THE Senate is ready for the impeachment trial of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto confirmed this as he explained that the Senate is now preparing to convene as an impeachment court and is just waiting for the formal transmission of the impeachment complaint from the House of Representatives.
“We are prepared for that but the convening of the Senate as an impeachment court will be mid-November after the session break,” Sotto told reporters.
The Senate adjourned yesterday after the last session in the afternoon and will resume session on November 13.
“The Senate convening as an impeachment court will have to be after the break, after November 13 when we resume session,” Sotto said.
But Senate President Aquilino Koko Pimentel and opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan said there is no need for a trial of Bautista if he will step down willingly from his post.
Pimentel cited the case of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez who resigned from her post before she could be impeached.
Pimentel said if Bautista resigns it would be useless for the Senate to convene as an impeachment court.
According to the Senate chief, a certified true copy of Bautista’s resignation will be the basis for the Senate not to convene as a trial court.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson on the other hand said that Bautista’s resignation is prospective and not yet in effect and once the impeachment complaint is transmitted to the Senate and his resignation is not yet in effect, the Senate has no option but to proceed with the trial of the Comelec chief.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, on the contrary, thinks there is no need for the Senate to convene as an impeachment court since Bautista had expressed his intention to resign.