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Erasmo v. Home Insurance & Guaranty Corp.

August 29, 2002

MA. ERLY P. ERASMO, petitioner, vs.
Austria-Martinez, J.:
NATURE: Petition for review on certiorari under ROC 45

Employee concerned: Ma. Erly P. ERASMO

Employer: Home Insurance & Guaranty Corp. (HIGC)

Employment history
o Consultant (???-Mar. 30, 1982)
o Manager, Project Evaluation Department (Apr. 1, 1982-Dec. 31, 1985)
o Manager, Accounts Management (Jan. 1, 1986-Apr. 1987)
o Assistant Vice-President, Accounts Management (May 1987-Jul. 1988)
o Manager II, Guaranty and Credit Insurance Department (Aug. 1988-Mar. 15, 1992)
o Officer-in-Charge, Technical Service/Guaranty and Credit Insurance Group (TS/GCIG) (March 16June 14, 1992) -> Permanent appointment
o Vice-President, TS/GCIG (June 15, 1992-start of the case)


Nature Promotion

Employment Status Temporary

The position required Career Executive Service (CES) eligibility, which Erasmo

Feb. 24, 1993 Erasmo was charged, with neglect of duty, incompetence, conduct prejudicial to best
interest of the service, and having financial and material interest in a transaction requiring approval of her
office. The HIGC Investigating Committee later recommended that the charges be dismissed.

Erasmo appealed her temporary appointment to the CSC.

Mar. 12, 1993 CSC upheld the temporary appointment, ruling that CES eligibility was required to hold a
CES position, and an appointment to a CES position can be considered permanent only when the
appointment to the rank is made by the President of the Philippines.

June 10, 1993 HIGC President Fernando MIRANDA, Jr. notified Erasmo of her termination, with notice
that the pendency of an administrative case against her precluded renewal of her appointment.

Aug. 31, 1993 - Upon request of Erasmo, the Executive Director of the CES Board rendered an opinion
holding that the filing of an administrative case does not automatically revoke a CES appointment, nor does
it affect the validity of a temporary appointment; and that for a termination to be effective, there must be a
categorical or positive act of termination of service.

On the basis of said opinion, Erasmo wrote HIGC to seek reinstatement with back wages. Her request was
denied as her old position had already been filled up by a permanent appointee.

Upon learning of the HIGC Committees recommendation to dismiss the charges against her, Erasmo
reiterated her request for reinstatement, alleging that HIGC gave her a copy of the Committee report only 8
months after it was rendered on Jun. 29, 1995. Her 2nd request was denied.

1996 Erasmo appealed her dismissal to the CSC.

Feb. 3, 1998 CSC denied the appeal, on 3 grounds: 1) Erasmos appointment was temporary, hence she
was not protected by the security of tenure clause; 2) her appeal was filed beyond the 15-day reglementary
period; 3) the appointing authority, as a general rule, cannot be compelled to issue an appointment.

CA affirmed the CSC resolution. Hence, this recourse to the SC.

ISSUE (HELD): W/N Erasmo is entitled to be reinstated to the position of Vice-President of TS/GCIG of HIGC (NO)

CAB: Circumstances show that Erasmos promotion to Vice-President, TS/GCIG is temporary in nature.
o This is clearly indicated in her appointment papers, dated June 11, 1992.
o Erasmo does not have the CES eligibility required for the position, which is a CES office.

As her appointment was temporary, it was terminable at the pleasure of the appointing power with or without
cause; with no security of tenure (Matibag v. Benipayo).

Achacoso v. Macaraig: A permanent appointment can be issued only to a person who meets all the
requirements for the position to which he is being appointed, including the appropriate eligibility prescribed.

The mere fact that a position belongs to the Career Service does not automatically confer security of tenure
on its occupant even if he does not possess the required qualifications. Such right will have to depend on
the nature of his appointment, which in turn depends on his eligibility or lack of it. A person who does not
have the requisite qualifications for the position cannot be appointed to it in the first place, or as an
exception to the rule, may be appointed to it merely in an acting capacity in the absence of appropriate
eligibles. The appointment extended to him cannot be regarded as permanent even if it may be so

Rule in Achacoso: CES eligibility is required for a CES position, such that an appointment of one who does
not possess such eligibility shall be temporary and may be withdrawn at will by the appointing authority and
at a moments notice.

Exceptional facts in Palmera do not obtain in the case at bar: In Palmera the employee signed a
contractual appointment on the pretext that it would provide legal basis for the payment of his annual
salary. SC ruled that the employee, who had been in the government for 34 years and was about to retire,
could not have intended to relinquish his permanent appointment and the benefits attaching to it. SC
refused to release the employee into an uncertain future after retirement, considering that he signed the
contract as a subterfuge to receive his salary. The contract was thus ruled void and cannot be the basis
for claiming that the employee had abandoned his post.

CAB: Erasmo understood the implications of her promotional but temporary appointment. She was not
obligated to accept the promotion. Promotions are in the nature of gifts which a person has a right to refuse.
Although Erasmo was under a permanent appointment, she accepted the promotion to VP. Having done so,
she had abandoned or given up her former position. When she accepted the temporary appointment, in
effect, she abandoned her right to security of tenure.

Romualdez v. CSC: x x x This is not a case of removal from office. Indeed, when he accepted this
temporary appointment he was thereby effectively divested of security of tenure. A temporary appointment
does not give the appointee any definite tenure of office but makes it dependent upon the pleasure of the
appointing power. Thus, the matter of converting such a temporary appointment to a permanent one is
addressed to the sound discretion of the appointing authority.

Moreover, Erasmo never acquired the CES eligibility required by the position, even if jurisprudence allows in
exceptional cases the appointment of a non-CES eligible provided that CES eligibility is subsequently

Erasmo cannot be returned to being VP, TS/GCIG because the power of appointment is essentially
discretionary and cannot be controlled, not even by the SC, as long as it is exercised properly by the
appointing authority; HGIC having already found a permanent replacement.

Re: claim that Erasmos letter to the CSC was a petition, not an appeal, thus timely filed: Regardless of
whether the letter was an appeal or a petition, CSC acted on the matter anyway; and SC found no reversible
error in the CSC ruling.