THE former spokesperson of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is leaving the poll body for good.This was after the Comelec En Banc approved the request for retirement of Education and Information Department (EID) Director James Arthur Jimenez last August 31.”Pursuant to Minute Resolution No. 08-0226, your request for retirement from the service is hereby approved/accepted,” said the memorandum signed by Comelec Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz.”This effectively grants Dir. Jimenez’s intent to avail of the optional retirement as Director IV of the Education and Information Department effective September 15, 2022, as allowed under Civil Service Rules,” added Comelec Chairman George Garcia in a statement.He noted how Jimenez applied for optional retirement with the Comelec Personnel Department last August 2, 2022.In the memorandum, Sinocruz noted that the termination of Jimenez’s employment is without prejudice to his claims of benefits with this poll body, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG).Jimenez joined the Comelec back in April 2002 and was eventually designated as EID director in 2004.He was subsequently designated as Comelec spokesperson in July 2006 in a concurrent capacity and has held the post until before the May 2022 polls.Jimenez was temporarily relieved as Comelec spokesperson in May 2022 after the fiasco that hit the agency’s presidential and vice presidential debate series.Lawyer John Rex Laudiangco has since replaced Jimenez as acting Comelec spokesperson.As to who will replace Jimenez as head of the Comelec-EID, the poll chief said they are still in search for one.”We shall now start the vetting process, even on an acting capacity,” said Garcia. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)