Constitution makes no reference to the nature of the

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Constitution makes no reference to the nature of the appointment or designation. The prohibition against dual or multiple offices being held by one official must be construed as to apply to all appointments or designation, whether permanent or temporary, for it is without question that the avowed objective of Section 13, is to prevent the concentration of powers in the Executive Department officials, specifically the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet and their deputies and assistants. To construe differently is to “open the veritable floodgates of circumvention of an important constitutional disqualification of officials in the Executive Department and of limitations on the
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POLITICAL LAW CASE DIGESTS 111 President’s power of appointment in the guise of temporary designations of Cabinet Members, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries as officers-in-charge of government agencies, instrumentalities, or government- owned or controlled corporations.” The powers and functions of the OSG are neither required by the primary functions nor included by the powers of the DOJ, and vice versa. The OSG, while attached to the DOJ, is not a constituent unit of the latter, as, in fact, the Administrative Code of 1987 decrees that the OSG is independent and autonomous. With the enactment of Republic Act No. 9417, the Solicitor General is now vested with a cabinet rank, prerogatives, salaries, allowances, benefits and privileges as those of the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals. Moreover, the magnitude of the scope of work of the Solicitor General, if added to the equally demanding tasks of the Secretary of Justice, is obviously too much for any one official to bear. Apart from the sure peril of political pressure, the concurrent holding of two positions, even if they are not entirely incompatible, may affect sound government operations and the proper performance of duties. It is not amiss to observe, lastly, that assuming that Agra, as the Acting Solicitor General, was not covered by the stricter prohibition under Section 13, due to such position being merely vested with a cabinet rank under Section 3, Republic Act No. 9417, he nonetheless remained covered by the general prohibition under Section 7. Hence, his concurrent designations were still subject to the condition under the latter constitutional provision. In view of the application of the stricter prohibition under Section 13, Agra did not validly hold the position of Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his holding of the position of Acting Solicitor General. Accordingly, he was not to be considered as a de jure officer for the entire period of his tenure as the Acting Secretary of Justice. A de jure officer is one who is deemed, in all respects, legally appointed and qualified and whose term of office has not expired.
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