Comelec chair Garcia gets CA nod

·2 min read

THE Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, the appointment of Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman George Garcia.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri moved the approval of appointment of Garcia after he answered questions related particularly to the elections, including those about vote counting machines, addressing concerns on voter’s list, development of the agency in terms of infrastructure, as well as concerns about partiality.

Garcia said he sees the need of leasing new vote counting machines for the upcoming local elections in 2025 in order to avoid concerns over defective and malfunctioning vote counting machines similar during the 2022 national and local elections which delayed the process in various areas across the country.

He said 90,000 vote counting machines under the control of the Comelec are no longer highly functional.

"Hindi po natin kailangan bumili kasi technology changes every six months. Ang pinaka effective ay mag lease ng machines. Why? One, 'di mo na kailangan ng warehouse at i-maintain, mas mura. Kapag lease, sisiguraduhin ng nagpapaupa na bago ang makina," Garcia said.

Garcia also shared his plans for the Comelec, particularly in establishing new offices and buildings for the agency.

He assured the impartiality of the Comelec under his watch.

"I can commit to you, I will always maintain the impartiality of my office and that the institution will always be independent in all its actions," he said.

In June, Garcia, who was appointed by then President Rodrigo Duterte as a Comelec commissioner, failed to get the nod of the Commission on Appointments.

He was appointed by his former client, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., as the head of the agency in August.

Garcia handled the electoral protest of Marcos against former Vice President Leni Robredo following the 2016 election. (SunStar Philippines)