Garcia, Nograles get CA nod

September 8, 2022

The Commission on Appointments confirmed the ad interim appointments of George Erwin Garcia and Karlo Alexei Nograles as chairs of the Commission on Elections and Civil Service Commission, respectively.

To recall, both officials faced the CA in June after being appointed by then President Rodrigo Duterte, but the constitutional body bypassed their appointments due to the lack of quorum.

Garcia, along with then Comelec Chair Saidamen Pangarungan and commissioner Aimee Neri suffered the same fate.

Wednesday’s decision came upon the motion of then-Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri to give then President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a chance to pick his preferred choices for the said positions.

Last 1 August, two months after vacating his post, Marcos tapped Garcia, this time, to head the poll body.

During the deliberation, Garcia highlighted the accomplishments of the poll body during the 2022 national and local elections last May.

“During the conduct of the 2022 national and local elections, we were able to have 84.1 percent of the total registered voters, who cast their vote,” Garcia said. “It was so far, the highest in the history of the country. Likewise, during the 2022 national and local elections, there were only 23 election-related violence and we had the most peaceful election so far in our history.”

Garcia stressed that the poll body only took eight days to proclaim the winners of the 2022 senatorial race, as well as the winners of the lower house elections as he also vowed to surpass the accomplishments of the Comelec in the 2022 national elections.

“I was happy that I was part of the Comelec at that time, we gained a lot of experience and a lot of… of course, there were setbacks but the experience and the learnings we acquired from the 2022 national elections are incomparable,” Garcia said.

“We will definitely use that under your present leadership for the purpose of ensuring that the 2025 elections and the elections after that will be if not coequal to the 2022 elections at least will be able to surpass the same,” he added.

Zubiri, who sits as chairman of the powerful CA, moved to endorse Garcia’s nomination before the body. He will serve as Comelec chair until February 2029.

Prior to his appointment, Garcia served as Marcos’ head legal counsel during his electoral protest in the 2016 vice presidential election against former Vice President Leni Robredo before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

Nograles, on the other hand, was among the five Duterte appointees whose appointments were bypassed by the CA in June.

During the hearing, Nograles answered queries of the body’s members which ranged from the rightsizing of the government workforce to securing benefits for contractual and job order workers.

Zubiri moved to endorse Nograles’ nomination before the body, saying he had to make up for his earlier call for the deferment of the latter’s nomination until February 2029.

“To make up for him, since I sought the deferment of his appointment… I lobbied for him to be retained as CSC chairman for his information because I really believe in this gentleman,” Zubiri said.

“I am also a friend of your father, and I am sure he is looking down at you very proud at what you have accomplished today,” he added.

Prior to his appointment, Nograles served as Cabinet Secretary under the Duterte administration. He also served as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease.
He also served as a three-term congressman of the 1st District of Davao City.

With Gab Humilde Villegas


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