Election watchdog seeks shortlist for Comelec vacancies – BusinessWorld On-line

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PHILSTAR

THE NATIONAL Residents’ Motion for Free Elections (Namfrel) has requested President Rodrigo R. Duterte to expose his shortlist of candidates for appointment to the Fee of Elections (Comelec).

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In a press release on Monday, the election watchdog cited the necessity for a clear and clear appointment course of for the three vacant positions on the election physique provided that elections are lower than three months away.

“A clear appointment course of, with concentrate on {qualifications} and suitability for the job, will assist dispel considerations that the Comelec as a constitutional physique shall be composed of people that solely come from the president’s hometown, or who’re inside his inside circle,”Namfrel mentioned.

The presidential palace mentioned the choice course of could be clear and candidates would endure a strict merit-based vetting course of.

The Duterte authorities would “guarantee trustworthy, peaceable and credible elections on Might 9,” Cupboard Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles mentioned in a press release. “The conduct of the electoral train would absolutely conform to the necessities of the Structure and regulation.”

On Might 9, Filipinos are selecting the substitute of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who’s barred by regulation from working for reelection and is proscribed to a single six-year time period.

Three of Comelec’s members retired final week, leaving it with simply 4 commissioners. It has since reorganized its two divisions.

Preparations for the Might 9 elections wouldn’t be crippled by the latest vacancies, election spokesman James B. Jimenez mentioned this month.

“Namfrel believes that by guaranteeing a clear appointment course of, the president will depart a long-lasting legacy of a robust, unbiased and credible Fee on Elections,” it mentioned.

Comelec consists of a md and 6 commissioners, all of whom have a seven-year time period with out reappointment. Presidential appointments should be cleared by the Fee on Appointments, which consists of senators and congressmen.

Former First Division Presiding Commissioner Maria Rowena V. Guanzon, Former Comelec Chairman Sheriff M. Abas, and Former Commissioner Antonio Kho T., Jr., retired this month, leaving solely 4 commissioners to determine on pending instances.

Its First Division this month rejected three consolidated lawsuits looking for to disqualify former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. from the presidential race. The choice is on enchantment on the Comelec en banc.

Within the ruling written by Commissioner Aimee P. Ferolino, Comelec mentioned Mr. Marcos’s failure to file his tax returns within the Eighties, for which he was convicted for tax evasion a decade later, didn’t contain depraved, deviant conduct.

“There could be fewer issues if the choices on the division ranges had been resolved earlier than the commissioners’ retirement,” former Comelec Commissioner Luie F. Guia mentioned this month.

Ms. Guanzon had accused Ms. Ferolino of delaying the choice so her vote for disqualification wouldn’t be counted after her retirement. She additionally mentioned a senator from Davao was meddling within the case. Ms. Ferolino has denied the accusation.

In the meantime, Comelec on Feb. 19 launched a handbook for voters on election day amid a coronavirus pandemic.

The usage of face shields shall be voluntary in areas beneath Alert Ranges 1, 2 and three, based on the principles. Every voter should endure a noncontact temperature examine at election precincts.

Voters who present signs could be barred from getting into precincts however should still vote at remoted voting areas.

Comelec mentioned voters should put on face masks and adjust to minimal well being protocols. — John Victor D. Ordoñez and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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