Comelec chair says corruption woes aim to discredit 2016 polls

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2017 02:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 07 2017 03:58 PM

Comelec chair says corruption woes aim to discredit 2016 polls 1
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - (UPDATED) Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista claimed Monday that allegations of his supposedly unexplained wealth aim to undermine the integrity of the 2016 national elections that he supervised. 

"Ang binabahiran ay hindi lang ako, ang Comelec, kundi pati ang eleksyon natin noong 2016," Bautista said at a press conference. 

Bautista's wife, Patricia, claimed Sunday that she discovered bank and real property documents, and several passbooks under her husband's name that were not included in his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, according a report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The accusation came just days after she and Bautista met with President Rodrigo Duterte, whom the poll chief said gave them marital advice. 

Bautista has denied the allegation and accused his estranged wife instead of attempting to extort money from him and having an affair.

He also said the claims may have been politically motivated, given that his wife supposedly met with several political personalities recently.

Asked if a relative of defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos had brokered his wife's meeting with Duterte, Bautista merely smiled and said: "No comment." 

Marcos earlier filed a protest to contest his defeat to Vice President Leni Robredo during the May polls. He alleged flaws in vote counting machines, the supposed failure of election in some areas in Mindanao and the introduction of a new hash code into the transparency server on election day could have affected the vote. 

Bautista, citing local and international watchdogs, insisted that the polls were the "cleanest and the best managed in Philippine election history." 

His wife's lawyer Martin Loon meanwhile said their camp was never approached by any politician for a meeting with Duterte. He stressed, the person who brokered the meeting was not from the Marcos camp.

"The Marcoses did not broker any deal, did not broker any meeting with the President. It wasn’t them at all," Loon told ANC.

Loon also denied that Patricia demanded money from her husband in exchange for her silence.