'Garci's man' in Comelec-ARMM alarms Palace

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2011 03:05 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2011 07:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is concerned by the reported promotion of Commission on Elections personnel linked to former Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, including Rey Sumalipao who remains as Comelec’s Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional director.
“Certainly, it’s a concern for us… While we in the executive branch are concerned about the continued presence of Mr. Sumalipao in ARMM, Comelec is a constitutional commission independent from the executive branch. We would hope that the Comelec en banc would try to do all it can to erase any doubts as to the presence of Mr. Sumalipao in ARMM,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
Congress recently passed a Palace-backed measure postponing the elections in ARMM and have it synchronized in the 2013 elections. This would also allow Malacanang to appoint OICs in the region.
“We are pressing reforms in the ARMM and we would hope that the Comelec wiuld its part in electoral reforms in the ARMM elections,” Lacierda said.

Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman said he would first confirm a statement from Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes that he would resign if he does not hurdle the Commission on Appointments.