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The Supreme Court ever since had made it clear that by reason of the nature of

the public employer and the peculiar character of the public service, public
employees and civil service employees, may not enjoy the same rights as other
private individuals.( National Housing Corporation v. Jucov)

Osmena vs Comelec : the notion that the government may restrict the
speech of some in order to enhance the relative voice of others is in
fact the animating principle of the Constitution.

Your Honors, Good Afternoon. As the beneficiality speaker, I will be


emphasizing 2 main points
First is that the subject provision ensures government impartiality,
credibility and integrity
And Second, it safeguards the guarantee to equal opportunity to public
service
As to my first point, we believe that the provision ensures
government impartiality and credibility
1. No less than the Constitution emphasizes that public office is a
public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times serve
the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and
efficiency.
In Chavez vs Gonzalez and a line of other cases, the Supreme Court
stressed that freedom of speech, just like all other rights, is not
absolute and may be subjected to restrictions as clear public
interest may require.
Since public office is a public trust, it is just important for the
COMELEC to limit some of the freedoms of government officers, not
only to ensure the integrity of the public office but also to guarantee
credibility and integrity of the elections.
2. An opinion delivered by a civilian, when expressed through the
figure of a public servant, is different in that it is now wrapped with
credibility that is usually associated with public office.
Just imagine a judge blogging about his preferred candidate or the
Regional Director of a government office encouraging his friends to
vote for a certain candidate. Because of the influence and authority
reposed in their corresponding offices, their posts might tend to have a
great impact on the readers and before we know it the original posts
are then multiplied by their friends and down the line to friends of
friends almost ad infinitum.
Such personal opinion may be perceived as the opinion of his office. This
conduct, although merely a statement of personal views, opinion and
preferences can affect public perception to the prejudice of the specific
branch of the government that the official represents.
As to my second and last point, the prohibition on government
employees guarantees equal opportunity to public service

Section 26, Article II, and Section 4, Article IX-C of the Constitution mandates that
the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service. With
this sprung the enactment of the Fair elections act and the promulgation of the
subject comelec resolution.

The latter laws recognize that a candidate already in public office is not on
the same par with an ordinary candidate. A public officer may use the
government machinery and resources to further their political motives. An
appointive official would naturally go for the appointing authority. The
opinions of these government officials is given much credence by virtue of
their office. This is aggravated by the pervasive and exponential reach of
social networking.
Oppositors might say that this deprives public officers of their
constitutional right to free speech. However, Diocese of Bacolod vs
COMELEC already clarified that Freedom of expression, being one of
general application, must yield to the specific demands under Article 2
and 9 of the Constitution.
Imagine the wide array of resources the administration, lets say an
incumbent Mayor, can utilize as compared to the opposing candidate. This
defeats the purpose of the law to even out the playing field in order to
provide equal opportunity for public office.
Yes, we recognize the fact that we cannot absolutely guarantee equal
opportunity to public office as some candidates might be better-off than
others. What we are trying to thwart are the use of government resources
taken from the hard-earned money of our tax payers intended provide
services to the public just to further private or personal causes, the
tendency of appointive government employees to campaign for the
appointing authority, and the use of public office to give undue advantage
to those already in the government.
Duque vs Veloso also reminds us that prejudice to public service is not
only through wrongful disbursement of public funds or property. Greater
damage comes with the publics perception of corruption, incompetence
and partiality in the government.
Therefore, we stand firm that by upholding the constitutionality of this
provision, we can preserve the credibility and impartiality of the
government and give life to the constitutional and statutory mandate of
ensuring equal access to public service.