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G.R. No.

94115 August 21, 1992 Three separate petitions for his disqualification were then filed against him. The
RODOLFO E. AGUINALDO, petitioner, commission on Elections granted the petitions by way of a resolution dated May 9,
vs. 1992. On the same day, acting upon a "Motion to Clarify" filed by petitioner, the
HON. LUIS SANTOS, as Secretary of the Department of Local Government, Commission ruled that inasmuch as the resolutions of the Commission becomes
and MELVIN VARGAS, as Acting Governor of Cagayan, respondents. final and executory only after five (5) days from promulgation, petitioner may still
be voted upon as a candidate for governor pending the final outcome of the
Petitioner was the duly elected Governor of the province of Cagayan, having been disqualification cases with his Court.
elected to said position during the local elections held on January 17, 1988, to
serve a term of four (4) years therefrom. On June 9, 1992, a resolution was issued in the aforementioned case granting
petition and annulling the May 9, 1992 resolution of the Commission on the ground
Shortly after December 1989 coup d'etat was crushed, respondent Secretary of that the decision of respondent Secretary has not yet attained finality and is still
Local Government sent a telegram and a letter, to petitioner requiring him to show pending review with this Court. As petitioner won by a landslide margin in the
cause why should not be suspended or remove from office for disloyalty to the elections, the resolution paved the way for his eventual proclamation as Governor
Republic. On December 7, 1989, a sworn complaint for disloyalty to the Republic of Cagayan.
and culpable violation of the Constitution was filed against petitioner for acts the
latter committed during the coup.In his letter, petitioner denied being privy to the Under the environmental circumstances of the case, We find the petition
planning of the coup or actively participating in its execution, though he admitted meritorious.
that he was sympathetic to the cause of the rebel soldiers. 1
Petitioner's re-election to the position of Governor of Cagayan has rendered the
On the basis thereof, respondent Secretary suspended petitioner from office for administration case pending before Us moot and academic. It appears that after
sixty (60) days from notice, pending the outcome of the formal investigation into the canvassing of votes, petitioner garnered the most number of votes among the
the charges against him. Thereafter, respondent Secretary rendered the candidates for governor of Cagayan province. As held by this Court in Aguinaldo
questioned decision finding petitioner guilty as charged and ordering his removal v. Comelec et al., supra,:
from office. Installed as Governor of Cagayan in the process was respondent
Melvin Vargas, who was then the Vice-Governor of Cagayan. Considering the fact narrated, the expiration of petitioner's term of
office during which the acts charged were allegedly committed, and
Petitioner relies on three grounds for the allowance of the petition, namely: (1) that his subsequent reelection, the petitioner must be dismissed for the
the power of respondent Secretary to suspend or remove local government official reason that the issue has become academic.
under Section 60, Chapter IV of B.P. Blg. 337 was repealed by the 1987 Offenses committed, or acts done, during a previous term are
Constitution; (2) that since respondent Secretary no longer has power to suspend generally held not to furnish cause for removal and this is
or remove petitioner, the former could not appoint respondent Melvin Vargas as especially true were the Constitution provides that the penalty in
Governor of Cagayan; and (3) the alleged act of disloyalty committed by petitioner proceeding for removal shall not extend beyond the removal from
should be proved by proof beyond reasonable doubt, and not be a mere office, and disqualification from holding office for a term for which
preponderance of evidence, because it is an act punishable as rebellion under the the officer was elected or appointed.
Revised Penal Code. The underlying theory is that each term is separate from other
terms, and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation
While this case was pending before this Court, petitioner filed his certificate of of the officer's misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to
candidacy for the position of Governor of Cagayan for the May 11, 1992 elections. remove him therefor.
The Court should ever remove a public officer for acts done prior G.R. No. 180917 April 23, 2010
to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive ATTY. VICENTE E. SALUMBIDES, JR., and GLENDA ARAÑA, Petitioners,
the people of their right to elect their officers. When a people have vs.
elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, RICARDO AGON, RAMON VILLASANTA,
knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or ELMER DIZON, SALVADOR ADUL, and AGNES FABIAN, Respondents,
forgave his fault or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is
not for the court, by reason of such fault or misconduct, to Salumbides and Glenda were appointed in July 2001 as Municipal Legal
practically overrule the will of the people. Officer/Administrator and Municipal Budget Officer, respectively, of Tagkawayan,
Quezon.
Clear then, the rule is that a public official can not be removed for administrative
misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates Towards the end of 2001, Mayor Vicente Salumbides III (the mayor) saw the urgent
as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off need to construct a two-classroom building with fence (the projects) for the
the right to remove him therefor. The foregoing rule, however, finds no application Tagkawayan Municipal High School2 (TMHS) since the public school in the
to criminal cases pending against petitioner for acts he may have committed during poblacion area would no longer admit high school freshmen starting school year
the failed coup. 2002-2003. On how to solve the classroom shortage, the mayor consulted
Salumbides who suggested that the construction of the two-classroom building be
The other grounds raised by petitioner deserve scant consideration. The power of charged to the account of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses/ Repair
respondent Secretary to remove local government officials is anchored on both the and Maintenance of Facilities (MOOE/RMF) and implemented "by administration,"
Constitution and a statutory grant from the legislative branch. The constitutional as had been done in a previous classroom building project of the former mayor.
basis is provided by Articles VII (17) and X (4) of the 1987 Constitution which vest
in the President the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and Upon consultation, Glenda advised Salumbides in December 2001, that there were
offices and the power of general supervision over local governments, and by the no more available funds that could be taken from the MOOE/RMF, but the savings
doctrine that the acts of the department head are presumptively the acts of the of the municipal government were adequate to fund the projects. She added,
President unless expressly rejected by him. 4 however, that the approval by the Sangguniang Bayan of a proposed
supplemental budget must be secured.
Inasmuch as the power and authority of the legislature to enact a local government
code, which provides for the manner of removal of local government officials, is The members of the Sangguniang Bayan having already gone on recess for the
found in the 1973 Constitution as well as in the 1987 Constitution, then it can not Christmas holidays, Glenda and Salumbides advised the mayor to source the
be said that BP Blg. 337 was repealed by the effective of the present Constitution. funds from the ₱1,000,000 MOOE/RMF allocation in the approved Municipal
Equally without merit is petitioner's claim that before he could be suspended or Annual Budget for 2002.3
removed from office, proof beyond reasonable doubt is required inasmuch as he
is charged with a penal offense of disloyalty to the Republic which is defined and The mayor thus ordered on January 8, 2002 Municipal Engineer Jose Aquino
penalized under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner is not being (Aquino) to proceed with the construction of the projects based on the program of
prosecuted criminally under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, but work and bill of materials he (Aquino) prepared with a total cost estimate of
administratively with the end in view of removing petitioner as the duly elected ₱222,000.
Governor of Cagayan Province for acts of disloyalty to the Republic where
the quantum of proof required is only substantial evidence. 10 Upon advice of Municipal Planning and Development Officer Hernan Jason
(Jason), the mayor included the projects in the list of local government projects
scheduled for bidding on January 25, 2002 which, together with the January 31,
2002 public bidding, failed. Petitioners urge this Court to expand the settled doctrine of condonation16 to cover
coterminous appointive officials who were administratively charged along with the
The construction of the projects commenced without any approved appropriation reelected official/appointing authority with infractions allegedly committed during
and ahead of the public bidding. Salumbides was of the opinion that the projects their preceding term.
were regular and legal, based on an earlier project that was "implemented in the
same manner, using the same source of fund and for the same reason of urgency" The Court rejects petitioners' thesis.
which was allowed "because the building was considered merely temporary as the
TMHS is set to be transferred to an 8-hectare lot which the municipal government Contrary to petitioners' asseveration, the non-application of the condonation
is presently negotiating to buy."5 doctrine to appointive officials does not violate the right to equal protection of the
law.
On May 13, 2002, herein respondents Ricardo Agon, Ramon Villasanta, Elmer
Dizon, Salvador Adul and Agnes Fabian, all members of the Sangguniang Bayan Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and
of Tagkawayan, filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a complaint6 against appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of
Salumbides and Glenda (hereafter petitioners), the mayor, Coleta, Jason and the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed
Aquino. therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials
hold their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority.
By Order of June 14, 2002, the Office of the Ombudsman, denied the prayer to Some appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled
place petitioners et al. under preventive suspension pending investigation. By to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
Order dated February 1, 2005, approved on April 11, 2005, it denied the motion The electorate's condonation of the previous administrative infractions of the
for reconsideration but dropped the mayor and Coleta, both elective officials, as reelected official cannot be extended to that of the reappointed coterminous
respondents in the administrative case, the 2004 elections having mooted the employees, the underlying basis of the rule being to uphold the will of the people
case. expressed through the ballot. In other words, there is neither subversion of the
sovereign will nor disenfranchisement of the electorate to speak of, in the case of
On October 17, 2005, the Office of the Ombudsman approved the September 9, reappointed coterminous employees.
2005 Memorandum absolving Jason and Aquino, and finding petitioners guilty of
Simple Neglect of Duty, for which they were meted the penalty of suspension from It is the will of the populace, not the whim of one person who happens to be the
office for a maximum period of six months with a stern warning against a similar appointing authority, that could extinguish an administrative liability. Since
repetition. petitioners hold appointive positions, they cannot claim the mandate of the
electorate. The people cannot be charged with the presumption of full knowledge
Their recourse to the appellate court having failed, petitioners come before this of the life and character of each and every probable appointee of the elective
Court via Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. official ahead of the latter's actual reelection.

