MANILA, Philippines — The impeachment complaint against Commission of Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista has already been filed and endorsed in the Lower House.
The next question, according to House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, is whether the complainant has personal knowledge of its content, especially regarding the basis of the complaint.
This is important, Fariñas said, so that it will not be rejected similar to what happened to the impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte filed by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano due to Alejano’s lack of personal knowledge of the allegations against the president.
The complainants initially expressed that they will ask Patricia Bautista, the estranged wife of the poll chief, to act as witness, having personal knowledge of the alleged hidden wealth of Bautista.
However, Fariñas said, “Hindi naman siya ang complainant eh. It’s a novel issue kasi eh, kasi it’s the wife against the husband.”
(She’s not the complainant. It’s a novel issue because it’s the wife against the husband.)
“Meron tayong (We have) spousal privilege that one spouse cannot testify against another except if the case is one between the other, yan ang sabi sa (that’s what it says in the) Rules of Court,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bautista refuses to comment on the complaint until he has read its basis.
Nevertheless, he maintained that he is ready to defend himself and answer everything regarding the accusations against him.
“Sabi ko nga yan ay ipapaliwanag sa tamang panahon at sa tamang lugar (As I’ve said, I will explain everything when the time is right and in the proper forum),” said Bautista.
Two weeks from now, the complaint may be referred to the Committee on Justice to know if it is sufficient in form and substance. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
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