PRESIDENT Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III issued Executive Order (EO) 3 on Friday, revoking an earlier directive of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo giving automatic promotions to government lawyers.

"The office of the President has released Executive Order No. 3 which is entitled an Executive Order Revoking E0 883 dated 28 May 2010," said President Legal Counsel Eduardo De Mesa in a press briefing.

Last May 28, Arroyo issued EO 883 automatically vesting worker occupying legal positions in the government, who have obtained graduate degrees in law and successfully passed the bar examinations, with the rank of Career Executive Service Officer (Ceso) 3.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

The Palace lawyer said objections were been raised by various parties against E0 883 including "those who have worked very hard to obtain their CESO and as well as Career Executive Service Board.

Upon review of EO 883, De Mesa said they uncovered that it was "illegal".

"It amounts to an amendment of the existing law vesting on the CESB the power or prerogative to promulgate rules standards and procedures on the selection, classification, compensation and career development of members of the career executive service," he explained.

"The power was granted under PD (Presidential Decree No. 1 as well as EO number 292 or the administrative code of 1987," he added.

He emphasized that the Palace is yet to finalize steps regarding the salaries of CESO 3 officials who have been adjusted since their promotion.

"That will have to be studied further the important things is we set things right. We revoked an EO which illegally amends two laws," he noted.

When asked if the former President could be held liable in her "illegal" EO, the Palace lawyer said: "Normally such EO is just revoked."

He however noted that the Truth Commission will still determine if the issuance of this EO warrants further action against Arroyo.

Arroyo through EO 883 promoted all lawyers in the executive departments as Career Executive Service Officer (CESO).

In the normal process, it would take 10 to 15 years before a government servant could attain a CESO rank.

Criticisms

Malacanang welcomed criticisms by various sectors against the issuances of EOs of President Aquino.

He stressed that despite objections, he could assure the public that every issued EO the administration was consulted and studied by concerned agencies.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda meanwhile vowed to release next week the EO officially forming the Presidential Communications Group.

"Next week, pangako ko sa inyo yan. Itaga niyo sa bato ang sagot ko. Next week, promise na," he said.

Despite the EO, members of the communications group have been working already by answering questions from the media through press briefings. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)