Bautista says impeachment vote 'unfortunate'


Posted at Oct 11 2017 07:38 PM

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista on Wednesday said the decision of lawmakers in the House of Representatives to impeach him is "unfortunate," saying the move may no longer be necessary since he will only occupy his post until the end of the year.

Bautista, who announced his resignation on Wednesday morning, expressed his dismay over the move of the lower House, but assured that he will abide by the rules of the impeachment process.

"While it may be an unnecessary move since I already tendered my resignation to the President today effective end of the year to ensure a smooth transition, I will abide by the Constitution and the relevant rules regarding the impeachment process," he said in a statement on his Twitter account.

A total of 137 lawmakers voted to impeach Bautista, overturning the House justice committee's dismissal of the complaint against him. Outnumbered were 75 others who voted to junk the ouster complaint. Two others abstained. 

The vote overturned the earlier decision of the House Committee on Justice which recommended the dismissal of the complaint because it was found to be insufficient in form due to defective verification.

The complaint against Bautista was filed by lawyers Jacinto Paras and Ferdinand Topacio and stemmed from corruption allegations made by the poll chief's estranged wife Patricia.

Lorna Kapunan, a lawyer of Patricia, said they feel "vindicated" by Bautista's impeachment.

"We feel vindicated that the House Plenary voted to reverse the Justice Committee and impeach Chairman Bautista. The resignation letter where the Chairman did not resign effective immediately worked against him as it trivialized the seriousness of the charges of plunder and corruption against him and effectively undermined the respect due Congress," Kapunan said in a statement.

Kapunan added that their camp is prepared to substantiate charges against the poll chief when the Senate begins the impeachment proceedings.

Congress adjourns this week and will resume session on November 13. It adjourns for the Christmas break on December 15.

This will give the Senate only less than a month for Bautista's impeachment trial.