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Comelec revolt: Execs won’t work village polls

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 12:20 AM June 28, 2016
Comelec Commissioners (from left) Luie Tito Guia, Christian Robert Lim and Rowena Guanzon have reportedly refused to work on the barangay elections over a rift with Chair Andres Bautista. INQUIRER FILES

Comelec Commissioners (from left) Luie Tito Guia, Christian Robert Lim and Rowena Guanzon have reportedly refused to work on the barangay elections over a rift with Chair Andres Bautista. INQUIRER FILES

THE INFIGHTING among the top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has come to this: Three of the commissioners have decided not to take part in the conduct of the barangay elections scheduled for October.

In an interview with reporters, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Monday said she and Commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Luie Guia had agreed among themselves not to participate in running the barangay elections so they could focus on the many cases pending in their division.

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“In the last en banc meeting, I said the Chair should be the one to run the barangay and SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) elections. I will not get involved with it,”  Guanzon said.

“Because, you know, perhaps it’s about time that Chairman Bautista runs an election… it’s better that he does it all by himself because you can give credit where credit is due,” she added.

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But since the Comelec is a collegial body, she said, the three of them would still be attending the en banc meetings in relation to the barangay elections to act on policy matters, approve procurement requests and bids.

Guanzon said that as commissioners, they were not duty-bound to “involve” themselves in the operations of an election, saying that their job was making policies.

In a strongly worded joint memo dated June 3, all six commissioners accused Chair Andres Bautista of a “failed leadership” in various issues, which included the delay in the release of honoraria for election workers and a mall company’s “demand for damages” after the Comelec en banc cancelled mall voting.

In a separate interview, Bautista said it would be sad if the three commissioners pushed through with their boycott of the next elections.

“While we can run it smoothly, I hope that won’t really be their decision but if that’s the case, we will have to talk about it,” he told reporters.

Despite the friction between himself and the six commissioners, Bautista said he had not thought of resigning. “I am not thinking of leaving my post at this point in time at all because I did not do anything wrong,” he said.

He reiterated that the allegations against him were contrary to the conduct and outcome of the May 9 elections. “A government official like me should not cling to his position. But if he is still effective at his job, he should continue serving the government,” he said.

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TAGS: Andres Bautista, barangay elections, Comelec, Nation, news
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