Brillantes to decide Monday whether to resign or not
MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Thursday he will decide on Monday whether to step down as head of the election body.
Brillantes said he would talk with his children and family over the weekend to decide what to do. He added that he still expected to meet with President Aquino next week.
“I’ll take a rest on the weekend, take a rest and then contact my relatives and my children. Then, I’ll make the decision on Monday after I take a rest so that I can think about this,” Brillantes said in an interview. “Many of my friends are saying ‘don’t do it;’ my children no longer want [me to stay]. So, let’s see.”
President Aquino appointed Brillantes, 73, Comelec chief in January 2011 after the retirement of Comelec Chairman Jose Melo.
Brillantes said that his contacts in Malacañang told him that they will try to set up a meeting between him and Aquino next week.
“We will probably exchange greetings. Could I take a rest? I want to know… who would be appointed to coordinate,” Brillantes said.
“If they say, ‘Don’t leave,’ then I’ll also consider that. Anyway, this is a decision that I should make. It’s not the President’s. And whatever my decision is (on Monday), I would still go to that meeting. I don’t want to waste it. I haven’t seen the President in a long time,” he added.
Brillantes on Tuesday said he was thinking of leaving the Comelec after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against Comelec rules limiting the airtime of political advertisements for the May elections.
He noted that it was the fourth adverse order that the Comelec received from the high court in recent months.
The tribunal issued a similar order against the Comelec directive that the Diocese of Bacolod pull down its “Team Buhay/Team Patay” tarpaulins and then remanded to the Comelec the cases of party-list groups that it had already been disqualified, as well as the election protest regarding the 2010 mayoral race in Imus, Cavite.
“I’m not just disappointed. I’m very, very disappointed… If they want to regulate the campaign… the way of campaigning, then what will the Comelec be?” Brillantes said. “What are we? We’re useless here? Everything we do will be TRO-ed?”
Brillantes said he could already leave because the critical phase in the preparations for the May elections was over and the Comelec senior staff can handle the elections.
“Our work is finished. We’re winding up already. The dangerous [part] is over. I’ve even been able to travel. I think it’s about time. If I decide not to continue as chairman of this commission, I would have done my job already,” Brillantes said.
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