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Lifting of arrest warrant on ex-Comelec chief tied to affidavit

The Senate committee on banks and financial institutions may lift the arrest warrant for former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista once he submits a detailed affidavit about his alleged bank accounts, Sen. Francis Escudero said on Monday.

At the panel’s third hearing on Bautista’s alleged accounts, lawyer Anacleto Diaz, representing the former poll chief, asked for more time, or until March 26, to submit the affidavit.

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Diaz said Bautista had to “fill in the gaps” in his statement since pertinent documents allegedly stolen by his estranged wife, Patricia, had not yet been returned despite a habeas data ordered by a Makati Regional Trial Court.

Accounts in LDB

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Bautista remained abroad. He was ordered arrested for skipping the hearings.

The committee, chaired by Escudero, has been investigating Bautista’s alleged accounts in the Luzon Development Bank (LDB) since last year. Patricia had claimed he had a total of P329 million in 33 bank accounts in the rural and thrift bank.

Bautista’s latest statement of assets, liabilities and net worth put his personal wealth at P179 million.

So far, the committee’s findings showed that when Bautista chaired the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) from 2010 to 2012, accounts of sequestered companies managed by the PCGG were transferred to LDB.

The accounts in LDB were closed in 2016.

Most diffcult, painful

Diaz made it clear his client had “substantial wealth” even before he joined the government to chair the PCGG in 2010 and that the growth of his wealth “through lawful means” could be fully explained.

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Bautista, he added, “could identify and segregate his accounts from the several accounts he opened for his siblings, that is specific accounts by investments, by investor.”

In seeking the recall of the arrest warrant, Diaz said the past few months had “been the most difficult and painful” for his client, whose wife “felt scorned when he refused to divorce her and give her P620 million in cash and properties …”

Escudero said he would recommend the recall of the warrant “as soon as the affidavit is submitted” to his panel.

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TAGS: Andres Bautista, Bautista bank accounts, Comelec, Francis Escudero
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