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Commentary
April 19, 2016

Choosing the Next President and Other Officials

Part 1 of 2

Three weeks from the now, Filipinos will choose their next set of officials – from the president, vice president, senators, congressmen to the local government officials. 

I want the next President to be law abiding. He should be true to the oath he will take before he enters into office: “ to faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation.” (Constitution of the Philippines, Article 7, Section 5).

I want him to protect and honor the tripartite system of government: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. I want him to embrace, nurture and strengthen the unanimous Supreme Court decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which defined the respective powers of the President and Congress. The President prepares the budget and implements the general appropriations act as approved by Congress, while Congress authorizes the budget.

Next-President

NEW BUDGET PROTOCOL

The Supreme Court’s decision on the DAP is now part of the laws of the land. It reinforces the existing budget rules enshrined in the Constitution, and the both the next President and Congress should embrace, not resist, the ruling.

The power to tax and power to authorize appropriations are both assigned to Congress, a bicameral body. Senators and representatives are elected to represent their constituencies. That’s the essence of representative democracy: citizens elect their representatives to vote in their behalf.

Hence, a candidate for the Senate or the House, who cannot uphold the congressional power of the purse, who would be unwilling to diligently review every item in the President’s budget in exchange for political patronage, should be rejected in the 2016 polls.

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