Brillantes wants to be envoy to Eastern European country

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Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—As if to show that he was really serious about his threat to resign, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. disclosed on Friday that he had never wanted to head the poll body and had asked President Benigno Aquino III for an ambassadorship shortly after the 2010 elections.

Brillantes, who has been asked by Mr. Aquino to remain in the Comelec, said he was eyeing an ambassadorship in Eastern Europe and would tell the President so.

“He does not need to appeal to me (to stay) because this is going to be my decision. I know what to do, but thank you,” he said.

According to Brillantes, he had asked Mr. Aquino for an ambassadorship after the latter won the presidential election in 2010.

“I thought I would get it but (then Comelec) Chair (Jose) Melo resigned. That’s when everything went haywire,” he said in an interview.

Where no Filipinos go

He said he would reveal his decision on whether to stay or resign on Monday, but would still want to meet with the President next week.

“I will wait to see the President so that I can ask him … My plan was to ask him, ‘Could you give me an ambassadorship instead so that I can rest. It’s so tiring in the Comelec,’” he said.

Brillantes, who was Mr. Aquino’s lawyer during the 2010 presidential elections, said he had asked even then to be made envoy to an Eastern European country.

“Romania, Slovakia, or Hungary … where no Filipinos go,” he said.

According to Brillantes, it would not be problematic if he were to go on leave now as the most critical phase of the election preparations was over and the polls can be adequately handled by the Comelec’s senior staff.

“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,” he said.

Very, very disappointed

Brillantes has been increasingly frustrated that the poll body keeps being rebuffed by the Supreme Court on poll issues brought before the high court.

On Tuesday, he said he was considering resigning after the high tribunal issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Comelec rule limiting airtime of political advertisements. He noted that it was the fourth adverse order against the poll body from the high court in recent months.

The tribunal issued a TRO against the Comelec order for the Diocese of Bacolod to pull down its “Team Buhay/Team Patay” tarpaulins. The high court also remanded to the poll body the cases of party-list groups that the Comelec had earlier disqualified and the election protest case on the 2010 mayoralty 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 TROed?” he said.

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  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    unsolicited advise: join the private sector where your talents will be recognized. sa govt. puro batikos na walang katapat na solosyon ang iyong maaani. ‘wag nang magpa-hero-hero, sa posporo lang ang hantungan mo. hehehe

  • UrHONOR

    NAWALAN ako ng pagtingin kay Brillantes kung totoong hiniling nya ang pagka-ambassador sa kahit na anong bansa. Ang pwestong yan ay hindi dapat linilimos… YAN ay maingat na ina-alok sa mga napipisil na kwaliikado ng Pangulo. Arm-twisting ang ginagawa ni Brilliantes sa pagkakataong ito na walang-walang ka-class-class at ang halay tingnan. Kaunting delicadeza, Brilliantes, para hindi napaghahalata ang tunay mong kulo sa loob.

  • blowcoldblowhot

    Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. should be allowed to leave his post since his mind is already on retirement mode, and asking as a reward for fixing up the elections for Noynoy, a non-stress life in an Eastern Europe hideaway as a Philippine ambassador.

    At least Brillantes is bargaining openly as he expressed his intention to resign using the Supreme Court decision for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the airtime limit the Comelec, in a resolution, redefined what was almost a free for all rule based on radio and broadcast stations.

    Thus the elections would likely be held, if Brillantes gets what he wants, without a source code for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines and a Comelec chairman sipping some type of an exotic wine in a Baltic State.

    Brillantes appears to have spent most of his better years as an election lawyer
    whenever he is confronted with one deficiency or another, and there are many,
    regarding the coming elections.

    But as a poll body chairman, he appears not to have bothered to resolve
    problems in his department. Not only is the missing source code the problem confronting the PCOS machines, as questions are being raised over, for one, their reliability during election day itself.

    Another problem, and it is a huge one, would be the integrity of the polls, not
    to mention the serious problem of credibility. Brillantes claimed that everything is set for the May elections and that his presence is already inconsequential.

    An incident during the advance voting for Filipinos living in Hong Kong
    resulted in the embassy going manual after a simple ink smudge resulted in the
    malfunction of the PCOS machine being used. Several questions were also raised on the compact flash (CF) cards that will be used in the transmission of election results.

    In the 2010 elections, the switching of Compact Flash cards was thought to be a
    convenient way to undertake cheating and it was proven during hearings held by
    the oversight committee on the automated polls where CF cards were produced and
    Smartmatic, the operator of the PCOS machines, reluctantly at first, admitted
    that the CF cards were authentic and issued a threat of suing those who were
    able to obtain the memory cards.

    Also during the only mock polls held to test the reliability of the machines,
    the PCOS machines were reported to have suffered a long list of malfunctions.

    Former poll Commissioner Augusto “Gus” Lagman told the joint congressional
    oversight committee that the PCOS machines failed to satisfy doubts on
    accuracy, cheating, transparency and speed. During the mock polls the machines reported an accuracy rate of 97.215 percent that translated to 557 errors per 20,000 marks, according to Lagman.

    Lagman also related about CF cards found in the garbage dump in Cagayan de Oro
    province and the 60 PCOS machines found in the house of a technician of
    Smartmatic were a “clear indication that the cards and machines can be stolen.”

    Lagman added there is no transparency in the Smartmatic system because voters
    don’t have the means to find out if their ballots were read properly and votes
    were counted accurately.

    All signals point to some form of fraud being undertaken in the coming
    elections through the use of Smartmatic’s PCOS machines and Brillantes is
    correct in asserting is everything is in place and that his presence is not
    required. It feels like the triggerman wanting to leave the scene of the crime before it
    is discovered, to avoid being charged for it.

  • loveofjesus

    I think a Comelec Commissioner should not ask for any favors from the President during election or any other period. Nor should a President do a Garci.

  • TAGA-MASID

    mag-trabaho ka dahil tinanggap mo – tunay na kasama sa trabaho ang sakit ng ulo. dapat mag-patuloy kang mag-trabaho at ipakita mo matalino ka tungkol sa batas ng bansang pilipinas – ipaglaban mo kung ano ang tama ayon sa batas. hindi matarungan ang mag-resign ka, sapagkat ito ay tanda lamang na hindi sapat ang kaalaman mo sa batas — go, go, fight – huwag sumuko…

  • EdsonArantesDoNascimiento

    PI naman tong matandang to gingago tayo.Pagkatapos niyang imaniobra ang baboy na ngang comelekek,sisibat.May pagka-abnoy din tong matandang ito!!!! Hihirit pa ng ibang puesto!!!Kawawang bayan,lahat ng namumuno ay abnoy,inutile,may sayad!Mga PI kayong lahat,MAMATAY NA LANG KAYONG LAHAT!!!!

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