MANILA - Besieged by allegations of corruption from his own wife, Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista on Tuesday denied pocketing payoffs from the May national polls.
"Wala po akong tinanggap na komisyon, kahit na isang kusing tungkol sa isang halalan. Totoo po iyun -- wala," he said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News.
(I did not receive any commission, not even a single penny from the elections. That is the truth -- I accepted nothing.)
Bautista's wife, Patricia, has claimed 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.
She alleged that Bautista "might have had, or currently has, misdealing and corrupt practices while in government service."
Kabayan Party List Rep. Harry Roque claimed that among the documents in Patricia's possession were vouchers from Smartmatic, the private contractor that supplied the automated election system for the 2010, 2013 and 2016 national elections.
Bautista however said that the allegations 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.
(Doubts are being cast not just against me and the Comelec, but also on our 2016 elections.)
He also said his wife met with several political personalities before going public with her accusations.
He kept mum however when asked about Patricia's supposed ties to a relative of defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos.
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."
In Tuesday's interview, Bautista maintained that he suffered "emotional trauma" at the hands of his estranged spouse, whom he accused of attempting to extort money from him and having an affair since 2013.
Bautista said he stayed in his marriage for the sake of his 4 children.
"Talagang up to the last, ang gusto ko sana ay buuin ang aming pamilya kahit na may mga pagtataksil na nangyari sa nakalipas. Sinikap kong magawan ng paraan," he said.
"Iyun din kanyang pamilya, tumulong para magkaroon ng reconciliation talaga, mawala lang iyung third party. Pero matigas po ang ulo, patuloy ang pagbabatikos at pagbibigay hirap."
(Up to the last, I wanted to protect our family despite betrayals in the past. I tried to find a way. Even her family helped with our reconciliation. But she was stubborn and continued discrediting me and creating problems.)
His wife's lawyer Martin Loon meanwhile said their camp was never approached by any politician for a meeting with Duterte.
Loon also denied that Patricia demanded money from her husband in exchange for her silence.