President Rodrigo Duterte should consider longtime Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials as potential replacements of resigned Chairman Andres Bautista and other outgoing election commissioners, a veteran election lawyer said on Tuesday.
“I hope that President Duterte would consider some lawyers who had been serving the Comelec for more than 10 years now as election supervisors, election officers or regional directors as possible replacements of Bautista and the two other Commissioners who would be retiring in February 2018,” lawyer Romulo Macalintal said in a statement.
“For sure, their vast experience and knowledge of election laws and regulations place them in a better position to perform the job in this highly specialized field of resolving election cases,” Macalintal added.
Last October 11, the Comelec chief sent his resignation letter to the president. On Monday, Duterte has accepted Bautista’s resignation effective immediately.
Bautista, who was also impeached by the House of Representatives the same day he filed his resignation, was informed of Duterte’s decision in a letter signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
“Upon the instruction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, I wish to inform you that your resignation is hereby accepted, effective immediately,” the letter read.
Macalintal also said that the exit of the embattled poll chief from the elections body was “too sudden” and a “pity,” saying the latter was a “man of unquestioned integrity” in spite of the issues thrown against him.
“What a pity. He never had the luxury of time to say goodbye to the entire officials and employees of the Comelec which he considered as ‘part of my family,” he said.
“A man of his talent and competence and decency would have done more for the Comelec in its quest for clean election which he had proven in the 2016 presidential election, which was hailed by various foreign observers as the best managed and most credible election in our country despite his very short stint as Comelec Chairman,” Macalintal added.