ALL the flak that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is getting regarding its rulings on 2007 electoral protests, it has brought upon itself.
Its officials can’t complain, therefore, if it gets lambasted for sparking instability in Daanbantayan town a few weeks before the start of the campaign period for the local elections in May.
Comelec has ruled that there is no longer any legal impediment for the assumption of Augusto Corro for “winning” the 2007 election over Sun Shimura, currently the sitting mayor.
This was but the latest in a series of rulings on electoral protests nationwide in the past few months that invited controversies especially in cases where the sitting official was ousted from the post.
The Liberal Party was first to question the rulings, noting a “pattern” because the decisions in at least three instances were against governors who are party supporters.
Insinuations about bought rulings, especially against one Comelec division where many of the controversial decisions emanated, have also circulated.
Having its image tainted is not good for a Comelec that will administer the most crucial phase of the country’s electoral process: the shift from manual to automated polls.
The insinuations, however, may just be misplaced.
The main problem could be that Comelec ruled wholesale on the electoral protest cases--most of which have been pending since 2007 yet--only a few months before the 2010 polls.
This method of ruling on electoral protests sparks problems in instances when incumbents need to be unseated and the candidate Comelec favored has to take over the post.
The culprit is the timing of the handling down of the rulings.
With only a few months before the next elections, those holding the post will naturally maneuver to hold off the takeover until at least the campaign period, even as the declared winners pour all efforts to immediately assume the post and gain advantage in the campaign.
That makes the situation in the affected areas volatile.
More than that, it exposes the incompetence of the poll body.