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Duterte names Davao poll veteran as new Comelec commissioner

President Rodrigo Duterte named Aimee Ferolino Ampoloquio, an election veteran from Duterte’s home region of Davao, as new commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), filling the last vacancy in the 7-member body.

Ampoloquio, election supervisor of Davao del Norte, is a lawyer with over two decades of experience in the poll body.

Elections chief Sheriff Abas announced Duterte’s pick on Thursday, November 26. Ampoloquio replaces former commissioner Al Parreño, who retired in February this year. 

“Commissioner Aimee is an inspiration to all public servants. Her ascent to Comelec leadership is a testament of her great work and dedication to deliver quality and unparalleled service,” Abas said in a press statement. 

Duterte nominated Ampoloquio on Tuesday, November 24. Before taking official duties, she will need to be cleared by the Commission on Appointments, after which she will serve as commissioner until February 2, 2027. 

Her appointment follows that of Michael Braganza Peloton, a lawyer with experience in information technology, last September. 

Ampoloquio first entered the Comelec in 1994 as an emergency laborer and later worked as an election assistant for 12 years. She was then appointed as an election officer for 10 years and has been an election supervisor in Davao del Norte for two years. 

Abas cited Ampoloquio’s experience in the frontline of elections as an asset that will “greatly contribute” to the Comelec’s efforts to ensure elections are more inclusive of voters’ needs. 

Ampoloquio’s nomination completes the 7-member poll body – now dominated by Duterte’s appointees – and comes as the Philippines prepares for its 2022 elections that will elect Duterte’s successor. 

This leaves Commissioner Rowena Guanzon as the sole Aquino-appointed commissioner in the poll body. Abas, while first appointed as commissioner by then-president Benigno Aquino III, was made chairperson by Duterte.

Before Duterte steps down, he will also be able to name 3 more commissioners as Guanzon, Abas, and Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr are set to end their terms in February 2022, just months away from the 2022 presidential elections. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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