Namfrel says successors of retiring poll officials must be independent

Published August 31, 2021, 12:43 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) said whoever will replace the retiring chairman and two commissioners of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) must be independent.


“It is very important that whoever will replace will satisfy this criteria of independence,” Namfrel Secretary General Eric Alvia said in an online press briefing Tuesday August 31.

“The primary concern is compentence and integrity of the commissioners, especially now that we approach this very important elections. People will look at the independence of the commission as a gauge how the elections will be conducted,” he added.

Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho are all set to retire on February 2, 2022.

When they retire, the En Banc will be left with Commissioners Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo, and Aimee Ferolino.

Alvia expressed hope that the selection process will be done as soon as possible so as not to disrupt the ongoing preparations for the May 2022 polls.

“They will retire this February, at the height of the preparations for the election. I hope it is not disruptive. We wish and we hope that, as early as now, there are already choices or at least a process that is being done,” he said.

“An inclusive process must be done to look for their replacements so they could come on board even prior to the February retirement of these three Comelec officials,” added Alvia.