Philippines' elections chief quits after corruption allegations
October 11 2017 04:53 PM
Juan Andres Bautista
Juan Andres Bautista


The head of the Philippines' elections commission on Wednesday resigned, three weeks after a congressional committee voted to junk an impeachment complaint against him on corruption allegations.

Juan Andres Bautista, chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said his resignation would be effective on December 31 to give President Rodrigo Duterte time to find a replacement for him.

‘This was not an easy decision,’ he told employees of the commission. ‘But my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever.’  ‘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 added. ‘After much prayer and discernment, I believe that it is the right time to step down.’  Bautista was appointed by former president Benigno Aquino as chairman of the Comelec in May 2015, one year before the 2016 presidential elections that Duterte won.

The resignation came three weeks after the justice committee of the House of Representatives voted to junk an impeachment complaint against Bautista. The House plenary was to tackle the matter later Wednesday.

The complaint was based on allegations by his estranged wife that he had secret bank accounts and other assets worth nearly 1 billion pesos (20 million dollars).

Bautista's wife alleged she discovered documents referring to bank accounts and properties that were under Bautista's name but not included in his assets statement submitted to government.

Bautista has denied the allegations and said the documents shown by his wife were altered as part of a plan for her to extort money from him. 

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