Garcias welcome new poll supervisor, wish for fairness

Jessica Ann R. Pareja, Jessica Ann R. Pareja and Gregg M. Rubio/BRP, Gregg Rubio (The Freeman) - February 11, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Garcias are wishing for fairness from the newly-installed provincial elections supervisor, lawyer Eddie Aba.

From Negros Oriental province, Aba officially assumed as Commission on Elections Cebu provincial elections supervisor last Wednesday, replacing lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, who was transferred to Bohol.

“I hope that the Comelec as watchdog of the people so far as election is concerned will also play fair,” One Cebu gubernatorial candidate, third district Rep. Pablo John Garcia said.

Garcia expressed he is confident that on the whole, employees and officers of the Comelec will be fair.

Castillano was earlier accused by the Liberal Party of being biased to One Cebu Party but it was not the reason for his transfer.

The reshuffling is in accordance with Comelec Resolution 9626 which orders the temporary transfer of provincial elections supervisors aimed at continuing the Comelec’s efforts in “advancing professional competency, integrity and absolute impartiality in the service.”

Garcia also believed that it was not the alleged bias of Castillano that transferred him to Bohol.

His sister, suspended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, also welcomed Aba.

Gov. Garcia said that Cebu is the biggest single voting bloc in the entire country and all eyes will be on Cebu this coming election.

“We trust in the fairness of our new Comelec provincial supervisor, we trust in the integrity and sense of fair play,” Gov. Garcia said.

Aba, a native of Dumaguete City and has been with Comelec for 13 years now, said that he knows Cebu very well.

He has visited the province numerous times and that he is prepared if there are any problems and concerns that need to be addressed.

He said that he is also aware of the political scenario in Cebu including issues that may link up to the upcoming elections.

But Aba said that handling Cebu would not be difficult considering the experiences he had in other areas like in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) where he helped supervise the election in 2005 and 2008 as well as the special barangay elections in 2008 and 2010.

Meanwhile, Cebu City North District Election Officer Marchel Sarno might also be transferred to Toledo City within the month.

Sarno told the media yesterday that the Provincial Supervisor in Cebu has sent communications to Manila recommending his transfer to Toledo City, which he earlier agreed to during the consultation.

He said he will replace his brother, current Toledo City Election Officer Michael Angelo Sarno.

South District election officer Edwin Cadungog will replace Marchel Sarno as the North District Commission on Election officer.

Sarno said he does not know yet who will replace Cadungog in the South District.

The reshuffling of election officers is normal during election year. It is done to election officers who have been assigned in an area for over four years to discourage familiarity.

Section 44 of the Omnibus Election Code specifically says that an election officer should not stay in his or her area of assignment for four years or beyond and should be reassigned outside the legislative district where he or she is currently assigned.

The Commission on Elections, however, reassigns them back after election.  (FREEMAN)


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