Re-electionist Senator Leila M. de Lima questioned if newly appointed Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Aimee Torrefranca-Neri has special connection to the appointing authority as she was assigned such post despite an extortion allegation.
De Lima, a former election lawyer, said Neri’s appointment raises suspicion that someone powerful is backing her.
“Didn’t the DOJ thru NBI investigate at all the serious allegations against then DOJ Asec and now COMELEC Comm. Aimee Torrefranca-Neri? Or was such investigation or any news coverage on this ‘killed’ on orders from higher ups? Ganun sya kalakas?” De Lima’s recent statement posted on Twitter read.
In an earlier tweet De Lima already questioned Neri’s appointment as she raised concerns about the issue linked to the latter.
“Wasn’t there a news report months ago about an allegation from the camp of a Bilibid inmate, and confirmed by his lawyer, that Neri, when she was a Usec at DOJ, received 10M to ‘fix’ the inmate’s robbery case? Wala man lang bang nag-imbestiga nito?” De Lima asked.
“So, again, who is Neri? Is she another sacred cow with special connection to the appointing authority?” she added.
Neri was an Undersecretary at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) before she was appointed to the COMELEC last March 8. Before DSWD, Neri served at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) as Assistant Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, respectively. She was an appointee of President Duterte in all these positions.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon already called on Neri to resign from the post to remove doubts amid extortion allegations against her.
While Mr. Duterte has named Neri as one of the two new Comelec Commissioners, she still has to pass the Commission on Appointments (CA), which Drilon is a part of. (30)