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Wag pangunahan: Chiz says Senate can probe impeachable officials like Andy Bautista

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Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Sunday said there’s no law barring the upper chamber from conducting an investigation into the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista even if the latter would face impeachment proceedings.

“Alam mo hindi issue yan para sa akin. Kahit kaila hindi naging issue yan para sa akin at nagugulat ako na bi-bring up yan ngayon,” he said in a radio interview.

Escudero pointed out that there had been investigations against

former Vice President Jejomar Binay and even incumbent President Duterte on the issue on alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) even if such efforts could trigger impeachment proceedings.

“Mahirap naman pangunahan na may mag fi-file ng impeachment complaint. Sa case ni VP Binay, wala naman nag file. Kapag meron na nag file, yun tamang time to suspend any ongoing probe in the Senate,” he said.

“Paano kapag walang nag file ng impeachment eh di naghintay kami sa wala? So kung di kami nag imbestiga eh di wala lang, parang walang nangyari?” he asked.

Escudero pointed out that under the Ombudsman Act, any government officials can be subjected to an investigation, including impeachable officials.

“So walang limitation sa powers ng Ombudman or NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to probe anyone in government including impeachable officials,” he said.

Escudero wants to conduct a separate probe by his committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, on Bautista’s alleged undisclosed bank accounts if it will not be covered by the Senate blue ribbon committee.