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Maceda named Comelec commissioner

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Maceda named Comelec commissioner
Ernesto Maceda Jr.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) confirmed yesterday the appointment of Ernesto Ferdinand Maceda Jr. and the reappointment of Ernesto Celis as new commissioners of the poll body, a few months before the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls in December this year.

In a statement, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said the appointment of Maceda and Celis rounds up the composition of the seven-member commission which will greatly help preparations for the barangay and SK polls.

“With this, I look forward to working with Commissioner Maceda who is a veteran election lawyer and election law professor. I am also delighted at the reappointment of Commissioner Celis, who had already established great relations in the commission following his previous appointment,” Garcia said.

He said he is confident with the appointment of Maceda and Celis.

Maceda is a constitutionalist and a respected personality in academe, having taught election law, administrative law, public officers, public operations and constitutional law subjects at the law schools of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Far Eastern University-De La Salle University JD-MBA program and Arellano University.

Before his appointment to the Comelec, Maceda was also a professional lecturer at the Ateneo Law School and a Master of Laws thesis professor at the PLM Graduate School of Law. He has held several leadership positions in public academe.

Maceda was the president and chairman of the Board of the Philippine Association of Law Schools, executive vice president (2007-2009) of PLM, became the longest serving dean of the PLM College of Law (2006-2015) and university president (2015-2019) of Universidad de Manila.

In the private sector, Maceda’s focus as a partner at MACEDALAW includes election law practice and a columnist for the Philippine STAR and Pilipino Star Ngayon and a regular resource speaker for constitutional law discussions.

In the House of Representatives, Maceda was chief of staff of former House speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella as he was previously appointed by the Supreme Court to the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Governing Board and served on the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Judicial Academy.

The 58-year-old Maceda topped the Manila City Council elections at the age of 23 and became Manila City vice mayor at the age of 28.

Maceda earned his LL.M. degree from Columbia University in New York in 1996. He graduated from Ateneo Law School, LL.B. and placed 19th in the 1989 Bar exams. He is currently a candidate for Doctor of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines NCPAG.

Maceda said he is humbled to be entrusted with his appointment as Comelec commissioner as he assured the public of fulfilling the mandate of the poll body by ensuring a free, fair, credible and honest electoral process.

“I am humbled to be entrusted with the crucial duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Commissioner. The first principle of democracy is that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them,” Maceda said.

“As guardian of the sovereign will, the Commission on Elections fulfills this task by ensuring that the electoral process is free and fair, credible and honest, orderly and peaceful, informed and meaningful. It is an honor and privilege to play part in this role,” he added.

Maceda also thanked President Marcos for his faith and confidence in his qualifications as Comelec commissioner as he assured him that he would carry out his function in the service of the Filipino people to the best of his abilities.

Celis, on the other hand, is an Information Technology expert practitioner and academician, which will be a great contribution to the Comelec, especially on automated elections, according to the poll body.

Prior to this, the Commission on Appointments (CA) bypassed the first ad interim appointment of Celis.

With the appointment of Maceda and the reappointment of Celis, the Comelec is now composed of Chairman Garcia and Commissioners Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo, Aimee Ferolino and Rey Bulay.

Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco said Maceda and Celis can now assume office even without the CA’s nod due to their ad interim appointment as he emphasized that they will take oath before Garcia on Monday.

SK

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