Appointed officials eyeing elections have a month left to serve-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
APPOINTED officials looking to run in the 2013 midterm elections only have a month’s time to serve before they will be considered resigned, a veteran poll lawyer said Sunday.
“The present ruling is that once an appointive government official or employee files his COC (certificate of candidacy), he is deemed resigned and has to vacate his position,” lawyer Romulo Macalintal said in a statement.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had already set the period for the filing of COCs on October 1 to 5 as Congress will go on a two-week break beginning September 22 to allow lawmakers to take care of their political plans.
Seats up for grabs in the May 2013 polls are from senators to municipal councilors.
Section 15 of Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Election Law states that appointive officials and employees “shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of the certificate of candidacy.”
However, elected government officials looking to run for any position other than the one they are holding in a permanent capacity are not automatically deemed resigned upon filing their COCs.
This was the very same provision sought to be repealed by Macalintal in 2009, wherein he represented Undersecretary Eleazar Quinto and Director Gerino Tolentino of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who were then both eyeing elective posts in the 2010 polls.
On December 1, 2009, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional Section 15 of Republic Act 9369 and ruled that government officials and employees, who filed their COCs, will only be considered as resigned upon the start of the campaign period.
However, on February 22, 2010, the Supreme Court immediately reversed itself ruling that once an appointive government official or employee files his COC, he/she is deemed resigned and has to vacate his position.
Macalintal remains opposed to the said SC ruling believing it is unfair for appointed officials eyeing elective positions next year.
“That’s the way it is in Philippine politics,” he said. (HDT/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)