Source: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/210778/who-is-comelecs-sixto-brillantes-jr

at 11:02 AM  

January 18, 2011

Who is Comelec’s Sixto Brillantes Jr.?

Categories: Politics

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Who is Comelec’s Sixto Brillantes Jr.? Frankly speaking I do not know this person personally. And I made this post just to show you who is Sixto Brillantes in person. I know many of us already know him because He is the new appointed head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Who is Sixto Brillantes?

Brillantes Jr. is a veteran election lawyer, a bar topnotcher, and a son of a former Comelec commissioner. The 71-year-old lawyer believes that public service would be the best way to cap his career.

He also exposed the alleged cheating maneuvers of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to win the 2004 elections. Arroyo’s rival, the actor Fernando Poe Jr., was a former client of Brillantes.

In 1990, Brillantes also won a case against Haydee Yorac, who was then designated as acting Comelec chief. The High Court ruled in favor of Brillantes and said Yorac’s assumption of the post was unconstitutional.

And since 2006, he has been a legal consultant of the United Opposition, which was created by Vice President Jejomar Binay to unite all politicians against then-President Arroyo.

Brillantes said his first priority is to ensure clean and honest elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in August this year.


His Excellence Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines

On the appointment of Attorney Sixto Brillantes as Chairman of the Commission on Elections

[Delivered by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda during a press briefing at Malacañang on January 17, 2010]

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.




Posted at 01/10/2011 11:54 AM | Updated as of 01/10/2011 9:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – An officer of the National Press Club (NPC) on Monday warned against the possible appointment of Sixto Brillantes, election lawyer of President Benigno Aquino III, as the next chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec). 

In an interview, NPC vice-president Marlon Purificacion said he opposes Brillantes’s appointment to Comelec because he is known as a political operator who once worked for the Ampatuan family. Brillantes also worked for Sen. Loren Legarda and even President Aquino during the May elections.

“We oppose his possible appointment because he is a lawyer of the Ampatuans and he is an election lawyer. As an election lawyer, you have a lot of clients. Kapag ikaw ay nasa Comelec na, sino ang makikinabang sa iyo kundi ang mga dati mong kliyente.” he told ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda.”

The NPC officer said Brillantes could be appointed to any government post except Comelec.

He said the political accommodation of Benjamin Abalos as Comelec chairman during the time of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led to the “Hello, Garci” wiretapping scandal, which linked Arroyo to an alleged plot to rig the May 2004 presidential election.

“Maybe next time, we will have a ‘Hello, Sixto,'” he said.

Purificacion said the NPC is opposing not just Brillantes’s appointment but the appointment of other lawyers from Brillantes’s law firm to the poll body. Aside from the chairman’s post, Aquino will also be appointing 2 other commissioners to the poll body.

He appealed to Malacañang to appoint other people to Comelec, and urged election watchdogs such as the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) to stay vigilant about the Comelec appointments.

Melo earlier named 3 people who may replace him when he steps down at the end of the month. The 3 are Brillantes, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Leonardo Quisumbing and SC Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Melo’s successor will serve his unexpired term, which is until 2015, as Melo has a fixed 7-year term starting 2008 when he was appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.






Sixto Brillantes took his oath as the new Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman before Supreme Court Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura at around 4:00 on Sunday, January 15, 2011 afternoon, according to local news sites.

Photo Credit: Abs-cbnnews.com

Election lawyer Sixto Brillantes will take over the chairmanship of the Comelec from outgoing Chairman Jose Melo. In a statement, Melo clarified that he decided to advanced his resignation date by two weeks, from January 31, 2011 to January 15, 2011, to give ample time for President Benigno Aquino III to name the new Comelec Chairman. Melo had earlier indicated that he will resign on January 31 this year.

In an interview with a dzMM radio program, Brillantes revealed that he has accepted his appointment as the new Comelec chairman. His appointment was signed by PNoy on Saturday, January 15, 2011.

