Manila Bulletin : Comelec assures independence of commissioners

26 January 2022

By Leslie Ann Aquino | Manila Bulletin

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc will be left with four commissioners, who are all Duterte appointees, when three of their members retire next month.

But the poll body assured the public of the independence of their commissioners.

“Please give our commissioners the benefit of the doubt. They are not gonna go out of their way to demonstrate their independence, but I assure you they are…in the decisions that they make you can see a streak of independence that is unquestionable,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum.

As an example, he said, some partylist groups that were not accredited include those that claim they are allies of the administration.

Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho are all set to retire on Feb. 2, 2022.

When they retire, the En Banc will be left with Commissioners Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo, Aimee Ferolino, and Rey Bulay.

When asked what will happen to the pending petitions when the commissioners retire, Jimenez said, it will be inherited by the incoming commissioners.

“When they retire either they are able to clear their dockets or if something will be left that will be inherited by incoming commissioners. That has been the practice eversince,” he said.