Sunday, May 06, 2007

Abalos scored for doing a Pontius Pilate

Abalos hit for washing hands on Binay suspension

Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Koko Pimentel today criticized Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos for doing a Pontius Pilate over the unjustified suspension of the Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, who is running for re-election.
This was the reaction of Koko Pimentel over the pronouncements of Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos to media that the Comelec won’t intervene and is taking a hands off policy over the suspension of Binay.
Last Friday evening, the Department of Interior and Local Government attempted to serve an Ombudsman suspension order against Mayor Binay in relation to an administrative case against him.
“The Commission on Elections is constitutionally mandated to be the chief administrator of all elections laws to ensure that elections are held fair and square,” Koko Pimentel reminded the Comelec Chair.
“The constitution is very explicit when it declares in Section 10 Article IX-C that bonafide candidates for public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination,” Koko Pimentel stressed.
“What is happening to Binay is unprecedented and is the mother of all political harassments where he is being suspended with barely one week before elections,” Koko Pimentel deplored.
“It is the constitutional and legal duty of the Commission on Elections to intervene since it is the constitutional body which should ensure the conduct of fair elections,” Koko Pimentel said.
There is no legal basis for the Comelec to lays its hands off the Binay suspension over the flimsy ground that it purportedly involves graft and corruption, Koko Pimentel said.
“There is nothing in the omnibus election code that prevents the Comelec from using its power and authority to fulfill the constitutional mandate that candidates for elective posts shall be protected against, and insulated from all forms of harassments,” Koko Pimentel emphasized.
“What the omnibus election code merely says is that suspensions of officials in graft related cases would not constitute in an election offense,” Koko Pimentel explained.
“But this does not mean that the Comelec should already shirk in its constitutional duty to ensure that the elections are held fairly,” Koko Pimentel added.
“At the very least, the Comelec as a constitutional body, has the authority to intervene and issue a cease and desist order to prevent the enforcement of the suspension order, since its enforcement is nothing but a form of political harassment which the constitution expressly prohibits,” Koko Pimentel said.


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