WATCH | Sheriff Abas, nephew of MILF’s Iqbal, is new Comelec chief

November 24, 2017 - 2:49 PM
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Phistar file photo of newly appointed Comelec chief Sheriff Abas

MANILA, Philippines — The poll commissioner, who is said to be a nephew of Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, has replaced Andres Bautista as chair of the Commission on Elections.

Abas was informed of his appointment through a November 22, 2017 letter from the Office of the President, which stated that his term would expire on February 2, 2022.

Abas was appointed as Comelec commissioner in May 2015, during the presidency of Benigno Aquino III.

He worked as acting assistant regional director of the Civil Service Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao before he was appointed to the Comelec.

In a radio interview two years ago, Bautista confirmed reports that Abas is a relative of Iqbal.

“He told me, yes. They’re related. He is a nephew,” Bautista said.

But Iqbal was evasive when also asked by reporters two years ago if Abas was indeed related to him.

“In my view, it’s not an issue whether he is my nephew,” Iqbal said.

Abas finished his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Notre Dame University in Cotabato City in 1999 and obtained his law degree from the Ateneo de Davao University in 2004.