FIERCE Commission on Election (Comelec) Commissioner Negrense lawyer Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon has left the agency with a grateful heart, saying, "because I know that you have kept me in your prayers."

Guanzon served the agency as one of its commissioners for seven years that formed part of her 25-year government service, and there was never a dull moment with her leadership.

She retired on February 2, 2022, at the age of 64, along with her fellow retirees, former Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas and Commissioner Antonio Kho, Jr.

Comelec has hosted a retirement ceremony for the three of them held at the Harbor Garden Tent, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City.

In her farewell speech, Guanzon recalled the joy of her father, the late Regional Trial Court Judge Sixto Guanzon, when he learned about her appointment as Comelec Commissioner.

"He was happy to learn that his daughter would serve as a Comelec Commissioner who will preside over the election of the Philippines' next president,” Guanzon said.

Guanzon added that her father was impressed with it and when she arrived at their house, her father stood out and said congratulations, saying that he never thought that he would have a daughter who would be presiding over the candidacy and election of the next President of the Philippines.

She stressed that she retired with satisfaction that she made her parents proud.

"And I have enjoyed all your company even when we have disagreed. And I think that all in all, you will not forget me not only because of my colorful personality but because of what we have shared,” she told her colleagues.

“I look forward to seeing you again in the next chapter of my life. And this will serve to be nothing but the end of my service career," she added.

Guanzon became controversial lately for her vote to disqualify presidential candidate former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

An Economics graduate from Silliman University High School in Dumaguete, she took up law at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Guanzon also served as former mayor of Cadiz city from 1986 to 1992. She was also the former Commission on Audit Commissioner from March 18, 2013 to April 28, 2015 before becoming part of Comelec.