Don’t leave Comelec, Aquino tells Brillantes

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President Aquino. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino III has sent a message to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr., urging him not to go through with his threat to resign in protest against successive Supreme Court rulings adverse to the Comelec.

“I’ll talk to our chair. The elections are less than a month away, and it would be difficult to appoint a new chair at this late point,’’ the President told reporters in Lapu-Lapu City.

Mr. Aquino, however, said he was relieved to read Brillantes’ most recent comments, that his threat to resign was made on the “spur of the moment,’’ and that he would think things over this weekend.

“I think he will see that the country needs him to chair the Comelec at this crucial period. So do we need to meet? I’m at his disposal. When he feels that he’s ready to meet with me, I’m always ready to meet with him,” he said.

In a news conference in Lapu-Lapu City on Friday, Mr. Aquino said he would ask Brillantes to stay on because it would be difficult for him to look for a replacement now.

He urged Brillantes to “think more soberly and less emotionally” before making his decision.

Rebuffed by high court

Brillantes threatened to quit last Tuesday after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against a Comelec resolution restricting airtime for political advertisements during the campaign for the May 13 elections.

The Comelec limits each national candidate to 120 minutes of TV campaign commercials, and 180 minutes of radio commercials, and each local candidate to 60 minutes of TV commercial time and 90 minutes of radio advertisements for the entire campaign period.

The national television networks and radio stations, which stood to lose a lot in potential revenues, and reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano went to the high court seeking a stop to the Comelec resolution.

It was the fourth adverse ruling against Comelec resolutions brought before the high court, including the party-list groups that the Comelec had disqualified, the Comelec order against the Diocese of Bacolod on its “Team Buhay/Team Patay” tarpaulins, and the election protest case on the Imus, Cavite, mayoralty race.

Brillantes said on Tuesday that he would meet with the President to find out if he should stay on as the Comelec chair. But in a radio interview on Thursday night, he said he was seeking a meeting with Mr. Aquino to press him to appoint the new commissioners to replace the two that had retired. Malacañang announced the appointment of Al L. Parreño and Louie Tito F. Guia earlier that day.

Aquino for airtime limits

At the Lapu-Lapu City news conference, the President said he agreed that limits should be set on airtime for campaigning candidates as letting officials spend indiscriminate amounts for an election campaign only encouraged corruption.

He recalled that he had voted against a similar measure while he was still a lawmaker.

“I don’t subscribe to the idea of adding to the costs of an election. It would only encourage officials running for office to succumb to temptation. You make the elections more costly. There will be more temptations to become corrupt,” he said.

He noted that there was a significant difference between the salaries of public officials and the amount a candidate spends during an election campaign, such as the cost of a 15-second ad on radio or TV.

Wide consultations

On the appointment of the two new election commissioners, Mr. Aquino said he had consulted a wide range of people, including Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and the chief presidential legal counsel, among others, before he made the decision.

“I’m not a lawyer. They’re not in the circle of people I’m normally with. It’s important that people who have more competence in coming up with advice were consulted,” he said.

Mr. Aquino said he selected the best even if they might not know it.

Guia, he said, is known internationally as an election expert whose services were tapped by Kosovo during its transition from authoritarian rule to a democracy. With a report from Irene R. Sino Cruz, Inquirer Visayas

 

First posted 6:12 pm | Friday, April 19th, 2013

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  • farmerpo

    Comelec need Briliantes, not the Supreme Court. The SC is trying to hijack the Comelec for no reason at all except, again to spite its CJ. The senior Justices can’t work with the younger ‘co-equal’ who gives them the hives each time they see HER! The egotistical why not me? clouds their reasons and use every legal means (meaning any act of the SC) to embarrass the CJ and thus the SC. Their resentment shines thru, too bad for the country, we have to put up with these ‘pasaway’ justices until they retire or resign(unlikely) or just pass away.

    • Benigno the Turd

      Yes. You can tell two Pnoy appointees Leonen and Reyes were brimming with jealousy against Sereno when they voted to grant the TRO. We should not wait for their retirement. Impeach them now!

  • tra6Gpeche

    If the Supreme Court is really encroaching on the area of responsibility of the Comelec, instead of resigning, Chairman Sixto Brillantes should defy and ignore the decision of the the said Court. The Supreme Court does not deserve respect when it comes to their actions pertaining to the Comelec mandated duties and responsibilities.

  • jga94

    I think Comelec needs people like Brillantes who are not afraid to institute reforms–in fact, i think a lot of what he has introduced (or at least emphasized during this election) are quite needed and very much common sense (which seems not too common for past Comelec chairs).

    The SC–many of them have forgotten that the law was done precisely for the people. Like most lawyers, they have forgotten (or choose to forget or gloss over) that the letter of the law sometimes run contrary to the essence of the law.

