Threats won’t cover up Comelec’s shortcomings
The Inquirer headline last April 23 highlighting Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rey Bulay’s threat to jail critics of the Comelec is just tempest in a teapot. Worse, it is an indirect admission of acts of commission and omission that have drawn criticisms of the Comelec in the administration of its constitutional mandate.
If the Comelec has performed its job faithfully and expeditiously, none of this outrage would have been forthcoming. Why, for example, would the solicitor general file a case against the Comelec for violation by the latter of its mandate to enforce election laws? It is rare for the tribune of the people and defender of government and its agencies to direct its attack on one of its clientele.
Earlier on, when the Comelec promulgated rules on the display of election materials, why were the wall advertisements of Vice President Leni Robredo painted on private property erased in Isabela province and somewhere else in Metro Manila? And very recently, we read the news that pre-shaded ballots in favor of a presidential candidate (not Robredo) in overseas voting centers were discovered. And how about the insufferable delay in acting on the motions for reconsideration in the Marcos Jr. disqualification cases, which is effectively depriving a losing party to have the Supreme Court decide the issue BEFORE May 9, 2022?
With due respect, Commissioner Bulay — the Comelec itself — can avoid all these criticisms by simply buckling down to work justly and swiftly. No amount of threat can sanitize underperformance, nor restore the full faith of the people in a vital agency of government.
Ancheta K. Tan, lawyer, Makati City
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