Ex-Comelec chief dies after bout with COVID-19

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Ex-Comelec chief dies after bout with COVID-19
Sixto S. Brillantes Jr.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. died yesterday at the Manila Medical Center in Manila. He was 80.

“My boss and former Comelec chair Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. passed away at 11:08 a.m. yesterday. What a great honor to serve the country by your side. Maraming salamat (Thank you so much)!” Brillantes’ former chief of staff Emil Marañon said on his Twitter account.

Brillantes’ death after battling COVID was confirmed yesterday by Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, who said that he would have turned 81 on Aug. 14.

“The Commission en banc, and his entire Comelec family, was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr. At this time of bereavement, the entire Comelec conveys the most heartfelt condolences to (his) family,” Jimenez noted.

He added that as one of the country’s foremost election lawyers, Brillantes “left behind a thriving practice when he was personally selected by then president Benigno Aquino III to lead the Comelec after the successful transition of the country to the Automated Election System in 2010.”

In a Facebook post last July 25, Brillantes’ daughter Zeena requested for prayers for her father’s speedy recovery.

The daughter posted that Brillantes had contracted COVID-19 and was intubated.

Brillantes’ fellow election lawyer Romulo Macalintal described Brillantes, or simply “Boy,” as a “dedicated law practitioner” and a “very loving and caring grandfather.”

“I knew Boy’s honesty and integrity as a lawyer and a public servant … He would be typing his pleadings direct on the typewriter in the ’80s and later on his laptop computer,” he said.

Macalintal added that Brillantes was “always prepared to argue his client’s cause as shown by the outline of his arguments in his own handwriting.”

Malacañang has sent condolences to the family of Brillantes.

“We condole with the family of Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes. He served the nation well,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said. – Christina Mendez


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