APROPOSED bill that will prohibit politicians who lost three or more consecutive times from running in the same position ever again has gathered momentum after a senior official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) expressed his support to the measure.
Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said the bill would greatly help in easing some of the burdens of the poll body noting that perennial losers “should know in the first place that voters do not like them for one reason or another and they have no chance of winning the positions that they aspire”.
“If that is passed, I think it would be good since it would eliminate those bets that the voters would not elect into office anyway, at least for that position,” he said.
Tagle was reacting to a proposal by Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero who filed House Bill 5119 that seeks to disqualify candidates who lost in three consecutive elections from running for the same position.
In effect, it would add another ground for disqualification aside from those that are already enumerated in the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
Under Section 12 of the OEC, candidates who can be disqualified from running are “any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent; has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than 18 months; and for a crime involving moral turpitude”.
According to the 1987 Constitution, the right to vote and be voted into public office “may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines, not otherwise disqualified by law; who are at least 18 years of age; who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year; and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election.
Tagle explained that he does not see the measure as being a way to clip the right to seek public office as provided for by the 1987 Constitution.
“There has to be some limit. It cannot be [unlimited]. Anyway, they are not prevented from seeking other public posts,” he stressed.