For non-compliance with the rule on certification against forum shopping, the Simple neglect of duty is classified as a less grave offense punishable by
petition merits outright dismissal. The verification portion of the petition does not suspension without pay for one month and one day to six months. Finding no
carry a certification against forum shopping.8 alleged or established circumstance to warrant the imposition of the maximum
penalty of six months, the Court finds the imposition of suspension without pay for
Its lapses aside, the petition just the same merits denial. three months justified.
duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised
Carpio Morales v. CA and Binay, Jr. (G.R. No. 217126-27, 10 Nov 2015) and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for
the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the
This case finally got rid of the pesky old condonation doctrine, albeit in a scholarly interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the
fashion. The case tells us how the condonation doctrine came about, unraveling action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for
the mystery behind it, and why it was subsequently upheld in several SC decisions. reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due
Let me try to point out why you should read this case, even for leisure, to wit: (1) it process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief
has a TON of citations on a wide range of legal topics; (2) it makes reference to from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is
foreign laws and doctrines; (3) there is a clinical dissection of the case of Pascual improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of
v. Hon. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, 106 Phil. 466 (1959) (hereinafter referred due process; (h) where the proceedings were ex parte or in which the petitioner
to as “Pascual”) on the condonation doctrine; and (4) in true SC fashion, the case had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law
is Solomonic innature. or where public interest is involved. (Emphasis supplied on the grounds relied
on by the SC in this case, in ruling that no motion for reconsideration was needed.)
Five (5) issues were discussed in this case, namely:
As to the Second Issue, the discussion revolved around Sec. 14 of Republic Act
1. Whether the Petition filed before the SC, without resorting to the filing of a motion No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act (RA 6770), more particularly
for reconsideration, was the Ombudsman’s plain, speedy, and adequate remedy; its 2nd Paragraph states:

2. Whether the Court of Appeals (“CA”) has subject matter jurisdiction over the “Section 14. Restrictions. — No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to
subject matter of the petition; delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless
there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside
the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.
3. Whether the CA has subject matter jurisdiction to issue a Temporary Restraining No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or
Order (“TRO”) and/or a Writ of Preliminary Injunction (“WPI”) enjoining the findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law.”
implementation of the preventive suspension issued by Ombudsman against
Binay, Jr.; Now the SC ruled that the 2nd Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770, is vague,
unconstitutional and invalid. The SC relied on its ruling in the landmark case of
4. Whether the CA acted in grave abuse of its discretion in issuing said TRO and Fabian v. Desierto, 356 Phil. 787 (1998), which, in turn, held that the 4th Paragraph
WPI; and of Sec. 27, RA 6770, is void, as it had the effect of increasing the appellate
jurisdiction of the SC without its advice and concurrence, inviolation of Sec. 30,
5. Whether the CA’s directive for the Ombudsman to comment on Binay, Jr.’s petition Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution. This tells us that lawyers should always be wary
for contempt was improper or illegal. of reading RA 6770 since case law has affected itso much – maybe it’s time to
update it.
In dispensing the First Issue, the SC ruled that the Ombudsman’s petition falls
under the exceptions that a prior motion for reconsideration must be filed, citing Interestingly, the SC mentioned the Senate deliberations cited by the Ombudsman,
the case of Republic v. Bayao, G.R. No. 179492, 5 June 2013, which held as in the crafting of RA 6770. It quoted the exchanges between Senators Jovito
follows: (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no Salonga, Edgardo Angara, Teofisto Guingona, Jr., and Neptali Gonzales, which
jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceedings have been merely led the SC to be suspicious on whether said Senators were talking about
Sec. 14, RA 6670, or some other provision. In other words, while the throwback The SC ruled that Congress’ passing of the First Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770,
was appreciated by the SC, the discussions were not really useful in this case. which prohibits the issuance of an injunction, is an encroachment of the SC’s rule-
making authority. An injunction, after all, is merely a provisional and auxiliary relief
Regardless, the SC still ruled that the remedy of Binay, Jr. – the filing of petition to preserve rights in esse. However, the SC noted that it has not consented to this
for certiorari pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, to assail the Ombudsman’s as it has not issued rules of procedure through an administrative circular. Thus,
preventive suspension order – was valid, citing the cases of Office of the pending deliberation, the SC declared the First Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770, as
Ombudsman v. Capulong, G.R.No. 201643, 12 March 2014, and Dagan v.Office ineffective, “until it is adopted as part of the rules of procedure through an
of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 184083, 19 November 2013. It’s just sad that the administrative circular duly issued therefor.”
sorry end of Second Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770 came as collateral damage
in this case. The SC justified its taking up this issue on its own motion, or ex mero Sec. 14, RA 6770 is now beaten and badly bruised. To sum it up: The Second
motu, which it can rightfully do, since it is, after all, the SC. Paragraph was declared unconstitutional, and the First Paragraph was now
deemed ineffective. As such,the CA was held to have correctly issued the
The Third Issue is where it starts to become more interesting. Here, the injunctive relief in enjoining the preventive suspension against Binay, Jr.
Ombudsman’s history was discussed, citing heavily from the case of Gonzales III
v. Office of the President, G.R. No. 196231 and 19232, 28 January 2014 The Fourth Issue is where the condonation doctrine was taken up. To go right at
(hereinafter referred to as “Gonzales”). You can imagine the Ombudsman smiling it, the SC abandoned the condonation doctrine, but ruled that the CA did not act in
from ear to ear while reading this portion, but this form of flattery should lead one excess of jurisdiction in issuing the WPI, as it did so based on good case law,
to be suspicious. considering that the abandonment is prospective in nature.
What can be picked up from the Gonzales case is that the Office of the
Ombudsman’s independence covers the following: (1) it is the creation of the In abandoning the condonation doctrine, the SC emphasized that this was a
Constitution; (2) it enjoys fiscal autonomy; and (3) it is insulated from executive jurisprudential creation that originated in the 1959 Pascual case, which was
supervision and control. On this basis, the SC held that the Ombudsman was decided under the 1935 Constitution. It is notable that there was no legal precedent
meant to be protected from political harassment and pressure, to free it from the on the issue at that time, and the SC resorted to American authorities. The SC
“insidious tentacles of politics.” Since the SC is apolitical, then Gonzales should stated what appears the sole basis for the condonation doctrine in Pascual, to wit:
not be interpreted to shield the Ombudsman from the judicial review power of the
courts. After all, there is no politics in the judiciary, right? The weight of authorities x x x seems to incline toward the rule denying the right to
remove one from office because of misconduct during a prior term, to which we
After the Ombudsman, it is now the SC’s turn to give an exhaustive recap of its fully subscribe.
own history. Starting from the definition of Judicial Power, the SC went on the
discuss its expanded scope of judicial review enunciated in Oposa v. Factoran, As can be read above, it is clear that no real justification was given for the
G.R. No. 101083, 30 July 1993, then the evolution of its rule-making authority in condonation doctrine, except that “it seems to incline” towards American
Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice, 361 Phil. 73 (1999). The SC pointed out that authorities. On this regard, the SC made its own investigation, and found that there
Congress, in relation to RA 6770, has no authority to repeal, alter, or supplement was really no established weight of authorities in the United States (“US”). In fact,
rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and rules allowing the 17 States in the US have already abandoned the condonation doctrine, as pointed
issuance of an injunction form part of the court’s inherent power, which (now, citing out by the Ombudsman. The SC went on to adopt the findings of the Ombudsman
foreign case law) enable the judiciary to accomplish its constitutionally mandated in US jurisprudence, with the caveat that said cases are merely “guides of
functions. interpretation.”
Perhaps the greatest victory in this case for the Ombudsman is that it was able to requirement of accountability to the people at all times, as mandated under the
convince the SC not to adhere to stare decisis, thereby enriching Philippine 1987 Constitution, is plainly inconsistent with the idea that an elective local official’s
jurisprudence on this matter. This is important, as its effects are far-reaching, since administrative liability for a misconduct committed during a prior term can be wiped
we now have additional basis to petition the abandonment of old ineffective case off by the fact that he was elected to a second term of office, or even another
laws. For this moment of glory, allow us to quote directly from the case, viz: elective post. Election is not a mode of condoning an administrative offense, and
Therefore, the ultimate analysis is on whether or not the condonation doctrine, as there is simply no constitutional or statutory basis in our jurisdiction to support the
espoused in Pascual,and carried over in numerous cases after, can be held up notion that an official elected for a different term is fully absolved of any
against prevailing legal norms. Note that the doctrine of stare decisis does not administrative liability arising from an offense done during a prior term. In this
preclude this Court from revisiting existing doctrine. As adjudged in the case of jurisdiction, liability arising from administrative offenses may be condoned by the
Belgica, the stare decisis rule should not operate when there are powerful President in light of Section 19, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which was
countervailing considerations against its application. In other words, stare decisis interpreted in Llamas v. Orbos to apply to administrative offenses: xxx …"
becomes an intractable rule only when circumstances exist to preclude reversal of
standing precedent. As the Ombudsman correctly points out, jurisprudence, after The SC made it clear that Pascual has no statutory basis at all. By abandoning the
all, is not a rigid, atemporal abstraction; it is an organic creature that develops and condonation doctrine, the SC would remove this defense oft-times used by elected
devolves along with the society within which it thrives. In the words of a recent US officials, of which the SC was aware of, as it made mention of the data brought
Supreme Court Decision, ‘[w]hat we can decide, we can undecide.' forward by the Ombudsman, to wit:

