LOOK if there's not a fever catching on and gripping candidates for public office.

Benhur Salimbangon, declared by Supreme Court to have lost to Tining Martinez in 2007, still clings to Cebu's fourth district House seat. The SC decision wasn't final and Benhur filed a motion for reconsideration. Then final judgment came. But Tining couldn't take his oath for lack of a quorum at the plenary session. Congress has since shut down: a photo-finish rescue but oddly not for the court-anointed occupant.

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In Daanbantayan, the son-and-mom team of Sun Shimura and Ma. Luisa Loot are holding on: Process hasn't ended yet, "not in your dreams," sitting mayor and vice mayor told victors Augusto Corro and Jose de Leon.

Now, appointed officials who filed COCs won't quit: The SC decision that deems them resigned is not yet final, the flavor-of-the-season argument.

Think about it though. Those latching on are technically right.

Court rules enable a litigator to delay, if not wiggle out of, an adverse ruling.

Then there's the annoying flip-flop by the high court.

A "final" ruling is not yet final, even if the same court declared it as final and stoutly vowed it won't reopen the issue.

The fat lady

Lawyers for League of 13, the invalidated-then-validated-and-maybe-invalidated-again cities, have learned that it isn't over till it's over and, with a bit o' luck, even though the fat lady's already singing. Game rules at times benefit the politician who's not the hero or good guy in the court case.

And people are utterly naive if they expect him to give up his edge, election time or not.

(paseares@yahoo.com)