MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte named a Court of Appeals (CA) justice from his hometown of Davao City as a new Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner.
Malacañang on Thursday, April 19, confirmed the appointment of CA Associate Justice Socorro Inting as Comelec commissioner. Duterte signed Inting’s appointment on Tuesday, April 17.
Inting will serve as Comelec commissioner until February 2, 2025, replacing former poll commissioner Arthur Lim.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a Viber message to reporters that “with Justice Inting,” the Comelec is still “wanting a chair and one commissioner.”
Inting is the first new personality that Duterte is introducing to the 7-member poll body.
While Duterte earlier nominated Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas as elections chief in November 2017, it was then president Benigno Aquino III who first placed Abas in the Comelec in April 2015.
The Commission on Appointments has yet to confirm the nomination of Abas, which is why Duterte still cannot formally appoint him as Comelec chairman. Abas is supposed to replace Andres Bautista, who resigned in October 2017 after a public feud with his estranged wife.
Inting’s appointment comes after Christian Lim and Arthur Lim retired as Comelec commissioners on February 2.
Based on her profile on the CA website, Inting hails from Davao City, where Duterte served as mayor for more than two decades. She finished law, cum laude, from the Ateneo de Davao University in 1980.
She was named to the CA in 2009.
Before this, Inting served as judge in Manila and Makati for a combined period of 12 years, was a prosecutor for 6 years, and worked as public attorney for 7 years. Prior to entering government service, she also engaged in private law practice.
She became treasurer of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Davao del Sur chapter in 1983, and treasurer of the Philippine Judges Association from 2007 to 2009.
Inting is now set to become one of two female members, alongside Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, in the traditionally male-dominated Comelec.
The Comelec is now bracing for a possible plebiscite for a new Philippine constitution, which is Duterte’s priority. – Pia Ranada and Paterno Esmaquel II / Rappler.com