It is interesting that Albay first district Rep. Edcel B. Lagman Jr. has filed a house bill seeking mandatory resignation for all elective officials who wish to run for any position other than the one they are currently holding.
Lagman’s House Bill 6210 will amend the provision in the Fair Election Act by repealing Section 26 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Commission on Election Resolution 3636.
But with all the good intention of the bill, it is much too late now to deliberate and pass when many of the honorable occupants of both houses- the House of Representatives and the Philippine Senate are into their thing. Busy looking after their turf, either preparing for their candidacy or support of their prospective candidate. Attendance in the august halls of both houses is wanting.
But let us go forward with the merits of this proposal. Section 26 of the IRR of the Fair Election Act grants incumbent elective officials, such as senators, who seek higher elective positions like that of the president and the vice president, the privilege of not being considered resigned from their post.
The glaring example here are the prospective vice-presidential candidacy of senators Francis Escudero, Antonio Trillanes IV, Gregorio Honasan and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who are all incumbent with terms ending in 2019 except for senator Alan Peter Cayetano which ends in 2016.
So in case they lose their bid in the 2016 elections, the senators can simply return to their senate seats.
Citing another prevalent example of the electoral ills that the Fair Election Act generates, Lagman said that, “The same is true for barangay officials seeking positions in city or municipal levels. They can reclaim their barangay positions to serve out the remainder of their term that invariably ends in October — even if they lose in the midterm or national election as councilor, vice-mayor or mayor.”
“I filed this bill because as elected officials, our political mandate is to serve the full term of our office without interruption. We were elected by the people to fulfill that mandate. If we opt to run for another position or accept a government appointment, it is only ethical, fair and just to vacate the seat we were elected to,” Lagman said.
The remainder of an elected official’s term should be deemed forfeited if they choose to seek another elective position before their term ends.
Lagman in Facebook posted:
I will actively advocate the passage into law of this proposed House Bill before the third regular session of the 16th Congress adjourns. I owe this to the people who have signified their support to this bill’s principled stand on suffrage and electoral reforms. Elections are not about political adventurism. It’s about offering yourself to the people completely and without the security of still being an elective official should you lose your bid for higher office.
While Lagman could have filed the bill in the early part of his three-year term, yet he is stirring interest of the proposal only now. It is a dead bill right before its arrival. Would he file the bill if he is in the shoes of any of the three Bicolanos running for VP?