When President Duterte advised Comelec to drop Smartmatic because of allegations of fraud, the public welcomed the President’s pronouncement.
But, here’s the rub. COMELEC is an independent Constitutional body and the President’s word has no power over COMELEC.
Of course, lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles explains that there are ways to run circles around these legal impediments.
In a Facebook post, Angeles offers solution how the President’s wishes can be realized.
As Angeles puts it, there are many ways to skin a cat.
You may read Angeles’ full FB post below.
Confused about the COMELEC independence?
Ganito. The president cannot substitute his discretion for that exercised by the Commissioners. In other words, the president cannot countermand a COMELEC decision, duly made by the Commissioners.
However, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Should the president want to change the Smartmatic system against the wishes of the COMELEC commissioners he has the following options:
1. Wait for the COMELEC to signify that they will continue with Smartmatic, then question that decision before the Supreme Court and have it voided. Or
2. Persuade the commissioners to change the system and offer support by convincing Congress to provide the budget for a new one. Or he can, through the DBM realign the budget (subject to certain conditions) to provide for the same.
Why didnt the president do this before the last elections?
My guess is that he presumed regularity. That the officials of the COMELEC could ensure peaceful, orderly, fair and cheat free elections. Now that he has irrefutable proof that the electoral body could not do it under the present system, he is finally persuaded against Smartmatic.
Here’s how netizens react to Angeles’ FB post.
Aveen Acuna-Gulo That’s why all this time that PRRD was quiet about Smartmatic, I had faith in my heart that as a judicious lawyer, he was carefully studying it. Others may have already noticed it by now, that he doesn’t just give statements left and right. Pero ngayon na nagsalita na, aguuuyy, COMELEC better be wise to follow because we just don’t know what legal bullets PRRD have up his sleeve
Cecilio Catingub I think to eject or remove smartmatic it needs amendment or repeal of the law providing for automated elections.
John Michael “My guess is that he presumed regularity.” Fair play from the President. God bless our Country for having PRRD!🇵🇭👊👊👊
Cesar Llorente PRRD will not be accused of dictating or imposing on COMELEC. By its own actions, it credibility to run the Automated Elections using the Smartmatic system is put into question by all interested parties, be it in position or in opposition, or simply us, the voting public.
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