MANILA - Dr. Martin Bautista, brother of outgoing Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, believes the impeachment of his sibling, which came just hours after he announced his resignation Wednesday, is just meant to shame him.
Speaking to ANC via Skype, the Oklahoma-based physician slammed lawmakers who voted for impeachment, saying the case that will be resolved anyway in the proper forum when Bautista's resignation takes effect.
"They want Congress all of a sudden to burden the Senate with another responsibility that is going to be resolved anyway by the proper authorities, namely the [National Bureau of Investigation], the Ombudsman, the [Bureau of Internal Revenue] and all the other investigative units," he said Thursday.
A total of 137 lawmakers voted to impeach Bautista yesterday, overturning the House justice committee's dismissal of the complaint against him due to defective verification.
Manuelito Luna, counsel for the complainants in the Bautista case, said the Comelec chief may have had inside information that the plenary would overturn the House justice committee decision and that he wanted to preempt the Congress' action.
"This is the fault of the chairman of the Comelec for styling his letter of resignation that way. He should have made it irrevocable and immediate," he said, accusing Bautista of "playing games" with the lawmakers.
Dr. Bautista denied the lawyer's accusations, saying that his brother filed an irrevocable and immediate resignation effective December 31, 2017 to give President Rodrigo Duterte enough time to look for a replacement.
He said that Bautista is ready to face his accusers in any court or proper venue as they can account for every peso in his possession. "We've done our homework."
He also assured the public that the real amount of his brother's wealth is "significantly less" than the P1.2 billion accused by the Comelec chief's estranged wife, Patricia.