Wife must testify vs Comelec's Bautista, says impeach endorser


Posted at Aug 24 2017 10:20 AM | Updated as of Aug 24 2017 10:41 AM

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The impeachment case against beleaguered Commission on Elections chairperson Andres Bautista will not prosper at the House of Representatives unless his wife testifies on his alleged misdeclaration of wealth, a lawmaker said Thursday.

The complaint against Bautista cites an affidavit by his wife Patricia, who earlier claimed that the poll chief amassed P1 billion in undeclared assets, Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia told radio DZMM.

The House justice committee, Garcia said, will summon Patricia to attest to the truthfulness of her affidavit and present evidence, thus satisfying the requirement for impeachment cases to be based on personal knowledge.

In an interview with ANC, Patricia earlier showed passbooks and envelopes containing cash that allegedly belong to her husband. One passbook presented by Mrs. Bautista showed amounts totaling P300 million.

The Comelec chief has denied the allegations and accused his wife of having an affair and attempting to extort a P620 million settlement.

Garcia was among 3 lawmakers who endorsed Wednesday the impeachment case against Bautista for supposed betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

The House justice committee is set to determine whether the complaint is sufficient in form and substance, and if there is probable cause to pursue it.
If the committee finds probable cause, it will then file a formal resolution setting the Articles of Impeachment.

At least one-third of House members need to vote for the Articles of Impeachment so it can be endorsed to the Senate, which will then conduct a full-blown trial.

The Comelec chief refrained from commenting on the complaint, saying the welfare of his children is his primary priority.