Case to proceed House votes to impeach Comelec chair
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.