandatory 90-
day period to appoint is ministerial, but its selection of the candidates whose names will be in the list to
be submitted to the President lies within the discretion of the JBC. The object of the petitions for
mandamus herein should only refer to the duty to submit to the President the list of nominees for every
vacancy in the Judiciary, because in order to constitute unlawful neglect of duty, there must be an
unjustified delay in performing that duty. For mandamus to lie against the JBC, therefore, there should be
an unexplained delay on its part in recommending nominees to the Judiciary, that is, in submitting the list
to the President.

C.12. ATTY. CHELOY E. VELICARIA- GARAFIL, Petitioner, v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND HON.
SOLICITOR GENERAL JOSE ANSELMO I. CADIZ, Respondents.

The appointment to a government post like that of provincial fiscal to be complete involves several steps.
First, comes the nomination by the President. Then to make that nomination valid and permanent, the
Commission on Appointments of the Legislature has to confirm said nomination. The last step is the
acceptance thereof by the appointee by his assumption of office. The first two steps, nomination and
confirmation, constitute a mere offer of a post. They are acts of the Executive and Legislative departments
of the Government. But the last necessary step to make the appointment complete and effective rests
solely with the appointee himself. He may or he may not accept the appointment or nomination. As held
in the case of Borromeo vs. Mariano, 41 Phil. 327, “there is no power in this country which can compel a
man to accept an office.” Consequently, since Lacson has declined to accept his appointment as provincial
fiscal of Tarlac and no one can compel him to do so, then he continues as provincial fiscal of Negros
Oriental and no vacancy in said office was created, unless Lacson had been lawfully removed as such fiscal
of Negros Oriental.

C.13. Manalang-Demigillo vs. Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines
(TIDCORP), G.R. No. 168613. March 5, 2013.

Constitutional Law; Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency; The doctrine of qualified political agency, also
known as the alter ego doctrine, was introduced in the landmark case of Villena v. The Secretary of Interior,
67 Phil. 451 (1939).—The doctrine of qualified political agency, also known as the alter ego doctrine, was
introduced in the landmark case of Villena v. The Secretary of Interior, 67 Phil. 451 (1939). In said case,
the Department of Justice, upon the request of the Secretary of Interior, investigated Makati Mayor Jose
D. Villena and found him guilty of bribery, extortion, and abuse of authority. The Secretary of Interior then
recommended to the President the suspension from office of Mayor Villena. Upon approval by the
President of the recommendation, the Secretary of Interior suspended Mayor Villena. Unyielding, Mayor
Villena challenged his suspension, asserting that the Secretary of Interior had no authority to suspend him
from office because there was no specific law granting such power to the Secretary of Interior; and that
it was the President alone who was empowered to suspend local government officials. The Court
disagreed with Mayor Villena and upheld his suspension, holding that the doctrine of qualified political
agency warranted the suspension by the Secretary of Interior.

Same; Same; The doctrine of qualified political agency essentially postulates that the heads of the various
executive departments are the alter egos of the President, and, thus, the actions taken by such heads in
the performance of their official duties are deemed the acts of the President unless the President himself
should disapprove such acts.—The doctrine of qualified political agency essentially postulates that the
heads of the various executive departments are the alter egos of the President, and, thus, the actions
taken by such heads in the performance of their official duties are deemed the acts of the President unless
the President himself should disapprove such acts. This doctrine is in recognition of the fact that in our
presidential form of government, all executive organizations are adjuncts of a single Chief Executive; that
the heads of the Executive Departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive; and that the
multiple executive functions of the President as the Chief Executive are performed through the Executive
Departments. The doctrine has been adopted here out of practical necessity, considering that the
President cannot be expected to personally perform the multifarious functions of the executive office.

C.14. Vidallon-Magtolis vs. Salud, G.R. No. 168056. September 1, 2005.

Courts; Contempt; Separation of Powers; If it were true that former Finance Secretary Purisima felt that
the media misconstrued his actions, then he should have immediately rectified it and not waited until the
Supreme Court required him to explain before he denied having made such statements which impressed
upon the public’s mind that the issuance of the TRO was the product of the machinations on the Court by
the executive branch.—At the time the reports came out, Purisima did not controvert the truth or falsity
of the statements attributed to him. It was only after the Court issued the show-cause order that Purisima
saw it fit to deny having uttered these statements. By then, it was already impressed upon the public’s
mind that the issuance of the TRO was the product of machinations on the Court by the executive branch.
If it were true that Purisima felt that the media misconstrued his actions, then he should have immediately
rectified it. He should not have waited until the Court required him to explain before he denied having
made such statements. And even then, his denials were made as a result of the Court’s show-cause order
and not by any voluntary act on his part that will show utter regret for having been “misquoted.” Purisima
should know that these press releases placed the Court into dis-honor, disrespect, and public contempt,
diminished public confidence, promoted distrust in the Court, and assailed the integrity of its Members.
The Court already took a beating before Purisima made any disclaimer. The damage has been done, so to
speak.

C.15. Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation vs. Commissioner of Internal
Revenue, G.R. No. 198146. August 8, 2017.

Presidency; Courts; Jurisdiction; Power of Control; Under his constitutional power of control, the President
decides the dispute between the two (2) executive offices. The judiciary cannot substitute its decision over
that of the President. Only after the President has decided or settled the dispute can the courts’ jurisdiction
be invoked.—Clearly, the President’s constitutional power of control over all the executive departments,
bureaus and offices cannot be curtailed or diminished by law. “Since the Constitution has given the
President the power of control, with all its awesome implications, it is the Constitution alone which can
curtail such power.” This constitutional power of control of the President cannot be diminished by the
CTA. Thus, if two executive offices or agencies cannot agree, it is only proper and logical that the President,
as the sole Executive who under the Constitution has control over both offices or agencies in dispute,
should resolve the dispute instead of the courts. The judiciary should not intrude in this executive function
of determining which is correct between the opposing government offices or agencies, which are both
under the sole control of the President. Under his constitutional power of control, the President decides
the dispute between the two executive offices. The judiciary cannot substitute its decision over that of
the President. Only after the President has decided or settled the dispute can the courts’ jurisdiction be
invoked. Until such time, the judiciary should not interfere since the issue is not yet ripe for judicial
adjudication. Otherwise, the judiciary would infringe on the President’s exercise of his constitutional
power of control over all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices.