Bautista’s resignation was a graceful exit

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

The resignation of Chairman Andres Bautista from the Commission on Election effective on Dec.31, 2017 is still the best way out for him on his decision to keep the highly contested Smartmatic election technology and systems as well as his high profile tussle with his ex-wife over billion pesos worth of hidden ill-gotten wealth. 

His resignation letter, addressed to his Comelec family dated October 11, 2017, said his decision was reached after much discernment and prayer. It cuts short his tenure at Comelec by over four years, which was supposed to end on Feb. 2, 2022. By the time his resignation takes effect, Bautista has completed only 2.8 years in this position.

“It is with deep sadness that I am informing you about my decision to resign as the chair of the Commission on Elections by the end of the year," Bautista said in a letter to the Comelec.

"After much prayer and discernment, I believe that this is the right time to step down given the postponement of the barangay and SK elections. This was not an easy decision. But my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever," Bautista said adding that he has filed his resignation letter to Malacanang.

"Gusto ko ring bigyan ng panahon ang ating Pangulo ng papalit sa akin," Bautista said. (I also want to give our President time to choose my successor.)

 Bautista also pointed out that the 2016 elections, which happened under his watch, "was hailed by independent and foreign observers as the best managed and most credible in our electoral history."

"I am thankful for the love, prayers, and support you have shown me, most especially during my most challenging times. Amid the hurtful, baseless, and malicious accusations hurled against me, most of you never left my side," Bautista said.

Bautista’s resignation comes nearly a week after the House justice committee, by a vote of 19-2, formally junked an impeachment complaint against him. He was earlier being prodded to either take a leave or resign by all six Comelec commissioners as he "can no longer effectively lead the Commission."

This comes as Bautista faces a feud over money with his estranged wife, Patricia, whom he sued for robbery and extortion.

Bautista was appointed by then president Benigno Aquino III as Comelec chairman on April 28, 2015. Before this, he was chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

 

 

 

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