Brillantes to critic: Complain one more time or your client won’t be proclaimed
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. has warned a staunch critic against making any more complaints or his client won’t be proclaimed.
“If he complains one more time, his client won’t be proclaimed,” said Brillantes in Filipino Saturday at the resumption of the counting of the certificates of canvass (CoCs) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
But lawyer Romulo Macalintal to whom Brillantes was referring to on Saturday dismissed the poll chief’s statement, saying it’s just a “joke”. Macalintal’s “client” is reelectionist Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan” who is hanging on to 12th spot with Richard “Dick” Gordon behind him.
“Don’t take it seriously because he won’t do that,” Macalintal told reporters in a separate interview as the Comelec said that it would proclaim more senatorial candidates but did not say how many. Aside from Honasan and Gordon there are at least two other candidates with the statistical probability of filling up the last three slots to complete the “Magic 12”.
“I know the guy [Brillantes]. We have been working together for a long time, we are friends,” Macalintal said.
As of 4 p.m. the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), has canvassed 128 CoCs out the total 301 CoCs.
Honasan has garnered 13,019,299 votes to Gordon’s 12, 324, 291. At no. 14 is Juan Miguel Zubiri with 11, 617, 336 and Jack Enrile at 15 with 11, 346, 552.
Macalintal insists that there can be no hard feelings between good friends but adds in jest, “If he talks like that again I will give him a hug.”
“There are no hard feelings between us but I know he would be doing the same thing if he was an election lawyer,” Macalintal said.
Macalintal challenged senators-elect Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo Angara, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Antonio Trillanes, and Aquilino Pimentel III to return their certificates of proclamation as a sign of “respect” to voters.
Binay, Pimentel, and Trillanes did not attend the proclamation at the PICC that was held on Thursday for the top six (Poe, Legarda, Escudero, Cayetano, Binay, and Angara) and Friday for the next three (Aquino, Pimentel, Trillanes).