In this case, the Court agrees with the Ombudsman that since the time Pascual “To provide a sample size, the Ombudsman has informed the Court that ‘for the
was decided, the legal landscape has radically shifted. Again, Pascual was a 1959 period of July 2013 to December 2014 alone, 85 cases from the Luzon Office and
case decided under the 1935 Constitution, which dated provisions do not reflect 24 cases from the Central Office were dismissed on the ground on condonation.
the experience of the Filipino People under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Thus, in just one and a half years, over a hundred cases of alleged misconduct –
Therefore, the plain difference in setting, including, of course, the sheer impact of involving infractions such as dishonesty, oppression, gross neglect of duty and
the condonation doctrine on public accountability, calls for Pascual’s judicious re- grave misconduct – were placed beyond the reach of the Ombudsman’s
examination.” investigatory and prosecutorial powers.’ Evidently, this fortifies the finding that the
case is capable of repetition and must therefore, not evade review.”
The SC then proceeded to dissect Pascual, and went on to enumerate the notable
cases that applied Pascual, which included cases issued under the 1987 The Fifth and Final Issue on whether the order to comment directed to the
Constitution. Pascual was tested under existing laws, to see if there exists Ombudsman was illegal, was refused to be resolved on the ground there are no
legislation to support Pascual, e.g. 1987 Constitution, Revised Administrative contempt proceedings yet. It is the claim of the Ombudsman that since she was
Code, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, an impeachable officer, she could be subjected to contempt. However, no due
Local Government Code of 1991, and Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in course has been given to the contempt action, thus, the Ombudsman’s claim was
Civil Service. The SC ruled: premature.

"Reading the 1987 Constitution together with the above-cite legal provisions now G.R. No. 131136 February 28, 2001
leads this Court to the conclusion that the doctrine of condonation is actually bereft CONRADO L. DE RAMA, petitioner,
of legal bases. vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS (NINTH DIVISION, THE CIVIL SERVICE
To begin with, the concept of public office is a public trust and the corollary COMMISSION), ELADIO MARTINEZ, DIVINO DE JESUS, MORELL AYALA,
ARISTEO CATALLA, DAISY PORTA, FLORDELIZA ORIASEL, GRACIELA private respondents before the CSC, the only reason he cited to justify his action
GLORY, FELECIDAD ORINDA Y, MA. PETRA MUFFET LUCE, ELSA MARINO, was that these were "midnight appointments" that are forbidden under Article VII,
BERNARDITA MENDOZA, JANE MACATANGA y ADELFO GLODOVIZA and Section 15 of the Constitution. However, the CSC ruled, and correctly so, that the
FLORENIO RAMOS, respondents. said prohibition applies only to presidential appointments. In truth and in fact, there
is no law that prohibits local elective officials from making appointments during the
Upon his assumption to the position of Mayor of Pagbilao, Quezon, petitioner last days of his or her tenure. Petitioner certainly did not raise the issue of fraud on
Conrado L. de Rama wrote a letter dated July 13, 1995 to the Civil Service the part of the outgoing mayor who made the appointments. Neither did he allege
Commission (or CSC), seeking the recall of the appointments of fourteen (14) that the said appointments were tainted by irregularities or anomalies that
municipal employees. Petitioner de Rama justified his recall request on the breached laws and regulations governing appointments. His solitary reason for
allegation that, the appointments of the said employees were "midnight" recalling these appointments was that they were, to his personal belief, "midnight
appointments of the former mayor, Ma. Evelyn S. Abeja, done in violation of Article appointments" which the outgoing mayor had no authority to make.
VII, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:
The grounds for the recall of the appointments that petitioner raised in his
Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential elections supplemental pleading to the consolidated appeal and motion for reconsideration
and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President shall not are that: (1) the rules on screening of applicants based on adopted criteria were
make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive not followed; (2) there was no proper posting of notice of vacancy; and (3) the merit
positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or and fitness requirements set by the civil service rules were not observed. These
endanger public safety. (Underscoring supplied) are grounds that he could have stated in his order of recall, but which he did not.
Neither did he raise said grounds in his original appeal, but only by way of a
On April 30, 1996, the CSC denied petitioner's request for the recall of the supplemental pleading. Failure of the petitioner to raise said grounds and to
appointments of the fourteen employees, for lack of merit. The CSC also dismissed present supporting documents constitute a waiver thereof, and the same
petitioner's allegation that these were "midnight" appointments, pointing out that arguments and evidence can no longer be entertained on appeal before the CSC,
the Constitutional provision relied upon by petitioner prohibits only those nor in the Court of Appeals, and much less in a petition for review before the
appointments made by an outgoing President and cannot be made to apply to local Supreme Court.13 In fine, the raising of these factual issues for the first time in a
elective officials. Thus, the CSC opined, "the appointing authority can validly issue pleading which is supplemental only to an appeal is barred by estoppel.14
appointments until his term has expired, as long as the appointee meets the
qualification standards for the position."4 A thorough perusal of the records reveal that the CSC's ruling is supported by the
evidence and the law. The fourteen (14) employees were duly appointed following
Consequently, petitioner filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals, two meetings of the Personnel Selection Board held on May 31 and June 26, 1995.
which held that there was no abuse of the power of appointment on the part of the There is no showing that any of the private respondents were not qualified for the
outgoing mayor. positions they were appointed to. Moreover, their appointments were duly attested
to by the Head of the CSC field office at Lucena City. By virtue thereof, they had
Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari on the following assigned errors: already assumed their appointive positions even before petitioner himself
Petitioner assails the findings of both the CSC and the Court of Appeals for being assumed his elected position as town mayor. Consequently, their appointments
contrary to law and not being supported by the evidence on record. took effect immediately and cannot be unilaterally revoked or recalled by petitioner.
It has been held that upon the issuance of an appointment and the appointee's
This argument is too specious to be given credence. The records reveal that when assumption of the position in the civil service, "he acquires a legal right which
the petitioner brought the matter of recalling the appointments of the fourteen (14) cannot be taken away either by revocation of the appointment or by removal except
for cause and with previous notice and hearing."17 Moreover, it is well-settled that BAJADE, petitioners,
the person assuming a position in the civil service under a completed appointment vs.
acquires a legal, not just an equitable, right to the position. This right is protected COURT OF APPEALS, GIL POL TAN, ELISA O. GILSANO, and EMMANUEL S.
not only by statute, but by the Constitution as well, which right cannot be taken QUISMUNDO, respondents.
away by either revocation of the appointment, or by removal, unless there is valid
cause to do so, provided that there is previous notice and hearing.18 The questioned decision lifted the orders of preventive suspension issued by
petitioner Governor Democrito O. Plaza against private respondents. The
Rule V, Section 9 of the Omnibus Implementing Regulations of the Revised appellate court then ordered the reinstatement of private respondents to their
Administrative Code specifically provides that "an appointment accepted by the former positions with right to backwages but without prejudice to the continuation
appointee cannot be withdrawn or revoked by the appointing authority and shall of the administrative proceedings against them.
remain in force and in effect until disapproved by the Commission." Thus, it is the
CSC that is authorized to recall an appointment initially approved, but only when A few months after his assumption as Governor of Agusan del Sur in 1992,
such appointment and approval are proven to be in disregard of applicable petitioner Democrito O. Plaza received separate administrative complaints against
provisions of the civil service law and regulations.19 the respondents.

