Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 93867, 1990 Dec 18
SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR., petitioner,
HAYDEE B. YORAC, in her capacity as ACTING CHAIRPERSON of the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent., ,
D E C I S I O N
The petitioner is challenging the designation by the President of the Philippines of Associate Commissioner Haydee B. Yorac as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections, in place of Chairman Hilario B. Davide, who had been named chairman of the fact-finding commission to investigate the December 1989 coup d’ etat attempt.
The qualifications of the respondent are conceded by the petitioner and are not in issue in this case. What is the power of the President of the Philippines to make the challenged designation in view of the status of the Commission on Elections as an independent constitutional body and the specific provision of Article IX-C, Section 1(2) of the Constitution that “(I)n no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.”
The petitioner invokes the case of Nacionalista Party v. Bautista, 85 Phil. 101, where President Elpidio Quirino designated the Solicitor General as acting member of the Commission on Elections and the Court revoked the designation as contrary to the Constitution. It is also alleged that the respondent is not even the senior member of the Commission on Elections, being outranked by Associate Commissioner Alfredo E. Abueg, Jr.