Anda di halaman 1dari 9

Full text Finals contended that he should be designated terminal supervisor, or to any

other comparable position, in view of his preferential right thereto. On


Republic of the Philippines June 26, 1989, complaining that the PPA had not acted on his protest,
SUPREME COURT Junsay went to the Civil Service Commission and challenged Lapinid's
Manila appointment on the same grounds he had earlier raised before the PPA.
In a resolution dated February 14, 1990, the Commission disposed as
EN BANC follows:

G.R. No. 96298 May 14, 1991 After a careful review of the records of the case, the
Commission finds the appeal meritorious. In the comparative
RENATO M. LAPINID, petitioner, evaluation sheets, the parties were evaluated according to the
vs. following criteria, namely: eligibility; education; work
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, PHILIPPINE PORTS experience; productivity/performance/ attendance; integrity;
AUTHORITY and JUANITO JUNSAY, respondents. initiative/leadership; and physical characteristics/personality
traits. The results of the evaluation are as follows:
Brillantes, Nachura, Navarro & Arcilla Law Offices for petitioner.
Adolpho M. Guerzon for J. Junsay, Jr. JUNSAY, Juanito — 79.5
Evalyn L Fetalino, Rogelio C. Limare and Daisy B. Garcia-Tingzon
for Civil Service Commission. VILLEGAS, Benjamin — 79

