SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday urged newly appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Aimee Torrefranca-Neri to resign to save herself from embarrassment.
The senator warned Neri that she will have a hard time getting confirmed by the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) because of the seriousness of some allegations against her.
Drilon, a CA member, said Neri should spare President Rodrigo Duterte and the Comelec from embarrassment and unnecessary distraction that could affect the integrity of the 2022 presidential elections.
He said that the CA will ask lawyer Ferdinand Topacio to substantiate his allegations that his client Herbert Colangco gave then Justice assistant secretary Neri P10 million to "fix" the controversial convict's robbery case before the Supreme Court.
Topacio claimed that when Colangco was convicted in 2018, Neri returned only P7 million, keeping P3 million for herself.
"I am telling Atty. Neri that whoever your MBA or May Backer Ako is, he cannot influence the CA to set aside these allegations and confirm your appointment. The Commission on Appointment takes this matter seriously," Drilon said in a statement.
Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd voiced doubt whether the CA will be able to finish deliberations on Neri's appointment when Congress resumes session from May 23 to June 3.
"I doubt whether Senator Drilon would be able to exercise his veto power. I leave it to the members of the commission," Sotto said.
Drilon said he was baffled why Neri kept jumping from one agency to another.
"Is that normal? Did Commissioner Torrefranca-Neri undergo a tour of duty during the Duterte administration?" he asked.
Neri worked as assistant secretary of the Department of Justice in 2016, deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration in 2017 and undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in 2018.