PCGG gives DOJ documents on Bautista's stint as chair

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2017 06:26 PM

The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) on Friday gave documents to the Department of Justice (DOJ) that may be relevant to the investigation on the alleged unexplained wealth of former PCGG chairman and now Commission on Elections (Comelec) chief Andres Bautista.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he met with PCGG acting chairman Reynold Munsayac and commissioners Rey Bulay and John Agbayani, who have also ordered the bureau's own investigation. 

Aguirre last Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the alleged unexplained wealth of Bautista.

“The PCGG is conducting an investigation on the possible violations during the term of chairman Bautista as PCGG chairman. I was talking to the 3 commissioners… nagbigay ng documents but we are still studying it," he said.

“[Documents] on possible violations of the Anti-Graft Law, yung mga commissions on referred cases, including mga possible ghost employees, saka maraming travel violations not in accordance with administrative procedure,” he added.

The justice chief refused to bare what kind of documents these are, as he stressed the investigation is “still on the initial stage."

Bautista's estranged wife Patricia, who executed a 10-page affidavit, claims her husband has over P1-billion in assets but declared only P176.3-million in his 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. She is pushing for the division of their assets following their separation.

Bautista has denied his wife's allegations in an interview with ANC's Headstart. 

PROBE WILL TAKE TIME

Asked if the NBI investigation will be concluded in a week’s time, as earlier reported, Aguirre said this was not possible considering the nature of the matters to be looked into.

“Hindi. Hindi ganyang matatapos yan, masyadong masalimuot yan, malalim pa yan. Maraming mga legal angles katulad ng which offense or which testimony could be admitted or which could be disqualified,” he said.

Despite the domestic spat between the Bautista spouses, Aguirre said it would be difficult to separate the private conflict from the public aspect of the issue stemming from the fact that Bautista is a public official.

“Hindi maaaring i-separate yun; they are intertwined kaya yung mga personal issues which could amount to a criminal prosecution or criminal violation, hindi mo maaring i-separate,” Aguirre said.

"It's very hard to separate. Impossible.”

Aguirre also clarified that either of the estranged spouses may pursue cases against the other because the prohibition on “spousal disqualification or the private communication on the part of the other spouse” is lost “if the relationship is already strained.” 

This is founded on a Supreme Court (SC) ruling, Aguirre said.