Comelec-Cebu: Operations will not be affected
The Cebu provincial office of the Commission on Elections is confident that its operations will not be affected by the pronounced resignation of Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista.
Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Marco Lionel Castillano said that their organizational structure is designed in a way that no one is indispensible.
He explained that the Comelec commissioners can elect among themselves an acting chairman when Bautista's resignation becomes effective or if he gets impeached, whichever comes first.
Bautista sent his resignation letter to President Rodrigo Duterte last Wednesday.
“Due to personal reasons, I am tendering my resignation as chairman of the Commission on Elections effective December 31, 2017,” reads his letter.
His wife, Patricia, publicly claimed earlier that her estranged husband has around P1 billion ill-gotten wealth which Bautista continues to deny.
Before Bautista's resignation takes effect, the President has a 10-week period to choose a new Comelec Chairman.
Castillano explained that the president can only appoint a new chairman if the seat of power has been vacated.
“You cannot appoint if there is no vacancy,” he emphasized.
On the same day Bautista handed in his resignation, the House of Representatives voted 137-75 in favor of overturning the impeachment complaint which was junked earlier by the Committee on Justice.
Under Article 11, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution, a vote of at least one-third of the House members shall be necessary to affirm or overturn a resolution with the Articles of Impeachment Committee.
Given this circumstances, Castillano said that Bautista is still the head of Comelec. He is still authorized to sign contracts, disbursements, and other documents concerning the commission until he resigns or he is impeached.