Bautista has made it to the history books – lawyer
Whether his resignation has bearing or not, former elections chair Andres Bautista will always be the first Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair to be impeached in history, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said Thursday.
“Kahit ano pang mangyari Chairman Bautista will always be, in Philippine history, as the first Comelec chair to be impeached. His place in history is assured,” Topacio said in a press conference in Manila.
Topacio, one of the complainants in the impeachment charges against Bautista, said that the Comelec chair’s resignation had no bearing to the impeachment process as it would still be valid at the end of the year.
“In fact, ang magiging effect, kung aabutan ng resignation, if he makes good on his intention to resign at hindi pa tapos ang impeachment trial, then the impeachment proceedings will be moot and academic,” he said.
Topacio’s fellow complainant, former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras, lauded the House of Representatives’ vote to reverse the committee on justice’s decision to junk Bautista’s impeachment, saying justice prevailed.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa Kongreso na mayroon pa rin palang natitira doon sa impeachment complaint na finile ni Atty. Topacio,” Paras said.
(We thank the Congress that the impeachment complaint Atty. Topacio and I filed is still sufficient.)
“Akala namin, wala nang pag-asa pero nananaig ang hustisya (I thought it was hopeless but justice prevailed),” he added.
Voting 137-75-2, the House of Representatives plenary reversed on Wednesday the committee on justice’s decision to junk the impeachment complaint against Bautista.
Topacio said the vote was a “surprise” for them and that they were mulling the filing of charges against the elections chief before the Supreme Court.
“Kasi it was really an uphill battle for us to be able to get that impeachment complaint through the committee,” he explained.
The lawyer also sneered at Sen. Francis Pangilinan’s statement that impeaching Bautista would be a “waste of time.”
“That is unseemly for a senator to say because entertaining an impeachment complaint when articles of impeachment are transmitted to the Senate are part and parcel of the duties of the senators and the Senate as an institution,” Topacio said. /cbb
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