MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on Thursday revealed he might resign even before the 2013 election period ends, saying it will not affect the poll body's preparations.
Brillantes, however, clarified that this is just one of his options. He said he might announce his final decision on Monday.
"Basta kami, na-lay down na namin ang mga groundwork for elections. Kung merong contingencies, mayroon namang continuity plan. May risk reduction program, lahat naka-lay down na," Brillantes told dzMM.
"Ako naman talaga, gusto kong tapusin ito. Sa puso ko gusto kong tapusin to. Isa kong decision siguro, either I finish it now and leave, or complete the elections and then leave after the elections, not necessarily complete my term until 2015," he added.
Brillantes earlier said he is mulling resignation following a string of Supreme Court decisions unfavorable to the poll body, the last of which was the issuance of a status quo ante order against Comelec Resolution 9631.
The SQA order 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.
Meeting with the President
Brillantes said he plans to meet President Benigno Aquino III to discuss his possible departure. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier said a meeting between Brillantes and President Aquino has already been set. She did not give a date, however.
"Di pa rin ako desidido, kaya sabi gusto ko makausap si President. Baka kako masyado na akong matanda at ako ata ang problema sa Comelec. Eh baka gusto ko munang makapahinga. Tutulong na lang ako from the outside," Brillantes said.
"Winding up na kami sa trabaho namin. We finished all the preparations. We are already in the process of implementation. Hindi na rin masyadong maraming trabaho," he added.
The Comelec chief also clarified that he will not submit his resignation paper to Aquino since the Comelec is an independent constitutional body.
He said the primary purpose of his meeting with Aquino is to discuss who could replace him as Comelec chief.
"Hindi ako magre-resign sa kanya (Aquino). I am an independent constitutional chairman…Kung aalis ako, gusto kong malaman ang naiisip niyang pumalit, para there is some sort of continuity," he said.