Comelec: Like nothing happened
IT WAS “business as usual” at the en banc session of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday after no one brought up “the elephant in the room.”
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon described the meeting as “business as usual” among Chair Andres Bautista, the five other commissioners and herself as they tackled the Oct. 31 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Bautista had come under fire from the six other commissioners in a strongly-worded June 3 memorandum where they assailed him for his “failed leadership.”
Guanzon said Bautista had yet to grant the commissioners’ request for an executive session to thresh out their differences.
“If he doesn’t want to meet with us, what can we do? So we just meet in the en banc and pretend like nothing is wrong,” Guanzon said.
Bautista did not face reporters for an interview after Tuesday’s en banc session.
Guanzon and the other commissioners had signed the memorandum assailing Bautista’s “failed leadership,” citing, among other things, the delay in paying election workers and a “demand for damages” by a mall company after the Comelec cancelled mall voting.
Bautista also came under fire for traveling to Japan without the approval of the en banc [entire bench].
Lim, the most senior commissioner, criticized Bautista’s trip in a memorandum dated June 27, saying the chair should not have issued a travel authority to himself and he should have obtained the permission of the en banc.
Last week, the Comelec en banc session also concluded without the joint memorandum being raised, and Guanzon also called the meeting “cordial and professional.”
Meanwhile, Bautista’s proposal to postpone the joint barangay and SK elections in October was snubbed during Tuesday’s meeting.
Guanzon said not one of the commissioners commented on the chair’s proposal when it was brought up during the session.
“Well, you know, he mentioned it but nobody said anything … no one commented on it. Nobody said a thing after he mentioned it. We did not discuss it,” Guanzon said.