Garcia says decision to inhibit in 300 pending Comelec cases 'voluntary'

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia said his decision to inhibit from the cases, which he previously handled, was voluntary to maintain the integrity of the poll body.

Commissioner George Garcia (Photo Comelec)

"This is voluntary. I was not compelled by anybody. Nobody urged me. It is purely voluntary," he said in an interview Thursday, March 10.

"This is out of ethical consideration. Of course, if you have previous relationships with clients, you should inhibit, you shouldn't participate. Otherwise, any action or decision on the matter will be tainted or questioned," he added.

"This was not meant to protect myself. It's really more to protect the integrity of the Commission," said Garcia.

Malacanang confirmed the appointments of Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan, Commissioners Aimee Neri and Garcia on Tuesday.

Some, however, questioned the appointment of Garcia being the former laywer of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez already appealed to those criticizing the appointments to give the commissioners the chance to prove themselves.

"We have to give each individual commissioner the opportunity to prove themselves impartial and neutral in the exercise of their duty," he said.