Ex-lawmaker to file impeach rap vs Bautista


An impeachment complaint will be filed on Wednesday against embattled Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista before the House of Representatives for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution, according to Manuelito Lito, counsel for complainants former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio.

Lito said on Monday that a congressman had agreed to endorse the complaint but he did not identify the lawmaker.

“We already have secured the commitment of at least one congressman, who will accompany us when we formally file the impeachment complaint against Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Wednesday at 1 p.m. before the House secretary-general,” Luna told The Manila Times in a phone interview.

Luna said his clients were impelled to file the complaint against Bautista for betrayal of public trust and for culpable violation of the Constitution.

“He failed to file his SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth) in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, glaring disproportionality between his income as Comelec chair and [his 2016 declared]assets, liabilities and net worth and accountability for the data breach and the script tweak of the server during the 2016 elections, reported receipt of referral fees or commissions from the Divina Law Office, and incessant pattern of arbitrary, unilateral, or unauthorized acts in breach of collegiality to the great prejudice of the public,” said Luna, who is also a member of the legal team of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).

Among the evidence to be presented are the certified copies of Bautista’s 35 bank accounts with the Luzon Development Bank (LDB) and RCBC and other documents earlier submitted by the Comelec chief’s estranged wife Patricia Bautista to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and his 2016 SALN.

Patricia claimed that her husband had amassed at least P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth.

Bautista had denied the allegations.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier said that Bautista should consider resigning from his post. He added that the allegations of corruption and money laundering were serious, thus the House Committee on Justice will determine if the impeachment complaint to be filed is sufficient in form and in substance.


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