Comelec chief faces disbarment case before SC
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. faces disbarment for stopping a mayor’s ouster.

Complainant Reynaldo Ordanes has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to disbar Brillantes for allegedly stopping the Cabanatuan Regional Trial Court Branch 30 from ousting a former client, Mayor Elizabeth Vargas of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija.

In his complaint, Ordanes accused Brillantes of gross ignorance of the law and violating Section 1, Rule 137 of the Rules of Court prohibiting a judge or judicial officer from handling a case where a party was a former client.

“If he arrogates unto himself the authority allocated to other officials, there can be no consequence but confusion in the administration of justice and, in many instances, oppressive disregard of the basic requirements of due process,” read the complaint.

Records showed the court had proclaimed Ordanes the winner in the May 2013 mayoral elections after garnering a total of 11,416 votes, or a margin of 11 over Vargas.

On June 19, Vargas asked the Comelec to stop the implementation of the court order.

Her petition for writ of preliminary injunction was raffled off to the Comelec’s Second Division whose chairman, Commissioner Elias Yusoph, went on official leave.

Ordanes alleged that Brillantes convened the Comelec’s Special Second Division last July 10 and appointed himself as presiding chairman in lieu of Yusoph.

Brillantes immediately issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the court’s motion for execution, he added.

Ordanes said Brillantes then issued a status quo ante order in favor of Vargas “without consultation with members of the (Comelec) en banc” after the Comelec dismissed Vargas’ petition on Sept. 15.

Ordanes said Brillantes “took special interest” in the case because he was Vargas’ former election lawyer.   

“This is not only flagrantly erroneous, but likewise a manifestation of gross ignorance of the law,” he said.

A separate graft charge was filed against Brillantes with the Office of  the Ombudsman.

Brillantes “had shown manifest partiality and evident bad faith in issuing the said orders,” Ordanes said.  

 

BRILLANTES CABANATUAN REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH CHAIRMAN SIXTO BRILLANTES JR. COMELEC COMMISSIONER ELIAS YUSOPH COMPLAINANT REYNALDO ORDANES MAYOR ELIZABETH VARGAS ORDANES VARGAS
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