A time for change
A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2019 - 12:00am

Today is the start of the campaign period for candidates aspiring for more than 18,000 positions in the local government units (LGUs). Henceforth those running for governor, vice governor, board members, city or municipal mayors, vice mayors and councilors, as well as members of the House of Representatives of the respective districts in the provinces or cities, will be considered as official candidates and must therefore comply with the rules on campaigning.

Of great interest and concern in this connection is the size of the campaign posters and the places where they are posted. It is quite notable and very evident that so many of these posters are oversized and posted outside of the common poster areas designated by the COMELEC. These campaign posters likewise appear in public buildings and offices or in private properties without the consent of the owners. Obviously, they violate the COMELEC rules on campaigning which must be followed during the campaign period. The electoral body has also banned the posting of photographs and names of candidates on government vehicles, particularly ambulances, which are quite conspicuous and very prevalent even long before a scheduled election or prior to the start of the campaign period. As COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said, “government agencies should not be involved in partisan politics so their facilities and properties should be devoid of campaign materials.”

To be sure however, it must be pointed out once more that before the start of the campaign period or before today, the putting up of posters and streamers by aspirants who already filed their certificates of candidacy, or their going around to introduce themselves to the voters in the different barangays and other areas of the province, city, or municipality where they intend to run for office, do not violate the Election Law or COMELEC rules. As held by the Supreme Court in Penera vs. Comelec, “one who files a certificate of candidacy within the period fixed for filing is not yet considered a candidate until the start of the campaign period.” This is the very reason for the proliferation of oversized campaign posters of some aspirants before the campaign period starts. But once the campaign period starts, they have to remove all those illegal posters, or else the COMELEC will disqualify them. Hence, if only for this reason we should welcome the start of the campaign period because our areas will be more pleasant and cleaner. The candidates who put up these posters will have to remove them or else they may be disqualified from running for elective office.

And as far as our family is concerned, the coming election is more meaningful and significant because one of our sons, Joseph Peter (Jopet) Sison is running for vice mayor of Quezon City. Despite my misgivings and doubts about our kind of politics and politicians, I did not discourage or stop him from running as vice mayor precisely because I believe that he may be able to at least start the needed changes that will improve our politics and governance not only in Quezon City but in our country. One thing certain here is that based on his past experience in politics and in public service, he considers public office as a public trust and will serve the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.”

Jopet is now 53 years old, married to a lawyer, Cef Macalino-Sison, and with three sons, Jat, Joigo and Javi. Even while a student at the Ateneo Grade School, he has already immersed himself in helping other people especially the less fortunate and the poor who are marginalized and deprived. He graduated at the Ateneo with a Degree in Bachelor of Science, Major in Legal Management. Thereafter, he enrolled at Manuel L. Quezon University where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1992.

Even as a student, he was already elected as Kagawad of Barangay Pinagkaisahan in the fourth district of Quezon City. Later he was elected as councilor of the fourth district during which he authored 100 ordinances and introduced 170 resolutions. While sitting as councilor of Quezon City, he served as assistant majority leader, vice chairman of the committee on laws, rules and internal government, chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, committee on police and peace and order, revision of ordinances and consolidation of proposed legislative measures, public information and communication , QC Tricycle Franchising Board, and Labor Conciliation.

He also had a stint in the House of Representatives serving as the political officer of the majority floor leader and as chief of staff of the minority floor leader.

In the Executive department, he served as assistant general manager of the National Housing Authority (NHA) which is the housing production arm of the government in charge of putting up relocation sites for informal settlers and upgrading slum communities. He also became president of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp.(NHMFC) which establishes secondary mortgage market in the Philippines that launched the country’s first Securities backed residential mortgage known as the “Bahay Bonds” which were twice oversubscribed and was thus awarded as the Best Securitization Deals of the Year by the Asian Assets Awards.

Even when he was no longer in government service, Jopet still rendered public service by co-hosting the legal drama anthology “Ipaglaban Mo” where he helped me in sharing basic knowledge of the law as contained in Supreme Court decisions.

His platform in running for vice mayor of Quezon City essentially consist of maintaining peace and order, preserving the environment and cleanliness of the city, promoting the general welfare and interest of the residents, protecting basic human rights and upholding truth and justice for all. In particular these consist of the projects and programs of his running mate who will provide funds for the health of the QC residents, free education from elementary to high school, increase in allowance of teachers and assisting persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Citizens will also be provided with basic social services especially for the funeral expenses of the dead, free internet services, relocation of informal settlers to permanent residences, reducing the realty tax of home and lot owners, strengthening the police force in maintaining peace and order by providing 60 motorcycles to each police station, providing the barangay official with funds up to P10 million for barangay projects , raising the salary of city hall employees, facilitating the issuance of business permits for businessmen, adding six assistant city administrators for faster and more efficient public service.

And so we really hope that you help and support Jopet Sison to be the next vice mayor of QC together with his running mate for mayor and the rest of their team who are all aspiring for various positions so that they can achieve their promised changes for the best interest and welfare of the residents.

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Email: attyjosesison@gmail.com

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