Duterte names Antonio Kho Jr Comelec commissioner

Pia Ranada
President Rodrigo Duterte's 4 appointees now dominate the 7-member poll body

NEW COMMISSIONER. Antonio Kho Jr is named ad interim Comelec commissioner by President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo from Philippine Competition Commission Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed former justice undersecretary Antonio Kho Jr Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner.

Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said Kho’s appointment papers were released on Thursday, July 12. 

Kho now takes the spot vacated by Sheriff Abas when he was appointed Comelec chairman. Kho’s appointment must still be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.

Kho served as justice undersecretary under Vitaliano Aguirre II who resigned after a Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors dismissed drug trade charges against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and his alleged partner in the Visayan drug trade, Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim.

As undersecretary, Kho had been assigned to lead the task force that was supposed to reinvestigate the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Kho is also Aguirre’s and Duterte’s fraternity brother. 

Previously, Duterte appointed Marlon Casquejo and Socorro Inting as Comelec commissioners. Counting Abas, Duterte now has 4 appointees in the 7-member commission.

The Comelec is crucial for Duterte as he pushes for a federal form of government, which will require a plebiscite run by the poll body. – Rappler.com


Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.