Justice Secretary Alberto Agra recently gave his view on the scope of the Philippine Constitution’s § 15 appointments clause:
First exception is the appointment of members of the Judiciary, which is an offshoot of the Supreme Court ruling stating that Arroyo can appoint the next Chief Justice as well as the 15th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
“In fact, we are looking at applications to various positions in the Judiciary,” Agra, an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council said.
Second, the ban does not cover post-appointment activities such as transmittal of the appointment papers, turnover ceremony, oath-taking, acceptance and assumption into office.
Third exception covers designation, detail, transfer and reappointment which, according to Agra, “presupposes an earlier previous appointment.”
Fourth, Agra said Arroyo is allowed to appoint contractual, casual, and project employees, and co-terminus employees.
“They do not perform sovereign function. The ban covers public officers, not public employees,” he said.
Fifth, he said that officers of the various government corporate offices can elect their officials.