Case Digest: Reyes v. CA

G.R. No. 167002 : December 12, 2011

VICTOR R. REYES, substituted by his heirs, CLARIBEL G. REYES, CLARISSA G. REYES, and CZARINA G. REYES, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, HON. JOSE L. ATIENZA, JR., in his capacity as City Mayor of Manila, SENEN D. TOMADA, and HERNANDO B. GARCIA, Respondents.



On March 26, 1998, or forty-six days before the May 11, 1998 elections, then Mayor Alfredo Lim of the City of Manila appointed Senen Tomada as City Government Assistant Department Head III. Tomada sought clarification from the Commission on Elections (or "COMELEC") on whether her appointment to the subject position was prohibited under Sec. 261(g) of the Omnibus Election Code. COMELEC opined that her appointment was valid because promotional appointments are only prohibited under said law if issued within forty-five days prior to the May 11, 1998 elections, or between March 27, 1998 and May 11, 1998.

CSCFO head Arturo Panaligan wrote to the Civil Service Commission (or "CSC") office requesting clarification on the validity of Tomadas appointment given the prohibition against certain personnel actions under Section 261(g) and (h).

Mayor Atienza, who ran for and was elected as mayor of the City of Manila in the same elections, appointed Hernando Garcia to the subject position.

Panaligan cancelled Tomadas appointment without awaiting the CSCs reply to his letter, explaining that said appointment constituted a "transfer" which was allegedly a violation of Sec. 261(h). Tomada sought reconsideration of the cancellation of her appointment pointing out that the CSC was yet to reply to Panaligans request for clarification.

CSC issued Resolution approving Tomadas promotional appointment. Mayor Atienza filed a petition for reconsideration which was, however, dismissed by the CSC. Panaligan wrote to Mayor Atienza requesting immediate implementation of CSC Resolution and recalling Garcias appointment to the subject position.

Garcia filed the instant petition for certiorari and quo warranto, with an application for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the CSC for recalling his appointment.

Garcia maintains that he was not notified of Tomadas appeal to the CSC and that he assumed the subject position by virtue of a valid appointment issued by Mayor Atienza which was approved on by Panaligan of the CSCFO. He argues that he cannot be removed from the subject position in the guise of a recall since the ground for his removal is not sanctioned by law. For her part, Tomada counters that Garcias appointment is null and void because, at that time, the subject position was not yet vacant. For its part, the Office of the Solicitor General (or "OSG") maintains that the CSC correctly upheld the promotional appointment of Tomada.

CA rendered the assailed decision granting the petition of Garcia and upholding his appointment over the claims of Tomada and Reyes to the position.

ISSUE: Whether or not Garcias appointment should be upheld over the claims of Tomada and Reyes to the position?

HELD:Court of Appeals decision is sustained.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: civil service law; public officers

Another reason why the instant petition should be granted is Tomadas lack of standing to appeal the disapproval of her appointment to the CSC. In Mathay, Jr. vs. Civil Service Commission (312 SCRA 91), the Supreme Court ruled that only the appointing officer may ask for reconsideration of actions taken by the CSC on appointments. Thus, the CSC should have refrained from acting on Tomadas request for reconsideration, the same not having been endorsed by Mayor Atienza, the incumbent mayor of Manila and the appointing authority at the time of disapproval of her appointment.

Moreover, as Garcia qualified, assumed office and became at that moment a government employee or part of the civil service, he then began to enjoy the constitutional protection that "No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law."He acquired a legal right to the office which is protected not only by statute but also by the Constitution. Therefore, he could only be removed for cause, after notice and hearing, consistent with the requirements of due process.


Retirementhas been defined as a withdrawal from office, public station, business, occupation, or public duty. It involves bilateral act of the parties, a voluntary agreement between the employer and the employee whereby the latter, after reaching a certain age, agrees and/or consents to sever his employment with the former. Retirement plans create a contractual obligation in which the promise to pay benefits is made in consideration of the continued faithful service of the employee for the requisite period. Before a right to retirement benefits vests in an employee, he must have met the stated conditions of eligibility with respect to the nature of employment, age, and length of service. This is a condition precedent to his acquisition of rights thereunder.

Petition for review under Rule 45 is DENIED.