Comelec exec to Bautista: We don’t have to be friends
With the rift at the Commission on Elections growing, a commissioner asked Comelec chair Andres Bautista to bow to the majority to maintain stability in the poll body.
In an interview on radio dzBB on Sunday, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that Bautista should accept the fact that commissioners were independent-minded people and, as a collegial body, they should be accorded with respect.
“Let us be collegial. Never mind na yung friendly relations. Let’s have good working relations. We don’t have to be friends. Let’s just have good work ethic. Follow the en banc rules and be collegial. ‘Yun lang po hinihingi namin sa kanya. Para ito sa taumbayan,” Guanzon said.
In a strongly-worded memorandum dated June 3, six commissioners of the seven-member body slammed Bautista’s supposed “failure of leadership.”
Some of the “grave concerns” raised in the memo were the delayed release of honoraria for teachers who served as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) and a “demand for damages” of a mall following the en banc decision of canceling mall voting—a pet project of the Comelec chairman.
Bautista responded by saying that the allegations against him were contrary to the outcome of the May 9 polls.
But Guanzon hit back saying that Bautista cannot solely take credit for the success of the elections.
“Nagtutulungan po kami. Hindi puwedeng isang tao… Hindi totoo dahil sa kanya successful ang eleksyon. Hindi totoo yan. Lahat kami nagtrabaho para hindi palpak ang eleksyon,” she said.
The lone lady commissioner explained that the memo issued by the en banc members was not a personal attack on Bautista.
“It was done in good faith. Umayos lang. Hindi naman puwede kapag may botohan, natalo kayo, masama na ang loob. Natural lang naman yan. Kapag natalo ka sa botohan, ano naman ngayon? Dati natatalo naman si Chair [Sixto] Brillantes, hindi naman nagta-tantrums,” she said.
With Bautista taking a privilege leave last week to accompany his son to Tokyo, Japan, Guanzon urged him to come home and meet with the commissioners to amicably discuss the issues hurled against him.
“Umuwi ka na dito chairman. Let’s talk about it… This can be solved, with only the right attitude. Ang dapat lang dito is follow the en banc rule,” she said.
The next en banc meeting is set on Tuesday, June 28./rga
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