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A Malacañang spokesperson said Monday the replacement of Elections Commissioner Augusto “Gus” Lagman should have a background in information technology.
“No updates yet on the new nominee. The nominee must have a background in IT,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a text message to GMA News Online.
Lagman, after a year of being appointed to the post, is on his way out. His nomination has yet to be tackled by the Commission on Appointments due to the alleged opposition of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
“It had to do with the case where Gus Lagman used to be involved with Namfrel (National Movement for Free Elections) where they had a difference of opinion with Sen. Enrile. I think that’s the reason why there was some issue there with regard to Gus Lagman. So it had to do with issues that occurred way before Gus was appointed to [the] Comelec,” Ricky Carandang, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, earlier said.
Carandang also said the decision not to reappoint Lagman was mutual between Malacañang and the former poll official, and denied it was done to secure the vote of Enrile in the impeachment trial against Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Aquino appointed Lagman in April 2011 due to the expertise in IT and involvement in the automated elections.
Aside from being an IT expert, Lagman was a convenor of the Black and White Movement — a group that advocated for the resignation, impeachment, or ouster of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Lagman, who replaced retired poll Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, was supposed to serve until Feb. 2, 2018.
Carandang had said that President Aquino already has some names being considered to replace Lagman. “I’m sure given the importance of the position, we will be able to nominate someone in a short amount of time.”
However, there is a possibility that Lagman would be appointed to another government post.
“That’s possible. There was no issue naman of Commissioner Lagman’s competence as far as I’m aware. That is always a possibility,” Carandang said. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News