Sequestered firms kept accounts in bank tagged in Bautista wealth probe: NBI

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2017 02:36 PM

MANILA - Sequestered companies managed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government during the tenure of Chairman Andres Bautista also had accounts in Luzon Development Bank, the National Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday.

NBI Anti-Fraud Division head Atty. Minerva Retanal told a Senate investigation the accounts were transferred to LDB from another bank after Bautista took office as PCGG chair.

The accounts were closed in 2016, a year after Bautista was appointed Commission on Elections chairman, said Retanal.

The NBI and Senate are both investigating allegations that Bautista kept P1 billion in undeclared assets, including 35 LDB bank accounts with a total balance of P329 million, as claimed by his wife Patricia.

Retanal said her agency has sought help from the central bank to analyze LDB's deposit liabilities and increases after finding "something that could be considered red flag on that."

Senator Francis Escudero, for his part, urged his fellow lawmakers to look into the practice of giving leeway for agency heads to deposit public funds in private banks.

Bautista has maintained that a "demolition job" was behind  allegations that he misdeclared his wealth.