Malacañang on Wednesday expressed optimism that the supposed conflict among top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not affect the integrity of the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.
This, after Comelec Commissioner Socorro Inting on Tuesday resigned as head of the poll body’s gun ban committee.
Inting’s resignation was an act of “protest” to an amendment that gives Comelec chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan the power to grant gun ban exemptions and place election areas of concern under the poll body’s control.
“We respect the independence of the Commission on Elections as a constitutional body,” acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.
Andanar hoped the issues surrounding Comelec would be addressed “amicably and professionally.”
“We further believe that any internal disagreement among its commissioners will be resolved amicably and professionally and will not affect the integrity of the May 2022 elections,” he said.
The seeming discord among Comelec officials came just less than a month before the conduct of this year’s elections.
Pangarungan, along with Comelec Commissioners George Garcia, Rey Bulay, and Aimee Neri, approved Comelec Resolution 10777 recalibrating the rules and regulations on the election gun ban.
Inting, as well as Comelec Commissioners Marlon Casquejo and Aimee Ferolino, voted against the resolution.
Under the Comelec resolution, top government officials are exempted from the gun ban.
Malacañang has repeatedly said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will ensure that May 9, 2022 elections will be “clean, fair, and honest”.