The Commission on Election (COMELEC) is one of the most recognizable government agencies in the Philippines which is headed by top qualified officials appointed by the President. Now, as the local and national election draw near, three of the notable commissioners have retired that left a mark in our history. Among the three retired commissioners was retired Commissioner Sheriff Abas.


Retired Comm. Abas is from Mindanao and first named commissioner by former President Noynoy Aquino at the age of 35 in 2015. He has many “firsts” when he assumed the post as commissioner in COMELEC – he was the youngest chief in the Philippine history to have chairmanship post in 2017 at the age of 38, the first Muslim, and the first Mindanaoan to hold the post. Before he was appointed to the post, he has a working experience as a lawyer and acting regional director at Civil Service Commission (CSC) in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for 8 years. Her reputation and credentials can be traced in his fruitful years of education. He graduated from Notre Dame University in Cotabato City with a degree in philosophy in 1999, took law at the Ateneo de Davao University in 2004 and passed the bar in 2005.


One of the accomplishments of retired Commissioner Abas was the 72% voter turnout during the 2019 Midterm Election with 46.3 million out of 61.8 million registered voters participating. This was considered a success and one of the highest voter turn out in the history of election in the Philippines during his leadership.


Retired Commissioner Abas is not only an ordinary public official, he broke the barrier of societal stigma on religion and proved that regardless of your belief, you can climb up to the top and excel, serve our people well, and create meaningful achievements that can be beneficial to society. He served as an epitome to all Muslims who are still hoping and dreaming that they can contribute to the nation, now and in future.