    • Benigno the Turd

      Yes. It seems Justice Leonen did not follow Daang Matuwid when he voted to GRANT THE TRO. He should be impeached.

  • jga94

    Many of the SC justices are dubious IMO. Masyado ng pinakapal ang balat nila ng kapangyarihan na dulot ng pwesto sa hukom….tama, dapat nakapiring ang mga mata kapag gumagawa ng desisyon..pero dapat bukas ang puso at isipan…

    • Benigno the Turd

      Right. the two justices who voted for the TRO, Pnoy appointees Leonen and Reyes really look shady.

      • jga94

        I was talking about the difference between letter of the law versus essence of the law….and I wasn’t particularly pertaining to the latest TRO.

  • speedstream2

    Could it be that the Comelec, among others, is just caught in some sort of a squeeze play between the guys in robes along Padre Faura and the guys across the Pasig river?

  • azkal futbol

    why not impeach the overstaying, no-good justices of supreme court. salot sa bayan

    • Benigno the Turd

      Lets make that a dare…if Noynoy does not impeach the justices who approved the TRO he is an incompetent president…by the way, they include two of his appointees, Leonen and Reyes…oooops!

      • azkal futbol

        then let’s make some noise – the filipino voices must be heard by these government that survives and gets richer from the taxes they squezze and milk from us

  • Benigno the Turd

    Aww. Really sweet how Brillantes is doing a Janine Tugonon and Noynoy’s acting the part of the lovesick boyfriend. And the same advice applies…sometimes you just have to let them go..hahaha!

  • WoBushi

    Don’t leave Comelec; Brillantes has to stay. No one is to protect Team Patay. Live and let die, Mr. Pnoy. Only you can save your name.

    • Benigno the Turd

      No scapegoat too when the election fails due to pirated source code.

  • disqusted0fu

    This is like a case of the blind leading the blind. There are a lot of inefficiencies happening in the Comelec, and it looks like both Pnoy and Brillantes don’t see them. One is ignoring the problems that are in front of him and the other one is still convincing him to stay regardless.

    You have to give credit to Pnoy’s loyalty to his allies. He wants them to remain in their posts despite doing sub par jobs.

  • Guest

    Alan Cayetano nanguna sa NBN-ZTE probe sa Blue
    Ribbon Committee. Pero walang nilabas na FINAL REPORT

  • Albert Einstien

    RESIGN na chairman…yun mga CORRUPT lang gustong mag-silbi kahit HINDI na sila masaya TRABAHO nila……masyado na kayong INAPI jan ni pnoy…ni AYAW nya PAKINGGAN ang mga suggestion mo na reforms at yun mga recommendations mo na makatulong mo sa COMELEC….ni isa sa mga rcommendation mo na maging commissioner AYAW pakinggan..mas GUSTO ni pnoy me mga KASOng KRIMINAL pa na maging commissioner….GRABE..bastosan na yan…harap haran sir..BATSI na……lol.

  • Rodolfo Pacheco

    Mr. Brillantless only Aquino needs you but not the people.

  • Mang Teban

    P-Noy blinked. Takot mawalan ng Comelec Chairman. Panay utos at gamit ng Supreme Court kasi para sa sariling kapakanan..hindi ng taumbayan.
    Di na lang kasi pabayaan si Brillantes dumiskarte kung papaano patakbuhin ang halalan ng maayos..kaya tuloy violations dumarami..Erap namimigay pa ng regalo..Ayaw na nga patulan ni Brillantes itong pasaway na senglot na ito. Jamby nanguna na sa gimik sinundan pa ni Manong Ernie. Si Alan Peter naman kala mo magaling..sarap pitikin.

    The top violator of over-campaigning is the president himself.
    When his ads appear on TV, I have this impression that he needs attention (kulang sa pansin). Puro na lang siya sa advertisement, kandidato niya, di gaanong mapapansin. Frustrated artista kaya?

  • Ako_Hiking

    So many of head of different departments are trying to leave their posts probably realizing that Aquino is not doing much and if problems worsen they’ll be the ones thrown under the bus. Aquino should be hands-on and working with these heads/Chiefs to resolves issues but Aquino would rather enjoy the confines of his Palace partying with celebrities and foreign dignitaries.

  • eltee2012

    >>>nararapat at dapat lamang mag-isip isip s iMr . Brilliantes. Siya ay appointed lamang ni Nuyngoy na tulad din ni Sc-CJ M.A.L.A.Sereno. KAYA KAILANGAN MAINTINDAHAN NIYA NA PAREHO LANG KAY NGUYNGOY ANG KANILANG GINAGAMPANAN. TAMA LANG NA SUMUNOD SIYA SA PAG-UUTOS NG NGUYNGOY SUPREME COURT.

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