It’s final: SC rules appointees resigned if running in May polls

By DateLine Philippines

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday affirmed with finality its decision declaring that appointive officials who are running in the May elections are deemed “ipso facto” resigned upon filing of their certificates of candidacy (CoCs).

At a press briefing, Court administrator and spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said election lawyer Romulo Macalintal failed to raise new and substantial arguments that would warrant the Court’s reversal of its February 22 ruling.

“[The] Quinto case [was] denied with finality. No further pleadings shall be entertained. That means effective today, all appointive officials who have filed their certificates of candidacy are deemed resigned,” Marquez said.

Marquez said the Court, during its regular en banc session, voted 10-5 to deny with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by Macalintal on behalf of his clients Eleazar Quinto and Gerino Tolentino of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Marquez said the Court did not give credence to Macalintal’s plea for it to “harmonize” the provision of Section 13 of Republic Act 9369 or the poll automation law which provides that a person who files his CoC “shall only be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed his CoC” and the other provision which says that an appointive official running for elective post shall be “ipso facto resigned” at the start of the filing of his CoC.

He explained that there is no conflict between the two provisions and that they can be both implemented at the same time.

The SC spokesman noted that there is no specific order from the Court for the concerned appointed officials to immediately leave their posts but stressed that the decision “speaks for itself.”

“I think the provision is plain and simple,” he said.

In its February 22 ruling, the Court reversed its December 1, 2009 decision penned by Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura that allowed appointed officials to stay in their posts even after filing their CoCs.

Nachura held that the deemed “ipso facto” provision in the Omnibus Election Code violates the equal protection clause in the Constitution.

In abandoning Nachura’s ponencia, the Court affirmed the constitutionality of the 2nd provision in the 3rd paragraph of Sec. 13, RA 9369 (Poll Automation Law); Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election Code; and Sec. 4 (a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678, which bar appointive officials from staying in their posts.

The Court held that there is a significant distinction between appointive and elected officials. The latter cannot be deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices upon their filing of CoCs.

Allowing appointed officials to stay in their posts even upon filing their CoCs would give them undue advantage against their opponents in the May elections, the SC maintained.

One thought on “It’s final: SC rules appointees resigned if running in May polls

  1. This proves that Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura is full of hops when he penned his ponencia based on equality considerations as provided by the Constitution when in fact he is staring at an inequality.

    When Supreme Court justices contribute to the confusion to the circus of politics , they deserve to be dunked at the Pasig River. His action makes one to ask what is his motivation behind this backing of Pres Arroyo’s fair haired Eleazar Quinto so that this short term appointee could use his office at the DENR to advance his election campaign.


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