House panel to tackle Bautista impeachment next

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2017 05:40 PM

File photo: Comelec Chair Andres Bautista, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Committee on Justice at the House of Representatives will soon start deliberations on the form and substance of the impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista, the panel chair said Wednesday.

"The Bautista complaint is due for hearing, scheduled for hearing on Tuesday," said Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, chair of the justice committee.

The panel on Wednesday voted that Atty. Lorenzo Gadon's impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was sufficient in form and substance. It however dismissed the complaint filed by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chairman Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. president Atty. Eligio Mallari for insufficiency in form.

Ouster raps against the poll chief meanwhile alleged he had misdeclared his wealth in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities Net worth (SALN).

It was filed by former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras, lawyers Ferdinand Topacio and Manuelito Luna, and were endorsed by Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque, and Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino.

Bautista's estranged wife, Patricia, had claimed she discovered bank and real property documents, and several passbooks under her husband's name that were not included in his 2016 SALN.

Among the documents Patricia showed were passbooks under two branches of the Luzon Development Bank amounting to a total of P300 million. She also showed envelopes that were apparently pay slips, still with cash inside.

The Comelec chief, however, denied his wife's claim that he did not declare nearly P1 billion of his wealth and accused her of attempting to extort money from him and having an affair.