LAPINID, Renato — 75

CRUZ, J.: DULFO, Antonio — 78

The issue raised in this case has been categorically resolved in a long MARIANO, Eleuterio — 79
line of cases that should have since guided the policies and actions of
the respondent Civil Service Commission. Disregard of our consistent FLORES, Nestor — 80
ruling on this matter has needlessly imposed on the valuable time of
the Court and indeed borders on disrespect for the highest tribunal. We DE GUZMAN, Alfonso — 80
state at the outset that this conduct can no longer be countenanced.
VER, Cesar — 80
Petitioner Renato M. Lapinid was appointed by the Philippine Ports
Authority to the position of Terminal Supervisor at the Manila It is thus obvious that Protestants Junsay (79.5) and Villegas
International Container Terminal on October 1, 1988. This (79) have an edge over that of protestees Lapinid (75) and
appointment was protested on December 15, 1988, by private Dulfo (78).
respondent Juanito Junsay, who reiterated his earlier representations
with the Appeals Board of the PPA on May 9, 1988, for a review of Foregoing premises considered, it is directed that Appellants
the decision of the Placement Committee dated May 3, 1988. He Juanito Junsay and Benjamin Villegas be appointed as
Terminal Supervisor (SG 18) vice protestees Renato Lapinid Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be
and Antonio Dulfo respectively who may be considered for performed by the officer in which it is vested according to his
appointment to any position commensurate and suitable to their best lights, the only condition being that the appointee should
qualifications, and that the Commission be notified within ten possess the qualifications required by law. If he does, then the
(10) days of the implementation hereof. appointment cannot be faulted on the ground that there are
others better qualified who should have been preferred. This is
SO ORDERED. a political question involving considerations of wisdom which
only the appointing authority can decide.
Upon learning of the said resolution, Lapinid, 7who claimed he had
not been informed of the appeal and had not been heard thereon, filed xxx xxx xxx
a motion for reconsideration on March 19, 1990. This was denied on
May 25, 1990. The Philippine Ports Authority also filed its own Significantly, the Commission on Civil Service acknowledged
motion for reconsideration on June 19, 1990, which was denied on that both the petitioner and the private respondent were
August 17, 1990. A second motion for reconsideration filed on qualified for the position in controversy. That recognition alone
September 14, 1990, based on the re-appreciation of Lapinid's rating rendered it functus officio in the case and prevented it from
from 75% to 84%, was also denied on October 19, 1990. acting further thereon except to affirm the validity of the
petitioner's appointment. To be sure, it had no authority to
When the petitioner came to this Court on December 13, 1990, we revoke the said appointment simply because it believed that the
resolved to require Comments from the respondents and in the private respondent was better qualified for that would have
meantime issued a temporary restraining order. The Solicitor General constituted an encroachment on the discretion vested solely in
took a stand against the Civil Service Commission which, at his the city mayor.
suggestion, was allowed to file its own Comment. The petitioner filed
a Reply. The private respondent's Comment was dispensed with when The same ruling has been affirmed, in practically the same language as
it was not filed within the prescribed period. Luego, in Central Bank v. Civil Service Commission, 171 SCRA 744;
Santiago v. Civil Service Commission, 178 SCRA 733; Pintor v. Tan,
We see no reason to deviate from our consistent ruling on the issue G.R. No. 84022 and G.R. No. 85804, March 9, 1989, En Banc, Minute
before us. Resolution; Galura v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 85812, June
1, 1989, En Banc, Minute Resolution; Zulueta v. Mamangun, G.R. No.
In Luego v. Civil Service Commission,1 this Court declared: 85941, June 15, 1989, En Banc, Minute Resolution; Remigio v.
Chairman, Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 86324, July 6, 1989,
The issue is starkly simple: Is the Civil Service Commission En Banc, Minute Resolution; Aurora Macacua v. Civil Service
authorized to disapprove a permanent appointment on the Commission, G.R. No. 91520, July 31, 1990, En Banc, Minute
ground that another person is better qualified than the Resolution; Abdulwahab A. Bayao v. Civil Service Commission, G.R.
appointee and, on the basis of this finding, order his No. 92388, September 11, 1990, En Banc, Minute Resolution; Orbos
replacement by the latter? v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 92561, September 12, 1990;
Alicia D. Tagaro v. The Hon. Civil Service Commission, et al., G.R.
xxx xxx xxx No. 90477, September 13, 1990, En Banc, Minute Resolution; Elenito
Lim v. Civil Service Commission, et al., G.R. No. 87145, October 11,
1990, En Banc, Minute Resolution; Teologo v. Civil Service
Commission, G.R. No. 92103, November 8, 1990; Simpao v. Civil It is therefore incomprehensible to the Court why, despite these
Service Commission, G.R. No. 85976, November 15, 1990. definitive pronouncements, the Civil Service Commission has seen fit
to ignore, if not defy, the clear mandate of the Court.
Only recently, in Gaspar v. Court of Appeals2 this Court said:
We declare once again, and let us hope for the last time, that the Civil
