Impeachment complaint filed against Comelec chairman

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — An impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Andy Bautista was filed on Wednesday on the grounds of betrayal of public trust and violation of the Constitution.

The 18-page complaint filed by former Representative Jacinto Paras of Negros Oriental accused Bautista of failing to address the voter data leak on March 2016, the tweaking of the server script in the 2016 Philippine automated polls, and his failure to disclose all his assets in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The complaint was filed in the Office of Secretary General of the House of Representatives and was endorsed by House Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia, Representative Harry Roque of Kabayan, and Representative Abraham Tolentino of Cavite.

Under the law, an impeachment complaint must be endorsed by a House member before it is included in the House's order of business.

Bautista has been under fire after his wife, Patricia, claimed the poll chief has unexplained wealth consisting of billions of pesos in bank accounts and properties.

Read more: COMELEC chair accused of unexplained wealth by estranged wife

Bautista reportedly received commissions from Divina Law, the legal counsel of poll technology provider Smartmatic, which led to speculation on the integrity of the 2016 elections.

Read more: Solon: Bautista's 'receipt of fee for Smartmatic referral' casts doubt on 2016 polls

This is the second impeachment complaint against a public official being taken up in the House of Representatives since the one filed against President Rodrigo Duterte, which was dismissed by congressmen on May 30.

Paras previously filed plunder and graft complaints with the Ombudsman in June 2016 against Comelec commissioners Christian Lim and Al Parreño, former chairman Sixto Brillantes, and two former commissioners, Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusop over alleged anomalous deals with Smartmatic.

Three government agencies are in the process of conducting investigations into the Comelec chair's unexplained wealth: the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Presidential Commission on Good Government, and the National Bureau of Investigation.

CNN Philippines' Correspondents AC Nicholls and Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.