Brillantes still contemplating on resignation Created on April 18, 2013, 5:56 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Thursday that he is still contemplating if he will step down from his post and disclosed that his planned meeting with President Benigno Aquino III for a consultation will push through.

Brillantes said in a radio interview that he will consult Aquino regarding his replacement if ever he vacates his position in the poll body.
 
"Hindi ako magre-resign sa kanya (Aquino). I am an independent constitutional chairman... The only purpose why I would like to see him is because kung aalis ako, I would also like to know kung sino naman ang naiisip niyang pumalit, so there will be some sort of continuity... It's just a matter of consultation," Brillantes said.
 
The poll chief added that he also wants to know Aquino's insights on his work in the Comelec.
 
"Nasabi ko na, gusto ko makausap ang Presidente baka kako masyado na akong matanda, ako ang problema sa Comelec... Baka gusto ko na magpahinga muna... Tutulong na lang ako," Brillantes said.
 
Brillantes earlier expressed his planned resignation following the Supreme Court's decision lifting airtime limits on political advertisements.
Comelec wants SC to decide quickly on airtime limits Created on April 18, 2013, 5:54 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will ask the Supreme Court (SC) to immediately decide on the petitions involving airtime limits for candidates.

Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said yesterday he is coordinating with the Solicitor General for the immediate filing of a motion to resolve merits of the cases.

“Since you issued a status quo ante order (SQA), I think you should resolve the merits within the next few days,” he said.  “I’m going to ask the Solicitor General who’s handling the case for us to file a motion immediately. They cannot leave us in limbo.”

Brillantes said the SC did not decide on the petitions of GMA-7, TV5, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

“It’s a setback because it effectively ties our hands and says ‘you cannot do anything because there is a status quo ante order,’ That’s what I do not like,” he said.

Brillantes said as of press time, the Comelec has not received a copy of the status quo ante order.

Only one member from Congress in JBC, SC affirms Created on April 17, 2013, 7:09 am Posted by nup

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Only one member of Congress can sit in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled.

The SC affirmed yesterday its ruling last year to remove one of two members of Congress in the JBC.

It declared unconstitutional the JBC setup in which a senator and a member of the House of Representatives have separate seats and votes in deliberations.

“The Judicial and Bar Council is hereby enjoined to reconstitute itself so that only one member of Congress will sit as repre- sentative in its proceedings, in accordance with Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Con- stitution,” read the SC decision.

The SC has left to Congress to determine who between Sen. Francis Escudero and Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. should remain in the JBC.

It dismissed the claim of Escudero and Tupas that framers of the Constitution made an oversight in assigning just one represen-tative for the bicameral Congress in the JBC.

SC stops airtime limit on pol ads Created on April 17, 2013, 7:07 am Posted by nup

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) stopped yesterday the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from implementing caps on radio and television ads of candidates in the May 13 polls.

SC spokesman Theodore Te said the high court issued a status quo ante (SQA) order on the poll body’s rule giving national candidates a total of 120 minutes on all TV networks and 180 minutes on radio stations, with local candidates allotted 60 minutes on TV and 90 minutes on radio.

However, he refused to discuss the specific implication of the ruling and how long the halt order will be in effect, citing “limited information” given to him by the justices.

A member of the court, however, explained that the status quo ante order – which has the same effect as a temporary restraining order (TRO) – means the Comelec should revert to its previous rule allowing national bets to have 120 minutes airtime in each TV network.

Te only confirmed that justices voted 9-6 in summer session to grant the relief sought in petitions filed by broadcasters GMA Network Corp., ABC Development Corp., and re-electionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano last February.

The majority votes were cast by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama Jr., Jose Mendoza, Jose Perez and Marvic Leonen.

Election results known in 48 hours or less Created on April 16, 2013, 3:46 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines - Just like in the 2010 elections, the winners of this year’s electoral exercise will be known within 48 hours after voting ends, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared yesterday.

“Within 48 hours, more or less, we’ll know the winners. In the municipal and city level, like what happened in 2010, within 24 hours everything was finished, winners were already known,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said.

Brillantes said Comelec had revised its policies on the proclamation of winners on May 13.

“The system before was that all precinct results must come out before you can proclaim. We changed that, it’s one of the enhancements that we’ve done under the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines system,” he said.

But for the next month’s elections, winners could be proclaimed “if the un-transmitted results will no longer affect the total results” of the elections.

“Now you can proclaim without waiting for all results to be completed. Before, if the results (in one polling precinct) are pending, you can’t proclaim. That was unreasonable,” Brillantes said.

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