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An open and transparent appointment process

NAMFREL

The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) joins the urgent plea of different stakeholders for the appointment of competent and honest men and women in the three vacant positions — that of the Chairperson and two Commissioners — at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), not only in a timely manner, but also in a way that is open and transparent.

NAMFREL enjoins President Rodrigo R. Duterte to make public its shortlisted candidates, and to invite ordinary citizens to present comments, inputs, and personal information on the candidates, before the Office of the President makes the final decision on the appointments, to ensure transparency in the process and to help identify the most qualified and competent appointees.

This plea is urgent in view of the following:

– The 2022 National and Local Elections are less than 3 months away, and will be conducted under extreme safety and health challenges;

– An open process will help reinforce public trust to the COMELEC as an institution;

– A transparent appointment process, with focus on qualifications and suitability for the job, will help dispel concerns that the COMELEC as a constitutional body will be composed of individuals that only come from the President’s hometown, or who are inside the President’s inner circle.

As the steward of the Philippine election process, the COMELEC should be strengthened, and should invite the trust and respect of the Filipino people. NAMFREL believes that by ensuring that the appointment process will be open and transparent, the President will leave a lasting legacy of a strong, independent, and credible Commission on Elections.

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