Former Comelec and PCGG chair Bautista slams Marcos Jr spox, says he has no case in PH

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2022 09:34 PM

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MANILA — Former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) commissioner Andres Bautista said Sunday that he is not facing any legal case in the Philippines.

"Walang kaso na isinsampa ang gobyerno laban sa akin," Bautista told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(The government has not filed any case against me.)

Bautista, who is in the United States, said that while he can "technically" go home, his situation is "complicated" due to "personal issues." 

He was reacting to presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. spokesperson Vic Rodriguez, who said that the former Comelec chief should come home so that they could make him accountable for the outcome of the 2016 elections.

Rodriguez's pronouncement was in turn a reaction to the missing Picasso painting, "Reclining Woman VI," which was spotted at the home of former first lady Imelda Marcos when Marcos Jr. visited her after his victory in the May 9 polls. 

The painting, Bautista had said, could be worth P8 billion if sold.

The Picasso was among the paintings that the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan wanted seized from the Marcoses in 2014. 

He urged the current leadership of the PCGG to look into the development and try to seize the painting, if possible.

Bautista also noted that there are still about 156 missing paintings that the commission has yet to recover from the Marcos family.

"I believe maraming mga painting na tinatago or given to their friends para itago and give it back to them," he said.

(I believe there are still many paintings being hidden or given to their friends to hide and give back to them.)

Recovering at least one of those 156 missing paintings would be a great help to the country, Bautista added.

Bautista was appointed head of the PCGG in 2010 by President Benigno Aquino III. In 2015, he was appointed Comelec chief. Congressional allies of President Rodrigo Duterte filed an impeachment complaint against him in 2017, which was dismissed that same year.

The former PCGG chair also reiterated his concern that the commission may be gone once Marcos Jr. is sworn into the presidency. 

In a radio interview last March, however, Marcos Jr. said he would "strengthen" rather than abolish the PCGG under his administration.

"Well, you know it's true that it has, in its present form and in the way it was organized in 1986, maybe it could be said that they no longer perform the function that they were originally created to do... However, we can go back to the idea that they are a Commission on Good Government," he said.