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Lawyer with IT background is Philippines' new poll commissioner

Michael Braganza Peloton, a lawyer with experience in information technology (IT), has been named commissioner of the Philippines' poll body, elections chief Sheriff Abas announced on Monday, September 21.

Peloton is set to serve as Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner until February 2, 2027, Abas announced.

"Commissioner Peloton is a timely addition to the Commission en banc as his vast experience in the field of law and information technology will highly contribute in our thrust to further improve and revolutionize our electoral processes," Abas said in a press release on Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte nominated Peloton as Comelec commissioner on September 17, after which Peloton needs to undergo screening by the Commission on Appointments before he can formally undertake his duties.

Peloton, who has kept a low profile through the years, is a former board member of the Philippine Reclamation Authority. 

In March 2019, he was also listed by the Insurance Commission as overseer of FLT Prime Insurance Corporation. The Insurance Commission said Peloton’s address is in Buhangin, Davao City.

Peloton is replacing election expert Luie Tito Guia, who retired from the Comelec in February this year.

Peloton's nomination comes as the Philippines prepares for the 2022 elections that will elect Duterte's successor, with the Comelec now dominated by Duterte appointees.

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, a known dissenter in controversial Comelec rulings, is the sole Aquino-appointed commissioner left in the poll body. Abas, while first appointed as commissioner by then-president Benigno Aquino III, was made chairperson by Duterte. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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