Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ang Ladlad's Medieval Resolution and Ferrer's Marginalization

Comelec commissioner Nicodemus Ferrer, chair of the Comelec's second division, is a member of Binmaley's ageing population. The oldest among the present crop of election commissioners, Ferrer positions himself as a moral praetorian guard. Decide if Ferrer's defense on rejecting Ang Ladlad's petition for accreditation deserves our greatest praise:

Ferrer argued the decision has sufficient legal basis citing Revised Penal Code Article 201, which also calls immoral “those who shall publicly expound or proclaim doctrines openly contrary to public morals.”

“To be moral is not old-fashioned and to be modern does not mean that you are no longer moral,” Ferrer said in reaction to critics.

These kinds of stupid and foolish statements do not deserve a place in our country's election laws. Instead of citing the impossibility of declaring the homosexual community as a legitimate sector, Ferrer went beyond and instead, discussed Ang Ladlad's suitability as a "marginalized" and "under-represented" "sector.

Foolish. Very foolish indeed for a former judge to do that.

With this resolution, what Ferrer did was self-legislation, which is not within the purview of powers of the Comelec. Ferrer, in fact, gave Ang Ladlad enough ammunition to actually declare itself as a "sector". This determination lies in the territory of Congress, not Comelec.

I don't know if Ferrer read the law, but the terms "marginalized" and "underrepresented" describes the status of a sector, not a description of a sector. Sectors have already been described and stated under Section 5 of RA 7941, and the Comelec is not empowered to add or subtract anything stated in that law. What Comelec, as a quasi-judicial body, is empowered to do is interpret the intention of the law or the body that enacted it.

Instead of avoiding the "moral" or "ethical" dimensions of Ang Ladlad's petition, Ferrer, wittingly or unwittingly, decided to go that path, a foolish decision, if you ask me. Ferrer's decision in this case opens the possibility of other non-sectors now claiming "sector" status because, Ferrer directly considered Ang Ladlad a sector.

Tsk,tsk,tsk. Maybe Ferrer just wanted to assume the role of his namesake, the Famous leader of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus who was sympathetic to Jesus Christ. Or, maybe the Commissioner wanted to become Saint Nicodemus, the Hagiorite, who edited the famous Philocalia, an anthology of spiritual writings. Instead of editing spiritual documents, Ferrer just edited an edict made by men.