Both the Comelec’s Chairman and its Law Director have said that there is no money for the Pampanga recall elections. The Chairman said that the Comelec would not ask for money from the DBM. The implication – being forcefully insinuated by those opposed to the recall – is that if the Comelec can’t cough up the money, there will be no recall elections.
On a practical level, this might all be true. What get’s my goat, tho, is that the people who are opposed to the recall are trying to short-circuit the statutorily guaranteed process for kicking out bad elective officials through the ridiculous claim that there is no money.
First of all, recall elections are a valid means of empowering people to remove elective officials from power. Once the petition is approved (which it hasn’t been yet), the recall election is an activity that the Comelec is mandated to carry out. Because it is part of the citizen’s right of suffrage – because it is an integral mechanism of democracy – money should be the least of Comelec’s concerns.
While the petition hasn’t been approved, however (as is the case with Pampanga), the Comelec has no business saying things like ‘there’s no money’ and ‘we’re not gonna ask for money.’ That’s not even an issue! When the petition is approved (if it’s approved) the Comelec has no choice but to find the money. So these things that the Chairman is saying, what is he saying them for?
As it is, by insinuating that the recall petition is futile, he appears to be siding with Panlilio. Is that even proper for the Comelec? Or maybe it will be considered proper because he is, in effect, favoring a politician who is ranged against a known ally of the President?