President Duterte has named Commissioner Sheriff Abas as the new chairman of the Commission on Elections.
Duterte also named former Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera as new chief executive officer of the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Chief Executive signed their appointment papers last Wednesday.
Abas will serve until Feb. 2, 2022 while Devanadera will serve until July 10, 2022, or the remaining years of the term of their predecessors Andres Bautista and Jose Vicente Salazar.
Bautista resigned last October due to the corruption allegations raised by his estranged wife while Salazar was dismissed by Duterte after he was found guilty of neglect of duty and other anomalies last month.
Abas, a law professor, is reportedly the nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who refused to confirm this revelation by Bautista in a radio interview two years ago.
“Sa aking pananaw po, it’s not an issue whether he is my nephew. I don’t want to answer that because it would lead to something,” Iqbal had said.
Abas worked as acting assistant regional director of the Civil Service Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao from June 2007 until his appointment to the Comelec on April 2015.
Abas, who headed Comelec’s packing and shipping committee, finished his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Notre Dame University in Cotabato City in 1999. He obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Davao University in 2004.
On the other hand, Devanadera served as former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo’s Solicitor General and acting Justice Secretary when then Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez was on medical leave. The 41st and first female Philippine Solicitor General was appointed by Arroyo on February 2007.
In 2006, Devanadera was charged with graft for a debt agreement signed by the Philippine National Construction Corp. and British lending firm Radstock Securities Inc.
The Sandiganbayan dismissed the graft case last May, citing delay on the part of the Ombudsman in conducting its preliminary investigation.