Bar Q and A#16

The petition will prosper. It is a clear violation of the special prohibition in Section 2 of Article IX-A of the Constitution, which strictly provides that he shall not hold any other office or employment during his tenure. The aforesaid provision does not make any distinction among the offices he may not hold, or as to whether or not the functions attached to said offices would be primarily related to his duties as Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission and therefore may be held in an ex officio capacity.

Additionally, the offices mentioned are vested by their charters with various powers and functions to carry out the purposes for which they were created. These powers and functions, whether personnel-related or not, are carried out and exercised by the respective Boards of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC, and HDMF. Thus, when the CSC Chairman sits as a member of the governing board of the said offices, he may exercise these powers and functions, which are not anymore derived from his position as CSC Chairman.

Corollarily, the designation as member of the governing Boards of the said offices entitles him to receive per diem, a form of additional compensation that is disallowed by the concept of ex officio position by virtue of its clear contravention of the proscription set by Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution. It is unconstitutional, for it goes against the principle behind an ex officio position.

Apart from violating the prohibition against holding multiple offices, the designation of the CSC Chairman as member of the governing boards of GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC, and HDMF impairs the independence of the CSC. Under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution, the President exercises control over all government offices in the Executive Branch. An office that is legally not under the control of the President is not part of the Executive Branch. (Funa v. The Chairman, Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 191672, November 25, 2014)

The claim of the retrenched employees falls under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Commission and not under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. As held in Lumanta v. National Labor Relations Commission, 170 SCRA 790, since Food Terminal, Inc., was organized under the Corporation Law and was not created by a special law in accordance with Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the Constitution, it is not covered by the civil service.

The memorandum order of the Civil Service Commission should be declared void. As held in Gamogamo v. PNOC Shipping and Transit Corporation, 381 SCRA 742, under Article IX-B, Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution government-owned or controlled corporations organized under the Corporation Code are not covered by the Civil Service Law but by the Labor Code, because only government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters are covered by the Civil Service.

In accordance with Section 2(2), Article IX-C of the Constitution an election protest involving the elective position enumerated below should be filed in the following courts or tribunals:

  • Barangay - Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court,  or Municipal Trial Court

  • Municipality - Regional Trial Court

  • Province – COMELEC

  • City – COMELEC

  • Under Section Article VI of the Constitution, an election protest involving the position of Member of the House of Representatives shall be filed in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

"A" cannot file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. As held in Mastura vs. Commission on Elections, 285 SCRA 493 (1998), the Supreme Court cannot review the decisions or resolutions of a division of the Commission on Elections. "A" should first file a motion for reconsideration with the Commission on Elections en banc.

To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the following requisites: (1) A valid proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office (Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, October 22, 2013). Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed and taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the jurisdiction of the Commission on Elections over the election contest ends, and the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal begins. (Vinzons-Charo v. COMELEC,  G.R.  No. 172131, April 2, 2007)

Anselmo is incorrect. The rule is every quasi- judicial matter must first be tackled by a division subject to appeal by way of a Motion for Reconsideration to the COMELEC en banc. In Jalosjos v. COMELEC (G.R. 205033, June 18, 2013), it was determined that a cancellation on the basis of perpetual disqualification is a matter that can be taken judicial notice of. When it cancels A CoC on that ground, it is acting in performance of an administrative function and, therefore, the rule in Article XI, Section 3 does not apply. Ambrosio, on the other hand, is correct that the petition for the cancellation of his CoC should have been first heard and resolved by the Comelec Division. Cancellation proceedings involve the COMELEC's quasijudicial functions. The Constitution mandates the COMELEC, in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers, to hear and decide cases first by division and, upon motion for reconsideration, by the COMELEC en banc. (Bautista v. Comelec, G.R. Nos. 154796-97, October 23, 2003)

Raintree Corporation must file its claim with the Commission on Audit, Under Section 2(1) IX- D of the Constitution, the Commission on Audit has the authority to settle all accounts pertaining to expenditure of public funds.

Raintree Corporation cannot file a case in court. The Republic of the Philippines did not waive its immunity from suit when it entered into the contract with Raintree Corporation for the supply of ponchos for the use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The contract involves the defense of the Philippines and therefore relates to a sovereign function.

In United States v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 487, 492, the Supreme Court held: "The restrictive application of State immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign. Stated differently, a State may be said to have descended to the level of an individual and can thus be deemed to have tacitly given its consent to be sued only when it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the contract relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. In this case the projects are an integral part of the naval base  which  is devoted to the defense of both the United States and the Philippines, indisputably a function of the government of the highest order; they are not utilized for nor dedicated to commercial or business purposes."

The provision for venue in the contract does not constitute a waiver of the State Immunity from suit, because the express waiver of this immunity can only be made by a statute.

In Republic v. Purisima 78 SCRA 470, 474, the Supreme Court ruled: "Apparently respondent Judge was misled by the terms of the contract between the private respondent, plaintiff in his sala and defendant Rice and Corn Administration which, according to him, anticipated the case of a breach of contract between the parties and the suits that may thereafter arise. The consent, to be effective though, must come from the State acting through a duly enacted statute as pointed out by Justice Bengzon in Mobil."