Beyond the legality, there is reason to question the temerity of the appointing authority and the audacity of a losing party-list nominee.

In the May 2019 elections, Mocha Uson, first nominee of AA KASOSYO party-list, failed to get a seat in the House of Representatives. About four months after the elections, she was appointed Deputy Executive Director V of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Art. IX-B, Sec. 6 of the 1987 Constitution clearly states, “No candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the Government or any Government-owned or controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries.”

Sec. 94(b) of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160) has a similar provision: “Except for losing candidates in Barangay elections, no candidate who lost in any election shall, within one (1) year after such election, be appointed to any office in the government or any government-owned or-controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries”

While it may be argued that the party-list system provides for election of party-list groups (not individuals), it is better for those in power to exercise prudence in giving out appointments to its favored individuals clearly rejected by the voters. In the same way that the rich and powerful are bastardizing the party-list system, the clique holding office in Malacañan Palace cannot use legal technicalities to hide the ugly head of patronage politics.

Given the circumstances behind the appointment of Uson, it is high time for the Senate and the House of Representatives to expand the one-year ban on government appointments to losing party-list nominees, particularly the first, second and third nominees. This is one way for legislators to prove that they are not spineless puppets of Malacañan Palace.

The people should also voice their dissent in recycling the likes of Uson who has hardly made a difference in her work with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). This explains why she miserably failed to get a seat in the House of Representatives as a party-list nominee of AA KASOSYO party-list. Kontra Daya does not see the need to list Uson’s transgressions, particularly her penchant for spreading “fake news.”

Perhaps it is only necessary to share this undeniable fact: As Deputy Executive Director V of OWWA, Uson stands to get a monthly salary of at least P155,030 (Salary Grade 29-1). This translates to P1.86 million annually.

Lest we forget, her salary shall come from the people’s taxes. This all the more necessitates the need to expose the appointing authority’s temerity and Uson’s audacity.

Contact person: Assoc. Prof. Danilo Arao, Convenor, Kontra Daya

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