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.