Brillantes vowed to be “neutral and impartial,” when interviewed by Julius Babao in the dzMM radio program.

The veteran election lawyer already advised his clients to look for other lawyers who will defend them, and made it clear that he would not favor them in the Comelec. Brillantes will inhibit himself on cases that involves his former clients.

This will be Brillantes‘ first time to join the government in his long career as a lawyer and he vowed to pursue electoral reforms as Chairman of the Comelec.

Melo has been chairman of the Comelec for almost 3 years. His main legacy as Comelec chairman is the successful implementation of the first ever automated elections in the Philippines held last May 2010.





Posted at 01/13/2011 11:13 AM | Updated as of 01/13/2011 5:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Election lawyers Sixto Brillantes and Romulo Macalintal on Thursday vowed to institute reforms in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) if either one is appointed chairman of the poll body.

The 2 confirmed that they were personally interviewed by President Benigno Aquino III for the position last Monday.

Macalintal, the election lawyer of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said it is important to appoint a Comelec chairman who knows the ins and outs of the election process in the country.

“The problem is some of the Comelec appointees don’t know how elections are done here or the relevant election laws,” he said in a dzMM interview.

He said lack of knowledge in Comelec processes is one reason why anomalies continue under the noses of the Comelec commissioners.

“Kapag alam ng nasa ibaba na alam mo yung iyung ginagawa, hindi sila gagawa ng ganyan,” he said.

For his part, Brillantes, the election lawyer of President Aquino, said he wants to restructure the senior staff in the poll body.

In particular, he said he wants stricter monitoring of Comelec regional directors especially since “they are practically autonomous in their regions.”

“Di mo naman magagalaw ang mga commissioners eh. Kung ako pagagalawin sa commissioners, gusto ko sana panibagong ang mga kasama ko lahat,” he said.

If appointed, both lawyers said that they will have to inhibit from ruling on electoral protests that they were pursuing before the poll body. Macalintal has 20 pending cases for various clients before the Comelec while Brillantes has 24-25 cases.

The next chief of the poll body will serve for 4 years, the remainder of the term of Comelec Chairman Jose Melo, who opted for early retirement effective end of this month.

Macalintal: No one endorsed me

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III on Wednesday said the Liberal Party-Balay (LP-Balay) faction in Malacañang wants Macalintal to be the next Comelec chairman instead of Brillantes.

Osmeña, who ran under the administration ticket in the 2010 elections but is not an LP member, said the LP-Balay bloc is wary of Brillantes’ possible appointment because the latter was seen to have supported an Aquino-Jejomar Binay ticket during the May polls.

Asked if this means the LP-Balay group was willing to overlook Macalintal’s association with former president Gloria Arroyo, he said: “It looks that way.”

As for Brillantes, Osmeña added: “The problem is, I think, Brillantes supported ‘Noy-Bi’ [Noynoy-Binay] and therefore I think the LP does not want a ‘Noy-Bi’ lawyer to head the Comelec.”

Brillantes is associated with the so-called “Noy-Bi” faction in the administration because he was the election lawyer of Fernando Poe Jr. during the 2004 presidential elections.

Osmeña said both Brillantes and Macalintal served as his election lawyer at one time or another and both were qualified.

Macalintal, meanwhile, denied that he has received the endorsement of any particular group. “Walang nag-endorse sa akin, no letter or biodata,” he said.

He also said he has yet to consult his family about accepting the possible appointment.

Brillantes said if he is appointed to Comelec, he would rather be chairman than just another commissioner.

“I don’t think I will be able to implement as a mere commissioner. You have to have some hold on the entire structure of the Comelec eh para makapagbigay ka ng reform,” he said.

He added that if he accepts the Comelec post, it would be a good ending to his career since he is already 70 years old.

“Public service iyan eh. I don’t think I would have the temerity to say no. Siguro magandang end part nga rin ng aking career. Makatulong sa gobyerno, makatulong sa ating bayan.