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Case Digest: Funa v Duque
FACTS: Then president GMA issued EO 864 which allows tge chairman of the CSC to be in the board of trustees/directors of certain GOCCs. Funa asserts that EO 864 and Section 14, Chapter 3, Title I-A, Book V of EO 292 violate the independence of the CSC, which was constitutionally created to be protected from outside influences and political pressures due to the significance of its government functions. He further asserts that such independence is violated by the fact that the CSC is not a part of the Executive Branch of Government while the concerned GOCCs are considered instrumentalities of the Executive Branch of the Government. In this situation, the President may exercise his power of control over the CSC considering that the GOCCs in which Duque sits as Board member are attached to the Executive Department. Funa claims that EO 864 and Section 14, Chapter 3, Title I-A, Book V of EO 292 violate the prohibition imposed upon members of constitutional commissions from holding any other office or employment. A conflict of interest may arise in the event that a Board decision of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF concerning personnel-related matters is elevated to the CSC considering that such GOCCs have original charters, and their employees are governed by CSC laws, rules and regulations. Respondents submit that the prohibition against holding any other office or employment under Section 2, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution does not cover positions held without additional compensation in ex officio capacities.
ISSUE: W/N the designation of Duque as member of the Board of Directors or Trustees of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF, in an ex officio capacity, impair the independence of the CSC and violate the constitutional prohibition against the holding of dual or multiple office or employment.
DECISION: Yes. The Court upholds the constitutionality of Section 14, Chapter 3, Title I-A, Book V of EO 292, but declares unconstitutional EO 864 and the designation of Duque in an ex officio capacity as a member of the Board of Directors or Trustees of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF.
RATIO DECIDENDI: While all other appointive officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or employment in the government during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary functions of their positions, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the President, the Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants. .Under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution, the President exercises control over all government offices in the Executive Branch. An office that is legally not under the control of the President is not part of the Executive Branch, hence when the CSC Chairman sits as a member of the governing Boards of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF, he may exercise powers and functions which are not anymore derived from his position as CSC Chairman
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