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EN BANC

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR.,


EDGARDO J. ANGARA,
JUAN PONCE ENRILE,
LUISA P. EJERCITO-ESTRADA,
JINGGOY E. ESTRADA,
PANFILO M. LACSON,
ALFREDO S. LIM,
JAMBY A.S. MADRIGAL, and
SERGIO R. OSMEA III,
Petitioners,

- versus -

G.R. No. 16!"#

Present:
Davide, Jr., C.J.,
Puno,
Panganiban,
Quisumbing,
Ynares-Santiago,
Sandoval-Gutierrez,
Carpio,
Austria-artinez,
Corona,
Carpio orales,
E$EC. SECRETARY EDUARDO Calle!o, Sr.,
R. ERMITA, FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Az"una,
A%ELINO J. CRU&, JR., #inga,
MIC'AEL T. DEFENSOR, C$i"o-%azario, and
JOSEP' '. DURANO,
Gar"ia, JJ.
RAUL M. GON&ALE&,
ALBERTO G. ROMULO,
RENE C. %ILLA, and
Promulgated:
ART'UR C. YAP,
&espondents.
O()o*+, 1-, .//0
' - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - '

DECISION

CARPIO, J.:



T1+ Ca2+


#$is is a petition (or certiorari and pro$ibition
)*+
,it$ a pra-er (or t$e issuan"e o( a ,rit o(
preliminar- in!un"tion to de"lare un"onstitutional t$e appointments issued b- President Gloria
a"apagal-Arro-o ./President Arro-o01 t$roug$ 2'e"utive Se"retar- 2duardo &. 2rmita ./Se"retar-
2rmita01 to 3loren"io 4. Abad, Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., i"$ael #. De(ensor, Josep$ 5. Durano, &aul .
Gonzalez, Alberto G. &omulo, &ene C. 6illa, and Art$ur C. Yap ./respondents01 as a"ting se"retaries o(
t$eir respe"tive departments. #$e petition also see7s to pro$ibit respondents (rom per(orming t$e duties
o( department se"retaries.


An)+(+d+n) Fa()2


#$e Senate and t$e 5ouse o( &epresentatives ./Congress01 "ommen"ed t$eir regular session on 89
Jul- 8::;. #$e Commission on Appointments, "omposed o( Senators and &epresentatives, ,as
"onstituted on 8< August 8::;.

*
ean,$ile, President Arro-o issued appointments
)8+
to respondents as a"ting se"retaries o( t$eir
respe"tive departments.

A33o4n)++ D+3a,)5+n) Da)+ o6 A33o4n)5+n)
Art$ur C. Yap Agri"ulture *< August 8::;
Alberto G. &omulo 3oreign A((airs 8= August 8::;
&aul . Gonzalez Justi"e 8= August 8::;
3loren"io 4. Abad 2du"ation 8= August 8::;
Avelino J. Cruz, Jr. %ational De(ense 8= August 8::;
&ene C. 6illa Agrarian &e(orm 8= August 8::;
Josep$ 5. Durano #ourism 8= August 8::;
i"$ael #. De(ensor 2nvironment and %atural &esour"es 8= August 8::;

#$e appointment papers are uni(orml- ,orded as (ollo,s:


Sir:

Pursuant to t$e provisions o( e'isting la,s, -ou are $ereb- appointed AC#>%G
S2C&2#A&Y, D2PA&#2%# ?3 .appropriate department1 vice .name o( person
repla"ed1.

4- virtue $ereo(, -ou ma- @uali(- and enter upon t$e per(orman"e o( t$e duties and
(un"tions o( t$e o((i"e, (urnis$ing t$is ?((i"e and t$e Civil Servi"e Commission ,it$
"opies o( -our ?at$ o( ?((i"e.

.signed1
Gloria Arro-o



&espondents too7 t$eir oat$ o( o((i"e and assumed duties as a"ting se"retaries.

?n A September 8::;, A@uilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. ./Senator Pimentel01, 2dgardo J. Angara ./Senator
Angara01, Juan Pon"e 2nrile ./Senator 2nrile01, Buisa P. 2!er"ito-2strada ./Senator 2!er"ito-2strada01,
Jinggo- 2. 2strada ./Senator 2strada01, Pan(ilo . Ba"son ./Senator Ba"son01, Al(redo S. Bim ./Senator
Bim01, Jamb- A.S. adrigal ./Senator adrigal01, and Sergio &. ?smeCa, >>> ./Senator ?smeCa01
./petitioners01 (iled t$e present petition as Senators o( t$e &epubli" o( t$e P$ilippines.