Sec. 20. Notwithstanding the initial approval of an appointment, the same may be Plaza issued Executive Order No. 01, Series of 1992,6 creating a Provincial
recalled on any of the following grounds: Investigating Committee (PIC). On various dates in October 1992, petitioner
Samson, acting as Chairperson of the Administrative Investigating Committee,
(a) Non-compliance with the procedures/criteria provided in the agency's Merit notified private respondents of the administrative complaints.
Promotion Plan;
(b) Failure to pass through the agency's Selection/Promotion Board; Instead of filing their answers, private respondents filed separate Motions to
(c) Violation of the existing collective agreement between management and Inhibit/Dismiss11 seeking to inhibit Samson on the ground that he had no authority
employees relative to promotion; or under the law to conduct the administrative investigations because his
(d) Violation of other existing civil service law, rules and regulations. appointment as Provincial Legal Officer had not been acted upon by
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur, which concurrence is of utmost
Accordingly, the appointments of the private respondents may only be recalled on necessity to confer upon his appointment by the Provincial Governor the
the above-cited grounds. And yet, the only reason advanced by the petitioner to imprimatur of legality and validity. Another issue raised by private respondents was
justify the recall was that these were "midnight appointments." The CSC correctly that they could not expect to be given due process and the cold neutrality of an
ruled, however, that the constitutional prohibition on so-called "midnight impartial committee.
appointments," specifically those made within two (2) months immediately prior to
the next presidential elections, applies only to the President or Acting President. On October 26, 1992, Samson issued an Omnibus Order12 denying private
respondents’ motions to dismiss/inhibit.
G.R. No. 138464 January 18, 2008
HON. GOVERNOR DEMOCRITO O. PLAZA (deceased, to be substituted by On November 9, 1992, Plaza issued Memorandum Order Nos. 131-92 to 133-
incumbent GOVERNOR VALENTINA G. PLAZA), DANILO S. SAMSON, FE 9214 ordering the preventive suspension of private respondents for a period of 60
TAN-CEBRIAN, HONORABLE SB MEMBER (now Vice Governor) VIRGINIA M. days effective upon receipt of the orders.
G ETES, ADULFO A. LLAGAS (as members of the Administrative
Investigating Committee), FRANCISCO U. FERNANDEZ, and JOSEFINA V.
On December 3, 1992, private respondents filed before the Regional Trial Court pending resolution of an administrative case is equivalent to indefinite suspension
(RTC) of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Branch VI, a Petition for Certiorari, which the Constitution prohibits.
Prohibition, Injunction, with Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order. The
trial court issued a temporary restraining order and ordered Plaza to refrain from Meanwhile, a series of events occurred during the pendency of the appeal and
further continuing with the investigation and/or conducting further proceedings on even after the promulgation of the appellate court’s decision. On August 5, 1993,
the subject administrative charge and from enforcing the assailed orders and/or CSC Resolution No. 93-1765 dated May 17, 1993, designating petitioner Fe Tan-
the effects thereof until further orders from the court. Cebrian as substitute Provincial Government Department Head of the Office of the
Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator. The members of
A motion for reconsideration19 of the RTC order dated January 18, 1993 was filed the sanggunian then filed a petition26 before the CSC seeking to set aside the
by private respondents arguing that the act of imposing a preventive suspension aforesaid resolution and to order the immediate reinstatement of Quismundo and
had become a fait accompli since the 60-day period from November 9, 1992, the payment of his backwages. Similar petitions were also filed by the members of
private respondents’ receipt of the orders of preventive suspension, had already the sanggunian praying for the immediate reinstatement of private respondents
elapsed. Meantime, Resolution No. 11, Series of 199321 was issued by Tan and Gilsano with payment of back salaries.
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur on February 11, 1993 reiterating
the rejection of the appointment of Samson as Provincial Legal Officer of the On January 28, 1997, the CSC issued Resolution No. 97068627 directing the
province for lack of the required 5-year law practice. incumbent Governor of Agusan del Sur to immediately reinstate private
respondents to their former positions without prejudice to the continuance of the
On June 18, 1993, the trial court dismissed the petition. The RTC reasoned that administrative cases against them.
private respondents failed to exhaust the available administrative remedies since
the proper forum to decide the dispute is the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Petitioners argue that private respondents have not yet been exonerated and to
pursuant to Section 87 of R.A. No. 7160. grant them the right to back salaries is, at the moment, premature. It is likewise
their contention that the undue delay in the investigation of private respondents
Feeling aggrieved, private respondents immediately filed a notice of appeal to the was caused by them and shall be deducted from the period of their suspension as
CA. the appellate court in CA-G.R. SP No. 34359 rendered a Decision, lifting the provided in Section 85(b)33 of R.A. No. 7160. In addition, petitioners explain that
orders of preventive suspension issued by then Gov. Democrito Plaza against Section 88 of R.A. No. 7160 provides that a suspended respondent is entitled to
appellants. Appellants are reinstated to their previous positions with right to all the rights and privileges appurtenant to his position only when he is exonerated.
backwages but without prejudice to the continuation of the administrative As correctly raised by the petitioners, the only remaining issues to be determined
proceedings against them. by the Court are whether the private respondents are entitled to backwages during
the entire period of their suspension and, concomitantly, whether the CA erred in
The CA opined that Samson’s authority as chairman of the PIC is not invalidated ruling that the preventive suspension was unjustified. The other issues, as
by the lack of concurrence of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in his appointment conceded by the parties, have become moot and academic in view of the actual
as the Provincial Legal Officer. Moreover, the preventive suspension of private reinstatement of private respondents last August 2, 1999.
respondents may be ordered even without a hearing as such suspension is not a
penalty but only a preliminary step in an administrative investigation. It likewise The Court rules that private respondents’ claim for back salaries is untenable
ruled that the filing of the petition for certiorari and prohibition before the RTC was because their suspension was authorized by law and they have not been absolved
not a delay which would interrupt the running of the period of preventive of the administrative charges filed against them.38 In Gloria v. Court of
suspension. Lastly, the CA pronounced that to sanction preventive suspension Appeals,39 this Court had the occasion to clarify that the payment of salaries
corresponding to the period when an employee is not allowed to work may be
decreed if he is found innocent of the charges which caused his suspension and memoranda. The request, however, went unheeded as the respondent Governor
when the suspension is unjustified. insisted on obliging the department heads of the provincial government to comply
with the memoranda.
Clearly, the law provides for the preventive suspension of appointive local officials
and employees pending investigation of the charges against them. The suspension The appellate court, in its Decision dated November 28, 2003, dismissed the
given to private respondents cannot, therefore, be considered unjustified for it is petition for prohibition. the CA upheld the authority of the respondent Governor
one of those sacrifices which holding a public office requires for the public that "approval of the disbursement voucher by the local chief executive himself
good.40 To be entitled to back salaries, private respondents must not only be found shall be required whenever local funds are disbursed." the CA reasoned that the
innocent of the charges, but their suspension must likewise be unjustified. approval of purchase orders is different from the power of the Vice-Governor to
sign warrants drawn against the public treasury.
G.R. No. 161081 May 10, 2005
RAMON M. ATIENZA, in his capacity as Vice-Governor of the Province of Anent the Memorandum dated July 1, 2002, the CA ruled that the issue on whether
Occidental Mindoro, petitioner, it could be enjoined had already been rendered moot and academic. The CA
vs. pointed out that the subject of the said memorandum could no longer be enjoined
JOSE T. VILLAROSA, in his capacity as Governor of the Province of or restrained as the termination of the employees had already been effected. It
Occidental Mindoro, respondent. opined that where the act sought to be enjoined in the prohibition proceedings had
already been performed and there is nothing more to restrain, the case is already
Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari filed by Ramon M. Atienza, moot and academic.
in his capacity as Vice-Governor of the Province of Occidental Mindoro, seeking
to reverse and set aside the assailed decision dismissed the petition for prohibition As correctly presented by the appellate court, the issues for resolution in this case
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner Atienza which had sought to are:
enjoin the implementation of the Memoranda dated June 25, 2002 and July 1, 2002
issued by Jose T. Villarosa, Governor of the same province. A. Who between the petitioner and the respondent is authorized to approve
purchase orders issued in connection with the procurement of supplies,
Petitioner Atienza and respondent Villarosa were the Vice-Governor and materials, equipment, including fuel, repairs and maintenance of the
Governor, respectively, of the Province of Occidental Mindoro. On June 26, 2002, Sangguniang Panlalawigan?
the petitioner Vice-Governor received the Memorandum dated June 25, 2002 B. Does respondent Villarosa, as local chief executive, have the authority
issued by the respondent Governor concerning the "AUTHORITY TO SIGN to terminate or cancel the appointments of casual/job order employees of
PURCHASE ORDERS OF SUPPLIES, MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT[S], the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members and the Office of the Vice-
INCLUDING FUEL, REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE OF THE SANGGUNIANG Governor?9
PANLALAWIGAN."
Before resolving the foregoing issues, it is noted that petitioner Atienza and
In his Letter dated July 9, 2002, the petitioner Vice-Governor invoked the principle respondent Villarosa had ceased to be the Vice-Governor and Governor,
of separation of powers as applied to the local government units, i.e., the respectively, of the Province of Occidental Mindoro effective June 30, 2004 when
respondent, as the Governor, the head of the executive branch, and the petitioner, the newly-elected officials of the province took their oaths of offices. The petitioner
as the Vice-Governor, the head of the legislative branch, which is the Sangguniang Vice-Governor did not run for re-election during the May 2004 elections while the
Panlalawigan. The petitioner Vice-Governor reiterated his request for the respondent Governor did not succeed in his re-election bid. The expiration of their
respondent to make a "deeper study" on the matter before implementing his terms of offices has effectively rendered the case moot. In this case, there is
compelling reason for the Court to resolve the issues presented in order to clarify approve disbursement vouchers relating thereto necessarily includes the authority
the scope of the respective powers of the Governor and Vice-Governor under the to approve purchase orders covering the same applying the doctrine of necessary
pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991. implication.

