House panel misses chance to grill Comelec chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2017 03:52 PM

Commission on Elections Chairperson Andres Bautista ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Lawmakers on Monday missed a chance to question Commission on Elections Chairperson Andres Bautista on allegations of corruption as he skipped a House committee hearing on the postponement of the October village polls. 

Bautista told reporters he will instead visit Davao for a public hearing on the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in Mindanao, which has been placed under martial law due to a terror attack in Marawi City. 

The poll chief informed House suffrage committee chairperson Sherwin Tugna last week about the public hearing and that Comelec Commissioner Art Lim will represent him in the panel hearing. 

Bautista came under fire last week after his estranged wife said he had nearly P1 billion in unexplained wealth. He has denied the allegation and accused his wife of engaging in a demolition job. 

The House suffrage committee scheduled Monday's hearing to discuss a bill seeking to reschedule the 2017 Barangay and SK elections to May 2018. 

The bill will implement a consensus reached in a caucus last week, where lawmakers agreed to keep incumbent barangay officials in a hold over capacity. 

President Duterte has asked for the postponement of the polls in a bid to weed out barangay officials allegedly linked to illicit drugs. 

The postponement of the polls would also synchronize the elections with a possible plebiscite to amend the 1987 Charter. -- Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News