MANILA -- Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Monday officially left his office after receiving a letter from Malacanang that his resignation has been accepted “effective immediately.”
In a press conference late Monday afternoon, the poll body chief said he will immediately vacate his position.
“Kasi nga effective immediately ‘yung sulat. Kumbaga effective today yan (It is because the letter says it is effective immediately. It means it is effective today.),” he said.
According to the letter signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, dated October 23, Bautista’s resignation has been accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte.
.“We refer to you(r) letter tendering you(r) resignation as Chairman of the Commission on Elections. Upon the instruction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, I wish to inform you that your resignation is hereby accepted, effective immediately,” said the letter which was shared by Bautista to members of the media at the press briefing.
Asked on how he feels after receiving the letter (at around 2 p.m.), he said he had mixed emotions.
“I think it's a mixture of feelings. Mami-miss ko mga tao sa Comelec. (I will miss some Comelec personnel) People would always ask me do I have any regret... kasi it's almost two and half years din ako sa Comelec. If ever I have any regret it would be because of the people. Ang mga tao sa Comelec, karamihan mabubuting tao. Tapat sa tungkulin (Many Comelec personnel are loyal to their duties.),” Bautista added.
The poll body chairman had tendered his resignation last October 11 with an effectivity date of December 31, 2017 citing the need to attend to his family's needs as the main reason for resigning.
But, on the same day he tendered his resignation, the House of Representatives voted 137-75-2 to impeach Bautista.
With this, he is leaving the decision to Congress whether his stepping down from post should mean that the impeachment trial is already moot and academic.
“Hayaan na natin. Sabi ko nga ayoko pangunahan ang kahit na sino pero ito nga may sagot na ang ating Pangulo (It is fine. As I've said, I don't want to preempt anyone but now, the President has spoken.)” he said.
Bautista believes that the acting chairman of the poll body will be discussed in the en banc on Tuesday. (PNA)