New Comelec commissioner, lawyer of Padaca foe
MANILA - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes laughed off the possibility of a catfight between Commissioner Grace Padaca and newly appointed commissioner Bernadette Sardillo.
Brillantes confirmed that Sardillo was election lawyer to Benjie Dy who tried to unseat Padaca as Isabela governor.
"Hindi ko alam. Alam ko may kaso abugado si Commissioner Sardillo. Abugado naman ni Padaca was Leila (de Lima). Yun lang alam ko. Hindi naman na-unseat si Grace. Di naman siguro masama loob. Pareho naman magaling na abugado si Sardillo at Leila," he said.
The Comelec chairman predicted that Sardillo may face the same rough sailing he faced when he assumed office since she is also an election lawyer who handled political clients.
"Nakausap ko na si Sardillo kahapon. Inaantay pa niya kanyang appointment. Di muna raw siya mamasyal, sabi ko sana papasyal siya [dito]."
Brillantes added Sardillo will just have to inhibit from cases involving her clients.
"She will be in same situation as I was when I was appointed here. I just have to inhibit myself. Ganun rin siguro gagawin niya. Na ha-hound din siya ng mga humamon sakin nuon, nalusutan ko rin naman eh. Mas marami ako than kaso niya. When I came in, I had 30-40, di naman siguro aabot 20 kaso niya rito. I see her every now and then," he said.
The Comelec chairman also dismissed criticism against Sardillo and incoming commissioner Macabangkit Lanto's lack of information technology experience.
He said their being lawyers will help in the quasi-judicial functions of the poll body.
"Sinasabi ko palagi, we would prefer a commissioner who's an IT (expert). IT-lawyer would have been best but all of us are entitled to consultants. That wouldn't prevent commissioners Lanto and Sardillo [from assuming their posts]… they can get as many as 1- 2, even [former Commissioner] Gus Lagman had IT consultants. Mas mabuti na yun."
Brillantes pointed out that non-lawyer Padaca has legal consultants.
"Even Gus Lagman completed as many as 500 [election] cases. Di naman siya abugado. There's no negative effect by not being IT," he said.