Comelec inducts 2 more members

The Commission on Elections formally welcomed election lawyer Ernesto Maceda Jr. and IT engineer Nelson Celis as their two new poll commissioners Monday morning.

Maceda Jr. and Celis took their oaths before Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia during the flag ceremony and welcoming program inside Sofitel Hotel at Pasay City.

The two new commissioners were appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., with Celis being reappointed after being bypassed by the Commission on Appointments on 28 September due to insufficient time.

In a press conference just after their oathtaking, Garcia said that Maceda Jr. will be assigned to the Comelec First Division, working alongside Presiding Commissioner Socorro Inting and fellow Commissioner Aimee Ferolino.

Celis, on the other hand, will be part of the poll body’s Second Division, which include Presiding Commissioner Marlon Casquejo and fellow Commissioner Rey Bulay.

For individual assignments, Maceda Jr. will be in charge of the Comelec Academy which will serve as an educational and training ground for current and future employees of the Commission.

Garcia said in a press conference last August that he is aiming to establish the said academy.

The Commissioner will also be part of Task Force Kontra Bigay, which seeks to monitor cases of vote buying in national and local elections, plebiscites and other electoral processes.

Fake news

Celis has also been given added duties for the Commission, such as assuming the role of Vice Chairperson for Comelec’s Steering Committee to digitize and computerize the May 2025 Midterm Elections.

Other responsibilities include Task Force Fake News, which seeks to apprehend cases of misinformation during the elections, and Comelec’s Election Stakeholder Summit on the first quarter of 2023.

In his speech, Maceda Jr. acknowledged the weight of his assumption of the role when election reforms are being promoted by lawmakers:

“I plan to be a good soldier. As an academician, this is what I know. I will criticize, but constructively. I will comment, but fairly. I will probe deeply. I will question intelligently,” Maceda Jr. said.

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