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VILLENA VS SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Posted by kaye lee on 10:39 PM


G.R. No. L-46570 April 21 1939
FACTS:
Division of Investigation of the DOJ, upon the request of the Secretary of the Interior, conducted an inquiry into the
conduct of the Villena, mayor of Makati, Rizal, as a result of which the latter was found to have committed bribery,
extortion, malicious abuse of authority ad unauthorized practice of the law profession. The respondent recommended
the suspension of Villena to the President of the Philippines, in which it was verbally granted. The Secretary then
suspended Villena from office. Villena filed a petition for preliminary injunction against the Sec. to restrain him and his
agents from proceeding with the investigation.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Secretary of the Interior has jurisdiction or authority to suspend and order investigation over
Villena.
RULING:
The Secretary of Interior has the power to order investigation and to suspend Mayor Villena. As to the power to order
investigation, it was provided in Section 79 (C) of RAC that Department of Interior was given the authority to
supervise bureaus and offices under its jurisdiction. This was interpreted in relation to Section 86 of the same Code
which granted the said Department of executive supervision over administration of provinces, municipalities and
other political subdivisions. This supervision covers the power to order investigation because supervision implies
authority to inquire into facts and conditions in order to render power real and effective.However, unlike this power to
order investigation, the power to suspend a mayor was not provided in any law. There was no express grant of
authority to the Secretary of Interior to suspend a Mayor. Nevertheless, Section 2188 of the Administrative Code
granted the provincial governor the power of suspension. Yet this did not mean that the grant precluded the
Secretary of Interior.
The Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency which provides that the acts of the department secretaries, performed and
promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the President,
presumptively the acts of the President. The power to suspend may be exercised by the President. It follows that the
heads of the Department under her may also exercise the same, unless the law required the President to act
personally or that situation demanded him so, because the heads of the departments are assistants and agents of
the President.
Categories: Constitutional Law 1, G.R. No. L-46570
the power to remove
Jose Villena was the then mayor of Makati in the 1930s. After investigation, the Secretary of Interior recommended
the suspension of Villena with the Office of the president who approved the same. The Secretary then suspended
Villena. Villena averred claiming that the Secretary has no jurisdiction over the matter. The power or jurisdiction is
lodged in the local government [the governor] pursuant to sec 2188 of the Administrative Code. Further, even if the
respondent Secretary of the Interior has power of supervision over local governments, that power, according to the
constitution, must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of law and the provisions of law governing trials of
charges against elective municipal officials are those contained in sec 2188 of the Administrative Code as amended.
In other words, the Secretary of the Interior must exercise his supervision over local governments, if he has that
power under existing law, in accordance with sec 2188 of the Administrative Code, as amended, as the latter
provisions govern the procedure to be followed in suspending and punishing elective local officials while sec 79 (C) of
the Administrative Code is the genera law which must yield to the special law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Secretary of Interior can suspend an LGU official under investigation.
HELD: Yes.
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There is no clear and express grant of power to the secretary to suspend a mayor of a municipality who is under
investigation. On the contrary, the power appears lodged in the provincial governor by sec 2188 of the Administrative
Code which provides that The provincial governor shall receive and investigate complaints made under oath against
municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression, corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and
conviction by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude.
The fact, however, that the power of suspension is expressly granted by sec 2188 of the Administrative Code to the
provincial governor does not mean that the grant is necessarily exclusive and precludes the Secretary of the
Interior from exercising a similar power. For instance, Villena admitted in the oral argument that the President of the
Philippines may himself suspend the petitioner from office in virtue of his greater power of removal (sec. 2191, as
amended, Administrative Code) to be exercised conformably to law. Indeed, if the President could, in the manner
prescribed by law, remove a municipal official; it would be a legal incongruity if he were to be devoid of the lesser
power of suspension. And the incongruity would be more patent if, possessed of the power both to suspend and to
remove a provincial official (sec. 2078, Administrative Code), the President were to be without the power to suspend
a municipal official. The power to suspend a municipal official is not exclusive. Preventive suspension may be issued
to give way for an impartial investigation.
Isidro C. Ang- Angco, petitioner, vs. Hon. Natalio P. Castillo, Et. Al.,
respondents No. L-17169. November 30,1963 (9 SCRA 619)
Constitutional Law 1 Sec. 17 The President shall have control of all the executive departments, burea us, and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. Isidro C. Ang- Angco, petitioner, vs. Hon. Natalio P.
Castillo, Et. Al., respondents
No. L-17169. November 30,1963 (9 SCRA 619)
Facts : February 12, 1960- Collector of Customs Isidro Ang-Angco was resigned effective o n the date of notice,
with prejudice to reinstatement in the Bureau of Customs, being found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest
of the service by Executive Secretary Natalio P. Castillo, by authority of the President. Upon learning of the decision
through the newpapers, Ang-Angco requested for rec onsideration : calling attention to the fact that the action taken
by Secretary Castillo in removing him from office had the effect of depriving him of his stat utory right to have his
case originally decided by the Commissioner of Civil Ser vice, as well as his right to appeal to the Civil service Board
of Appeals, whos e decision under Republic Act No. 2260 is final, besides the fact that such dec isions is in violation
of the guaranty vouchsafed by the Constitution to officer s or employees in the civil service against removal or
suspension except for cau se in the manner provided by law. Secretary Castillo, on authority of President Garcia
denied the appeal; he asse rted that the President by virtue of his power of control over all executive dep artments,
bureaus and offices, can take direct action and dispose of the adminis trative case in question inasmuch as the
provisions of law that would seem to ve st final authority in subordinate officers of the executive branch of the govern
ment over administrative matters falling under their jurisdiction cannot divest the President of his power of control nor
diminish the same. After exhausting all administrative remedies available for Ang-Angco to secure h is reinstatement
to the office from which he was removed without valid cause or in violation of his right to due process of law, he filed
before the Supreme Cou rt, a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with a petition for the issuance of a
preliminary mandatory injunction. Citing that Secretary Castillo violated : Sec. 16 (i) of the Civil Service Act o f 1959
which vests in the Commissioner of Civil Service the original and exclusi ve jurisdiction to decide administrative
cases against officers and employees in the classified service; deprived him of his right to appeal under Section 18 (b
) of the same Act of the Civil Service Board of Appeals whose decision on the ma tter is final, and removed him from
the service without due process in violation of Section 32 of the same Act, and of Section 4, Article XII of the
Constitutio n, which provides No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed e xcept for cause as
provided for by law. Petitioner is an officer who belongs to t he classified civil service and is not a presidential
appointee, but one appoint ed by the Secretary of Finance under the Revised Administrative Code, he cannot be
removed from the service in utter disregard of the provisions of the Civil Se rvice Act of 1959. Respondent contended
that whether the officers or employees concerned are presid ential appointees or belong to the classified civil service,
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if they are officer s and employees in the executive department, they all come under the control of the President and
therefore, his power of removal may be exercised over them dir ectly without distinction. They held, as in the case of
Negado v. Castro, 55 OG. , 10534, the President may modify or set aside a decision of the Civil Service B oard of
Appeals at the instance of the office concerned, or the employee, or may even do so motu proprio, there would be in
the final analysis no logical differ ence between removing petitioner by direct action of the President and separatin g
him from the service by ultimate action by the President should an appeal be t aken from the decision of the Civil
Service Board of Appeals to him, or if in hi s discretion he may motu proprio consider it necessary to review the
Boards decision.
Issue :
Whether or not the President has the power to take direct action on the case of petitioner even if he belongs to the
classified services, in spite of provisions now in force in the Civil Service Act of 1959.
Held : No. Section 16 9i) of the Civil Service Act of 1959, it is the Commissioner of the Civil Service who has the
original and exclusive jurisdiction to decide administrative cases of all officers an employees in the classified service.
The only limitation to this power is that the decision of the Commissioner may be appealed to the Civil Service Board
of Appeals, in which case said Board shall have decided within a period of 90 days, whose decision in such case
shall be final (Section 18, Republic Act 2260). The only law that can be cited for the President to be empowered to
remove officers and employees in the classified civil service is Section 64 (b) of the revised Administrative Code; but
the phrase conformably to law is significant. It show s that the president does not have blanket authority to remove
any officer or employee of the government but that his power is still subject to the law that may be passed by the
legislative body particularly with regard to the procedure, ca use and finality of the removal of the persons who may
be subject to the disciplinary action. The power of the President merely applies to the exercise of control over the
acts of the subordinate and not over the actor or agent himself of t he act. It means that the President may set aside
the judgment or action taken b y a subordinate in the performance of his duties. It is still the Department Head,
pursuant to Section 79 (C ) who is given the direct control of all bureaus and offices under his department by virtue of
which he may repeal or modify decisions of the chiefs of said bureaus or offices, and under section 74 of the same
Code, the Presidents control over the executive department refers to matters of general policy. The Civil Service
system has the beneficient purpose of giving stability to the tenure of office of those who belong to the classified
service. In conclusion, the direct action taken by Secretary Castillo with authority of t he President on the
administrative case of the petitioner, without submitting the same to the Commissioner of Civil Service is contrary to
law and should be set aside. The petitioner was reinstated to service, without prejudice to submitting his case to the
Commissioner of Civil Service to be dealt according to law.
Note : Section 32 of the Civil Service law of 1959 echoes the constitutionally protected security of tenure: no officer
or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law. Shall be
entitled to a forma l investigation if he so desires. A civil service employee should be heard before he is condemned.
Jurisprudence has clung to this rule with such unrelentless grasp that by now it would appear trite to make citation
thereof (Perez v. Subido, et al., L 26791, June 22, 1968, 28 CSRA 1074). Sheila A. Artillero LLB 1 CPC
Macalintal vs PET, GR 191618, June 7, 2011
Posted by Pius Morados on November 13, 2011
(Admin Law, PET, Quasi-judicial power)
Facts: Par 7, Sec 4, Art VII of the 1987 Constitution provides: The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may
promulgate its rules for the purpose.
Sec 12, Art. VIII of the Constitution provides: The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by
law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.
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The case at bar is a motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner of the SCs decision dismissing the formers petition
and declaring the establishment of the respondent PET as constitutional.
Petitioner argues that PET is unconstitutional on the ground that Sec 4, Art VII of the Constitution does not provide
for the creation of the PET, and it violates Sec 12, Art VIII of the Constitution.
The Solicitor General maintains that the constitution of the PET is on firm footing on the basis of the grant of authority
to the Supreme Court to be the sole judge of all election contests for the President or Vice-President under par 7,
Sec 4, Art VII of the Constitution.
Issue:
1. Whether or not PET is constitutional.
2. Whether or not PET exercises quasi-judicial power.
Held:
1. Yes. The explicit reference of the Members of the Constitutional Commission to a Presidential Electoral Tribunal,
with Fr. Joaquin Bernas categorically declaring that in crafting the last paragraph of Sec. 4, Art VII of the 1987
Constitution, they constitutionalized what was statutory. Judicial power granted to the Supreme Court by the
same Constitution is plenary. And under the doctrine of necessary implication, the additional jurisdiction bestowed
by the last paragraph of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution to decide presidential and vice-presidential
elections contests includes the means necessary to carry it into effect.
2. No. The traditional grant of judicial power is found in Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution which provides that
the power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. The set
up embodied in the Constitution and statutes characterize the resolution of electoral contests as essentially an
exercise of judicial power. When the Supreme Court, as PET, resolves a presidential or vice-presidential
election contest, it performs what is essentially a judicial power.
The COMELEC, HRET and SET are not, strictly and literally speaking, courts of law. Although not courts of law,
they are, nonetheless, empowered to resolve election contests which involve, in essence, an exercise of judicial
power, because of the explicit constitutional empowerment found in Section 2(2), Article IX-C (for the COMELEC)
and Section 17, Article VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals) of the Constitution.
Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal
Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal
G.R. No. 191618 June 7, 2011
Nachura, J.

