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Yusoph appointment questioned

Posted on: February 24, 2009

Designation has lapsed, says Melo

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 18:01:00 02/05/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Government

MANILA, Philippines—Is Elias Yusoph the new commissioner of the Commission on Elections or not?

This question surfaced after Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said that Yusoph’s appointment lapsed after he failed to take his oath while Congress was in recess.

Melo’s statement came in the wake of Malacañang’s announcement Yusoph would replace the late Romeo Brawner.

Melo said Yusoph could not sit as official of the poll body because he has yet to take his oath following his appointment January 12 while Congress was on recess.

“The appointment of Elias Yusoph is a lapsed appointment. He cannot sit in the commission because he has not taken his oath of office during the time that Congress was not in session,” said Melo.

Melo said Yusoph should have been sworn in within the week, from January 12-19, that Congress was on a break.

Under the law, if an appointment is made while Congress is in recess the appointee can take the oath of office and immediately assume his duties, Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said Wednesday.

Only an appointment made while Congress is in session must wait for the approval of the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA), he had said.

Yusoph was appointed January 12 just as the legislative body was on a holiday break.

Tagle said that Yusoph’s appointment should have been ad interim, which meant that he could stay on as commissioner until such time the commission had acted on his posting.

Citing the Constitution, Tagle said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should reappoint Yusoph in the next congressional recess, immediately take his oath and submit his nomination to the appointments body for confirmation.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., a member of the commission, said President Arroyo has two options: submit Yusoph’s January 12 appointment to the commission for confirmation, or issue a new appointment to avoid delay in the event there would be questions on the previous one.


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