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Comelec chair Bautista on calls to quit: Not at fault

/ 03:05 PM June 27, 2016
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Comelec Chair Andres Bautista INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista said on Monday that he will not resign from his post for his supposed “failure of leadership”—an allegation leveled against him by six commissioners of the poll body.

In a GMA News report, Bautista said that he did not commit any wrongdoing and that the issues against him have  been resolved.

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“Unang-una po ako ay hindi kapit tuko sa kahit na anumang posisyon pero bakit ako magreresign eh wala naman akong kasalanan (First of all, I’m not clinging to any position … Why would I resign if I’m not at fault?),” he was quoted as saying.

In a strongly worded memorandum dated June 3, six commissioners of the seven-member body slammed Bautista for failing to disburse the honoraria for teachers who served as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in the recently concluded May 9 general polls. He was also faulted after a mall company demanded damages for the shelved mall voting project.

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READ: Andres Bautista shrugs off Comelec discord

The poll body chief, who has returned to the country after his controversial “privilege leave” trip to Japan, has since responded to the allegations claiming that 99 percent of the teachers have already received their honoraria.

READ: Comelec chair Bautista flayed some more for leaving for Japan

The Comelec legal department has also drafted a legal opinion saying that the poll body will pay for damages and that the unused items for mall voting will be kept for future elections.

In an interview on Sunday, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that Bautista should be the one paying for the damages as he did not have the authority to forge a deal for mall voting from the Comelec en banc.

“Ako, I will not vote to pay that. ‘Di kami sumangayon sa mall voting… Personal liability niya (Bautista) iyan. Wala po kaming (Comelec en banc) pakialam diyan,” Guanzon said in a radio dzBB interview.

(I will not vote to pay that. We didn’t agree on mall voting. It’s Bautista’s personal liability. Comelec en banc has nothing to do with that.)

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However, when asked if she wanted Bautista to resign, Guanzon said that all she wanted was for the poll body chief to respect the en banc rule.

“Let us be collegial. Never mind na yung good relations na sinasabi (Never mind the good relations they are saying). Let’s have good working relations. We don’t have to be friends. Let’s just have good work ethic. Follow the en banc rule and be collegial. ‘Yun lang po hinihingi namin sa kanya. Para ito sa taumbayan (That’s all we ask of him. It’s for the people),” she said. RAM/rga

READ: Comelec exec to Bautista: We don’t have to be friends

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TAGS: Chairman Andres Bautista, Comelec, Commission on Elections, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Elections 2016, mall voting project
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