Oct 302013

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has not ordered the suspension of the canvassing of votes on November 1, a holiday, poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said.

That decision will be left to Comelec provincial election supervisors and regional directors in provinces where elections were postponed.

“Pwede naman nila ituloy kung gusto nila. Pero wala kaming order to suspend. It’s (within) the discretion of canvassers to suspend the canvassing,” Brillantes said.

He said Comelec intends to finish canvassing by Thursday. “Kung hindi kakayanin, siguro mag-su-suspend sila sa holiday. Pero puwede silang matuloy sa Sabado o Linggo,” he added.

The country held barangay elections on October 28 but the Comelec postponed elections in at least 40 barangays because of election-related security concerns. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/JDS, GMA News

Jul 122013
Comelec may proclaim three more party-lists before SONA

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may proclaim three more winning party-lists in the May 13 elections before President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22. “Before SONA preferably, sabi ko, matapos namin ‘yan ng July 19,” said Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. in an interview Friday. He noted that there are still five seats that have yet to be filled up, including three that were reserved for Senior Citizens and one for Abang Lingkod. Both have pending cases before the Supreme Court regarding their disqualification. “Pinapakuha na namin mga ballot boxes para mabilang na dito [Comelec office in Manila], para ma-proclaim na namin ‘yung tatlo. Matatapos siguro ‘yan before (July) 22,” Brillantes said. The party-list system is a proportional mode of representation in Congress, which means the number of seats is based on the number of votes per party-list. Party-lists that got two percent of total votes cast are guaranteed a seat. Those that got more than two percent may get additional seats, based on the Comelec’s formula on seat allocation. Senior Citizens, in the Comelec’s 10th partial tally, got 677,642 votes, which guarantee it two seats, while Abang Lingkod got 260,215 votes, equivalent to one seat. Although the An Waray group has been proclaimed winner and awarded two seats, its second Certificate of Proclamation has yet to be issued pending the high court’s decision on the cases of Senior Citizens and Abang Lingkod. — KBK, GMA News 

Jun 142013
Expense reports show no 'overspender' in May 13 polls

(Updated 9:13 p.m.) None of the senatorial candidates in the recently concluded elections could be considered as an “overspender” as far as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is concerned, based on latest available data. According to poll chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., an overspender is one who spends P156 million or more during the campaign period. The Comelec, under Resolution No. 9476, gives candidates the following expense limit — P10 per registered voter for presidential and vice presidential candidates, P3 per voter for candidates with political parties, and P5 per voter for independent candidates. The Comelec has yet to make a final audit report on the expense reports. But in general, “P156 million ang maximum. 52 (million voters)  times P3 (per voter),” Brillantes noted. Meanwhile, the maximum amount for independent candidates is P260 million. There were over 52 million registered voters nationwide in the recent polls. Based on available statements of contributions and expenditures of senatorial candidates filed with the Comelec, Cayagan Rep. Jack Enrile was the one who spent the largest in the May 13 elections. Enrile, an unsuccessful candidate, spent P150,401,072.09, followed by incoming senator Cynthia Villar with P133,979,127.25, and re-elected Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with P131,044,78. Senator-elect Nancy Binay, meanwhile, placed fourth at P128,695,057.1. According to Republic Act 7166, every candidate and treasurer of a political party shall be required to file an itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures within 30 days after Election Day. The deadline was on June 13, 5 p.m. Failure to submit SOCEs is Read More …

