Election Coalition wants transparent Comelec appointment

Election Coalition wants transparent Comelec appointment

Election

Paolo Romero – The Philippine Star

January 15, 2022 | 12:00am

Participate – which describes itself as a coalition of 2,500 members from civic, academic, youth, women, religious, and other sectoral groups – calls on Duterte to make the appointment process open for the replacements of Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho Jr. All three are expected to retire in February 2022, less than three months before the May elections.

STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Various civic, academic, youth, women, religious and other sectoral groups have called on President Duterte to make his appointment process to fill three looming vacancies in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) inclusive and transparent.

Participate – which describes itself as a coalition of 2,500 members from civic, academic, youth, women, religious, and other sectoral groups – calls on Duterte to make the appointment process open for the replacements of Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho Jr. All three are expected to retire in February 2022, less than three months before the May elections.

“These three vacancies to be left by the outgoing members of the Commission are crucial, especially with the ongoing election preparations and the challenges that confront and confound us as we are holding elections under peculiar circumstances due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Participate said in its unity statement.

The coalition suggested that Duterte create a search and selection committee with representatives from various sectors of society, including the election stakeholders, who would provide a shortlist of candidates for his consideration. The group also wants the President to provide the public with a clear set of criteria to be used in the selection and appointment of the Comelec’s chairperson and commissioners.

Check and balance

Sen. Panfilo Lacson yesterday expressed his support for Participate’s advocacy, but admitted that only the President has “the sole power to appoint the commissioners of the Comelec.”

“That said, the appointees are subject to the confirmation of Congress through the Commission on Appointments (CA), where the voice of the people may be represented as ‘oppositors’, aimed at possible rejection of the appointees of nominees. In this sense, the CA is the only check and balance available to the people,” Lacson said.

Ping ready for dog fights

Lacson, the Partido Reporma’s standard bearer, also said he is ready to engage in “dog fights” or an “air war” through traditional and social media to win more Filipinos to his side before the May 9 elections.

Since candidates could not physically campaign due to the pandemic, “the real battle to win the hearts and minds of the voters for the country’s next leaders is happening via the airwaves and the internet,” Lacson said.

He also would rather rely on the power of volunteers to spread the word about his and the party’s reform agenda than internet “trolls.”

“When you say air fight, dog fight, you’ll fight first in the air, trying to outmaneuver each other… Like on social media, the different platforms, that’s how we’re moving now. Because virtually there’s a prevailing, self-imposed unilateral cessation of activities, let’s say on ground operations, so there won’t be any infantry land-scale operations; we’re all doing guerrilla (warfare), through our supporters on the ground,” Lacson told dzAR.

“That’s why the fight now is like a dog fight, a fight of air assets – meaning social media, mainstream media. This is the battle now. So, we have no choice because we can’t mobilize the masses, (no) assembly, (no) gathering of people because that’s canceled out,” he said.

Yesterday on Twitter, Lacson said that “the leader we need must be super anti: anti-corruption; anti-incompetence; anti-indolence; anti-dishonesty; anti-entitlement; anti-arrogance; anti-greed; anti-tardiness – because good, genuine public service deserves a break.”

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.