No can do

September 12, 2018

The reason is both obvious and compelling: officials who have political ambitions must be precluded from using their power, positions, and privileges to advance or promote their prospects for winning an elective office.

It is public knowledge that political appointees of the President wield vast powers, hold influential positions, and enjoy many privileges that could be potentially used to boost their chances if they throw their hats into the electoral ring next year.

And so to prevent this from happening, incumbent officials must be made to vacate their lofty posts.

And so government officials would be considered resigned from their respective posts if they file certificates of candidacy (COCs) for next year’s mid-term elections, Malacañang has said.

“Well, lahat po ng magsusumite ng kanilang kandidatura (everyone who will submit their candidacy) will be deemed resigned from their post,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

“So magkakaroon po ng mga (there will be) vacancies in the Cabinet,” he added, when asked if Cabinet reshuffle is forthcoming next month.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set October 1 to 5 as the filing of COCs for national and local polls.

Roque said no Cabinet or government officials yet have informed the Palace or President Rodrigo Duterte if they will run in the 2019 elections.

“Wala pa po akong nalalaman na siguradong maghahain ng kandidatura at wala pa po akong nalalaman na naiisip na ipalit dito sa mga ito (I don’t know yet who are sure of filing their candidacy and I also don’t have any idea who will replace them),” Roque said.

Several political parties have come out with their respective initial list of senatorial candidates including Roque.

Roque has been included in the initial list of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Other government officials in the list include former National Police (PNP) chief and now Bureau of Corrections director general Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa and presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.

Roque, and dela Rosa have also been named in the initial senatorial lineup of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party.

HNP, a regional political party, has recently forged alliance with at least three national political parties and six local groupings.