Congress ad!ourned on 88 September 8::;. ?n 8= September 8::;, President Arro-o issued ad
interim appointments
)=+
to respondents as se"retaries o( t$e departments to ,$i"$ t$e- ,ere previousl-
appointed in an a"ting "apa"it-. #$e appointment papers are uni(orml- ,orded as (ollo,s:

Sir:

Pursuant to t$e provisions o( e'isting la,s, -ou are $ereb- appointed S2C&2#A&Y
)AD INTERIM+, D2PA&#2%# ?3 .appropriate department1.

4- virtue $ereo(, -ou ma- @uali(- and enter upon t$e per(orman"e o( t$e duties and
(un"tions o( t$e o((i"e, (urnis$ing t$is ?((i"e and t$e Civil Servi"e Commission ,it$
"opies o( -our oat$ o( o((i"e.

.signed1
Gloria Arro-o


8
I227+


#$e petition @uestions t$e "onstitutionalit- o( President Arro-oDs appointment o( respondents as
a"ting se"retaries ,it$out t$e "onsent o( t$e Commission on Appointments ,$ile Congress is in session.


T1+ Co7,)82 R794n:

#$e petition $as no merit.

Preliminary Matters


On the Mootness of the Petition

#$e Soli"itor General argues t$at t$e petition is moot be"ause President Arro-o $ad e'tended to
respondents ad interim appointments on 8= September 8::; immediatel- a(ter t$e re"ess o( Congress.

As a rule, t$e ,rit o( pro$ibition ,ill not lie to en!oin a"ts alread- done.
);+
5o,ever, as an
e'"eption to t$e rule on mootness, "ourts ,ill de"ide a @uestion ot$er,ise moot i( it is "apable o(
repetition -et evading revie,.
)<+

>n t$e present "ase, t$e mootness o( t$e petition does not bar its resolution. #$e @uestion o( t$e
"onstitutionalit- o( t$e PresidentDs appointment o( department se"retaries in an a"ting "apa"it- ,$ile
Congress is in session ,ill arise in ever- su"$ appointment.

On the Nature of the Power to Appoint

#$e po,er to appoint is essentiall- e'e"utive in nature, and t$e legislature ma- not inter(ere ,it$
t$e e'er"ise o( t$is e'e"utive po,er e'"ept in t$ose instan"es ,$en t$e Constitution e'pressl- allo,s it to
inter(ere.
)9+
Bimitations on t$e e'e"utive po,er to appoint are "onstrued stri"tl- against t$e legislature.
)E+

#$e s"ope o( t$e legislatureDs inter(eren"e in t$e e'e"utiveDs po,er to appoint is limited to t$e po,er to
pres"ribe t$e @uali(i"ations to an appointive o((i"e. Congress "annot appoint a person to an o((i"e in t$e
guise o( pres"ribing @uali(i"ations to t$at o((i"e. %eit$er ma- Congress impose on t$e President t$e dut-
to appoint an- parti"ular person to an o((i"e.
)A+

5o,ever, even i( t$e Commission on Appointments is "omposed o( members o( Congress, t$e
e'er"ise o( its po,ers is e'e"utive and not legislative. #$e Commission on Appointments does not
legislate ,$en it e'er"ises its po,er to give or ,it$$old "onsent to presidential appointments. #$us:

''' #$e Commission on Appointments is a "reature o( t$e Constitution. Alt$oug$ its
members$ip is "on(ined to members o( Congress, said Commission is independent o(
Congress. #$e po,ers o( t$e Commission do not "ome (rom Congress, but emanate
dire"tl- (rom t$e Constitution. 5en"e, it is not an agent o( Congress. >n (a"t, t$e (un"tions
o( t$e Commissioner are purel- e'e"utive in nature. '''
)F+


On Petitioners Stanin!