Jun 062013
Comelec releases final tally of senators

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, has released its final tally of senatorial candidates according to its official canvassing of election results. In his blog, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez quoted the NBOC’s resolution as saying that “while there are still remaining uncanvassed votes, the same will no longer affect the ranking of the winning candidates for Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.” The rankings of the top 12 remain unchanged. Grace Poe    20,337,327Loren Legarda    18,661,196Alan Cayetano    17,580,813Francis Escudero    17,502,358Nancy Binay    16,812,148Edgardo Angara Jr. 16,005,564Bam Aquino     15,534,465Aquilino Pimentel III    14,725,114Antonio Trillantes IV    14,127,722Cynthia Villar    13,822,854JV Ejercito    13,684,736Gregorio Honasan    13,211,424 Richard Gordon    12,501,991Miguel Zubiri    11,821,134Jack Enrile    11,543,024Ramon Magsaysay    11,356,739Risa Hontiveros    10,944,843Edward Hagedorn    8,412,840Eduardo Villanueva    6,932,985Jamby Madrigal    6,787,744Mitos Magsaysay    5,620,429Teddy Casiño    4,295,151Ernesto Maceda    3,453,121Tingting Cojaungco    3,152,939Samson Alcantara    1,240,104JC Delos Reyes    1,238,280Greco Belgica    1,128,924Ramon Montano    1,040,293Ricardo Penson    1,040,131Rizalito David    1,035,971Christian Seneres    706,198Marwill Llasos    701,390Baldomero Falcone    665,845 The top 12 senators were proclaimed by the Comelec barely a week after the elections. Poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the commission proclaimed the winners based on “projections” than actual votes cast. — Marc Jayson Cayabyab/BM, GMA News

May 272013
Brillantes on Gordon's plea to retain PCOS machines in present locations: Shoulder the cost

Shoulder the cost. This was Elections chair Sixto Brillantes Jr.’s comments to defeated senatorial candidate Richard Gordon’s request that seek to prevent the Comelec from removing the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the May 13 polls from precincts, schoolhouses or present whereabouts. “Hindi na namin masosoli yung PCOS, wala na sa presinto yung PCOS. Kung gusto niya isoli niya ulit, pero gastusan niya. Nasa hubs na yung mga PCOS namin, pabalik na dito yung iba,” Brillantes told reporters Monday. Gordon filed last Wednesday an urgent petition for mandamus asking the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the Comelec from removing PCOS machines from precincts, schoolhouses or the machines’ present whereabouts. This was “to prevent anybody from tampering with the components, contents and software encoded into the said machine,” a press statement from Gordon’s camp said Thursday.   To which, Brillantes countered: “Basta ready siya to shoulder the cost we will open everything that he likes.”  Gordon also asked the SC to compel Brillantes to comply with his commitment to give him and other petitioners the complete digital copy of the source code for the automated election system used in this year’s polls. A source code is the set of instructions to be followed by the computerized voting machine, and is written by computer programmers in a readable symbolic language. Gordon, who placed 13th based on the official Comelec tally, is also the author of Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Elections Systems Law. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, Read More …

May 212013

MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec), under fire at the heels of the May 13 elections, may postpone the October 2013 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to late next year or early 2015. According to Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., postponing the barangay and SK elections to a later date […]

May 012013
Low turnout for local absentee voting dissapoints Comelec chief Brillantes

Poll chief Brillantes casts vote 14 days ahead of Election Day. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. casts his vote on the second day of the local absentee voting at the poll body’s head office in Intramuros, Manila on Monday. Government officials and workers, including police and military personnel, and, for the first time, approved, media practitioners who will be on duty on Election Day, are allowed to exercise their right of suffrage in advance. Danny Pata Even as he has yet to receive the final report on the recently-concluded three-day local absentee voting, Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is not satisfied with the low turnout of voters in the electoral exercise. In an interview with reporters Wednesday, Brillantes said that based on initial figures, the registration and number of those who voted was lower compared to the 2010 elections. “Definitely hindi ako satisfied. Hindi maganda ang registration dahil lumiit compared to 2010, lumiit ang registration from 33,0000 I think in 2010, ngayon 18,000 lang. Tapos ang turnout hindi ko alam kung gaano kalaki,” he said. Of the 18,332 who registered for this election’s local absentee voting, only 12,732 were found qualified to vote. The local absentee voting was conducted from April 28 to 30. Data from the Comelec-National Capital Region showed that of the 366 media personnel who registered for local absentee voting, only 200 availed of the privilege. In the past, only government officials and employees, and members of the National Police and Armed Forces who are temporarily assigned to Read More …

