Article IX (B), Section 7. No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure. Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including Government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
Civil Liberties Union v Executive Secretary (194 SCRA 317)
FACTS: The petitioner are assailing the Executive Order No. 284 issued by the President allowing cabinet members, undersecretary or asst. secretaries and other appointive officials of the executive department to hold 2 positions in the government and government corporations and to receive additional compensation. They find it unconstitutional against the provision provided by Section 13, Article VII prohibiting the President, Cabinet members and their deputies to hold any other office or employment. Section 7, par. (2), Article IX-B further states that “Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporation or their subsidiaries." In the opinion of the DOJ as affirmed by the Solicitor General, the said Executive Order is valid and constitutional as Section 7 of Article IX-B stated “unless otherwise allowed by law” which is construed to be an exemption from that stipulated on Article VII, section 13, such as in the case of the Vice President who is constitutionally allowed to become a cabinet member and the Secretary of Justice as ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council.ISSUE: Whether Section 7 of Article IX-B provides an exemption to Article VII, section 13 of the constitution.
RULING: The court held it is not an exemption since the legislative intent of both Constitutional provisions is to prevent government officials from holding multiple positions in the government for self enrichment which a betrayal of public trust. Section 7, Article I-XB is meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the President, the Vice- President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants. Thus the phrase “unless otherwise provided by the Constitution” in Section 13, Article VII cannot be construed as a broad exception from Section 7 of Article IX-B that is contrary to the legislative intent of both constitutional provisions. Such phrase is only limited to and strictly applies only to particular instances of allowing the VP to become a cabinet member and the Secretary of Justice as ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council. The court thereby declared E.O 284 as null and void.