MANILA - The elder brother of election chief Andres Bautista said Monday he reached out twice to his estranged wife offering to broker a settlement and appealing to "put an end to this madness."
Dr. Martin Bautista, who flew in from the United States last Saturday to defend his younger brother here, warned that a "political operator with an agenda" might use the issue of his brother's alleged hidden wealth to "tarnish" his reputation.
In a second email last April 10, he urged his sister-in-law, Patricia Paz Bautista, to talk to him and his wife, saying "there has to be an easier resolution to this conflict."
Dr. Bautista said he never got a reply from Patricia, who later went public with her allegations.
Andres Bautista was accused of accumulating around P1 billion in wealth, which were not disclosed in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth as required by law.
In an email last Feb. 21, Dr. Bautista told Patricia that he and his brother could "accurately account for all of his financial holdings."
"I beg you, please put an end to this madness," the brother wrote. "We must not let this escalate any further as we are on the precipice (of) total destruction where only your lawyer will handsomely profit."
Dr. Bautista said his younger brother had been "entrusted" with the family's money "because we have always had faith in his investment acumen long before he was in government."
Bautista, chairman of the Commission on Elections, earlier said he had been designated as the family treasurer.
The elder Bautista said Patricia was aware he and his brother had been investing after Andres repaid the $26,000 he loaned his for his post-graduate studies at Harvard University in 1993.
In an interview with ANC Monday, Dr. Bautista said the joint investments amounted to $1.7 million and another P8 million in 2000.
"It is easy to cast doubt upon the honesty of my brother and while truth ultimately triumphs, I have no doubt that in the hands of a political operator with an agenda, the forty years of studies, hard work, diligence and dedication of my brother will be substantially tarnished," he told Patricia.
Dr. Bautista said he was "offering to broker settlement that will be beneficial" to Patricia and her 4 sons with his brother.
"I can't let you two destroy each other and even more important than you both, irreparably harm (to the children)," he wrote.
"You and I have never had any conflict, Tisha, please let me help."