Case to pro­ceed House votes to im­peach Com­elec chair

Sun.Star Davao - - NETWORK NEWS -

MANILA - The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Wednesday, Oc­to­ber 11, voted to pro­ceed with the im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings against Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) chair­man Juan An­dres Bautista for cul­pa­ble vi­o­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion and be­trayal of pub­lic trust.

Dur­ing Wednesday's ses­sion, 137 House mem­bers voted against the mo­tion of jus­tice com­mit­tee chair Rey­naldo Umali to dis­miss the com­plaint against Bautista, while 75 voted to adopt the rec­om­men­da­tion of the panel, which found the com­plaint in­suf­fi­cient in form.

Un­der House Rules, a vote of at least one-third is nec­es­sary to over­ride the panel's rec­om­men­da­tion.

After the vot­ing, Umali's com­mit­tee has been tasked to pre­pare the ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment to be en­dorsed to the Se­nate for trial.

The jus­tice panel's rec­om­men­da­tion was over­turned after Deputy Speaker Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia and Suri­gao del Norte Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Ace Bar­bers ob­jected to the rec­om­men­da­tion of the House com­mit­tee on jus­tice.

Gar­cia is one of the law­mak­ers who en­dorsed in the im­peach­ment com­plaint filed by Ne­gros Ori­en­tal Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jac­into Paras with his le­gal coun­sels Fer­di­nand Topa­cio and Manuelito Luna.

An­tipolo Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Romeo Acop and Al­bay Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ed­cel Lag­man man­i­fested their sup­port for the adop­tion of the panel re­port.

Last Septem­ber 20, the House panel de­clared the im­peach­ment com­plaint against Bautista for cul­pa­ble vi­o­la­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion and be­trayal of pub­lic trust over al­le­ga­tions of ill-got­ten wealth in­suf­fi­cient in form.

Umali ear­lier said the com­plaint filed is not con­sis­tent with the House' re­quire­ment that it must be based on au­then­tic records.

The ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment are ex­pected to reach the Se­nate when ses­sions re­sume in Novem­ber. Two-thirds of the Se­nate mem­bers are needed to of­fi­cially re­move Bautista from his post.

Ear­lier in the day, Bautista an­nounced that he is re­sign­ing from his post ef­fec­tive De­cem­ber 31, 2017.

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