Wednesday 20 September 2017

The House Committe on Justice junks the impeachment complaint against COMELEC Chair Bautista

And the way things are going… he is off the hook for now…

Commission on Elections(COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista has dodged a bullet, the Impeachment complaint filed in the House of Representatives’ Justice committee has been  dismissed in favor of the COMELEC chair. There were twenty six lawmakers that voted in finding the complaint filed against the COMELEC chairman, insufficient in form.

Former congressman Jacinto Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio who initiated and filed the complaint against Andres Bautista, there were only two lawmakers that found the impeachment complaint sufficient in form. *
The impeachment complaint filed against Commission on Elections(COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista has just been junked by the committee on justice for insufficiency in form( photo credit to inquirer)

The House Committee on Justice also rejected the motion from Kabayan Partylist representative Harry Roque to file a substitute verification to address a potential defect in the original complaint which was found to be insufficient in form.

Deputy Majority Leader Juan Pablo Bondoc said the hearing on the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte would be the last time the committee would be liberal in determining the complaint’s sufficiency in form.

The defect in verification stated that the allegations made “are true of our knowledge and belief on the basis of our reading and appreciation of documents and other records pertinent thereto.”

The complaint lodged by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption  (VACC) President Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution President Eligio Mallari was found insufficient in form because it did not use the proper verification required for complaints filed by a citizen. The complainants used the verification form for complaints endorsed by one-third of the House members.

Culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, were the grounds that was used in the impeachment complaint.

The complainants said Bautista betrayed public trust for failing to adopt safeguards under the Data Privacy Act (Republic Act No. 10173) that could have prevented the data breach or hacking of the Comelec website that occurred in March last year. *

Furthermore, the complainants said Bautista betrayed public trust by obstructing justice when he cleared Smartmatic and Comelec IT specialists of any wrongdoing for the so-called script tweak during the consolidation or canvassing of results in the May 2016 elections.

The complainants also alleged that Bautista failed to properly disclose to the public his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) and the reported receipt of referral fees from the Divina Law.

reports from PNA




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