Garcia explains Comelec's move to name new spokesman

Commissioner George Garcia (Ali Vicoy/MB)

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia on Saturday, May 7, gave an explanation why the poll body decided to designate a new acting spokesperson, three days before the conduct of the national and local elections.

Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan, might want James Jimenez to "focus" on his job as the director of the poll body's Education and Information Department (EID), said Garcia.

"Of course, we cannot speculate the action of the Chairman but that is the discretion of the honorable Chairman," said Garcia.

"Siguro ang nasa isip ni Chairman...he wanted Director James to focus doon sa education improvement, ang dami kasing fake news na naglipana ngayon (Maybe what the Chairman had in mind was that he wanted Director James to focus on education improvement because of the several fake news that are circulating currently)," he added.

In a memorandum, Pangarungan appointed Comelec Law Department Director John Rex Laudiangco as the poll body's acting spokesperson.

Last month, Comelec Commissioner Rey Bulay recommended that Directors Jimenez and Frances Arabe be temporarily relieved from media relations duties following the cancellation of the presidential and vice presidential town hall debates.

In a statement, Jimenez welcomed the designation of Laudiangco as the new face of Comelec.

“I heartily congratulate Director John Rex Laudiangco on his designation as spokesperson of the Commission, and wish him all the best,” said Jimenez.

“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 added.