Issue:

whether or not Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution does not provide for the creation of the Presidential
Electoral Tribunal (PET); whether or not the PET violates Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution

Held:

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A plain reading of Article VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, readily reveals a grant of authority to the Supreme
Court sitting en banc. In the same vein, although the method by which the Supreme Court exercises this authority is
not specified in the provision, the grant of power does not contain any limitation on the Supreme Courts exercise
thereof. The Supreme Courts method of deciding presidential and vice-presidential election contests, through the
PET, is actually a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision.
Thus, the subsequent directive in the provision for the Supreme Court to promulgate its rules for the purpose.

The conferment of full authority to the Supreme Court, as a PET, is equivalent to the full authority conferred
upon the electoral tribunals of the Senate and the House of Representatives, i.e., the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET)
and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET)

Next, petitioner still claims that the PET exercises quasi-judicial power and, thus, its members violate the proscription
in Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution, which reads:

SEC. 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be designated to any
agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.

The traditional grant of judicial power is found in Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution which provides
that the power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.
Consistent with our presidential system of government, the function of dealing with the settlement of disputes,
controversies or conflicts involving rights, duties or prerogatives that are legally demandable and enforceable is
apportioned to courts of justice. With the advent of the 1987 Constitution, judicial power was expanded to include the
duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. The power was expanded, but it
remained absolute.

The set up embodied in the Constitution and statutes characterizes the resolution of electoral contests
as essentially an exercise of judicial power.

At the barangay and municipal levels, original and exclusive jurisdiction over election contests is vested in
the municipal or metropolitan trial courts and the regional trial courts, respectively.

At the higher levels city, provincial, and regional, as well as congressional and senatorial exclusive
and original jurisdiction is lodged in the COMELEC and in the House of Representatives and Senate Electoral
Tribunals,which are not, strictly and literally speaking, courts of law. Although not courts of law, they are,
nonetheless, empowered to resolve election contests which involve, in essence, an exercise of judicial power,
because of the explicit constitutional empowerment found in Section 2(2), Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and
Section 17, Article VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals) of the Constitution. Besides, when the
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COMELEC, the HRET, and the SET decide election contests, their decisions are still subject to judicial review
via a petition for certiorari filed by the proper party if there is a showing that the decision was rendered with grave
abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

It is also beyond cavil that when the Supreme Court, as PET, resolves a presidential or vice-presidential
election contest, it performs what is essentially a judicial power.

The present Constitution has allocated to the Supreme Court, in conjunction with latters exercise of judicial
power inherent in all courts, the task of deciding presidential and vice-presidential election contests, with full authority
in the exercise thereof. The power wielded by PET is a derivative of the plenary judicial power allocated to courts of
law, expressly provided in the Constitution.

Note:

The PET is not simply an agency to which Members of the Court were designated. Once again, the PET, as
intended by the framers of the Constitution, is to be an institutionindependent, but not separate, from the judicial
department, i.e., the Supreme Court.
Atty. Evillo C. Pormento v. Joseph Ejercito "Erap" Estrada and Comelec, G.R. No. 191988, August 31, 2010
RESOLUTION

CORONA, C.J.:

I.

THE FACTS

Private respondent Joseph Erap Ejercito Estrada was elected President of the Republic of the Philippines
in the general elections held on May 11, 1998. He was however ousted [resigned according to the decision of the
Supreme Court in Estrada vs. Arroyo, G.R. No. 146738, March 2, 2001] from office and was not able to finish his
term. He sought the presidency again in the general elections held on May 10, 2010. Petitioner Atty. Evillo C.
Pormento opposed Eraps candidacy and filed a petition for the latters disqualification, which was however denied by
the COMELEC 2nd Division. His motion for reconsideration was subsequently denied by the COMELEC en banc.
Petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari on May 7, 2010. However, under the Rules of Court, the filing
of such petition would not stay the execution of the judgment, final order or resolution of the COMELEC that is sought
to be reviewed. Besides, petitioner did not even pray for the issuance of a temporary restraining order or writ of
preliminary injunction. Hence, private respondent was able to participate as a candidate for the position of President
in the May 10, 2010 elections where he garnered the second highest number of votes.

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II. THE ISSUE

What is the proper interpretation of the following provision of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution: [t]he
President shall not be eligible for any re-election?

III. THE RULING

[The petition was DENIED DUE COURSE and thereby DISMISSED by the Supreme Court.]

Private respondent was not elected President the second time he ran [in the May 2010 elections]. Since the
issue on the proper interpretation of the phrase any reelection will be premised on a persons second (whether
immediate or not) election as President, there is no case or controversy to be resolved in this case. No live conflict of
legal rights exists. There is in this case no definite, concrete, real or substantial controversy that touches on the legal
relations of parties having adverse legal interests. No specific relief may conclusively be decreed upon by this Court
in this case that will benefit any of the parties herein. As such, one of the essential requisites for the exercise of
the power of judicial review, the existence of an actual case or controversy, is sorely lacking in this case.

As a rule, this Court may only adjudicate actual, ongoing controversies. The Court is not empowered to
decide moot questions or abstract propositions, or to declare principles or rules of law which cannot affect the result
as to the thing in issue in the case before it. In other words, when a case is moot, it becomes non-justiciable.

An action is considered moot when it no longer presents a justiciable controversy because the issues
involved have become academic or dead or when the matter in dispute has already been resolved and hence, one is
not entitled to judicial intervention unless the issue is likely to be raised again between the parties. There is nothing
for the court to resolve as the determination thereof has been overtaken by subsequent events.

Assuming an actual case or controversy existed prior to the proclamation of a President who has
been duly elected in the May 10, 2010 elections, the same is no longer true today. Following the results of
that elections, private respondent was not elected President for the second time. Thus, any discussion of his
reelection will simply be hypothetical and speculative. It will serve no useful or practical purpose.

