Sunday, March 4, 2007

Nuisance Candidate

I left a Comment on James Jimenez's blog last week--
Cute move on Montano. Nice subject changer, actually gives him a boost too. But you guys aren’t fooling anybody with “[Joselito Peter] Cayetano.” People expect you to allow them both to run for “obvious” reasons. But I’ll wait the two weeks to see what Comelec really does. Impress us why don’t ya, and do the right thing for once!
Well it looks like people's expectations were right as bona fide candidate for senator under the Genuine Opposition Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano is finding out.

Absolutely disgusting of you folks in the Comelec, James!


That Master of Nuisance Campaigns, Oliver Lozano used the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL)--the largely defunct political party of Ferdinand Marcos--as the "nominating party" for a nuisance candidate in 2004, when he foisted one Melchor Chavez against the bona fide candidacy of former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez. In the ensuing court challenge Chavez vs. Comelec, the Supreme Court declared:
... the Omnibus Election Code authorizes the COMELEC, motu proprio, or upon a verified petition of an interested party, to declare a candidate as a nuisance candidate and to refuse to give due course to his or her COC or to cancel one already filed if it is shown that: (1) the candidate's COC has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute, (2) the COC has been filed to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of names of the registered candidates, and (3) where other circumstances show that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for office.

COMELEC Resolution No. 6452 dated December 10, 2002 also specifies the instances where the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a COC:

SEC. 6. Motu Proprio Cases. — The Commission may, at any time before the election, motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy of any candidate for the positions of President, Vice-President, Senator and Party-list:

I. The grounds:

a. Candidates who, on the face of their certificate of candidacy, do not possess the constitutional and legal qualifications of the office to which they aspire to be elected;

b. Candidate who, on the face of said certificate, filed their certificate of candidacy to put the election process in mockery or disrepute;

c. Candidates whose certificate of candidacy could cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of names and surnames with other candidates; and

d. Candidates who have no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy had been filed or acts that clearly demonstrate the lack of such bona fide intention, such as:

d. 1 Candidates who do not belong to or are not nominated by any registered political party of national constituency;

d.2 Presidential, Vice-Presidential [candi­dates] who do not present running mates for vice-president, respectively, nor senatorial candidates;

d.3 Candidates who do not have a platform of government and are not capable of waging a nationwide campaign. (Emphasis supplied.)
...
Melchor Chavez has, in the past, not shown any capability for a decent campaign. Now, he presents no significant credentials for a better capability in this election. He is not even an official candidate of a political party since the nomination by KBL was no accepted by him. He is wanting in financial support for a nationwide campaign. He has no political machinery to count on.20

The rationale for the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not demonstrated a bond fide intention to run for office is the State's compelling interest in ensuring that its electoral exercises are rational, objective, and orderly. Towards this end, the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. Inevitably, the greater the number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the elections. These practical difficulties should, of course, never exempt the State from the conduct of a mandated electoral exercise. At the same time, remedial actions should be available to alleviate these logistical hardships, whenever necessary and proper. Ultimately, a disorderly election is not merely a textbook example of inefficiency, but a rot that erodes faith in our democratic institutions. As the United States Supreme Court held:

There is surely an important state interest in requiring some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support before printing the name of a political organization and its candidates on the ballot -the interest, if no other, in avoiding confusion, deception and even frustration of the democratic process.
In 2004, Melchor Chavez was deemed a nuisance candidate by Comelec and the Supreme Court explains above why that was the right judgment. But in 2007--with even more obvious reasons, moral and legal, to reject the nuisance candidacy of a complete and utter unknown, with no public persona or political track record whatever, and clearly intended to discombulate Alan Peter Cayetano's run for the Senate--the Comelec appears determined to be the source of that "confusion, deception and even frustration of the democratic process."

8 comments:

Jon Mariano said...

Great post Dean. Thanks.

ricelander said...

Abalos is a golf buddy of Big Mike. Abalos has yet to display any hint he's got his values in the right places. But we'll see...

Lozano has a unique way of earning a living, don't you think?

Cayetano has a way of making Big Mike lose his cool. Can't beat him to it, make his body secrete poisonous juices that would gnaw on his insides while he goes mad, terribly, insanely mad... hahaha!

baycas said...

my neighbor tells me there’s not much difference between a nuisance Joselito Pepiter and a noisy (…and nosey*) Alan Peter!

Pepiter lied about his job as marine engineer while Peter lied about poor FG’s riches.

i said the similarity lies on the fact that they are both kargadors of heavy weights…

kasi si Alan Peter karga-karga niyang pabigat si FG kahit saan siya magpunta!

-----
*…to other’s con-ass (concealed assets)

HILLBLOGGER said...

I don't think Alan Peter Cayetano lied about the bank accounts of the Arroyo couple of thieves.

More like, he can't reveal how he got the info; if I understand rightly, the source and the manner with which he procured the bank records of Piggy Arroyo and his family is not exactly considered legal.

He's boxed in the corner - he knows the couple has stashed away millions of dollars, plenty of them but he can't reveal his source without jeopardizing his own position.

Eric said...

Therein lies the problem: to expose an illegal bank account of the Arroyos, Cayetano may have broken some laws himself. Does the end justify the means? I think not.

I agree with you, Hillblogger, that the Arroyos probably have some illegal account stashed away somewhere, but, unless there is concrete proof of it, any charges against the Arroyos will drag on, as in the cases of Erap and the Marcoses. It's clear that they're guilty of corruption, but proving it is another matter entirely.

Dang.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Eric,

There may be a way for Cayetano to get out of the bind: by letting Europes financial brigades investigate the Arroyo bank accounts.

Cayetano will have to submit the bank info and documents he's got on the Arroyos to the EU brigades on suspicion of money laundering.

Cayetano does not even have to divulge his identity nor that of his source or sources. The financial brigades in Europe need some paper trail to investigate - they can soldier on from there.

Only these financial brigades (runing under the auspices of OECD and their national governments) can crack any banking secrets wide open.

Money laundering is as very serious crime in the EU and if there are documents to show that the Arroyos may be guilty of money laundering, and are hiding their ill-gotten wealth in any of the banks in the EU, these financial brigades will get cracking but first, they need some kind of paper trail.

Eric said...

Why hasn't Cayetano done this, if this is the case?

HILLBLOGGER said...

I don't know.

Maybe he's not been told about the possibility.