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Bautista’s impeachment trial could take place first week of December — Sotto

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Impeachment proceedings of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista could take place as early as late next month or first week of December, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.

“If they will transmit the (articles of impeachment), if we accept the impeachment transmittal, we will meet. We will probably call a caucus on how to conduct ourselves as an impeachment court. And then most probably, we will adopt the previous impeachment rules that we have been using and then we will prepare for the impeachment trial,” he said.

“Upon receipt of the articles of impeachment, the Senate shall forthwith specify the date and time to consider the articles (of impeachment). The Senate president shall inform the House of Representatives that we are ready to receive the prosecutors at specified time and date. We then give notice to the Comelec chief to attend as we consider the articles. The Senate then organizes itself as an impeachment court,” Sotto added.

But in all likelihood, trial begins in January, after the congressional Christmas break, the Senate leader said.

In the event that Bautista’s impeachment proceedings will prosper, the Senate president will be the presiding officer, he added.

If Bautista will immediately resign from his post, Sotto said there will likely be no impeachment trial that will take place since the objective of the conduct of the proceedings is to remove him from office.

The senator said they will have to squeeze in their tight schedule the trial proceedings.

Currently, the upper chamber is conducting marathon deliberations on the proposed 2018 national budget and will take up next the tax reform package sought to be on place by the administration.

“We will find time. It’s part of our job, it’s part of our work, so we will find time.

Magiging umaga ang session, hapon yung impeachment trial,” he said.