Comelec chief denies 'bribing' senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2011 09:23 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2011 10:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The chairman of the Commission on Elections denied Tuesday allegations that he tried to pressure Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to vote for his confirmation at the Commission on Appointments in exchange for a favorable decision on the election case of the senator's wife.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that while he has influence over the case of Taguig Mayor Laarni Cayetano, he did not use it as leverage in his confirmation as Comelec chief.

Brillantes said he inhibited himself in the case of Mayor Cayetano.

“Ni-ayaw ko ngang tignan yung mga folder nung kaso e, para wala nang masabi si Senator Cayetano. Pina-atras ko na yung dating law office para hindi na ko makialam,” he told radio dzMM on Tuesday.

Cayetano, a member of the Commission on Appointments, alleged that Brillantes sent an emissary to pressure him to give in to demands.

Brillantes admitted that he asked a “common friend” to talk to Cayetano, but not to bribe or blackmail him.

The Comelec chief said he wanted to set up a meeting with Cayetano to air out their differences but that he had no intentions of discussing the case of Cayetano’s wife.

“Gusto ko lang siya makausap para lang maipaliwanag ang side ko. Sa talambuhay ko bilang abogado, bilang tao, hindi ko ginagawa yung [bribery]. May record naman ako na magsasabi na hindi ganyan ang pagkatao ko,” explained Brillantes.

Brillantes told radio dzMM that he will hold a press conference on April 5 to present his defense against Cayetano’s grave allegations.