File photo from Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Commission on Elections commissioner Sheriff Abas as the new Comelec chairman, replacing Andres Bautista.
Abas' appointment papers were signed on Wednesday, November 22. He will serve until February 2, 2022, or for what should have been Bautista's remaining term.
Abas' appointment must be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.
JUST IN: Pres. Duterte nominates Sheriff Abas as new Comelec chairman. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/K6zcnetZMf — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) November 24, 2017
Abas is the nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. As a Comelec commissioner, he headed the packing and shipping committee.
A law professor, Abas worked as acting assistant regional director of the Civil Service Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao until his appointment to the Comelec. He worked at the CSC from June 2007 until April 2015.
Abas, who also describes himself as a missionary, finished his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Notre Dame University, Cotabato City, in 1999.
He obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Davao University in 2004.
Abas replaced Bautista who tendered his resignation supposedly effective by the end of the year but was accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte in October.
Bautista tendered his resignation nearly a week after the House justice committee, by a vote of 19-2, formally junked an impeachment complaint against him. – With reports from Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.