Senate body to stop inquiry if impeach case filed vs Bautista | Inquirer News

Senate body to stop inquiry if impeach case filed vs Bautista

Sen. Richard Gordon said on Wednesday that the blue ribbon committee would investigate the controversy involving Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista, whose estranged wife had accused him of having unexplained wealth.

But Gordon said it was his position that the committee would discontinue the hearings once an impeachment case against Bautista was filed in the House of Representatives.

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Sotto’s resolution

“We are discussing it,” he told reporters, in reference to how the committee would handle the inquiry that was sought by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.

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On Wednesday, the Senate tasked Gordon’s committee with handling Sotto’s resolution seeking the inquiry.

Sotto told the Inquirer that he talked with Gordon and reiterated his desire that the hearings would stop once the House received a formal impeachment complaint against Bautista. “I just want it to focus on the intention of my resolution,” Sotto said.

He insisted that the inquiry would be in aid of legislation because he wanted to find out why government officials were able to circumvent the law requiring them to declare their personal wealth through the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

‘Erase’ findings

Bautista was accused by his wife Patricia of having P1 billion in unexplained wealth, including a balance of P329 million in accounts with Luzon Development Bank. He has denied the allegations.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that if the Comelec chief was impeached, the Senate must “erase” from its mind the findings, if ever, of its blue ribbon committee inquiry.

“Senators are sophisticated enough to be able to determine that this hearing was for accountability, if there was corruption or violation of the antigraft law,” Pimentel told reporters.

Editor’s note: This has been updated to correct an erroneous headline.

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TAGS: Andres Bautista, Comelec, Patricia Paz Bautista, Richard Gordon, Vicente Sotto III
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