MANILA, Philippines – Newly appointed poll chief George Garcia faced the media for the first time as chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), vowing to protect the integrity of the institution.
He made the promise after some groups raised conflict of interest concerns over Garcia’s history with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., his former client during the latter’s electoral protest following his failed 2016 vice presidential bid.
Garcia also unveiled his plans for the poll body, such as creating an office of the spokesperson, and a Comelec Academy, as part of his goal to kickstart structural reforms and promote further transparency.
He also called on Congress to pass a budget that would include the construction of a new Comelec building in Pasay City, in the wake of a fire that damaged a part of the Comelec’s information technology department office on Sunday, July 31.
Watch Rappler’s elections reporter Dwight de Leon give a recap of events at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila, on Wednesday, August 3.
Independent to favor his former clients. I will only believe in its independence if the commission will push for more transparence in the election and enforce all safeguards in electronic election – which did not happen.