Abalos resignation bogus, House urged to push impeach bid
Former Senator Francisco S. Tatad today said there appears to be no record of Chairman Benjamin Abalos of the Commission on Elections having submitted a formal written of resignation to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and of her having accepted such resignation, thereby rendering questionable the veracity of his announced resignation.
"The published statement attributed to Presidential Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol saying that Abalos will be on terminal leave until his compulsory retirement on February 8, 2008 confirms the fact that Abalos has not resigned, and that there is no factual or legal basis for the House of Representatives to abandon the impeachment complaint against the Comelec chief. Unless and until he resigns formally and that resignation is accepted by the appointing authority, he remains an impeachable officer, and the interested parties have every reason to proceed with their impeachment complaint against Abalos," said Tatad, who chairs the Philippine Democratic Caucus and the Citizens vs. Corruption Task Force.
"The theory of constructive resignation, which the Supreme Court invented to justify the ouster of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 2001, does not and cannot possibly apply to Abalos. He has to submit a formal letter of resignation, and President Arroyo must accept it in order for the same to become effective, and place him beyond the reach of the impeachment process. Otherwise, the announced resignation, which Malacanang wants now to translate into a mere terminal leave of absence, is completely bogus, and he would have succeeded in playing the entire nation for fools," Tatad said.