Wife of Comelec chairman accuses him of amassing unexplained wealth; he denies it, cites ‘extortion’

Commission on Elections Chair Andres Bautista allegedly has amassed almost P1-billion worth of unexplained wealth, as per his wife’s accusation.
Patricia Paz “Tish” Bautista met President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26 in Malacañang and submitted an affidavit to the National Bureau of Investigation on August 1. She sought a meeting with Duterte to tell him about the passbooks, real property documents, and bank documents under Bautista’s name and some of his relatives that he did not declare in his 2016 statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The 47-year-old Patricia states in her affidavit that she revealed “certain information and documents that would show that Andy (Bautista’s nickname) might have had, or currently has, misdealing and corrupt practices while in government service.”

“I understand that since Andy holds the position of Comelec chair, he is liable to be impeached should there exist valid and sufficient grounds to hold him in trial for an impeachable offense under Sec. 2, Article XI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” she added.
Patricia listed the following assets that were not in her husband’s SALN, as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

  • An HSBC account with HK$948,358.97
  • A foreign currency account with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. RCBC) with $12,778.30
  • 35 Luzon Development Bank (LDB) passbooks with a total balance of P329,220,962
  • An RCBC peso account with P257,931.60
  • A condominium unit in One Bonifacio High Street at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City
  • A condo unit in The District in San Francisco, California

Patricia added that she was only aware of the family home, referring to two adjoining condo units in Pacific Plaza Towers at BGC, Taguig City, as their property. She does not know the 13 other properties listed in Bautista’s SALN.

The Inquirer report also covered what Patricia found to be her husband’s overseas investments that were not declared in his SALN. These include the following:

  • Mantova International Ltd., established in Brunei Darussalam on April 26, 2011.
  • Bauman Enterprises Ltd., a company established in the British Virgin Islands on Sept. 29, 2010; a trustee company that Bautista set up with Bank of Singapore.
  • Mega Achieve Inc., established in Anguilla, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, on July 15, 2014.

Upon being confronted about these companies, Patricia said that Bautista denied involvement with them, although she found it strange why her husband would have documents related to these companies. She also said that one of the 35 LDB passbooks bore her name, something that she was unaware of.

Patricia also told reporters the content of her NBI affidavit and her 17-year married life with Bautista, from whom she would like to separate from since 2013.

Due to Bautista’s “emotional and economic sabotage” she and her children received from Bautista, she filed a case of violence against women and children against her husband at the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office.

Patricia said that she chose to take the documents she found in their conjugal home to Malacañang because it is the “safest place.”

“So I would think that the safest place to bring this is there (Malacañang), because at the end of the day, this is the President. This is as high as it goes,” she said.

The President was also “surprised” and told her he would help her, Patricia revealed. In fact, the President called for NBI Director Dante Gierran to Malacañang during the meeting. Since then, Patricia’s lawyers have been working with the NBI.

She executed an NBI affidavit to distinguish the “clean” money from the “dirty” money in their conjugal property, Patricia said.

“I want to make a distinction of the ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ money that forms part of our conjugal property as husband and wife. After all, Andy had worked in the private sector before joining the government and his income from the private sector was substantial as well,” she said.

However, only Bautista might be able to do the distinction because he “controls most, if not all, of our finances.”

Patricia added that in order to pressure her to give up the passbooks and documents against her husband, Bautista has cut off financial support for her and her family.

Bautista denies accusation

Bautista told GMA’s Unang Balita on August 7 that his wife made the accusations due to their martial problem.

Matagal na po kaming may problemang mag-asawa na ngayon ay binabahiran ng pulitika. Kaya nga po kami may problema, nung 2013 pa, meron na po siya sigurong ibang minamahal,” he said.

He added that his wife made these accusations due to money.

“I tried to save the marriage dahil bata pa po ‘yung aming mga anak. At kami po ay nag-counseling at lahat pero talagang desidido na yata talaga siyang humiwalay,” Bautista said.

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