CA affirms sacking of Arroyo's midnight appointees-A A +A
Friday, September 6, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III scored anew in the Court of Appeals on the issue of scrapping appointments made by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo two months before the national elections.
In a 23-page decision dated August 28, the CA former Eighth Division ruled in favor of Executive Order No. 2, which voided the appointments of Irma Villanueva and Francisca Rosquita.
"[T]he controversial EO No. 2 was a valid exercise of the executive powers of the President in ensuring that the rule on midnight appointments is properly implemented,” the decision read.
Villanueva was named Administrator for the Visayas of the Cooperative Development Authority on March 3, 2010 but took her oath only on April 13, 2010 while Rosquita was appointed National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NICP) Commissioner on March 5, 2010. She took her oath before Arroyo on March 18, 2010.
The two sought clarification from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) after Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. issued a memorandum voiding their appointment.
The CSC sided on August 31, 2010 with Rosquita and Villanueva, saying government employees appointed before March 10, 2010 were not considered midnight appointees although they had taken their oaths of office or assumed office after March 10, 2010.
However, the CA said the rules CSC formulates must not override but "must be in harmony with the law it seeks to apply and implement.”
Concurring with the decision penned by Associate Justice Noel Tijam were Associate Justice Romeo Barza and Edwin Sorongon.
Last June, the same division validated Aquino's decision to fire lawyer Jose Sonny Matula, who questioned the revocation of his appointment as commissioner of the Social Security Commission (SSC). He was appointed commissioner representing the labor sector on March 5, 2010 and took his oath on April 14 of the same year.
"The clear intent behind the ban on making midnight appointments have been established and since the appointment contemplated in said provision includes the acceptance, taking of an oath and assumption of duties by the appointee, EO No. 2 cannot be said to be without sufficient basis," stated the decision also written by Tijam. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)