andy’s endgame

wednesday morning he said he was resigning as comelec chief, effective end of the year.  medyo nagulat ako, sabay mabuti naman, he should have done it (as advised) two months ago, faced tish’s charges squarely, or better yet, settled with her, never mind defending the “integrity” of the 2016 elections.

wednesday afternoon he was impeached by congress anyway.  the plenary overturned the justice committee’s dismissal (insufficient form) of the complaint against him; many more reps signed it instead, along with the original 3, finding the charges serious and deserving of a senate trial.

nagulat uli ako, sabay salamat naman, let it be on record that he was impeached, never mind that he had promised to resign.  because that’s all it is, a promise to step down come dec 31.  but what if he doesn’t, say ni rep gwen garcia, what if he waffles and changes his mind about resigning?  indeed.  despite his sweeping denials of any wrongdoing, the comelec chief has lost some / a lot of, if not all, credibility.

Bautista said that he wanted to give the President time to choose a new Comelec chairman and effect a smooth transition.

At the same time, Bautista said that he has still a commitment to fulfill as chairperson of the Association of Asean Electoral Authorities in a scheduled meeting with his counterparts to be held in Cebu in December.

umm.  seeing as he is resigning under a cloud of shocking allegations, among them serious questions re the conduct of the 2016 elections, and seeing as he has been impeached by congress to boot, why would he still deserve to chair, and host, that ASEAN electoral authorities affair?

“Kung makahanap sila o kung gusto nila mas agahan yung aking pagbibitiw, walang problema basta lang maayos ang transition,” he said.

clearly andy would rather not step down until duterte has appointed a new comelec chief.  i suspect that there’s stuff he needs to formally turn over, such as contracts maybe that he has signed, maybe with the likes of smartmatic?  sabay dasal, or demand? that these be honored by the new chief?  or else, what?  this may have been the topic of conversation when andy met with executive sec medialdea oct 10.

interesting endgame.  the next move is the president’s.  the palace has already distanced  from the impeachment.  but not from the resignation.

KIT TATAD: In Bautista’s case, since he had already decided to resign, DU30 could simply supply the immediate effectivity of his resignation. This would render Bautista immediately vulnerable to criminal prosecution, in relation to various questionable transactions during the last presidential elections, and, in particular, his estranged wife Patricia’s allegation that he had amassed over P1 billion in unexplained and undisclosed wealth during said elections, which he hid in 35 separate bank accounts in a rural (thrift) bank.

But the more important point is that it would give DU30 a chance to name a new Comelec chair through whom he could either reform the electoral system or control it for his own ends. Given his autocratic bent and tendency to exploit every opportunity to extend his power, he could indeed use Bautista’s replacement for his own political ends; but given the huge outcry against our thoroughly corrupted automated electoral system, which has given us so many illegitimately elected officials in 2010, 2013 and 2016, he just might allow the reformist groups to put in their desired reforms for the 2019 and 2022 national elections.

who knows, duterte might still surprise us.  though it would be surprising as well if he allowed the impeachment to proceed.  say ni harvey keh in a public status sa fb:

To Comelec Chair Andy Bautista, some unsolicited advice: Now that our disgusting members of Congress decided to impeach you, I suggest you now withdraw your resignation letter. Tang Ina, ilaban na natin ito.

We only need 7 votes in the Senate to win this, lets push back and push hard to show this administration that it can’t mess with the Filipino people. #LabanAndy

a full-length impeachment trial, yung hindi mapuputol, yung wala nang resignation come dec 31, yes, please.  otherwise mabibitin masyado ang taong-bayan, and who knows where we might end up.


  1. oops, just saw on ANC 24/7. duterte accepts bautista’s resignation. noon pa daw, before the impeachment. does that mean bautista is no longer comelec chief? or on dec 31 pa nga. what’s going on. ang gulo gulo nila.

  2. ERNESTO MACEDA JR.: The epic adventures of COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista has unwittingly unmasked the inadequacy of our laws and jurisprudence in the matter of the resignation of our Constitutional officers.

    Senator Panfilo Lacson asks whether an independent Constitutional official should even tender his resignation to the President. Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay wonders whether treating the Chairman’s December 31 resignation as immediately effective is, in effect, an unconstitutional removal from office. These tentative views of our high officials tend to diminish the veneer of independence of the COMELEC.

    They may appear to be academic questions rendered academic by the events of the week. But, in truth, they are crucial and, unless resolved, tend to burrow like termites into the foundations of our national beliefs on the independence of our institutions.

    Rule recap. There is no law squarely applicable. So, we follow the general rule that you tender your resignation to the appointing power.

    But should the general rule apply even to appointees outside the executive branch? Constitutional officials are not under the President’s supervision and control. He does not possess the power to discipline nor remove them. That power belongs to Congress. He doesn’t even appoint them by himself. He shares this power with the Commission on Appointments or the Judicial and Bar Council. And they are guaranteed fiscal autonomy in the Constitution.

    This bifurcation is underscored in the recent action of the COMELEC en banc in designating an Acting Chairman, Commissioner Christian Lim, from among their ranks. During President Arroyo’s time, Chairman Benjamin Abalos, with all the ballyhoo about his resignation, did not even tender to Malacanang.

    It is arguable that the President may have no authority to decide on whether or not to accept his resignation, much less to make it effective immediately. Chairman Bautista’s acquiescence in this is of no moment. In the end, as all, they will have to defer to the rule of law.