Bautista quits as Comelec chief

MANILA — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista has submitted his resignation letter to President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday morning.

According to the poll body chief, who recently conquered an impeachment case filed against him before the House of Representatives, the main reason why he decided to quit his post is “to give more time to his family.”

The resignation is effective end of the year.

“This was not an easy decision. But my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever,” said Bautista in a statement he read before Comelec employees in an audience with them at the poll body’s main office in Manila Wednesday morning.

Bautista added, “”It is with deep sadness that I am informing you about my decision to resign as the chairman of the Comelec by the end of the year.”

He noted that resigning as head of the poll body is already timely since the October 23 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls has been moved to May 2018.

“After much prayer and discernment, I believe that it is the right time to step down given the postponement of the Barangay and SK elections,” the poll body chief added.

Photos by DANNY PATA/ Northbound Philippines News

Bautista also believed that he was able to do his job well as head of the Comelec or more than two years, as he cited the commendations they received for the successful conduct of the May 2016 national and local polls.

“I believe I have served our Commission well and our Filipino people to the best of my ability,” he said.

At the same time, Bautista thanked Comelec employees for their love, prayers, and support.

“Amid the hurtful, baseless, and malicious accusations hurled against me, most of you never left my side. From the bottom of my heart, thank you my Comelec family,” he said.

Asked on what he would do after serving the Commission, the poll body chief said he would want to rest and spend time with his family.

“Magpahinga, and spend quality with my family,” he said in a forum in Manila, hours after his meeting with Comelec personnel.

Bautista added that he chose to stay until the end of the year, to give the President time to choose his replacement and to have a smooth transition of the leadership to his successor.

Prior to his appointment by then President Benigno Aquino III to the post in May 2015, Bautista served as the head of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 2010.

Last week, the House justice committee affirmed its earlier decision to junk the impeachment complaint against the Comelec chairman, stemmed from allegations of his estranged wife, Patricia Paz.