An election lawyer who is rumored to replace retiring Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. has refused the position in favor of a run for the Senate in the 2016 polls.
But Brillantes on Tuesday said he was not endorsing election lawyer Romulo Macalintal as his would-be successor.
Macalintal and Brillantes were the final two choices of President Benigno Aquino 3rd to replace Jose Melo as Comelec chairman in 2011 after Melo resigned.
Aside from Macalintal, also rumored to be a possible replacement for the top Comelec post is Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima.
Again, Brillantes said he is not nominating de Lima to succeed him.
He added that both Macalintal and de Lima had recently expressed personally their disinterest in heading the Comelec.
The poll body chief said de Lima had repeatedly told him not to push for her appointment to the commission once he retires next year.
The Comelec Employees’ Union (Comelec-EU) earlier appealed to Malacañang to appoint “insiders” as successors to Brillantes as well as Senior Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph, who are also set to leave government service in 2015.
The Palace over the weekend said President Benigno Aquino 3rd is “cognizant of the call to appoint an insider [who will succeed Brillantes].”
But it added that the President would also consider the “best possible candidates” for the other posts to be vacated.
On February 2, Brillantes, Yusoph and Tagle are all set to retire from the Comelec after completing their respective seven-year terms.