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.

In Maguindanao massacre, the warlords are still alive!

Maguindanao warlords are drinking, feasting, and merrymaking because they have killed and immediately buried more than fifty people in just one morning. As of today, according to Inquirer report, the death toll reach to 57. This worst election-related killing saddened President Gloria Arroyo that she declared November 25 as the national day of mourning. “This is a supreme act of inhumanity that is a blight on our nation.” President Arroyo said in a statement quoted by the same Inquirer report.

Maguindanao massacre shocked the Filipino nation. The whole world is equally shocked because aside from women, 12 journalists were also killed.  “Never in the history of journalism have the news media suffered such a heavy loss of life in one day”, Reporters Without Borders noted.

I wish to add my voice to loud voice condemning the Maguindanao massacre and calling for swift justice.

But three days after the killings, no one was questioned. No one was arrested. Who wants to arrest the untouchables anyway. There are no untouchables, Malacanang told reporters. It seems physical and circumstantial evidences are not yet enough.

The President herself vowed to give justice to the victims. I hope she will.

I won’t label Maguindanao as killing field. Not yet this time. But sooner or later, that part in Mindanao becomes the killing field of warlords in the new century! Unless the President Arroyo mobilizes all her power to destroy the armed groups controlled by few families.

We lost 57 lives (and still counting) in Maguindanao massacre and we meet the warlords who still wield power.

By the way, who are the warlords? I think Commission on Human Rights chairwoman, Leila De Lima, can point them. I feel President Gloria Arroyo knows them.

Deja Vu: Erap for President, Gloria for Vice President

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo might run as Vice President in 2010! Ten years ago, in 1998, Arroyo ran as vice president and got  a landslide victory!

Earlier, former President Joseph Ejercito “Erap” Estrada declared that he will run as president in 2010. Ten years ago, in 1998, Erap ran as vice president and got a landslide victory!

It was the third election where both president and vice president came from different parties. Erap was running under Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Gloria’s party was Lakas-NUCD-UMDP and Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).

Shall we have the fourth election where both president and vice president came from different parties? Shall we have Erap again in Malacanang? Shall we have both Erap and Gloria again?

Hold on, there is no serious talk about it yet in Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Representative Danilo Suarez, a senior deputy general of the party admitted as reported by Sun Star. But why he is talking about it to media. Is he trying to test the water?

Never again! This was the cry right after martial law. I don’t know if we say this after Erap and Gloria.

President Arroyo is rumored to run in congress. Many of her critics are believing that she will really run.

Yesterday, as the president once again visited her hometown in Pampanga, a breaking news that the President might run as Vice President circulated and got mixed reactions.

Let Erap run. Let Gloria run. If both of them got elected again, that’s another story.

The Problem with Noynoy for President Movement

Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III never get much attention until the much mourned death of his mother, former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

Right after the burial of the former president, supporters of Noynoy began to surface urging him to run as president in 2010 elections. Obviously, Noynoy’s fanatics foresee his victory based on the the number of people who paid tribute to the remains of Cory and those who were in funeral procession. This is often tagged as “the Aquino magic”.

Now, even Noynoy Aquino has not officially announced that he will run as president in 2010, Sen. Mar Roxas already announced his intention not to pursue his plan to run as president to give way on the candidacy of  Sen. Noynoy.

Mar’s announcement was a big political surprise. We all know how Mar position himself to get into Malacanang in 2010. Mar has spent a lot of resources already – time, money, effort. His decision should not be very easy for him. We cannot ignore the reality that Mar Roxas got qualifications than Noynoy. I should not forget to mention that Mar has proven his worth with his accomplishments as DTI Secretary and as Senator. Noynoy, since he run for Senate, continue to live on the shadow of his parents. He had not done much to hint us once he become president. But why did Mar give way to Noynoy? If we can only read his mind, we’ll get quick answer.

These recent developments boost the Noynoy for president movement. The clamor to make Noynoy as president has become a hype.

This proves that Filipinos major basis to elect leaders is popularity. Competence is least considered. Now, would you still asked why we had elected an action star? Perhaps you have now understood why some people push Manny Pacquiao to run as congressman. No wonder a presidential aspirant did his marriage proposal on a noontime show. The reason is quite obvious why noontime host Willie Revillame is rumored to run for senator.

The problem of the hype to make Noynoy as president is that it is based on sympathy rather than an intelligent decision. The assessment that Filipino voters decide based on their emotion rather than reason is being proven. This happened before when Filipinos elected an actor with faith that the action star’s movie roles would lived well in national governance.

Continue reading

Why Noynoy?

I am amazed with the recent media hype to make Noynoy run for president in 2010. After the death of his mother, former President Cory Aquino, Noynoy’s supporters suddenly surfaced.The excitement are becoming more intense with the catch that Noynoy is the only hope for this nation. The Noynoy Aquino magic is born!

Instead of going to political maturity, we seemed go backward. We go back to the time when we entrust our fate to magic and unseen forces. Are you going to blindly follow the wave and entrust the fate of this nation to a magic born out of sympathy? Obviously, the blind support to Noynoy is just a sympathetic move to ease the pain of losing a mother. Making Noynoy as president is too much!

Recently, Mar Roxas, announced that he will support Noynoy for president. But Noynoy has not yet decided if he will really run. The announcement of Mar made him an instant hero. If Noynoy decided not to run in 2010, Mar’s rating will surely get a significant boost. If Mar Roxas run as Noynoy’s vice president, the team will be a strong force in 2010 elections. I wonder, why Mar made an early announcement when Noynoy has not yet decided. What’s the catch Mar? Or is this part of ‘magic’ – a way so that we will talk about them?

Why Noynoy? As I wrote in my previous post, Noynoy has not yet proven his worth. He is only son of Cory and Ninoy. Being son of national icons are not enough guarantee that he will serve well. He also need to learn how to become a good statesman. Currently, he just echo the criticism of popular critic of the Arroyo administration.

Continue reading