Speaker defends House move to impeach Bautista: ‘Charges very serious, unacceptable’
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez defended the surprising move of the House of Representatives to impeach Commission on Elections chairman Andy Bautista by a vote of 137-75, with two abstentions.
The committee on justice had junked the complaint against Bautista for insufficiency in form, but the plenary reversed the decision and moved to draft and send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial.
Alvarez said he pushed for Bautista’s impeachment after studying the corruption charges against him, including allegations he mis-declared his wealth and received money from Smartmatic through Divina Law Office.
“Well, sa akin kasi, pinag-aralan at binasa ko yung complaint, medyo serious yung charges. Merong charges of corruption, merong charges yung involvement sa Smartmatic – ito ay paglapastangan sa boto. Hindi ho katanggap-tanggap ito. Kailangan imbestigahan talaga ito at yun…isang paraan ay dalhin mo sa impeachment court para ma-imbestigahan yung bagay na ito tapos may iba-iba pang charges,” he said in a radio interview.
Alvarez noted that it was Bautista’s wife Patricia herself who brought up the allegations against his own husband, lending it more gravity.
“At itong nagrereklamo ay yung mismong asawa. Mabigat eh, nakita ko rin yung mga ebidensya ay medyo mabigat talaga so sabi ko, para mabigyan ng panahon itong si Chairman Bautista na talagang disprove yung lahat ng mga alegasyon na ito ay kailangan natin siyang imbestigahan sa impeachment court,” he said.
Bautista announced earlier Wednesday he was resigning effective at the end of 2017.
Asked if there was enough time for the impeachment trial to proceed before Bautista’s resignation became effective, Alvarez said, “Ay, itanong mo yang tanong na yan sa mabagal na kapulungan, ‘wag sa amin.”
Resignation or impeachment? Politikos give mixed views on Bautista’s fate