Brillantes asks Aquino to name 2 Comelec commissioners now


Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is urging President Aquino to immediately name the successors of two commissioners set to retire next week to give the body ample time to brief their replacements in view of the forthcoming elections.

Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco, members of the Comelec’s 1st Division, will retire on Feb. 2 after completing a nonrenewable seven-year term at the Comelec. Their retirement comes at a time when preparations for the May 13 mid-term elections are in full swing.

“By Feb. 2, the President can’t still appoint but at least he can already announce who will replace the two so we could already invite them here and sit informally and we can start briefing them of the problems,” Brillantes told reporters Wednesday.

Sarmiento, 59, served as vice chairman of the government negotiating panel during peace talks with the communist insurgents during the Ramos administration. He also served as peace adviser to the Arroyo administration before being appointed election commissioner in 2006.

Velasco, 56, joined the Comelec in 1990 as an election officer in Baguio City. He was appointed in November 2008 to serve the five remaining years of the term of former Commissioner Moslemen Macarambon.

Brillantes said it would really help the poll body—which is now swamped with work because of the upcoming elections—if Malacañang would already name the replacements of Sarmiento and Velasco before their retirement.

He said the replacements not being able to immediately assume office because Congress is still in session was not a problem. “At least they would already know their duties and we’ll be able to discuss already their formal assignments,” Brillantes said.

Under the 1987 Constitution, an “ad interim” appointment is one that is made while Congress is not in session and that the appointee can immediately assume office.

An appointee or nominee will have to wait for the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments before they can assume office if their appointment was made while Congress was in session.

According to Brillantes, he had initially proposed to Malacañang to designate “consultants” to serve as Sarmiento and Velasco’s understudies so that they can easily turn over their duties and responsibilities upon their retirement.

“But this did not happen. I cannot dictate the President what he should do about it. It’s his prerogative,” he admitted.

Brillantes added that he also made a recommendation for Malacañang to consider appointing someone from the Comelec who already knew the workings of the election body. “It’s best if they get from the inside,” he said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Mang Teban

    The president cannot decide quick. It took him almost a week before he made a remark on the grounding of the US Navy Guardian in Tubbataha marine and coral reef sanctuary.

    He would have to ask his “consultants” which ones can help his “daang matuwid” image. In other words, who can act as “Garci” to help the LP senatorial candidates win by a convincing landslide.   But, I trust that the COMELEC chair Brillantes is not the type of person anyone can easily run rings around.

  • Your_King

    Is this another excuse for Aquino to add more of his KKK to the government? His original lead lawyer quit and he replaced with a KKK and he placed his female KKK already as Comelec so Puno may be a choice. You have all the perks being part of Aquino’s KKK…you have the picking as to what you want to do in the Philippines and the best part…you are free from bans or investigations or consequences. When Aquino said “It’s more fun in the Philippines” he was actually referring to himself and his KKK.

  • disqusted0fu

    Danger signs. With 2 Comelec commissioners retiring, there is a great chance that Pnoy will appoint KKKs to replace them. Comelec, headed by Brillantes + KKK commissioners + upcoming elections, not a good sign at all.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos