Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fair Election Act: Appointed and Elected Must Resign

By Lilybeth G. Ison

Malacanang clarified Saturday that officers-in-charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, although appointed to their posts by President Benigno Aquino III, were not deemed resigned even after they filed their certificates of candidacy for next year's elections, as the nature of their positions is still elective.

"Sa Fair Election Act, dalawa ang distinction -- may 'appointed' official na pag-file ng CoC at automatically resigned. Ang 'elective' hindi nag-a-apply sa kanila. 'Yan kasi may mandate sila at kailangan ituloy," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a radio interview.

Acting ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman Friday filed his CoC as ARMM governor under the Liberal Party.

He said he reached the decision after consultations with his family, supporters and political benefactors.

"I don't decide on my own on political matters involving myself. I consulted first many people, including my superiors in the Liberal Party and President Aquino," he said in an interview with media.

Hataman said his decision was also in response to mounting clamor for him to seek a mandate as a duly elected ARMM governor to enable him to continue the reforms he has introduced in the region.

Valte explained that in the case of Hataman and the other OICs, "they were appointed but are holding an elective position. The supervening event does not change the character of the position they are holding."

"Ang posisyon, hindi ang tao. The position remains an elective post," she added.

Under the Commission on Elections Resolution 9518 providing guidelines on the filing of CoCs, Section 4 states that any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered "ipso facto" -- meaning by the fact itself -- resigned from office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of CoC.

However, it also stated that any person "holding an elective office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the filing of his Certificate of Candidacy whether for the same or any other elective office or position."

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang, in a statement, said they support the candidacy of Hataman as ARMM governor.

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