MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Poll lawyer Sixto Brillantes took his oath on Sunday as the new chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
He took his oath before Supreme Court Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura at around 4 p.m.
Brillantes supposedly chose Nachura because of their connections to the San Beda College of Law.
The appointment of the new Comelec chief was beset by talks of political wrangling allegedly among factions within Malacañang. Some were for Brillantes, while others were rooting for another poll lawyer, Romulo Macalintal.
Brillantes brushed off talks about his rivalry with Macalintal.
The latter was even invited during Sunday afternoon’s affair, but he could not make it since he had to attend to other matters.
Brillantes said he would want to work immediately on election reforms.
These include, among others, the need to hasten decisions on pending cases and election protests.
He also intends to come up with a shortlist for the replacement of outgoing Comelec Commissioners Gregorio Larrazabal and Nicodemo Ferrer.
Brillantes also assured stakeholders that the cases he had handled in the past will not affect his work. Among his well-known clients are the Ampatuan family and former President Joseph Estrada.
Upon learning of his appointment on Saturday, he also immediately resigned his post as counsel for the Nationalist People’s Coalition and the United Opposition. – with reports from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News