Besa v. Philippine National Bank
G.R. No. L-26838. May 29, 1970
On 1966, a letter-directive was issued by respondent Benedicto, President of the Bank, informing Tomas Besa, the Chief Legal Counsel of respondent Bank with the rank of Vice-President, that he was transferred to his office as Consultant on Legal Matters pursuant to Resolution No. 1053. After petitioner sought reconsideration it was denied by the Bank’s Board of Directors. Then, respondent Conrado E. Medina was designated Vice-President and Chief Legal Counsel. Respondents claim that petitioner’s transfer is justified on the ground that the Bank has the prerogative to designate or change its lawyer. Petitioner invokes the constitutional safeguard against removal from office under Paragraph (3), Section 2, Article IX-B of the Constitution.
Whether or not petitioner is an employee covered under Paragraph (3), Section 2, Article IX-B of the Constitution.
Paragraph (3), Section 2, Article IX-B of the Constitution finds no application when the duration of one’s term depends on the will of the appointing power such as highly confidential in character. Such is the case of the Chief Legal Counsel of respondent Philippine National Bank. There was no removal in the constitutional sense but as what did take place was a termination of official relation. The tenure of officials holding primarily confidential positions ends upon loss of confidence, because their term of office lasts only as long as confidence in them endures; and thus their cessation involves no removal. The position of the petitioner is primarily confidential and highly technical, with the former aspect predominating. The Constitution clearly distinguished the primarily confidential from the highly technical, and to apply the loss of confidence rule to the latter incumbents is to ignore and erase the differentiation expressly made by our fundamental charter.