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=======
Republic of the Philippines v. Sandiganbayan
GR. No. 152154, July 15, 2003, Corona, J.
FACTS:
Republic (petitioner), through the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), represented by the Office
of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a petition for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan pursuant to RA 1379, An Act
Declaring Forfeiture In Favor of the State Any Property To Have Been Unlawfully Acquired By Any Public Officer or
Employee and Providing For the Procedure Therefor.
In the said case, petitioner sought the declaration of the aggregate amount of US$ 356M deposited in escrow in the
PNB, as ill-gotten wealth. The funds were previously held by 5 account groups, using various foreign foundations in
certain Swiss banks. In addition, the Republic sought the forfeiture of US$25 million and US$5 million in treasury
notes, which exceeded the Marcos couple's salaries, other lawful income as well as income from legitimately
acquired property. The treasury notes were frozen at the Central Bank of the Philippines, now Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas, by virtue of the freeze order issued by the PCGG.
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Before the case was set for pre-trial, a General Agreement and the Supplemental Agreement dated December 28,
1993 were executed by the Marcos children and then PCGG Chairman Magtanggol Gunigundo for a global
settlement of the assets of the Marcos family. The General Agreement/Supplemental Agreements sought to identify,
collate, cause the inventory of and distribute all assets presumed to be owned by the Marcos family under the
conditions contained therein. The General Agreement specified in one of its "whereas clauses" the fact that petitioner
obtained a judgment from the Swiss Federal Tribunal on December 21, 1990, that the US$356 million belongs
deposited in the name of the aforementioned 5 account groups were of illegal provenance. The funds were
thereafter. remitted to the Philippines in escrow. Subsequently, respondent Marcos children moved that the funds be
placed incustodia legis because the deposit in escrow in the PNB was allegedly in danger of dissipation by petitioner.
The Sandiganbayan, in its resolution dated September 8, 1998, granted the motion.
Hearings were conducted by the Sandiganbayan on the motion for summary judgment filed by petitioner.
Sandiganbayan ruled in favor of the Petitioner, approving the General/Supplemental Agreements. However, in a
resolution dated 31 January 2002, the Sandiganbayan reversed itself and denied said motion for summary judgment.
It ruled that the evidence offered for summary judgment of the case did not prove that the money in the Swiss Banks
belonged to the Marcos spouses because no legal proof exists in the record as to the ownership by the Marcoses of
the funds in escrow from the Swiss Banks. The basis for the forfeiture in favor of the government cannot be deemed
to have been established.
The Republic filed the petition for certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether petitioner Republic was able to prove its case for forfeiture in accordance with the requisites of
Sections 2 and 3 of RA 1379.
Note: Section 2. Filing of petition. Whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his
incumbency an amount or property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer
or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property, said
property shall be presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired.
RULING: YES. The Republic was able to establish a prima facie case for the forfeiture of the Swiss funds pursuant to
RA 1379.
RA 1379 raises the prima facie presumption that a property is unlawfully acquired, hence subject to forfeiture, if its
amount or value is manifestly disproportionate to the official salary and other lawful income of the public officer
who owns it.
The following facts must be established in order that forfeiture or seizure of the Swiss deposits may be effected:
a. ownership by the public officer of money or property acquired during his incumbency, whether it be in his
name or otherwise, and
b. the extent to which the amount of that money or property exceeds, i. e., is grossly disproportionate to, the
legitimate income of the public officer.
c. that the said amount is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to
his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property.
That spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were public officials during the time material to the instant case was
never in dispute. The combined accumulated salaries of the Marcos couple were reflected in the Certification dated
May 27, 1986 issued by then Minister of Budget and Management Alberto Romulo. The Certification showed that,
from 1966 to 1985, Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos had accumulated salaries in the amount
of P1,570,000 andP718,750, respectively, or a total of P2,288,750. In addition to their accumulated salaries from
1966 to 1985 are the Marcos couples combined salaries from January to February 1986 in the amount
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of P30,833.33. Hence, their total accumulated salaries amounted to P2,319,583.33. Converted to U.S. dollars on the
basis of the corresponding peso-dollar exchange rates prevailing during the applicable period when said salaries
were received, the total amount had an equivalent value of $304,372.43.
The sum of $304,372.43 should be held as the only known lawful income of respondents since they did not file
any Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL), as required by law, from which their net worth could be
determined. Besides, under the 1935 Constitution, Ferdinand E. Marcos as President could not receive any other
emolument from the Government or any of its subdivisions and instrumentalities. Likewise, under the 1973
Constitution, Ferdinand E. Marcos as President could not receive during his tenure any other emolument from the
Government or any other source. In fact, his management of businesses, like the administration of foundations to
accumulate funds, was expressly prohibited under the 1973 Constitution:
Article VII, Sec. 4(2) The President and the Vice-President shall not, during their tenure, hold any
other office except when otherwise provided in this Constitution, nor may they practice any
profession, participate directly or indirectly in the management of any business, or be financially
interested directly or indirectly in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted
by the Government or any other subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any
government owned or controlled corporation.
Article VII, Sec. 11 No Member of the National Assembly shall appear as counsel before any
court inferior to a court with appellate jurisdiction, x x x. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be
interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the
Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof including any government
owned or controlled corporation during his term of office. He shall not intervene in any matter
before any office of the government for his pecuniary benefit.
Article IX, Sec. 7 The Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet shall be subject to the
provision of Section 11, Article VIII hereof and may not appear as counsel before any court or
administrative body, or manage any business, or practice any profession, and shall also be subject
to such other disqualification as may be provided by law.
Their only known lawful income of $304,372.43 can therefore legally and fairly serve as basis for determining
the existence of a prima facie case of forfeiture of the Swiss funds.

Republic v. Sandiganbayan
GR. No. 152154 July 15, 2003
EN BANC
Corona, J.
The PresidentPrivileges and Salary
Facts:

Republic (petitioner), through the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), represented by
the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a petition for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan pursuant to
RA 1379.
o declaration of the aggregate amount of US$ 356M deposited in escrow in the PNB, as ill-gotten
wealth.

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The funds were previously held by 5 account groups, using various foreign foundations in
certain Swiss banks.
In addition, the Republic sought the forfeiture of US$25 million and US$5 million in
treasury notes which exceeded the Marcos couple's salaries other lawful income as well
as income from legitimately acquired property. The treasury notes are frozen at the
Central Bank of the Philippines, now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, by virtue of the freeze
order issued by the PCGG.
Before the case was set for pre-trial, a General Agreement and the Supplemental Agreement dated
December 28, 1993 were executed by the Marcos children and then PCGG Chairman Magtanggol
Gunigundo for a global settlement of the assets of the Marcos family.
o The General Agreement/Supplemental Agreements sought to identify, collate, cause the inventory
of and distribute all assets presumed to be owned by the Marcos family under the conditions
contained therein. The General Agreement specified in one of its premises or "whereas clauses"
the fact that petitioner "obtained a judgment from the Swiss Federal Tribunal on December 21,
1990, that the Three Hundred Fifty-six Million U.S. dollars (US$356 million) belongs in principle to
the Republic of the Philippines provided certain conditionalities are met x x x."
Hearings were conducted by the Sandiganbayan on the motion to approve the General/Supplemental
Agreements.
In a resolution dated 31 January 2002, the Sandiganbayan denied the Republic's motion for summary
judgment.
o "The evidence offered for summary judgment of the case did not prove that the money in the Swiss
Banks belonged to the Marcos spouses because no legal proof exists in the record as to the
ownership by the Marcoses of the funds in escrow from the Swiss Banks. The basis for the
forfeiture in favor of the government cannot be deemed to have been established and our judgment
thereon, perforce, must also have been without basis."
The Republic filed the petition for certiorari.

ISSUE:
W/N petitioner Republic was able to prove its case for forfeiture in accordance with the requisites of Sections 2 and 3
of RA 1379.

HELD:
RA 1379 raises the prima facie presumption that a property is unlawfully acquired, hence subject to
forfeiture, if its amount or value is manifestly disproportionate to the official salary and other lawful income of
the public officer who owns it.
o The following facts must be established in order that forfeiture or seizure of the Swiss deposits may
be effected:
(1) ownership by the public officer of money or property acquired during his
incumbency, whether it be in his name or otherwise, and
(2) the extent to which the amount of that money or property exceeds, i. e., is grossly
disproportionate to, the legitimate income of the public officer.
(3) that the said amount is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer
or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired
property.
The Republic was able to establish a prima facie case for the forfeiture of the Swiss funds pursuant to RA
1379.
o Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were public officers.
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Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos had acquired and owned properties during their term of office, as
evidenced by their admittance regarding the ownership of the Swiss accounts.
o The Swiss accounts of the Marcoses had balances amounting to US $356 million, a figure beyond
the aggregate legitimate income of $304,372.43.
The Petition was granted.
The Swiss deposits which were transferred to and are now deposited in escrow at the Philippine National
Bank in the estimated aggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 as of January 31, 2002, plus interest, are
hereby forfeited in favor of petitioner Republic of the Philippines.
o

RATIO DECIDENDI: (1973 CONST)


Article VII, Sec. 4(2) The President and the Vice-President shall not, during their tenure, hold any other
office except when otherwise provided in this Constitution, nor may they practice any profession, participate
directly or indirectly in the management of any business, or be financially interested directly or indirectly in
any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government or any other
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government owned or controlled corporation.

Article VII, Sec. 11 No Member of the National Assembly shall appear as counsel before any court inferior
to a court with appellate jurisdiction, x x x. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in
any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision,
agency, or instrumentality thereof including any government owned or controlled corporation during his term
of office. He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the government for his pecuniary benefit.

Article IX, Sec. 7 The Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet shall be subject to the provision of
Section 11, Article VIII hereof and may not appear as counsel before any court or administrative body, or
manage any business, or practice any profession, and shall also be subject to such other disqualification as
may be provided by law.

