2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 13

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1214, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

-XIII-

While Congress was not in session, the President appointed Antero as Secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Benito as Commissioner of the Bureau o f Immigration (BI), Clodualdo as Chairman o f the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Dexter as Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and Emmanuel as Philippine Ambassador to Cameroon. The following day, all the appointees took their oath before the President, and commenced to perform the functions of their respective offices.

[a] Characterize the appointments, whether permanent or temporary; and whether regular or interim, with reasons. (2.5%)

[b] A civil society group, the Volunteers Against Misguided Politics (V AMP), files suit, contesting the legality o f the acts o f the appointees and claiming that the appointees should not have entered into the performance of the functions of their respective offices, because their appointments had not yet been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Is this claim of VAMP correct? Why or why not? (2.5%)

4 comments

  1. BAR EXAMS QUESTION NO. 13

    While Congress was not in session, the President appointed Antero as Secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Benito as Commissioner of the Bureau o f Immigration (BI), Clodualdo as Chairman o f the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Dexter as Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and Emmanuel as Philippine Ambassador to Cameroon. The following day, all the appointees took their oath before the President, and commenced to perform the functions of their respective offices.

    [a] Characterize the appointments, whether permanent or temporary; and whether regular or interim, with reasons. (2.5%)

    [b] A civil society group, the Volunteers Against Misguided Politics (V AMP), files suit, contesting the legality o f the acts o f the appointees and claiming that the appointees should not have entered into the performance of the functions of their respective offices, because their appointments had not yet been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Is this claim of VAMP correct? Why or why not? (2.5%)

    SUGGESTED ANSWER:

    (a) The second paragraph of Article VII, Sec. 16, of the 1987 Constitution also empowers the President to issue appointments while Congress is not in session. Such appointments are called ad interim appointments, and it goes through the following stages:

    appointment
    confirmation

    An ad interim appointment is permanent in nature and takes effect immediately. Thus, one who was issued an ad interim appointment may immediately enter upon the discharge of his functions.

    (b ) Yes, the claim of VAMP is correct,

    Under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, there are two classes of public officers whose appointments need confirmation. These are:

    The heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain; and

    other officers whose appointments are vested in the President under the 1987 Constitution. The officers referred to under this provisions are: the Chairman and Members of Constitutional Commission such as the Commission on Elections, the Commission on Audit and the Civil Service Commission; the regular members of the Judicial and Bar Council.

    An ad interim appointment ceases to be valid upon disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or, if not confirmed, until the next adjournment of Congress.

    1. Your answer to letter B is conflicting. Whether or not it is permanent, acting, or interim, the person once designated (officially, in writing by the President) can perform his/her duties. If they cannot do so, the purpose of the appointment is rendered useless. Why would you appoint when he/she cannot perform his/her duties?

      And confirmation does not signify the commencement of the person’s start of the performance of his/her duties.

      Your answer to (b) harped on the confirmation side, which is irrelevant to the case of VAMP, unless it was clearly stated that the officer STILL performed his/her duties even when a congress is in session.

  2. The appointments of the secretary of tourism and the ambassador are permanent in character ad interim appointments and are effective immediately unless rejected by the commission on appointments during confirmation hearings.

    As to the appointments of the customs commissioner and the commission on human rights both of which does not require confirmation by the CA, their appointments are regular and permanent in character provided they meet all the qualifications required of the position. Otherwise, their appointments may be classified vy the civil service commisssion as only temporary in character.

    B.Being permanent in character and effective immediately, such appointees can validly discharge the functions of the office contrary to the claim of the VAMP.

  3. (a) The appointments made by the President while the Congress was not in session are ad interim appointments which are permanent in nature. It is permanent because it takes effect immediately and can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that it is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character. The Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress (Section 16, Article VII)

    (b) The claim of VAMP is not correct. The appointment is an ad interim appointment and the Constitution imposes no condition on the effectivity of such appointments, and thus an ad interim appointment takes effect immediately. The appointee can at once assume office and exercise all the powers pertaining to the office.

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