Editorial: Annabelle and Jun-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
NOT all that comes out of the mouth of Rep. Tomas Osmeña is a nugget of wisdom. That’s because he talks too much, obviously forgetting such homespun wisdom as, daghag sulti, daghag sayop, way sulti way sayop.
His recent defense of the move of Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. to run in Cebu City’s south district after serving as councilor in the north district for three terms has been marked with weak arguments. That is not surprising because Pe’s act, which aims to skirt the constitutional provision on term limits, is not defensible.
Consider his insistence that the push to disqualify Pe would no longer work if he wins in the May polls. It’s Osmeña’s own use of the so-called Aguinaldo doctrine, which moots administrative cases filed against an official during his previous term if he or she wins reelection.
But Pe’s case is different because it involves a provision of the constitution and not a mere administrative complaint. He can’t be allowed to skirt term elements just because he succeeds in fooling the voters.
Recently, Osmeña has again come up with a comparison intended to make Pe look good. He said that the case of north district congressional bet Annabelle Rama is even worse than that of Pe. He was referring to Rama’s residency claim, the question of Pe’s residency having been used by the First Division of the Commission on Elections to disqualify him.
While Rama’s roots are in Cebu, she is a long-time resident of Metro Manila.
Her claim to being a resident of the city’s north district, however, was unfortunately accepted by the poll body, paving the way for her running in that district for the post of member of the House of Representatives.
But Pe’s case is still worse than that of Rama in terms of motive. Rama simply wants to run for an elective post. Pe, on the other hand, intends to reduce the constitutional provision on term limits into a joke. One can even say that Osmeña’s comparison is odious.
Indeed, Pe’s case is incomparable given that no other Cebu City councilor since the 1987 Constitution was ratified possessed the same lack of scruples as him.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 17, 2013.