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One-year appointment ban does not apply to Mocha Uson —Comelec


The one-year ban on individuals who lost in the previous elections from getting government positions does not apply to Mocha Uson, the newly appointed deputy administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez said the ban didn't apply to Uson, whose party-list group AA-Kasosyo failed to get enough votes to secure at least a seat in the House of Representatives.

“She is not covered. Party-list nominees are not candidates per se and so, the rule does not apply to them,” Jimenez said.

Election lawyer Emilio Marañon said as much, citing Rule 4 Section 3 of Comelec Resolution 9366 on the conduct of party-list elections.

Comelec Resolution 9366 reads “Nominees holding appointive or elective offices may continue to hold office even after acceptance of their nomination, and the one year prohibition from being hired or rehired in a public office after their party-list organizations fail to secure the needed votes to qualify them for a seat in the House of Representatives, will not apply to them.”

The same Comelec Resolution provided that incumbent party-list representatives who are nominated in the party-list race will not be considered resigned.

“The one-year appointment ban does not apply to party-list nominees like Mocha Uson,” Marañon said in a statement.

Article 9b, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution states that “no candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the government or any government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries.”

The same provision also reads that “no candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the government or any government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries.”

Marañon, however, said that the constitution and even the Party-list law are not explicit as to whether the ban covers the party-list or the nominee.

“The constitutional prohibition applies to candidates. As regards party-list elections, does it pertain to the party or to its nominees? It is an interesting legal question as Republic Act No. 7941 (party-list) per se has no equivalent provision,” Marañon said.

In October 2018, Uson resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office's (PCOO) and claimed that such sacrifice must be made in the name of the swift approval of the proposed 2019 budget for PCOO worth P1 billion.

“Tila mayroon pong mga kongresista na iniipit ang budget ng PCOO. Ito pong mga makakaliwang kongresista, galit na galit po sa akin," she told senators.

"Taun-taon na lang, sinasabihan ako ng 'Huwag punahin ang mga mambabatas para hindi maipit ang budget ng PCOO.' Kaya ako na lang po ang magsasakripisyo para maipasa ang budget ng PCOO. Nagdesisyon po ako na mag-resign na po."

Uson was referring to the deferment of the PCOO's proposed budget in the House of Representatives twice due to Uson's absence.

At that time, Uson just returned to the country from being one of the members of the Philippine delegation in the United Nations General Assembly in New York City led by then Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano. —NB, GMA News

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