Corruption Allegations: Philippines’ Electoral Commission Chief Resigns

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

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

“This was not an easy decision, however, my family, especially my children, need me now more than ever,” he told employees of the commission.

“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.

“After much prayer and discernment, I believe that it is the right time to step down.”

Bautista was appointed by the 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 on Wednesday.

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

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

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

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