‘Squabble’ in political party highlights last day of Comelec hearing for ‘colorful candidates’By Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines—“Malapit na rin hong sumakit ang ulo namin sa inyo.”
These were the words of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. when a “squabble” in one of the political parties aiming to have their hopefuls run for the 2013 mid-term senatorial elections highlighted the last day of the poll body’s hearing for “colorful candidates.”
The debate erupted when the candidates of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) revealed serious internal disagreements among their members during their interviews at the Comelec.
Melchor Chavez, one of KBL’s candidates, insisted that a certain lawyer named Vicente Millora was the chairman-president of the party, and that he was a candidate based on the certificate of nomination (CONA) issued by Millora. He showed the commissioners an affidavit which he said was signed by Millora.
Brillantes, however, noted that based on the records of the Comelec, former Comelec commissioner Jaime Opinion was the leader of the party. Brillantes also noted how it was important that Millora attested to the truth of his affidavit.
Chavez, during the interviews, noted that the poll body could opt to call Millora, but added “as far as I know your honor, the commission has no business with our party.”
To this Brillantes answered, “If we have no business about your party then we better cancel your accreditation today.”
Brillantes noted that disputes in political parties were a major concern of the poll body.
Chavez, when his interview was about to end, thanked the commissioners, saying that he came to the interview “dahil malinis na halalan ang aming gusto…kailangan malinis ang halalan sa 2013 (we want a clean election… the 2013 elections should be clean).”
Brillantes replied “Yun rin ho ang ginagawa namin…. nililinis din ho namin ang mga kandidato (That’s what we also do… cleanse the list of candidates).”
A lot of idiots in this country
Alma Abella, who is also a KBL candidate, however, said that her CONA was signed by Opinion, and that she knew that Millora was the party’s leader before Opinion. Brillantes told her that Opinion had withdrawn his signature for the CONAs of the KBL candidates.
Abella, when pressed about the apparent misunderstandings in the party, said, “It seems like there’s a lot of idiots in this country.”
“Kaya nga po sumakit ang ulo ko (That’s why I’m having a headache),” Abella added.
“Malapit na rin ho sumakit ang ulo naming (We’re close to having a headache as well),” Brillantes replied. Brillantes noted that he had high respects for the KBL, which he said was a duly accredited political party with the commission, but that the squabble in the party was not doing it any good.
More colorful candidates
Meanwhile, Norma Nueva, a 75-year old business management graduate who said she was running under the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka (PMM), said that she would lay down everything to fight for the plight of the widows and single parents.
Asked by Brillantes about her plans for widowers like him, Nueva replied “It’s a great thing to know that you are a biyudo like me.”
Loud cheers from the crow continued as Nueva declared: “Malakas pa ho ang asim ko (I still have a strong sex appeal)..I’m still very much available,” she told Brillantes.
Brillantes was caught laughing but then continued on with his grilling of the candidates.
Brillantes, along with Commissioners Rene Sarmiento, Grace Padaca, Lucenito Tagle and Armando Velasco patiently posed questions to the other hopefuls during hearing. Candidates were questioned particularly on their background, political views, and capacity to wage a senatorial campaign across the country.
Of the 14 who were scheduled to appear Friday, nine appeared and were each given time to present their views and political platforms.
Brillantes, in an interview after the hearings, said that of those who appeared Friday one could qualify as candidate for next year’s polls. He, however, did not name the candidate.
“We will issue the resolution next week,” Brillantes said.