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DARWIN Z.

POLIDO

G.R. No. 170093 April 29, 2009


JOSE PEPITO M. AMORES vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

I. BRIEF SUMMARY OF FACTS

Jose Pepito M. Amores (Amores) was the Deputy Director for Hospital Support Services at the
Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP). His civil service career began in 1982 when he was
initially engaged at the LCP as a resident physician. In the course of his service, he had been
promoted to the position of Medical Specialist, then to Department Manager, and finally to
Deputy Director.
In the meantime, Dr.Fernando Melendres (Melendres), who was holding the office of the Deputy
Director for Medical Support Services, was appointed by then President Joseph Estrada as
Executive Director of LCP.
However, Amores, nevertheless believed that he himself was the rightful person to be appointed
as executive director in as much as he had top-billed the evaluation results of the DOH Selection
Board with Melendres tailing behind in second place.
Consequently, Amores was separated from service as Deputy Director based on the LCP Board
Trustees resolution on the ground that Amores lacked the Career Executive Service (CES)
eligibility which is required for the position of deputy director, and, as such, he enjoyed no
security of tenure.
Aggrieved, Amores brought an appeal to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) but the latter
declared the validity of the LCP Board of Trustees resolution which was also affirmed by the
Court of Appeals.

II. RELEVANT ISSUES


Whether or not Amores is deemed separated from service due to lack of CES eligibility.
Whether or not Amores’ separation from service violated his right to security of tenure.

III. RULING OF THE SUPREME COURTS

Yes, Amores is deemed separated from service due to lack of CES eligibility.
The position of Deputy Director at the LCP, which Amores was holding belongs to the career
executive service appointments to which by law require the that the appointees possess the
corresponding CES eligibility.
Well established by law and jurisprudence that a permanent appointment in the civil service is
issued to a person who has met the requirements of the position to which appointment is made in
accordance with law and the rules issued pursuant thereto. An appointment is permanent where
the appointee meets all the requirements for the position to which he is being appointed,
including the appropriate eligibility prescribed, and it is temporary where the appointee meets all
the requirements for the position except only the appropriate civil service eligibility.
As provided in Section 8 of the Civil Service Law on the Classes of Positions in the Career
Service appointment, positions in the Career Executive Service is one of those classes that
require examinations. Only then the status of a permanent appointee to the CES position to
which he has previously been appointed or become qualified for a permanent appointment to that
position can be earned once a person acquires eligibility.
Since Amores does not possess such eligibility, it cannot be said that his appointment to the
position was permanent, hence, he is deemed separated from service.

No, Amores separation from service did not violate his right to security of tenure.

Security of tenure in the career executive service, which presupposes a permanent appointment
takes place upon passing the CES examinations. Upon conferment of CES eligibility and
compliance with the other requirements prescribed by the Board, an incumbent of a CES position
may qualify for appointment to a CES rank. Appointment to a CES rank is made by the President
upon the Board’s recommendation. It is this process which completes the official’s membership
in the CES and confers on him security of tenure in the CES. Petitioner Amores does not seem to
have gone through this definitive process.

It is clear from the fact that because Amores lacked the proper CES eligibility and therefore had
not held the subject office in a permanent capacity, there could not have been any violation of
petitioner’s supposed right to security of tenure inasmuch as he had never been in possession of
the said right at least during his tenure as Deputy Director for Hospital Support Services. Hence,
no challenge may be offered against his separation from office even if it be for no cause and at a
moment’s notice.

An employee who is a CES eligible does not automatically operate to vest security of tenure on
the appointee inasmuch as the security of tenure of employees in the career executive service,
except first and second-level employees, pertains only to rank and not to the office or position to
which they may be appointed.

The long-standing rule that the mere fact that the position Amores was holding belongs to the
career service does not automatically confer security of tenure on its occupant. 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, only as an exception to the rule, may be appointed to it in an
acting capacity in the absence of appropriate eligibles.

Thus, Amores could not claim that his security of tenure was violated because he was not
deemed in a permanent position as Deputy Director due to his lacked of CES eligibility.