Comelec chief far from being off the hook, says ex-wife’s lawyer

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COMMISSION on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista is far from being off the hook even after the House of Representatives dismissed the impeachment complaint filed against him.

Lawyer Lorna Kapunan whose client is Bautista’s estranged wife Patricia said she remained hopeful that one-third of the congressmen would overturn the decision of the House committee on justice.

This means that the House will need 98 votes to impeach Bautista.

“We are still optimistic that since it only is insufficiency of form not substance, Congress will vote in favor of finding out the truth,” Kapunan said in a text message to The Manila Times.


Kapunan added that the camp was still studying its next step, but one thing is certain — appropriate charges will would filed.

“When NBI finishes its investigation and affirms our plunder complaint, we will file the appropriate charges against [Bautista’s family, lawyers, Smartmatic and others that are involved], including disbarment charges,” Kapunan said.

Former Rep. Jacinto Paras of Negros Oriental, one of two complainants against Bautista, said that its camp was studying going to the Supreme Court on petition for Certiorari.

“The refusal of the Committee on justice to allow amendment or substitution of the verification, which is a mere formality, should not be a reason to thwart substantial justice. Public interest demands that Bautista must be made to answer through impeachment his amassing of ill gotten wealth,” Paras said in a separate text message.

“Public interest demands that Bautista must be made to answer through impeachment his amassing of ill-gotten wealth,” Paras added.

”We are studying going to the Supreme Court on Petition for Certiorari. The decision of the majority of the members of the Committee on Justice is a grave abuse of discretion reviewable by the Supreme Court on their power of Judicial Review. The refusal of the committee on justice to allow amendment or substitution of the verification, which is a mere formality, should be a reason to thwart substantial justice. Public interest demands that Bautista must be made to answer the accusations against him.

The report of the justice committee will still have to be approved or disapproved  by 1/3 ( 98 votes) at the plenary.

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