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Bautista impeachment meant to humiliate him, brother says

Comelec chief Andy Bautista cited personal reasons for tendering an irrevocable resignation by the end of the year. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines — The decision of the House of Representatives to impeach Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista hours after he announced his resignation was only meant to publicly humiliate the poll body chief, his brother said.

Voting 137-75, lawmakers overrode the decision of the House justice committee to junk the impeachment complaint against Bautista.

The impeached Comelec chief's brother, Dr. Martin Bautista, said that they are ready to face the allegations against Andres.

"I think it was just to publicly humiliate my brother but the excuse that they’re here to set out the truth, what really happened, I mean this case is so public," Martin said on ANC's "Early Edition".

Dr. Bautista noted that government agencies such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Ombudsman are already looking into the allegations of hidden wealth against his brother.

The Comelec chief, however, is willing to face the allegations against him in a proper venue, according to his brother.

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"It’s a spectacle, it’s a circus, it’s a public circus that will just expose the children, the family to unbearable conflict... but if that's what they want, we are ready to show that our brother did not steal money," Martin said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He stressed that the Comelec chief tendered an irrevocable resignation effective December 31 to give President Rodrigo Duterte time to choose a suitable replacement.

Martin said that he was the first one to his brother to step down when the poll chief's estranged wife Patricia made her allegations public.

"I was the first one who told him actually to let go because I thought that the kids needed at least one responsible parent to shepherd them through this unbelievable conflict," Martin said.

'Withdraw his resignation'

Following the decision of the House to impeach his brother, Martin suggested that Andy should withdraw his resignation since people are bent on removing him from office anyway.

"If it's possible, withdraw the resignation because it’s about time that we defend our honor," he said.

The Comelec chief was prepared to lose his immunity from suit by January 1, according to his brother. Heads and commissioners of constitutional commissions have fixed terms.

"We can account for everything. We are here to show you guys that none of this was stolen... Congress all of a sudden (wants) to burden the Senate with another responsibility that is going to be resolved anyway by the proper authorities," Martin said.

Andy is accused of amassing about P1 billion in unexplained wealth, which was not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

The Comelec chief is also alleged of committing betrayal of public trust when he failed to institute measures to protect the poll body from hacking.

RELATED: Despite 'unfortunate' House decision, Bautista vows to cooperate

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