SC rules Agra twin posts illegalBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court declared on Tuesday day as unconstitutional the twin designation of Albert Agra as justice secretary as well as acting solicitor general during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The high court made the ruling in its en banc session Tuesday and issued a resolution penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.
The Constitution bars government officials from holding any other office or employment during their tenure.
But the high court, in its resolution, said Agra was a de facto officer “and thus his acts were valid for all purposes.”
The high court was acting on the petition filed by lawyers Dennis Funa and Melanio Elvis Balayan that alleged Agra’s dual designation violated the Constitutional provision prohibiting holding dual or multiple positions in government.
Agra had assumed the position of acting justice secretary on March 9, 2010, replacing his former boss in the OSG, Agnes Devanadera, who had quit to run for representative of Quezon province in the May 2010 elections.