Comelec chairman Saidamen Pangarungan and two other poll commissioners appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte failed to secure their posts after they were deemed bypassed by the Commission on Appointments on Wednesday due to lack of quorum.
The Commission on Appointments adjourned its session without approving the ad interim appointments of Pangarungan, Comelec Commissioners George Erwin Garcia and Aimee Neri, as well as of Commission on Audit chair Rizalina Justol and Civil Service Commission chair Karlo Nograles.
Only eight members of the Commission on Appointments were present during the session, which also fell on the last session day before the 18th Congress closes. Without a quorum, the bicameral panel could not proceed with their business for the day.
Prior to this, the appointment hearing for the five officials was deferred twice, with Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri suggesting to let the incoming administration of president-elect Bongbong Marcos to choose its own nominees.
Zubiri said there was a request from the new administration to "give them the courtesy" to pick its own officials.
Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, however, said Marcos could still appoint his chosen officials as there are members of these constitutional bodies whose terms will expire before the incoming president leaves office in 2028.
"The fact that since the appointments pending before this committee involve constitutional offices, they're actually expected to be independent," Pimentel said.
"Who appoints them should not really be a big issue for as long as that qualification of independence, probity, integrity, and competence are present in the nominee," he added.
With the five appointees merely bypassed, they may still be reappointed by Marcos once he assumes the presidency on June 30.