Comelec welcomes Abas as new poll chief

MANILA -- The Commission of the Elections (COMELEC) on Friday welcomed the appointment of Commissioner Sheriff Abas as its new chairman.

COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez said they support his designation as poll body chief, especially in light of their preparations for two major electoral exercises in the next two years.

"The nomination of Commissioner Sheriff Abas to the position of Chairperson bodes well for the Commission on Elections as the institution approaches the eve of the 2019 midterm elections," he said in a statement.

Abas will succeed Juan Andres Bautista, who resigned from his post last month.

"With the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections scheduled to be held in May 2018, concurrently with preparations for the 2019 National and Local Elections, the coming year will be a very busy one for the COMELEC," Jimenez added.

The poll body official also stressed the need to have a new "acting chairman" as Commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Arthur Lim are set to retire in February next year.

The former Lim was designated "acting chairman" of the poll office.

"With two senior commissioners scheduled to end their terms early next year, it is ideal that the position of Chairperson not remain vacant for long," Jimenez said.

Abas is poised to serve until 2022, but his appointment is still subject to confirmation of the Commission on Appointments (CA).

Abas was appointed by then President Benigno Aquino III as a COMELEC Commissioner in April 2015.

Abas acquired his degree of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (Batch 1998-99) at the Notre Dame University in Cotabato City. He earned his baccalaureate degree in Law (Batch ?2003-2004) at the Ateneo De Davao University, and passed the Bar Exams a year after his graduation.

His career in government service began when worked at the Civil Service Commission - Regional Office 12 in June 2007.

Source: Philippine News Agency