Brillantes mulls quitting over series of legal battle losses of Comelec at SC
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Tuesday that he is now thinking about resigning from his post after the Supreme Court, for the fourth time, issued a decision against the Comelec.
“With these series of decisions coming from the Supreme Court (SC), I think it appears that they are already the ones running the elections and no longer us,” Brillantes told reporters Tuesday after the SC issued a Status Quo Ante order agains the Comelec’s airtime limit rule.
Brillantes cited previous instances in which the high tribunal went against the Comelec, such as the “Team Patay, Team Buhay” posters in Bacolod, the case of the disqualified partylist groups and then remanded to Comelec with new guidelines, SC’s reversal of its previous decision regarding the case of Imus mayor Emmanuel Maliksi and Homer Squilayan.
“Initially my reaction was that I might be the problem, I might have been too strict. Maybe they think that I like my position here too much,” Brillantes said.
“Maybe I have to take a rest for one day or two days and maybe talk to the president and tell him ‘maybe I am the problem, maybe you want me to leave’,” he said.
Brillantes said that the president might want to “[assign] somebody else first.”
“I am just working here, I am making the reforms necessary,” he said.
Brillantes further said that it would not affect the upcoming elections much since most of the preparations were already complete.
“It’s about time; if I decide not to continue as chairman of this commission, I would have done my job already; we are already winding up the preparations,” he said.
Brillantes said that they would still await the official decision of the SC to know exactly whether the entire resolution or just certain parts are covered by the Status Quo Ante order.
Through a vote of 9-6, the SC issued the status quo ante order against Comelec resolution 9615 which placed airtime limits on political advertisements.
Several petitions have been filed in the SC by reelectionist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, GMA Network Inc., TV5, and Bombo Radyo.
Cayetano said that Comelec’s rule is “unconstitutional since it limits the people’s right to information.”
Comelec Resolution 9615 limits the airtime of candidates’ political advertisements to and aggregate of 120 minutes for television and 180 minutes for radio.
Local candidates are allowed an aggregate total of 60 minutes for television advertisements and 90 minutes for radio.
The airtime limit for previous elections was on a per station basis instead of aggregate total.