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Renato Cayetano vs Christian Monsod


FACTS:
In 1991, Christian Monsod was appointed as the Chairman of the COMELEC. His appointment was affirmed by the Commission on
Appointments. The 1987 Constitution provides in Sec 1, Article IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a
Chairman and 6 Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least
35 years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately
preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been
engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years.
Monsods appointment was opposed by Renato Cayetano for he failed to meet the Constitutional requirement which provides that
the chairman of the COMELEC should have been engaged in the practice law for at least 10 years.
Monsod passed the bar in 1960 with a rating of 86.55%.
Immediately after passing, worked in his fathers law firm for one year.
Thereafter, until 1970, he went abroad where he had a degree in economics and held various positions in various foreign
corporations.
In 1970, he returned to the Philippines and held executive jobs for various local corporations until 1986.
In 1986, he became a member of the Constitutional Commission.
ISSUE: Whether or not Monsod qualifies as chairman of the COMELEC.
HELD:
Yes. Atty. Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyernegotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional
requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years.
As noted by various authorities, the practice of law is not limited to court appearances. General practitioners of law who do both
litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more time doing what is loosely
described as business counseling than in trying cases. In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage
in a number of legal tasks, each involving different legal doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions, clients, and other
interested parties. By no means will most of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively rare types a
litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work will require the lawyer to have mastered the
full range of traditional lawyer skills of client counseling, advice-giving, document drafting, and negotiation.