#$e Soli"itor General states t$at t$e present petition is a quo warranto pro"eeding be"ause, ,it$ t$e
e'"eption o( Se"retar- 2rmita, petitioners e((e"tivel- see7 to oust respondents (or unla,(ull- e'er"ising
t$e po,ers o( department se"retaries. #$e Soli"itor General (urt$er states t$at petitioners ma- not "laim
standing as Senators be"ause no po,er o( t$e Commission on Appointments $as been /in(ringed upon or
violated b- t$e President. ''' >( at all, t$e Commission on Appointments as a bod- .rat$er t$an individual
members o( t$e Congress1 ma- possess standing in t$is "ase.0
)*:+

Petitioners, on t$e ot$er $and, state t$at t$e Court "an e'er"ise its certiorari !urisdi"tion over
un"onstitutional a"ts o( t$e President.
)**+
Petitioners (urt$er "ontend t$at t$e- possess standing be"ause
President Arro-oDs appointment o( department se"retaries in an a"ting "apa"it- ,$ile Congress is in
=
session impairs t$e po,ers o( Congress. Petitioners "ite Sanla"as #. $%e&uti#e Se&retary
)*8+
as basis,
t$us:

#o t$e e'tent t$at t$e po,ers o( Congress are impaired, so is t$e po,er o( ea"$
member t$ereo(, sin"e $is o((i"e "on(ers a rig$t to parti"ipate in t$e e'er"ise o( t$e po,ers
o( t$at institution.

An a"t o( t$e 2'e"utive ,$i"$ in!ures t$e institution o( Congress "auses a
derivative but nonet$eless substantial in!ur-, ,$i"$ "an be @uestioned b- a member o(
Congress. >n su"$ a "ase, an- member o( Congress "an $ave a resort to t$e "ourts.

Considering t$e independen"e o( t$e Commission on Appointments (rom Congress, it is error (or
petitioners to "laim standing in t$e present "ase as members o( Congress. President Arro-oDs issuan"e o(
a"ting appointments ,$ile Congress is in session impairs no po,er o( Congress. Among t$e petitioners,
onl- t$e (ollo,ing are members o( t$e Commission on Appointments o( t$e *=
t$
Congress: Senator 2nrile
as inorit- 3loor Beader, Senator Ba"son as Assistant inorit- 3loor Beader, and Senator Angara,
Senator 2!er"ito-2strada, and Senator ?smeCa as members.

#$us, on t$e impairment o( t$e prerogatives o( members o( t$e Commission on Appointments,
onl- Senators 2nrile, Ba"son, Angara, 2!er"ito-2strada, and ?smeCa $ave standing in t$e present
petition. #$is is in "ontrast to Senators Pimentel, 2strada, Bim, and adrigal, ,$o, t$oug$ vigilant in
prote"ting t$eir per"eived prerogatives as members o( Congress, possess no standing in t$e present
petition.
'he Constitutionality of Presient Arroyos Issuan&e
of Appointments to Responents as A&tin! Se&retaries

Petitioners "ontend t$at President Arro-o s$ould not $ave appointed respondents as a"ting
se"retaries be"ause /in "ase o( a va"an"- in t$e ?((i"e o( a Se"retar-, it is onl- an Gnderse"retar- ,$o "an
be designated as A"ting Se"retar-.0
)*=+
Petitioners base t$eir argument on Se"tion *:, C$apter 8, 4oo7 >6
o( 2'e"utive ?rder %o. 8F8 ./2? 8F801,
)*;+
,$i"$ enumerates t$e po,ers and duties o( t$e
underse"retar-. Paragrap$ < o( Se"tion *: reads:

S2C. *:. Powers and Duties of the ndersecretar!. - #$e Gnderse"retar- s$all:
'''

.<1 #emporaril- dis"$arge t$e duties o( t$e Se"retar- in t$e latterDs absen"e or
inabilit- to dis"$arge $is duties (or an- "ause or in "ase o( va"an"- o( t$e said o((i"e,
unless ot$er,ise provided b- la,. H$ere t$ere are more t$an one Gnderse"retar-, t$e
Se"retar- s$all allo"ate t$e (oregoing po,ers and duties among t$em. #$e President s$all
li7e,ise ma7e t$e temporar- designation o( A"ting Se"retar- (rom among t$emI and

'''

Petitioners (urt$er assert t$at /,$ile Congress is in session, t$ere "an be no appointments,
,$et$er regular or a"ting, to a va"ant position o( an o((i"e needing "on(irmation b- t$e Commission on
Appointments, ,it$out (irst $aving obtained its "onsent.0
)*<+


