Senators ponder: Impeach trial, a go or no go vs officially resigned Bautista?
Two senators have weighed in on the case of Commission on Elections (Comelec) chief Andres Bautista, who officially stepped down from his post on Monday after Malacañang officially accepted his resignation effective immediately.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said there should be no need for the Senate to proceed with the impeachment trial against Bautista because there would be “no one to impeach anymore”.
But Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero believed that the House of Representatives should be the one to decide on the issue since the articles of impeachment is “not yet with the Senate.”
Escudero pointed out that Congress could still act on the impeachment complaint against Bautista to impose upon him the additional penalty of perpetual disqualification.
“That is my view given the additional penalty of perpetual disqualification aside from dismissal,” Escudero said.
“However, the SC (Supreme Court) in the 2001 case of Estrada vs Desierto, ruled that, citing the CONCOM debates, resignation or removal from office renders the impeachment proceedings moot without prejudice to the filing of administrative, civil and criminal cases vs him,” he also said.
Bautista earlier said in a press briefing that the letter indicating that President Rodrigo Duterte has already accepted his resignation effective immediately came from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
The House of Representatives impeached Bautista last October 11 just hours after he announced that he was stepping down on December 31. /kga
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