Brawner’s gambit

He can tell the truth, but can he count? I was tempted to dismiss the rather forthright statement of election commissioner Felix Brawner, that the Commission of Elections had no choice but to dismiss any people’s initiative because of the absence of an enabling law, as a mere playing to the gallery. He was, after all, testifying before the Commission on Appointments, which is meeting to decide whether to confirm his appointment or not. It made for a nice contrast with the weaselly wisdom of Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos, who said the Comelec was prepared to help verify the signatures in the Malacanang-approved initiative-by-barangay-assembly.

“As soon as a petition is filed, we have no recourse but to dismiss the petition. There’s no implementing law,” Comelec Commissioner Romeo Brawner said during his confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointments.

Then it occurred to me. The administration majority in the House, which is pushing Charter change through the initiative, is amply represented in the CA. All the administration needs to stop Brawner’s confirmation, or at least bypass it, is for one House member of the CA to blackball him. Surely the "no recourse but dismiss" answer, so clear even a Palace functionary can hear it, is not what Malacanang, the DILG, and the House majority had in mind?

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2 Comments

Filed under Readings in Politics

2 responses to “Brawner’s gambit

  1. manuelbuencamino

    Hmmmm…. and then he experiences an epiphany and changes his mind

  2. Curioser and curioser. I just saw Comelec chair Abalos on TV point to a thick book of black-letter law, to justify his Palace-favorable interpretation of Comelec’s initiative-related activities. I don’t think he was referring to the 1997 Supreme Court decision striking down the defective enabling law. What role does that decision play in his lawyerly mind, I wonder?

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