Political Law

Dominador Aytona vs Andres Castillo

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G.R. No. L-19313 – 4 SCRA 1 – Political Law – The Executive Department – Powers of the President – Appointing Power – Midnight Appointments are Invalid

Dominador Aytona was one of those appointed by outgoing president Carlos Garcia during the last day of his term. Aytona was appointed as the ad interim governor of the Central Bank. When the next president, Diosdado Macapagal took his office, he issued Order No. 2 which recalled Aytona’s position and at the same time he appointed Andres Castillo as the new governor of the Central Bank. Aytona then filed a quo warranto proceeding claiming that he is qualified to remain as the Central Bank governor and that he was validly appointed by the former president. Macapagal averred that the ex-president’s appointments were scandalous, irregular, hurriedly done, contrary to law and was an attempt to subvert the incoming presidency or administration.

ISSUE: Whether or not Aytona should remain in his post.

HELD: No. Had the appointment of Aytona been done in good faith then he would have the right to continue office. Here, even though Aytona is qualified to remain in his post as he is competent enough, his appointment can nevertheless be revoked by the president. Garcia’s appointment is a hurried maneuver to subvert the upcoming administration and is set to obstruct the policies of the next president. As a general rule, once a person is qualified his appointment should not be revoked but in here it may be since his appointment was grounded on bad faith, immorality and impropriety. In public service, it is not only legality that is considered but also justice, fairness and righteousness.

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