>n s$arp "ontrast, respondents maintain t$at t$e President "an issue appointments in an a"ting
"apa"it- to department se"retaries ,it$out t$e "onsent o( t$e Commission on Appointments even ,$ile
Congress is in session. &espondents point to Se"tion *9, Arti"le 6>> o( t$e *FAE Constitution. Se"tion *9
reads:

S2C. *9. #$e President s$all nominate and, ,it$ t$e "onsent o( t$e Commission on
Appointments, appoint t$e $eads o( t$e e'e"utive departments, ambassadors, ot$er publi"
ministers and "onsuls, or o((i"ers o( t$e armed (or"es (rom t$e ran7 o( "olonel or naval
"aptain, and ot$er o((i"ers ,$ose appointments are vested in $im in t$is Constitution. 5e
s$all also appoint all ot$er o((i"ers o( t$e Government ,$ose appointments are not
ot$er,ise provided (or b- la,, and t$ose ,$om $e ma- be aut$orized b- la, to appoint.
#$e Congress ma-, b- la,, vest t$e appointment o( ot$er o((i"ers lo,er in ran7 in t$e
;
President alone, in t$e "ourts, or in t$e $eads o( departments, agen"ies, "ommissions, or
boards.

#$e President s$all $ave t$e po,er to ma7e appointments during t$e re"ess o( t$e
Congress, ,$et$er voluntar- or "ompulsor-, but su"$ appointments s$all be e((e"tive onl-
until disapproval b- t$e Commission on Appointments or until t$e ne't ad!ournment o( t$e
Congress.

&espondents also rel- on 2? 8F8, ,$i"$ devotes a "$apter to t$e PresidentDs po,er o(
appointment. Se"tions *9 and *E, C$apter <, #itle >, 4oo7 >>> o( 2? 8F8 read:

S2C. *9. Power of A""ointment. J T1+ P,+24d+n) 21a99 +;+,(42+ )1+ 3o<+, )o
a33o4n) 27(1 o664(4a92 a2 3,o=4d+d 6o, 4n )1+ Con2)4)7)4on and 9a<2.

S2C. *E. Power to Issue Tem"orar! Desi#nation. J .*1 T1+ P,+24d+n) 5a>
)+53o,a,49> d+24:na)+ an o664(+, a9,+ad> 4n )1+ :o=+,n5+n) 2+,=4(+ o, an> o)1+,
(o53+)+n) 3+,2on )o 3+,6o,5 )1+ 67n()4on2 o6 an o664(+ 4n )1+ +;+(7)4=+ *,an(1,
a33o4n)5+n) )o <14(1 42 =+2)+d 4n 145 *> 9a<, <1+n? @aA )1+ o664(+, ,+:79a,9>
a33o4n)+d )o )1+ o664(+ 42 7na*9+ )o 3+,6o,5 142 d7)4+2 *> ,+a2on o6 499n+22, a*2+n(+ o,
an> o)1+, (a72+B o, @*A )1+,+ +;42)2 a =a(an(>C.D

.81 #$e person designated s$all re"eive t$e "ompensation atta"$ed to t$e position,
unless $e is alread- in t$e government servi"e in ,$i"$ "ase $e s$all re"eive onl- su"$
additional "ompensation as, ,it$ $is e'isting salar-, s$all not e'"eed t$e salar- aut$orized
b- la, (or t$e position (illed. #$e "ompensation $ereb- aut$orized s$all be paid out o( t$e
(unds appropriated (or t$e o((i"e or agen"- "on"erned.
@-A In no (a2+ 21a99 a )+53o,a,> d+24:na)4on +;(++d on+ @1A >+a,. .2mp$asis
supplied1

Petitioners and respondents maintain t,o diametri"all- opposed lines o( t$oug$t. Petitioners assert
t$at t$e President "annot issue appointments in an a"ting "apa"it- to department se"retaries ,$ile
Congress is in session be"ause t$e la, does not give t$e President su"$ po,er. >n "ontrast, respondents
insist t$at t$e President "an issue su"$ appointments be"ause no la, pro$ibits su"$ appointments.

#$e essen"e o( an appointment in an a"ting "apa"it- is its temporar- nature. >t is a stop-gap
measure intended to (ill an o((i"e (or a limited time until t$e appointment o( a permanent o""upant to t$e
o((i"e.
)*9+
>n "ase o( va"an"- in an o((i"e o""upied b- an a$ter e#o o( t$e President, su"$ as t$e o((i"e o( a
department se"retar-, t$e President must ne"essaril- appoint an a$ter e#o o( $er "$oi"e as a"ting se"retar-
be(ore t$e permanent appointee o( $er "$oi"e "ould assume o((i"e.

