Brillantes apologizes to Casiño for ballot mistake

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2013 05:03 PM | Updated as of Jan 26 2013 01:03 AM

Ballot doesn't indicate Casiño's political party

MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes apologized to Makabayan senatorial candidate Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño after his party affiliation was deleted in the final design of the ballots that will be printed for the 2013 mid-term elections.

Brillantes said he found out about this after the end of the configuration or designing of the ballot.

Brillantes said they may not have enough time to correct this as it would require them to start from scratch.

"Problema namin si Teddy Casiño, lumabas na independent pero may partidong Makabayan," he said.

The poll chief explained that to save on printing costs, they will no longer indicate "IND" or independent after the name of independent candidates.

Candidates with parties have the registered initials of the party written after their name.

Brillantes assured Casiño though that this will not affect the counting of votes for him.

"Kung aabot, ihahabol namin. We will apologize, we're very sorry kung nangyari iyan. ‘Di ko pa naco-confirm kung kaya (habulin)," he said.

Brillantes added that due to time constraints, the Comelec cannot even accommodate any further rulings of the Supreme Court on the candidacies of parties who elevated problems to the high court.

Makabayan is registered with the poll body.

Party affiliation is crucial to substitutions in case a candidate dies before the elections.

Only candidates with parties may be substituted at this point since the deadline for filing substitutions already lapsed last December 21.

Casiño, meanwhile, said the error is “unacceptable.”

“This is plain and simple negligence. In the practice of our electoral rights there should be no mistakes. This time, it is a printed matter, but next time it may be the votes, so we must not let this pass. I hope that the Comelec can correct this because they were given enough time since October to do their jobs. They should not allow the voice or party of the common man be marginalized or unrecognized,” said Casiño.