The Commission on Elections has accepted the resignation of Commissioner Christian Robert Lim as chair of the Campaign Finance Office.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the en banc accepted Lim’s resignation with regret during its session Tuesday.
“The en banc has accepted the resignation of Comelec Comm. Christian Robert Lim as head of the Campaign Finance Office, with regret. In fact, we expressed our gratitude to him for all the work he has done in respect of campaign finance,” Bautista told reporters.
Since Lim’s irrevocable resignation was effective on Monday, Bautista said the en banc designated Comelec executive director Jose Tolentino as officer-in-charge of CFO.
Bautista explained that they appointed Tolentino as OIC because there are urgent administrative concerns that CFO has to promptly act such as the issuance of certificates of compliance to candidates who already filed their statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs).
“For the meantime, Tolentino will be the officer-in-charge while we are still deliberating on who should replace Com Lim because it is a big responsibility. Besides, the en banc wants to find out the extent of the functions of the office,” the Comelec chief stressed.
Nonetheless, Bautista insinuated the possibility that they will just appoint a “permanent employee” instead of another commissioner, who has a fixed term.
In a letter filed Monday afternoon, Lim tendered his resignation following the “policy shift” that allows candidates and political parties that failed to meet the June 8 deadline to still file SOCEs.
In his capacity as CFO chairman, Lim recommended that the en banc should deny giving such an extension particularly the request filed by the Liberal Party and its standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
But the Comelec en banc ruled to grant the parties an extension until June 30 via split vote, 4-3. This allows filing without penalties.
“Given the Commission’s policy shift resulting from granting the request for extension without any sanctions on the erring candidates and parties―which I had expressly dissented from and is now incongruent with my own views on the matter―I believe that I am unsuitable to continue with my duties both as the concurrent head and Commissioner-in-Charge of the Campaign Finance Office,” Lim wrote in a memorandum to the en banc.
On Monday, Lim insisted that the decision granting an extension was “illegal” because it is tantamount to an amendment of the law.