Press Release: Bilanggo na, Binilanggo pa

Bilanggo na, Binilanggo pa

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LENTE disagrees with the Supreme Court’s issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which enjoins registered detainees from voting for local positions in the upcoming national elections.

LENTE believes that the Supreme Court should have exercised the utmost caution in enjoining the implementation of Commission on Elections Resolution No. 9371 on detainee voting because it enjoys the presumption of validity. The suspension of the operation of the law or regulation is a delicate matter because it would interfere with the official acts, most especially if it involves implementing regulations and issuances of administrative agencies, which are accorded broad powers and considered experts in their particular area of concern.

LENTE thus urges the Supreme Court to reconsider its TRO on detainee voting as it used inappropriate standards in its issuance. In particular, it largely relied on the more lenient standards in the case of PNB v. Castalloy Technology Corporation,[1] which involved purely commercial interests, instead of the more stringent criteria set in Ermita v. Aldecoa,[2] which involved the implementation of an executive order. This higher standard naturally denotes that the courts must exercise deference toward legislation or regulation because they are developed through presumptively reasoned democratic processes.[3] The Supreme Court thus, should have exercised a higher degree of circumspection than it has been accustomed to when only private interests are involved, as the present issue lies largely within the public sphere.[4]

LENTE firmly stresses that elections should be made as inclusive as possible, for both voters and candidates, as it is a basic human right recognized in various international instruments as the right to participate in governance. It is thus obligatory upon states to ensure that this right is respected, protected and observed, and that elections should be made accessible to all voters who struggle to participate in traditional elections. There should be no discrimination toward any group with regard to their exercise of their voting rights.

 

For more queries:

 

Atty. Ryan Jay Roset

Research Director – LENTE

(02) 403-2249

0917-561-2989

lente.philippines@gmail.com

[1]               G.R. No. 178367, March 19, 2012.

[2]               G.R. No. 177130, June 7, 2011.

[3]               Id.

[4]               Id.

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