Lack of leader could undermine decisions–Comelec
MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday said President Aquino should appoint immediately its new chair as the vacuum in leadership could push some sectors to second-guess its decisions, especially those relating to the 2016 elections.
“The way things go, sometimes you make a decision and the people will doubt it and think the Comelec is not being complemented by a full commission,” agency spokesman James Jimenez said in an interview with
“Not true, technically speaking. But the perception might drag the decisions down [and] cause some apprehensions or doubts,” he said.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes and Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph retired last week after completing their terms of office.
The retirement of the three officials left behind four members of the en banc, with Commissioner Christian Robert Lim sitting as acting chair until Malacañang officially appoints Brillantes’ successor, which is expected to happen next month after Congress adjourns.
While the Comelec could still fully and effectively function with only four members sitting in the en banc, Jimenez admitted that it would be “better” if the commission were complete.
“You want a commission that has the full confidence of the people, whom they believe are really suited to do the job and not a commission that will always be second-guessed simply because it lacks the numbers,” he said.
But the commission will still have the required quorum, which will give it full authority to come up with decisions, including election policies, Jimenez said.
“When there are only four people in the commission, that does not make it less authoritative, that’s the most important thing,” he said.
The retirement of the three officials last week became a subject of controversy after Brillantes announced that he had signed an expanded contract for the diagnostics and repair of the 82,000 precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines with technology provider Smartmatic despite criticisms and opposition from several groups, which branded the agreement a “midnight deal.”