PNoy appoints Andy Bautista as Comelec chief

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at May 04 2015 02:03 PM | Updated as of May 04 2015 10:06 PM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Andres Bautista as Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman.

Aquino was supposed to appoint former Supreme Court Justice Adolf Azcuna, but Malacanang claimed the latter declined.

Several individuals supposedly lobbied strongly for Bautista, including Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

Bautista was former dean of the Institute of Law at the Far Eastern University.

Aquino also appointed former Cadiz City mayor Rowena Guanzon and lawyer Sheriff Abas as commissioners.

Bautista replaces Comelec chief Sixto Brillantes, while Guanzon and Abbas will take over the positions vacated by commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph.

Comelec faces a grim scenario ahead, with the SC striking down the warranty deal with Smartmatic for the PCOS machines.

The poll body insists, however, the country will not resort to manual elections.

Stakeholders earlier urged Aquino to appoint a Comelec chief without having to listen to political machinations. The next Comelec chief will hold the position for seven years, covering the most important elections next year.