Aquino’s ‘midnight appointment’ raised before CA
A petition was filed with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday which seeks to nullify the appointment made by President Benigno Aquino III despite the start of the appointment ban last March 10.
The same petition also sought to nullify the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution 10030 shortening the period for the appointment ban from 60 days to only 45 days that started last March 25.
Last March 11, 2016, petitioner Sultan Masideng M. Salic through counsel Atty. Romeo Esmero said they received a formal notice of the presidential appointment of Salem C. Demula as Director IV of the Bureau of Pilgrimate and Endowment in the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
Esmero pointed out that the president cannot justify such appointment using Comelec Resolution 10030 which provides that appointment ban started only last March 25.
He said that under Article VII Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution, the president or acting president is prohibited from making appointments two months immediately before the next presidential elections except temporary appointments to executive positions necessary so as not to prejudice public service or endanger public safety.
“It should however be emphasized that this Comelec Resolution No. 10030 which shortened the appointment ban from 60 days under Section 15 Article VII of the Constitution to 45 days is likewise unconstitutional because it is fundamental that an administrative regulation of respondent Comelec cannot alter, change or modify any provision in our constitution, the same being our fundamental law by which all laws should follow,” read the petition.
Esmero added that his client cannot be removed by the president except only for cause because he is a civil service employee.
He also noted that Republic Act 9997 or the law creating the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos gives a guarantee of security of tenure to all of its employees including the commissioners which have been appointed by the president for a fixed term of four years.
“They cannot be removed even by the president himself before the expiration of their terms except for cause and after observance of the proper due process,” Esmero said.
When Aquino assumed office, he issued an executive order revoking all the appointments made by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which were made within the appointment ban. He also refused to recognize the appointment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona saying it was made within the appointment ban under the Constitution and took his oath before Associate Justice and now Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. RAM
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