the Court shall now address the issue on who between the Governor and Vice- Anent the second issue, the appellate court likewise committed reversible error in
Governor is authorized to approve purchase orders issued in connection with the holding that the implementation of the Memorandum dated July 1, 2002 had
procurement of supplies, materials, equipment, including fuel, repairs and rendered the petition moot and academic. It is recognized that courts will decide a
maintenance of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. We hold that it is the Vice- question otherwise moot and academic if it is "capable of repetition yet evading
Governor who has such authority. review."25 Even if the employees whose contractual or job order employment had
been terminated by the implementation of the July 1, 2002 Memorandum may no
Under Rep. Act No. 7160, local legislative power for the province is exercised by longer be reinstated, still, similar memoranda may be issued by other local chief
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan13and the Vice-Governor is its presiding executives. Hence, it behooves the Court to resolve whether the Governor has the
officer.14 Being vested with legislative powers, the Sangguniang authority to terminate or cancel the appointments of casual/job order employees
Panlalawigan enacts ordinances, resolutions and appropriates funds for the of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Office of the Vice-Governor.
general welfare of the province in accordance with the provisions of Rep. Act No.
7160.15 We hold that the Governor, with respect to the appointment of the officials and
employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has no such authority.
Reliance by the CA on the clause "approval of the disbursement voucher by the
local chief executive himself shall be required whenever local funds are disbursed" Thus, while the Governor has the authority to appoint officials and employees
of the above section (Section 344) to rule that it is the Governor who has the whose salaries are paid out of the provincial funds, this does not extend to the
authority to approve purchase orders for the supplies, materials or equipment for officials and employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because such authority
the operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is misplaced. This clause cannot is lodged with the Vice-Governor. In the same manner, the authority to appoint
prevail over the more specific clause of the same provision which provides that casual and job order employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan belongs to the
"vouchers and payrolls shall be certified to and approved by the head of the Vice-Governor.
department or office who has administrative control of the fund concerned." The
Vice-Governor, as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has The authority of the Vice-Governor to appoint the officials and employees of
administrative control of the funds of the said body. Accordingly, it is the Vice- the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is anchored on the fact that the salaries of these
Governor who has the authority to approve disbursement vouchers for employees are derived from the appropriation specifically for the said local
expenditures appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. legislative body. Indeed, the budget source of their salaries is what sets the
On this point, Section 39 of the Manual on the New Government Accounting employees and officials of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan apart from the other
System for Local Government Units states that Disbursement vouchers for employees and officials of the province. Accordingly, the appointing power of the
expenditures appropriated for the operation of the Sanggunian shall be approved Vice-Governor is limited to those employees of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as
by the provincial Vice Governor, the city Vice-Mayor or the municipal Vice-Mayor, well as those of the Office of the Vice-Governor, whose salaries are paid out of the
as the case may be.17 funds appropriated for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. As a corollary, if the salary
of an employee or official is charged against the provincial funds, even if this
While Rep. Act No. 7160 is silent as to the matter, the authority granted to the Vice- employee reports to the Vice-Governor or is assigned to his office, the Governor
Governor to sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for all expenditures retains the authority to appoint the said employee pursuant to Section 465(b)(v) of
appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as well as to Rep. Act No. 7160.
However, in this case, it does not appear whether the contractual/job order
employees, whose appointments were terminated or cancelled by the On February 4, 2000, Solomon B. Maagad and Renato M. Fernandez charged
Memorandum dated July 1, 2002 issued by the respondent Governor, were paid Villapando and Tiape for violation of Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code before
out of the provincial funds or the funds of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.6 The complaint was resolved
Nonetheless, the validity of the said memorandum cannot be upheld because it against Villapando and Tiape and the following Information7 dated March 19, 2002
absolutely prohibited the respondent Vice-Governor from exercising his authority charging the two with violation of Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code was filed
to appoint the employees, whether regular or contractual/job order, of with the Sandiganbayan:
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and restricted such authority to one of
recommendatory nature only.26 This clearly constituted an encroachment on the After the prosecution rested its case, Villapando moved for leave to file a demurrer
appointment power of the respondent Vice- Governor under Section 466(a)(2) of to evidence. In a Decision dated May 20, 2004, the Sandiganbayan, Fourth
Rep. Act No. 7160. Division found Villapando’s Demurrer to Evidence meritorious,

The avowed intent of Rep. Act. No. 7160, therefore, is to vest on the Sangguniang In this case, Orlando Tiape was allegedly appointed to the position of Municipal
Panlalawigan independence in the exercise of its legislative functions vis-a-vis the Administrator. It is noteworthy to mention that the prosecution did not allege much
discharge by the Governor of the executive functions. The Memoranda dated June less prove that Mayor Villapando’s appointee, Orlando Tiape, lacked any of the
25, 2002 and July 1, 2002 of the respondent Governor, which effectively excluded qualifications imposed by law on the position of Municipal Administrator.
the petitioner Vice-Governor, the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Prosecution’s argument rested on the assertion that since Tiape lost in the May
Panlalawigan, from signing the purchase orders for the procurement of supplies, 11, 1998 election, he necessarily lacked the required legal qualifications.
materials or equipment needed for the operation of the Sangguniang
Panlalawiganas well as from appointing its casual and job order employees, It bears stressing that temporary prohibition is not synonymous with absence or
constituted undue interference with the latter's functions. lack of legal qualification. A person who possessed the required legal qualifications
for a position may be temporarily disqualified for appointment to a public position
G.R. No. 164185 July 23, 2008 by reason of the one year prohibition imposed on losing candidates. Upon the other
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, hand, one may not be temporarily disqualified for appointment, but could not be
vs. appointed as he lacked any or all of the required legal qualifications imposed by
THE SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH DIVISION) and ALEJANDRO A. law.
VILLAPANDO, Respondents.
Thus, this petition by the Office of the Ombudsman, through the Office of the
During the May 11, 1998 elections, Villapando ran for Municipal Mayor of San Special Prosecutor, representing the People of the Philippines.
Vicente, Palawan. Orlando M. Tiape (now deceased), a relative of Villapando’s Simply, the issue is whether or not the Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division, acted with
wife, ran for Municipal Mayor of Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. Villapando won while grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Tiape lost. Thereafter, on July 1, 1998, Villapando designated Tiape as Municipal There is no basis in law or jurisprudence for this interpretation. On the contrary,
Administrator of the Municipality of San Vicente, Palawan.4 A Contract of legal disqualification in Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code simply means
Consultancy5 dated February 8, 1999 was executed between the Municipality of disqualification under the law. Clearly, Section 6, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution
San Vicente, Palawan and Tiape whereby the former employed the services of and Section 94(b) of the Local Government Code of 1991 prohibits losing
Tiape as Municipal Administrative and Development Planning Consultant in the candidates within one year after such election to be appointed to any office in the
Office of the Municipal Mayor for a period of six months from January 1, 1999 to government or any government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their
June 30, 1999 for a monthly salary of ₱26,953.80. subsidiaries.
M. ADAZA, NICARATA A. GALLEPOSO, MARIA LIEZEL S. CUARESMA,
Villapando’s contention and the Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division’s interpretation of ARLO B. CAGATAN, JOSEPHINE S. CABILIN, LEA C. ALAG, PILAR A.
the term legal disqualification lack cogency. Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code JAMOLOD, and BENJAMIN M. SUMALPONG, Petitioners,
cannot be circumscribed lexically. Legal disqualification cannot be read as vs.
excluding temporary disqualification in order to exempt therefrom the legal HON. RODOLFO H. CARREON, JR., and THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF
prohibitions under Section 6, Article IX of the 1987 Constitution and Section 94(b) DAPITAN CITY, represented by its Mayor, Hon. RODOLFO H. CARREON,
of the Local Government Code of 1991. JR., Respondents.

