President's discretion in appointing officials

The President’s exercise of his power to appoint officials is provided for in the Constitution and laws.[1] Discretion is an integral part in the exercise of the power of appointment.[2]
Considering that appointment calls for a selection, the appointing power necessarily exercises a discretion. According to Woodbury, J., “the choice of a person to fill an office constitutes the essence of his appointment,” and Mr. Justice Malcolm adds that an “[a]ppointment to office is intrinsically an executive act involving the exercise of discretion.” In Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila v. Intermediate Appellate Court the Supreme Court held:
The power to appoint is, in essence, discretionary. The appointing power has the right of choice which he may exercise freely according to his judgment, deciding for himself who is best qualified among those who have the necessary qualifications and eligibilities. It is a prerogative of the appointing power x x x x
Indeed, the power of choice is the heart of the power to appoint. Appointment involves an exercise of discretion of whom to appoint; it is not a ministerial act of issuing appointment papers to the appointee. In other words, the choice of the appointee is a fundamental component of the appointing power.

Hence, when Congress clothes the President with the power to appoint an officer, it (Congress) cannot at the same time limit the choice of the President to only one candidate. Once the power of appointment is conferred on the President, such conferment necessarily carries the discretion of whom to appoint. Even on the pretext of prescribing the qualifications of the officer, Congress may not abuse such power as to divest the appointing authority, directly or indirectly, of his discretion to pick his own choice. Consequently, when the qualifications prescribed by Congress can only be met by one individual, such enactment effectively eliminates the discretion of the appointing power to choose and constitutes an irregular restriction on the power of appointment.[3]

[1] See Section 16, Chapter 5, Title I, Book III, Executive Order No. 292, Administrative Code of 1987.
[2] See Bermudez v. Executive Secretary Torres, 370 Phil. 769 (1999).
[3] Flores v. Drilon, G.R. No. 104732, 22 June 1993, 223 SCRA 568, 579-580. Citations omitted.