Image credit: Imagezoo.com
The above cartoon illustrates the state of affairs in Mt. Province where political forces are fighting to determine who should temporarily fill up the congressional position of the departed Rep. Victor Dominguez.
We have already said the things we have to say on this matter here and here. But here’s the latest developments according to a report by Dexter See. Let’s take the claims of both sides with a grain of salt.
Image from Sunstar Baguio
Benguet Governor Maximo Dalog? Well, that’s according to Sunstar Baguio. We’re kinda tired pointing out to people that Banaue is not in Mt. Province, that Sagada is not in Ifugao, that Tabuk is in Kalinga, etc, etc but people committing those mistakes don’t know any better and are thus forgivable.
So we’re not the only ones who believe that appointing a “caretaker” (or undertaker as one of you wittily stated in the comments) has no basis in law. Read the write-up of Greg Taguiba below which also makes the same argument. (By the way, thanks to our tipster who alerted us about Greg’s article.)
As we said earlier, instead of proposing this caretaker nonsense, our officials should be working to ensure that a special election is held. Para naman marinig ang boses ng tao kung sino ang gusto nila.
Currently, we have some politicians pushing for the appointment of Baguio Rep. Domogan as the Mt. Province caretaker. Then, according to Greg’s article, “the camp of the late congressman is pushing for the appointment of Kalinga Rep. Manuel Agyao”. One of you also wrote here that Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa suggested Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao as the caretaker. As things go, I think the only “non-biased, no hidden agenda” suggestion is the one that comes from the Benguet Congressman.
Still, the best thing to do really is to get the will of the people. Who do they want as their Congressional representative? Only an election will determine this. The problem with this “caretaker” nonsense is that once a “caretaker” is appointed, those who lobbied for his/her appointment will be less inclined to work for the holding of a special election.
So no to caretakers. Yes to a special election. Masapol adi ay boses nan ipugao nan madnge. Cha, owen man.
Senator Loren Legarda tries to do an Igorot dance during a visit to a conference organized by Cordillera women leaders last year. Inviting Loren is a good move by said women leaders because the Senator may well become the next President of the country. She continues to perform well in presidential polls conducted by survey outfits. However, a lot of things can happen between now and 2010 so she should not count the eggs before they’re laid.
What’s this “caretaker” nonsense that people in Mt. Province are talking about? According to this report, following the demise of Mt. Province Rep. Victor Dominguez, some Mt. Province leaders have passed a resolution tasking Baguio Rep. Mauricio Domogan to be the province’s “caretaker”.
The report also states that the Dominguez clan “prefers someone who comes from the same party where the late lawmaker is affiliated” to be appointed.
Now is Mt. Province so poor in human resources that it has to look outside for a “caretaker”? How pathetic are we? I can’t imagine leaders of Kalinga, Ifugao, and the other Cordi provinces asking an outsider to be their “caretaker”. Seriously!
At the same time, huwag naman silang mag-appoint ng relative ng dating Congressman to be the “caretaker”.
But all these talks of appointing a “caretaker” is silly because if I understand this law correctly, there is no such thing as a “caretaker”.
Instead, what the law provides in case of a permanent vacancy in Congress is for the holding of a special election “not earlier than sixty (60) days nor longer than ninety (90) days after the occurrence of the vacancy”. Iyan dapat ang tutukan ng mga nasabing Mt. Province leaders. (Note: I stand corrected if you can find a provision of law that provides for the appointment of a “caretaker”.)
Instead of asking Rep. Domogan to be their “caretaker”, what said Mt. Province “leaders” should do is to ask the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to immediately schedule a special election to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Dominguez.
There is no money for a special election? Then they should lobby Gloria and Congress to provide the money. Diyan masusubukan kung talagang malakas sila kay Gloria.