Thursday, January 14, 2010

Issues in appointing the next CJ: Sections 4 and 9

COMELEC MUST REVERSE ITSELF RE: DISQUALIFICATION OF CANDIDATES: So that the Commission on Elections will not face any delay in the printing of the ballots to be used in the automated elections in May 2010, it should now reconsider its earlier orders disqualifying candidates and party list groups, and allow everyone wanting to run to participate and run!

This is the only practicable solution to the fears which Comelec Chairman Jose Melo allegedly expressed in the National Security Council meeting in Malacanang on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

According to published reports, Melo is saying that ballot printing would be delayed (and hence the election itself would be delayed) if its orders disqualifying candidates and party list groups would be subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court, as what happened in the case of the “Ang Ladlad” party.


LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE ON DISQUALIFICATION OF CANDIDATES: The concern allegedly was that, if the Supreme Court would order the inclusion of candidates already disqualified by the Comelec after the Comelec shall have already printed ballots which will no longer contain the names of the disqualified candidates, that would invalidate all the already-printed ballots and would require the printing of new ones.

To avoid this, what the Comelec should now do is set aside its orders previously issued in which it disqualified candidates and allow everyone to run.

This way, it could already print the ballots at this stage, with the names of all candidates and party list groups wanting to run already included. In fine, we should let the people themselves, in their sovereign capacity as voters, decide which candidate they would want to disqualify by not voting for them.


HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT SYNOMOUS TO GODLESSNESS, IMMORALITY: Right from the start, there was no doubt in my mind that the Supreme Court would overturn a Comelec resolution disqualifying the “Ang Ladlad” Party List.

Certainly, being a homosexual is not synonymous to immorality or sinfulness, in much the same way that being in a position of responsibility, in the private and public sectors, is no guarantee of moral uprightness or integrity.

It is not also a disqualification that would prevent a homosexual from being voted into office. Even the Bible, in fact, does not treat homosexuality as a sin, or as an aberration that disqualifies the homosexual from being considered as a child of God.

What is detested by God (and what we should detest likewise) is immorality, godlessness and impurity occasioned by homosexuality. But then, immorality, godlessness and impurity are not the monopoly of homosexuals, for there are many who are considered “straight” who are immoral, godless and impure.


ISSUES RE: CJ APPOINTMENT: SECTIONS 4 AND 9: Two crucial items that must be considered in resolving whether or not President Arroyo can still appoint a chief justice to replace the retiring Reynato Puno this May 2010 are Sections 4 and 9, Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution.

Section 4, in part, says: “Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.

Section 9, on the other hand, in part, says: “The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.

These are crucial Constitutional provisions, if you ask me, because they can be interpreted one way or the other, favouring or disfavouring President Arroyo’s right to appoint a chief justice even if she is already on her way out.

Expect a torrent of “learned discourses” on these provisions in the days to come.


PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS AT THE TEMPLE: The fourth Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, as prayed by devout Roman Catholic Christians worldwide, pertains to the presentation of the Child Jesus at the Temple, a story that is found in Luke 2:21 to 40 of the Bible.

At first glance, the account of how Jesus was presented at the Temple seemed to indicate concern merely for the completion of the then existing purification process for males as mandated by the law of Moses, but, when one looks closer, it becomes apparent that this story of the presentation is actually another Biblical confirmation about who Jesus really is and what He is destined to do.

Thus, we can see two individuals, one man (the righteous and devout Simeon) and one woman (the prophetess Anna, then 84 years of age), prophesying about Jesus as Someone who will cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and as Someone who will redeem God’s people.

Simeon in particular confirmed that he had received a revelation that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When Simeon saw Jesus, the Holy Spirit came over him, and he said he was ready to die in peace, since he already saw the Lord.

Anna on the other hand who was widowed after being married for only seven years, spent the rest of her life, until she was 84 years old, worshipping, fasting and praying at the temple. When she saw Jesus, she spoke about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.


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