AFTER four days of washing their dirty linen in public, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista and Commissioner Rowena Guanzon kissed and made up, thanks to the intervention of other commission officials.
The bitter exchange of barbs ended after a five-hour marathon meeting by the Comelec en banc on Tuesday.
Commissioner Arthur Lim, who Bautista described as the most senior among the seven commissioners in terms of experience, played a key role in ending the squabble.
“So all is well that ends well. Your commission is firmly in good hands. We are united and focused to do the task that the commission has given us. All the controversy in the past has now been finally resolved and settled,” Lim said in a news briefing attended by all seven members of the poll body.
He added that the commission will issue a resolution confirming a comment filed by Guanzon at the Supreme Court (SC).
The comment to a petition questioning the Comelec’s decision disqualifying Sen. Grace Poe was questioned by Bautista, whose statement that Guanzon had no authority to file the comment ignited the word war.
“We will be coming out with a resolution, if not late today, by tomorrow morning, addressing certain concerns and issues. First and foremost of which is that we have thus far complied with the filing of comment in the disqualification cases now pending before the Supreme Court and the commission en banc will be ratifying and confirming the comment that has been filed in the cases of Tatad et al,” Lim told reporters.
He explained that the Bautista-Guanzon squabble was a minor misunderstanding that can be expected in a collegial body like the Comelec.
Lim gave assurances that the Comelec is firmly on track in its preparations for this year’s national and local elections.
The en banc did not entertain questions from the media.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said Lim played a central role during the en banc meeting, making sure that all the facts and different points were raised and addressed.
“He offered the solution based on [his]experience with the court and what he does. All other commissioners deferred to him,” Jimenez added.
He noted that the presence of all members of the commission proves that the comelec is not in disarray at a time when the poll body had been abandoned by the Solicitor General who sided with Poe.
Without the Solicitor General representing the commission, Jimenez said all pleadings submitted by the poll body to the High Court will be signed by all Comelec commissioners.