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Next Comelec chief? De Lima says she’s too focused on DOJ to think about ‘next calling’

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday shrugged off reports that she wants to replace Sixto Brillantes Jr. as head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In a text message, De Lima, a former election lawyer, said she doesn't know where 1-Bap party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello got the idea that she is eyeing the top Comelec post.

“While I appreciate Rep. Bello's candid statements, I don't know where he got such idea,” she said.

Bello, who once headed the Department of Justice (DOJ), was quoted in a report as saying in a minority bloc briefing that he has heard rumors that De Lima wants to chair the Comelec.

The report further quoted him as saying that he is not discounting the possibility that De Lima might still pursue her bid to become a senator in the 2016 elections.

De Lima dismissed Bello's statements, saying she is more focused on her current job.

“Regarding my supposed eye for those positions. I honestly don't know yet what's gonna be my next calling... Que sera sera... I'm just focused right now on my myriad tasks and challenges,” she said.

Before serving as Justice chief in 2010, De Lima, in 2008, served as chair of the Commission on Human Rights under the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Before that, she worked as an election lawyer.

De Lima is the daughter of former Comelec Commissioner Vicente de Lima.

A November 2011 survey by Pulse Asia revealed that De Lima was among the Top 12 personalities favored to become a senator in the 2013 polls, getting the nod of 29.4 percent of the 1,200 respondents.

De Lima is currently at the center of the government's effort to investigate personalities said to be behind the P10-billion government fund scam involving the supposed illegal diversion of some lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund into bogus non-government organizations linked to detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. —Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News
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