The only function of the Civil Service Commission in cases of Service Commission has no power of appointment except over its own
this nature, according to Luego, is to review the appointment in personnel. Neither does it have the authority to review the
the light of the requirements of the Civil Service Law, and appointments made by other offices except only to ascertain if the
when it finds the appointee to be qualified and all other legal appointee possesses the required qualifications. The determination of
requirements have been otherwise satisfied, it has no choice but who among aspirants with the minimum statutory qualifications should
to attest to the appointment. Luego finally points out that the be preferred belongs to the appointing authority and not the Civil
recognition by the Commission that both the appointee and the Service Commission. It cannot disallow an appointment because it
protestant are qualified for the position in controversy renders believes another person is better qualified and much less can it direct
it functus officio in the case and prevents it from acting further the appointment of its own choice.
thereon except to affirm the validity of the former's
appointment; it has no authority to revoke the appointment Appointment is a highly discretionary act that even this Court cannot
simply because it considers another employee to be better compel.1âwphi1 While the act of appointment may in proper cases be
qualified for that would constitute an encroachment on the the subject of mandamus, the selection itself of the appointee—taking
discretion vested in the appointing authority. into account the totality of his qualifications, including those abstract
qualities that define his personality—is the prerogative of the
xxx xxx xxx appointing authority. This is a matter addressed only to the discretion
of the appointing authority. It is a political question that the Civil
The determination of who among several candidates for a Service Commission has no power to review under the Constitution
vacant position has the best qualifications is vested in the and the applicable laws.
sound discretion of the Department Head or appointing
authority and not in the Civil Service Commission. Every Commenting on the limits of the powers of the public respondent,
particular job in an office calls for both formal and informal Luego declared:
qualifications. Formal qualifications such as age, number of
academic units in a certain course, seminars attended, etc., may It is understandable if one is likely to be misled by the
be valuable but so are such intangibles as resourcefulness, team language of Section 9(h) of Article V of the Civil Service
spirit, courtesy, initiative, loyalty, ambition, prospects for the Decree because it says the Commission has the power to
future, and best interests, of the service. Given the demands of "approve" and "disapprove" appointments. Thus, it is provided
a certain job, who can do it best should be left to the Head of therein that the Commission shall have inter alia the power to:
the Office concerned provided the legal requirements for the
office are satisfied. The Civil Service Commission cannot 9(h) Approve all appointments, whether original or
substitute its judgment for that of the Head of Office in this promotional, to positions in the civil service, except
regard. those presidential appointees, members of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, police forces, firemen, and
jailguards, and disapprove those where the appointees
do not possess appropriate eligibility or required Constitution. The Civil Service Commission should recognize that its
qualifications. (Emphasis supplied) acts are subject to reversal by this Court, which expects full
compliance with its decisions even if the Commission may not agree
However, a full reading of the provision, especially of the with them.
underscored parts, will make it clear that all the Commission is
actually allowed to do is check whether or not the appointee The Commission on Civil Service has been duly warned. Henceforth,
possesses the appropriate civil service eligibility or the required it disobeys at its peril.
qualifications. If he does, his appointment is approved; if not, it
is disapproved. No other criterion is permitted by law to be WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Resolutions of the
employed by the Commission when it acts on—or as the respondent Civil Service Commission dated February 14, 1990, May
Decree says, "approves" or "disapproves'—an appointment 25, 1990, August 17, 1990, and October 19, 1990, are REVERSED
made by the proper authorities. and SET ASIDE. The temporary restraining order dated December 13,
1990, is made PERMANENT. No costs.
The Court believes it has stated the foregoing doctrine clearly enough,
and often enough, for the Civil Service Commission not to understand SO ORDERED.
them. The bench does; the bar does; and we see no reason why the
Civil Service Commission does not. If it will not, then that is an Fernan, C.J., Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Paras,
entirely different matter and shall be treated accordingly. Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento Griño-Aquino,
Medialdea, Regalado and Davide, Jr., JJ., concur.
We note with stern disapproval that the Civil Service Commission has
once again directed the appointment of its own choice in the case at
bar. We must therefore make the following injunctions which the
Commission must note well and follow strictly. Footnotes

