House declares Bautista impeachment ‘moot’

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THE House committee on justice of the House of Representatives has deemed the impeachment complaint filed against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista “moot and academic” following President Rodrigo Duterte’s acceptance of his resignation.

Bautista stepped down from his post after receiving a letter from the President informing him that his resignation was accepted and that it was “effective immediately.”

“The purpose of the impeachment is to remove the official from the office, and with the resignation of Bautista, the trial in the Senate is rendered moot and academic,” one of the three endorsers of the impeachment complaint, Deputy Speaker and Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, said in a press conference.

“Our meeting this morning is anti-climactic. We no longer treated the main item of the agenda which was for the articles of impeachment to be approved by the committee,” Garcia said.

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Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, justice committee chairman, said that there was nothing to transmit to the Senate.

“Wala na [ng mangyayari]. Magre-report lang ako [sa plenary]kasi overtaken by events, mooted by the acceptance of the resignation. [No turning back], kasi moot na nga, eh,” Umali said.

(Nothing will follow. I will report to the plenary that the impeachment was overtaken by events, mooted by the acceptance of the resignation. No turning back since the complaint has been mooted.)

Umali added that the impeachment complaint would be officially terminated once the committee report was submitted when plenary sessions resume in November.

During the hearing, committee members required the camp of Bautista to submit the definitive statement of the effectivity of the resignation and the Comelec chairman’s conformity by 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bautista resigned over family concerns, which included his estranged wife Patricia who revealed that the then Comelec chief had close to a billion pesos of hidden wealth.

Bautista has denied the allegation. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA

 

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