Funa vs Executive Secretary Ermita


G.R. No. 184740 February 11, 2010
DENNIS A. B. FUNA, Petitioner, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, Office of the President,
SEC. LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and
Communications, USEC. MARIA ELENA H. BAUTISTA, in her official capacities as Undersecretary of the
Department of Transportation and Communications and as Officer-in-Charge of the Maritime Industry Authority
(MARINA), Respondents.
DECISION
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
Facts:
This is a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 with prayer for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction, to declare as unconstitutional the designation of
respondent Undersecretary Maria Elena H. Bautista as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Maritime Industry
Authority (MARINA).
On October 4, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed respondent Maria Elena H. Bautista (Bautista) as
Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
On September 1, 2008, following the resignation of then MARINA Administrator Vicente T. Suazo, Jr., Bautista
was designated as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Office of the Administrator, MARINA, in concurrent capacity as
DOTC Undersecretary.
On October 21, 2008, Dennis A. B. Funa in his capacity as taxpayer, concerned citizen and lawyer, filed the instant
petition challenging the constitutionality of Bautistas appointment/designation, which is proscribed by the
prohibition on the President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies and assistants to hold
any other office or employment.
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On January 5, 2009, during the pendency of this petition, Bautista was appointed Administrator of the
MARINA and she assumed her duties and responsibilities as such on February 2, 2009.
Petitioner argues that Bautistas concurrent positions as DOTC Undersecretary and MARINA OIC is in violation of
Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution .
On the other hand, the respondents argue that the requisites of a judicial inquiry are not present in this case. In fact,
there no longer exists an actual controversy that needs to be resolved in view of the appointment of respondent
Bautista as MARINA Administrator effective February 2, 2009 and the relinquishment of her post as DOTC
Undersecretary for Maritime Transport, which rendered the present petition moot and academic. Petitioners prayer
for a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction is likewise moot and academic since, with this
supervening event, there is nothing left to enjoin.
Issue: Whether or not the designation of respondent Bautista as OIC of MARINA, concurrent with the position of
DOTC Undersecretary for Maritime Transport to which she had been appointed, violated the constitutional
proscription against dual or multiple offices for Cabinet Members and their deputies and assistants.
Held:
The petition is meritorious.
Petitioner having alleged a grave violation of the constitutional prohibition against Members of the Cabinet, their
deputies and assistants holding two (2) or more positions in government, the fact that he filed this suit as a
concerned citizen sufficiently confers him with standing to sue for redress of such illegal act by public officials.
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. But 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. In the present case, the mootness of the petition does not bar its resolution.
Resolution of the present controversy hinges on the correct application of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution, which provides:
Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not,
unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They
shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be
financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.
The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree of the President shall not, during
his tenure, be appointed as Members of the Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the Ombudsman, or as
Secretaries, Undersecretaries, chairmen or heads of bureaus or offices, including government-owned or controlled
corporations and their subsidiaries.
On the other hand, Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B reads:
Sec. 7. x x x
Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other
office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including governmentowned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
Noting that the prohibition imposed on the President and his official family is all-embracing, the disqualification was
held to be absolute, as the holding of "any other office" is not qualified by the phrase "in the Government"
unlike in Section 13, Article VI prohibiting Senators and Members of the House of Representatives from
holding "any other office or employment in the Government"; and when compared with other officials and
employees such as members of the armed forces and civil service employees, we concluded thus:
These sweeping, all-embracing prohibitions imposed on the President and his official family, which prohibitions are
not similarly imposed on other public officials or employees such as the Members of Congress, members of the
civil service in general and members of the armed forces, are proof of the intent of the 1987 Constitution to treat
the President and his official family as a class by itself and to impose upon said class stricter prohibitions.
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Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or employment in the
government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary functions of their positions, members
of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In
other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and
appointive public officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception
applicable only to the President, the Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants.
Since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the President,
Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants with respect to holding multiple offices or
employment in the government during their tenure, the exception to this prohibition must be read with equal severity.
On its face, the language of Section 13, Article VII is prohibitory so that it must be understood as intended to be a
positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding multiple government offices or employment. Verily,
wherever the language used in the constitution is prohibitory, it is to be understood as intended to be a positive and
unequivocal negation. The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" must be given a literal
interpretation to refer only to those particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit: the VicePresident being appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as
President in those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the Secretary of
Justice being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.
Respondent Bautista being then the appointed Undersecretary of DOTC, she was thus covered by the stricter
prohibition under Section 13, Article VII and consequently she cannot invoke the exception provided in Section 7,
paragraph 2, Article IX-B where holding another office is allowed by law or the primary functions of the position.
Neither was she designated OIC of MARINA in an ex-officio capacity, which is the exception recognized in Civil
Liberties Union.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The designation of respondent Ma. Elena H. Bautista as Officer-in-Charge,
Office of the Administrator, Maritime Industry Authority, in a concurrent capacity with her position as DOTC
Undersecretary for Maritime Transport, is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative of Section 13,
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and therefore, NULL and VOID.
Note:
Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of an individual who is
to exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, usually with its confirmation, the appointment results
in security of tenure for the person chosen unless he is replaceable at pleasure because of the nature of his
office. Designation, on the other hand, connotes merely the imposition by law of additional duties on an
incumbent official, as where, in the case before us, the Secretary of Tourism is designated Chairman of the Board
of Directors of the Philippine Tourism Authority, or where, under the Constitution, three Justices of the Supreme
Court are designated by the Chief Justice to sit in the Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of
Representatives. It is said that appointment is essentially executive while designation is legislative in nature.
Designation may also be loosely defined as an appointment because it likewise involves the naming of a
particular person to a specified public office. That is the common understanding of the term. However, where the
person is merely designated and not appointed, the implication is that he shall hold the office only in a
temporary capacity and may be replaced at will by the appointing authority. In this sense, the designation is
considered only an acting or temporary appointment, which does not confer security of tenure on the person
named.
An Act Declaring Forfeiture In Favor of the State Any Property To Have Been Unlawfully Acquired By Any Public
Officer or Employee and Providing For the Procedure Therefor.
Paragraph 4 of the petition for forfeiture as to the personal circumstances of Ferdinand E. Marcos as a public official
who served without interruption as Congressman, Senator, Senate President and President of the Republic of the
Philippines from 1 December 1965 to 25 February 1986.
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Paragraph 5 of the petition as to the personal circumstances of Imelda R. Marcos who once served as a member of
the Interim Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984 and as Metro Manila Governor, concurrently Minister of Human
Settlements, from June 1976 to February 1986.
Paragraph 11 of the petition as to the Official Report of the Minister of Budget, the total salaries of former President
Marcos as President form 1966 to 1976 was P60,000 a year and from 1977 to 1985, P100,000 a year; while that of
the former First Lady, Imelda R. Marcos, as Minister of Human Settlements from June 1976 to February 22-25, 1986
was P75,000 a year xxx.
Respondent Mrs. Marcos admitted in Paragraph 10 of her answer the allegations of paragraph 11 of the petition for
forfeiture which referred to the accumulated salaries of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos. That the said amount
totaled to P2,319,583.33 or $304,372.43.
Section 2. Filing of petition. Whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his incumbency an
amount or property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his
other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property, said property shall be presumed prima
facie to have been unlawfully acquired.
Information that should be included in the Petition

