No to ‘no-el’

By: Editorial July 13,2018 - 09:57 PM

The current Congress is the one where the Lower House:

1. failed to enforce decisions of the Office of Ombudsman like the sacking of Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia,

2. almost immediately terminated credibly-founded impeachment proceedings against President Rodrigo Duterte,

3. tinkered with the budget of the Commission on Human Rights to make a statement against its work to fiscalize State workers for potential abuses of power,

4. dilly-dallied on the impeachment of the 24th Philippine Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes P.A. Sereno to give way to her Malacañang and Supreme Court majority sponsored illegal removal via quo warranto,

5. helped enact national budgets that according to the Commission on Audit have been directed to questionable transactions, and

6. has a Speaker who has little respect for the co-equal Senate, who campaigns for its conflation with the Lower House when the time comes to vote on changes to the Constitution, such that the senators will always be outvoted by the Lower House super-majority.

Given such behavior that emasculates constitutional commissions, politicizes the judiciary, wastes public money, and violates the sound architecture of our democratic polity, the members of the Lower House as well as of the Senate will only confirm yet again their shameless lust for power if they agree to postpone elections slated by the 1987 Constitution for the second Monday of May 2019.

The Commission on Elections should be commended for continuing its preparations for the elections in spite of talk of a “no-el” scenario being floated by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Congress has no moral ascendancy to deprive the sovereign Filipino people of their right to judge the performance of their congressmen in the past three and senators in the past six years.

“No-el” cannot be countenanced in light of the lack of an acceptable reason for rescheduling the elections and of legislator performance that should not be tolerated a second longer than when her or his current term is over.

The supermajority that grovels at the feet of Digong cannot guarantee that its moves at changing the Constitution will serve the public and not their own interests and the interests of the public servant-in-chief.

The legislators should not cower before their time of reckoning.

If they will, it will be because they would rather stay longer in power than be ruined by the power of the ballot or by a concluding career of poor service.

Let the elections push through as scheduled. Let the people elect a saner cohort to oversee the transition to a new form or the strengthening of the time-tested form of government.

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