Luego vs CSC, 143 SCRA 327

(Public Officer, Appointments, CSC)

Facts: Petitioner was appointed Admin Officer II, Office of the City Mayor, Cebu City, by Mayor Solon. The appointment was described as “permanent” but the CSC approved it as “temporary,” subject to the final action taken in the protest filed by the private respondent and another employee.

Subsequently, the CSC found the private respondent better qualified than the petitioner for the contested position and, accordingly directed that the latter be appointed to said position in place of the petitioner whose appointment is revoked. Hence, the private respondent was so appointed to the position by Mayor Duterte, the new mayor.

The petitioner, invoking his earlier permanent appointment, questions the order and the validity of the respondent’s appointment.

Issue: WON the CSC is authorized to disapprove a permanent appointment on the ground that another person is better qualified than the appointee and, on the basis of this finding, order his replacement.

Held: No. The appointment of the petitioner was not temporary but permanent and was therefore protected by Constitution. The appointing authority indicated that it was permanent, as he had the right to do so, and it was not for the respondent CSC to reverse him and call it temporary.

Section 9(h), Art V of the Civil Service Decree provides that the Commission shall have inter alia the power to “…approve all appointments, whether original or promotional, to positions in the civil service… ….and disapprove those where the appointees do not possess appropriate eligibility or required qualifications.”

The CSC is not empowered to determine the kind or nature of the appointment extended by the appointing officer, its authority being limited to approving or reviewing the appointment in the light of the requirements of the CSC Law. When the appointee is qualified and all the other legal requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no choice but to attest to the appointment in accordance with the CSC Laws.

CSC is without authority to revoke an appointment because of its belief that another person was better qualified, which is an encroachment on the discretion vested solely in the city mayor.

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