Court upholds Aquino’s revocation of midnight appointments

Purple S. Romero

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Aquino did not commit grave abuse of discretion, says Court of Appeals

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals upheld on Friday, August 31, the consitutionality of an executive order revoking the midnight appointments made by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The CA ruled that President Benigno Aquino III did not commit grave abuse of discretion when he issued EO 2, which annulled the midnight appointments Arroyo had made. They were called midnight appointments because they were made during the appointment ban. A Philippine president is barred from making any appointments two months before the May elections and until he/she finishes his/her term on June 30.

Six “midnight” appointees – Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board member Eddie Tamondong, State Solicitor Cheloy Garafil, Office of Muslim Affairs chief Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman, Philippine National Railways General Manager Manuel Andal, Quezon City Prosecutor Dindo Venturanza, and Nayong Pilipino head lawyer Charito Planas – asked the SC in 2010 to invalidate EO 2.

In 2010, the SC issued a status quo ante order in Lucman’s case, consequently allowing her to retain her post.

Two years after, the SC remanded all the cases to the appellate court. In April, the CA said Planas’ petition had been rendered moot by the expiration of her term in March. 

The appointment of now dismissed chief justice Renato Corona on May 17 was also assailed by critics as a midnight appointment. The SC ruled in 2010 though that the judiciary is exempted from the appointment ban. –

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