Comelec, DILG chiefs get CA nod
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed yesterday the appointments of Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista.

Sarmiento, former vice chairman of the CA, breezed through his confirmation hearing.

Sarmiento was congressman of Western Samar before he was appointed by President Aquino to replace Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He was recommended for confirmation by the CA committee on interior and local government chaired by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

It took less than 15 minutes for the CA to act on Sarmiento’s appointment.

Sarmiento acted as vice chairman of the commission for the confirmation hearing of Bautista.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas explained that Sarmiento ended his duties as a member of Congress and the CA when his appointment to the DILG was confirmed yesterday.

Earlier, the confirmation of Bautista’s appointment was deferred after Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile filed a motion over the alleged missing results involving 12 million votes in the 2013 elections.

Officials of the Philcomsat group of companies represented by Jose Ma. Ozamiz and Erlinda Ilusorio-Bildner objected to the confirmation of Bautista.

Retired military captain Proceso Maligalig also showed up at the CA to oppose Bautista’s confirmation.

The confirmation of Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas was deferred due to a manifestation made by Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano that he wanted to ask him some questions.

Cayetano was not present in yesterday’s CA hearing.

After getting the CA nod, Sarmiento vowed to go after people and groups using his name in extortion and other illegal activities.

“I will never allow anyone to represent me or my office to extort or demand protection money from jueteng and other vices,” he said.

Sarmiento said he has received reports that some groups are using his name this early to extort and demand protection money from illegal gambling operators.

The DILG chief said he has instructed Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez to look into these reports.

Sarmiento ordered Marquez to intensify the anti-gambling operations amid reports of increased jueteng activities supposedly to raise funds for the 2016 elections.

He said he was appointed by the President to head the DILG because of his experience and credentials as a public servant. – Cecille Suerte Felipe

ACIRC BAUTISTA CECILLE SUERTE FELIPE CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA COMELEC COMMISSIONER SHERIFF ABAS CONFIRMATION DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DIRECTOR GENERAL RICARDO MARQUEZ FERDINAND MARCOS JR. ILOCOS NORTE REP SARMIENTO
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