The move by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago calling for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into elective officials’ practice of barricading their offices and calling for mass action to resist suspension or removal by authorities, is indeed very laudable.
I would have said timely, too, but why is it becoming the modus operandi among members of a political dynasty, starting only a few years back, of defying the law if and when the administrative charges against them calls for their suspension by the Ombudsman after investigation?
What I am saying is that this never was the case in the past where preventive suspension where openly and rudely challenged, but since this happened to former Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, of the Garcia political clan, in 2013, and to former Laguna Governor ER Ejercito, of the Ejercito political clan, in 2014, lately Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., of the Binay political dynasty, took advantage of the situation, defying the law once more with the help of his supporters and sycophants who barricaded and made sure Binay stays as the mayor.
“I am alarmed that the brazen act of resisting suspension is becoming normal practice. What makes elective officials think that they are indisputably entitled to their offices? They are not absolute rulers, they are subject to the law,” Santiago said.
Citing the Garcia, Ejercito and Binay cases, Santiago added, saying, “In all these cases, the officials facing penalty insisted on due process yet refused to respect the same. This contradiction only shows how self-serving our elective officials have become.”
Santiago deplored the barricades in favor of elective officials being penalized as it threatens, as usual, to disrupt the delivery of public services.
I think all agrees with Santiago’s observation.
“While officials are entitled to relief from penalty, in the form of temporary restraining orders or injunctions, they must seek such from the proper venue and, pending such relief, humbly step down from office,” Santiago said.
For politicians, who display arrogantly the gecko grip to their seat of power, giving up their authority and mandate, despite serious accusations against their acts, is the most embarrassing thing to do, thus, the defiance.
Again, Santiago’s call for an inquiry on the matter of clingy politicians is laudable, but perhaps it has to wait until we all know what the Supreme Court has to say after hearing the oral arguments on the Ombudsman’s power to suspend Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.