Press Release
June 14, 2011

Cayetano urges Palace to reassess reappointment
of Sixto Brillantes as Comelec Chairman

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the Palace to reassess the reappointment of Sixto Brillantes as Comelec Chairman, questioning the latter's sincerity in pushing for electoral reforms towards 'tuwid na daan' .

"For me, I just want to make sure that we have the right man for the job. If the president really wants him there, let us use the Commission on Appointments as a venue to mold the kind of Comelec and Chairman that we deserve," he said.

Cayetano also stressed that aside from election lawyers, there are numerous individuals who have unquestionable integrity and no 'conflict of interest' who can assume the position of Comelec Chairman.

He said that we now have more time to look into what kind of election lawyer Brillantes was: "the kind who does not accept a case that involves cheating, or the kind who even helps his clients cheat."

"We have to find out which of the two kinds of lawyer is Atty. Brillantes. And if it is the kind who is involved in cheating? Why make him chairman?" Cayetano asked.

"I think they should continuously reassess. We hope the Palace would look into the hard questions we asked in the CA and eventually have their own 'roadmap' towards clean and honest elections," said Cayetano reiterating that the promise on reforms should not be mere 'generalities'.

Cayetano took into account statements of Chairman Brillantes delivered after being appointed saying that the latter knows election operators and asked them to change their ways.

"If we want reform, changing their ways is not enough. He should go after them and put them on trial," the senator stressed.

The minority leader also questioned Brillantes' sincerity in delivering his promise of reform through a reorganization' of Comelec. He mentioned earlier that alleged key players in the "Hello Garci" scandal are still holding office in Comelec particularly Rey Sumalipao who is now Regional Director for ARMM.

"Can you imagine kung natuloy yung ARMM elections? Manual ka na tapos yung isa pa na binabanggit na paulit ulit sa "Hello Garci" ang magiging regional director. Kawawa naman tayo. So, 'wag niyang isipin na siya ang kawawa," Cayetano said in response to Brillantes' previous statement urging CA to confirm him immediately.

"That's precisely the lesson we learned from Hello Garci. But after the CA hearing, it seems we have not learned the lesson from Hello Garci," he added.

Last Wednesday, June 8,The Commission on Appointments (CA) bypassed the appointment of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes.

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