An impeachment complaint has been filed by an anti-crime group on Wednesday against Commission on Elections (Comelec) chief Andres “Andy” Bautista for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
The complaint was filed by former congressman Jacinto Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio at the House of Representatives’ Secretary General’s office. Fulfilling the first requirement for it to move forward, members of the lower house Cebu 3rd District Rep. Gwen Garcia, Tagaytay 7th District Rep. Abraham N. Tolentino, and Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque endorsed the complaint.
In an interview with reporters, Roque said that he wouldn’t have endorsed it without the assurance of Comelec’s chief estranged wife Patricia Bautista who vowed to testify on her personal knowledge concerning her husband.
“I wouldn’t have endorsed it without the assurance from Mrs. Bautista that on the hearings she will appear and attest to the truthfulness of her affidavit and bring all the documentary evidence she mentioned in her complaint affidavit,” Roque said.
Garcia said that she has doubts regarding the automated voting system and it is now the right time to check on its “veracity” as well as its “credibility”.
Tolentino, on the other hand, said he endorsed the complaint to give the poll chief an ‘opportunity to refute and to clear his name’.
The complaint rooted from the accusations of the poll chief’s wife that Bautista has ‘undeclared wealth’ in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALN), which the Comelec chief has denied and in return, sued his wife for robbery and extortion.
Aside from the SALN, Paras said that Bautista could also be responsible for the “Comeleak”, and that he violated the Data privacy Act of 2012. The data that was leaked allegedly compromised the personal information and security of Filipino voters in the 2016 elections. The complainants supposed that Bautista ‘failed to adopt’ adequate safeguards as mandated under Republic Act No. 10173 which could have been prevented the hacking of the Comelec website.
Meanwhile, Manuelito Luna who assisted Paras and Topacio, said that their complaint is not anchored solely on Mrs. Bautista’s statements, but they also have certified copies of documents and have hurdled the requirement of personal knowledge.