Comelec official faces graft complaint before Ombudsman
A former lawmaker filed graft and corruption charges against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Christian Lim before the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday.
Former Biliran City Rep. Glenn Chong accused Lim of corruption and serious misconduct for purportedly giving undue favor to Smartmatic during the 2016 elections.
In a 19-page affidavit-complaint, Chong said the Ombudsman investigation would lay the groundwork for an impeachment complaint against Lim for betrayal of public trust.
“Section 22 of RA 6770 states that, the Office of the Ombudsman has power to investigate any serious misconduct in office allegedly committed by officials removable by impeachment, for the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment, if warranted. This is the reason why I am filing this affidavit-complaint today,” Chong said in a statement.
Chong claimed that the commissioner committed serious misconduct when he conspired with Smartmatic in violating election laws and rules.
The former lawmaker said misconduct had already been established in the case of Pabillo, et. al. vs. Comelec when the Supreme Court found Comelec, through then Acting Chairman Lim, to have committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess in jurisdiction when it entered into a P240 million diagnostics contract with Smartmatic through negotiation instead of public bidding.
As established in the Pabillo case, Chong said Lim, as then chair of the Comelec Steering Committee, actively pushed and negotiated privately with Smartmatic for the re-use of the PCOS machines for the 2016 elections.
“Respondent, being the chairman of the Comelec Steering Committee of the 2013 National and Local Elections was fully aware of the accuracy and ‘digital lines’ problems and their magnitude early on, yet, over a period of more than one year, he actively sought to downplay these problems and proceeded to negotiate privately with Smartmatic for the re-use of the same severely problematic PCOS machines,” he added.
Chong filed the complaint together with former Negros Oriental Rep. Jing Paras and lawyer Atty. Manny Luna, Radyo Inquirer reported. CBB