Latest Stories

Brillantes to voters: Take money, junk candidate


Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Take the money but junk the candidate.

Opposed by President Benigno Aquino III and blocked anew by the Supreme Court on the election “money ban,” Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Friday appealed directly to voters to junk candidates offering money for their votes to teach them a lesson.

Brillantes said the Comelec would abide by the Supreme Court order stopping the implementation of the money ban but added that the election body would still argue before the tribunal that the ban did not violate bank secrecy laws and that it did not require the President’s concurrence.

“Take it (the money) but junk those who give you money. That’s the only way to do it so that the next time these people will not give away money because they will lose,” Brillantes said in an interview.

Brillantes, a veteran election lawyer before becoming Comelec chief, said vote-buying needed to be eradicated because candidates who buy votes are sure to recoup their money and even more through corruption once they get elected.

“Why would you give away money? Do you want to sacrifice all your life? If that’s the case, why don’t they just become priests and make donations again and again,” Brillantes said.

“This is the normal thing. I don’t want to accuse our politicians but this has been ongoing for so long. If we don’t come out with a very drastic measure and we will continue to be cynical about anything that we do, even innovative measures (like) the money ban, what will we do? We will just be stagnant?” he added.

Brillantes said drastic steps had to be taken, noting that not a single vote buyer had been prosecuted in the last 25 years while vote-buying has become “very, very rampant.”

“Maybe some were arrested but in more than 25 years, no one has been prosecuted. No one has been jailed,” he said.

Brillantes said vote-buying had become more rampant because candidates had fewer means to “manipulate” the vote after the automation of elections in 2010.

“So vote-buying increased in 2010 knowing that they cannot manipulate anymore the ballots we are now automated,” he said.

Brillantes said the Comelec might later ask Congress to pass a law that would allow the commission to impose a “money ban” during elections.

“We still don’t have that so maybe we could have (a law) later on with certain terms of conditions that Congress may find reasonable, acceptable, and feasible,” he said.

“With this kind of publicity on the money ban, when Congress convenes next time, we will remind them to come out with a law and put in all the terms and conditions,” he added.

The Comelec tried to impose a money ban, prohibiting cash withdrawals worth more than P100,000, but President Aquino, the central bank, bankers, and businessmen opposed it. Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order stopping the ban’s implementation.

“I just consulted with the commissioners and we are not going to withdraw it but we have to follow the (high court) which means we are not going to implement it,” Brillantes said.

“Our position is we still believe that there should be a good (reason) to really control the circulation of money especially during this election period,” he added.

While bowing to the Supreme Court order, Brillantes said the Comelec would still ask the tribunal to rule on the legal and constitutional issues raised against the money ban.

“We will still file a comment because we want to impress on the Supreme Court that this was not an abrupt move on our part. We studied this,” Brillantes said.

“We also want to inform the Supreme Court about our position on whether the concurrence of the President is also necessary because our position that’s not needed. So, these are constitutional issues which could be raised even after elections,” he added.

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: 2013 elections , Comelec , Elections , News , Politics , Sixto Brillantes Jr. , vote-buying

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
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  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


  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • 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
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

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

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace