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THINK BITS

Selfless act, partisan politics

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Last week Pope Benedict XVI shocked the whole world when he announced his resignation from the papacy. It left many speechless, especially Catholics.

Many of them – cardinals, bishops, nuns and lay leaders – could not believe the pope was stepping down by month’s end but eventually they accepted the Holy Father’s reason, that his debilitating health condition has affected his functions as the successor of St. Peter.

I am amazed by his gesture of recognizing his physical limitations, an act that is full of love. Our leaders should emulate this selflessness, a quality so rare today when politicians refuse to give up their public office.

Also last week, the Comelec First Division disqualified Jun Pe, Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan councilor bet in the south district of Cebu City for lack of residency.

The Comelec said his transfer of residence from the north to the south district was half hearted. While he said he transferred his residence in the south district he continued to serve as north district city councilor.

Pe plans to file a motion for reconsideration, insisting that he has documentary evidence that he lives in barangay Guadalupe.

Pe said he was actually happy that the disqualification was not due to the issue of term limits, which he believes is more difficult to overcome than on providing one-year residency.

While I believe Pe should be disqualified for violating the spirit and intent of the law which sets a maximum of three consecutive terms for an official to serve his post, I agree with the logic of the Comelec decision that Pe failed to prove that he effectively transferred his residence to the south district considering he continues to serve the north district as city councilor.

If only Jun Pe had resigned his seat in the city council upon fliling his certificate of candidacy, things could have been different, according to a comment by Comelec election officer Marchel Sarno.

* * *

Last Tuesday, I wrote about the Cebu City Council approving the budget for senior citizens with a proviso that cash assistance for the elderly should be released in June.

This deprives the mayor of the opportuntiy to release the cash assistance in April, which was already pre-scheduled.

The proviso was intended to prevent the mayor from using the cash assistance for partisan politics. But this also deprives senior citizens of enjoying the benefits they are entitled to earlier.

Another resolution was passed in the City Council, this time proposing that the cash assistance for senior citizens be released monthly instead of April.

Funny how the BO-PK-dominated council now wants to dictate when to release the cash assistance, forgetting that in approving the budget the city council has no more power to tell the mayor when to distribute it.

This is clearly partisan politics at the expense of over 3,000 elderly citizens in Cebu City. This aberration is reminiscent of the Marcos era.

Again I hope that our elected officials serve the public with only the welfare and interest of people uppermost in their minds.


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Tags: budget , Catholic Church , Cebu City Council , Pope Benedict XVI , resignation , senior citizens , Vatican




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