Comelec sees no urgency to name new commissioner in place of Padaca
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) sees no urgency for Malacañang to name a new commissioner to the poll body even as the Commission on Appointments bypassed the confirmation of Commissioner Grace Padaca.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes said that for now, the commission en banc could fully function with only six members.
“Our (commission en banc) needs a minimum of four members to have a quorum. With six current members, we are more than okay, so there is no urgency yet for an appointment of a seventh and last commissioner,” Brillantes said in a recent interview.
He added that the urgency to appoint a new commissioner would come in the months before the 2016 national and local elections.
Brillantes said the effect of Padaca’s absence in the poll body has been minimal with the commission’s preparations for the 2016 elections still in the early stages.
“Probably, we will be needing a seventh member only to break a tie when we come up with decisions that are with 3-3 votes,” he added.
Besides Brillantes, the Comelec en banc is comprised of Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, Christian Lim, Luie Guia and Al Parreno.
Padaca’s interim appointment expired when Congress went on recess on June 14.
Under the Constitution, an interim appointment is done when Congress is on recess, and the appointee need not be confirmed first by the CA before assuming office.
However, such appointment expires every time Congress adjourns so the President will have to renew the appointment.
The Commission on Appointments has repeatedly bypassed Padaca’s appointment.
Padaca was appointed to the Comelec in October 2012 by a virtue of an interim appointment to replace former commissioner Augusto Lagman whose appointment was also not renewed.