Lim quits as Comelec CFO head

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Christian Robert Lim has tendered his irrevocable registration as head of the poll body’s Campaign Finance Office (CFO) on Monday.

With this, the senior Comelec official clarified that he is not mad at the en banc for granting the request of the Liberal Party (LP) and its standard-bearer Mar Roxas for an extension of the filing of their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs).

“Hindi naman (masama loob sa en banc)…unacceptable meaning ang tagal na namin…even in 2013 I was fighting for non-extendable rule hindi pumayag ang en bnc kaya may late penalty. But 2013 was experimental, 2016 was the culmination so ngayon you are back to zero. Sayang ‘yung lahat efforts,” he said in an interview.

Lim downplayed perception that his resignation has put his colleagues in a bad light.

“I don’t think so but for me it’s very frustrating. Maybe they want to take a different shift then maybe they should be the ones to run it,” he said.

The poll body official added, “Siguro ‘yung bumoto majority maybe they can head it.”

Aside from Lim, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista and Commissioner Luie Guia also voted to deny the request.

The poll body official believed that the decision to extend the filing of SOCE was illegal.

“Sasabihin ko nga for the record its illegal. If you look at the law nakalagay within 30 days if you go beyond 30 days that’s tantamount to an amendment of the law,” he added.

Commissioners Arthur Lim, Al Parreño, Sheriff Abas and Rowena Guanzon has approved the request resetting the deadline to June 30. The original deadline was last June 8.

On the other hand, the poll body chief said that they will discuss the resignation letter, which he has not seen yet, submitted by the former Commissioner in charge of the CFO before the en banc on Tuesday.

“I haven’t seen the letter…whatever is written in the letter, we will discuss it tomorrow in the en banc meeting,” he said in a separate interview.

Bautista added that he will try to dissuade Lim as he believed that the latter is doing well as head of the CFO.

“Sana oo (ireconsider ni Lim)…ako naman nasasayangan kasi maganda naman ang trabaho ni Comm. Lim sa ating CFO. In fact alam ko nagsimula ‘yan bilang CFU (Campaign Finance Unit) lang e. Siya nagakyat niyan na maging office at marami na sila nagawang trabaho diyan. Sayang din,” he said.

He was asked if the CFO is a powerful office? Bautista said, “Maraming trabaho ‘yan. Napakahalaga ng campaign finance reform para sa ating halalan to level the playing field kasi ang ayaw natin mangyari is that ‘yun lang mayayaman o may resources ang pwedeng tumakbo sa ating mga halalan and it’s a mechanism na talagang siniseryoso at pinagtutuunan ng pansin.” Ferdinand Patinio/PNA/