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Comelec commissioners to be named during Congress break

MANILA, Philippines -  President Aquino will name the replacements of retired Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer and Gregorio Larrazabal during the congressional break, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said ad interim appointments could be made only when the lawmakers are on recess and the Commission on Appointments (CA) is not operational.

Appointees cannot assume their positions when Congress is in session without getting the CA nod. 

The Constitution provided for situations when vacancies must be filled while Congress is in recess and the appointee can start working even before his confirmation by the CA.

Ferrer and Larrazabal retired in February. Congress goes on recess in late March. Meanwhile, Lacierda said whistleblower Heidi Mendoza was being considered to head the Commission on Audit (COA).

“We are considering her for COA because of her abilities and because she has expressed a desire to work for government, specifically in COA,” he said. “But there is no decision yet on that matter.”

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Lacierda said Mendoza would be a good addition to the administration. 

“We have a lot of concerns in government and certainly we need an upright auditor,” he said.

Lacierda said irregularities were discovered not just in the military but in other agencies as well.

“There are other departments that should be audited and we are expecting that with the new leadership in COA, the auditing process and practices in government would be fixed,” he said.


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