Comelec chief ready to face impeachment over P1-B hidden wealth rap

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2017 10:44 AM | Updated as of Aug 07 2017 10:46 AM

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista answers questions as he emerges from the commission's en Banc meeting in Manila on Tuesday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista on Monday said he was ready to face an impeachment complaint after he was accused of hiding P1 billion in assets

"As an impeachable officer, that is always part and parcel of our terrain. If and when that happens, then I will have to face it," Bautista said in an interview with ANC.

Bautista's wife, Patricia, claimed Sunday that she discovered bank and real property documents, and several passbooks under her husband's name that were not included in his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, according a report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The wife, according to the Inquirer, submitted an affidavit to the National Bureau of Investigation last week, alleging that Bautista "might have had, or currently has, misdealing and corrupt practices while in government service."

The poll chief denied the allegation and accused his estranged wife instead of attempting to extort money from him and having an affair.

"Itong problema pong ito ay nagsimula noong 2013 dahil mukhang mayroon po siyang third party at ito po ay alam ng marami," he told DZMM.

(This problem started in 2013 because it seemed like there was a third party. This was know to many.)

Bautista said his wife's supposed lover was once linked to another famous personality.

The Comelec chief said he underwent counseling with his wife but their marital problems worsened in November 2016, when he went to a trip to the US.

He accused his wife of taking advantage of the trip to withdraw $117,000 from their joint account and transferred it to her personal account. His wife also allegedly barred him from entering their home, "ransacked" his cabinets and took several documents.

"In this situation, I am the victim. I am the victim of betrayal," he said in his ANC interview.

"I never thought a man could be raped. That is how I felt when I was prevented from entering my own house, when all of a sudden , the locked cabinets belonged to me were forced open, documents were taken without my consent."

The documents, he added, were "doctored" as evidence for his wife's affidavit.

Bautista maintained he did not conceal any wealth and that his 2016 SALN was "true and correct."