Politicians told: Stop meddling with Comelec’s workBy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Friday that politicians should not meddle with the poll body’s function to screen and determine the party-lists qualified to join next year’s midterm elections.
“Now I am more convinced that the legislature has no business investigating an independent constitutional body of its quasi-judicial function,” Brillantes said.
Brillantes made the remark following reports that the Senate, particularly the Senate electoral reforms panel chaired by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, would conduct an inquiry into the poll body’s disqualification of party-list groups. It had been reported that that the probe was prompted after the poll body disqualified Ako-Bicol party-list and other party-list groups that had been approved in the past.
“If there will be a hearing, I will attend but I will not respond to any question regarding how we came out with the decisions,” he said.
Brillantes said that he understood that politicians were taking sides but argued that the poll body should not be involved in political campaigns since they were only trying to be “very fair.” He noted that only the Supreme Court has the power to reverse the decisions of the Comelec.
“Wag naman sana nilang gawing pulitika ito. Hindi naman pulitika ito. Bakit hindi nila imbestighan ang mga courts and other quasi-judicial bodies,” Brillantes said.
When asked if he would be compelled to answer, Brillantes maintained that he would not answer and would prefer to be detained.
“If they want to detain me, it’s ok with me,” he said.