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From internet sensation to commissioner: Is Alexis Lumbatan headed to ERC?

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The name Alexis Lumbatan may not ring a bell to most people, but netizens probably know his face because he was the funny man whose antics during President Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration became viral.

Soon, though, Lumbatan’s name will become familiar as he’s reportedly eyed to become a commissioner of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Rumors about Lumbatan’s possible appointment to the ERC gained credence especially after Duterte said Friday (December 8) he’s about to axe an entire commission over allegations of corruption.

“On Monday, I will fire about one commission mismo. Lahat sila,” he said at the 84th anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment in Malolos, Bulacan.

“Wala akong pakialam kung nakisali dalawa, tatlo, you have to go out. Because I do not think it will exist without your knowledge at bakit hanggang… Wala akong patawad-tawad,” Duterte added.

By “firing an entire commission,” Duterte may have meant dismissing all commissioners.

A report published by the Philippine Star Saturday (December 9) quoted a source close to Duterte as saying that he “has been angry at the ERC for a long time.”

Since ERC is an independent body, its commissioners have a fixed term of seven years.

Given the President’s inclination to appoint people he personally knows to government posts, it’s not far-fetched for Lumbatan to be chosen as a commisssioner if ever there’s a revamp within the ERC.

He’s considered a friend of the Dutertes, and has been working for a decade with the President’s sons, Paolo and Sebastian.