RESIGN now, avoid ouster , Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday advised impeached chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Andres Bautista.
In an interview, Alvarez said the only way Bautista can avoid impeachment trial is to resign immediately.
On Wednesday, a few hours after Bautista announced he would resign at the end of the year, the House of Representatives impeached him.
“Effective today dapat ang resignation niya para wala na kaming ii-impeach. Sa ngayon kasi siya pa din ang sitting Chairman,” Alvarez said.
While Congress is on a one-month break, the articles of impeachment are being prepared for submission to the Senate, which will sit as the impeachment court.
With a vote of 137, which is more than the required 1/3 of all members, the House overturned the recommendation of the committee on justice to dismiss the complaint filed against Bautista.
The committee did not find the complaint filed by former Congressman Jing Paras and Atty. Ferdinand Topacio sufficient in form.
Despite the appeal of the endorsers, Cebu Rep. Gwen Garcia and Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque, the committee did not allow the complaint to be corrected. However, in plenary assembly a big number of solons voted for impeachment.
The trial might begin in the last week of November, Majority Leader Vincente Sotto III said.
Bautista was accused of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when he failed to truthfully, accurately or completely disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN); when he neglected his duties and responsibilities, particularly in collecting and further processing of personal data, which led to the unnecessary exposure of personal and sensitive information of millions of Filipinos; when he cleared Smartmatic and Comelec IT specialists of any wrongdoing in the so-called script tweak during consolidation and canvassing of results in the May 2016 elections.