Although this Court held in the case of People v. Sandiganbayan16 that once a During the May 2001 elections, then Mayor Joseph Cedrick O. Ruiz of Dapitan
court grants the demurrer to evidence, such order amounts to an acquittal and any City, running for re-election, was defeated by respondent Rodolfo H. Carreon, Jr.
further prosecution of the accused would violate the constitutional proscription on On July 2, 2001, respondent issued Memorandum Orders Nos. 1 and 2 revoking
double jeopardy, this Court held in the same case that such ruling on the matter the 83 appointments signed by his predecessor on the ground that the latter
shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of discretion.1av violated Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 01-988 in relation to CSC
vphi1 Memorandum Circular No. 7, Series of 2001, imposing a ban on issuing
In this case, the Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division, in disregarding basic rules of appointments in the civil service during the election period. Thereupon, respondent
statutory construction, acted with grave abuse of discretion. Its interpretation of the prohibited the release of the salaries and benefits of the 83 appointees.
term legal disqualification in Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code defies legal
cogency. Legal disqualification cannot be read as excluding temporary The CSC En Banc held that the positions in question were published and declared
disqualification in order to exempt therefrom the legal prohibitions under the 1987 vacant prior to the existence of any vacancy. On September 16, 2003, the
Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991. appellate court rendered its Decision dismissing the petition, sustaining the CSC’s
finding that the positions to which the petitioners were appointed were already
The Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division having acted with grave abuse of discretion reported and published even before they had been declared vacant, in violation of
in disregarding the basic rules of statutory construction resulting in its decision Sections 2 and 3 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7041;2 and that there was no first level
granting Villapando’s Demurrer to Evidence and acquitting the latter, we can do no representative to the Personnel Section Board who should have participated in the
less but declare its decision null and void. screening of candidates for vacancy in the first level.

G.R. No. 160791 February 13, 2007 Hence, the instant petition.
PATRICIO E. SALES, ROGER R. SARIMOS, AL B. BUSICO, MARIMEL S.
SAGARIO, CAMILA B. BAGCOR, JONAS C. SALON, LILIBETH O. OBERES, This case is a typical example of the practice of outgoing local chief executives to
NOEL E. MAWILI, MARIO C. PAUSAL, JAMES D. TUGAHAN, MARIBETH C. issue "midnight" appointments, especially after their successors have been
DANGCALAN, CAMILO P. RECAMARA, ANDRO H. AGDA, GERALDINE S. proclaimed. It does not only cause animosities between the outgoing and the
CARIN, MYRNA G. SAGARIO, OSCAR E. MONCOPA, LOURDIRICO E. incoming officials, but also affects efficiency in local governance. Those appointed
GUDMALIN, EUFEMIO A. MONTEDERAMOS, JR., CORNELIO E. JUMAWAN, tend to devote their time and energy in defending their appointments instead of
JR., ELBA R. CASALANG, MERLA E. CAIDIC, RESTY C. SOCOBOS, JOSE attending to their functions. However, not all "midnight" appointments are
DARRY O. SAGARION, MARIA LUZ S. SIENES, BOB C. HAYAG, RONIE L. invalid.3 Each appointment must be judged on the basis of the nature, character,
LABISIG, FRANNIE M. ANTIVO, RONILO B. RUIZ, ANASTACIA A. PAILAGA, and merits of the individual appointment and the circumstances surrounding the
LERNIE S. FREJOLES, ROMILO D. BAJAS, ISIDRA T. GALLEPOSO, LEAH S. same.4 It is only when the appointments were made en masse by the outgoing
AUSTER, JOIEVELYNN E. HERRERA, JOELYALLUZ C. DOSIDOS, GLADYS administration and shown to have been made through hurried maneuvers and
under circumstances departing from good faith, morality, and propriety that this QUIROG
Court has struck down "midnight" appointments.5 vs.
AUMENTADO
The CSC is required to publish the lists of vacant positions and such publication
shall be posted by the chief personnel or administrative officer of all local Facts:
government units in the designated places. The vacant positions may only be filled
by the appointing authority after they have been reported to the CSC as vacant Liza M. Quirog was permanently appointed as Department Head of the Office of the Bohol
and only after publication. Provincial Agriculture by then Bohol Governor Rene L. Relampagos. The appointment was
confirmed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Quirog was likewise certified by the Personnel
Here, the publication of vacancies was made even before the positions involved Selection Board (PSB) as one of the two candidates qualified for the position. However, the
actually became vacant. Clearly, respondent’s action violated Section 2 of R.A. Director of CSCROVII invalidated Quirog’s appointment upon the finding that the same was part
No. 7041 cited earlier. of the bulk appointments issued by Gov Relampagos after May 14, 2001 elections in violation of
a CSC Resolution prohibiting the issuance of midnight appointments. In a motion for
Moreover, the CSC found that there was no first-level representative appointed to reconsideration, it was contended by the Relampagos and Quirog that the appointment cannot
the Personnel Selection Board, which deliberated on the appointments to first-level be considered a midnight appointment because it was made days before the expiration of
positions. Relampago’s term and that Quirog was already the acting Provincial Agriculturists a year prior to
said appointment. The CSCROVII however ruled that Quirog and Relampagos had no legal
Petitioners admitted that after the retirement on April 22, 2000 of Beltran Faconete, personality to file the pleadings. That under Section 2, Rule VI of CSC Memorandum Circular (MC)
the first-level representative to the Personnel Selection Board, no other first-level No. 40, series of 1998 only the appointing officer may request reconsideration of the disapproval
representative to replace him was chosen by the Dapitan City Government of an appointment by the Civil Service Commission. Even if Relampagos was the one who
Employees Association. Yet, the city government Personnel Selection Board appointed Quirog, he could not file a motion for reconsideration because his term as governor had
proceeded to deliberate and recommend the appointments of applicants to the 43 already expired. On appeal with the CSC, the latter ruled in favor of the petitioners. It ruled that the
first-level positions. Petitioners contend, however, that although there was no such appointee Quirog be allowed to question the decision and that the latter was not a midnight
representative, the action of the Board is still valid. appointment. On appeal with the CA, it was however contended by then incumbent Bohol
Governor Erico B. Aumentado that Quirog and Relampagos had no legal personality to file a
Petitioners’ contention lacks merit. motion for reconsideration of the disapproved appointment or to appeal the same and insisted that
Quirog's appointment was a midnight appointment. The CA ruled against the petitioners.
the appointments he issued are not valid. They may be recalled. In Mathay, Jr. v.
Civil Service Commission,7 this Court upheld the authority of the CSC to take Issues
appropriate action on all appointments, including its authority to recall
appointments made in disregard of the applicable provisions of Civil Service 1) WON petitioners Relampagos and Quirog have the legal standing to file a motion for
Law and regulations. reconsideration of, or appeal from the disapproval of the latter's appointment by the CSC

In sum, for being in violation of Section 2, R.A. No. 7041, CSC Memorandum 2) WON the subject appointment was a midnight appointment.
Circular No. 18, as amended, and Section 20, Rule VI of the Omnibus Rules
Implementing Book V-A of the Administrative Code of 1987, the appointments of
the above-named petitioners are declared void.
Held Municipality of Almeria, Biliran for Failure to Secure the Required Concurrence
from the Sangguniang Bayan." Consequently, the Municipality of Almeria, Biliran
1.) Yes. In the recent case of Abella, Jr. v. Civil Service Commission, the Court declared submitted the 201 file of petitioner to Civil Service Commission Regional Office No.
that both the appointing authority and the appointee are equally real parties in interest who have VIII (CSCRO No. VIII) which showed that petitioner's appointment lacked the
the requisite legal standing to bring an action challenging a CSC disapproval of an appointment. required concurrence of the local sanggunian. On the other hand, petitioner
Clearly, pursuant to Abella, Jr., Quirog had the right to ask for reconsideration of, or to appeal the submitted to the same office a Joint-Affidavit4executed on March 6, 2002, by the
adverse ruling of CSCROVII. In contrast, Relampagos, by reason of the expiration of his term as majority of the then members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Almeria, Biliran, which
governor, had lost the legal personality to contest the disapproval of the appointment. reads that the concurrence was inadvertently omitted in the Minutes of the Regular
Session for 2 March 1992. But, we can still fully recall that there was really a verbal
2.) No. It cannot also be said that Quirog's appointment was a midnight appointment. The concurrence on the appointment of Municipal Budget Officer Melanie P. Montuerto
constitutional prohibition on so-called midnight appointments, specifically, those made within x x x.
two (2) months immediately prior to the next presidential elections, applies only to the President or
Acting President. The appointment of Quirog cannot be categorized as a midnight On March 11, 2002, CSCRO No. VIII issued an Order decreeing the approval on
appointment. For it is beyond dispute that Quirog had been discharging and performing the the appointment of Melanie P. Montuerto as Municipal Budget Officer of LGU-
duties concomitant with the subject position for a year prior to her permanent appointment thereto. Almeria, Leyte xxx is hereby RECALLED on the ground that it lacks the required
Surely, the fact that she was only permanently appointed to the position of PGDH-OPA after a concurrence of the majority of all the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of LGU-
year of being the Acting Provincial Agriculturist more than adequately shows that the filling up of Almeria, Biliran.
the position resulted from deliberate action and a careful consideration of the need for the
appointment and the appointee's qualifications. The fact that Quirog had been the Acting Provincial Aggrieved, petitioner appealed to the CSC Central Office. After due consideration
Agriculturist since June 2000 all the more highlights the public need for said position to be of the pleadings and documents presented, the latter issued CSC Resolution No.
permanently filled up. 040728 dated July 1, 2004, disposing of petitioner's appeal.

