23 February 2010

Bulacan's Rightful Governor

Roberto M. Pagdanganan
U.S. President Barrack Obama once said, "If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

This seems to be the most apt political quote that describes the saga of Bulacan's rightful Governor, Roberto M. Pagdanganan. He was eventually declared the duly elected governor of the province in the 2007 mid-term polls by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on 9 February 2010. This decision meant that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) need to immediately unseat proclaimed Bulacan Gov. Joselito Mendoza.

In an 11-page resolution, the COMELEC had denied Mendoza's motion for reconsideration and upheld last year's decision of the Second Division which ruled that Pagdanganan won over Mendoza by a vote margin of 4,321, owing to some votes "written by one person," among other reasons.

"The Comelec denies the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. The resolution of the Second Division, annulling the proclamation of Joselito Mendoza, and declaring Roberto Pagdanganan as duly elected to said office is affirmed with modification," the poll body noted.

The Comelec added that due to the "proximity of the end of the term of office involved, this resolution is declared immediately executory."

But wait! former Governor Mendoza wants to hear nothing of this. In a press conference held at his office, he claimed that the latest COMELEC decision is null and void. He said that the decision is legally infirm as it did not follow the rules and procedure of the COMELEC that requires a majority vote.

But while the former Governor can see an objection, maybe he should be prudent and honorable enough to just vacate his former office now and follow the directive of the COMELEC and the DILG. Everyone will agree that there is a legal process that should be followed, but while the camp of the former governor is pursuing this track, he should not hold on to the power and make a mockery of the democratic process. Everyone who watched the drama unfold in the Provincial Capitol of Bulacan can clearly see that those who tried to cling to their position despite the orders of COMELEC are those who think that their perks, handouts, travel and never ending ego-trip photo opportunities are marginally better if they can hold on much longer than cut it short immediately.

Mendoza's camp further claimed that the resolution is irregular as it does not have the majority since out of the seven (7) Commissioners, only three voted in favor of Pagdanganan, another three did not take part in the voting while Commissioner Rene Sarmiento voted for Mendoza and penned a dissenting opinion.

Initially, one might think that Mendoza has a clear case, but that is just an illusion. The Commissioners were not voting on whether Pagdanganan won or not because this issue was already decided by the Second Division. They were voting on the Mendoza's motion for reconsideration. What effin' planet are these Mendoza advisers and supporters on? That means, the resolution is the one that needs to secure a majority vote of 4 or more.

Let us just hope that any kind of banal stupidity will not get further extension or the province of Bulacan will only suffer and the voter's decision will not get the respect it needs.