Monsod pushes for public vetting on appointment of poll officials

Published October 25, 2021, 6:30 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

A former chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes there should be a public vetting when it comes to the appointment of poll officials.

Christian Monsod (Screengrab from MAP online forum)

“There should be a public vetting of the appointment for new commissioners by February 2022, which can be a game changer on the conduct of elections,” Christian Monsod said during the online forum of the Management Association of the Philippines on Monday, Oct. 25.

“There are four vacancies, there is one existing vacancy and three that will step down in February, that’s a lot. That’s a majority of set from the seven right so that’s why it’s very important,” he added.

Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas as well as Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Antonio Kho are set to retire in February next year or months before the May 2022 polls.

This means the seven-man Comelec en Banc will be left with only three commissioners as there is already one existing vacancy.

For his part, Ateneo de Manila University – School of Government Dean Ronald Mendoza said having independent appointments is very important for the credibility of the polls.

“We should be ready to signal very strongly that what we need are independent appointments. That could build stronger credibility, particularly for those positions, especially because of the challenges of this particular election,” he said.

“If those appointments actually fall short and are, again, coming from a particular city in the south, this is not going to be healthy for our democracy and can increase risks in terms of the credibility of the outcome of the May elections,” added Mendoza.