Comelec commissioner on way out, blames Enrile

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02:40 AM April 18th, 2012

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By: Jerome Aning, April 18th, 2012 02:40 AM
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile . INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile . JUNNY ROY / SENATE POOL

Election Commissioner Augusto Lagman yesterday confirmed that he was on his way out of the poll body because Malacañang did not renew his ad interim appointment.

“I was told, I think, on Friday that maybe I should start packing up my things,” said Lagman.

Lagman told reporters that “news is widespread” that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who also chairs the powerful Commission on Appointments, had objected to his (Lagman’s) permanent appointment to the Comelec.

Enrile had accused Lagman, a former official of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, of “vote-trending” in favor of the candidates of then president Corazon Aquino during the 1987 senatorial race. Enrile placed last in that poll.

Lagman, an information technology expert, was appointed to Comelec by President Benigno Aquino III in April last year.

He has been repeatedly appointed on an ad interim basis in between sessions of Congress, which allows him to act as Comelec commissioner even without approval from the Commission on Appointments (CA).

Without a new ad interim appointment, Lagman would not be able to continue serving at Comelec when Congress resumes its session two weeks from now.

“The news is widespread—in the Senate, Malacañang and the House—that if my appointment is presented to the CA, it would be rejected by JPE (Enrile’s initials). Malacañang thought maybe that to save me from having to go through that process, only to be rejected eventually… it was best not to re-appoint me anymore,” Lagman said.

“I appreciate that concern, although, in truth, I would rather face rejection [by the CA]. His (Enrile’s) accusation is 25 years old and I have nothing to hide because (the accusation) is not true. If I’ll face the CA, I’ll tell the truth and explain the Senate President’s accusation,” he added.

Originally posted: 6:28 pm | Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

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