Wife: I asked P260-M from Comelec chair; settlement was held 'for ransom'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2017 08:44 AM | Updated as of Aug 08 2017 04:26 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) The estranged wife of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista on Tuesday denied she asked for P620 million from him as settlement, clarifying that she only wanted P260 million mostly as trust fund for her children.

"I only want what is legally mine as a wife of 17 years with 4 children. My main concern was to basically find what really is our finances—which belongs to us and which don’t," Mrs. Patricia Bautista, who has been estranged from her husband since 2013, told ANC's Headstart.

The Comelec chairman, she said, agreed on the settlement but held it "for ransom" unless she signed a statement that said she "did not find any of these things illegal or anything wrong" with the documents she alleged would show that the poll chief had P1 billion in unexplained wealth.

She also claimed that the other option that her husband presented was for her to "sign a statement that would basically disbar Lorna Kapunan."

Mrs. Bautista initially had Kapunan as her lawyer when she found the documents allegedly showing that the elections chief had unexplained wealth. 

She said she had to "take her out of the equation" because the poll chief had "personal issues" with Kapunan. 

She said her new set of lawyers tried to settle the issue with her husband again, but to no avail. This then prompted her to approach a higher authority: President Rodrigo Duterte.

"I wasn’t getting any straight answer from Andy despite the fact that he said he can show. How will I know? That’s why I decided that the person who would understand all of these should be somebody beyond reproach, beyond corruption and all of that; and we went to President Duterte," he said.

Mrs. Bautista earlier claimed she had 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 (SALN).

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mrs. Bautista submitted an affidavit last week, alleging that her husband "might have had, or currently has, misdealing and corrupt practices while in government service."

Chairman Bautista on Monday denied her accusations, alleging instead that his estranged wife is attempting to extort money from him and is having an affair.

The National Bureau of Investigation has been ordered to probe the issue and resolutions have been submitted in both houses of Congress seeking a similar investigation.