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Aquino: Still no takers for top Comelec post

/ 06:24 AM April 18, 2015

TARLAC CITY—Nearly a year before the May 2016 presidential elections, President Benigno Aquino III has yet to appoint a replacement for retired Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes.

The President told reporters that he has interviewed a candidate but the latter sounded not to be too keen on the job.

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“I actually interviewed one that I did offer the position to. The person—whom I cannot name—basically said, ‘It seems I’m not cut out for that,’” he told reporters, describing the candidate as “hesitant.”

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said the commission needs a full-time chair and a complete roster of commissioners to accelerate its preparations for the 2016 national elections in the face of certain roadblocks, such as a temporary restraining order blocking the automation contract.

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“It is imperative that we have a fully manned Comelec now in the light of so many critical problems hounding the preparations for the 2016 national elections,” he said in a statement.

Albano, a member of the minority, cited the stalled automated election program after the issuance of a TRO by the Supreme Court on the Smartmatic contract.

Three seats in the Comelec have been vacant since early February when Brillantes and two commissioners, Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph, retired.

Commissioner Christian Robert Lim has taken the helm in an acting capacity.

But Albano said the Comelec could not properly prepare and implement its plans and programs for the elections under an interim or caretaker leadership and an undermanned commission.

“With the automated election program mired in legal controversies now, a fully manned and functioning poll body is better equipped and empowered to look into alternative plans to ensure the smooth and orderly conduct of national elections in 2016,” he said.

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TAGS: Aquino, Benigno Aquino III, Comelec, May 2016 Presidential Elections, President Aquino, presidential elections
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