Lawyer blasts poll chief on 'recycled' cash envelopes

Aleta Nieva-Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2017 12:16 PM | Updated as of Aug 15 2017 03:45 PM

The legal adviser of Patricia Bautista believes Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andy Bautista is trying to fool the public with his alibi that cash envelopes found by his wife were just recycled.

"You know, the problem with the Chairman is he thinks he can fool everyone," Atty. Lorna Kapunan said on ANC's Headstart on Monday.

"We have 10 payroll envelopes with the names of employees there. If they are not ghost employees and if they are real live people, then they should have gotten the envelopes and the payslips. To say that he is recycling envelopes is making the public stupid," she added. 

Bautista's estranged wife earlier executed an affidavit claiming that 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.

During an interview with ANC's Headstart, Patricia showed passbooks, checkbooks, bank statements and "commission" sheets that allegedly belong to her husband. 

She also found envelopes containing cash, with attached payslips of PCGG employees. 

"The money is still there. I did not touch the money. I asked him (Andres) about this in front of his sister. And he said: 'No, these are old envelopes that are just being reused.' The money is still intact. I did not touch anything," she said. 

For his part, Chairman Bautista said the cash envelopes found by his wife were not for "ghost employees".

"Kunwari makakuha ka ng envelope from BPI di ba? Tapos may pera doon dati, tinanggal mo. Tapos minsan iiwan mo doon, tapos lalagyan mo din ng pera," he said in a separate interview. 

He also pointed out that the money inside the alleged envelopes could have been planted.

"The point is, this is just an envelope. This was in 2014. Sino naglagay ng P15 (thousand) doon? Papaano ko malalaman na P15 (thousand) yun? Baka planted yan.

Prior to serving the Comelec as its chair, Bautista also served as chief of the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) in 2010.

ANC's Headstart, 15 August 2017