Brillantes to check Enrile 'threat' vs poll officer
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr on Monday, November 5, said he will verify a report that a Cagayan election officer got “unkind treatment” from Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile last week.
Enrile allegedly called up Brillantes to have elections officer Edna Tacazon removed from her position last October 31, according to a report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
This was after she supposedly denied a request from Enrile's nephew, Jose Mari Ponce, to allow two women to register even if it was already 8:45 pm. The cut-off time for registration was at 3 pm last October 31, when Filipinos trooped to Comelec offices for last-minute voters' registration after over two years.
“Boy, I want this out of my district,” Enrile supposedly told Brillantes, as quoted by Tacazon in her interview with the Inquirer.
In an interview with reporters, Brillantes admitted that Enrile called him up last October 31.
“May problema daw doon sa isang bayan sa Cagayan,” Brillantes recalled Enrile as saying. “Sabi ko, kakausapin ko ang regional director. Titingnan ko kung anong nangyayari. Tapos kinausap ko 'yung election officer noong dumating si Enrile. Kinausap ko lang – asikasuhin mo lang, Senate President 'yan.”
(He said there was a problem in one of the towns in Cagayan... I said I would speak with the regional director, and I would look into the incident. Then I spoke with the election officer when Enrile arrived. I just told her – just accommodate him, he's the Senate President.)
Brillantes, nevertheless, said he is having the incident investigated.
“Humihingi pa ako ng report sa regional director. Hindi ko pakikialaman ang report. Titingnan ko kung anong tunay na nangyari,” he said. (I am still requesting a report from the regional report. I will not intervene in producing the report. I will look into what really happened.)
Enrile, for his part, admitted the confrontation but denied the accusation of "unkind treatment."
He said the crowd even cheered for him after he apprehended Tacazon for supposedly depriving them of voters' registration forms. "Nakikialam sa pulitika 'yung Comelec registrar," Enrile explained. (The Comelec registrar was meddling in politics.)
Enrile noted that Tacazon's child was running for councilor under the mayor's slate. He said the child of Tacazon's assistant was also running for councilor. For the Senate President, Tacazon might have wanted to "exclude" the voters lining up then, with the mayor thinking they wouldn't vote for him.
"Bawal ‘yon. Ministerial ‘yung trabaho niya to provide the forms for the voters," Enrile explained. (That's prohibited. Her job to provide forms for the voters was ministerial.)
Enrile also said he acted on people's complaints.
"Tinawagan ko si Chairman Brillantes. Sabi ko, kung ganyan kayo rito, ayaw ko kayo rito sa aking distrito," Enrile said. "I don’t like partial people, biased people na nakikialam sa politika rito. Kung gusto niyo mag-politika rito, leave the civil service."
(I called Chairman Brillantes. I said, if you act like that, I don't you like here in my district... I don't like partial people, biased people who meddle in politics here. If you want to intervene in politics here, leave the civil service.)
Ponce, according to the Inquirer, denied the claim that he wanted Tacazon to accommodate two women in the evening of October 31. – Rappler.com