Bautista on impeach rap: ‘I can conquer it’

MANILA -- Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista believes that he can conquer the impeachment complaint filed at the House of Representatives last week.

Bautista said he had read the 23-page impeachment complaint lodged against him by former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto Paras.

"Yes, I have read it already and it appears we can overcome it," said the poll body chief in an interview on Tuesday afternoon.

Bautista added that he continues to consult with his lawyers regarding the case.

Last week, the former legislator and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio filed an impeachment complaint against Bautista over the irregularities related to the 2016 national elections.

They also called out the poll body chief's ineptitude in addressing a hacking attack of the Comelec website and failure to truthfully disclose his net worth.

The case has already been transmitted to the office of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Meanwhile, Bautista and two poll body Commissioners, who were among the six top officials that asked the former to take a leave or resign last week, claimed that it was business as usual at the regular en banc meeting on Tuesday.

In separate interviews, Commissioners Luie Guia and Christian Lim said they were all professionals and were able to discuss matters during the meeting.

"They should not worry because the COMELEC will do its function. We will be responsible. Everything that we are supposed to do, we are doing and we are preparing for the elections. We wil give the public the elections that they deserve," said Guia.

"It was strictly business. We wanted to finish those that are in the agenda of the en banc. Whatever issues we need to take up, we were able to," said Lim.

Aside from Guia and Lim, Comelec Commissioners Arthur Lim, Al ParreAo, Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon and Sheriff Abas also urged Bautista to take a leave or resign in the midst of the allegations of hidden wealth hurled by his estranged wife Patricia Paz Bautista.

Source: Philippine News Agency