PNoy urged to name 2 new Comelec commisioners

By Lynda Jumilla and Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2011 12:09 AM | Updated as of Feb 03 2011 07:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes urged Malacañang on Wednesday to appoint 2 new commissioners as soon as possible in light of the retirement of Gregorio Larrazabal and Nicodemo Ferrer.

Although Brillantes assured that the commission's functions will not be crippled by the retirement of the 2, he said he wants the commission’s officials to be named already as they prepare for the upcoming Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao elections in August.

Brillantes personally did not recommend any replacement for the 2, but some Comelec people are pushing for one insider, including Ferdinand Rafanan.

From outside the commission, the names of LENTE official Carlos Medina and Chito Gascon were floated.

Although there were “goodbyes” at the commission, there were also “hellos” as 6 Comelec personnel suspended over the ballot secrecy folder controversy returned to work on Tuesday after serving a 6-month preventive suspension.

The group was led by executive director Jose Tolentino Jr.. who may re-assume his old position as the highest ranking Comelec official next to the commissioners.

They will no longer be part of the commission’s bids and awards committee.

The 6 were able to return because the Ombudsman has not acted on the complaint filed against them. No charges have been filed against the 6.

Brillantes assured that he will personally follow up the matter with Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to provide closure to the matter.

20 names

President Benigno Aquino III was guest of honor during the 1st anniversary celebration in Laguna of Biñan’s cityhood. 

During an ambush interview, Aquino said he was given 20 names to choose from for the replacements of Larrazabal and Ferrer.

He said that there are also there were 5 contenders for the Commission on Audit chairperson post.