Com­elec chief re­signs

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

(Ruth

Abbey Gita/ SunS­tar Philip­pines)

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