PNoy, et. al., maneuvering to scrap 2016 polls? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 March 2016 13:14

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love…” (2 Peter 1:5-7, the Holy Bible).

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WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS NO ELECTION IN MAY? In the event that no elections will be held on May 09, 2016 and no new president is elected by June 30, 2016, what are we to expect? The answer is, there will be no one who is legally authorized to lead the country. This possibility gives rise to the scary scenario of a power grab, either by President Aquino himself, or by individuals or groups which have the force or the  capacity to assert themselves as our new leaders.

Indeed, if there is no election in May for whatever reason, President Aquino, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Frank Drilon, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. could no longer continue in their respective positions, because their terms shall have already expired by June 30, 2016 and there is no right for anyone of them to any hold-over term, according to the 1987 Constitution.

Consequently, since Binay, Drilon, and Belmonte, could no longer discharge the duties and responsibilities of their respective positions after June 30, 2016, their right to succeed President Aquino by virtue of the Constitutional rule on succession would no longer be available, too.

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LEADERSHIP VACCUM LOOMS: What is also clear is that, since the Senate by that time will only have 12 senators, it will not have the required quorum to even elect a new Senate president, who could have the capacity to be installed as an acting president. Section 16 (2) Art. VI of the Constitution, after all, requires the majority of all 24 senators (which is 12 plus one) to do any business, such as electing a new Senate president.

There would therefore be a clear leadership vacuum if no elections would be held on May 09, 2016. Unfortunately, the 1987 Constitution failed to clearly provide for such a scenario. There is, as law students put it, a “lacuna legis”, or a gap in the law which even the present Constitution cannot effectively address, which would thereby pave the way for an extra-Constitutional solution.

What could this extra-Constitutional solution be? It could be a “revolution from the center”, or, in short, a power-grab by those who are already in power, like President Aquino. This could be accomplished by the abrogation or setting aside, or the dismantling, if you will, of the Constitution which his very own mother, Cory, enacted in 1987, after grabbing power from President Marcos.

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PNOY, ET. AL., MANEUVERING TO SCRAP 2016 POLLS? When we view what’s happening now from this perspective, it will become very clear that the announcements by the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic Philippines, Inc. to the effect that the electoral exercise in May 2016 may not happen at all would appear to be a part of a grand design to really derail the upcoming polls.

The intention is clear, as my partner, Vic Somintac, and I, at the “Tambalang Batas at Somintac” daily 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. program at Radyo Agila’s DZEC 1062 kHz, have been saying since 2014: to prevent the elections from happening in May, so that President Aquino can stay on as president for as long as he desires.

The temptation to hold on to power after June 30, 2016 is just