PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed former solicitor-general and justice secretary Agnes T. Devanadera as Chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Sheriff M. Abas as Chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Ms. Devanadera is set to assume the seat of Jose Vicente B. Salazar, who was fired by Mr. Duterte in October after the Palace found him guilty of simple and grave misconduct.
In a 21-page order dated Oct. 6, 2017, the Office of the President imposed the penalty of dismissal from government service “with all accessory penalties” upon Mr. Salazar, who was suspended by the same office in August for four months because of insubordination. Mr. Salazar said in October that he intended to tap legal options after his dismissal.
In an appointment letter dated Nov. 22 and released to the media on Friday, Ms. Devanadera will serve as chairperson until July 10, 2022.
The ERC confirmed receipt of Malacañang’s appointment letter on Ms. Devanadera as its new chairperson. “Yes we confirm receipt of such appointment,” said Floresinda B. Digal, ERC spokesperson.
“We welcome the appointment of the new Chairman and CEO to complete the Commission. We look forward to continuously performing our mandate to the public under this new leadership,” she said, quoting the ERC’s official statement on Ms. Devanadera’s appointment.
Sought for comment, NGCP spokesperson Cynthia P. Alabanza said: “We welcome this development so that projects pending approval with the ERC may move forward. There’s lots to be done.”
Ms. Devanadera had served as solicitor-general of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007 and justice secretary from 2009 to 2010.
Mr. Abas, meanwhile, was named new Comelec chairman, a month after Andres D. Bautista resigned amid his impeachment by the House of Representatives.
In his appointment letter, Mr. Abas will serve as the poll body chairman until Feb. 2, 2022.
Mr. Abas is the nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Igbal.
Prior to his appointment to the Comelec, Mr. Abas was acting assistant regional director of the Civil Service Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. — Victor V. Saulon and Rosemarie A. Zamora