by Mortz Ortigoza
The "Vote" of Pacquaio in Twitter is bad taste in the mouth. Voting him for congress work was a waste of precious government funds. He could not even attend a historical session recently that voted for an Article of Impeachment for the Senate to judge an alleged corrupt and incompetent Ombudsperson. The chap is only in Baguio-- a four-hour ride to the House of Representatives. Dereliction of Duty at its worst!
What if a Filipino taxpayer files a Petition for Declaratory Relief at the Regional Trial Court near his residence by asking it to decide pronto if world-class boxer Manny Pacquiao can just kept leaving his congressional works because he trains and boxes big time abroad?
What if the complainant asks the court for a preventive injunction or temporary restraining order as the judge diligently decides if Pacquaio has patently abandoned his fulltime congressional job in lieu of the lucrative hurt business?
I wrote this article with concern after reading the recent issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer on the Code of Conduct issued by House of Representatives Speaker Sonny Belmonte to congressmen to follow.
I wrote this article to remind everybody that Pacquaio has a higher calling than the glory of pugilism.
Pacquiao has contract with the Filipinos
Like Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s leader social contract with the people, Manny has a contract with the Filipinos and not with Bob Arum after he was sworn to his congressional job.
That contract is to dutifully do his responsibilities in a full time capacity in terms of regular public hearing, identifying government projects, researching, dialoguing, debating, and crafting laws at the August Chamber.
All of these are for the good of the Filipinos.
These are not about how to earn hundreds of millions of dollars for him and the honour his boxing brought to his country.
Court should decide that Code of Conduct prohibits also solon working in another private job
What the Code of Conduct -that was obviously a copy cat of the laws on lawmakers in the Constitution - says: “A member may not receive compensation or any pecuniary interest and may not permit compensation or any pecuniary interest to accrue to the member’s beneficial interest from any source, the receipt of which would occur by virtue of influence improperly exerted from the member’s position in Congress”,
“A member shall not hold any other office or employment in the government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled-corporations or subsidiaries, during the member’s term without forfeiting the member’s seat in the House”
Pecuniary interest in working full time or part-time in the private sector is apparently silent there.
But this silence could not be an imprimatur for a lawmaker to work in the private sector despite his working fulltime as elective official.
Congressmen would emulate Manny’s working in another job
We should not ignore this silence because this could open a Pandora box for congressmen to emulate what Pacquaio has been manifestly and incessantly been doing outside his congressional work.
A Petition for Declaratory Relief and a TRO for his upcoming Mosley fights can serve as a test case to preserve the long time ignored mockery of a public office.
Pacquiao should know that he is not elected to serve Saranggani only. He should know that he is elected to serve the Philippines.
His office is not like that of a localized Board Member who can be employed in the private sector. His office is a nationalized one that entails full time work.
His office is not covered by the Local Government Code. His office is covered by the Constitution.
If he wants to box, he resigns from his congressional post.
If he wants to be a good congressman, he stops to box.
Upright Filipinos don’t want a pound-for-pound king who masquerades as congressman.
They want a bustling country -where everybody benefits economically- steered by a full time congressman that does not only enrich for himself but help enriched his marginalized constituents.
(Send comments to email@example.com)