Is this part of the deal?
Erap men lead Palace list for Comelec posts. But there’s a subplot: Ermita suspected to sending list to Comelec
From Malaya online:
by Gerard Naval
A spokesman and a lawyer of former President Joseph Estrada in his plunder case head the list of Malacañang’s choices to replace former Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos and Commissioner Mehol Sadain, acting Comelec chair Resurreccion Borra yesterday said.
They are Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro) and Rene Saguisag, a former senator.
Abalos resigned last Oct. 1 at the height of a Senate probe into his role in the alleged bribery that attended the $329 million national broadband deal with China’s ZTE Corp.
Sadain retired April 2006.
Also in the list are former Sen. Wigberto Tañada; Alioden Dalaig, head of the Comelec law department; Howard Calleja, legal counsel of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting; Amado Valdez, a former dean of the University of the East College of Law; and Severo Maluenda Jr., an agriculturist who ran for the Senate as an independent in the last May elections.
Borra said the list was sent to two weeks ago in a letter signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.
“They sent it here only to ask for our comment. The process is still dynamic until there is a formal announcement of the Office of the President,” Borra said.
Borra and Commissioner Florentino Tuason are also set to retire in February 2008.
Borra said they would deliberate on the list after the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
“We may recommend (someone from the list), we may recommend someone else, or we can just shut up,” he said.
Borra said he is looking for an expert in hands-on information technology management.
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said he would like someone from the academe or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and possibly a woman.
Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said he is not against the idea of having a politician as a nominee as long as they have first-hand experience in election laws and procedures.
Commissioner Romeo Brawner said he would like former judges as judicial duty is also one of the commission’s primary functions.
From Inquirer online:
Ermita denies sending list of nominees to Comelec
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
Last updated 05:27pm (Mla time) 10/30/2007
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on Tuesday denied sending a list of nominees for vacant positions in the Commission on Election (Comelec) to the poll body..
Ermita said he has spoken with acting Comelec chairman Resurreccion Borra and clarified that the list, which includes names of opposition politicians, did not come from his office.
Sought for reaction, Borra said the actual communication on the list had been signed by Undersecretary Enrique Perez of the Office of the Presidential Search Committee but carried the endorsement of Ermita.
He said Perez had sent a similar letter, also endorsed by Ermita, to then Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos, who has since resigned.
Earlier in the day, before Ermita’s denial, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno also said the list was sent to the Comelec by the Office of the Executive Secretary. Puno said the list was drawn up by a search committee and approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
There are currently two vacancies in the Comelec — the seat vacated by resigned chairman Benjamin Abalos and another position that has not been filled up since well before the May elections.
The retirement of Borra and election commissioner Florentino Tuason early next year will bring the total vacancies in the Comelec to four by February.
Former senators Wigberto Tañada and Rene Saguisag top the list of nominees that Borra said they had received two weeks ago. The other nominees are lawyer Amado Valdez, former executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement; Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, Comelec law chief Alioden Dalaig, lawyer Howard Calleja of the lawyers’ group Lente, and Severo Maluenda.
Puno said all the nominees are qualified and were not chosen for political accommodation.
And yet, he also said that the inclusion of opposition personalities in the list was in response to the clamor to make the selection process transparent and allow even administration critics the chance to sit in the poll body.
He said this shows the administration was sincere in its goal to unite all political forces and keep politics aside.
Notwithstanding his explanation about the list and how it was drawn up, when asked to comment on Ermita’s denial, Puno later said: “I don’t know. I just read that also in the news reports. Maybe you can verify where the list came from.”
But Ermita said it was “unlikely” the Palace would come up with a list and sound off the Comelec on its possible choices to become election commissioners.
“It should be the other way around. People submit names to us then the Office of the President acts on the recommendations,” he told reporters at a news conference in Malacañang.
Ermita said this was the same process followed in the choice of justices of the Supreme Court, Armed Forces chief of staff, or Philippine National Police chief.
Ermita arrived in the country Tuesday morning from New York where he met with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights.