MANILA - On the night of his 50th birthday, Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista said his wife, Patricia, gave him the silent treatment and slept outside their home.
The elections chief, whom his wife accused of misdeclaring his wealth, told ANC's Headstart on Wednesday, that he tried to keep their marriage together for the sake of their 4 sons.
Bautista accused his wife of seeing another man, whom she referred to as her "soulmate." He said he and the alleged lover shared the same birthday.
In a separate interview on Headstart on Tuesday, Patricia Bautista denied infidelity as she presented passbooks and cash-filled envelopes to prove that her husband did not fully disclose his wealth in his statement of assets liabilities and net worth.
The martial spat was brought to the public sphere after Patricia admitted to seeking a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Bautista said his wife attended his 50th birthday party but was "silent the whole time."
"She didn’t sleep in our house that night, and the past 2, 3 years she has not been sleeping in our house. Basically, we are estranged and I don’t know what kind of a relationship they have," he said.
The poll chief said he was advised to pursue legal action against his wife, but he did not for the sake of their children.
"I recognized that for these boys to grow up properly, they needed a mother and a father," he said.
"Basically, tinanggap ko yan, kung anumang dusa ang dinulot niyan sa akin, sinabi kong kailangan kong tingnan yung mas malaking kapakanan ng aking mga anak," he added.
(I accepted it, whatever pain it caused me, I told myself I had to look after the welfare of my children.)
Bautista said he had been estranged from his wife since rumors of her alleged infidelity surfaced in 2013.
"Now tell me, if you are with somebody, and yet you are told, that your spouse has already found another soulmate, how will you feel?," he said.
Pressed by anchor Karen Davila if he still knew his wife, Bautista said: "I don’t anymore. I used to know her, but as you know, she thinks differently, we think differently."
Criminal cases of grave coercion, qualified theft and robbery, and extortion have been filed against Patricia, he said.
KIDS WERE SEEMINGLY KEPT HOSTAGE
Holding back tears, Bautista said their sons no longer attend school because they were "bullied."
He said he had tried explaining the situation to the kids, but not in full because "they can't fully grasp" it.
"Si number two, sabi niya, ‘I don't want to hear about it’ when I tried to explain my side; but the mother has their ears," he said.
(The second, he told me, ‘I don't want to hear about it’ when I tried to explain my side; but the mother has their ears.)
"I don’t want to separate them from their mother because I know that boys being boys are closer to their mother," he added.
Bautista also denied that he had been negligent in financially supporting his family.
"She got money from me--$117,000 and P250,000, yung mga GC, yung mga cash kinuha sa cabinet. Up to now, she has not accounted for that."