Poll body to function even if Bautista goes on leave: 2 execs

MANILA -- Two top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) assured that the poll body's en banc will still function once Chairman Juan Andres Bautista decides to take a leave of absence.

Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim noted that they just need to get at least four votes to confirm an action.

"Yes, kaya naman. Kailangan lang naman namin kasi sa en banc ay direction (on) how to move forward. (Yes, we can function. What we just need in the en bacn is direction (on) how to move forward). We have a process. We still vote on a base of majority of four to carry out any action," Lim explained.

Asked if he will accept the position if again designated as acting chairman, Lim said, "Mahirap ang trabaho ng acting chairman. (The job of the acting chairman is difficult.) I am retiring February 2 of next year. I was looking forward to finish my career quietly with a new baby, finish my cases."

"Pero kung 'yun ang kinakailangan ng institution, to work full time, para matuloy ang election, (But if the institution calls for it, to work full time to make sure that the election will push through), then that is a matter I have to accept," the poll body official added.

?He said the en banc has to designate him to lead the Comelec in an acting capacity.

"The en banc will have to designate me, but it could also be somebody else," Lim added.

On the other hand, Commissioner Arthur Lim revealed that that their consensus is that the senior commissioner must be the one to temporarily take over as acting chairman.

"Ang advantage ni Comm. Bot (referring to Commissioner Christian Robert Lim) ay meron na siyang experience as acting chair nung nag-retire si Chairman (Sixto) Brillantes in 2015 (Comm. Bot has an advantage as he served as acting chair when Chairman Sixto Brillantes retired in 2015)," he added.

Last week, the poll body's six commissioners asked Bautista to take a leave of absence or resign in the midst of allegations of unexplained wealth hurled by his estranged wife Patricia Paz Bautista.

For his part, the beleaguered Comelec chief had said that he is still contemplating on what action to take.

Source: Philippine News Agency