MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has named commissioner Christian Robert Lim as acting chairman of the poll body following the retirement of Sixto Brillantes Jr on Monday, February 2.
On Wednesday, January 28, the Comelec en banc, through Minute Resolution No. 15-0049, designated Lim, the most senior commissioner, to lead the poll body in an acting capacity.
Chairman Brillantes will be retiring Monday with commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph.
"As soon as I leave, by February 3, Lim will sit as the acting chairman," Brillantes told reporters on Friday.
The Comelec en banc was unanimous in their decision. Commissioner Tito Luie Guia was out on official business on Wednesday, but Brillantes noted that Guia did not object to Lim's selection.
Lim will be the interim poll chief until the appointment of a permanent chairperson plus two commissioners when Congress goes on break on March 21. (READ: What's next for Comelec after Brillantes retires?)
It is still possible, however, for the vacancies to be filled earlier than that, if the nominees of President Benigno Aquino III would be immediately confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) while Congress is in session.
Lim and the remaining 3 commissioners – Guia, Arthur Lim, and Al Parreño – will continue to run the Comelec in the meantime, said Brillantes, but they would have to act and decide as one to obtain a working majority.
"To come out with a valid resolution in the en banc, you would need 4 votes... Kailangang mag-unanimous sila palagi (They need to be unanimous always in their decisions). They have to coordinate with each other well," he said.
The Comelec's two divisions were also reorganized among the 4 officials. Acting Chairman Lim will head the First Division with Guia as member, while Parreño will preside over the Second Division with Arthur Lim as member.
Christian Robert Lim was appointed as Comelec commissioner by President Aquino in April 2011.
He currently heads the Comelec's Campaign Finance Unit (CFU), which monitors campaign contributions and expenses during elections. – Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.