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Group welcomes new poll commissioner

Posted on: February 24, 2009

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:53:00 02/04/2009

Filed Under: Government, Elections

MANILA, Philippines—While election officials debated whether or not newly-appointed commissioner Elias Yusoph would need Congress’ nod, at least one election watchdog welcomed his entry.

Carlos Medina, co-convener of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) said Wednesday that the appointment of the Marawi City prosecutor to the Commission on Elections would augur well for the 2010 national elections.

Yusoph’s appointment on Tuesday took the Commission of Elections by surprise. Poll body chairman Jose Melo said he was not informed that anyone had been appointed to fill the chair vacated by the late Commissioner Felix Brawner, who died of heart attack in May 2008.

Malacañang officials defended Yusoph’s appointment. “It’s not the obligation of the President or the Palace to inform heads of agencies before appointing anybody. What’s important is that the President is convinced about the [appointee’s qualifications],” press secretary Cerge Remonde said.

Meanwhile, Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said it was not yet clear to him whether Yusoph could immediately take his oath.

Under the law, an appointment made while Congress is in session must wait for the approval of the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA). Only when the appointment is made while Congress is in recess can an appointee take the oath of office and immediately assume his duties, he said. With a report by Kristine L. Alave


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