President Rodrigo Duterte said he saw no reason to put Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on trial, saying that “by resigning, he has removed himself” from office.
Duterte made the statement as he confirmed that he had accepted Bautista’s resignation.
In a television interview, the President said he was surprised that the House of Representatives impeached Bautista after the Comelec chief quit his post.
“Nag-taka ako, I think it was the other day, meron siyang resignation. Mukhang pinirmahan ko kasi mas mabuti `yung mas maalis siya diyan (I was surprised. I think it was the other day, he filed his resignation. I think I signed it because it would be better if he left),” Duterte said in an interview aired on state-owned PTV on Friday night.
“I don’t know if you can still impeach him or not because by resigning, he has removed himself,” he added.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 137-75, overruled the earlier dismissal of the impeachment complaint against Bautista, despite his announcement earlier that day that he would leave office on December 31, 2017.