SC affirms voiding of Arroyo midnight appointments
THE Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the Executive Order issued by President Benigno Aquino III against the “midnight appointments” made by his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo..
“In the matter of Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil vs Office of the President, Dindo Venturanza vs the Office of the President, Irma Villanueva and Francisca Rosqueta vs Court of Appeals and Office of the President and Edie Tamondong vs Court of Appeals and Executive Secretary, the Court voting 8-6 dismissed the petition and declared as null and void the appointments of petitioners to the post they occupied,” high court’s Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te said at a press conference.
The high court said Executive Order No. 2 issued by Aquino “is constitutional in its entirety, especially as to its definition of midnight appointments and its recall, revocation and withdrawal of midnight appointments.”
EO No. 2, which was issued on Aug. 4, 2011, recalled, withdrew and revoked about 800 appointments made by Arroyo two months before the 2010 elections.
Among these appointments are of that of the petitioners.
Velicaria-Garafil was appointed State Solicitor II at the Office of the Solicitor General while Venturanza was appointed as city prosecutor of Quezon City. On the other hand, Villanueva was appointed as Administrator for Visayas of the Board of Administrators of the Cooperative Development Authority while Rosqueta was named Commissioner of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples. Tamondong was appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Under Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, “two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.”
For purposes of the 2010 polls, the high court said the cut-off date for valid appointments was March 10, 2010 while March 11, 2010 was the reference date for midnight appointments.
About the petitioners, the high court said they failed to provide proof showing that their appointments were made prior to March 11, 2010.
“The petitioners have failed to show their compliance with all four elements of a valid appointment. They cannot prove with certainty that their appointment papers have indeed been issued before the period covered by the appointment ban,” the high court said.
The high court also took note of the fact that petitioners themselves admitted that they took their oaths of office during the period of the appointment ban.