Abas gets CA nod as Comelec chair
The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed Commissioner Sheriff Abas as the new chair of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), almost six months after he was appointed by President Duterte.
The Comelec said Abas’ confirmation came at a “most opportune time” as the poll body was preparing for the 2019 national and local elections.
“Chair Abas is eminently suited to take the helm at the commission considering the depth of his experience in directly managing critical aspects of both the 2016 national and local elections and the [recent] Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.
The first Muslim and the youngest Comelec chair ever will serve the unfinished term of resigned Chair Andres Bautista until Feb. 2, 2022.
Before his confirmation, Abas vowed to keep his hands off the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). He is a nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leader Mohagher Iqbal.
“From the time I assumed office, I inhibited [myself] from all proceedings of BBL, citing my relation to my uncle,” said Abas, who was appointed commissioner in 2015 by former President Benigno Aquino III.
The proposed BBL will create a new self-governing region in Mindanao for Muslims.
Abas also told the CA that switching back to manual voting would be “bloody” and “full of controversy and scandal.”
Even a hybrid system—manual voting and automated transmission and canvassing—will not be very efficient, he said. —TINA G. SANTOS AND DJ YAP
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