New Comelec commissioner served as Duterte lawyer, says Bong Go

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2020 09:26 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2020 11:28 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) — The newly appointed elections commissioner served as a long-time lawyer of President Rodrigo Duterte, his former aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go said Monday.

Go, in a statement sent to ABS-CBN News, confirmed that Michael Peloton was a former lawyer of the Davao City mayor-turned-President.

"Matagal nagsilbing abogado ni Pangulong Duterte si Atty. Peloton," Go said, adding, "Mahusay at tapat ang taong ito. He is competent and deserving."

(Atty. Peloton served as lawyer of President Duterte for a long time. He is honest. He is competent and deserving.)

Peloton, who also hails from Duterte's hometown Davao City, was nominated to the Commission on Elections for a term lasting until February 2027, Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas said.

He is replacing Commissioner Luie Tito Guia.

Abas said Peloton has "vast experience in the field of Law and Information Technology."

While there is not much available information about Peloton online, a quick search shows that he previously served as a board member of the Philippine Reclamation Authority.

He also worked as technical assistant in the Presidential Management Staff in 2017, according to the Comelec. Peloton also worked at the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, which Go previously headed. 

ABS-CBN News sought to obtain a copy of Peloton's profile from the Comelec but its spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body has yet to receive the lawyer's curriculum vitae.

Peloton's nomination as Comelec commissioner comes as the poll body prepares for the 2022 national elections that will see the rise to power of Duterte's successor.

"He will complement the existing members of the Commission En Banc as we strive to fulfill Comelec's mandate in strengthening and advancing our democracy," Abas said.

Peloton's professional background "will highly contribute in our thrust to further improve and revolutionize our electoral processes," the Comelec chair added.

"I expect nothing less from him but to be able to fulfill his mandate for the betterment of the Filipino people and to ensure the conduct of clean elections in the coming years," Go said of the new elections commissioner.

The other incumbent commissioners of Comelec are Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon, Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo, and Antonio Kho, Jr.