Bautista ready to face impeach rap, mulls leave or resignation

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COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista said on Thursday that he was ready to face the impeachment complaint filed against him.

“Iyan ay ipapaliwanag sa tamang panahon at sa tamang lugar (That will be explained at the right time and the right place),” said Bautista in an ambush interview at the budget hearing of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at the House of Representatives.

The poll body chief answered, “Oo naman (Of course)”, when asked if he was ready to face impeachment.

Bautista’s estranged wife, Patricia, claimed that he amassed nearly P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth.


“Bautista culpably violated the Constitution and/or betrayed the public trust when he failed to truthfully, accurately, or completely disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth…,” former Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras of Negros Oriental and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio alleged in the complaint filed on Wednesday.

They also alleged that “he betrayed the public trust when he neglected his duties and responsibilities as head of agency, particularly in collecting and further processing of personal data, which led to unnecessary exposure of personal and sensitive information of millions of Filipinos, and obstructed justice when he cleared Smartmatic and Comelec IT specialists of any wrongdoing for the so-called script tweak during the consolidation/canvassing of results in the May 2016 election, among others.”

Bautista also said that he was considering taking a leave of absence.

“Ngayon ang ating mga tinitimbang kung ano ang susunod na hakbang. At siyempre gusto nating protektahan ‘yung mga interes unang-una ng aking pamilya, interes din ng Comelec. Kaya’t iyan ang ating pinag-aaralan, pinag-iisipan, at pinagdarasalan,” he said when asked if he was planning to go on leave.

(Right now we are weighing in on the next step to take. And of course we want to protect the interests, first of all, my family’s, also Comelec’s. So that is what we are studying, thinking of, and praying about.)

When asked if resignation was among the options, Bautista said: “Lahat ng options naman kino-consider natin e (I am considering all options).”

 

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