Delay in Brillantes confirmation tied to Taguig politics–Tinga
MANILA, Philippines—The delay in the confirmation of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes is actually due to an electoral protest in Taguig City and not a sincere desire to have clean elections, according to retired Supreme Court Justice Dante Tinga.
In a statement, the retired justice claimed Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano, a member of the commission, was only working to delay the approval of Brillantes’ appointment because he (Cayetano) wanted to indefinitely delay the recount of the results of the May 2010 mayoral election in Taguig City.
Cayetano’s wife Lani was proclaimed winner over Tinga, her closest challenger, but the latter filed an election protest that has yet to be resolved by the Comelec.
“The senator is really not interested in seeing an appointee who has a ‘roadmap towards clean and honest elections’ as he calls it, but someone whom he personally likes, to head the Comelec,” Tinga said.
“His underlying motive is to prevent the Comelec from retrieving the ballot boxes and delay the resolution of the protest until the end of his wife’s stint,” he added.
In the recent commission hearing, Cayetano questioned Brillantes’ efforts to investigate the 2004 “Hello Garci” scandal involving former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.
Cayetano also questioned why Comelec officials said to be protégés of Garcillano remain in the Comelec and were even promoted to high positions.
Tinga called on the Comelec not to be pressured by the senator’s “parliamentary bullying and intimidating press releases” and resolve the poll protest as soon as possible.
The Comelec’s First Division, which is hearing the case, has yet to issue an order to retrieve the contested ballot boxes at the Taguig City Hall.
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