Lagman: 2 new IT-savvy commissioners good for Comelec

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On Thursday, April 18, Malacanang announced the appointment of lawyers Louie Guia and Al Parre?o to the Comelec to fill in the positions vacated by Armand Velasco and Rene Sarmiento, respectively. Last March, Aquino appointed election lawyer Bernadette Sardillo and former ambassador and Lanao del Norte representative Macabangkit Lanto as new commissioners to the Comelec. Both, however, declined their appointments. Sardillo chose to stay in her private practice while Lanto rejected his appointment following criticisms in relation to his alleged involvement in poll fraud in 1994. In a phone interview, Lagman said while he has met Parre?o only once, he is very much familiar with the work and track record of Guia, who is the acting director of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente). ?I?ve known Louie for a long time because of my involvement in Namfrel,? said Lagman, a long-time official of the poll watchdog. ?Unlike the current set of Comelec commissioners who don?t want to hear out or consult the IT industry, I?m very sure that he will listen and consult with us.? While Guia is familiar with the local IT sector, reports have indicated that it is Parre?o who is being counted upon by Malacanang to push IT reforms in the poll body because of his extensive law practice in the IT industry. Although his most recent job was being a board member of the Land Transportation and Franchise Board (LTFRB), Parre?o has specialized in litigation involving electronic evidence, information technology, intellectual property and cyberlaw, and legal issues in business process outsourcing and international contracts. Parre?o, a member of the UP College of Law class of 2003, has also served as legal counsel of ePLDT and project manager for electronic data discovery at semicon firm SPi.]]>

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