Senate body to summon ex-Comelec chief Bautista in ‘unexplained wealth’ probe
A subpoena would be issued to former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson Andres Bautista for his failure to face on Wednesday a Senate panel investigating his alleged unexplained wealth.
Senator Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on banks, said the body would request Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to issue the subpoena to Bautista, who, he said, did not even give a reason why he could not attend the hearing.
“Until chairman Bautista appears and clarifies, and they have said on national TV with much braggadocio that they will appear and defend themselves, I hope they will heed their own words that he made a couple of weeks ago,” Escudero said during the inquiry.
“We will be requesting the Senate President to issue subpoena to chair Bautista given the fact that he did not even give us a reason for his absence in this morning’s hearing,” he added.
Escudero noted that one of the three invites sent to the resigned official had been received in one of his addresses but no explanation was relayed to the committee on why he could not attend the hearing.
Unlike the last hearing of the committee, the senator said, Bautista had informed the panel that he could not attend that hearing because he was abroad.
“Ang dami na nyang binitawang salita at hamon at pati yung kapatid nya hinihintay naming panindigan nila yung binitawan nilang mga salita na magiging bukas sila sa imbestigasyon, na wala silang tinatago at magko- cooperate sila at mag e-execute sila ng waiver. Hinihintay namin na panindigan nila yung binitawang salita na yun,” Escudero said.
Escudero said that while the Senate can compel Bautista to attend its proceedings, the Senate could not force the former poll body chief to issue a waiver on his bank accounts.
Escudero said the committee would also invite Bautista’s brother, Martin, to attend the next hearing set in January 2018.
Bautista announced his resignation last August but only stepped down from his post in October.
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