Whether now or later

There’s a lot of talk about how a new Chairman is not likely to be appointed since there are only 4 months left in the term former Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos left behind.

Without going into the likelihood of a new appointment, that conclusion isn’t completely accurate. Whether appointed now or in February 2008 (when BSA’s term would have run its course) the new Chairman will still serve only 4 months.

It helps to think of a Commissioner’s (or a Chairman’s) term as a clock that starts ticking upon appointment and continues to tick until it has achieved 7 year’s worth of ticking. Along the way, when an appointee leaves his office before his 7 years are up, the clock is stopped temporarily. There are two important things to remember here: first, the clock must stop. It does not run on when the office it is tolling the time for has suddenly gone vacant; and second,  even if it  is stopped, it is not reset. When a new appointee comes along, the clock just restarts from where it previously stopped.

When BSA resigned,  the clock of the chairmanship stopped cold. It does not continue ticking until February. So, if a new appointee assumes office now, he will be using the same clock that only has four months left on it. If, on the other hand, the new appointee assumes office in February – guess what? – he doesn’t get a new clock either. He still gets the clock that only has four months left on it.

So all this talk about no one being appointed because there are only four months left in the term BSA left behind is misguided. There are a dozen reasons at least why it is unlikely that a new chairman will be appointed anytime soon; but the truncated term is not one of them.


7 Responses

  1. Hi!

    Why have you been scarce on tv interviews or talk shows?

    Are you gagged?

    Or are you BSA spokesman or Comelec?

    How do you address Ciomm. Borra, OIC or Acting?


  2. Hi helga,

    My scarcity I think, is more because there are bigger stories than the barangay. Not gagged at all. I’ve been in several media forums over the weekend, actually, but very few of them actually make the news.

    I’m the spokesman of the COMELEC, not BSA, as some have thought. And that’s why I’m still in the COMELEC.

    RZB is Acting Chairman.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  3. sir james, can u pls ask the finance department to release the mobilization funds for the Barangay Elections….. I will be briefing my BETs tomorrow and yet i still dont have the necessary funds to shoulder the expenses. also, our city treasurer had informed me that the funds for the payment of the BET honoraria are still not with them…. baka ang mangyari eh maging parehas sa Reception Committee na until now eh hindi pa natatanggap ng mga teachers. sir, if only my AOR is close to Imperial Manila then I can drop by the Finance Dept everyday to thresh out this delays but sadly im here in Mindanao….. and the teachers are LITERALLY knocking at my doorsteps for this

  4. Gud am, please post na Reso No 3340 and 3341 please lang. resulotions sent thru our Pes office could hardly be read. thank you!

  5. Hi. This has nothing to do with your entry (although it was enlightening), but I just had to ask. Are you the James Jimenez, who was the Civil Law SC President in UST way back?

  6. Sir James, question lang po on Comelec Chairmanship that needs your immediate response and clarifications. If the 1987 Constitution categorically prohibits any member of the Comelec from being appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity [Art IX-c, Sec. 1(2)], who designated Commissioner Borra as “Acting Chairman”?

  7. jedi, the prohibition on appointing or designating an ‘acting’ or ‘temporary’ chairman is directed at the President. Which means the President cannot say that a person is being appointed Chairman, but only temporarily. The appointment must be a permanent appointment, subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

    In Borra’s case, he was not appointed or designated by the President. His designation as Acting Chairman was given by the Commission en banc, in the exercise of its administrative authority, and in the exigency of the service.

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