File photo by John Javellana
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Dismayed by the string of Supreme Court (SC) rulings against the reforms he initiated at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), a teary-eyed chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr on Tuesday, April 16, said he will soon offer the President his resignation.
"Sabi ko sa mga kasama ko, siguro I would just have to rest a little, one day or two days, and maybe talk to the President, and talk to him and say, 'Baka ako ang problema. Baka gusto n'yo umalis na muna ako, maglagay na muna ng iba.' Pag-aralan ko lang, seriously," Brillantes said.
(I told my companions, maybe I would just have to rest a little, one day or two days, and maybe talk to the President, and talk to him and say, 'I might be the problem. You might want me to leave, and replace me with another one.' I will just have to study this, seriously.)
Brillantes said this after the SC on Tuesday stopped the Comelec from implementing the limits on the airtime of political ads that candidates can place. He felt "very, very disappointed." (Watch more in the video below.)
Is SC running elections?
Brillantes said it was the SC's fourth strike against the Comelec, and complained the SC puts election reforms in limbo.
He said: “With this series of decisions coming from the Supreme Court – TRO, status quo ante – sabi ko, para namang lumalabas na, parang sila na ang nagpapatakbo ng eleksyon. Akala ko ba kami?" (With this series of decisions coming from the Supreme Court – TRO, status quo ante – I said, it looks like they're the ones running the elections. I thought it was us?)
Brillantes said the Comelec can function without him, because it has already finished most of its major tasks. He added he never wanted the Comelec chief's job.
"Hindi ko naman gusto ito eh," said Brillantes, who earlier told Rappler he wants to fullfill his father's dream. (I never wanted this.) The late Comelec commissioner Sixto Brillantes Sr wanted to chair the poll body, according to Brillantes, who also cried recalling his father in Rappler's December 2012 interview. (Read: Brillantes: Comelec chair in his father's seat.)
"Nagtratrabaho lang ako rito," he added on Tuesday. "I'm making the reforms necessary. Pero kung TRO TRO lang, at saka status quo ante, bakit ko naman pahihirapan ang sarili ko rito?" (I am just working here... I'm making the reforms necessary. But if they will just issue TROs and status quo ante orders, why would I make my life difficult here?)
Did he feel his efforts went to waste?
"Meron naman kasi akong mga ambisyon eh," Brillantes replied. (Because I have ambitions here.) And he abruptly ended the interview, leaving with tears in his eyes. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.