Civil Liberties Union VS. Executive Secretary


FACTS:
Petitioners: Ignacio P. Lacsina, Luis R. Mauricio, Antonio R. Quintos and Juan T. David for petitioners in 83896 and
Juan T. David for petitioners in 83815. Both petitions were consolidated and are being resolved jointly as both seek a
declaration of the unconstitutionality of Executive Order No. 284 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on July 25,
1987.
Executive Order No. 284, according to the petitioners allows members of the Cabinet, their undersecretaries and
assistant secretaries to hold other than government offices or positions in addition to their primary positions. The
pertinent provisions of EO 284 is as follows:
Section 1: A cabinet member, undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive officials of the Executive
Department may in addition to his primary position, hold not more than two positions in the government and
government corporations and receive the corresponding compensation therefor.
Section 2: If they hold more positions more than what is required in section 1, they must relinquish the excess
position in favor of the subordinate official who is next in rank, but in no case shall any official hold more than two
positions other than his primary position.
Section 3: AT least 1/3 of the members of the boards of such corporation should either be a secretary, or
undersecretary, or assistant secretary.
The petitioners are challenging EO 284s constitutionality because it adds exceptions to Section 13 of Article VII other
than those provided in the constitution. According to the petitioners, the only exceptions against holding any other
office or employment in government are those provided in the Constitution namely: 1. The Vice President may be
appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under Section 3 par.2 of Article VII. 2. The secretary of justice is an ex-officio
member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Sec. 8 of article VIII.
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Issue:
Whether or not Executive Order No. 284 is constitutional.
Decision:
No. It is unconstitutional. Petition granted. Executive Order No. 284 was declared null and void.
Ratio:
In the light of the construction given to Section 13 of Article VII, Executive Order No. 284 is unconstitutional. By
restricting the number of positions that Cabinet members, undersecretaries or assistant secretaries may hold in
addition their primary position to not more that two positions in the government and government corporations, EO
284 actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express mandate of
Sec. 13 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless otherwise provided in the 1987
Constitution itself.
The phrase unless otherwise provided in this constitution must be given a literal interpretation to refer only to those
particular instances cited in the constitution itself: Sec. 3 Art VII and Sec. 8 Art. VIII.
194 SCRA 317 Political Law Ex Officio Officials Members of the Cabinet Singularity of Office EO 284
In July 1987, then President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 284 which allowed members of the
Cabinet, their undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or positions in addition to
their primary positions subject to limitations set therein. The Civil Liberties Union (CLU) assailed this EO averring that
such law is unconstitutional. The constitutionality of EO 284 is being challenged by CLU on the principal submission
that it adds exceptions to Sec 13, Article 7 of the Constitution which provides:
Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall
not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They
shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be
financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.
CLU avers that by virtue of the phrase unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, the only exceptions against
holding any other office or employment in Government are those provided in the Constitution, namely: (i) The VicePresident may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under Sec 3, par. (2), Article 7; and (ii) the Secretary of
Justice is an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Sec 8 (1), Article 8.
ISSUE: Whether or not EO 284 is constitutional.
HELD: No, it is unconstitutional. It is clear that the 1987 Constitution seeks to prohibit the President, Vice-President,
members of the Cabinet, their deputies or assistants from holding during their tenure multiple offices or employment
in the government, except in those cases specified in the Constitution itself and as above clarified with respect to
posts held without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by the
primary functions of their office, the citation of Cabinet members (then called Ministers) as examples during the
debate and deliberation on the general rule laid down for all appointive officials should be considered as mere
personal opinions which cannot override the constitutions manifest intent and the peoples understanding thereof.
In the light of the construction given to Sec 13, Art 7 in relation to Sec 7, par. (2), Art IX-B of the 1987 Constitution,
EO 284 is unconstitutional. Ostensibly restricting the number of positions that Cabinet members, undersecretaries or
assistant secretaries may hold in addition to their primary position to not more than 2 positions in the government and
government corporations, EO 284 actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention
of the express mandate of Sec 13, Art 7 of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless otherwise
provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.

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[G.R. No. 138489. November 29, 2001]

ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, FEDERICO LUCHICO, JR., SOLEDAD EMILIA CRUZ, JOEL LUSTRIA, HENRY PAREL,
HELENA HABULAN, PORFIRIO VILLENA, JOSEPH FRANCIA, CARMELLA TORRES, JOB DAVID,
CESAR MEJIA, MA. LOURDES V. DEDAL, ALICE TIONGSON, REYDELUZ CONFERIDO, PHILIPPE
LIM, NERISSA SANCHEZ, MARY LUZ ELAINE PURACAN, RODOLFO QUIMBO, TITO GENILO and
OSCAR ABUNDO, as members of the Board of the National Housing Authority from the period
covering 1991-1996, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, represented by its
Commissioners, respondents.
DECISION
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:
This petition for certiorari[1] assails the Decision No. 98-381 dated September 22, 1998, rendered by the
Commission on Audit (COA), denying petitioners appeal from the Notice of Disallowance No. 97-011-061 issued by
the NHA Resident Auditor on October 23, 1997. Such Notice disallowed payment to petitioners of their
representation allowances and per diems for the period from August 19, 1991 to August 31, 1996 in the total amount
of P276,600.00.
Petitioners, numbering 20, were members of the Board of Directors of the National Housing Authority (NHA)
from 1991 to 1996.
On September 19, 1997, the COA issued Memorandum No. 97-038[2] directing all unit heads/auditors/team
leaders of the national government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations which have
effected payment of any form of additional compensation or remuneration to cabinet secretaries, their deputies and
assistants, or their representatives, in violation of the rule on multiple positions, to (a) immediately cause the
disallowance of such additional compensation or remuneration given to and received by the concerned officials, and
(b) effect the refund of the same from the time of the finality of the Supreme Court En Banc Decision in the
consolidated cases of Civil Liberties Union vs. Exexcutive Secretary and Anti-Graft League of the Philippines, Inc. et
al. vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, et al., promulgated on February 22, 1991.[3] The COA Memorandum further
stated that the said Supreme Court Decision, which became final and executory on August 19, 1991,[4] declared
Executive Order No. 284 unconstitutional insofar as it allows Cabinet members, their deputies and assistants to hold
other offices, in addition to their primary offices, and to receive compensation therefor.
Accordingly, on October 23, 1997, NHA Resident Auditor Salvador J. Vasquez issued Notice of Disallowance
No. 97-011-061[5] disallowing in audit the payment of representation allowances and per diems of "Cabinet members
who were the ex- officio members of the NHA Board of Directors and/or their respective alternates who actually
received the payments." The total disallowed amount of P276,600 paid as representation allowances and per diems
to each of the petitioners named below, covering the period from August 19, 1991 to August 31, 1996, is broken
down as follows: [6]
Petitioners, through then Chairman Dionisio C. Dela Serna of the NHA Board of Directors, appealed from the
Notice of Disallowance to the Commission on Audit[7] based on the following grounds:
1. The Decision of the Supreme Court in Civil Liberties Union and Anti-Graft League of the Philippines,
Inc. was clarified in the Resolution of the Court En Banc on August 1, 1991, in that the constitutional
ban against dual or multiple positions applies only to the members of the Cabinet, their deputies or
assistants. It does not cover other appointive officials with equivalent rank or those lower than the
position of Assistant Secretary; and
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2. The NHA Directors are not Secretaries, Undersecretaries or Assistant Secretaries and that they occupy
positions lower than the position of Assistant Secretary.
On September 22, 1998, the COA issued Decision No. 98-381[8] denying petitioners' appeal, thus:
After circumspect evaluation of the facts and issues raised herein, this Commission finds the instant appeal devoid
of merit. It must be stressed at the outset that the Directors concerned were not sitting in the NHA Board in their own
right but as representatives of cabinet members and who are constitutionally prohibited from holding any other office
or employment and receive compensation therefor, during their tenure (Section 13, Article VII, Constitution; Civil
Liberties Union vs. Executive Secretary, 194 SCRA 317).
It may be conceded that the directors concerned occupy positions lower than Assistant Secretary which may exempt
them from the prohibition (under) the doctrine enunciated in Civil Liberties Union vs. Executive Secretary,
supra. However, their positions are merely derivative; they derive their authority as agents of the authority they are
representing; their power and authority is sourced from the power and authority of the cabinet members they are
sitting for. Sans the cabinet members, they are non-entities, without power and without personality to act in any
manner with respect to the official transactions of the NHA. The agent or representative can only validly act and
receive benefits for such action if the principal authority he is representing can legally do so for the agent can only do
so much as his principal can do. The agent can never be larger than the principal. If the principal is absolutely
barred from holding any position in and absolutely prohibited from receiving any remuneration from the NHA or any
government agency, for that matter, so must the agent be. Indeed, the water cannot rise above its source.[9]
Hence, this petition.
Presidential Decree No. 757 is the law "Creating the National Housing Authority and dissolving the existing
housing agencies, defining its powers and functions, providing funds therefor, and for other purposes." Section 7
thereof provides:
SEC. 7. Board of Directors. - The Authority shall be governed by a Board of Directors, hereinafter referred to as
the Board, which shall be composed of the Secretary of Public Works, Transportation and Communication, the
Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority, the Secretary of Finance, the
Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Industry, the Executive Secretary and the General Manager of the
Authority. From among the members, the President will appoint a chairman. The members of the Board may have
their respective alternates who shall be the officials next in rank to them and whose acts shall be considered the
acts of their principals with the right to receive their benefit: Provided, that in the absence of the Chairman, the
Board shall elect a temporary presiding officer. x x x (Emphasis ours)
It bears stressing that under the above provisions, the persons mandated by law to sit as members of the NHA
Board are the following: (1) the Secretary of Public Works, Transportation and Communications, (2) the DirectorGeneral of the National Economic and Development Authority, (3) the Secretary of Finance, (4) the Secretary of
Labor, (5) the Secretary of Industry, (6) the Executive Secretary, and (7) the General Manager of the NHA. While
petitioners are not among those officers, however, they are alternates of the said officers, whose acts shall be
considered the acts of their principals.
On this point, Section 13, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution, provides:
SEC. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not,
unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall
not, during their tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be
financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any
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subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.
The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree of the President shall not during
his tenure be appointed as Members of the Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of Ombudsman, or as
Secretaries, Undersecretaries, Chairmen, or heads of bureaus of offices, including government-owned or controlled
corporations and their subsidiaries.
Interpreting the foregoing Constitutional provisions, this Court, in Civil Liberties Union and Anti-Graft League of
the Philippines, Inc.,[10] held:
The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under Section 13, Article VII of the
Constitution must not, however, be construed as applying to posts occupied by the Executive officials specified
therein without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by the primary
functions of said officials' office. The reason is that these posts do not comprise any other office within the
contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are properly an imposition of additional duties and functions on said
officials. x x x
xxx