Whatever the reasons for its conduct, the Civil Service Commission is 1 143 SCRA 327.
ORDERED to desist from disregarding the doctrine announced in
Luego v. Civil Service Commission and the subsequent decisions 2 G.R. No. 90799, October 18, 1990.
reiterating such ruling. Up to this point, the Court has leniently
regarded the attitude of the public respondent on this matter as
imputable to a lack of comprehension and not to intentional
intransigence. But we are no longer disposed to indulge that fiction.
Henceforth, departure from the mandate of Luego by the Civil Service
Commission after the date of the promulgation of this decision shall be
considered contempt of this Court and shall be dealt with severely, in
view especially of the status of the contemner.

While we appreciate the fact that the Commission is a constitutional


body, we must stress, as a necessary reminder, that every department
and office in the Republic must know its place in the scheme of the
Republic of the Philippines Assistant Civil Security Officer, Civil Intelligence and Security
SUPREME COURT Department of the Quezon City Government, assumed the
Manila Administrative Officer IV position on 2 December 1987.

EN BANC A day earlier, private respondent Florentina Eleria, Administrative


Officer III of the Health Department, Quezon City Government, filed a
G.R. No. 92573 June 3, 1991 protest with the Merit System Protection Board ("Board") in respect of
Abila's appointment. The Board indorsed the protest to the Quezon
ALEX A. ABILA, petitioner, City Officer-in-Charge, Reynaldo Bernardo, who rendered a decision
vs. dismissing the protest.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and FLORENTINA E.
ELERIA, respondents. Private respondent Eleria appealed to the Board. On 27 October 1988,
the Board promulgated a decision revoking petitioner Abila's
G.R. No. 92867 June 3, 1991 appointment and directing the Quezon City Officer-in-Charge or
Mayor to appoint private respondent Eleria in lieu of petitioner Abila.
QUEZON CITY, represented by the Honorable Brigido R. Simon, The Board found that both petitioner Abila and private respondent
Jr., petitioner, Eleria met the minimum eligibility and education requirements for
vs. Administrative Officer IV, but ruled that respondent Eleria had the
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and FLORENTINA E. edge in terms of rank and experience as an Administrative Officer. The
ELERIA, respondents. Board also held that respondent Eleria was holding a position next in
rank to that of the vacancy, which circumstance, according to the
Z.P. Reyes Law Office for petitioner Abila. Board, under Section 4 of the Civil Service Commission Resolution
The City Attorney for petitioner Quezon City. No. 83-343, gave her "promotional priority" over petitioner.
Pedro F. Martinez for private respondent.
Petitioner Abila appealed to the Civil Service Commission
("Commission"). The Commission affirmed in toto the Board's
decision and resolution dated 21 November 1989. Petitioner moved for
RESOLUTION reconsideration, without success.

