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Polls execs’ call on Andy backed

By: Leslie Ann G. Aquino

A poll watchdog group supported the call of six poll commissioners for Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista to already decide whether to go on leave or resign amid all the controversies hounding him.

The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) Executive Director Atty Ona Caritos said it is time for the Chair to decide on his priorities, especially with two back to back elections in the horizon.

As to whether Bautista should resign or take a leave, Lente said taking a leave of absence, instead of resignation, is a way of indirectly asserting Comelec’s independence.

“As head, he can show that the agency can’t easily be coaxed with threats of impeachment,” said Caritos.

It’s the same for the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).

“Leave only in order to be fair with him… accusations against him have not been proven,” Namfrel Secretary General Eric Alvia said.

He said taking a leave would also spare the Comelec of a backlash, avoid possible disruption, and allow Bautista to focus on his defense.

Unlike the two poll watchdog groups, Kontra Daya believes Bautista should resign.

Kontra Daya Convener Prof Danilo Arao said Bautista’s continued stay at the poll body has become untenable and the loss of confidence in his leadership has become apparent.

On Thursday, the six poll commissioners came out with a statement urging Bautista to already come up with a decision if he is going on leave or resign.