Comelec accepts Lim's resignation as CFO head

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc accepted the resignation of Commissioner Christian Robert Lim as the head of the poll body's Campaign Finance Office (CFO).

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista told reporters on Tuesday, June 21, that they regret Lim's departure from the CFO.

"We also expressed our gratitude to him for all the work that he has done with respect to campaign finance," said Bautista.

The poll body named Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr as officer-in-charge of the CFO.

Tolentino will oversee the CFO's operations, such as the issuance of Certificates of Formal Compliance to candidates and political parties that have already submitted their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).

Comelec appoints Executive Director Jose Tolentino Jr as officer-in-charge of Campaign Finance Office @rapplerdotcom — Michael Bueza (@mikebueza) June 21, 2016


Bautista added that the Comelec en banc will still discuss who would succeed Lim at the CFO.

"Of course, it's a huge responsibility. The en banc would like to know the extent of the functions of the office, so that we would know who could replace Commissioner Lim," he said.

Lim's resignation was irrevocable effective Monday, June 20, a few days after the Comelec en banc voted to extend the SOCE filing period.

The extension was requested by the Liberal Party (LP) after it missed the "final, non-extendible" June 8 deadline. The LP then submitted its SOCE 6 days late.

Lim, who will still be Comelec commissioner, voted against the extension, saying that it is illegal.

For her part, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who voted in favor of the extension, said that SOCE submissions will only be accepted until 7 pm of June 30.

"I will not agree to further extension [beyond June 30]," Guanzon said in a text message.

The CFO is in charge of monitoring election campaign contributions and expenditures. It was formed as the Campaign Finance Unit in 2012, and became a full-fledged office in October 2015.

Michael Bueza

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.