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Comelec exec nixes proposal to have regional poll officers

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 01:56 AM November 24, 2015

FEARING possible manipulation of the 2016 elections, an election commissioner has strongly opposed a proposal to revive the appointment of commissioners-in-charge (CIC) in certain regions during the election period.

In a memorandum to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said he “vehemently opposed the assignment of commissioners-in-charge of the regions” for next year’s polls.

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Lim, chair of the steering committee for the 2016 polls, noted that the CIC system was implemented during the 2004 and 2007 elections.

But it was criticized by various sectors that blamed it for creating fiefdoms and encouraging corruption.

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“Reverting to the CIC system opens the door to manipulation of the 2016 elections not only at the regional but more so the national level,” he said.

Without going into detail, Lim urged members of the Comelec en banc to recall what happened during the 2004 and 2007 elections, specifically to the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano were accused of breaking the election law on communicating with poll officials.

Arroyo purportedly asked Garcillano how she was faring in Cebu over her closest rival, Poe.

On the other hand, Pimentel had contended that former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri knew of the alleged plot to rig the 2007 senatorial election.

As a result, Zubiri edged out Pimentel and occupied his Senate seat until 2011 when former election supervisor Lintang Bedol surfaced to admit that there had been cheating in Maguindanao in 2007.

Lim’s memorandum dated Sept. 14 was in reaction to the memorandum of Commissioner Rowena Guanzon which seeks the assignment of CICs to the different administrative regions of the country for the 2016 elections.

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