COMELEC Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos just announced that Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento had asked to be relieved as Chairman of Task Force Maguindanao. Sarmiento cited health reasons. “Preparing for the conduct of the special elections in Lanao del Sur, not to mention actually conducting the voting, counting and canvassing, were very draining,” Sarmiento said.
Abalos, for his part, congratulated Sarmiento on the special elections in Lanao del Sur even as he named Sarmiento’s replacement on the Task Force. “Commissioner Sarmiento said that the canvassing is in progress and we are very happy about that.” To give Sarmiento the opportunity to rest, Abalos said, he “spoke with Commissioner Nicodemo T. Ferrer who has accepted the assignment.”