Press Release
December 14, 2009


Liberal Party president Senator Mar Roxas today asked the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling allowing appointive officials to escape being forced to resign from their position after filing certificates of candidacy to run in elections.

Roxas filed the appeal as he asked the High Court to allow him to intervene in the case, saying he has legal interest in the matter as a senator, a voter, a public officer and as a taxpayer.

In his 26-page Motion for Reconsideration, Roxas insisted that the Supreme Court's December 1 ruling which permitted appointive officials to keep their posts until the beginning of the election period on February next year violated the Constitution.

"In allowing public appointive officials to engage in partisan political activity, the Honorable Court's 01 December 2009 decision effectively encourages these officials to violate the prohibition expressed in (the 1987 Constitution) that no civil service official or employee shall engage in electioneering or partisan political campaign," he argued, pointing out that the filing of a certificate of candidacy must already be considered a partisan political activity.

He noted that "instead of preserving and upholding the Constitution", the December 1 ruling "even appears to undermine it."

Also, magistrates of the Supreme Court encroached upon the powers of legislature when it ruled appointive officials need not resign even after they have filed the COCs, Roxas claimed.

"Since 1907, the Legislature has recognized an evil must be prevented - the possible abuse and misuse of government officials of their authority and access to government funds. Legislature has addressed this evil by considering appointive officials as resigned the moment they seek elective office. Legislative wisdom has also chosen to respect the will of the electorate by not applying the same restriction to elective officials," he argued.

Roxas added: "The Honorable Court has acknowledged that Congress has the exclusive authority to repeal a law, which it believed is being called for by the times...There being no violation of the equal protection clause nor of the doctrine of overbreadth, (I) humbly request this Honorable Court to respect legislative reversing its decision and reverting back to prevailing rule."

Roxas also insisted "there is a compelling need" to reverse the SC decision "as public safety and interest demands" it.

He cited the case of two incumbent Comelec officials who are running for elective posts in next year's polls that shows the danger created by the December 1 ruling of the Court. "Comelec officials running for office are in a position to manipulate resolutions in their favor or their partymates...they or their colleagues whom they can influence, will be sitting on and deciding on issues, matters and disputes relating to elections."

To stress the danger further, Roxas also cited a scenario where police or military officials continue to serve their posts while running for office, which could be a "disaster waiting to happen."

"The existence of Comelec officials seeking public office may just be the beginning of the Pandora's Box that the removal of restrictions of appointive officials has opened...There are evils that ought to be prevented in a situation where public officials are allowed to retain their positions while running for office. This Honorable Court (must) reinstate the restrictions on appointive government officials in order to prevent these evils. Public interest demands such reinstatement," Roxas stressed.

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