The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has designated Director John Rex C. Laudiangco of their Law Department as Acting Spokesperson.
"You are hereby designated as Acting Spokesperson of the Commission, effective immediately," the Memorandum dated May 6 signed by Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan read.
"You shall report directly to Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia, the Commissioner-in-Charge (CIC) on Public Information and Education," it further read.
In a statement, Laudiangco said he was humbled by the en banc’s decision.
"Under the guidance of Chair Pangarungan and our Commissioners, I look forward to working with all of you towards the success of our Elections," he said.
Jimenez, meantime, congratulated Laudiangco on his designation.
"Wish him all the best. For my part, I shall continue to serve as faithfully as I have these past 18 years, with due deference to the will and wisdom of the Commission," he said.
When asked if the move has something to do with the Pilipinas 2022 Debates fiasco, Garcia replied:"I have no idea really. But the choice is a perfect one. Dir . Laudiangco is one of the best senior staffs of the Commission. Talented, promising and a bearer of truth."
It was last month when Comelec Commissioner Rey Bulay recommended that Directors Jimenez and Frances Arabe be temporarily relieved from any functions involving media relations and exposure after the Pilipinas 2022 Debates fiasco.
Bulay heads the task force investigating the issue.
The Comelec earlier reset the Pilipinas Debates 2022 to April 30 and May 1 after its private partner, Impact Hub Manila, encountered financial issues with the venue of the debates, the Sofitel Hotel, in Pasay City.
Later, the Comelec decided to adopt a single candidate/team - panel interview format with their new partner the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. The Comelec-KBP Pilipinas Forum was held from May 3 to 6.