problem for the House
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
A noted politician of the old school was once quoted as saying “Politics is addition”. Some of his colleagues snickered, and several columnists quoted him repeatedly in a derisive manner, because that official was also noted for the quaint way he spoke English.
That statement came out many years ago, but now it seems that the old man knew whereof he spoke, because even the Supreme Court in this country seems to think so too.
So now we are faced with a suddenly burgeoning House of Representatives that has to accept 32 new members into its ranks, members who had ran in the last election under party-list groups but were not proclaimed by the Commission on Elections as winners.
The sudden increase caught even the Speaker of the House unaware. Among his earliest reactions was to express worry over how to find space for the new members who are now very eager to seat themselves among their peers, having already lost two years while waiting in the wings.
However, although the High Court had specified that the order to seat them was immediately executory, members of the House are raising questions about the legality of the ruling. They are pointing out that the Constitution itself states that there should only be at most 250 members. With the 32 new members, there will be 270, and so, what authority is there for the excess 20 to take office?
A seasoned member of Congress claims that the SC may have erred in computing the numbers. Well, the Supreme Court is not infallible, unlike the Pope. Could it have miscalculated or misinterpreted the Constitution, or did it get the wrong figures from other sources? The congressman also said it could be a mathematical error.
The old politico who said politics is addition knew his mathematics. Do the questioners mean that the SC justices need to review theirs?*