House panel affirms decision to junk impeach rap vs Comelec chief | SunStar

House panel affirms decision to junk impeach rap vs Comelec chief

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House panel affirms decision to junk impeach rap vs Comelec chief

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista (SunStar file)

MANILA (Updated) -- The House of Representatives committee on justice on Thursday, October 5, affirmed its decision to dismiss the impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.

The panel on September 20 dismissed the impeachment complaint filed against Bautista after its members found it insufficient in form.

By a vote of 26-2, the panel led by Oriental Mindoro Representative Renaldo Umali approved the committee report and its accompanying resolution.

"Now be it resolved by the House of Representatives to dismiss the impeachment complaint filed by Jacinto Paras and Ferdinand Topacio against Andres Bautista for the reason that it is insufficient in form due to its defective verification," the report's dispositive portion read.

Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia entered her objection to the motion of Misamis Occidental Representative Henry Oaminal.

"Consistent with our position Mr. Chair, we still maintain that insufficiency in form strictly by the present unamended House rules, is not a ground for dismissal. And if we were to follow our own House rules, this complaint found to be insufficient in form shall be returned to the Secretary General," Garcia said citing Section 4 Rule 3 of the rules.

Umali said there was no need to discuss further the matter as it has been extensively discussed in the panel.

The panel earlier said the complaint was defective since the complainant had no personal knowledge of Bautista's alleged offenses.

The complaint against the Comelec chief was mostly based on Patricia Bautista's accusations against her estranged husband. She said the poll chief accumulated ill-gotten wealth using his positions in government.

The impeachment rap was filed by former lawmaker Jacinto Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio and endorsed by Representatives Harry Roque, Abraham Tolentino and Gwendolyn Garcia. (With PS Jun M. Sarmiento/SunStar Philippines)


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