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CASE: brillantes v yorac AUTHOR: Pulhin

GR NO: 93867 DATE: December 18 1990 NOTES:

TOPIC: The Constitutional Commissions # of pages : 3

FACTS: In December 1989, a coup attempt occurred prompting the president to create a fact finding commission which
would be chaired by Hilario Davide. Consequently he has to vacate his chairmanship over the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC). Haydee Yorac, an associate commissioner in the COMELEC, was appointed by then President Corazon Aquino
as a temporary substitute, in short, she was appointed in an acting capacity. Sixto Brillantes, Jr. then questioned such
appointment urging that under Art 10-C of the Constitution in no case shall any member of the COMELEC be appointed
or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Brillantes further argued that the choice of the acting chairman should not come from the President for such is an internal
matter that should be resolved by the members themselves and that the intrusion of the president violates the
independence of the COMELEC as a constitutional commission.
ISSUE(S): Whether or not the designation made by the president violates the constitutional independence of the
DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE, the designation by the President of the Philippines of respondent Haydee B. Yorac
as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and the respondent is hereby
ordered to desist from serving as such. This is without prejudice to the incumbent Associate Commissioners of the
Commission on Elections restoring her to the same position if they so desire, or choosing another member in her place,
pending the appointment of a permanent Chairman by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the
Commission on Appointments.cdrep SO ORDERED.

RATIO: Yoracs designation as acting chairman is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that although all constitutional
commissions are essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the president in the discharge of their
functions. The designation made by the president has dubious justification as it was merely grounded on the quote
administrative expediency to present the functions of the COMELEC. Aside from such justification, it found no basis on
existing rules on statutes. It is the members of the COMELEC who should choose whom to sit temporarily as acting chairman
in the absence of Davide (they normally do that by choosing the most senior member).
But even though the presidents appointment of Yorac as acting president is void, the members of COMELEC can choose
to reinstate Yorac as their acting chairman the point here is that, it is the members who should elect their acting chairman
pursuant to the principle that constitutional commissions are independent bodies.