Comelec welcomes new commissioner Arthur Lim
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) welcomed on Monday, July 28, newly-appointed commissioner Arthur Lim, who said that he will be a good team player and will serve the people faithfully and sincerely.
Speaking at the poll body's flag ceremony, Lim said that he is very happy to be in the commission.
"Malaking karangalan po sa akin ang makapaglingkod sa ating bayan (It is of great honor for me to serve our country), under the leadership of Chairman Sixto Brillantes," whom he called as "one of the most dynamic, effective, and reform-minded chairmen of Comelec."
In a conference with members of the media afterwards, Lim said that the Comelec post was offered to him and did not seek to be appointed. "I did not apply because I consider myself as always at the beck and call of our people." This is Lim's first time in public service.
Brillantes explained that he requested for an immediate replacement from Malacañang, following the departure of commissioner Grace Padaca, who was not reappointed by President Benigno Aquino III. (READ: Padaca speaks out on Comelec departure)
Lim addressed speculations that his appointment was a "reward" to him, after being among the public prosecutors during the impeachment trial of ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012. (READ: Who is Arthur Lim?)
"More than two years have passed [since the impeachment trial]. On that basis alone, hindi po premyo ito. Kundi, ito ay pagkakataong manungkulan." (This is not a reward. Instead, this is an opportunity to serve.)
Moreover, he did not deny that he knows Senate President Franklin Drilon, a key leader of the ruling Liberal Party, but he said that his loyalty is now with the Filipino people. "I am a protege of no one, no party, no politician. I am only a protege of our people," he emphasized.
"I would like to echo Chairman Brillantes' advice to me: Wala na po akong kinikilingang partido, kliyente, o sinumang tao. Ang pagsisilbihan ko po ngayon ay ang taumbayan." (I do not favor any political party, client, or any other person anymore. Now, I am in service of the people.)
Asked about what he could contribute to the poll body, Lim said that only time will tell. "I can offer no promises, but I will really serve faithfully and sincerely," he said.
"I will be a good soldier, a good team player, but maintaining at the same time an independence of mind," added Lim.
Other commissioners also welcomed Lim into the poll body.
"We welcome him to the commission. There are a lot of things that we have to do now, and any additional hand would be very helpful," Commissioner Tito Luie Guia said on Sunday, after the Automated Election System Forum at Pasay City.
"I suppose he would be competent for the job," added Commissioner Christian Robert Lim. "He's more on the legal aspect, perhaps, in case adjudication. Probably to speed up the resolution of election cases."
Hailing from Sulu, Lim heads a family of lawyers and judges. He has been practicing law since 1970, and has his own law firm, the Arthur D. Lim Law Office, mostly handling maritime cases. He was a former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
Lim revealed that he had received a scholarship from the government for his law studies in the past. With his appointment, Lim hopes to "pay back what the government has given to him."
Lim will serve the unexpired term of Grace Padaca or until February 2, 2018. Padaca was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments last June and did not receive a reappointment from the President. – Rappler.com