Senate orders arrest of ex-poll chief Bautista
The Senate has ordered the arrest of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Andres “Andy” Bautista after he repeatedly failed to attend the Senate probe into his alleged unexplained wealth.
Senator Francis Escudero, chair of the committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, said Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) Jose Balajadia had already signed the warrant last Wednesday.
The warrant, Escudero said, would be forwarded to Bautista’s addresses.
“OSAA will try to serve it by coordinating with various law enforcement agencies including the Bureau of Immigration and wait for it to be returned, served or unserved and will submit a corresponding report to the committee,” Escudero said in a text message.
He said the committee will schedule another hearing before Congress adjourns in March.
Escudero’s committee earlier cited Bautista for contempt and ordered the former poll chief’s arrest, adding that a warrant would be served on him so he could be delivered to the Senate when he returns to the country.
In a letter, Bautista earlier 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 been accusing him of allegedly amassing nearly P1-billion worth of unexplained wealth, and of owning more than 30 bank accounts with the Luzon Development Bank’s (LDB) amounting to P329 million.