Comelec chief: Money from law dean payment for condo, not ‘commission’
Beleaguered Election chief Andres “Andy” Bautista admitted on Tuesday receiving money from a lawyer, who had reportedly worked with Smartmatic, but said it was not a “commission” but payments for his two condominiums at the posh Shangri-La place.
Bautista said his friend, Nilo Divina, who owns the Divina Law office, had bought his condo units and had been paying him on installment basis.
“Kaibigan ko po si Dean Divina, magkasama po kami sa Association of Law Deans, meron po kaming mga proyektong ginawa dati pero wala po akong nakukuhang commission,” the poll chief said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990.
(Dean Divina is my friend, we were together at the Association of Law Deans, and we did projects before, but I never received commission from him.)
“Alam nyo po ‘yung sa Smartmatic, ang panguhing abugado ng Smartmatic ay ang ACCRA law. Ngayon, meron yatang ginawang konting trabaho si Atty. Divina para sa Smartmatic pero napakaliit pong halaga ang pinag-uusapan. Pero wala po akong nakukuhang commission d’yan.”
(Smartmatic’s main law firm is ACCRA law. Atty. Divina may have done a project with them, but that involves little money. And I never got commission from there.)
Smartmatic is the company that provided the vote counting machines during the 2010, 2013 and 2016 elections in the country.
When told about the allegation of his own wife, Patricia, that he had received checks and commissions from Divina, Bautista said: “Well, okay po minsan may mga checks (Okay, sometimes, I receive checks)…”
“Si Atty. Divina bumili po ng dalawang unit sa akin ‘yan na pag-aari ko dito po sa Shangri-La Place…kasi di po ba noong ako’y dating pangulo ng Shangri-la , bumili po ako ng mga ‘yan so hinuhulugan po n’ya no. And again, minsan meron po kaming mga business dealings pero wala pong kinalaman sa aking position,” he said.
(Atty. Divina bought the two units I owned at the Shangri-La Place. When I was president of Shangri-La, I bought units, and he is now buying them from me. And again, sometimes, we would have business dealings, but none of these are related to my position.)
Asked again about the condos the lawyer had purchased from him, the poll chief said: “Opo, totoo po ‘yun. Pero wala pong kasong hina-handle ang law firm ni Atty. Divina sa Comelec , wala po,” Bautista added.
(Yes, that’s true. But Atty. Divina’s law firm has no dealings with the Comelec.)
His wife earlier alleged that he might have amassed nearly P1 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth but Bautista vehemently denied the allegation. IDL
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