PNoy to Brillantes: Don't quit now

Posted at 04/19/13 4:48 PM

MANILA - President Aquino on Friday said now is not a good time for Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes to resign from his post with less than a month to go before the May 13 elections.

Speaking to reporters in Cebu City, the President said it will be difficult to get a new Comelec chairman so close to the mid-term polls.

"Parang less than a month bago mag eleksyon parang ang hirap namang magtalaga ng bagong Comelec chair. At saka parang yung nabasa ko sa dyaryo, parang spur of the moment naman yung feeling at the time when he was most frustrated. He said, 'let me think about it over the weekend more soberly and less emotionally,' and I think he would see that the country would need him to chair the Comelec at this crucial period," he said.

The President is also willing to meet with Brillantes next week.

"So kailangan niya mag-meeting. I'm at his disposal and if he feels that he is ready to meet with me, I'm always ready to meet with him," he added.

Brillantes earlier said he is thinking of quitting his post following a string of Supreme Court decisions unfavorable to the poll body, the last of which was the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Comelec Resolution 9631.

The TRO against the resolution was issued in view of the petitions against the new airtime limit set by the Comelec for political advertisements.

Under the revised guidelines, all national candidates are directed to observe an airtime cap of 120 minutes in all TV networks and 180 minutes in all radio stations. The resolution also gives local candidates 60 minutes in all TV networks and 90 minutes in all radio stations.

Meanwhile, Aquino reiterated that he is against big political spending by candidates, as this could lead to corruption when they are in office.

"I think it's public record baka magalit yung network mo, yung network ninyo, I voted against being able to access media, yung having ads and the reason is, kung sinasabi nating may problema sa corruption, what are the salaries for a government official vis-a-vis even a 15 to 30 second slot, para bang may significant difference between their ability to purchase on your own resources. With election like this, there might be more temptation to become corrupt," he said.