Seares: Pot bellies at City Hall added to Mayor Rama’s ‘war’ list. Comelec opinion allows appointment of Colin Rosell: not all election losers are equal.

CONTEST, NOT REQUIREMENT. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, at the City Hall flag ceremony Monday, November 14, 2022, announced a reduce-the-belly contest among city government workers.

Speaking off the cuff, with the idea whipped out of TV air, specifically “The Biggest Loser” show, Rama plans to reward those who’d slim down in the next seven months.

Not a requirement, unlike the program for the police, the new Rama “pakulo” doesn’t have rules yet, except that contestants will be measured before December. and, again, in July. No specifics yet about target belly size and categories per body mass index.

Rama believes that “healthy workers can better serve the public.” Indeed, except that what ails most government bureaucracies is not physical ailment of workers; how many of them need to lift weights or chase and tackle down clients?

Controversies and scandals that have rocked City Hall and complaints about employees’ work don’t involve bodily-unfit employees.

Deficiency or wrongdoing in service is caused not by ailment but a flawed system and erratic or weak management, which, to recall, BOPK’s Margot Osmena promised to “straighten out” had she beaten Mayor Mike in the elections.

The belly size doesn’t always signify ineptness or corruption of the worker. But a fight against obesity, specifically unwanted fat on the waist, why not? Just don’t let up on the “gubat” on floods, heavy traffic and garbage, among others, in the mayor’s war-on-things list.

HOW TO IDENTIFY THEM. Those with pot belly won’t be asked to stand and identify themselves as the obese among City Hall’s 7,363 employees (as of September 30, 2022). Nor will they be physically examined to measure waistline. That would amount to fat-shaming of sort.

Most likely the tape measure will be used only on workers willing to compete for prizes.

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ROSELL APPOINTMENT. There were two opinions that support the legality of the appointment of Collin Rosell, as secretary to Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, within one year after the May 2022 elections:

[] A June 19, 2019 Comelec resolution said the prohibition doesn’t apply to nominees of losing party-list groups as “nominees are not the candidates but the party-list itself.” The Comelec ruling favored appointees like Mocha Uson, a nominee of AA Kasosyo, which failed to get a seat in the 2019 elections. In Rosell’s case, his party-list Marino won only one seat and he was the third nominee.

[] Asked about Erwin Tulfo, a fourth nominee of party-list ACT-CIS, which got three seats in the May 2022 elections, a Comelec official said Tulfo was not ineligible for DSWD secretary because “as nominee he was not the candidate.” Rosell’s Marino, with only one seat secured by the party’s votes, didn’t make it.

DISSENT TO COMELEC STAND. Some people disagreed with the Comelecstand. Comelec’s own legal department submitted a contrary opinion in 2019 but was overruled in an en banc resolution. Former Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon wanted the ban to apply to party-list nominees, saying they are the same as other candidates, invoking the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Comelec rules apparently apply to party-list nominees before the elections but not after the elections. Under Resolutions #9366 and #9413, a non-elective government official is considered resigned upon the acceptance of his party-list nomination. And a disqualification petition can be filed against a party list nominee. In effect, they are deemed candidates before the balloting but not after that.

And until the Supreme Court or Congress says explicitly that party-list nominees are also candidates and shall be treated equally with regular candidates, they’re not banned from appointment within the one-year period. Not all election losers are equal, it would seem.

Rosell and his appointer, Rama, are safe, at least if nobody litigates over the appointment. Collin and Mike can continue collaborating on those executive orders and the profound quotes each E.O. carries.

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REASON FOR LOSS. Speaking of thoughts profound, how’s this explanation of a Fox News “analyst” on why Republican Mehmet Oz lost to Democrat John Fetterman in the Senate midterm race in Pennsylvania? Wait for it.

He said, “Dr. Oz lost because Fetterman won.” And he wasn’t being funny. Which made it the butt of late-show jokes.

CREDIT, BLAME. Former U.S. president Donald Trump was asked by NewsNation last Tuesday about the U.S. midterm-election and the Republican party’s performance. He said, “Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit. And if they lose, I should not be blamed at all.”