The Inbox

Brillantes: Name new poll commissioners first as consultants

By Mikha Flores, VERA Files

Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is proposing that the two new commissioners President Aquino will soon appoint be named “consultants” first before their formal appointment to allow them to already participate in the poll body’s deliberations.

“The President can announce who will be appointed so that by Feb. 2 or 3 or 4, which is a Monday, the two can sit as consultants," Brillantes said.

Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco are retiring on Feb. 2, leaving Comelec with five members at the height of the preparations for the May 13 midterm elections.

Congress will go on recess on Feb. 8 until June 4, leaving only six days for President Benigno S. Aquino III to nominate Sarmiento’s and Velasco’s replacements and for the Commission on Appointments to act on the new appointments.

Brillantes said if the appointments cannot be made before the congressional recess, the President can at least announce whom he intends to appoint and have them serve initially as Comelec consultants.

This would allow the new members to participate in the deliberations of the Comelec en banc, although they would not be allowed to vote, he said.

Because of time constraints,  ad interim appointees will likely replace the two outgoing commissioners.

Ad interim appointments are those made by the President while Congress is in recess.  The appointees will be able to perform the powers and duties of a Comelec commissioner until their appointment is rejected or upheld in the next Congress.

Brillantes himself was an ad interim appointee when he first assumed the chairmanship of the Comelec, having been appointed by the President one day before the 15th Congress resumed its session on Jan. 17, 2011.

Meanwhile, the retirement of Sarmiento and Velasco will lead to the transfer of Lucenito Tagle from the second division to the first division which Sarmiento heads. Tagle and Elias Yusoph will become the two most senior members of the commission. Yusoph will be the presiding commissioner for the second division.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for “true.”)


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options