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Palace distances from Comelec row

The Commission on Elections would have to resolve its latest leadership conflict on its own.

Malacañang has refused to meddle with the concerns raised against Comelec chairman Andres Bautista, an appointee of President Aquino, by other commissioners, saying it respects the independence of the constitutional body.

“Mainam na hayaan na lang nating talakayin ito ng tagapangulo at mga commissioner ng Comelec dahil ayon sa batas, ang Comelec ay isang independent constitutional body,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“Karamihan sa kanilang mga tinutukoy ay panloob na usapin hinggil sa kanilang ugnayan sa isa’t isa sa Comelec. Kaya mainam na sila na lamang ang magtalakayan hinggil dito,” Coloma said.

All six Comelec commissioners recently signed a memorandum strongly criticizing Bautista for his “failure of leadership” in the wake of the problems in the last May elections.

The commissioners have blamed Bautista for the delayed release of the incentive for election and the failure to address the hacking of the Comelec website, among others.

Bautista, who was appointed by Aquino to lead the poll body in May 2015, reportedly expressed readiness to answer the allegations hurled against him by his colleagues. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)