Brillantes won’t quit

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Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes poses for a photo opportunity along with AFP vice chief of staff, Lieutenant General Allan Luga, (left) and PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima, during a joint command conference at Camp Crame on Monday (April 22, 2013).

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. announced Monday that he will not resign from his post.

“Hindi ko iiwan ang taumbayan (I will not leave our countrymen)… at this stage,” Brillantes said during the command conference among the Comelec, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Education on the final preparations for the upcoming midterm elections in May.

“Meron akong naririnig na sinasabing kaya ako magre-resign kasi tatakasan ko mga problema. Hindi totoo yan. Hindi ko aatrasan lahat ng problema (There are those who say that I’m resigning because I want to run away from the problems. That’s not true. I will not retreat from all these problems) ,” he said, adding that he was “almost absolutely sure” that this upcoming midterm election would be successful.

Brillantes said he consulted his children, who advised him to continue and just think about it again after the elections.

“Of course the other reason is because the President [Benigno Aquino III] himself said that I should not. And I thank the President for saying although I am not bound by what he said. . .”

“I respect his (Aquino) opinion that I should finish this job,” said Brillantes, whose term ends in 2015.

In an interview with reporters last week, Brillantes expressed his desire to leave his post after the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Comelec’s airtime limit rule.

The Comelec, under resolution 9615, limits the number of airtime for each candidate to 120 minutes for television advertisements and 180 minutes for radio ad. The previous rule was on a per station basis.

Brillantes noted that it was the fourth time the SC had decided against the Comelec. The first was the “Team Patay / Team Buhay” tarpaulins of the Diocese of Bacolod, then the disqualification cases against the partylists, and the election protest case in Imus, Cavite.

But President Benigno Aquino III, in an interview in Cebu City over the weekend, asked Brillantes to reconsider his decision.

“I think he will see that the country needs him to chair the Comelec at this crucial period,” Aquino said. with Matikas Santos

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