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
Senate orders arrest of ex-poll chief Andres Bautista over hidden wealth
FILE PHOTO – Ex-poll chief Andres Bautista
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies decides to cite in contempt former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.
“Directing that the chairman be arrested and deliver to the Senate if and when he arrives,” said the committee’s chair Sen. Francis Escudero.
The committee also asked the Senate president to issue a warrant of arrest against the former poll chief after he failed to attend for the third time the Senate’s hearing on his alleged ill-gotten wealth.
“Maliwanag na iniiwasan niya ang proseso ng pagdinig (It’s clear that he is avoiding the process of the hearing),” said Escudero.
In a letter he sent to the Senate, Bautista explained that he did not receive any subpoena from the Senate and that he learned of the invitation only from the media.
Bautista claimed he is currently abroad and is suffering various health concerns due to hypertension.
However, the Senate committee doubts Bautista’s explanation. Based on the records of the Bureau of Immigration gathered by the committee, Bautista left the country on October 28, 2017, and returned on November 1st of the same year.
Escudero dared Bautista to sign a waiver that would allow the committee to examine his bank accounts.
Bautista’s wife also calls on the former poll chief to face and answer all the issues.
“You know out of respect for the Senate please appear because that the least you can do, answer the questions that are people are asking,” said Patricia Bautista, and estranged wife of ex-poll chief.
Based on the allegation of Mrs. Patricia Bautista, the former Comelec chief has 35 accounts in the Luzon Development Bank, reaching a total amount of 329-million pesos. The amount is contrary to his declared assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN). — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
Senate issues subpoena vs. ex-poll chief Andy Bautista
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies issued a subpoena against former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista.
This was due to Bautista’s failure to attend a Senate hearing, Tuesday, regarding his alleged hidden wealth.
Based on the subpoena, Bautista is ordered to attend the next Senate inquiry on the 12th of February.
Should the former poll chief fail to appear anew, the Senate warned of citing him in contempt and ordering his arrest.
The committee of Senator Francis Escudero has been conducting hearings since August of last year in connection with accusations that Bautista violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act. – UNTV News & Rescue
Probe will proceed despite Bautista’s resignation – Sen. Escudero
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Banks and Financial Institutions and Currencies will continue its investigation into an alleged ill-gotten wealth of resigned Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.
The committee’s chairman Senator Francis Escudero said it will now be easier for them to invite Bautista since he no longer has immunity from the suit after leaving government service.
Escudero explained that the former Comelec chief left many unanswered questions during the previous hearing of the Senate.
These include the senator’s notes, the discovery of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Fraud Division of suspicious transactions in the Luzon Development Bank.
The NBI claimed to have discovered accounts of the companies sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government under the leadership of Bautista.
“According to regulation, all deposits of an agency and companies owned by the government sequestered or not, should be put to the government depository bank, landbank or DBP. It’s better to ask chairman Bautista why he decides to transfer all of it there,” said Escudero.
The senator said that if the former poll chief fails to answer the questions during the next senate inquiry, he might face multiple charges.
“If he could not explain, where the money comes from, his unexplained wealth, he may face graft or plunder,” said Escudero.
Bautista previously said he was ready to face and answer all allegations being thrown against him particularly by his wife, Mrs. Patricia Bautista. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue