Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres “Andy” Bautista announced on Wednesday his decision to leave his post as the chair of the Comelec by the end of the year.
“It is with my deep sadness that I am informing you about my decision to resign as the chair of the Commission on Elections by the end of the year,” Bautista said in a letter posted on his official social media account addressed to his Comelec family.
“After much prayer and discernment, I believe that this is the right time to step down given the postponement of the Barangay and SK elections. This was not easy decision. But my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever,” he added.
“I believe I have served our Commission well and the Filipino people to the best of my ability, but only with your faithful help and constant support,” Comelec chair continued.
Bautista said that it was not an easy decision to leave his office but his family, especially his children needs him now more than ever.
The Comelec chair pointed out that the May 2016 automated National and Local elections, which took place under his watch, is “a testament to our collective sacrifices and teamwork” as it was the best managed and most credible in the Philippine history according to Independent local and foreign observers.
Baustista was the chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government until he was appointed as Comelec chairman by former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in April 2015. His term was supposed to be nullified in 2022, in accordance with Article IX of the 1987 Constitution.
Bautista tendered his resignation nearly a week after the House Committee on Justice, voting 19-2, dismissed an impeachment complaint against him.
He was accused of betrayal of public trust due to his alleged failure to immediately act on the hacking of the Comelec website which caused the data breach that saw personal data of millions of voters prior to the May 2016 polls and for receiving referral fees from electronic company Smartmatic through Divina Law Office.
Aside from this, he was also accused of failing to disclose all his assets in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
In his letter, Bautista expressed his gratitude to his Comelec family for their love, prayers, and support they have shown to him, most especially during his most challenging times.
“Amid the hurtful, baseless, and malicious accusations hurled against me, most of you never left my side,” he said.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you, my COMELEC family, it has been a joy and privilege to work for, and serve with you,” he added.
Bautista said he trusts the commission to continue to perform the mandate entrusted to it, to protect the integrity of the country’s elections, and faithfully serve the interests of the Filipino people.
“Maraming, maraming salamat po! Mahal ko kayong lahat! [Thank you very much! I love you all!]” Bautista ended.