Editorial: Salud out, Pe still in-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc canceled last Tuesday the certificate of candidacy of businessman and boxing promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud for mayor of Cordova town. At the same time, the poll body disqualified lesser-named candidates for various posts in Cebu City.
Again, we toss this question: What about the certificate of candidacy of Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan’s (BOPK) Augustus Pe Jr., who is attempting to skirt the constitutional provision on term limits by running for the city council in the south district after serving the maximum of three terms in the north district?
By disqualifying Salud and the nine Cebu City candidates, their names will no longer appear in the ballots, said Cebu Provincial Comelec Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano. The remedy is for them to go to the Supreme Court and secure a temporary restraining order, something that Salud can do given the resources at his disposal.
Conversely, Pe’s name will most probably appear in the ballots in Cebu City, considering that the poll body has still to tackle the disqualification case filed against the city councilor by members of Team Rama in October last year.
This fits snugly into the scenario that would see Pe’s case being tackled only after the May polls where he expects to win. Legal maneuvers will then be resorted to so he won’t be unseated after he is proclaimed. The expectation is that the weaknesses of the country’s electoral and legal system would allow him to skirt term limits.
It now looks like that scenario is unfurling as planned. Because of this, the point that Pe is a protégé of Rep. Tomas Osmeña, whose BOPK is allied with the ruling Liberal Party (LP), is no longer considered by critics as merely coincidental to the unfurling of the said scenario.
Incidentally, Salud is not with the LP; Mayor Adelino Sitoy, who is running for reelection, is. Which to critics explain the swiftness with which Salud’s case was resolved by the Comelec.
That, of course, is unfair to the poll body because it insinuates that Comelec decisions are influenced by the country’s ruling party. But it is also difficult to blame the critics for hurling such insinuation considering the way the Salud and Pe cases are moving.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 18, 2013.