Former janitor-turned-lawyer Ramil Comendador deserves all the commendations. His latest fan? Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista.
Bautista lauded Comendador, who worked as a janitor for the commission.
"Ramil Commendador who started out as a utility worker with us. By passing the 2016 Bar exam, he can now become an EO [Election Officer]!" said Bautista in a tweet, as he shared photos taken with Comendador at the Comelec office.
Comendador said he worked as a janitor for four years to finance his studies. Comendador studied after office hours, according to Commissioner Luie Guia.
"Knowing he was from Catanduanes and was very passionate to work with me, I accepted him. He comes from a poor family. 'Ang sahig nila sa probinsiya ay lupa'," Guia said.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said Comendador's story was a huge inspiration.
In an earlier interview, Comendador said he sought God's guidance when he took the bar exam in November 2016.
Video by Dennis Datu, DZMM
"Yung kamay ko nun, nagshe-shake talaga, as in hindi makapag-sulat," he said.
"Ang ginawa ko po, after kong magdasal, kinuha ko ng kaliwang kamay ko ang kanang kamay ko at pinilit kong idiniin sa papel. Sabi ko, 'Panginoon, pahintulutan mong makapag-sulat ako kasi gustong gusto ko itong maitawid'."
Comendador, 35, started out as a utility worker for Comelec in 2006 and eventually became an election assistant. He said it was where he realized he had to end the cycle of poverty.
"Baon-baon mo yung pangarap mo na makaalis na sa kahirapan. Baon-baon mo yun, siyempre. Malaking bahagi nun talaga yung tiwala mo sa Panginoon, at maitatawid mo yung mga pangarap mo," he said.
Comendador has two children.