MANILA - Malacañang on Friday said former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista’s continued absence at a Senate inquiry into his alleged violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and his decision to leave the country indicate guilt.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no reason for the government to run after Bautista now since he has no pending arrest warrant for a criminal charge.
Roque, however, said “flight is an admission of guilt."
"So kung ikaw ay walang kasalanan, umuwi ka. Abogado ka pa naman. (So if you are innocent, go home. You are a lawyer after all.)”
The Senate last month ordered Bautista’s arrest over the latter’s failure to attend Senate hearings on his alleged unexplained wealth.
Bautista has been in the United States since November to seek medical treatment.
Bautista's doctors said the former poll chief is suffering from secondary pulmonary hypertension possibly due to obstructive sleep apnea, essential hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
Bautista was also advised to avoid prolonged travel "due to increased risk of thromboembolism."
The former poll chief's estranged wife Patricia earlier accused him of amassing nearly P1 billion in unexplained wealth. He denied the allegations.
The Senate committee is set to resume its hearing on March 19.