WATCH | Comelec chair prepared to answer impeachment complaint

August 24, 2017 - 9:54 AM
Andres Bautista
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista. File Photo by EDD GUMBAN, Philstar

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE – 12:44 p.m.) Embattled Commission on Elections chairman Andy Bautista said he is prepared to face the impeachment complaint filed against him at the House of Representatives and answer the allegations at the proper time and place.

After his absence at the first briefing of the Comelec’s proposed 2018 budget, Bautista appeared at the House of Representatives on Thursday, August 24, to defend the P16.1-billion appropriation for the poll body.

The impeachment complaint against Bautista was filed on Wednesday, August 23, by lawyer Ferdinand Topacio and former congressman Jacinto Paras.

The complaint, which accuses the Comelec chair of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, has been endorsed by Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia, Kabayan Representative Harrry Roque and Cavite Representative Abraham Tolentino.

Bautista has been accused by his estranged wife, Patricia, of alleged amassing at last P1 billion in unexplained wealth.

Stressing he has yet to see a copy of the complaint, Bautista told reporters before the budget briefing: “Iyan ay ipapaliwanag sa tamang pamahon at sa tamang lugar (That will be explained at the proper time and place).”

Asked if he was inclined to take a leave of absence, he said: “Iyan ang ating tinitimbang, kung ano ang susunod na hakbang at siyepmpre kailangan protektahan ang mga interes, unang-una na ang aking pamilya, (at) interes din ng Comelec (We are weighing that, what the next steps should be and of course the need to protect the interests of, first of all my family, and the interests of the Comelec).”

He added that resignation is also among the options he is considering.