Aguinaldo Doctrine ‘as refuge’-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
THE Aguinaldo Doctrine, which takes off the administrative penalty against a public official found guilty of corruption or abuse, rests on shaky premise and false assumption.
Elections don't reflect the people's will when it is bought, rigged, or controlled. It's not God's voice but the voice of the party or clan that controls the vote.
The Supreme Court says removing the reelected official is depriving voters of the right to choose their leader. Not so. There's a mechanism for evicting and replacing the unfit. They do that when an elected official is ousted for not being a citizen or resident.
Is graft or misconduct less compelling reason?
To assume that reelection is an act of forgiveness is to assume erroneously when:
l Wrongdoing is obscured or quelled as campaign issue by shrewd and expensive counter-propaganda.
l On election day, guilt or innocence of the public official is usually not yet resolved.
Unless the ombudsman or court releases its finding of guilt before the elections, how can that be a factor in the voters' choice?
What do they condone?
l Not the same voters may reelect the offender.
If he runs for another position, in another LGU, voters who "forgive" him are not the same voters he offended.
The Supreme Court applies the Aguinaldo Doctrine automatically to all cases of reelection, as if it were magic detergent to wash
away convicted officials' sins.
As the "Philippine Law Journal" study argues, that may negate the doctrine's intent and provide refuge for scoundrels in government.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2013.