Provincial Comelec chief wants transfer

Posted on October 26, 2012

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HE asked to be reassigned out of Cebu for the 2013 election, which is getting hotly contested this early.

Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu provincial election supervisor, said he was just waiting for an order from the central office in Manila for the reshuffling of Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials.

Castillano said Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. told them in a meeting last Oct. 8 to expect a reshuffling of officers and supervisors.

Castillano, who was in Dumaguete City for the meeting, said he offered to be reassigned but said this was not because of recent controversies that arose after he was photographed making a hand sign that some candidates interpretred as showing partiality to the One Cebu party.

If a transfer will do the Comelec some good, Castillano said he would leave it to the chairman to decide his new post for the May 2013 elections.

The Comelec, as a practice, reshuffles staff before an election to maintain its neutrality or to meet an operational need such as when another officer is needed in a place or has a relative running for a political position in their area.

A month after the election, the officer or supervisor is returned to his post to continue his regular duties.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale earlier complained upon seeing a Cebu Daily News photo of Castillano posing in his office with Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia who had just filed his certificate of candidacy on Oct. 5. She said the Liberal Party-Bakkud had other information about the Comelec supervisor’s leanings which could be shown later.

Garcia and his family were smiling at the camera, while Castillano gestured with his index finger like the symbol for number one.

Castillano later explained that he was just trying to comfort the congressman’s tearful toddler son by playfully wagging his index finger. /Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent

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