House panel reschedules Bautista impeachment hearing

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2017 02:14 PM

MANILA - The Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives will begin deliberation on the verified impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista on Wednesday, its chairman said Monday.

Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali said he moved the hearing to Wednesday from supposed Tuesday after the members asked for a rescheduling due to a meeting of Southeast Asian lawmakers.

The Philippine House of Representatives is hosting the 38th Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) General Assembly at the Makati Shangri-La until Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected at the closing rites of the AIPA.

Umali said the committee will decide on Wednesday if it will allow endorsers of the impeachment complaint to amend their verification of the complaint.

His comment was echoed by ABS Party list Rep. Eugene Michael de Vera, a member of the Justice Committee.

"Ang final decision pa rin diyan sa plenary kung tatanggapin ng plenary or hindi. The rules are silent kaya depende po yan sa Committee on Justice kung ano..pleasure and discretion," he said.

"Yung sagot ko kanina based on withdrawal of complaint pero ito naman di naman wini-withdraw, magmo-motion lang sila to amend the verification. That will be to the sound discretion of the justice committee," he added.

De Vera said he will be strict since it was he who had moved in the Duterte impeachment that the verification of complaints not be flawed upon filing.

”Ako po strikto nung una ako lone dissenter eh una pa lang pag finile mo yan tignan mong tama kaagad complaint mo kundi idi-dismiss dapat," he said.

Last week, Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas asked for the dismissal of the Dante Jimenez-Eligio Mallari complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as it used the wrong format for verification. Farinas noted the complaint used a verification that is used only by complaints with the endorsement of 1/3 of all the congressmen upon filing.