'Bongbong, wife did not broker meeting with Duterte, Bautistas'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2017 09:40 AM | Updated as of Aug 08 2017 10:01 AM

MANILA - Patricia Bautista, estranged wife of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista, on Tuesday denied that the wife of losing vice presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos brokered her meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Mrs. Bautista said she does not know Liza Araneta-Marcos personally.

Atty. Martin Loon, who represents Mrs. Bautista, also said it was not Liza Marcos or former senator Marcos who set up the meeting.

"It wasn’t Tita Liza who set the meeting. If it were her, I would have told you so; but it wasn’t her. I just want to protect the identity of the friend who helped us set the meeting with the President. But definitely, it was not Tito Bong or Tita Liza at all," he told ANC's Headstart.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier confirmed Patricia’s claim that she met him on July 26 to discuss the case she intends to file against her husband.

“Gusto nila ipaalam na mayroon silang ipa-file na kaso kasi nga the integrity of the entire elections may be put into [question],” Duterte said.

However, he said he does not want to meddle in the controversy involving Chairman Andres Bautista’s allegedly unexplained wealth.

“I don't have jurisdiction over the case. Hindi naman ako ang mag-imbestiga. I’m not a congressman or senator when it becomes an impeachment case,” Duterte said in a news conference.

Chairman Bautista has denied Mrs. Bautista's claims in her affidavit last week that he "might have had, or currently has, misdealing and corrupt practices while in government service," saying the claims may have been politically motivated, given that his wife supposedly met with several political personalities recently.

He said the allegations are meant to undermine the integrity of the 2016 national elections that he supervised.

In the interview, Mrs. Bautista said she had to go to the Chief Executive because her husband had influential connections.

"I was constantly told that he has friends, especially the Ombudsman—he’s very close to the Ombudsman. I know that and she’s very close to my mother as well—the Ombudsman, justices, senators," she said.

She added, she also experienced being turned away by "big law firms" when they learned that they would be battling against Chairman Bautista.

"So I was of the opinion that he was probably right. So I had to go to somebody who’s not corruptible," she said.