G.R. No. 177736 October 6, 2008 Petitioner filed a Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Civil Procedure
MELANIE P. MONTUERTO, petitioner, before the CA, which denied it for lack of merit.
vs.
HONORABLE MAYOR ROLANDO E. TY and THE SANGGUNIANG BAYAN, Hence, the instant Petition raising the sole issue of whether the appointment of
represented by HONORABLE VICE-MAYOR RICHARD D. JAGUROS, all of the petitioner as Municipal Budget Officer, without the written concurrence of
Municipality of Almeria, Biliran, respondents. the Sanggunian, but duly approved by the CSC and after the appointee had served
as such for almost ten years without interruption, can still be revoked by the
On March 17, 1992, petitioner was issued an appointment as Municipal Budget Commission.
Officer by the then Mayor Supremo T. Sabitsana of the Municipality of Almeria,
Biliran. On March 24, 1992, her appointment was approved as permanent by We resolve to deny the Petition.
Gerardo Corder, Acting Civil Service Commission Field Officer.
The law is clear. Under Section 443(a) and (d) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 71605 or
On January 14, 2002, the Sangguniang Bayan of Almeria, Biliran passed the Local Government Code, the head of a department or office in the municipal
Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Resolution No. 01-S-2002 entitled "A Resolution government, such as the Municipal Budget Officer, shall be appointed by the
Requesting the Civil Service Commission Regional Office, to Revoke the mayor with the concurrence of the majority of all Sangguniang
Appointment of Mrs. Melanie P. Montuerto, Municipal Budget Officer of the Bayan members6 subject to civil service law, rules and regulations. Per records,
the appointment of petitioner was never submitted to the Sangguniang Bayan for day reglementary period. Finally, the Province filed before the CA a petition for
its concurrence or, even if so submitted, no such concurrence was obtained. Such certiorari via Rule 43 against the CSC’s second order implementing the Apr 14
factual finding of quasi-judicial agencies, especially if adopted and affirmed by the resolution, invoking the constitutional prohibition against midnight
CA, is deemed final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal by this appointments. The CA denied the petition and upheld the CSC decision.
Court. This Court is not a trier of facts and generally, does not weigh anew
evidence already passed upon by the CA. Absent a showing that this case falls Issue: W/N the prohibition on midnight appointments apply to appointments made
under any of the exceptions to this general rule, this Court will refrain from by local executives
disturbing the findings of fact of the tribunals below. No. The prohibition under Article VII, Sec 15 applies only to presidential
appointments, and not to those made by local executives. In this case, the
Moreover, we agree with the ruling of the CA that the verbal concurrence allegedly appointment is valid because there is no law that prohibits local elective officials
given by the Sanggunian, as postulated by the petitioner, is not the concurrence from making appointments during the last days of his/her tenure.
required and envisioned under R.A. No. 7160. The Sanggunian, as a body, acts
through a resolution or an ordinance. Absent such resolution of concurrence, the Issue: W/N the CA is correct in taking cognizance over the case
appointment of petitioner failed to comply with the mandatory requirement of No. The court should have dismissed the petition outright because no appeal may
Section 443(a) and (d) of R.A. No. 7160. Without a valid appointment, petitioner be taken over an order of execution.
acquired no legal title to the Office of Municipal Budget Officer, even if she had Under Rule 50, Sec 1 of the Rules of Court, the CA is allowed to dismiss an appeal
served as such for ten years. where the order appealed from is not appealable. This rule is based on the doctrine
of immutability of judgment, which states that a final and executory removes from
Province of Aurora vs Marco the court which renders it the power and jurisdiction to further alter or amend it,
GR 202331 Apr 22 2015 much less revoked it. Thus, even if a judgment is later on discovered to be
erroneous, it remains immutable.
Facts:
THE METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY vs. VIRON
Marco was permanently appointed as Corporate Development Specialist II by Gov. TRANSPORTATION CO., INC
Ong 5 days before the end of her term in June 30, 2004. His appointment, along G.R. No. 170656 August 15, 2007
with 25 other appointments, was accompanied by a certification stating that funds
were available for the position. When the new Gov took over, the appointments FACTS:
made by Gov Ong were revoked based on the recall made by Budget Officer
regarding the availability of funds for the position. Marcos sought reconsideration The present petition for review on certiorari, rooted in the traffic congestion
from the CSC Regional Office but was denied. On appeal, the CSC through a problem, questions the authority of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
resolution dated Apr 14 held the validity of the appointment on the ground that it (MMDA) to order the closure of provincial bus terminals along Epifanio de los
complied with the CSC rules and that the recall of the certification did not affect its Santos Avenue (EDSA) and major thoroughfares of Metro Manila.
validity because evidence was not presented.
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 179, with the pertinent provisions contain:
Instead of filing an MR, the Province filed a petition for relief. It was denied by the WHEREAS, the MMDA has recommended a plan to decongest traffic by
CSC because it was not allowed by the rules. Meanwhile, Marco filed a motion to eliminating the bus terminals now located along major Metro Manila thoroughfares
implement the Apr 14 Resolution, which was granted. The Province filed an MR of and providing more convenient access to the mass transport system to the
the Apr 14 Resolution but was again denied because it was not filed within the 15- commuting public through the provision of mass transport terminal facilities that
would integrate the existing transport modes, namely the buses, the rail-based ISSUE:
systems of the LRT, MRT and PNR and to facilitate and ensure efficient travel
through the improved connectivity of the different transport modes; W/N EO is unconstitutional
Section 2. PROJECT OBJECTIVES. – In accordance with the plan proposed by
MMDA HELD:
Section 3. PROJECT IMPLEMENTING AGENCY. – The Metropolitan Manila
Development Authority (MMDA), is hereby designated as the implementing YES. The authority of the President to order the implementation of the Project
Agency for the project. notwithstanding, the designation of the MMDA as the implementing agency for the
Project may not be sustained. It is ultra vires, there being no legal basis therefor.
As the above-quoted portions of the E.O. noted, the primary cause of traffic
congestion in Metro Manila has been the numerous buses plying the streets and It bears stressing that under the provisions of E.O. No. 125, as amended, it
the inefficient connectivity of the different transport modes; and the MMDA had is the DOTC, and not the MMDA, which is authorized to establish and
“recommended a plan to decongest traffic by eliminating the bus terminals now implement a project such as the one subject of the cases at bar. Thus, the
located along major Metro Manila thoroughfares and providing more and President, although authorized to establish or cause the implementation of
convenient access to the mass transport system to the commuting public through the Project, must exercise the authority through the instrumentality of the
the provision of mass transport terminal facilities “which plan is referred to under DOTC which, by law, is the primary implementing and administrative entity
the E.O. as the Greater Manila Mass Transport System Project (the Project). in the promotion, development and regulation of networks of transportation,
and the one so authorized to establish and implement a project such as the
The E.O. thus designated the MMDA as the implementing agency for the Project. Project in question.
Pursuant to the E.O., the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the governing board and
policymaking body of the MMDA, issued Resolution No. 03-07 series of 20037 By designating the MMDA as the implementing agency of the Project, the
expressing full support of the Project. Recognizing the imperative to integrate the President clearly overstepped the limits of the authority conferred by law,
different transport modes via the establishment of common bus parking terminal rendering E.O. No. 179 ultra vires.
areas, the MMC cited the need to remove the bus terminals located along major
thoroughfares of Metro Manila. In another vein, the validity of the designation of MMDA flies in the absence of a
specific grant of authority to it under R.A. No. 7924
On February 24, 2003, Viron Transport Co., Inc. (Viron), a domestic corporation .
engaged in the business of public transportation with a provincial bus operation, SECTION 2. Creation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. — . . .
filed a petition for declaratory relief before the RTC of Manila. Chairman Fernando, The MMDA shall perform planning, monitoring and coordinative functions, and in
was “poised to issue a Circular, Memorandum or Order closing, or tantamount to the process exercise regulatory and supervisory authority over the delivery of
closing, all provincial bus terminals along EDSA and in the whole of the Metropolis metro-wide services within Metro Manila, without diminution of the autonomy of the
under the pretext of traffic regulation.” This impending move, it stressed, would local government units concerning purely local matters.
mean the closure of its bus terminal in Sampaloc, Manila and two others in Quezon
City. In light of the administrative nature of its powers and functions, the MMDA is devoid
of authority to implement the Project as envisioned by the E.O; hence, it could not
The trial court sustained the constitutionality and legality of the E.O. pursuant to have been validly designated by the President to undertake the Project. It follows
R.A. No. 7924, which empowered the MMDA to administer Metro Manila’s basic that the MMDA cannot validly order the elimination of respondents’ terminals.
services including those of transport and traffic management.
This Court commiserates with the MMDA for the roadblocks thrown in the way of Police power, as an inherent attribute of sovereignty is the power vested in the
its efforts at solving the pestering problem of traffic congestion in Metro Manila. legislature to make, ordain, establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable
These efforts are commendable, to say the least, in the face of the abominable laws, statutes and ordinances either with penalties of without, not repugnant to the
traffic situation of our roads day in and day out. This Court can only interpret, not constitution, as they shall judge to be for good and welfare of the commonwealth
change, the law, however. It needs only to be reiterated that it is the DOTC ─ as and for subjects of the same.
the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, regulating
and administrative entity to promote, develop and regulate networks of There is no provision in RA 7924 that empowers MMDA or its council to “enact
transportation and communications ─ which has the power to establish and ordinance, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of
administer a transportation project like the Project subject of the case at bar. the inhabitants of Metro Manila.” It is an agency created for the purpose of laying
down policies and coordinating with the various national government agencies,
MMDA vs Garin People’s Organizations, NGOs and private sector for the efficient and expeditious
delivery of services. All its functions are administrative in nature.
FACTS:
PROVINCE OF RIZAL VS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Respondent Garin was issued a traffic violation receipt (TVR) and his driver’s G.R. No. 129546
license was confiscated for parking illegally. Garin wrote to then MMDA Chairman Dec 13, 2005
Prospero Oreta requesting the return of his license and expressed his preference
for his case to be file in Court. Without an immediate reply from the Petitioners : Municipality of San Mateo and Concerned Citizens of Rizal
chairman, Garin filed for a preliminary injunction assailing among others that Sec et. Al
5 (f) of RA 7924 violates the constitutional prohibition against undue delegation of Respondent : EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, SECRETARY OF
legislative authority, allowing MMDA to fix and impose unspecified and unlimited ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES, LAGUNA
fines and penalties. RTC rule in his favor, directing MMDA to return his license LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
and for the authority to desist from confiscating driver’s license without first giving
the driver the opportunity to be heard in an appropriate proceeding. Thus this SANITARY LANDFILL
petition.
Principles :
ISSUE:
 The Reorganization Act of the DENR Defines and Limits Its Powers over
Whether of not Sec 5(f) of RA 7924 which authorizes MMDA to confiscate and the Country'sNatural Resources
suspend or revoke driver’s license in the enforcement of traffic rules and  The Administrative Code of 1987 and Executive Order No. 192 entrust the
regulations constitutional? DENR with the guardianship and safekeeping of the Marikina Watershed
Reservation and our other natural treasures. However, although the
RULING: DENR, an agency of the government, owns the

