Rafanan wants Brillantes investigated by Ombudsman

By Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 12 2011 03:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 13 2011 02:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department chief Ferdinand Rafanan wants Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. investigated for his alleged hand in the downgraded penalty imposed on those involved in the ballot secrecy folder scam.

In an interview with dzMM, Rafanan claimed Brillantes asked him to talk to the Ombudsman as to how the suspension against those involved will be limited to 6 months instead of the original 1 year suspension.

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended for 6 months lawyers Maria Lea Alarcon and Allen Francis Abaya in connection with the allegedly questionable bidding process for the secrecy folders.

“Sabi niya, ‘how are you related to lawyer Asryman Rafanan (spokesman of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales)?’ Sabi niya puntahan ko. ‘Gusto ko tulungan natin ang mga taong ito…You were the one who investigated, you know how to absolve them.’ Parang ganun ang dinig ko, pero dine-deny niya,” Rafanan said.

He said the meeting was recorded, and he is now asking for an authentic copy of it as well as its transcript. He claimed, however, that the full court has made it a subject of an upcoming meeting whether or not to furnish him with a copy.

“This should be investigated by the Ombudsman or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP),” he said.

Asked if he would be filing the complaint, he said: “Mas maganda siguro kung IBP na lang…para ako din ay tignan nila.

Brillantes was unavailable for comment.

In his defense, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told abs-cbnNEWS.com the poll body will ask Rafanan “to substantiate his wild allegations.”

He said Brillantes merely asked for a clarification if an earlier preventive suspension against the lawyers could already be credited to the latest suspension order.

He said Comelec will be making public the transcripts and the tape Rafanan is talking about.

Rafanan was recently made director of the planning department. Asked if it was a punishment against Rafanan, Jimenez said: “It’s a good position…but it came out as a result of his defiance.”

He noted there was “internal friction” within the law department when Rafanan was still there. “As Commissioner Lagman put it, he has an [emotional quotient] problem. Rafanan has problems getting along with others.”