Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Case Digest: Ulpiano Sarmiento III and Juanito G. Arcialla vs. Salvador Mison and Guillermo Carague

No. L-79974        December 17, 1987
En Banc


When Salvador Mison was appointed to the Office of the Commissioner of Bureau of Customs, this petition for prohibition filed by taxpayers, lawyers, members of the IBP and professors of Constitutional was filed on the grounds that said appointment is in violation of Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution for it was not approved by the Commission on Appointments.

ISSUE:  Whether said appointment is indeed unconstitutional basing on Section 16, Article VII.


Mison’s appointment is constitutional.  Sec. 16, Article VII states that:

“Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. x x x”

It is clear that the first group shall need the confirmation of the CoA.  Also, it can be seen from reviewing the records of deliberation of the 1986 Constitutional Commission that it has been clearly stated that appointments to the second and third groups of officers can be made by the President without the confirmation of the CoA.  In the issue at hand, it is evident that the position of Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (a bureau head) is not one of those within the first group of appointments where the consent of the CoA is required. 

Furthermore, the President is expressly authorized by law to appoint the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs under Sec. 601 of R.A. 1937 which states that “Sec. 601. – x x x The Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of Customs shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines.”

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