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Don’t mess with us! GMA’s allies succeed in impeaching Bautista

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In a rare instance, allies of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo banded together to impeach Commisssion on Elections chairman Andres Bautista.

From the filers, endorsers and supporters, several key players in Bautista’s impeachment have ties to Arroyo.

Former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras, who filed the complaint against Bautista, served as chairman of the Philippine National Oil Company during Arroyo’s term.

Abogado Ferdinand Topacio, who joined Paras in filing the impeachment complaint, is the legal spokesperson of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.

Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia, an endorser of the complaint, is known to have cordial ties with the former President.

Joining the cast of Arroyo allies in the Bautista impeachment saga is Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who served as Transportation Secretary under the former President’s term.

Alvarez joined 136 other lawmakers in voting against the motion of Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas to adopt the Committee on Justice’s dismissing the complaint against Bautista Wednesday (October 11).

Paras and Topacio have Bautista 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.

In a phone patch interview after Bautista’s impeachment, Alvarez said he believes the allegations against the Comelec chief are serious and should be deliberated on by senators in an impeachment trial.

Garcia, meanwhile, told reporters that the Comelec chief’s impeachment showed over 100 of her colleagues believe he should answer the allegations against him at the Senate.

Addressing Bautista, she said: “Don’t mess with us. Don’t play games.”

Bautista has announced his resignation but it will be effective on December 31.