Aguirre orders NBI to investigate alleged hidden wealth by Comelec chairman
August 7, 2017
The justice department ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the alleged hidden wealth of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista worth about P1 billion as alleged by his wife.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Monday while Bautista can be removed from his post through impeachment, he is not immune from criminal investigation.
“The NBI may conduct any investigation of any government official, regardless of whether they are impeachable or not," Aguirre said in a text message.
"Being charged is different from being investigated. You could use the investigation to support the impeachment charges," he added.
In Department Order No. 517, Aguirre directed the NBI to investigation the allegations of Bautista's wife Patricia Paz and build up possible cases if warranted.
"The NBI, through its Director, is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct investigation and case build-up over the alleged failure to disclose pertinent information required in the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of Chairperson Andres D. Bautista contained in the affidavit of Mrs. Patricia Paz Bautista including possible determination of violation of Anti-Money Laundering Law and other related laws," order stated.
He required the NBI to submit a monthly report.
A newspaper said Bautista’s wife met with President Rodrigo Duterte and executed an affidavit, which was sent to the NBI.
Bautista denied the allegation and said it could be part of extortion by his wife, who he revealed has asked for a P620-million settlement.
Patricia claimed her husband, appointed as Comelec chairman in May 2015 by President Benigno Aquino III, had money in banks, condominiums, and interest and shares in companies established overseas Bautista allegedly did not declare in his 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) with a total estimated value of almost P1 billion.
Bautista has declared P176.3 million total net worth in 2016. DMS
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