Cayetano : Comelec Commissioner Lim must explain “conflicts of interest”

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano grilled Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Roberto Lim ‘s during his confirmation hearing in front of the the Commission on Appointments (CA) on account of the latter’s reported activities in the agency that smack of conflicts of interest.

The senator questioned the commissioner’s motive and involvement in removing former COMELEC law department head Ferdinand Rafanan from the joint Department of Justice (DOJ)-COMELEC poll fraud probe despite his declaration of inhibition from the issue.

Lim was part of the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s quick reaction team in 2004 prompting him initially to inhibit himself from deliberations in the joint DOJ-COMELEC poll fraud probe.

However, he admitted to having actively participated in the deliberations regarding Rafanan’s removal, even going so far as being one of those who signed that the latter be removed.

“So technically, you did not really inhibit yourself from anything that has to do with the investigation of the 2004 elections?” Cayetano pointed out.

The minority leader also questioned Lim’s motives for removing Rafanan from the probe despite the former law department head’s reputation of being independent.

“Isn’t it true that one of the reasons why he was removed is because he also reported some wrongdoings of other commissioners?” he asked.

Lim’s failure to justify his actions prompted Cayetano move to suspend the proceedings with the intention of asking more questions in the next hearing.

“I am still talking to other witnesses to try to get to the bottom of it to be able to ask the nominee the right questions. I still have a lot of questions that I will ask in the second hearing,” he said.