Ex-Comelec chair Bautista ordered arrested over Senate snub
The Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies on Monday cited in contempt and ordered the arrest of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Andres “Andy” Bautista after he failed to attend the probe.
The panel chair, Senator Francis Escudero made the motion after Bautista snubbed the committee’s invitation for the fourth time.
He said he would therefore ask for a warrant of arrest against Bautista so he could be delivered to the Senate when he returns to the country.
“Taliwas ito sa pahayag nya na haharapin nya ang ano mang alegasyon laban sa kanya sa ano mang forum. Ito na ang oras ng pagtutuos at hindi sya matagpuan kahit saan,” Escudero told reporters after the hearing.
“At any time na dumating sya rito sa bansa (he will be arrested),” he added.
Escudero said Bautista’s claim that he left the country last November 21, 2017 contradicts the records of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID).
“Either hindi accurate ang records ng BID o hindi nagsasabi ng totoo si dating chairman Bautista. Dahil ayon sa record ng BID huli syang umalis October, bumalik November 1, at wala sa records ng BID ang diumano pag-alis nya noong November 21 na nakasaad sa sulat nya sa amin,” the senator explained.
Escudero also urged Bautista to instead sign a bank secrecy waiver if he would not heed the Senate’s order that he testify at the inquiry. If he refuses to issue a waiver, then he should personally tell this before the panel, Escudero said.
In a letter, Bautista claimed he had not received any invitation to appear before the Senate committee’s inquiry.
He said he was out of the country since November 21 last year to “explore professional opportunities” and “seek assistance for certain medical challenge” he was facing.
Bautista’s wife, Patricia, has accused him of allegedly amassing nearly P1-billion in unexplained wealth, and of having more than 30 bank accounts with the Luzon Development Bank (LDB) amounting to P329 million. /cbb
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