President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the resignation of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista effective immediately.
Bautista, who was impeached by the House of Representatives, was informed of the President’s decision in a letter signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. The justice committee in the lower house was scheduled to hold a hearing on his impeachment on October 24.
“Upon the instruction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, I wish to inform you that your resignation is hereby accepted, effective immediately,” the letter said.
Bautista’s resignation was accepted earlier than expected. On October 11, he submitted his resignation to Duterte effective the end of this year.
President Duterte confirmed that he received Bautista’s resignation letter on October 13.
Former Representative Jacinto Paras of Negros Oriental, who filed an impeachment complaint against Bautista earlier said, “I had a feeling that Bautista anticipated the hearing tom(orrow)…sa House Justice Committee to prepare for the Articles of Impeachment to be submitted to the Senate immediately, thus inunahan na nya [he beat them to it].”
“The House has called the managers of Luzon Development Bank and for sure, they would have revealed the truth about the ill gotten wealth of Bautista. The House also invited Patricia Bautista to authenticate the documents in her possession which revealed the billions of pesos of ill gotten wealth of Andy Bautista. Kaya forced to good sya mag resign today,” he added, referring to Bautista’s estranged wife.
Paras’ complaint was dismissed in September by the House Justice Committee, saying it was “insufficient in form.”
However, this was reversed on October 11, the same day Bautista announced he would be leaving his post by the end of the year.
Committee Chairman Rey Umali told CNN Philippines things would have been different if Bautista resigned immediately instead of by the end of the year.
The embattled Comelec head was accused by his wife of having amassed millions in unexplained wealth.
Bautista dismissed her allegations, saying she was blackmailing and extorting money from him.
Lorna Kapunan, Patricia’s legal adviser and spokesperson, said they want to see if Bautista will step down.
“We will await the decision of the House Committee on Justice which has the Articles of Impeachment already drafted. It will have to make its judgmental call on whether this time Andy Bautista will actually obey the President and resign immediately, not conditionally,” she said.
Kapunan added they would not back down from the fight, saying, “We are already preparing plunder charges against Private Citizen Bautista and all his partners in crime – they all know who they are!!!”
CNN Philippines Correspondent Triciah Terada and Digital Producers Eimor Santos and Pia Garcia contributed to this report.
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