The Daily Manila Shimbun


Comelec commissioners ask Bautista to resign or go on leave

August 24, 2017

Six Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners have called on their chairman Andres Bautista, who is facing several investigations and an impeachment case, to quit or go on leave. In a hastily called press conference Thursday, Commissioners Christian Lim, Arthur Lim, Rowena Guanzon, Al Parreno, Luie Guia, and Sheriff Abasy urged Bautista to decide. "The undersigned Comelec Commissioners, having at heart the best interest of the service, and motivated by the deep sense of duty to our people, are constrained to come out in the open to strongly and urgently urge Chair Andres Bautista to go on leave of absence for such a period as may be necessary or resign for his own sake, for the sake of his career, and most importantly, for the sake of his family, particularly his four innocent children," said the commissioners in a two-page statement read by Commissioner Christian Lim. Bautista's stay at the Comelec, the officials said, will only be detrimental to the commission as they prepare for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections as well as the 2019 midterm polls. "With all due respect, it is our consensus that Chair Bautista can no longer effectively lead the Commission," said the statement."The time for him to let go has come," they added. In a text message, Bautista said he is still pondering over options.. "As I have publicly stated, these are options that I have been considering and praying over.  When I decide, they will be the first to know," said Bautista. They said Bautista was unable to attend last Wednesday's budget hearing at the House of Representatives. "Proof that he needs to devote all his time to his defense and family was when he was absent in yesterday's hearing as he had to bring his children to a guidance counselor. The Commission was threatened with a one peso budget. Luckily, the Commissioners present were able to convince the Committee to reset the hearing to this morning," said the officials. The officials said they were left with no choice but to come out in public as they were left wanting of a decision from Bautista. Asked what would be their response to those who may view them as ditching their under fire poll chief, Commissioner Arthur Lim said it is nothing personal. "That would be a natural reaction. But those issues would only be secondary now. The primary issue would have to be the welfare of the commission," said Lim. DMS