Comelec chief resigns
COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista announced Wednesday, October 11, that he is resigning from his post by end of this year.
“It is with deep sadness that I am informing you about my decision to resign as the chair of the Commission on Elections by the end of the year,” Bautista said in a letter to the Comelec.
The poll chief said he has already filed a resignation letter to Malacanang. His resignation is effective December 31, 2017.
Bautista’s plan to resign came amid allegations by his estranged wife, Patricia, that that he had amassed ill-gotten wealth amounting to at least P1-billion.
In his letter, Bautista expressed his intent to resign by year-end, citing the need to prioritize his family “more than ever.”
“After much prayer and discernment, I believe that this is the right time to step down given the postponementofthebarangayandSK[Sangguniang Kabataan] elections. This was not an easy decision. But my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever,” Bautista said.
Shortly after Bautista announced his plan to vacate office by December 31, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar wished the poll chief success in his future endeavors.
“We respect the decision of Chairman Andy Bautista. We wish him well,” Andanar said in a statement.
Patricia earlier accused the poll chief of being involved in corruption while in government service, noting that Bautista has several undeclared properties in his 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth.
Bautista was slapped with an impeachment complaint before the House of Representatives but the members of the House committee on justice junked the petition to remove him from office.
Bautista said he believed it was the “right time” to step down, since he was able to serve with “the best of [his] ability.”
He also thanked the people who “never left” his side, despite the “hurtful, baseless, and malicious accusations” hurled against him.
“I am thankful for the love, prayers, and support you have shown me most especially during my most challenging times,” he said.
In a statement, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel said he already anticipated Bautista’s decision as the latter merely wanted to protect his family from “injurious public controversy.”
“The resignation is an honorable exit given the furor that erupted following the rupture of the marital bond. That it came after the impeachment complaint has been dismissed by the House of Representatives stripped the resignation as an escape valve viz-a-viz the complaint filed against him,” Panelo said.
“In the end, his decision was motivated by his desire to protect his children from the debilitating consequences arising from his family being in the vortex of an injurious public controversy. He evidently acted in the best interest of his family as well as the institution he heads,” he added.
Abbey Gita/ SunStar Philippines)