ELECTION watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting has elected former Commission on Elections Commissioner Rene Sarmiento as its new head.
Sarmiento’s election came during the PPCRV general assembly held in Manila last week. He will succeed outgoing national chair Henrietta de Villa, who headed the organization for 25 years.
“The 176 general assembly delegates voted Sarmiento to [a] six-year term as head of the PPCRV,” said the group.
Sarmiento’s term will officially start on Nov. 1 and will run until Oct. 31, 2022. This means he will oversee PPCRV operations in the 2019 midterm and 2022 presidential elections.
“Chairman-elect Sarmiento is not new to election exercises. His seven-year stint as Comelec commissioner covered both manual and automated election systems,” the PPCRV said in a statement.
Sarmiento is highly credited for championing the rights and welfare of persons with disability in the electoral process by initiating measures that made registration and polling precincts accessible to PWDs nationwide.
He also ensured that prisoners who are still awaiting final conviction are able to vote.
The new PPCRV chair is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization.
Before he was appointed to the Commission on Elections, Sarmiento was also a member of the GRP peace panel.
PPCRV was established in 1991 with the goal of conducting voters’ education and deploying volunteers to monitor the conduct of elections nationwide.
It was co-founded by De Villa, the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, and the late Comelec Commissioner Haydee Yorac.
Since the 2010 polls, the PPCRV has been the “citizens’ arm” of the Comelec and performed the unofficial parallel count of the automated election results.