Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sarmiento vs Mison, 156 SCRA 549

F: Petitioners brought this suit for prohibition in their capacity as taxpayers, members of the Bar and law professors, to enjoin respondent Commissioner of Customs from performing his functions on the ground that his appointment, w/o confirmation by the CA, is unconstitutional.

HELD: Art. VII, Sec. 16, as orginally proposed by the Committe on Executive Power of the 1986 Con Com read:

Sec. 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of a Commission on Appointment, shall appoint the heads of executive departments and bureaus, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain and all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may by law vest the appointment of inferior officers in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments.

However, on motion of Comm. Foz, 2 changes were approved in the text of the provision. The first was to delete the phrase "and bureaus," and the second was to place a period (.) after the word "captain" and substitute the phrase "and all" w/ the phrase "HE SHALL ALSO APPOINT ANY." The first amendment was intended to exempt the appointment of bureau directors from the requirement of confirmation on the ground that this position is low and to require confirmation would subject bureau directors to political influence. On the other hand, the 2nd amendment was intended to subject to confirmation only those mentioned in the frist sentence, namely:

The heads of the exec. depts, 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 him in the Consti, i.e.,
(1) Regular members of the Judicial and Bar Council [Art. VIII, Sec. 8(2)]
(2) Chairman and Commissioners of the Civil Service Commission [Art. IX-B, Sec. 1 (2)];
(3) Chairman and Commissioners of the COMELEC [Art. IX-C, Sec. 1 (2)];
(4) Chairman and Commissioners of the COA [Art. IX-D, Sec. 1 (2)];
(5) Members of the regional consultative commission (Art. X, Sec. 18.)

The rest of the appointments mentioned in sec. 16 are not subject to confirmation. These are: (1) all other officers of the Govt whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law; (2) those whom the Pres. may be authorized by law to appoint; and (3) officers lower in rank whose appointments Congress may by law vest in the Pres. alone.

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