Petitioner is now before this Court on certiorari. He contends that the


respondent Commission, having verified that both petitioner and
FELICIANO, J.: private respondent were legally qualified to fill the vacancy, should
not have proceeded to comparing the parties' qualifications and
On 1 September 1987, Amado Villafuerte retired from his position as choosing the person that it believed to be the appropriate appointee.
Administrative Officer IV in the Health Department of the City Those functions, petitioner urges, belong to the City Mayor as part of
Government of Quezon City. Then Quezon City Officer-in-Charge his appointing power and cannot be appropriated for itself by the
Brigido Simon, Jr. appointed petitioner Alex Abila as Villafuerte's respondent Commission.
successor. Petitioner Abila who had theretofore been the Acting
In a Resolution dated 19 April 1990, the Court granted a temporary We declare once again, and let us hope for the last time, that
restraining order enjoining respondent Commission from the Civil Service Commission has no power of appointment
implementing its resolutions. except over its own personnel. Neither does it have the
authority to review the appointments made by other offices
The Quezon City Government, represented by its elected Mayor, except only to ascertain if the appointee possesses the required
Brigido Simon, Jr., filed an identical Petition with this Court, docketed qualifications. The determination of who among aspirants with
as G.R. No. 92867, seeking annulment of respondent Commission's the minimum statutory qualifications should be preferred
resolution and upholding the validity of the appointment of petitioner belongs to the appointing authority and not the Civil Service
Abila on substantially the same grounds pleaded by the latter. Commission. It cannot disallow an appointment because it
believes another person is better qualified and much less can it
In a resolution dated 26 July 1990, the Court ordered consolidation of direct the appointment of its own choice.
the two (2) cases for their more convenient disposition.
Appointment is a highly discretionary act that even this Court
The recurring issue posed in this case is whether the respondent cannot compel. While the act of appointment may in proper
Commission has authority to substitute its own judgment for that of cases be the subject of mandamus, the selection itself of the
the official authorized by law to make an appointment to the appointee –– taking into account the totality of his
government service, in the matter of weighing an appointee's qualifications, including those abstract qualities that define his
qualifications and fitness for a position, after it has been shown that personality –– is the prerogative of the appointing authority.
the appointee possesses the minimum qualifications prescribed for the This is a matter addressed only to the discretion of the
position. appointing authority. It is a political question that the Civil
Service Commission has no power to review under the
In a long line of cases,1 the Court has held that respondent Constitution and the applicable laws.2
Commission has no such authority, the power of appointment, which is
essentially discretionary, being vested by law in the head of the office The Commission, the Court said in Chang v. Civil Service
concerned. The head of the office is the person on the spot. He Commission,3 "is not a co-manager or surrogate administrator of
occupies the ideal vantage point from which to identify and designate government offices and agencies."
the individual who can best fill the post and discharge its functions in
the government agency he heads. The choice of an appointee from In the case at bar, the respondent Commission itself acknowledged that
among those who possess the required qualifications is a political and both petitioner Abila and respondent Eleria are legally qualified for the
administrative decision calling for considerations of wisdom, position in question.4 Having made the determination, the
convenience, utility and the interests of service which can best be Commission had exhausted its powers and may not act any further
made by the head of the office concerned, the person most familiar except to affirm the validity of petitioner's appointment. More
with the organizational structure and environmental circumstances specifically, the Commission had no authority to revoke petitioner's
within which the appointee must function. appointment because the Commission believed that private respondent
Eleria was better qualified for the position involved; the Commission's
In Lapinid vs. Civil Service Commission (supra), the Court through acts in this respect constituted an encroachment upon a discretionary
Mr. Justice Cruz, stressed: authority vested by law in the Quezon City Mayor and not in the
Commission.
The Court notes that a vacant position in the Civil Service may be In Taduran v. Civil Service Commission,9 the Court construed that
filled by promotion, transfer of present employees, reinstatement and phrase to mean that the person next in rank "would be among the first
re-employment or appointment of outsiders who have the necessary to be considered for the vacancy, if qualified.10 In Santiago, Jr. v.
eligibility.5 The next-in-rank rule invoked by respondent Commission Civil Service Commission,11 the Court elaborated the import of the
to justify its choice of respondent Eleria over petitioner Abila, applies rule in the following manner:
only where a vacancy is filled by promotion, a process which denotes
a scalar ascent of an officer to another position higher either in rank or One who is next-in-rank is entitled to preferential consideration
salary. A promotion involves a situation quite different from the for promotion to the higher vacancy but it does not necessarily
situation in the case at bar where the appointment of petitioner Abila follow that he and no one else can be appointed. The rule
was effected through lateral transfer from a position in one department neither grants a vested right to the holder nor imposes a
of the city government to a position of greater responsibility in another ministerial duty on the appointing authority to promote such
department of the same government.6 In Medenilla v. Civil Service person to the next higher position. . . .12
Commission,7 the Court very recently stressed that:
It appears to the Court that Section 4 of respondent Commission's
. . . We have already held in cases subsequent to Millares that Resolution No. 83-343 which provided that:
the next-in-rank rule is not absolute; it only applies in cases of
promotion (see Pineda v. Claudio, 28 SCRA 34 [1969]). And Rule on Promotion
even in promotions, it can be disregarded for sound reasons
made known to the next-in-rank. The appointing authority, xxx xxx xxx
under the Civil Service Law, is allowed to fill vacancies by
promotion, transfer of present employees, reinstatement, Section 4. An employee who holds a next in rank position who
reemployment, and appointment of outsiders who have is competent and qualified, possesses an appropriate civil
appropriate civil service eligibility, not necessarily in that service eligibility and meets the other conditions for promotion
order (see Pineda v. Claudio, supra; Luego v. Civil Service shall be promoted to the higher position, when it becomes
Commission, 143 SCRA 327 [1986]). There is no legal fiat vacant. (Emphasis supplied)
that a vacancy must be filled only by promotion; the appointing
authority is given wide discretion to fill a vacancy from among has been superseded by Section 2 of Rule 3 of the respondent
the several alternatives provided for by law. (Emphasis Commission's subsequent Resolution No. 89-779 which reads as
supplied) follows:

