Supreme Court ruling on appointed officials: equal protection or undue advantage?

Cebu City residents had expected GSIS chairman Winston Garcia to run as city mayor. But Garcia did not file his Certificate of Candidacy. Presumably, Garcia has still many things to do in GSIS. Presumably, Garcia doesn’t want to leave his position. As appointed official, he is considered as automatically resigned from his post once he file his COC based on the Omnibus Election Code.

Why should we not allow officials like Winston Garcia to run without leaving their post?

The recent Supreme Court ruling answers the question. Suprisingly, SC favored appointed officials like Winston.

In an 8-6 vote, the SC declared as unconstitutional a provision in the Omnibus Election Code prohibiting an appointive government official from discharging his functions after filing his COC, PhilStar.com report reads. The high court also nullified similar rules and provisions, including the provision of Resolution 8678 issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the same report added.

With this ruling, Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Vicente Sotto III should not resign to run for senator; Gilbert Teodoro, National Defense Secretart and chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council should not resign to run as president.

In reaching this decision, eight of the Supreme Court justices said the law violated the constitutional guarantee that no person should be denied the equal protection of the law, the editorial of Manila Standard Today observes.

But by giving equal protection of the law to appointed officials, the Supreme Court had given undue advantage. A public school head can run without leaving his position, a radio station manager of state-run Radyo ng Bayan can run without leaving his job. Imagine a police chief seeking a local position or a local COMELEC official running for mayor who don’t leave his job?

Of course, it sounds immoral and ethical if those people run without resigning. But what is immoral and unethical is considered as legal. There will be no violation of the law.

One thought on “Supreme Court ruling on appointed officials: equal protection or undue advantage?

  1. This decision is very embarassing coming from Nachura (ponente), a respected luminary in Political Law. Some Election Officers of Comelec already filed a certificate of candidacy and guess what? They are not deemed resigned. They can act as election officers while campaigning for themselves! Brilliant.

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