xxx

xxx

To reiterate, the prohibition under Section 13, Article VII is not to be interpreted as covering positions held without
additional compensation in ex-officio capacities as provided by law and as required by the primary functions of the
concerned officials office. The term ex-officio means from office; by virtue of office. It refers to an authority derived
from official character merely, not expressly conferred upon the individual character, but rather annexed to the official
position. Ex-officio likewise denotes an act done in an official character, or as a consequence of office, and without
any other appointment or authority than that conferred by the office. An ex-officio member of a board is one who is a
member by virtue of his title to a certain office, and without further warrant or appointment. To illustrate, by express
provision of law, the Secretary of Transportation and Communications is the ex-officio Chairman of the Board of the
Philippine Ports Authority, and the Light Rail Transit Authority.
xxx

xxx

xxx

The ex-officio position being actually and in legal contemplation part of the principal office, it follows that
the official concerned has no right to receive additional compensation for his services in the said
position. The reason is that these services are already paid for and covered by the compensation attached
to his principal office. It should be obvious that if, say, the Secretary of Finance attends a meeting of the
Monetary Board as an ex-officio member thereof, he is actually and in legal contemplation performing the
primary function of his principal office in defining policy in monetary banking matters, which come under
the jurisdiction of his department. For such attendance, therefore, he is not entitled to collect any extra
compensation, whether it be in the form of a per diem or an honorarium or an allowance, or some other such
euphemism. By whatever name it is designated, such additional compensation is prohibited by the
Constitution.
xxx

xxx

xxx

(Emphasis ours)
Since the Executive Department Secretaries, as ex-oficio members of the NHA Board, are prohibited from
receiving extra (additional) compensation, whether it be in the form of a per diem or an honorarium or an allowance,
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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1

or some other such euphemism," it follows that petitioners who sit as their alternates cannot likewise be entitled to
receive such compensation. A contrary rule would give petitioners a better right than their principals.
We thus rule that in rendering its challenged Decision, the COA did not gravely abuse its discretion.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
Facts:
The 20 petitioners herein were members of the board of directors of the NHA from 1991 10 1996. On September 19,
1997, the COA issued a memo directing all unit heads, auditors, team leaders of the national government agencies
and government-owned and controlled corporations which have effected payment of any form of additional
compensation or remuneration to cabinet secretaries, their deputies and assistants or their representatives, in
violation of the rule on multiple positions to immediately cause the disallowance of such additional compensation or
remuneration given to and received by the concerned officials and to effect there fund of the same from the time of
the finality of the Supreme Court En banc decision in the consolidated cases of the Civil Liberties Union vs. Executive
Secretary and Anti-Graft league of the Philippines, Inc. Et al. Vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, et al, promulgated on
February 22, 1991. The COA memo further stated that the said SC Decision, which became final and
executory on August 19, 1991, declared Executive Orde r No. 284 unconstitutional insofar as it
allows Cabinet members, their deputies and assistants to hold other offices, in addition to their
primary offices and to receive compensation therefore Accordingly, on October 23, 1997, NHA Resident
Auditor issued a Notice of Disallowance disallowing in audit the payment of representation allowances and
per diems of "Cabinet members who were the ex- officio members of the NHA Board of Directors and/or their
respective
alternatesw h o a c t u a l l y r e c e i v e d t h e p a y m e n t s . " T h e t o t a l d i s a l l o w e d a m o u n t o f
P 2 7 6 , 6 0 0 p a i d a s representation allowances and per diems to each of the petitioners covering the period
from August19, 1991 to August 31, 1996. Petitioners, through then Chairman Dela Serna of the NHA Board of
Directors, appealed from the notice of disallowance to the Commission on Audit arguing that the SC decision in Civil
Liberties union and Anti-Graft League of the Philippines, Inc. Was clarified in the resolution of the court en banc on
August 1, 1991, in that the constitutional ban against dual or multiple positions applies only to members of the
Cabinet, their deputies or assistants. It does not cover other appointive officials with equivalent rank or those lower
than the position of Assistant Secretary and that the NHA Directors are not Secretaries, Undersecretaries or
Assistant Secretaries and that they occupy positions lower than the position of Assistant Secretary. On September
22, 1998, the COA issued a decision denying petitioners' appeal.
Issue: W.hether or not the COA erred in disallowing the compensation in favour of NHA Board of Directors
Held:
No. Under Sec. 7 of P.D. 757 or the law creating the NHA, the persons mandated by law to sit as members of the
NHA
Board
are
the
following: (1)
the
Secretary
of
Public
Works,
Transportationa n d C o m m u n i c a t i o n s , ( 2 ) t h e D i r e c t o r G e n e r a l o f t h e N a t i o n a l E c o n o m i c a n
d D e v e l o p m e n t Authority, (3) the Secretary of Finance, (4) the Secretary of Labour, (5) the Secretary of
Industry, (6) the Executive Secretary, and (7) the General Manager of the NHA. While petitioners are
not among those officers, however, they are alternates of the said officers, whose acts shall
be considered the acts of their principals. The Supreme Court, in Civil Liberties Union and Anti-Graft League of the
Philippines, Inc., interpreted Sec. 13 of Article VII of the Constitution to mean that the prohibition against holding dual
or multiple offices or employment under Section 13, Article VII of the Constitution must not, however, be construed as
applying to posts occupied by the Executive officials specified therein without additional compensation in an exofficio capacity as provided bylaw and as required by the primary functions of said officials' office. The reason is that
20 | J o h a n
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these posts do not comprise any other office within the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are
properly an imposition of additional duties and functions on said officials. The ex-officio position being actually and
in legal contemplation part of the principal office, i t follows that the official concerned has no right
to receive additional compensation for his services in the said position. The reason is that these
services are already paid for and covered by the compensation attached to his principal office. It should be obvious
that if, say, the Secretary of Finance attends a meeting of the Monetary Board as an ex-officio member
thereof, he is actually and in legal contemplation performing the primary function of his principal
office in defining policy in monetary banking matters, which come under the jurisdiction of his
department. For such attendance, therefore, he is n o t e n t i t l e d t o c o l l e c t a n y e x t r a c o m p e n s a t i o n ,
w h e t h e r i t b e i n t h e f o r m o f a p e r d i e m o r a n honorarium or an allowance, or some other such
euphemism. By whatever name it is designated such additional compensation is prohibited by
the Constitution.Since the Executive Department Secretaries, as ex-oficio members of the NHA Board,
are prohibited from receiving extra (additional) compensation, whether it be in the form of a per diem or an
honorarium or an allowance, or some other such euphemism," it follows that petitioners who sit as their alternates
cannot likewise be entitled to receive such compensation. A contrary rule would give petitioners a better right than
their principals
Bitonio vs. COA
Post under case digests, Political Law at Friday, March 09, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind
Facts: In 1994, petitioner Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio, Jr. was appointed Director IV of the Bureau of Labor
Relations in theDepartment of Labor and Employment. As representative of theSecretary of Labor to the PEZA
Board, he was receiving a per diem for every board meeting he attended during the years 1995 to 1997.

After a post audit of the PEZAs disbursement transactions, the COA disallowed the payment of per diems to Mr.
Bitonio pursuant to the Supreme Court ruling declaring unconstitutional the holding of other offices by the cabinet
members, their deputies and assistants in addition to their primary office and the receipt of compensation therefore,
and, to COA Memorandum No. 97-038 dated September 19, 1997, implementing Senate Committee Reports No.
509.

In his motion for reconsideration to the COA, he contended that the Supreme Court modified its earlier ruling in the
Civil Liberties Union case which limits the prohibition to Cabinet Secretaries, Undersecretaries and their Assistants.
Officials given the rank equivalent to a Secretary, Undersecretary or Assistant Secretaryand other appointive officials
below the rank of Assistant Secretaryare not covered by the prohibition.

He further stated that the PEZA Charter (RA 7916), enacted four years after the Civil Liberties Union case became
final, authorized the payment of per diems; in expressly authorizing per diems, Congress should be conclusively
presumed to have been aware of the parameters of the constitutional prohibition as interpreted in the Civil Liberties
Union case.

COA rendered the assailed decision denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.

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Issue: Whether COA correctly disallowed the per diems received by the petitioner for his attendance in the PEZA
Board of Directors meetings as representative of the Secretary of Labor.

Held: The assailed decision of the COA is affirmed.

The petitioner is, indeed, not entitled to receive per diem for his board meetings sitting as representative of
the Secretary of Labor in the Board of Directors of the PEZA.

The petitioners presence in the PEZA Board meetings is solely by virtue of his capacity as representative of
the Secretary of Labor. Since the Secretary of Labor is prohibited from receiving compensation for his additional
office or employment, such prohibition likewise applies to the petitioner who sat in the Board only in behalf of
the Secretary of Labor. The Supreme Court cannot allow the petitioner who sat as representative of the Secretary
ofLabor in the PEZA Board to have a better right than his principal.

