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Impeach raps vs Bautista likely to be dismissed

By: Charissa Luci-Atienza

Embattled Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista may heave a sigh of relief after the chairman of the House committee on justice said the impeachment complaint filed against him will likely be dismissed due to insufficiency in form.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, panel chairman, said they will strictly observe the same rules adopted when his committee junked the second impeachment complaint filed by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chairman Dante Jimenez and Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution Inc. (VPCI) president Eligio Mallari against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno due to flawed verification.

“The committee will have to be consistent, subject to final collegial action/approval thereon,” Umali said in an interview.

However, Umali assured that amid his initial observation, the ouster complaint against Bautista will be thoroughly discussed during its hearing on Wednesday. “We will look into it,” he said.

He said the hearing was rescheduled from Tuesday to Wednesday because of the Lower Chamber’s hosting of 38th General Assembly of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), which will be concluded tomorrow.

During the Umali panel voting on the sufficiency in form of the impeachment complaint filed by Jimenez and Mallari against the Chief Magistrate, Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas warned that the ouster complaint against Bautista may suffer the same fate to that of the Jimenez-Mallari petition for using wrong verification form.

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