Brillantes set to end suspense over job



Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is set to answer this question when he reveals on Monday his decision on whether or not he will stay on to oversee the second automated balloting on May 13.

In an interview with reporters, Brillantes said he would make a final decision on Monday even if he was not able to meet with President Aquino, who earlier urged him not to push through with his threat to resign over the successive unfavorable Supreme Court rulings against the Comelec.

“I can dispense with meeting with the President since the main reason for asking for a meeting was to ask him to appoint two new commissioners. And since the appointments have been made, I have no more reason to meet with [him],” said Brillantes.

He said his mulling over whether to quit was reinforced by the appointment of lawyers Al Parreño and Louie Tito Guia, who will take the seats left vacant by the retirement of Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco.

New commissioners

“There is no problem anymore since there are already six of them here [as commissioners in the poll agency]. Maybe I can take a rest already,” he said.

While Aquino has appealed to him not to quit, Brillantes said it was a decision that he had to make.

“It is not really necessary for him to issue an appeal to me. I know what I must do. But thank you,” he said.

Aside from meditating and “thinking hard,” the 73-year-old former election lawyer also talked to his children and relatives over the weekend about the matter.

Talk with daughters

“I had to talk to my daughters, who are the people behind me. They are the only ones I can trust,” he said. Brillantes has three daughters—the eldest lives in the United States, the middle daughter in London and the youngest lives with him.

He recalled that his children had vehemently opposed his decision to accept the job to head the Comelec. “They said I should not be here anymore since I’m already old.”

Adverse SC rulings

Last Tuesday, Brillantes threatened to resign after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on Comelec rules limiting airtime for political advertisements for the May 13 balloting.

It was the fourth unfavorable ruling that the Comelec received from the high tribunal in recent months.

Earlier, the SC also stopped the poll body from filing cases against Church officials in Bacolod City for their “Team Patay/Team Buhay” tarpaulin.

The high court also remanded the disqualification cases of at least 52 party-list groups to the Comelec as it decided to allow nonmarginalized sectors to participate in the party-list system elections.

A Malacañang spokesperson expressed confidence Brillantes would stay on in his post.

“We hope that the weekend has done wonders for Chairman Brillantes,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in a radio interview.

Dangers of a vacancy

She said Aquino had made his thoughts known on the dangers of a vacancy in the Comelec. “The President has stated that the election is fast approaching, and he would have a hard time finding a replacement if that happens,” said Valte.

Contacted by the Inquirer, Valte confirmed that neither the President nor Brillantes had scheduled a meeting.

Asked why, she said: “According to Chairman Brillantes, he wanted a meeting with the President in connection with the two vacant posts. Now that both have been filled, Brillantes said ‘no need.’”

Diplomatic post

Aquino wants Brillantes to stay on, urging him to “think more soberly and less emotionally” before making his decision.

Brillantes himself has told reporters that he wanted a diplomatic post in Eastern Europe should he decide to resign from the poll body.

“I will wait first to see the President, I’m planning to ask him if he can give me an ambassadorship, so I could rest because it is very tiring in the Comelec,” he had said, adding:

“That is really what I was asking for when he won the 2010 elections, I was asking for an ambassadorship, until [then Comelec chairman Jose] Melo resigned.”

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  • Erick Labandia


  • Jane Tan

    Why not get one of the SC Judges to replace Brillantes? They’ve been running the elections anyway.

  • farmerpo

    Looks like the SC did Brilliantes in. Now we can expect a ton of election protest to be filed by ‘cheated’ GMA sponsored candidates. Lots of them.



  • GProf007

    The SC really is to blame for this… an independent constitutional body… limited now by different flip-flopping SC ruling… nawawalan ng ngipin na yung COMELEC and it seems the SC wants to run the election. Or course it is impossible to impeach every SC justice because the politicians are benefiting from their decisions (with respect to this election period).

    • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

      sorry bout that sql

      I totally understand your point.

      Perhaps if you think of it this way. The SC is not trying to stop the Commission on Elections (COMELEC,CE), but rather it is just answering questions of law. In one case whether one of the participants were given due process, in another whether the party lists were given enough protection under the law. Primarily, it should not tell CE what to do but rather if the law was justly followed.

      You must understand that the CE in itself is both has Executive (enforcement) and Juridical (decide) on the implementation of our Elections. And that wields power, if you can imagine it.

      Where as our government separates these two powers, the CE has it both. It means it can enforce actions and justify its own actions, which is rather a mild for of the proverbial ‘judge, jury and executioner.’ If you think about it, that is too much power on one organization. What if actions of the organization is wrong, who gets to do the ‘checks and balances?’
      Now, another perspective is the plaintiffs, like the party list where at one time they were allowed by the previous CE administration, only to be rejected by the current CE administration.

      Of course, not enough time was given (within the last 3 years) for the CE to tell these party list that they were, after all, disqualified since they do not hold the qualities envision by the law, and so they were disqualified so near the election. Understandable enough, these party lists are now questioning the policy which allowed them to join previous elections, but not the most recent. They cannot ask the CE since the most they can file is just a motion for reconsideration.

  • Beguine

    This Brilliantes (a misnomer) is the lamest of lame ducks, and
    has been rendered and made so lame he can no longer make
    any move at all.

    He’ll simply and plainly DIE in place.

  • doncleo

    to Brillantes ,taking an ambassador’s job is just like resting. ganun ba yun.?…bakit humihingi na sya ng ibang trabaho bago sya mag-resign? ang swerte naman nya.

  • disqusted0fu

    What’s the suspense for anyway? If you really want to quit, then quit. If not, then just at least try to do a better job in manning your post. Perhaps his decision will depend on whether or not Pnoy will be granting his request for an ambassadorship in Europe.

  • Ako_Hiking

    Slowly but surely Aquino’s Administration is falling apart. One by one his appointees are either being forced to quit by the public or simply want to leave their post because they are seeing it is hard work to fix problems on their own without the help of the President. The President needs to be hands-on with each department head and know what problems to fix and how . Instead Aquino appoints people and leaves them be to drown in the problems alone.

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