Press Release
September 17, 2011

Cayetano on Sixto: Is this your way of 'cleaning up' the Comelec?

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated to Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes' during the Commission on Appointments hearing on his confirmation last Wednesday that it is his duty to rid the agency of misfits and scalawags who have tainted its integrity over the decades.

He expressed dismay that since Brillantes gave his assurance two months ago that he would finally institute major reforms in the Comelec, the only change he had initiated since was to promote and protect those who were named and identified in past scandals in the agency.

The senator pointed out to the CA members the various new major positions assumed by those previously charged in the folder scam and those named in the Hello Garci scandal under Brillantes' watch.

"Is this what Chairman Brillantes meant when he said that he will 'clean up' Comelec? By sweeping cases under the rug and protecting those behind it?" he asked.

The senator added that the charges of former Comelec law department head Ferdinand Rafanan in his affidavit submitted to the CA only affirmed what he had feared all along.

"I am aghast at knowing that Brillantes even repeatedly resorted to 'bullying' to compel Rafanan to help in the efforts to protect those charged in the folder scam.

"Director Rafanan said he sensed a cover up was underway when Chairman Brillantes told him that he should have asked him first before proceeding to reveal the results of the investigations he was tasked to conduct, " he said.

The minority leader said the Comelec chairman was clearly out to shield Comelec officials involved in various scandals from investigations and even prosecution instead of initiating the investigations himself, a fact that was confirmed by Rafanan's affidavit.

The affidavit cited the continued delay in the investigation into the conduct of the October 25, 2010 barangay elections, the May 10, 2010 electoral offense reported in Lanao del Sur on top of the Hello Garci scandal, the P1.2 billion Megapacific scam and the P690-million secrecy folder scam reportedly owing to the undue influence exerted by Brilliantes.

"The fact that he transferred Atty. Allen Abaya, who was suspended due to the Folder Scam, to the law department is a clear enough indication of this. The continued presence in the Comelec of those implicated in these scams also serves as proofs, " Cayetano said.

"All these accusations only serve to increase speculation on whether Chairman Brillantes is the right man for the task of instituting the needed electoral reforms," he said.

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