Press Release
February 22, 2010


The Supreme Court en banc has leveled the playing field for all candidates with its decision to boot from office all appointed officials seeking elective posts in the May 10 national and local elections, Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Sen. Mar Roxas today said.

Roxas, who is the President of the Liberal Party, lauded the high court for affirming arguments that appointed executives should be barred from engaging in partisan political activity, as prohibited by existing election laws.

With appointed officials stripped of their executive privileges, the senator said they are now in equal footing with their political rivals and could not use their positions to influence the electoral process in their favor and use government resources to finance their campaigns.

"Natutuwa tayo at pinanigan ng Korte Suprema ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino sa pantay-pantay na pagtrato sa ilalim ng ating mga batas. Mabuti na lang at naituwid ng ating mga mahistrado ang nauna na nilang baluktot na desisyon," Roxas said.

He urged affected Cabinet officials - among them Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, and Presidential Management Staff chief Hermogenes Esperon, who are all seeking congressional posts in their respective provincial districts - to immediately comply with the SC ruling and vacate their present offices.

Also, Roxas said the Commission on Elections should ask election personnel to immediately submit their resignation letters in compliance with the SC ruling. At least six Comelec personnel in five regions have filed their bids for the 2010 elections, including Francis Likigan, election officer (EO) of Baguias in Benguet; Orlino Agatep, EO of Tuguegarao City; Mac Laylay, EO of Kabugao in Apayao; Myrna Bragado, assistant EO of San Emilio in Ilocos Sur; Alfonso Combong III, EO of Hamtic in Antique; and Raymond Ginda, EO of Bonga, in Samar.

All except Likigan, who resigned on December 1, were temporarily re-assigned to the Comelec main office before being and deployed in other areas under the discretion of the en banc.

The SC en banc, voting 10-5, on Monday reversed its December 1, 2009 ruling and said that appointed officials, including members of the judiciary and the poll body, who have filed their certificate of candidacy for the May 10 elections are "deemed resigned." It upheld the constitutionality of three provisions in existing election laws that deemed appointive officials automatically resigned once they filed their certificates of candidacy. It held that the said provisions do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

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