The Court further notes that even if the vacancy here had been filled B. Rules on Protest Cases
by promotion rather than by lateral transfer, the concept of "next in
rank" does not import any mandatory or peremptory requirement that xxx xxx xxx
the person next in rank must be appointed to the vacancy. What
Section 19 (3) of P.D. No. 807, the Civil Service Law, provides is that Rule III. Procedure in Filling Vacancies
if a vacancy is filled by a promotion, the person holding the position
next in rank thereto "shall be considered for promotion."8 xxx xxx xxx
Section 2. Positions in the Second Level. — When a vacancy Fernan, C.J., Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras,
occurs in the second level of the career service as herein Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea,
defined, the employees in the department who occupy the next Regalado and Davide, Jr., JJ., concur.
lower positions in the occupational group under which the
vacant position is classified, and in other functionally related
occupational groups, who are competent and qualified and with
appropriate civil service eligibility shall be considered for Footnotes
appointment to the vacancy. (Emphasis supplied)
1 The Court, in Lapinid v. Civil Service Commission, et al.,
When, in the exercise of its rule-making power, it promulgated Section G.R. No. 96298, 14 May 1991, collected most of these cases.
4 of its earlier Resolution No. 83-343, the Commission clearly Additional cases include: Cortez v. Civil Service Commission,
exceeded the scope of its statutory authority since the Civil Service et al., G.R. No. 92673, 13 March 1991; Lopez v. Civil Service
law itself, in Section 19 (3) of P.D. No. 807, had simply provided that Commission, G.R. No. 92140,19 February 1991, p. 9; G.R. No.
persons next in rank who are qualified "shall be considered for 94465, 27 November 1990, p. 2; Chang v. Civil Service
promotion." The current regulation found in Section 2 of Rule III of Commission, et al., G.R. No. 86791, 26 November 1990, p. 5;
the Commission's Resolution No. 89-779 is, fortunately, more Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila v. Intermediate Appellate
consistent with the Commission's enabling statute. Court, et al., 140 SCRA 32, 35 (1985); Ocampo v. Subido, 72
SCRA 443, 451 (1976); Torres v. Borja, 56 SCRA 47, 55
Finally, respondent Commission will find no comfort in Meram v. (1974); Reyes v. Abeleda, 22 SCRA 825, 830 (1968).
Edralin13 which it cites. In that case, the Court affirmed the
appointment of the next in rank "because the original appointee's 2 Because the precipitating events in the case at bar occurred
appointment was made in consideration of the political, ethnic, before the promulgation of Lapinid, the Court refrains from
religious or blood ties totally against the very purpose behind the taking any action against respondent Commission.
establishment of professionalism in the civil service."14 In the case at
bar, respondents have not asserted the existence of any circumstances, 3 G.R. No. 86791, 26 November 1990, p. 5.
such as those in Meram, which would have warranted intervention by
the Commission to correct an arbitrary and merely capricious exercise 4 Rollo of G.R. No. 92573, p. 26.
of power by the appointing authority.
5 Section 19 (5), P.D. No. 807. See also Luego v. Civil Service
ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to TREAT respondents' Commission, 143 SCRA 327, 333 (1986); Patagoc v. Civil
Comments as their Answers, to GRANT due course to the Petition for Service Commission, G.R. No. 90229, 14 May 1990, p. 5.
Certiorari and to ANNUL and SET ASIDE the Resolutions of the
respondent Civil Service Commission Nos. 89-869 (21 November 6 Pineda v. Claudio, 28 SCRA 34, 48 (1969).
1989) and 90-240 (5 March 1990), respectively. The Temporary
Restraining Order dated 19 April 1990 is hereby MADE 7 G.R. No. 93868, 19 February 1991.
PERMANENT.
8 The applicable provision reads:
"No. 1-Article VIII.

Personnel Policies and Standards

xxx xxx xxx

SECTION 19. Recruitment and Selection of Employees.


—....

xxx xxx xxx

(3) When a vacancy occurs in a position in the second


level of the Career Service as defined in Section 7, the
employees in the government service who occupy the
next lower positions in the occupational group under
which the vacant position is classified, and in other
functionally related occupational groups and who are
competent, qualified and with the appropriate civil
service eligibility shall be considered for promotion.
(Emphasis supplied)