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TITLE:

DOMINADOR R. AYTONA, petitioner,


vs.
ANDRES V. CASTILLO, ET AL., respondents.

G.R. No. L-19313 January 19, 1962

TOPIC: Ad interim appointments

FACTS:

December 29, 1961 – then President Carlos P. Garcia appointed Dominador R. Aytona as ad
interim Governor of the Central Bank. On the same day, the latter took the corresponding oath.

December 30, 1961 – President-elect Diosdado Macapagal assumed office

December 31, 1961 – President Macapagal issued Administrative Order No. 2 recalling,
withdrawing, and cancelling all ad interim appointment made by President Garcia after December
13, 1961.

January 1, 1962 – President Macapagal appointed Andres V. Castillo as ad interim Governor of the
Central Bank, and the latter qualified immediately.

Both Aytona and Castillo started to exercise the powers of their office. Later, conflicts resulted
because of this. Later, Aytona was definitely prevented from holding office in the Central Bank.

Petitioner Aytona instituted a quo warranto proceeding challenging Castillo's right to exercise the
powers of Governor of the Central Bank.

PETITIONER’S CONTENTIONS:

 He was validly appointed and was qualified for the post;


 Castillo’s subsequent appointment and qualification was void because the position was
already occupied by him.

RESPONDENT’S CONTENTION:

 Aytona’s appointment had been revoked by Administrative Order No. 2

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Administrative Order No. 2 cancelled the ad interim appointments made by the
past President.

RULING: YES. Under these circumstances, the Supreme Court resolves that the Presidential
Administrative Order No. 2, cancelled the "midnight" or "last-minute" appointments.

President Garcia sent to the Commission on Appointments (which was not yet in session)
communication letters dated December 29, 1961, submitting "for confirmation" ad
interim appointments of at least three hundred fifty (350) officials including Dominador R. Aytona as
Governor of the Central Bank.

In issuing Administrative Order no. 2, President Macapagal revoked the ad interim appointments due
to the following reasons:

(1) the outgoing President should have refrained from filling vacancies to give the new President
opportunity to consider names in the light of his new policies, which were approved by the
electorate in the last elections;
(2) these scandalously hurried appointments in mass do not fall within the intent and spirit of the
constitutional provision authorizing the issuance of ad interim appointments;
(3) the appointments were irregular, immoral and unjust, because they were issued only upon
the condition that the appointee would immediately qualify obviously to prevent a recall or
revocation by the incoming President, with the result that those deserving of promotion or
appointment who preferred to be named by the new President declined and were by-passed;
and
(4) the abnormal conditions surrounding the appointment and qualifications evinced a desire on
the part of the outgoing President merely subvert the policies of the incoming administration.

As observed, many of the persons up for appointment did not qualify. Also, there is evidence that in
the night of December 29, there was a scramble in Malacañan of candidates for positions trying to
get their written appointments or having such appointments changed to more convenient places,
after some last minute bargaining. There was unusual hurry in the issuance of the appointments —
which were not coursed through the Department Heads.

It is Malacañan's practice to submit ad interim appointments only when the Commission on


Appointments is in session. One good reason for the practice is that only those who have accepted
the appointment and qualified are submitted for confirmation. Nevertheless, this time, Malacañan
submitted its appointments on the same day they were issued. This was done obviously because the
incoming President might refuse to submit the appointees of his predecessor.

As the outgoing president, President Garcia is duty bound to prepare for the orderly transfer of
authority the incoming President. He should not do acts which he ought to know, would embarrass
or obstruct the policies of his successor. He should not use his powers to serve partisan purposes.
The filling up of vacancies in important positions, if few and made out of necessity, may undoubtedly
be permitted. But the issuance of 350 appointments in one night and planned induction of almost all
of them a few hours before the inauguration of the new President may, with some reason, be
regarded as an abuse Presidential prerogatives.

When the president makes ad interim appointments, he exercises a special prerogative and is bound
to be prudent to insure approval of his selection. However, in this case, the Commission on
Appointments that will consider the appointees is different from that existing at the time of the
appointment and where the names are to be submitted by successor, who may not wholly approve
of the selections, the President should be doubly careful in extending such appointments. Now, it is
hard to believe that in signing 350 appointments in one night, President Garcia exercised such
"double care" which was required and expected of him; and therefore, there seems to be force to the
contention that these appointments fall beyond the intent and spirit of the constitutional provision
granting to the Executive authority to issue ad interim appointments.

Naturally, once an appointment has been issued, it cannot be revoked (especially if the appointee is
qualified). But this does not refer to mass ad interim appointments issued in the last hours of an
outgoing Chief Executive. The underlying reason for denying the power to revoke after the appointee
has qualified is the latter's equitable rights. Yet it is doubtful if such equity might be successfully set
up in the present situation, considering the rush conditional appointments, hurried maneuvers and
other happenings detracting from that degree of good faith, morality and propriety which form the
basic foundation of claims to equitable relief. The appointees, it might be argued, wittingly or
unwittingly cooperated with the stratagem to beat the deadline, whatever the resultant
consequences to the dignity and efficiency of the public service. Needless to say, there are
instances wherein not only strict legality, but also fairness, justice and righteousness should be
taken into account.

WHEREFORE, the Court exercising its judgment and discretion in the matter, hereby dismiss the
action, without costs.