ON the very same day Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautusta announced he is resigning from his post, he was impeached in the House of Representatives.
At least 137 solons voted in favor of impeaching Bautista, overriding the earlier decision of the committee on justice to junk the complaint against him.
Only 75 solons said the complaint against Bautista is weak and insufficient in form.
One of the 137 who voted for impeachment was Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
“The allegations are very serious, my vote is no adoption of the committee report,” Alvarez said.
Under the impeachment rules, a vote of 1/3 or all members of the House can override a resolution or committee report.
The House of Representatives has a total of 292 members
Chairman of the committee Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali yesterday submitted to the plenary the committee report 429 which proposed the dismissal of the impeachment complaint due to insufficiency in form.
But Cebu Rep. Gwen Garcia and Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers objected to the committee report.
At this point, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas moved to divide the House.
After the voting result was announced, presiding officer Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu directed the committee on justice to prepare the article of impeachment. The impeachment complaint now goes to the Senate for trial.
During the committee hearing, the complaint, filed by former Congressman Jing Paras and Atty. Ferdinand Topacio failed to pass the requirements to make it sufficient in form and substance.
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.
The complaint was based on the disclosure of Bautista’s estranged wife Patricia that he has more than P1 billion ill-gotten wealth.