Several weeks ago, Politikal Pinoy asked a rhetorical question: Is Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni in violation of the Philippine Constitution?
We knew what the answer was. Even a non-lawyer would know.
It is clearly in violation of Republic Act No. 6713 which establishes a code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees to uphold the time-honored principle of public office being a public trust. It also lists prohibited acts and transactions pertaining to elected or appointed public officials.
Section 7 of the Act lists, among others, the following prohibition:
(d) Solicitation or acceptance of gifts. – Public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.
The key words here are “directly or indirectly.” Some Leni supporters had argued that because they were not giving money directly to Leni, it would not violate the law. They were clearly wrong, and the Supreme Court has just issued a ruling confirming what we thought all along.
Of course, as expected, Leni’s supporters are appealing the ruling. They surely need some good advice on how to use their resources wisely. It’s just a waste of time. Or perhaps, a calculated delaying tactic?
Let the electoral protest process proceed, so that we can put this circus behind us — regardless of its outcome.