BAGUIO CITY – The Legal Affairs Office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) underscored that there was a completed appointment of newly installed Commissioner Gaspar Cayat before the implementation of the election ban on March 29, 2019 contrary to the desperate acts of some quarters to questions his being named to the position.
In Legal Advisory No. 20-05-09-19, series of 2019, the NCIP Legal Affairs Office stated that the appointment document of Commissioner Gaspar Cayat was dated March 25, 2019, the stamped date of receipt by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was on March 27, 2019 and the date of his oath of office before Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan was March 28, 2019 which were all before March 29, 2019, the effectivity of the prohibited acts during the campaign period for the May 13, 2019 elections.
The NCIP legal advisory which was prepared by Lawyer Adrianne Regine Dunuan and approved by NCIP Legal Affairs Office head lawyer Sumanghal Sagga pointed out that the signing, transmittal and the completion of Commissioner Cayat was done before the implementation of the election ban on the hiring and appointment of government officials and employees.
According to the legal advisory, it is not the NCIP or Mr. Cayat that will request the continuing authority to appoint government officials and employees from the Commission on elections (Comelec) since it is not the appointing authority, thus, it is the Office of the President that should request the said authority.
The NCIP Earlier, lawyer Rigoberto Santiago, Jr., in behalf of former Commissioner Basilio Wandag, wrote the NCIP questioned the appointment of Commissioner Cayat raising issues on when the latter will assume office.
Wandag served as a Commissioner for the Cordillera and Region I on a holdover capacity prior to the appointment of Cayat to the said position on March 25, 2019 which was made earlier than the prescribed ban on the appointment of government officials and employees.
Among the prohibited acts during the implementation of the election ban include the appointment of new employees, creation of new positions, promotion, or giving salary increases.
Under the provisions of the Omnibus election code, any head, official or appointing officer of a government office, agency or instrumentality, whether national or local, including government-owned and controlled corporations, who appoints or hires any new employee, whether probational, temporary or casual, or creates and fills any new position, expect upon prior authority of the Commission shall be charged for an election offense.
The Commission shall not grant the authority requested unless it is satisfied that the position to be filled is essential to the proper functioning of the office or agency concerned, and that the position shall not be filled in a manner that shall influence the election. As an exception, a new employee may be appointed in case of urgent need; provided, however, that notice of the appointment shall be given to the Commission within 3 days from the date of the appointment. Any appointment or hiring in violation of the preceeding provisions shall be null and void.
Cayat is now the duly recognized Commissioner for the Cordillera and Region I performing his duties and responsibilities of the said office.