Moreover, it is a basic tenet that any legislative enactment must not be repugnant to the Constitution. No law can
render it nugatory because the Constitution is more superior to a statute. The framers of R.A. No. 7916 must have
realized the flaw in the law which is the reason why the law was later amended by R.A. No. 8748 to cure such defect.
The option of designating representative to the Board by the different Cabinet Secretaries was deleted. Likewise, the
paragraph as to payment of per diems to the members of the Board of Directors was also deleted, considering that
such stipulation was clearly in conflict with the proscription set by the Constitution.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G. R. No. 156982

September 8, 2004

NATIONAL AMNESTY COMMISSION, petitioner,


vs.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT, JUANITO G. ESPINO, Director IV, NCR, Commission on Audit, and ERNESTO C.
EULALIA, Resident Auditor, National Amnesty Commission. respondents.
DECISION
CORONA, J.:
This petition for review1 seeks to annul the two decisions of respondent Commission on Audit (COA)2 dated July 26,
20013 and January 30, 2003,4 affirming the September 21, 1998 ruling5 of the National Government Audit Office
(NGAO). The latter in turn upheld Auditor Ernesto C. Eulalia's order disallowing the payment of honoraria to the
representatives of petitioner's ex officio members, per COA Memorandum No. 97-038.
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Petitioner National Amnesty Commission (NAC) is a government agency created on March 25, 1994 by then
President Fidel V. Ramos through Proclamation No. 347. The NAC is tasked to receive, process and review amnesty
applications. It is composed of seven members: a Chairperson, three regular members appointed by the President,
and the Secretaries of Justice, National Defense and Interior and Local Government as ex officiomembers.6
It appears that after personally attending the initial NAC meetings, the three ex officio members turned over said
responsibility to their representatives who were paid honoraria beginning December 12, 1994. However, on October
15, 1997, NAC resident auditor Eulalia disallowed on audit the payment of honoraria to these representatives
amounting to P255,750 for the period December 12, 1994 to June 27, 1997, pursuant to COA Memorandum No. 97038. On September 1, 1998, the NGAO upheld the auditor's order and notices of disallowance were subsequently
issued to the following:7
REPRESENTATIVES

AMOUNT

1. Cesar Averilla
Department of National Defense

P 2,500.00

2. Ramon Martinez
Department of National Defense

73,750.00

3. Cielito Mindaro,
Department of Justice

18,750.00

4. Purita Deynata
Department of Justice

62,000.00

5. Alberto Bernardo
Department of the Interior And Local Government

71,250.00

6. Stephen Villaflor
Department of the Interior and Local Government

26,250.00

7. Artemio Aspiras
Department of Justice

1,250.00
P255,750.00

Meanwhile, on April 28, 1999, the NAC passed Administrative Order No. 2 (the new Implementing Rules and
Regulations of Proclamation No. 347), which was approved by then President Joseph Estrada on October 19, 1999.
Section 1, Rule II thereof provides:
Section 1, Composition - The NAC shall be composed of seven (7) members:
a) A Chairperson who shall be appointed by the President;
b) Three (3) Commissioners who shall be appointed by the President;
c) Three (3) Ex-officio Members
1. Secretary of Justice
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2. Secretary of National Defense


3. Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
The ex officio members may designate their representatives to the Commission. Said Representatives
shall be entitled to per diems, allowances, bonuses and other benefits as may be authorized by
law.(Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner invoked Administrative Order No. 2 in assailing before the COA the rulings of the resident auditor and the
NGAO disallowing payment of honoraria to the ex officio members' representatives, to no avail.
Hence, on March 14, 2003, the NAC filed the present petition, contending that the COA committed grave abuse of
discretion in: (1) implementing COA Memorandum No. 97-038 without the required notice and publication under
Article 2 of the Civil Code; (2) invoking paragraph 2, Section 7, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution to sustain the
disallowance of honoraria under said Memorandum; (3) applying the Memorandum to the NAC ex officiomembers'
representatives who were all appointive officials with ranks below that of an Assistant Secretary; (4) interpreting laws
and rules outside of its mandate and declaring Section 1, Rule II of Administrative Order No. 2 null and void, and (5)
disallowing the payment of honoraria on the ground of lack of authority of representatives to attend the NAC
meetings in behalf of the ex officio members.8
We hold that the position of petitioner NAC is against the law and jurisprudence. The COA is correct that there is no
legal basis to grant per diem, honoraria or any allowance whatsoever to the NAC ex officio members' official
representatives.
The Constitution mandates the Commission on Audit to ensure that the funds and properties of the government are
validly, efficiently and conscientiously used. Thus, Article IX-D of the Constitution ordains the COA to exercise
exclusive and broad auditing powers over all government entities or trustees, without any exception:
Section 2. (1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority and duty to examine, audit, and
settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and
property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its subdivisions,
agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations with original
charters, and on a post-audit basis: (a) constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been
granted fiscal autonomy under this Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and universities; (c) other
government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental entities
receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the government, which are required by law
of the granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. However, where the
internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may adopt such measures,
including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. It
shall keep the general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be provided by law,
preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto.
(2) The Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject to the limitations in this Article, to define the
scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and
promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for the prevention and
disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, inexpensive, extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures,
or uses of government funds and properties.

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Section 3. No law shall be passed exempting any entity of the Government or its subsidiary in any guise
whatever, or any investment of public funds, from the jurisdiction of the Commission on
Audit.(Emphasis supplied).
It is in accordance with this constitutional mandate that the COA issued Memorandum No. 97-038 on September 19,
1997:
COMMISSION ON AUDIT MEMORANDUM NO. 97-038
SUBJECT: Implementation of Senate Committee Report No. 509, Committee on Accountability of Public
Officers and Investigations and Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization.
The Commission received a copy of Senate Committee Report No. 509 urging the Commission on Audit to
immediately cause the disallowance of any payment of any form of additional compensation or
remuneration to cabinet secretaries, their deputies and assistants, or their representatives, in
violation of the rule on multiple positions, and to effect the refund of any and all such additional
compensation given to and received by the officials concerned, or their representatives, from the
time of the finality of the Supreme Court ruling in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary to the
present. In the Civil Liberties Union case, the Supreme Court ruled that Cabinet Secretaries, their
deputies and assistants may not hold any other office or employment. It declared Executive Order
284 unconstitutional insofar as it allows Cabinet members, their deputies and assistants to hold
other offices in addition to their primary office and to receive compensation therefor. The said
decision became final and executory on August 19, 1991.
In view thereof, all unit heads/auditors/team leaders of the national government agencies and government
owned or controlled corporations which have effected payment of subject allowances, are directed to
implement the recommendation contained in the subject Senate Committee Report by undertaking the
following audit action:
1. On accounts that have not been audited and settled under certificate of settlements and
balances on record from August 19, 1991 to present - to immediately issue the Notices of
disallowance and corresponding certificate of settlements and balances.
2. On accounts that have been audited and settled under certificate of settlements and balances on
record - to review and re-open said accounts, issue the corresponding notices of disallowance, and
certify a new balance thereon. It is understood that the re-opening of accounts shall be limited
to those that were settled within the prescriptive period of three (3) years prescribed in
Section 52 of P.D. 1445.
3. On disallowances previously made on these accounts - to submit a report on the status of the
disallowances indicating whether those have been refunded/settled or have become final and
executory and the latest action taken by the Auditor thereon.
All auditors concerned shall ensure that all documents evidencing the disallowed payments are kept intact
on file in their respective offices.
Any problem/issue arising from the implementation of this Memorandum shall be brought promptly to the
attention of the Committee created under COA Officer Order No. 97-698 thru the Director concerned, for
immediate resolution.
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An initial report on the implementation of this Memorandum shall be submitted to the Directors concerned
not later than October 31, 1997. Thereafter, a quarterly progress report on the status of disallowances made
shall be submitted, until all the disallowances shall have been enforced.
The Committee created under COA Office Order No. 97-698, dated September 10, 1997, shall supervise
the implementation of this Memorandum which shall take effect immediately and shall submit a consolidated
report thereon in response to the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public
Officers and Investigation and Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization.9(Emphasis
supplied)
Contrary to petitioner's claim, COA Memorandum No. 97-038 does not need, for validity and effectivity, the
publication required by Article 2 of the Civil Code:
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official
Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication.
We clarified this publication requirement in Taada vs. Tuvera:10
[A]ll statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall be published as a condition
for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a different effectivity date
is fixed by the legislature.
Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the President in
the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly delegated by the legislature or, at
present, directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative rules and regulations must also be
published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation.
Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel
of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither is publication
required of the so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the
rules or guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties.(Emphasis
supplied.)
COA Memorandum No. 97-038 is merely an internal and interpretative regulation or letter of instruction which does
not need publication to be effective and valid. It is not an implementing rule or regulation of a statute but a directive
issued by the COA to its auditors to enforce the self-executing prohibition imposed by Section 13, Article VII of the
Constitution on the President and his official family, their deputies and assistants, or their representatives from
holding multiple offices and receiving double compensation.
Six years prior to the issuance of COA Memorandum No. 97-038, the Court had the occasion to categorically explain
this constitutional prohibition in Civil Liberties Union vs. The Executive Secretary:11
Petitioners maintain that this Executive Order which, in effect, allows members of the Cabinet, their undersecretaries
and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or positions in addition to their primary positions, albeit
subject to the limitation therein imposed, runs counter to Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which
provides as follows:
"Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall
not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure.
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They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any
business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by
the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their
office."
xxx

