Santos v. Yatco
Judge Yatco issued an order disallowing the Secretary of National Defense from conducting a house-to-house campaign on behalf of Governor Tomas Martin in the province of Bulacan. Thus, the Secretary-petitioner filed a complaint for prohibition of the order, enjoining the enforcement thereof, claiming that he is not covered by the 1935 constitutional prohibition stating that, “No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.
Is Santos, as Secretary of National Defense, covered by the 1935 Constitutional prohibition?
No.The Court held that Santos is not covered by the constitutional prohibition. The Court cited the records and proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, wherein a delegate moved for the formal inclusion of Cabinet members but such motion was dismissed – hence, by reason of inferring that the Constitutional Commission had reasonably intended that Cabinet members are not included in the prohibition. Furthermore, the Court reasoned that Cabinet Members, being alter egos of the President, were in fact chosen principally for their political influences. Thus, they were expected to exert for the purpose of ensuring support for the administration.