By Leslie Ann Aquino
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista officially stepped down from his post Monday following Malacañang’s acceptance of his resignation.
In a press conference, the poll chief cited the letter he received from Malacañang stating that his resignation is being accepted “effective immediately.”
“This afternoon, I already received the response from the Office of the President signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, saying my resignation has been accepted effective immediately,” said Bautista.
“The President has spoken so we should respect it,” he added.
Bautista tendered his resignation to President Duterte last October 11due to “personal reasons.” His resignation was supposed to take effect on December 31, 2017, to give the President time to choose his successor and for smooth and orderly transition.
Asked how he felt after receiving the acceptance letter, the poll chief said he had mixed emotions.
“I think it’s a mixture of feelings. I will miss the Comelec people. People would always ask me do I have any regret?… if ever I have any regret, it would because of the people. Most of the people here are good and honest people,” said Bautista.
He said he also felt “relieved” since being a Comelec chairman is a big responsibility.
Regarding his plans, Bautista said it is to fetch his kids from school.
He expresses hope that whoever would replace him would be given enough time to learn the work at the Comelec.
Bautista also advised his would-be successor to have patience and to rely on their senior officials in the field.
He said the acting Comelec chairman will be discussed in the en banc today. But Bautista said he will no longer attend the en banc.
Asked if he thinks his impeachment is already “moot and academic,” he said he is leaving the matter to Congress.
“I think the President already said it: If you resign, there should be no more (impeachment). But let us just let the House decide on the matter,” said Bautista.
But he assured that he is ready to face any charges that may be filed against him.