Comelec Chairman Bautista's resignation not 'irrevocable'
MANILA, Philippines – While Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista submitted a resignation letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, Bautista did not use the word "irrevocable" to describe his decision to quit.
"Bilang paggalang sa appointing authority, you know, I didn't use that word (As a form of respect to the appointing authority, you know, I didn't use that word)," Bautista said on Thursday, October 12, in an interview with broadcast journalist Ted Failon on dzMM.
Referring to Duterte, Bautista added, "Gusto ko rin ngang bigyan siya ng pagkakataon na pag-isipan 'yung aking pagbibitiw." (I want to give him a chance to think about my resignation.)
Failon then asked Bautista if he was hoping that the President will not accept his resignation.
"Um, well, wala, hindi pumasok sa isip – but as you know, in the world of possibilities, baka sabihin niya, 'O baka puwede ka mag-stay until...' You know, hindi ko po alam kung ano po ang kanyang magiging pasya," Bautista answered.
(Um, well, no, it didn't cross my mind – but as you know, in the world of possibilities, he might say, "You may want to stay until…" You know, I don't know what his final decision will be.)
Bautista submitted his resignation letter to the Office of the President on Wednesday, October 11, as he cited personal reasons for his decision to quit. After this, he met with Comelec employees and posted on social media a letter to his Comelec family.
While his critics want him to quit effective immediately, the Comelec chairman's resignation is effective December 31.
Before filing his resignation on Wednesday, he also pointed out, Bautista met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday, October 10, to declare his intention to vacate his post.
Date of effectivity not 'cast in stone'
Bautista told Medialdea that he made his resignation effective December 31 to give Duterte more time to choose his successor, and to ensure a "smooth and orderly transition."
He also told the executive secretary that this date of effectivity is not "cast in stone."
"Ang feeling ko is that reasonable naman po 'yung ginawa ko eh (My feeling is that my move was reasonable)," Bautista said.
Hours after he resigned, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Bautista.
Bautista's brother, Martin Bautista, hit members of the House of Representatives in an interview with ANC's Christian Esguerra on Thursday morning.
Martin Bautista said of the House vote to impeach the Comelec chairman, "I think it was just to publicly humiliate my brother."
He also urged the Comelec chairman to withdraw his resignation, especially after the House vote against Bautista, also known by his nickname Andy.
"Pinipilit po nilang palayasin ang kapatid ko kahit wala naman siyang kasalanan. So ang sinabi ko nga kay Andy, huwag kang magre-resign. Kung puwede, bawiin mo 'yung iyong resignation, because it's about time that we defend our honor," Martin Bautista said.
(They're forcing my brother out of office even if he did nothing wrong. So I told Andy, do not resign. If you can, withdraw your resignation, because it's about time that we defend our honor.) – Rappler.com