Quantcast
Latest Stories

Brillantes rues: Is SC running the Comelec?

By

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Who’s running the elections? The Comelec or the Supreme Court?

An emotional Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. blurted out this question on Tuesday in front of TV cameras as he threatened to resign after the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante (SQA) order on Comelec rules limiting airtime for political advertisements for the May elections.

Brillantes said he would meet with President Benigno Aquino III to find out if he should stay as Comelec chief, pointing out that the SQA order was the fourth adverse ruling that the Comelec received from the high court in recent months.

“As far as I’m concerned, with the series of decisions coming from the Supreme Court, I said `it looks like they are the ones who are running the election. I thought it was us?’” Brillantes told reporters.

“I don’t understand … If they want to to regulate the campaign … the way of campaigning, then what will the Comelec be? Ano kami (What are we)? We’re useless here? Everything we do will be (stopped with a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court)?” he said.

Brillantes said the high court was apparently issuing TROs and SQAs “without really seeing all of the consequences.”

“I think their provisional authority to issue a TRO or an SQA is being used without really seeing all of the consequences. Every day we study (the elections) while different petitioners go (to the court),” he said.

“When you issue a TRO and you don’t know the consequences, maybe it was not properly studied,” he added.

Brillantes questioned the timing of the high court order against airtime limits for political ads and said it put the Comelec and the senatorial candidates “in limbo.”

“The petitions were filed in February, when the campaign period for the senatorial candidates began. Why issue a TRO or SQA in April? Why did it take so long?” Brillantes said.

“The (Comelec) resolution (on airtime limits) came out a long time ago. Why issue now when the first half of the senatorial campaign is already over? We don’t understand,” he said.

“So, everybody will be kept in limbo. Even the commission will not even know (what to do). Are we now going to keep quiet because of the status quo ante order and therefore there will be no regulation in so far as the advertisement period is concerned?“ Brillantes said.

Brillantes then noted that the Supreme Court had also issued a TRO on March 5 against the Comelec letter ordering the Diocese of Bacolod to pull down its “oversized” tarpaulin identifying the candidates it supported.

Then last week, the tribunal issued an SQA on the party-list groups that the Comelec had disqualified and then remanded to the poll body the electoral protest case regarding 2010 mayoralty race for Imus, Cavite.

“I’m not just disappointed. I’m very, very disappointed,” Brillantes said. “From the start, I felt bad. You could have allowed what happened in Bacolod to pass because it was a small thing and also the party-list issue because we had a hard time tackling that. Maybe, they also had a hard time.”

“But then, Imus came and what was an 8-7 vote (in favor of the Comelec) was reversed … We don’t know what to do in the Imus case because, up to now, we still don’t have a copy of the decision. So, it’s left hanging,” he added.

Brillantes met with his fellow commissioners before facing the media on Tuesday at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila after hearing about the high court order.

“Initially, my reaction was maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I’m too strict. Maybe they think I really like this post. So, I met my colleagues and told them I will just have to rest a little (for) one day or two days and maybe talk to the President,” Brillantes said.

“I’ll talk to him and say, `Maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I should leave for now and you appoint someone else.’ I will study this. Seriously,” he added.

Brillantes said the critical phase in the preparations for the May elections was over and the Comelec senior staff can already handle the elections.

“Our work is finished. We’re winding up already. The dangerous (part) is over. I’ve even been able to travel. I think it’s about time. If I decide not to continue as chairman of this commission, I would have done my job already,” he said.

Mr. Aquino appointed Brillantes, 73, as head of the Comelec in January 2011 to replace then retired Comelec chair Jose Melo.

“I did not want this. I’m just doing my job here. I’m making the reforms necessary but if we get TROs and status quo ante orders, why should I make it hard for myself?” he said.

When asked if he already “had enough,” Brillantes said: “Not yet but I’m already getting tired. I’m not young anymore.”

The Comelec chair then became teary-eyed when asked if the tribunal was laying waste to the “reforms” he wanted to implement in the Comelec.

“Not really. I have an ambition. I want something…,” Brillantes said, his voice breaking. He did not finish answer and went inside his office.

Originally posted at 07:13 am | Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Comelec , Commission on Elections , Commission on Elections (Comelec) , Elections , Philippines , Politics , Sixto Brillantes Jr. , status quo ante , Supreme Court




Copyright © 2014, .
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
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement