Sheriiff M. Abas
Following the 20 March 2017 Executive Board Meeting and General Assembly of the AAEA in Manila, the Commission on Elections of the Philippines was recognized as the Chair of the AAEA pursuant to Article 3.10 of the AAEA Charter. The Chairperson of the Commission of Elections, Sheriff M. Abas, is the current Chairperson of the AAEA.
Before he was appointed to the Commission on Elections as Commissioner in 2015, Chairman Abas served as lawyer and acting Assistant Regional Director of the Civil Service Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for 8 years. With his appointment as Chairman of COMELEC, he was able to break many firsts: Chairman Abas is the first COMELEC Chairman from Mindanao; the first Muslim Chairman; and the first Commissioner to become Chairman. Born in 1979, Chairman Abas is also the youngest head of the poll body at 38. Chairman Abas obtained his degree in Philosophy from the Notre Dame University in Cotobato City in 1999 and his law degree from the Ateneo de Davao University in 2004.
During the historic May 2016 Automated National and Local Elections, then Commissioner Abas took on the huge responsibility of spearheading the packing and shipping committee where he was tasked to oversee the challenging deployment of over 92,000 vote counting machines, roughly 56 million ballots (which were printed in record breaking speed of 49 days), and other election paraphernalia across the 18 regions, 81 provinces, 144 cities, 1,490 municipalities, 42,360 barangays with 36,788 voting centers. He also led the Commission to a generally successful 2018 Barangay and SK Elections, having 96% of election return in just 12 hours.
Moreover, as an expert in Civil Service Law, he championed the cause of the Commission's rank and file as he ushered the successful forging of the Collective Negotiation Agreement with the COMELEC Employees' Union.
A man of action and a leader of few words, his statement during his confirmation reveals a lot about his unwavering commitment to public service: "I will not let the Commission down nor the Filipino nation down." Indeed, his vast experience as a public servant will attest to his untainted integrity and credibility. With his leadership, the Commission on Elections shall continue to be the voice of the people and protector of the sanctity of the ballot.
He is set to finish his term as Chairman of the COMELEC on 2 February 2022.