Pimentel sees better-behaved officials
With the Supreme Court trashing the condonation doctrine, elected officials would now be more careful and be less likely to commit wrongdoing, in the opinion of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.
Pimentel hailed the high tribunal’s decision overturning the long-standing doctrine which held that reelection absolved an elected official from administrative penalties for wrongdoing committed during a previous term.
“All past sins or infractions of local government officials will now be swords of Damocles over their heads and if that is the case, everybody would be more careful,” Pimentel said in a phone interview.
The Supreme Court, in a decision upholding the Court of Appeals ruling blocking the Ombudsman’s suspension of then Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, did away with the condonation doctrine which unscrupulous government officials had turned to to get away with their crimes.
Binay had invoked the doctrine in contesting his suspension which stemmed from allegations he was involved in the corruption allegedly attending the construction of the P2.3-billion Makati City Hall Building II.
Pimentel chairs the Blue Ribbon subcommittee that investigated the allegations in the Senate.
“It’s about time the Supreme Court abandoned the doctrine that we had blindly followed, and which it turned out did not have any basis in law or in the Constitution,” he said.
In doing away with the doctrine, the Supreme Court “found no basis for saying that the election of an official to a new term fully absolves the official of any administrative liability arising from an offense committed during a prior term.”
“As can be seen from this discourse, it was a doctrine adopted from one class of US rulings back in 1959 and, thus, is out of touch from—and now rendered obsolete by—the current legal regime. In consequence, it is high time for this court to abandon the condonation doctrine,” it said.
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