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Jun 25th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Bloc Voting for President and Vice President Proposed
Bloc Voting for President and Vice President Proposed PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Monday, 28 April 2008 14:24

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) is batting for the adoption of bloc voting as a mode for electing the President and Vice President of the republic.

This proposal is embodied in Joint Resolution No. 10, introduced by Senator Pimentel and supported by 15 other senators, which calls for the convening of Congress into a Constituent Assembly that will amend the 1987 Constitution to establish a federal system of government.

The resolution provides that “the President and the Vice President shall be voted as a team.”

“The vote for a presidential candidate shall automatically be counted as a vote for his or her vice-presidential candidate if the latter belongs to the same party, aggrupment or coalition of parties as the former does,” the resolution states.

This rule applies even if the ballot does not contain a vote for a vice-presidential candidate.

Senator Pimentel explained that bloc voting will ensure that the President and Vice President will work harmoniously for the implementation of the objectives and programs of their administration.“In the past, there were many times when the President and Vice President came from rival parties. Naturally, this gave rise to a situation where they often quarreled on many issues due to policy differences or partisan factors. Inevitably, these squabbles affected the interest of the nation,” he said.

The Resolution also prescribes the following rules for electing the President and Vice President:

•    A vote for a vice-presidential candidate in a ballot that does not contain a vote for a presidential candidate shall be counted automatically as a vote for the presidential candidate who is officially the running mate of the vice-presidential candidate concerned.

•    In the event that the ballot contains votes for a presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate who is not the team mate of the former but belongs to another political party, aggrupment or coalition, the vote shall be counted only in favor of the presidential candidate.

•    Until Congress shall provide otherwise, existing legislation shall govern the other aspects of the casting, appreciation and counting of the votes of presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, Senator Pimentel defended his proposal for increasing the membership of the Senate and House of Representatives under the federal system.

Based on his proposal, six senators will be elected from each of the 11 component federal states. In addition, nine other senators will be elected to represent the Filipinos residing or working overseas.

This will effectively increase the number of senatorial seats from the present 24 to 75.

“The original number of 24 senators was based on a population of 20 million. But now we are nearing 90 million. It’s about time we raise the number of senators,” Mr. Pimentel said.

Senator Pimentel noted that even Malaysia, which has a population smaller than that of the Philippines, has a bigger number of legislative members.The resolution also provides that Congress shall hold office and its sessions in Tagbilaran City in BoholCentral Visayas. However, the Senate and House of Representatives may authorize their committees to hold public hearings in aid of legislation or conduct investigation in furtherance of its oversight functions in any part of the republic.

“The idea here is to disperse even the symbol or seats of power. This is being done in other countries,” Senator Pimentel said. # # # province,

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Last Updated on Monday, 28 April 2008 14:53

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