Scire Licet

legal knowledge base

Enter keyword or case title

Loading...

206 SCRA 290 (1992)


  • power of administrative control
  • power of executive control

FACTS:

Petitioner Antonio Carpio as citizen, taxpayer and member of the Philippine Bar, filed this petition, questioning the constitutionality of RA 6975 with a prayer for TRO.

RA 6875, entitled “AN ACT ESTABLISHIGN THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES,” allegedly contravened Art. XVI, sec. 6 of the 1986 Constitution: “The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in character, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law.”

ISSUEs:

  • Whether or not RA 6975 is contrary to the Constitution
  • Whether or not Sec. 12 RA 6975 constitutes an “encroachment upon, interference with, and an abdication by the President of, executive control and commander-in-chief powers”

HELD:

Power of Administrative Control

NAPOLCOM is under the Office of the President.

SC held that the President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices. This presidential power of control over the executive branch of government extends over all executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk. In the landmark case of Mondano vs. Silvosa, the power of control means “the power of the President to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter.” It is said to be at the very “heart of the meaning of Chief Executive.”

As a corollary rule to the control powers of the President is the “Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency.” As the President cannot be expected to exercise his control powers all at the same time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them to his Cabinet members.

Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, “all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, unless disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive, are presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.

Thus, “the President’s power of control is directly exercised by him over the members of the Cabinet who, in turn, and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under their respective jurisdictions in the executive department.”

The placing of NAPOLCOM and PNP under the reorganized DILG is merely an administrative realignment that would bolster a system of coordination and cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated law enforcement agencies and public safety agencies.

Power of Executive Control

Sec. 12 does not constitute abdication of commander-in-chief powers. It simply provides for the transition period or process during which the national police would gradually assume the civilian function of safeguarding the internal security of the State. Under this instance, the President, to repeat, abdicates nothing of his war powers. It would bear to here state, in reiteration of the preponderant view, that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, is not a member of the Armed Forces. He remains a civilian whose duties under the Commander-in-Chief provision “represent only a part of the organic duties imposed upon him. All his other functions are clearly civil in nature.” His position as a civilian Commander-in-Chief is consistent with, and a testament to, the constitutional principle that “civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.”