Congress, t$roug$ a la,, "annot impose on t$e President t$e obligation to appoint automati"all-
t$e underse"retar- as $er temporar- a$ter e#o. An a$ter e#o, ,$et$er temporar- or permanent, $olds a
position o( great trust and "on(iden"e. Congress, in t$e guise o( pres"ribing @uali(i"ations to an o((i"e,
"annot impose on t$e President ,$o $er a$ter e#o s$ould be.

#$e o((i"e o( a department se"retar- ma- be"ome va"ant ,$ile Congress is in session. Sin"e a
department se"retar- is t$e a$ter e#o o( t$e President, t$e a"ting appointee to t$e o((i"e must ne"essaril-
$ave t$e PresidentDs "on(iden"e. #$us, b- t$e ver- nature o( t$e o((i"e o( a department se"retar-, t$e
President must appoint in an a"ting "apa"it- a person o( $er "$oi"e even ,$ile Congress is in session.
#$at person ma- or ma- not be t$e permanent appointee, but pra"ti"al reasons ma- ma7e it e'pedient t$at
t$e a"ting appointee ,ill also be t$e permanent appointee.

#$e la, e'pressl- allo,s t$e President to ma7e su"$ a"ting appointment. Se"tion *E, C$apter <,
#itle >, 4oo7 >>> o( 2? 8F8 states t$at /)t+$e President ma- temporaril- designate an o((i"er alread- in t$e
government servi"e or an> o)1+, (o53+)+n) 3+,2on to per(orm t$e (un"tions o( an o((i"e in t$e e'e"utive
bran"$.0 #$us, t$e President ma- even appoint in an a"ting "apa"it- a person not -et in t$e government
servi"e, as long as t$e President deems t$at person "ompetent.

Petitioners assert t$at Se"tion *E does not appl- to appointments vested in t$e President b- t$e
Constitution, be"ause it onl- applies to appointments vested in t$e President *> 9a<. Petitioners (orget
<
t$at Congress is not t$e onl- sour"e o( la,. /Ba,0 re(ers to t$e Constitution, statutes or a"ts o( Congress,
muni"ipal ordinan"es, implementing rules issued pursuant to la,, and !udi"ial de"isions.
)*E+


3inall-, petitioners "laim t$at t$e issuan"e o( appointments in an a"ting "apa"it- is sus"eptible to
abuse. Petitioners (ail to "onsider t$at a"ting appointments "annot e'"eed one -ear as e'pressl- provided
in Se"tion *E.=1, C$apter <, #itle >, 4oo7 >>> o( 2? 8F8. #$e la, $as in"orporated t$is sa(eguard to
prevent abuses, li7e t$e use o( a"ting appointments as a ,a- to "ir"umvent "on(irmation b- t$e
Commission on Appointments.

>n distinguis$ing ad interim appointments (rom appointments in an a"ting "apa"it-, a noted
te'tboo7 ,riter on "onstitutional la, $as observed:

Ad-interim appointments must be distinguis$ed (rom appointments in an a"ting
"apa"it-. 4ot$ o( t$em are e((e"tive upon a""eptan"e. 4ut ad-interim appointments are
e'tended onl- during a re"ess o( Congress, ,$ereas a"ting appointments ma- be e'tended
an- time t$ere is a va"an"-. oreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to t$e
Commission on Appointments (or "on(irmation or re!e"tionI a"ting appointments are not
submitted to t$e Commission on Appointments. A"ting appointments are a ,a- o(
temporaril- (illing important o((i"es but, i( abused, t$e- "an also be a ,a- o(
"ir"umventing t$e need (or "on(irmation b- t$e Commission on Appointments.
)*A+

5o,ever, ,e (ind no abuse in t$e present "ase. #$e absen"e o( abuse is readil- apparent (rom President
Arro-oDs issuan"e o( ad interim appointments to respondents immediate$! upon t$e re"ess o( Congress,
,a- be(ore t$e lapse o( one -ear.

E'EREFORE, ,e DISMISS t$e present petition (or certiorari and pro$ibition.

SO ORDERED.
9

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