MANILA — The Supreme Court declared President Aquino’s second executive order revoking the “midnight appointments” of the Arroyo administration as constitutional.
The SC justices yesterday voted 8-6 to dismiss five petitions against Aquino’s order in 2010.
“Executive Order No. 2 in its entirety is constitutional, especially as to its definition of midnight appointments and its recall, revocation and withdrawal of midnight appointments,” read the ruling, the according to SC spokesman Theodore Te.
The court said that midnight appointments are banned in the country, citing Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution.
“Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or acting President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service and endanger public safety,” the SC quoted the Constitution.
“Thus, for purposes of the May 2010 elections, March 10, 2010 was the cut-off date for the valid appointments and the next day, March 11, 2010, was the reference date for midnight appointments.”
The petitions were filed by five appointees of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to question the Court of Appeals decision to affirm Aquino’s Executive Order No. 2.
The petitioners include Subic Bay Metropolitan Board Authority board member Eddie Tamondong, former National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) commissioner Francisca Rosquita, former Department of Finance-Board of Administrators of the Cooperative Development Authority administrator for Visayas Irma Villanueva, former Quezon City Prosecutor Dindo Venturanza and former State Solicitor Cheloy Garafil.
“Petitioners have failed to show their compliance with all four elements of a valid appointment,” read the SC ruling.
“They cannot prove with certainty that their appointment papers have indeed been issued before the period covered by the appointment ban (March 10, 2010 for the 2010 May elections).”