Sixto Brillantes Jr., a former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson, died on Tuesday, a few days before his 81st birthday on August 14, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez announced on Tuesday.

“This is to confirm the passing of former Chairperson Sixto S. Brillantes Jr., today at a little past 11 a.m.,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez did not divulge the cause of death but Brillantes’s daughter posted on her Facebook account in July that her father contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and had been intubated at the Medical Center Manila. Brillantes was 80 years old.

Meanwhile, Comelec released a separate statement paying tribute to their former chief. According to the election commission, Brillantes was one of the country’s foremost election lawyers who spearheaded the establishment of transparency measures for automated elections.

“A staunch defender of the integrity of the Comelec, Chairman Brillantes zealously went after those who sought to undermine public confidence in the electoral system, sanctioning actions that would bring violators of election laws to justice,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque offered the Palace’s condolences.

“We condole with the family of Chair Brillantes, and of course he served the nation well when he was the chairman of the Comelec,” he said during a televised briefing.

Brillantes was Comelec chairman from January 2011 to February 2015. RJ Espartinez