A recall is a process which begins with the gathering of the signatures, and then proceeds to the filing of a recall petition with the COMELEC, the verification of such petition, the fixing of the date of the recall election, and the holding of the election on the date scheduled by the COMELEC.
History reveals that a recall election may take place within a short span of time or take longer than almost a year from the date of its initiation. In the case of Caloocan City Mayor Rey Malonzo, the recall election was held on 14 December 1996 or barely 5 months from the gathering of the required signatures. The recall of Mayor Jovito Claudio of Pasay City was initiated on 19 May 1999 and the recall election was held on 15 April 2000. On 2 July 2002, the people of Puerto Princesa City initiated the recall of Mayor Dennis Socrates and the COMELEC set the recall election on 14 August 2002.
I foresee that the recall of Among Ed would pass the same route as that of Mayor Claudio. It’s going to be a long protracted legal battle. Among Ed’s legal eagles would surely file opposition to the recall petition before the COMELEC citing Lilia Pineda’s pending election protest as a prejudicial question which must first be resolved before the petition for recall could be given due course. The form and substance of the petition would also be expected to be questioned by his lawyers. Even if the COMELEC would eventually give due course to the recall petition, the legal battle does not end there. The Supreme Court would finally decide whether the recall election shall take place.
The whole recall process is a very expensive exercise. The proponents of the recall of Among Ed would spend millions to buy signatures and more millions to buy votes during the recall election. These exclude the enormous amounts to be spent on election campaign, PR and lawyer’s fee. Among Ed himself would not be spared from the burden of incurring cost involved in a recall. He would certainly need millions to get reelected.
It has been said that an initiative to recall an official is always resisted with stronger vim and venom. The reason is obvious. The incumbent would not like to lose power just recently won. The challenger, often a loser in the previous election, would not want to lose a second time. It foments divisive, wasteful and bloody politics where lives are often lost. Moreover, a recall election would undermine the delivery of basic services to the public. The running of the local government units would slow down as our elected officials would be preoccupied with the recall election campaign. This all augurs ill for the future of Pampanga.
This article is also posted in PamagCUSA website and Kasaup blog