Brillantes tells Parreño: assume office, ignore critics

  • 70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    Associated Press
    70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Seventy years have not dulled the memories of survivors of the monthlong Battle of Manila. The mass killings by Japanese forces, the loved ones lost and the desperation are etched in their minds, as is the elation when American forces finally rescued them in the closing months of World War II. …

  • Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

    Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

    AFP News
    Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

    A military assault on Islamic militants in the southern Philippines entered its fifth day on Saturday, with the toll rising to 24 guerrillas and two soldiers dead, officials said. Ten Abu Sayyaf militants were killed in a two-hour clash on Friday after the army pounded their jungle lair on Jolo island with artillery and helicopter gunships, said Colonel Alan Arrojado, who is leading the assault. Battles were raging in the mountainous and thickly forested villages of Patikul town, an area …

  • France's Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town

    France's Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town

    AFP News
    France's Hollande visits typhoon-hit Philippine town

    French President Francois Hollande met survivors of one of the world's strongest typhoons in a remote Philippine coastal town on Friday, seeking to sound a global alarm on climate change ahead of a crucial UN summit. Hollande is on a two-day trip to the Southeast Asian archipelago, regarded as a frontline state in the struggle against global warming, as part of his campaign to build diplomatic momentum ahead of the Paris summit in December. The French president is determined to broker an …

  • UN envoy in Syria to seek Aleppo truce

    UN envoy in Syria to seek Aleppo truce

    AFP News
    UN envoy in Syria to seek Aleppo truce

    UN envoy Staffan De Mistura held talks in the Syrian capital on Saturday to try to finalise a deal to freeze fighting in the war-ravaged second city of Aleppo. He met Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and agreed to send a delegation from his Damascus office to Aleppo on a fact-finding mission, state news agency SANA said, without giving a date. De Mistura's visit started as the army and pro-regime fighters regained territory in southern Syria from forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. …

  • Sheriff releases names of 3 rural Missouri shooting victims

    Associated Press

    TYRONE, Mo. (AP) — A southern Missouri sheriff has identified the final three victims in a shooting rampage that left seven people dead before the gunman killed himself. …

By Mikha Flores, VERA Files

Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Monday incoming Commissioner Al Parreño should assume office and settle questions on his qualifications later.

Brillantes said he told Parreño, who was appointed last week, to ignore the critics questioning his lack of experience as a lawyer. “Tsaka na natin ayusin iyong mga problemang ganyan. Hindi ho nauubusan ng kritiko dito sa Pilipinas (Let’s settle those problems later. The Philippines doesn’t run out of critics).”

A number of lawyers have questioned Parreño’s appointment, citing his lack of experience as a lawyer. Under the 1987 Constitution, a Comelec appointee should have engaged in law practice for at least 10 years. Parreño became a lawyer in 2004, which means he has yet to meet the constitutional requirement.

Lawyers are divided whether the 10-year law practice applies to all lawyer-members of Comelec or just a majority.

For Brillantes, Parreño need not have the 10-year experience since non-lawyers are even allowed to become Comelec Commissioners.

Maliwanag… Ang hindi abugado walang practice maski na isang taon maski na isang segundo. Bakit naman hindi pupuwede ang may nine years practice na? (It’s clear. A non-lawyer who has no legal experience, not even a year, not even a minute is allowed [to sit as Comelec Commisioner]. Why is a lawyer who has nine years practice not allowed?),” he said.

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal was quoted as saying the 10-year requirement only applies to the Chair and the majority of the commissioners. Lawyer Katrina Legarda said in a radio show Parreño should have been appointed because of his background in Information Technology, and not so much as a lawyer.

Former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said Parreño’s case should not be compared to the case of non-lawyers like Commissioner Grace Padaca, saying the two situations are “apples and oranges”.

“I think the Constitution is clear: members of the bar with 10 years practice. Statutory construction dictates that if it's clear, you don't have to analyze it. You don't have to interpret it,” he said.

(VERA Files is put out by senior 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.