Mark Villar’s acceptance of the presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to be the secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is a "constitutional violation" says election lawyer Romulo Macalintal.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that Villar may face a criminal case in accepting the position in DPWH.
"Sa kanyang pagtanggap ng posisyon sa DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) ay baka magkaroon siya ng criminal case sa pagtanggi sa pagtupad sa kanyang tungkulin sa isang posisyon na siya ay nahalal," Atty. Romulo Macalintal said in a media interview.
He cited Article 234 of the Revised Penal Code, which states, "The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who, having been elected by popular election to a public office, shall refuse without legal motive to be sworn in or to discharge the duties of said office."
Atty. Macalintal advised Villar to first take his oath of office, report at his office at the House of Representatives, then consequently resign by handing out a resignation letter.
"Hindi puwede ang diretso kaagad na hindi niya makikita ang kanyang tanggapan ay iiwanan niya kaagad ito. Inihalal naming (since he himself is a Las Pinas resident) siya tapos iyung pala, iiwanan ka kapag nakakita ng mas magandang position. Nangako sila na sila'y magbibigay ng trabaho, e iyun pala ay sila ang mag-aaply ng trabaho sa ibang lugar," he lamented.
"Palagay ko iyun ay hindi magandang tingnan dahil ipinangako niya na siya'y maglilingkod dito sa Las Piñas at hindi doon sa DPWH," he explained.
He added that Villar cannot be both a congressman and secretary of DPWH as it would bring about illegal double compensation.
"Tingnan natin, noong nanungkulan si Mr. Mark Villar (bilang kongresista), nadagdagan ba ang emoluments of that office where he is now to be appointed?" the lawyer said.
The veteral election lawyer also quoted Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution, which says "No Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected."
He also mentioned that the government will again devote millions of pesos for a special election for his replacement.
"Gagastos na naman ang ating pamahalaan ng halos P100 milyon para lamang magkaroon ng special elections para magkaroon ng kapalit ni Mr. Mark Villar," he said.
"Malungkot ang mga taga-Las Piñas. Di namin akalain na ganun ang gagawin ng aming kinatawan. Sayang lang ang boto ng mga taga- Las Piñas," a disappointed Atty. Macalintal said.
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