By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections on Wednesday welcomed the confirmation of the nomination of Commissioner – now Chairperson – Sheriff Abas.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said they welcome the news as Abas assumption to the Chair comes at a most opportune time when the poll body is preparing for the May 2019 National and Local Elections.
He said Abas is suited for the post citing the latter’s experience in the last two polls.
“Chair Abas is eminently suited to take the helm at the Commission considering the depth of his experience in directly managing critical aspects of both the 2016 National and Local elections and the recently concluded 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” said Jimenez in a statement.
Chair Abas assumption of the Chairmanship, he said now leaves two vacancies in the Comelec.
At present, the seven member en banc only has five members namely; Commissioners Al Parreno, Rowena Guanzon, Luie Guia, Socorro Inting and Abas.
Meanwhile, the poll body also welcomed the approval on third and final reading at the House of Representatives of House Bill No. 7295, which aims to increase the campaign spending limit during national and local elections.
Jimenez said they have long been pushing for the amendment of the campaign spending limits saying the existing ones are unrealistic already.
“The COMELEC believes the existing spending limits are unrealistic and predisposed to violations of law because they are very low so much so that the candidates sometimes feel that they are left with no choice but to overspend,” he said.
“An amendment that will make the spending limits more realistic would be welcome,” added Jimenez.
The poll official also believes that having a more appropriate spending limits will likely result to candidates filing a more truthful and believable Statement of Contribution and Expenditure (SOCE) after every elections.
“With a higher campaign spending limit, a lot of the reports will probably be more believable, even at first glance,” Jimenez said.