MANILA — The employees’ union of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday expressed surprise over the decision of Chairman Juan Andres Bautista to resign from his post effective end of the year.
“We are shocked and in a state of disbelief over the sudden resignation of our beloved Chairman,” said Comelec Employees’ Union (Comelec-EU) in a statement.
But, the group, who fully supported Bautista when the latter was faced with controversies, including the allegations of hidden wealth hurled by his wife, Patricia Paz, noted that they respect the poll body chief’s decision.
“However, we respect his decision and that we believe that he was compelled by higher reasons and the welfare of his children in coming up with his final decision to resign by the end of the year,” they said.
The group added, “We express our support and we thank him for his immense contribution to the Commission despite his short stay with us.”
On the other hand, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon believes that the letter, which was read by Bautista before Comelec personnel Wednesday morning at the Commission’s head office in Manila, is not a resignation letter.
“It is not a resignation letter. It is an intent to resign. But it is good if he has made up his mind so he will have peace of mind and focus on his children,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) lauded the Comelec chief’s decision.
“Chairman Andy Bautista’s decision to resign effective Dec. 31 is laudable, praiseworthy. For one, it will enable the Comelec to act as one (all Commissioners, Directors and rank-and-file employees) and purposely fulfill its mandate under the 1987 Constitution,” said PPCRV chairperson and former Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.
He added. “The country will be the ultimate beneficiary because it will mean focused attention on the part of the Comelec to pursue and design inclusively creative electoral reforms.”
Sarmiento added that Bautista would also have the time for his family.
“It will mean more time for Chairman Andy Bautista to bond with his children. No substitute for father-children enjoying quality and quantity time. God bless Chairman Andy Bautista!” he added.
On Wednesday, the Comelec chief announced that he had sent his resignation letter to President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday morning.