Insufficient in form: House junks impeachment complaint vs. Comelec chairman

Image from Andres Bautista's Facebook account
  • House panel threw out impeachment raps against elections chief for being insufficient in form
  • It said his wife, not VACC, should have been the complainant
  • Bautista happy with dismissal, said it’s a “significant step” to clearing his name

MANILA, Philippines – A House panel deliberating on the impeachment complaint against Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista thumbed it down after finding in insufficient in form.

Voting 27-2, the House Committee on Justice voted to junk the complaint on the ground that the complainant and filer should have been Bautista’s wife Patricia for her supposed personal knowledge of first-hand information, and not Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) members Atty. Ferdinand Topacio and former Negros Oriental solon Jacinto “Jing” Paras.

The form states that the allegations are filed according to the filer’s “knowledge and belief and basis of reading and appreciation of documents and other records pertinent thereto”.

Akbayan Rep. Harry Roque, one of the two who voted to find the complaint sufficient, then had his motion for a substitute verification denied.

While the committee’s decision could still be overturned by the plenary, a thankful Bautista nonetheless expressed his happiness with this turn of events.

“I welcome the decision of the House of Representatives committee on justice to dismiss the impeachment complaint filed against me. I would like to thank the committee and the House leadership for upholding the rule of law and for their objectivity and fairness,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.

Saying this was just the first step on the road to clearing his name, the Comelec chief added that they will continue to their job as usual.

“This proves to be a significant step in clearing my name after the malicious accusations hurled against me. As I have always maintained, the allegations are fabricated and baseless,” he said. “We, at the Comelec, will continue to perform our mandate in respect of the credible conduct of Philippine elections.”