No probe, only policy on conduct, says Comelec chief

Posted on October 25, 2012

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THERE won’t be a formal investigation of Commission on Elections (Comelec) local officials Lionel Castillano and Marchel Sarno whose published photos stirred a controversy over appropriate conduct.

Comelec Regional Director Timie Lambino said he still has to sit down with the two men on this matter. For now, Lambino said his office is drafting policies to guide officials on proper conduct during the elections.

“It’s not to impose sanctions since no law has been violated. It’s more about ethics, how to act in public,” he said.

Lambino, who’s on an official trip to Dumaguete City, said there’s no need for him to formally investigate Castillano, who is Comelec provincial supervisor and Cebu City Comelec north district officer Sarno. Sarno was asked to explain himself after he was photographed by Cebu Daily News having lunch in a Mandaue restaurant with boxing promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud, who has a pending disqualification suit in relation to his mayoralty bid in Cordova town.

Castillano was also photographed pointing his index finger indicating number 1, a symbol of the One Cebu party, while posing with Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district and his family.

Both Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy and Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale complained about the actions of Sarno and Castillano respectively. Both election officers submitted written explanations to their superior.

Sarno said his lunch with the candidate was a chance meeting at the restaurant and that there was nothing wrong about being asked advice on election laws.

Castillano said he only wagged his finger at a child of Rep. Garcia during a photo shoot to comfort him since the youngster looked uncomfortable.

“I will be having a formal meeting with them to hear their answers. But it will just be an inquiry to get their explanation on the matter,” Lambino said./ Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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