Roque 'inclined' to endorse impeachment complaint vs Comelec chair
MANILA, Philippines – At least one lawmaker in the House of Representatives is willing to endorse an impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista, who is in the middle of a personal and professional controversy.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, August 23, Kabayan Representative Harry Roque said he was “inclined” to endorse a possible impeachment complaint against Bautista before the lower house.
“The problem is that former congressman Jing Paras has yet to show his complaint to me,” said Roque. (FAST FACTS: How does impeachment work?)
Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio are set to file an impeachment complaint against Bautista before the House Secretary General.
Roque, a lawyer, said the allegations of Bautista’s wife Patricia “can be the basis” of betrayal of public trust and possible graft and corruption raps. Patricia has accused Bautista of failing to declare over P1 billion in alleged ill-gotten wealth in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
The party-list representative said that he would only endorse the complaint if it “passes the standards of Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas,” meaning the allegations in the complaint must be based on the personal knowledge of the accuser.
Malacañang distanced itself from the planned impeachment complaint against Bautista.
"Let it be properly processed….We don't have anything to do with that,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella.
An impeachment complaint must be endorsed by a member of the House of Representative for it to be considered a verified complaint.
Several complaints against impeachable officials – including the Ombudsman and the Chief Justice – have been “filed” before the House Secretary General but have not been endorsed by any lawmaker. – With a report from Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler.com