Palace respects Bautista's resignation as Comelec chief
Posted: 2017-Oct-12 23.00.44 UTC+0800
MANILA — Malacañang on Wednesday said it respects the decision of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista to resign from his post at the end of the year.
"We respect the decision of Chairman Andy Bautista. We wish him well," Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in statement.
Bautista, who was appointed to head the poll body in May 2015, announced his decision Wednesday through an open letter addressed to his "Comelec family."
"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," he said.
"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 an easy decision, but my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever," Bautista said.
In the letter, he also expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their prayers and support, most especially during his most challenging times.
"Amid the hurtful, baseless and malicious accusations hurled against me, most of you never left my side," Bautista said.
His resignation came less than a month after the House of Representatives junked an impeachment complaint against him over his alleged unexplained wealth.
The impeachment complaint was based on the allegations of his estranged wife, Patricia, who accused Bautista of having nearly PHP1 billion worth of assets that were not included in his 2016 Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
The House Committee on Justice junked the impeachment complaint on Sept. 20 for insufficiency in form.
In the meantime, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Bautista's resignation "is an honorable exit given the furor that erupted following the rupture of the marital bond."
Panelo has earlier predicted last August that the poll chief will resign if he is impeached by the House of Representatives to protect his family from the public scrutiny that will ensue during the proceedings.
"I gave an educated guess on that, remember? That it came after the impeachment complaint has been dismissed by the House of Representatives stripped the resignation as an escape valve in relation to the complaint filed against him," he said in a statement.
"In the end his decision was motivated by his desire to protect his children from the debilitating consequences arising from his family being in the vortex of an injurious public controversy. He evidently acted in the best interest of his family as well as the institution he heads," Panelo said. (PNA)