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Comelec chair Bautista maintains he will not step down ahead of his resignation
by UNTV News | Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista was surprised over the results of the voting at the House of Representatives, Wednesday, where the majority of lamwakers voted to impeach him.
In a vote of 137 – 75 – 2, the impeachment complaint against the poll chief passed in the Lower House of Congress and is now being forwarded to the Senate, which will stand as the impeachment court.
“We know that the House Committee on Justice dismissed the impeachment complaint. Not just once but twice. That’s why when they voted in the plenary… I never anticipated the result. But I respect their opinion,” Bautista said.
Bautista, however, insists that he upholds his decision to remain as the poll chief until December.
It can be recalled that before the voting on the impeachment complaint in the plenary, Bautista announced his resignation effective on the first day of January next year.
He said until the President issued a decision on the matter, and until Mr. Duterte finds a replacement, his work in the commission continues.
“I think it is disrespect to the President. We should give the President the time to answer my letter. If he thinks I must be replaced immediately, I am okay with that,” Bautista said.
But Bautista said before he submitted his resignation letter to the President, he met first with executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last Tuesday.
He said they agreed that he will leave his position on the 31st of December to give the President the time to find a replacement.
“In fact, he even asked me if I can recommend someone to replace me. And I asked him if they have already someone in mind, he said none,” Bautista said.
The poll chief said he is now preparing to face the impeachment court as well as the new case his wife plans to file against him. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
by UNTV News | Posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2017
Manila, Philippines – The camp of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has filed a rejoinder to the House Committee on Justice, Monday.
It was the chief justice’s answer to the verified reply submitted by Atty. Lary Gadon, the complainant of the impeachment rap against her.
The rejoinder states that Gadon failed to prove his allegations written in the complaint.
It also restates the appeal of the Chief Justice to dismiss the impeachment complaint.
“Iginigiit uli ni Chief Justice na karapat-dapat nang ibasura yung impeachment compaint laban sa kanya. Kung sakaling magdesisyon ang mga miyembro ng House Committee on Justice na ipagpatuloy ang pagdinig, patuloy pa rin ang kanyang panawagan na sana igalang ang kanilang House rules on impeachment kasama na dito ang paggalang sa kanyang karapatan na makumpronta ang mga testigo laban sa kanya,” said CJ Sereno’s spokesperson Atty. Josa Deinla.
(Translation: The chief justice insists the dismissal of the impeachment complaint against her. Should the House Committee on Justice decide to push through with the hearing, she will continue to appeal for the observance of the House rules on impeachment which includes respecting her right to confront the witnesses against her.) – UNTV News & Rescue
by UNTV | Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on justice junked the impeachment complaint filed against Commission on Election (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista, voting 26-2.
“The result of the voting on the sufficiency in form of the complaint renders this complaint dismissed,” said House committee on justice chairman Rep. Rey Umali.
The committee declared the complaint insufficient in form because of defects the lawmakers’ found in the documents.
The complainant and endorsers of the complaint attempted to submit a new set or substitute verification to correct the defective entry but the committee refused to accept it.
“The substitution is not prohibited there is nothing explicitly provided in the rules which provides that any matter form cannot be corrected,” said Rep. Harry Roque, the endorser of the complaint.
“The substitute verification has no legal basis in the rules for procedure of impeachment cases of the house, there is no specific rule granting any party the right to amend the verification of the complaint for that matter,” said Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
“If you look at this motion to admit, in its certification you’d find errors. It says, ‘I certified that I have examined the affiance and I am satisfied and understood the contents of the complaint.’ Yet, it did not mention of the complaint here,” said House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas.
The poll chief’s estranged wife, Tish Bautista, who also attended the hearing, is disappointed on the outcome of the hearing.
“From my experience, as Andy said, he has, he knows, many people in very high places. This is the proof to that,” she said.
In a statement, Chairman Bautista thanked the committee for upholding the rule of law and for their objectivity and fairness.
Bautista added that with the dismissal of the complaint, it will be business as usual at the Comelec and vowed to carry on with the agency’s mandate in respect of the credible conduct of the Philippine elections. —Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — It is the obligation of government officials to declare a statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN).
But the Civil Service Commission (CSC) emphasized, public officials should also declare in their SALN the amount of their properties in their families’ wealth.
“You cannot say that just because it is co-owned, you can no longer declare it. You should still declare the portion of the property that belongs to you. Because that’s yours, and you should declare it in your SALN,” said CSC Assistant Commissioner Aries Ronquillo.
It can be noted that the wife of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista has accused him of hiding some of his wealth which had reached to almost one billion pesos.
The poll chief said he did not declare in his SALN his portion in his family’s wealth.
Bautista’s asset is P176-million according to his 2016 SALN.
The poll chief is now facing an impeachment complaint in connection with his allegedly questionable SALN and hidden wealth.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now conducting a separate investigation on the matter.
The Comelec chairman has initially said he is ready to defend himself from the said accusations.
Meanwhile, the CSC plans to launch next year an electronic SALN or e-SALN.
With this, government officials can file their SALN online.
“If it’s stated in your computer yearly… If you need to file, you’ll just have to retrieve it, and if you need to revise some figures, you can easily do so,” said Ronquillo. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
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