‘Fight far from over’

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THE fight is far from over.

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This was the message of the camp of Patricia Bautista a day after the House of Representatives junked the impeachment complaint filed against her estranged husband, Andres Bautista, chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The House committee on justice found the complaint “insufficient in form and substance.”
Lorna Kapunan, Patricia’s lawyer, expressed hope that the impeachment complaint will be revived.

“We are still optimistic that Congress would vote in favor of finding out the truth,” Kapunan said in a text message to The Manila Times.

Kapunan added that their camp is studying their next step.

“When the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) finishes its investigation, and affirms our plunder complaint, we will file the appropriate charges, including disbarment charges,” Kapunan said.

Meanwhile, former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras, one of those who file the impeachment complaints against Bautista, said that they are considering filing a petition at the Supreme Court.

“The refusal of the committee on justice to allow amendments 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 their impeachment complaint, Paras and Ferdinand Topacio accused Bautista of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. They claimed that Bautista’s neglect of duty resulted in the massive hacking of voters’ personal information and the tampering of the “transparency server” that broadcast results during the 2016 national elections.

Patricia had accused her husband of amassing P1 billion ill-gotten wealth.

She said the dismissal of the impeachment complaint is just “a bump on the road” and that their camp will not abandon their efforts for the truth to surface.

“We remain undeterred and this is just the start. We believe in the system and the goodness of the people and their good sense. At the end of the day, we trust in what will be. I would like to think that Filipino people are smarter than what we would like to think. It is what it is,” Patricia said.

“One year is a very long time. I think light can come in very different forms and there are a lot of different venues for light to shine for this matter,” she said.

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