PNoy’s Official Statement on the appointment of Sixto Brillantes as Comelec chairman

By on Jan 17, 2011 in Asia, Local, Politics Comments

Manila, Philippines – As earlier reported, President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III (PNoy) appointed Sixto Brillantes as the new chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), to replace Chairman Jose Mello who was supposed to retire in 2015 but decided to resign on January 15, 2011.

Sixto Brillantes sworn in as COMELEC Chairman
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However, Brillantes’ appointment is being criticized by some groups since he served as the election lawyer of former senator Mar Roxas, PNoy’s defeated vice-presidential candidate who filed a protest after Jejomar Binay won as vice president.

Brilliantes then said he has inhibited himself from the election cases he was handling as an election lawyer, and ask the public to know him first before judging him.

On Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda read during a press briefing at Malacañang the statement of President Benigno Aquino III on the appointment of Sixto Brillantes Jr. as chairman of the Commission on Elections.

Below is its full context, taken from the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

Last January 15, I appointed veteran election lawyer Sixto Brillantes Jr. Chairman of the Commission on Elections to serve out the unexpired term of former chairman Jose Melo.

I have always said that correct identification of a problem leads to the correct solutions. Brillantes’ long career in election law has given him extensive on-the-ground expertise, not just of the law, but also of the systems and processes that govern our electoral exercises.

The country needs someone with practical knowledge and not just theoretical understanding of election law, and an intensive knowledge of the bureaucracy, who could hit the ground running.

We need someone who understands, and can fix, the defects in the system: nuisance candidates who end up disqualified late in the day, leaving too little time to inform the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI).

We also need someone who will guide the Comelec to ensure that the laws will not be used to game the system.

The Comelec has much to do to ensure cases are resolved, not days to go before election day, or days to go before the contested term expires.

Chairman Brillantes’ main task now is to ensure an orderly and credible election in 2013 and I am confident that he is capable of achieving this and leaving a legacy that will culminate a distinguished legal career.

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