Bautista leaves re­sign­ing, go­ing on leave to God


EM­BAT­TLED Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) Chair­man Juan An­dres Bautista is not about to give up his post or file a leave of ab­sence de­spite a pend­ing im­peach­ment com­plaint against him be­fore the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for al­leged un­ex­plained wealth.

Bautista, in a ra­dio in­ter­view, on Fri­day said it is the sign he has re­ceived while soul-search­ing and pray­ing for guid­ance as his mar­i­tal prob­lem with wife, Pa­tri­cia, has al­ready af­fected his fam­ily and the Com­elec as an in­sti­tu­tion.

He added that he has read a book, which says that God an­swers a prayer only in three ways, “ei­ther yes, not yet or I have a bet­ter plan for you.” On whether he should file a leave of ab­sence or re­sign, Bautista said, “Parangangsagot­saakin [it ap­pears that the an­swer to me] not yet.”

But, ac­cord­ing to the Com­elec chief, it still re­mains to be seen as events un­fold on his im­peach­ment case, say­ing he con­tin­ues to pon­der and pray on what to do for the wel­fare of his fam­ily and the coun­try.

The House Com­mit­tee on Jus­tice will tackle the im­peach­ment com­plaint against Bautista next week to de­ter­mine if it is suf­fi­cient in form and sub­stance. the com­plaint, filed by Ne­gros Ori­en­tal Rep. Jac­into Paras and lawyer Fer­di­nand Topa­cio, was for Bautista's "fail­ure to file his State­ment of As­sets, Li­a­bil­i­ties and Net Worth in ac­cor­dance with the re­quire­ments of the Con­sti­tu­tion, glar­ing dis­pro­por­tion­al­ity be­tween his in­come as Com­elec [chair­man] and his 2016 SALN, re­ported re­ceipt of re­fer­ral fees or com­mis­sions from the Div­ina Law Of­fice and ince­sant pat­tern of ar

- bi­trary, uni­lat­eral or unau­tho­rized acts in breach of col­le­gial­ity to the great prej­u­dice of the pub­lic.”

The pieces of ev­i­dence pre­sented by the com­plainants were based on doc­u­ments sub­mit­ted by Bautista’s es­tranged wife to the al­leg­ing, among oth­ers, that the Com­elec chief has amassed P1 bil­lion in ill-got­ten while serv­ing in the gov­ern­ment.

copies of Bautista’s 35 bank ac­counts with the Lu­zon De­vel­op­ment Bank, Rizal Com­mer­cial Bank­ing Corp. peso ac­count doc­u­ment and the

Mrs. Bautista also al­leged that her hus­band re­ceived some P500,000 in re­fer­ral fees from tech- nol­ogy provider Smartatic Corp. through the Div­ina Law, where Bautista’s close friend and lawyer

Bautista main­tained that he has no ill-got­ten wealth and what he truth­ful, say­ing the al­le­ga­tions were “com­plete false­hood.”

- ment com­plaint, all six other mem­bers of the Com­elec en banc called on Bautista to ei­ther go on leave or step down from his post.

The six, Com­mis­sion­ers Chris­tian Robert Lim, Luie Tito Guia, Ma. Rowena Amelia Guan­zon, Al Par­reño, Sher­iff M. Abas and Arthur Lim, signed a state­ment, say­ing “the time for him to let go has come.”

“The un­der­signed Com­elec com­mis­sion­ers, hav­ing at heart the best in­ter­ests of the ser­vice, and mo­ti­vated by a deep sense of duty to our peo­ple, are con­strained to come out in the open to strongly and ur­gently urge [Chair­man] J. An­dres D. Bautista, such pe­riod as may be nec­es­sary the sake of his ca­reer, and most im­por­tant, for the sake of his fam­ily, par­tic­u­larly his four in­no­cent chil­dren,” the state­ment said.

Com­elec Chair­man Juan An­dres Bautista

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