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Duterte appoints Pangarungan as new Comelec chief

Malacañang on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Saidamen Balt Pangarungan as ad interim chairperson of the Commission on Elections.

Pangarangan was the head of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos prior to his appointment to Comelec.

At the Palace briefing, acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said Duterte also signed the appointment of George Erwin Garcia  and Aimee Torrefranca-Neri as ad interim Comelec commissioners.

“Kinukumpirma ng Malacañang na pinirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte ang appointment papers nina Mr. Saidamen Balt Pangarungan bilang ad interim chairman ng Comelec. Mr. George Erwin Garcia bilang ad interim Comelec commissioner at Aimee Torrefranca-Neri bilang ad interim commissioner ng Comelec,” he said.

(The Malacañang confirmed that President Duterte signed the appointment papers of Saidamen Balt Pangarungan as ad interim chairman of Comelec, Mr. George Erwin Garcia as ad interim Comelec commissioner, and Aimee Torrefranca-Neri as ad interim commissioner of Comelec.)

“The directive of the President is to ensure an honest, peaceful, credible, and free elections,” he added.

Garcia is an election lawyer whose former clients include presidential candidates Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and former senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., Senators Grace Poe and Aquilino 'Koko' Pimentel III.

Torrefranca-Neri, on the other hand, was an undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.—AOL, GMA News