I will never understand how a lawyer works. It seems like no matter what the law says, lawyers will always find a way to get around it. This boils down to the best lawyer being the one to find the solution to the hardest problem at hand. The one who could be sleazy enough to take you out of the tightest situation. And we're only talking about fair being fair. No bribes or relatives or fraternity brothers working on the sides.
This thought has been sparked by the insistence of Erap to run for the highest position in the land once more. If an ordinary man was to read the law, it is plain and simple. He cannot run again for that office. However, his lawyers argue that the provision in the constitution does not apply to him as he was not able to finish his term, blah blah blah. Ironically, I believe that is the ultimate reason why he can't. If I remember my history correctly, the provision was made to prevent a bad president from staying in office and do more damage. This was done to prevent another Marcos from re-assuming office and using the powers of the same to remain for a very long time, which Marcos actually did using his constitutional mumbo jumbo.
I know as much that when the law is ambiguous and there is uncertainty as to its interpretation, we look back at the framers of said constitution and try to find the spirit behind the law. To me, the spirit behind the prohibition is for elected presidents not to run for office again, whether they did well or not, lest we are stuck with a very bad president. It never said anything about whether or not such term was completed. It says "elected". We only have to remember that the present constitution was made right after the ouster of strongman Marcos and that it was done in fear of history repeating itself. How could that be hard to understand?
Was Erap a bad president? Erap was ousted from office because the people believed he was not a good one. As a matter of fact, the court has decided, with finality, that he used public funds to enrich himself. He was incarcerated for plunder and was only given, for whatever reason it serves the present President, pardon. How can he run for office and aspire to be re-elected? He said to let the public be the judge thinking that the masa that supported him before will do so again. He must have a short memory but I remember it was the public who went out of the streets to oust him.
Labels: elections, politics