Poll controversies to confront new Comelec appointees in CA – Sotto
BAY, Laguna — The three newly-appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials will be confronted by recent issues hounding the poll body in its handling of the 2022 polls as well as for the decision on the PDP-Laban row when they face the Commission on Appointments (CA).
This was according to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
When asked if the Smartmatic “data breach,” the reshuffling of some election officers and other election-related controversies will be “hanging over the heads” of the Comelec appointees, Sotto answered in the affirmative.
“Correct, all of these issues will be brought up for sure in the CA, and unfortunately for them, I am still the chairman of the CA,” Sotto said in a press conference here on Saturday.
Before this, Sotto questioned the decision of the Comelec Special Second Division to declare the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as the “true and official” members of the PDP-Laban.
“My idol Nene must be turning in his grave. I wonder what the future holds for these people. Let’s meet them in the CA!” Sotto said in a tweet on Friday.
My idol Nene must be turning in his grave. I wonder what the future holds for these people. Let’s meet them in the CA! https://t.co/Pz1TFqZW8K
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) May 6, 2022
Sotto was once a member of the PDP-Laban.
“I was a member in 1988 of PDP-Laban. Ang sa ‘kin lang, hindi madaling mag member ng PDP-Laban, [Senator Aquilino] Koko Pimentel [III] knows that,” Sotto told reporters during Saturday’s press conference.
Pimentel, the son and namesake of PDP-Laban co-founder late Senator Nene Pimentel, leads the other faction of the party with Senator Manny Pacquiao, who is running for president.
Sotto pointed out that to become a full-fledged PDP-Laban member, one must undergo a one-month Basic Membership Seminar (BMS), among others.
“Once you’ve done that, you become an associate member. Then there is a certain time bago ka maging full-fledged member,” Sotto noted.
“The people that they (Comelec division) declared as the original, official PDP-Laban were only suddenly members of the PDP-Laban in the 2016 elections. Tinanong ba ng Comelec kung nag-undergo lahat yung mga yun? I doubt it,” the Senate president said.
He said he is “sympathizing” with the “original” members of the PDP-Laban.
“Kung ganyan dumiskarte yung mga ika nga’y commissioners tiyak na makukwestyon ito. Kasi gusto nila magpa-submit sa 25 at saka sa June 1, Commission on Appointments,” Sotto said.
In March, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Saidamin Pangarungan as the ad-interim chairman of the Comelec as well as George Erwin Garcia and Aimee Neri as Comelec commissioners.
He cited the importance of getting the approval of the CA before the 18th Congress ends with the election of a new president.
“If ma-bypass sila, di na sila commissioner by June 30. Iba na ang presidente,” Sotto said.
“Kaya dapat nagiingat sa mga desisyon na ginagawa na nakakaapekto sa mga partido na since time immemorial ay nandiyan na. I will never lose heart as far as the PDP-Laban is concerned,” he added.
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