Aquino names 2 new Comelec commissioners; eyes posts for two retiring senators

Comelec Seal
Comelec Seal

By Lilybeth G. Ison

DAVAO CITY (7-Mar-2013/PNA) – President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday named two commissioners of the Commission on Election (Comelec) and revealed plans to give posts to to two retiring senators .

The President said he already signed the appointments of Macabangkit Lanto and Bernadette Sardillo as Comelec commissioners.

“I have already signed (their appointments). We are sending it to Congress for confirmation by the CA (Commission on Appointments),” the President said in an interview with media at the sidelines of the Philippine Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions/Events (MICE) Conference 2013 held at the SMX Convention Center here.

He cited Mac Lanto’s several portfolios in government, amongst them was with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Lanto was a former congressman and former DOJ undersecretary.

“He (Lanto) has proven his worth, I believe, during times that he performed or tried to perform his function when the higher ups were preventing him from doing what should have been done,” he said.

President Aquino said Lanto’s track record is very extensive, including his stint as Ambassador to the Middle East and Egypt.

On the other hand, the President said Sardillo is an election law practitioner.

“She (Sardillo) has demonstrated her mettle in defending the rights of the citizenry in several particular election contests especially in the last electoral exercise,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Aquino also mentioned two senators whose term ends in June 2013 who are expected to join the Executive.

He said Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has several aspects of the agriculture sector that he wants to concentrate on.

“He (Pangulinan) has already discussed about his ideas with (Agriculture) Secretary (Proceso) Alcala and we will try to maximize his involvement in our administration to the benefit of the agricultural sector,” the President said.

“I’m sure that Secretary Alcala will want his (Pangilinan) inputs and his efforts especially since agriculture is one of our priorities and there are so many things that have to be done; hopefully, in the quickest possible time,” he added.

As for Lacson, the President said the senator will have “a more general role,” likening him to a “fireman putting out fires.”

“He (Lacson) will not have a specific agency, for instance, that he’ll report to. But when there is a particular group that needs my undivided attention, he will be the one providing that undivided attention,” he said.

But, the President said, “we still have to work on details.” (PNA)


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