Take second look at Aguinaldo Doctrine-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
EVERY time a public official escapes administrative sanction for corruption or misconduct, someone somewhere hollers for a review of the Aguinaldo Doctrine.
In Cebu, four years ago two city mayors and the other week the governor were found administratively guilty over separate controversial purchases but couldn't be sanctioned because they were reelected.
Howling now is a "whistleblower" who mostly has hostility and hate to fuel his moves.
But a 2009 study by reputable lawyer Miguel Solis published in "Philippine Law Journal" warned how the doctrine could "perpetuate misdeeds by public officers."
Does reelection wipe clean an otherwise guilty official's slate?
An election is not always honestly won. One can buy or rig an election. (Isn't that right, Garci?) Too often, the result is not God's voice.
One may win because the politician or his clan has the public vote in his pocket or the opposition is absent or weak. One can steal or abuse power, confident reelection can shield him against punishment.
The Supreme Court, in a 1992 ruling saying coup conspirator Rodolfo Aguinaldo couldn't be removed as Cagayan Province governor, said that would deprive people of their right to elect their officials. When a people elect a person to office, "it must be assumed they did this with the knowledge of his life and character and they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct."
That is faulty argument--and risky premise, on which the Aguinaldo Doctrine precariously rests.
(Tomorrow on why it is so)[email@example.com]
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 07, 2013.