Bautista fears losing Comelec family
Words didn’t come easy for Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista when he faced Comelec employees during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony amid his wife’s allegations that he had amassed unexplained wealth.
The embattled poll chief turned emotional as he admitted that it was the “genuine care and affection” of poll employees that had kept him hanging on.
His voice cracking, Bautista said he was afraid to lose his family at Comelec, which he was appointed to head in May 2015.
“It’s not hard to give away or step down from the position, it’s not a problem. My problem is that I don’t want to lose the Comelec family in my life,” an emotional Bautista said.
“Over the years you have shown sincere, genuine care and affection. And perhaps that is what is also making my thought process difficult,” he said.
The poll chief made the remarks in a four-minute speech addressed to hundreds of Comelec employees who gathered for the hourlong flag-raising ceremony.
The activity was done at the roof deck of the Palacio del Gobernador building in Intramuros, where the Comelec offices are located.
Bautista has been accused by his estranged wife Patricia of amassing nearly P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth.
Some sectors have threatened to file an impeachment case against Bautista while others have urged him to take a leave of absence amid the controversy.
Prior to Bautista’s speech on Monday, poll employees performed song and dance numbers.
Bautista even held hands with Comelec employees as they performed a rendition of Diana Ross’ song “If We Hold On Together.”
In his speech before Comelec employees on Monday, Bautista admitted that the controversy was the “biggest challenge” of his life.
He acknowledged that several people had expressed their support for him.
“[Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio] Cardinal Tagle called me, I asked for guidance in my discernment so I would do the right thing,” Bautista said.
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