Apr 182013
Resigning or not? Brillantes to decide Monday

To leave or not to leave, Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. will make his decision by Monday. On Thursday, Brillantes, who was extremely disappointed with the recent decisions of the Supreme Court against the Comelec, said he will talk first with his daughters, especially his eldest who is in Connecticut. “I’ll take a break Saturday, Sunday. Konting  meditation, konting pag-iisip tapos I will make a final decision by Monday. I will be talking to some people. I have to talk to my daughters, who are the people behind me. Sila lang naman ang pinaniniwalaan ko,” he told reporters. He said his daughters have been against his taking the post from the start. Brillantes has three daughters. “Matagal na nilang ayaw ako nandito e. Pinagagalitan na nga nila ako noon pa. Seryoso, sabi ko nag-iisip ako na ayoko na. ‘Di ba sinabi ko naman noon pa,’ sabi nung bunso ko, ‘hindi ka naman dapat pumunta na dyan matanda ka na e’,” said Brillantes, 73. It was only his daughter who is abroad whom he has yet to speak with. Asked if he would still pursue his meeting with the President, Brillantes said the schedule given to him was next week. He said he can dispense with the meeting with Aquino since all he wanted to ask from him was the appointment of the two new commissioners. But if the President will ask for him, he will come. Brillantes served as President Aquino’s election lawyer in 2010. He was appointed Comelec chief Read More …

Feb 272013
Comelec chief Brillantes: Getting source code still slim

Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Wednesday said the poll body is in the last part of its negotiations with Dominion Voting Systems, but he admitted that the chance of getting the source code remains slim. “I’m still waiting. I’m still in negotiation with Dominion. Hopefully, something happens before the first week of March,” Brillantes told reporters.   “We are already on the last part of negotiations. (I am) not very much (optimistic). I would say at this point, it’s about 50-50,” he added. The source code is still with the SLI Global Solutions, which tested it and certified it as ‘functionally capable.’ SLI, however, cannot release it without a go-signal from Dominion which is in a legal battle with Smartmatic. “The only pending lang is whether we can ask SLI to bring the source code here so that it can be reviewed by parties and interested groups. Right now, we already announced that we are having difficulty because Dominion does not want to give the go signal for SLI to bring it here,” he said. Dominion wants Smartmatic to pay $10 million for using the former’s technology during the 2010 polls. Brillantes earlier offered to put the money in escrow.   But Brillantes reiterated that with or without the source code review by political parties, “we will proceed with the automated elections.” “Whether we get it or not, we already have the binary code. This is regardless of the presence of the source code. Meron namang source code, hindi Read More …

Feb 262013
Comelec may exempt CCT program from fund release ban

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) might exempt the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program from the election-related ban on the release of public funds. Poll chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Tuesday they will be hearing the request to allow the release of funds for CCT even during the campaign period. “Kung makita namin na pwede ituloy then we will give them exemption, depende sa lalabas sa hearing,” he told reporters. There is no definite date yet for the hearing. The ban on the release of public funds will start on March 29. Section 1 (2) of Comelec Resolution 9585 states that the DSWD and any other office in other departments of the government performing similar functions are prohibited to release, disburse or spend public funds except for salaries of personnel. Other routine and normal expenses may be authorized by the Comelec but only after due notice and hearing. “Should a calamity or disaster occur, all releases normally or usually coursed through the said departments and offices of other departments shall be turned over to, and administered and disbursed by, the Philippine National Red Cross, subject to the supervision of the Commission on Audit (COA) or its representatives, and no candidate or his or her spouse or member of his family within the second civil degree of affinity or consanguinity shall participate, directly or indirectly, in the distribution of any relief or other goods to the victims of the calamity or disaster,” the resolution further states. Read More …