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Ruling vs Bautista ouster OK’d

By: Ben R. Rosario

The House Committee on Justice, voting 26 for and two against, yesterday affirmed the panel report and resolution dismissing the impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista.

However, Bautista is not yet out of danger from being impeached by Congress as it may be overturned during plenary voting.

Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, panel chairman, presiding over the hearing, said a one-third vote of House members may result in the rejection of the dismissal.

“In case the report is overturned by one-third members, the committee shall be constrained to draft the Articles of Impeachment which will be transmitted to the Senate for trial,” said Umali.

Thus, if 98 congressmen vote against the committee recommendation, the Bautista impeachment may overtake the House decision on the Sereno complaint that is currently pending deliberations on the committee level.

Filed by former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, the complaint against Bautista had been junked for insufficiency in form.

“Accordingly, on the third session day after the committee dismissed the impeachment complaint against Comelec chair Bautista, the Committee on Justice returned the Paras-Topacio complaint with a written explanation of the insufficiency,” said Umali.