CA bypasses appointment of Davao poll veteran as Comelec commissioner

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2020 12:22 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2020 03:16 PM

CA bypasses appointment of Davao poll veteran as Comelec commissioner 1
Davao del Norte provincial election supervisor Aimee Ferolino Ampoloquio takes an oath before facing the Commission on Appointments, December 16, 2020. Senate PRIB

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday deferred the appointment of Davao del Norte provincial election supervisor Aimee Ferolino Ampoloquio as a commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) until she could submit documents and answer questions about her husband's assets.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon moved to "reset" Ferolino Ampoloquio's confirmation hearing to a later date after the Davaoeña election veteran submits several documents that would detail the assets of her husband who is earning from his family's "rice and corn mill business."

"The question that we raised is to test the validity of the SALN," Drilon said, referring to the nominee's Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

Sen. Francis Tolentino tried to block Drilon's motion, saying the CA panel "needs to amend rules to require submission of additional documents," noting that documents about the assets of the nominee's husband were not among the requirements asked from other government officials who faced the Commission.

"I still maintain, with all due respect, that the rules, notifications coming from this commission... should not be changed during committee hearings itself," he said.

Drilon clarified that it was Ferolino Ampoloquio who volunteered to submit the said documents in the future so that she could adequately answer questions about her husband's family business.

Ferolino Ampoloquio, who started work in the Comelec as an emergency laborer in 1994, said she hopes to receive the CA's approval to be able to "realize" her father's dream who also worked in the poll body.

"It humbles me so much that a lot of my coworkers and colleagues have been inspired by my nomination as commissioner that they have started to dream again and set goal for themselves," she said.

The long-time Davao del Norte elections official - who is also a lawyer - said that while 3 of her siblings serve as vice mayor and barangay officials in Davao del Sur, her decisions were never influenced by neither her family nor her peers.

Ferolino Ampoloquio also denied representing any politician, especially those facing election-related cases, in her capacity as a private lawyer.

"I did not handle any case before the Commission [on Elections]... I only handle cases outside the Comelec's jurisdiction," she said.

"I can say my integrity has never been in question," she said.

With the CA panel's decision to defer Ferolino Ampoloquio's appointment, President Rodrigo Duterte will have to issue an ad interim appointment for the Davaoeña poll executive since Congress will adjourn session on December 19.

"The ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment which will only lapse once rejected by the Commission [on Appointments]," Drilon said.

Should the President issue the ad interim appointment while Congress' session is on a break, Ferolino Ampoloquio will have to resign from her post as Davao del Norte's provincial election supervisor as "she cannot hold 2 positions at the same time," the Senate Minority Leader said.

When asked for clarification on the status of Ferolina Ampoloquio's confirmation, Drilon told reporters that it is considered bypassed due to the adjournment of Congress' session.

A nominee is deemed rejected by the CA if he or she is bypassed thrice.

The CA has yet to announce the date of Ferolino Ampoloquio's next confirmation hearing.

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