COMELEC allows Aquino to make select appointments

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has granted the request of President Benigno S. Aquino III to make new appointments for selected posts within the election period covering the October 25 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday that the request was based on the fact that the barangay election is a non-partisan exercise. The President reportedly has yet to fill up over a thousand vacant posts.

In a resolution, the Comelec has announced that appointing an officer of any government office, including government-owned and-controlled corporations, whether permanent or casual, is illegal.

The prohibition covers the hiring of any new employee as well as transferring of posts, creating new positions, suspending any elected official and granting salary increases for the period Sept. 25 to Nov. 10.

The Comelec said it shall only grant exemptions unless “it is satisfied that the position to be filled is essential to the proper functioning of the office or agency concerned.”

Violation of the resolution shall be an election offense, which carries a penalty of one to six years’ imprisonment as well as removal of the right to vote and be voted to public office. (PCOO/PIA)

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