Aquino appeals to Comelec chair not to resign at this time

April 20, 2013 12:10 am 

LAPU-LAPU CITY, April 19 — President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said he would appeal to Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes not to resign from his post at this time — with less than a month to go before the May 13 elections.

"Papakiusapan ko naman ‘yung ating chair. Medyo less than a month na lang ‘yung eleksyon. Ang hirap naman ng magtatalaga ng bagong chair at that last point (I would appeal to the Comelec chair, it's just barely a month before election, it's difficult now to appoint a new chairman of the poll body)," the President said in a chance interview with the media at the sidelines of the groundbreaking of the Mactan Circumferential Road here.

Besides, President Aquino said, he read in the newspapers that the Comelec chair has said that his earlier statement was just a "spur of the moment" feeling at the time that he was most frustrated which, he said, "let me think about it over the weekend. Think about it more soberly and less emotionally."

"I think he (Brillantes) will see that the country needs him to chair the Comelec at this crucial period," the President said.

The Chief Executive said that if Brillantes wants a meeting with him, "I’m at his disposal."

"When he (Brillantes) feels that he’s ready to meet with me, I’m always ready to meet with him," he said.

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.

President Aquino said 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 I voted against being able to access media — having ads, and the reason is: kung sinasabi nating may problema sa corruption (if we're saying there is problem in 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 to be able to fund," he said.

"I still subscribe to the idea na kung dadagdagan natin ang gastos tuwing eleksyon, para na rin tayong nang-e-engganyo sa iba na maghanap ng paraan para mapondohan ‘yung gagastusin nila (I still subscribe to the idea that if we increase expenditures of politicians during election, it is like we entice them to look for means to fund their campaign)," he noted.

"Ibig sabihin ‘non kadalasan baka lalong mag-succumb sa tukso ng corruption, ‘yon ‘yung nilalabanan natin (This would mean that politicians might succumb to corruption to fund their campaign expenditures, and that is what we're avoiding)," he added. (PNA)

DSP/LGI

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