The MMDA is not vested with police power. It was concluded that MMDA is nota
local government unit of a public corporation endowed with legislative power and
it has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community.
Facts: On 24 January 2001, the Supreme Court issued the Temporary Restraining Order
prayed for, "effective immediately and until further orders." Meanwhile, on 26
At the height of the garbage crisis plaguing Metro Manila and its environs, the January 2001, President Estrada signed Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known
Office of the President, through Proclamation No. 635 dated 28 August 1995 set as "The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of2000," into law.
aside parts of the Marikina Watershed Reservation for use as a sanitary landfill
and similar waste disposal applications. The site extending to more or less 18 Lower Court's Ruling: The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Executive Secretary,
hectares, had already been in operation since 19 February 1990 for the solid et al. The CA denied, for lack of cause of action, the petition for certiorari,
wastes of Quezon City, Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pateros, Pasig, and prohibition and mandamus with application for a temporary restraining order/writ
Taguig. of preliminary injunction assailing the legality and constitutionality of Proclamation
No. 635.
On 24 November 1995, the petitioners Municipality of San Mateo and the residents
of Pintong Bocaue, represented by former Senator Jovita Salonga, sent a letter to Issue:
President Fidel Ramos requesting him to reconsider Proclamation No. 635. Whether or not the consultation and approval of the Province of Rizal and
Receiving no reply, they sent another letter on 02 January 1996 reiterating their municipality of San Mateo is needed before the implementation of the project..
previous request. They filed before the Court of Appeals a civil action for certiorari, Held:
prohibition and mandamus with application for a temporary restraining order/writ
of preliminary injunction. Yes. Under the Local Government Code, two requisites must be met before a
national project that affects the environmental and ecological balance of local
On 19 July 1999, President Joseph E. Estrada, taking cognizance of the gravity of communities can be implemented:
the problems in the affected areas and the likelihood that violence would erupt  prior consultation with the affected local communities, and
among the parties involved, issued a Memorandum ordering the closure of the  prior approval of the project by the appropriate sanggunian.
dumpsite on 31 December 2000. Accordingly, on 20 July 1999, the Presidential
Committee on Flagship Programs and Projects and the Metro Manila Development Absent either of these mandatory requirements, the projects implementation is
Authority (MMDA) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the illegal.
Provincial Government of Rizal, the Municipality of San Mateo, and the City of
Antipolo, wherein the latter agreed to further extend the use of the dumpsite until In Lina , Jr. v. Pao,[49] we held that Section 2 (c), requiring consultations with the
its permanent closure on 31 December 2000. appropriate local government units, should apply to national government projects
affecting the environmental or ecological balance of the particular community
On 11 January 2001, President Estrada directed Department of Interior and Local implementing the project. Rejecting the petitioners contention that Sections 2(c)
Government (DILG) Secretary Alfredo Lim and MMDA Chairman Binay to reopen and 27 of the Local Government Code applied mandatorily in the setting up of lotto
the San Mateo dumpsite "in view of the emergency situation of uncollected outlets around the country, we held that:
garbage in Metro Manila, resulting in a critical and imminent health and sanitation
epidemic." From a careful reading of said provisions, we find that these apply only to
national programs and/or projects which are to be implemented in a
Claiming the above events constituted a "clear and present danger of particular local community. Lotto is neither a program nor a project of the
violence erupting in the affected areas," the petitioners filed an Urgent Petition for national government, but of a charitable institution, the PCSO. Though
Restraining Order on 19 January 2001. sanctioned by the national government, it is far fetched to say that lotto
falls within the contemplation of Sections 2 (c) and 27 of the Local repair and operation of an efficient waterworks system to supply water for the
Government Code. inhabitants and purifying the source of the water supply; regulating the
construction, maintenance, repair and use of hydrants, pumps, cisterns and
In the recent case of Bangus Fry Fisherfolk v. Lanzanas,[50] where we held that reservoirs; protecting the purity and quantity of the water supply of the municipality
there was no statutory requirement for the sangguniang bayan of Puerto Galera to and, for this purpose, extending the coverage of appropriate ordinances over all
approve the construction of a mooring facility, as Sections 26 and 27 are territory within the drainage area of said water supply and within one hundred (100)
inapplicable to projects which are not environmentally critical. meters of the reservoir, conduit, canal, aqueduct, pumping station, or watershed
used in connection with the water service; and regulating the consumption, use or
Moreover, Section 447, which enumerates the powers, duties and functions of the wastage of water. [Section 447 (5)(i) & (vii)]
municipality, grants the sangguniang bayan the power to, among other things,
enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Province of Rizal, et al. and reversed and
welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of th(e) Code. set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals. The San Mateo Landfill will remain
These include: permanently closed.

(1) Approving ordinances and passing resolutions to protect the environment and
impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment, such as
dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive fishing, illegal logging and
smuggling of logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of endangered
species of flora and fauna, slash and burn farming, and such other activities which
result in pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and lakes, or of ecological
imbalance; [Section 447 (1)(vi)]

(2) Prescribing reasonable limits and restraints on the use of property within the
jurisdiction of the municipality, adopting a comprehensive land use plan for the
municipality, reclassifying land within the jurisdiction of the city, subject to the
pertinent provisions of this Code, enacting integrated zoning ordinances in
consonance with the approved comprehensive land use plan, subject to existing
laws, rules and regulations; establishing fire limits or zones, particularly in
populous centers; and regulating the construction, repair or modification of
buildings within said fire limits or zones in accordance with the provisions of this
Code; [Section 447 (2)(vi-ix)]

(3) Approving ordinances which shall ensure the efficient and effective delivery of
the basic services and facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this Code, and
in addition to said services and facilities, providing for the establishment,
maintenance, protection, and conservation of communal forests and watersheds,
tree parks, greenbelts, mangroves, and other similar forest development projects
.and, subject to existing laws, establishing and providing for the maintenance,