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CHAPTER 8

TERMINATION OF OFFICIAL RELATIONS

A. Specifically
Modes of termination of official relations.
1. Expiration of term or tenure
2. Reaching the age limit (retirement)
3. Death or permanent disability
4. Resignation
5. Acceptance of an incompatible office
6. Abandonment of office
7. Prescription of right to office
8. Removal
9. Impeachment
10. Abolition of office
11. Conviction of a crime
12. Recall

B. Natural Causes
 Expiration of term or tenure
Upon the expiration of the officer’s term, unless he is authorized by law to
hold over, his rights, duties and authority as a public officer must ipso facto cease.

1. Removal and expiration of term distinguished


Removal is an act of ousting an officer from his office before the
expiration of his term. Where the term of office is not fixed by law and the
incumbent is relieved by the appointing authority, the legal effect is the
same as if the term had been fixed by Congress itself. There is no removal
but extinguishment of the right to hold office by the expiration of his term.
Similarly, where an appointment is for a definite and renewable period, non-
renewable thereof does not involve dismissal but an expiration of term.

2. Distinction between term and tenure


Term is the period of time during which a public officer has the right to
hold the public office. It is a fixed and definite period of time. Tenure is the
period of time during which the public officer actually held office. It may be
shorter than the term.

ILLUSTRATIONS:
i. When a public officer holds office at the pleasure of the appointing
authority, his being replaced shall be regarded as termination
through expiration of term, not removal. See Astraquillo v.
Manglapus, 190 SCRA 280.

ii. Where the Constitution provides that the term of office of local
elective officials is three (3) years, Congress cannot, by a law calling
for delayed elections, effectively reduce the term [Osmena v.
Comelec, 199 SCRA 750].

Ancheta, Rodelyn A. | Maddugal, Marianne B. | Sumisim, Maria Elena J.


iii. Upon the change of government brought about by the EDSA
Revolution, the acceptance by the President of the “courtesy
resignations” of constitutional officers with fixed terms of office
resulted in the expiration of term (or tenure), entitling the officers to
retirement benefits [Ortiz v. Comelec, 162 SCRA 812; In Re:
Retirement of Justice Britanico, 173 SCRA 421].

iv. In Gloria v. Judge de Guzman, supra., it was held that there was no
termination in the sense that termination presupposes an overt act
committed by a superior officer. What happened was that the private
respondents’ appointments or employment simply expired, either by
their own terms, or because they may not exceed one year, but most
importantly, because PAFCA was dissolved and replaced by PSCA.

3. Commencement of the term of office


Rules, to wit:
i. Where the statute fixes a period within which a chosen officer may
arrange his affairs and qualify for the office in a prescribed manner,
his term begins upon qualification.

ii. Where no time is fixed by law for the commencement of his official
term, it begins from the date of appointment in cases of an appointive
office, or from the date of election, in case of an elective office.

iii. Where the law fixing the term of a public office is ambiguous, the one
that fixes the term at the shortest period should be followed.

iv. Where both the duration of the term of office and the time of its
commencement or termination are fixed by constitutional or statutory
provisions, a person elected or appointed to fill the vacancy in such
office shall hold the same only for the unexpired portion of the term.

v. Where only the duration of the term is fixed, but no time is established
for the beginning or end of the term, the person selected to fill the
vacancy in such office may serve the full term and not merely the
unexpired balance of the prior incumbent’s term.

4. The Principle of Hold-over


a) Where holding over provided by law
The office does not become vacant upon the expiration of the
term if there is then no successor elected and qualified to assume
it. The incumbent will hold office until his successor is elected and
qualified, even though it be beyond the term fixed by law.

b) Where holding over not provided by law


In the absence of any express or implied constitutional or
statutory provision to the contrary, the public officer is entitled to hold
his office until his successor shall have been duly chosen and shall
have qualified.

Ancheta, Rodelyn A. | Maddugal, Marianne B. | Sumisim, Maria Elena J.


c) Where Constitution limits term
When the law fixes a specific date for the end of the term, there
is an implied prohibition against hold-over.

d) Application of hold over provision


It is not applicable where the term is of indefinite duration, e.g.,
during good behavior or at the pleasure of the appointing power.

e) Purpose of hold-over provision


The purpose of the hold-over principle is to prevent a hiatus in
public service, for, public interest requires that public offices should
be filled at all time, without interruptions.

f) Status of hold-over officer


During the period of hold-over, the public officer is a de jure officer
if his holding is authorized by law; otherwise, he is a de facto officer.

5. Offices created for the accomplishment of a specific act


Where an office is created, or an officer is appointed, for the purpose
of performing a single act or the accomplishment of a given result, the office
terminates and the officer’s authority ceases with the accomplishment of
the purposes which called it into being.

 Reaching the age limit (retirement)


This mode of terminating official relations results to the compulsory and
automatic retirement of a public officer.

a) Compulsory retirement age


 Seventy (70) years of age for members of the Judiciary; sixty-five (65)
for other government officers and employees. See the new GSIS
Charter.

b) Special retirement laws


 Example R.A. 1616, which allows optional retirement after an officer has
rendered a minimum number of years of government service, when
availed of by the public officer, will result in termination of official
relationship through reaching the age limit (or retirement).

 Death or permanent disability


o The death of the incumbent of an office necessarily renders the office
vacant.

o Permanent disability covers both physical and mental disability. There is the
problem of determining what degree of incapability suffices to consider it
permanent. The incumbent may not believe or wish to consider that he is
permanently disabled to discharge the powers and duties of the office, and
may refuse to give it up. In such case, the appointing power will have to
make the decision whether his condition has created a vacancy but a judicial
determination of the fact is necessary to render it conclusive.

Ancheta, Rodelyn A. | Maddugal, Marianne B. | Sumisim, Maria Elena J.