Committee Chairman Rey Umali said; “The only purpose of impeachment is to remove. Had COMELEC Chair Andres Bautista resigned effective immediately, that would have ended the issue on impeachment.” Bautista tendered his resignation after all 6 Comelec commissioners pushed him to either take a leave or resign, as they said he “can no longer effectively lead the election body.” He faces a feud over money with his estranged wife, Patricia, whom he sued for robbery and extortion. Bautista was appointed by then-President Noynoy Aquino as Comelec chairman. Before this, he was chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government that sequestered the Marcoses’ wealth.
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Election 2016 Integrity
In his letter of his resignation, Bautista stresses that the 2016 elections under his watch, “was hailed by independent and foreign observers as the best managed and most credible in the country’s electoral history.” “I am thankful for the love, prayers, and support you have shown me, most especially during my most challenging times. Amid the hurtful, baseless, and malicious accusations hurled against me, most of you never left my side,” Bautista said.
Bautista announced that he is resigning from his post by the end of the year. “It is with deep sadness that I am informing you of my decision to resign as the chair of the Commission on Elections by the end of the year,” Bautista said in a letter to the Comelec. “After much prayer and discernment, I believe that this is the right time to step down given the postponement of the barangay and SK elections. This was not an easy decision. But my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever,” Bautista said. This prompts the Congress to facilitate a voting. At 137-75 votes, the House of Representatives overturned its Justice Committee’s recommendation that dismissed the complaint against Bautista filed by former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
Give Time for the President
The outgoing COMELEC Chair said that he has already filed a resignation letter in Malacañang. He said his resignation is effective by December 31, 2017. “I also want to give our President time to choose my successor,” He added. However, after the voting, KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Harry Roque sent out a tweet saying, “We have more than 100 no votes. Andy Bautista is impeached!”
Effects on the Election Protest