Lanto's withdrawal as poll commissioner shows his delicadeza: Palace-A A +A
Monday, March 11, 2013
MANILA -- Malacanang said Monday that the decision made by Macabangkit Lanto declining the Commission on Elections (Comelec) post was a demonstration of personal delicadeza.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a text message to reporters, said that it is the Aquino administration's highest consideration to restore confidence in the electoral system.
"Mr. Lanto's decision to withdraw as commissioner of the Comelec is a demonstration of personal delicadeza and gives the President (Benigno Aquino III) an opportunity to make a new appointment to the position," she said.
Valte said that the Palace will make the announcement as to the new appointees at the appropriate time.
Lanto withdrew his nomination as Comelec commissioner following criticisms against him.
The former ambassador allegedly benefited from the election fraud when he ran for a congressional post in Lanao del Norte in 1992. Lanto was removed from the post in 1994 after the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal declared his opponent as the rightful winner.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said he was surprised by Lanto's withdrawal of his appointment at the poll body.
"Ako, nagulat ako kasi all along akala ko ilalaban niya ito e (I was surprised because all along I thought he will fight it out)," said Brillantes.
He said he believed that the HRET case should have died down already since it happened two decades ago.
As to the 2007 poll offense case over alleged coercion of Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) members in Lanao del Sur, a copy of the Law Department's recommendation to the Comelec en banc revealed that Lanto's case is being dismissed. The en banc resolved the case in January 12, 2008.
Aside from Lanto, lawyer Bernadette Sardillo earlier declined the offer to be one of the commissioners also of the poll body.
Due to these developments, the poll chief said he is hoping that Aquino will not take long in finding new appointees.
Brillantes said that while the Comelec is already in the implementation stage of their election preparations, the two new commissioners would be a big help in dispensing pending cases before the poll body.
For its part, the Comelec–Employees' Union (EU) pushed anew their two nominees for the post, namely Comelec–Planning Department head Ferdinand Rafanan and Santiago City, Isabela, election officer Alexander Pilotin.
"With the elections only two months away, it is imperative that the President names insiders to the Commissioner posts," said Comelec-EU president Mac Ramirez in a statement. (SDR/HDT/Sunnex)