Impeachment of Bautista being studied closely. Betrayed public trust with corruption and non-disclosure. Technicality impedes proceedings for now.

Impeachment likely to fail.

PICS: Rappler and

PICS: Rappler and

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The proceedings in the complaint against Chairman of Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson Andres Bautista have begun. The House of Representatives started the process of impeaching the COMELEC chief earlier today.

The complainant accused Andres Bautista of holding wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. Jacinto Paras, erstwhile representative of Negros Oriental was the complainant.

Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque, Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino, and Dy Speaker Gwen Garcia made the supporting endorsements. The demand for impeachment was for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution due to ill-gotten wealth.

Consequently, the justice panel began its deliberations on Wednesday to examine the facts of allegations.
Amazingly, it was the COMELEC chief’s wife who raised the alarm about his ill-gotten wealth.

Patricia “Tish” Bautista continues to take sustained interest in the case and was present.

She addressed a press conference to express her confidence that the house will admit the case for impeachment even though there was technical snag in the case.

The house will first deliberate on whether the complaint should be processed further up or be rejected. The learned members may even ask for fulfilling the lacuna and seek resubmission at a later date.

The charges are of concealing his true value of his assets and wealth. He failed to declare his wealth in the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN).

By collecting graft, he amassed illegal wealth through illegal means. He failed to declare his immovable properties, in the Philippines and in the United States. He also owned:
• Foreign investments,
• Foreign currency accounts, and
• Other bank accounts.

The absence of any asset in the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) is a serious lapse. The complainant demanded that the house should authenticate the allegations from the following:
• Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC),
• National Bureau of Investigation (NBI),
• Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and
• Other authoritative government agencies.

Some receipts that the complainant quoted as consultation were actually violating provisions of the revised Penal Code. Bautista is also responsible for neglecting his duties. His poor handling of the Data Privacy Act resulted in data breaches in the COMELEC and earned the name Comleak.

His description of a script tweak as a minor cosmetic change obstructed justice deliberately.
In effect, Bautista is unworthy of conducting himself in a manner befitting a public functionary in an exalted position.
Therefore, we request that he be impeached from the post of COMELEC chairman.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017