MANILA, Philippines — An independent member of the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking a snap presidential election on May 26 amid mounting protests against the Arroyo administration in light of allegations of corruption in the national broadband network deal (NBN) and other scandals.
Nueva Ecija Representative Eduardo Nonato Joson filed the bill on Monday in an attempt to being closure “to the many accusations being hurled against the administration.”
Under Joson’s bill, the election will only be for president, with the winner to serve out only the remainder of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term until June 30, 2010 and be ineligible for reelection.
The bill appropriates P2 billion for the proposed polls.
“The truth hounds. The truth haunts and the truth hurts. This is the primary objective of this proposal: To prevent danger and harm to our people precisely because in the search for truth and justice, someone will get hurt in the process,” he said in the bill’s explanatory note.
“[It] will be ironic and a tragedy if our people will be the victims of such search for truth and justice,” Joson added.
Joson pointed out that a snap election was held in 1986 to find out whether the dictator Ferdinand Marcos still had the trust and confidence of the people.
“A new mandate was necessary at the time to preempt growing opposition to his rule and the consensus at the time was that he could still win if elections were held then. The allegations of mis-governance were the same then and now,” Joson said.
Section Two of Joson’s bill says that if passed, the law will be deemed as “a political question based on historical precedent.”
“[This] could ultimately be decided only by the members of [Congress] as the duly elected representatives of the people in the first instance and by the people as the repository of sovereign authority,” the bill says.