Palace to Andy: Pack bags now
Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista needs to start packing his bags after Malacañang accepted his resignation “effective immediately,” contrary to the poll chief’s earlier announcement that he will step down from his post by the end of the year.
In a letter dated Oct. 23, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said that upon instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte, Bautista’s resignation from the poll body is deemed accepted immediately.
“Ginagalang ko ang kanyang pasya [I respect the President’s decision],” the Comelec chairman said in a news briefing, adding he has already informed the poll body’s commissioners about Duterte’s decision.
Bautista’s term was supposed to expire on Feb. 2, 2022, but he resigned hours before the House of Representatives voted to impeach him from office on Oct. 11. He became the first official to be impeached under the Duterte administration.
Earlier, Malacañang said it looks forward to a smooth transition from Bautista to the next chairman and preparations for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections next year.
The Comelec has yet to prepare for the upcoming midterm polls and if possible, plebiscites for the Bangsamoro Basic Law and Charter Change in 2019.
With the President’s acceptance of Bautista’s resignation, the Comelec chief will no longer have to appear before the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, amid allegations of failing to declare certain properties and assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.