Comelec Commissioner Lim named acting poll chief
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, October 24, designated Commissioner Christian Robert Lim as acting Comelec chairman after former elections chief Andres Bautista vacated his post.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez announced in a tweet at around noon on Tuesday that Lim became acting chair "by unanimous vote of commissioners present at today's Comelec en banc" meeting.
In an interview with reporters around 2 pm, Lim said in jest of his new designation, "It's not as if nanalo ako ng premyo." (It's not as if I won a prize).
Lim in fact said: "I told the commissioners, are they sure in designating me? Because I'm retiring and in fact I'm focused now on what's supposed to be my turnover."
Lim also pointed out that he is finishing the pending cases in their Comelec division.
"Ngayon as acting chairman, mas parang ang daming trabaho," he said. (Now as acting chairman, it seems I have more work to do.)
Lim's new designation came after Bautista stepped down from office on Monday, October 23, after Malacañang said his resignation was effective immediately.
Bautista earlier said he was resigning from the Comelec effective December 31.
Lim will serve as acting Comelec chair until President Rodrigo Duterte names Bautista's replacement.
'I hope that Andy will find peace of mind'
In a separate interview with reporters, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said she voted for Lim as acting chair because of his rich experience in the poll body.
"Not only is he the most senior in rank, he's also the most experienced, and he has a lot of wisdom. He's actually a nerd, and he studies a lot, and he acts with prudence, and he's very collegial," Guanzon said.
On Bautista's stepping down from office, Guanzon said: "I hope that Andy will find peace of mind. I'm glad that he finally made up his mind yesterday and effectively resigned, which the commission en banc has accepted."
In an earlier interview, Jimenez explained the advantages of having Lim as acting Comelec chair.
"You're looking at a man who has a wealth of experience in managing elections and also the seniority to carry the day," Jimenez said.
Lim is the most senior Comelec commissioner in terms of length of stay in the poll body.
He was appointed Comelec commissioner by then president Benigno Aquino III in April 2011, and is set to retire by February 2018.
It was the second time for Lim to be designated as acting Comelec chief. In January 2015, he was given the same designation following the retirement of Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr in February of that year. – Rappler.com