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Buking ang plano! Alvarez: Bautista resigned to preempt impeachment by House

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Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista announced his resignation to preempt the House of Representatives from impeaching him, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said.

In an interview over dzMM Thursday (October 11), Alvarez said Bautista’s resignation was a calculated move.

“Siguro baka naman nakatunog siya na medyo matatalo siya sa plenaryo, inunahan na niya ng resignation pero ginawa niyang end of the year di ba?” he said.

Alvarez added that Bautista may have indicated the effectivity of his resignation to be the end of the year to convince lawmakers not to proceed with impeaching him.

But since Bautista’s resignation isn’t effective immediately, the Speaker said there was no stopping ther House from impeaching him.

“Kung ang resignation niya is effective immediately, wala na pong i-impeach. Pero since end of the year pa, ay puwede pa namin siyang i-impeach although that does not prevent him from resigning today, tonight, tomorrow hindi ba? Para wala ng impeachment trial,” he said.

Voting 137-75 with two abstentions, the House plenary voted to overturn the Justice Committee’s report dismissing the impeachment complaint against Bautista for being insufficient in form.

The panel is expected to prepare the articles of impeachment against Bautista soon and transmit them to the Senate for trial.

Alvarez said he is convinced that the charges against Bautista are serious and should be answered in an impeachment trial.

“Merong charges of corruption, merong charges yung involvement sa Smartmatic – ito ay paglapastangan sa boto. Hindi ho katanggap-tanggap ito. Kailangan imbestigahan talaga ito,” he said.

The complainants in Bautista’s impeachment case, former lawmaker Jacinto Paras and abogado Ferdinand Topacio, have accused him of betrayal of public trust due to his failure to address the hacking of the Comelec website in March 2015 and making misdeclarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

They also claimed that Bautista betrayed public trust for admitting that he received commission from the law firm of abogado Nilo Divina, which represents Comelec’s technology provider, Smartmatic.

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