Vacancies in COMELEC must soon be filled for smooth operation

 

Rep. Ron Salo, Kabayan party list and assistant majority leader, urged the immediate appointment of a replacement for resigned Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista to ensure smooth operations of the poll body.

The vacancy created by the resignation of Chairman Andres Bautista by the end of the year is not the only vacancy we must be concerned about, he said adding that terms of office of Commissioners Arthur Lim and Christian Robert Lim end on February 2, 2018, which is less than four months from now.

So we have three vacancies to note. These vacancies are critical as the country prepares for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May next year.

If those vacancies are not yet filled by February 2, 2018 then the COMELEC will have only four sitting members of the en banc.

The COMELEC works according to divisions when it handles cases. Quorum of one or more divisions could be affected by the vacancies and the pending cases in those divisions could hang in the balance.

If the one of those four remaining in the COMELEC en banc happens to get sick or goes on leave of absence, the COMELEC en banc will have no quorum. This lack of quorum must be avoided to keep the COMELEC running smoothly. 

This is why it is important that the replacements of Bautista and the two Commissioners whose terms end on February 2, 2018 are appointed timely. He said he trusts that the President’s Search Committee will start with their work early in looking for competent and ethically-imbued replacements.

 

The replacement of Bautista shall serve his unexpired term until February 2, 2022.

 He also commended the outgoing Comelec chief  for upholding public interest above his own with his resignation as he wished Bautista well in his future endeavors. 

 

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