COA, Comelec officials confirmed

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THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the appointments of two commissioners — one from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and another from the Commission on Audit (COA).

None of the CA members objected when the motions to confirm Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas for Comelec and Isabel Dasalla-Agito for COA were presented during the plenary session presided by Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Abas, a nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, was grilled by the CA about the change of script in the transparency server of the poll body on the night of the May 9 polls.

The commissioner maintained that the Comelec did not authorize Smartmatic Project Director Marlon Garcia to correct the typographical error, from “?” to “Ñ.”


He also insisted that the change was only “cosmetic” and the election results were not altered.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd appointed Abas, along with Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista and Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, in April 2015.

The CA confirmed Bautista in September and Guanzon in June, but Abas’ appointment was deferred last year over allegations of missing votes during the 2013 polls.

Abas served as acting assistant regional director of the Civil Service Commission in Cotabato City before his appointment to Comelec.

Meanwhile, Agito has been with the COA for almost 40 years. She was named Assistant Commissioner in 2008 and was appointed Commissioner in January this year.

Abas will serve his post until February 2022, while Agito’s term will end in February 2018.
Drilon, who heads the CA, said they will work on the confirmation of the officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of Foreign Affairs next.

“We hope to finish our job before the sine die adjournment [on June 9],” he said.

Meanwhile, the House panel sought the deferment of the appointment of Civil Service Commissioner Nieves Osorio, which Senator Juan Ponce Enrile also blocked last year.

“I don’t know why. They asked for it. We will schedule them for the next session,” Drilon said.

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