xxx

xxx

[D]oes the prohibition in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution insofar as Cabinet members,
their deputies or assistants are concerned admit of the broad exceptions made for appointive
officials in general under Section 7, par. (2), Article IX-B which, for easy reference is quoted anew,
thus: "Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall
hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporation or their subsidiaries."
We rule in the negative.
xxx

xxx

xxx

But what is indeed significant is the fact that although Section 7, Article IX-B already contains a blanket
prohibition against the holding of multiple offices or employment in the government subsuming
both elective and appointive public officials, the Constitutional Commission should see it fit to
formulate another provision, Sec. 13, Article VII, specifically prohibiting the President, VicePresident, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants from holding any other office or
employment during their tenure, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution itself.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or
employment in the government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary
functions of their positions, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only
when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant
to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees,
while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the President, the VicePresident, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants.
This being the case, the qualifying phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" in
Section 13, Article VII cannot possibly refer to the broad exceptions provided under Section 7,
Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution. . . .
xxx

xxx

xxx

The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under Section 13, Article VII
of the Constitution must not, however, be construed as applying to posts occupied by the Executive
officials specified therein without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by
law and as required by the primary functions of said officials' office. The reason is that these posts
do no comprise "any other office" within the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are
properly an imposition of additional duties and functions on said officials.
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xxx

xxx

xxx

[T]he prohibition under Section 13, Article VII is not to be interpreted as covering positions held
without additional compensation in ex-officio capacities as provided by law and as required by the
primary functions of the concerned official's office. The term ex-officio means "from office; by virtue of
office." It refers to an "authority derived from official character merely, not expressly conferred upon the
individual character, but rather annexed to the official position." Ex-officio likewise denotes an "act done in
an official character, or as a consequence of office, and without any other appointment or authority than that
conferred by the office." An ex-officio member of a board is one who is a member by virtue of his title to
a certain office, and without further warrant or appointment. To illustrate, by express provision of law,
the Secretary of Transportation and Communications is the ex-officio Chairman of the Board of the
Philippine Ports Authority, and the Light Rail Transit Authority.
xxx

xxx

xxx

The ex-officio position being actually and in legal contemplation part of the principal office, it follows that the
official concerned has no right to receive additional compensation for his services in the said
position. The reason is that these services are already paid for and covered by the compensation
attached to his principal office. x x x
xxx

xxx

xxx

[E]x-officio posts held by the executive official concerned without additional compensation as
provided by law and as required by the primary functions of his office do not fall under the definition
of "any other office" within the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition... (Emphasis supplied).
Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution, such as the Civil Liberties Union doctrine, form
part of our legal system.12 Supreme Court decisions assume the same authority as valid statutes.13 The Court's
interpretation of the law is part of that law as of the date of enactment because its interpretation merely establishes
the contemporary legislative intent that the construed law purports to carry into effect.14
COA Memorandum No. 97-038 does not, in any manner or on its own, rule against or affect the right of any
individual, except those provided for under the Constitution. Hence, publication of said Memorandum is not required
for it to be valid, effective and enforceable.
In Civil Liberties Union, we elucidated on the two constitutional prohibitions against holding multiple positions in the
government and receiving double compensation: (1) the blanket prohibition of paragraph 2, Section 7, Article IX-B on
all government employees against holding multiple government offices, unless otherwise allowed by law or the
primary functions of their positions, and (2) the stricter prohibition under Section 13, Article VII on the President and
his official family from holding any other office, profession, business or financial interest, whether government or
private, unless allowed by the Constitution.
The NAC ex officio members' representatives who were all appointive officials with ranks below Assistant Secretary
are covered by the two constitutional prohibitions.
First, the NAC ex officio members' representatives are not exempt from the general prohibition because there is no
law or administrative order creating a new office or position and authorizing additional compensation therefor.

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Sections 54 and 56 of the Administrative Code of 1987 reiterate the constitutional prohibition against multiple
positions in the government and receiving additional or double compensation:
SEC. 54. Limitation on Appointment. - (1) No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation
in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure.
xxx

xxx

xxx

(3) Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall
hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality
thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
xxx

xxx

xxx

SEC. 56. Additional or Double Compensation. -- No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall
receive additional or double compensation unless specifically authorized by law nor accept without the
consent of the President, any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind form any foreign state.
Pensions and gratuities shall not be considered as additional, double or indirect compensation.
RA 6758, the Salary Standardization Law, also bars the receipt of such additional emolument.
The representatives in fact assumed their responsibilities not by virtue of a new appointment but by mere designation
from the ex officio members who were themselves also designated as such.
There is a considerable difference between an appointment and designation. An appointment is the selection by the
proper authority of an individual who is to exercise the powers and functions of a given office; a designation merely
connotes an imposition of additional duties, usually by law, upon a person already in the public service by virtue of an
earlier appointment.15
Designation does not entail payment of additional benefits or grant upon the person so designated the right to claim
the salary attached to the position. Without an appointment, a designation does not entitle the officer to receive the
salary of the position. The legal basis of an employee's right to claim the salary attached thereto is a duly issued and
approved appointment to the position,16 and not a mere designation.
Second, the ex officio members' representatives are also covered by the strict constitutional prohibition imposed on
the President and his official family.
Again, in Civil Liberties Union, we held that cabinet secretaries, including their deputies and assistants, who hold
positions in ex officio capacities, are proscribed from receiving additional compensation because their services are
already paid for and covered by the compensation attached to their principal offices. Thus, in the attendance of the
NAC meetings, the ex officio members were not entitled to, and were in fact prohibited from, collecting extra
compensation, whether it was called per diem, honorarium, allowance or some other euphemism. Such additional
compensation is prohibited by the Constitution.
Furthermore, in de la Cruz vs. COA17 and Bitonio vs. COA,18 we upheld COA's disallowance of the payment
ofhonoraria and per diems to the officers concerned who sat as ex officio members or alternates. The agent,
alternate or representative cannot have a better right than his principal, the ex officio member. The laws, rules,
prohibitions or restrictions that cover the ex officio member apply with equal force to his representative. In short,
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since the ex officio member is prohibited from receiving additional compensation for a position held in an ex
officiocapacity, so is his representative likewise restricted.
The Court also finds that the re-opening of the NAC accounts within three years after its settlement is within COA's
jurisdiction under Section 52 of Presidential Decree No. 1445, promulgated on June 11, 1978:
SECTION 52. Opening and revision of settled accounts. (1) At any time before the expiration of three years
after the settlement of any account by an auditor, the Commission may motu propio review and revise the
account or settlement and certify a new balance.
More importantly, the Government is never estopped by the mistake or error on the part of its agents.19Erroneous
application and enforcement of the law by public officers do not preclude subsequent corrective application of the
statute.
In declaring Section 1, Rule II of Administrative Order No. 2 s. 1999 null and void, the COA ruled that:
Petitioner further contends that with the new IRR issued by the NAC authorizing the ex-officio members to
designate representatives to attend commission meetings and entitling them to receive per diems, honoraria
and other allowances, there is now no legal impediment since it was approved by the President. This
Commission begs to disagree. Said provision in the new IRR is null and void for having been promulgated in
excess of its rule-making authority. Proclamation No. 347, the presidential issuance creating the NAC,
makes no mention that representatives of ex-officio members can take the place of said ex-officio members
during its meetings and can receive per diems and allowances. This being the case, the NAC, in the
exercise of its quasi-legislative powers, cannot add, expand or enlarge the provisions of the issuance it
seeks to implement without committing an ultra vires act.20
We find that, on its face, Section 1, Rule II of Administrative Order No. 2 is valid, as it merely provides that:
The ex officio members may designate their representatives to the Commission. Said Representatives shall
be entitled to per diems, allowances, bonuses and other benefits as may be authorized by law. (Emphasis
supplied).
The problem lies not in the administrative order but how the NAC and the COA interpreted it.
First, the administrative order itself acknowledges that payment of allowances to the representatives must be
authorized by the law, that is, the Constitution, statutes and judicial decisions. However, as already discussed, the
payment of such allowances is not allowed, prohibited even.
Second, the administrative order merely allows the ex officio members to designate their representatives to NAC
meetings but not to decide for them while attending such meetings. Section 4 of the administrative order categorically
states:
Decisions of the NAC shall be arrived at by a majority vote in a meeting where there is a quorum consisting
of at least four members.
Thus, although the administrative order does not preclude the representatives from attending the NAC
meetings, they may do so only as guests or witnesses to the proceedings. They cannot substitute for the ex
officio members for purposes of determining quorum, participating in deliberations and making decisions.
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Lastly, we disagree with NAC's position that the representatives are de facto officers and as such are entitled to
allowances, pursuant to our pronouncement in Civil Liberties Union:
"where there is no de jure officer, a de facto officer, who in good faith has had possession of the office and
has discharged the duties pertaining thereto, is legally entitled to the emoluments of the office, and may in
appropriate action recover the salary, fees and other compensation attached to the office."
A de facto officer "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 is) 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 be not a mere volunteer."21
The representatives cannot be considered de facto officers because they were not appointed but were merely
designated to act as such. Furthermore, they are not entitled to something their own principals are prohibited from
receiving. Neither can they claim good faith, given the express prohibition of the Constitution and the finality of our
decision in Civil Liberties Union prior to their receipt of such allowances.
WHEREFORE the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

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