The brother of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista on Monday denied allegations that the poll chief has nearly P1 billion in unexplained wealth, saying the Bautista family members are not thieves.
Dr. Martin Bautista, third of the Bautista siblings who practices gastroenterology in Oklahoma, said the controversy over the poll chief's alleged wealth is the most painful way to hit the family.
He noted their father, who is 87, also worked in the government while their grandfather was a local judge.
"Wala kaming bahid, hindi kami nagnanakaw. This is the most painful way to hit my family. This is the most effective way to hit my family—yun bang babahiran kami ng corruption. Bawal yan," he said in an ANC interview.
"[My father is] taking it hard because as I said, this is the hardest way—parang mas masahol ito sa kamatayan," he said.
Bautista said the controversy hounding the election chief could also result to the earlier demise of their mother, who had a stroke a couple of years ago.
"My mother is going to die earlier because of this. I can tell that to you because I’m a physician. She had a stroke a couple of years ago and I know, she told me, ‘I only have tears and prayers at this point in my life.’ Mamamatay nang mas maaga ang nanay ko because of this, but that’s a fact that we have to accept," he said.
Bautista said he once challenged his brother to take his own life if it is true that he was nor truthful in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
"Sinabi ko sa kapatid ko: alam mo, corruption, masama yan. I told him, kung totoo ito, magpakamatay ka. Seppuku ang tawag diyan ng mga Hapon. Sabi niya, wala. I believe my brother," he told ANC's Early Edition.
"He is that confident that he will not misdeclare, and that’s why I’m here, to back him up," he added.
Martin ran and lost the senatorial race twice, but he recalled promising to seek only one term and to forego his salary "dahil kumita na kami" (because we have already earned our dues).
"My brother, Chairman Andy, expresses that to all his students: kitain niyo muna yung pera niyo bago kayo magsilbi," he said.
Poll chief Bautista is currently embroiled in controversy after his wife, Patricia, alleged last week that she discovered bank documents that would prove that her husband did not declare some P1 billion in his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.
Bautista denied the allegation, saying Patricia is having an affair and is trying to extort money from him. He also claimed that her allegation may have been politically motivated.
He also claimed that part of his wealth came from earnings of his family's investments. As "family treasurer," Bautista said he was named as "and/or" in some accounts.
Martin, who flew from the States, said he had at least $1.7 million in joint investments with his brother at one point.
He explained that all 6 of the Bautista siblings are professionals and have worked hard to earn their money.
"Kami, puro mga professionals, and I want you to understand na itong amin, pinaghirapan namin ito…16 years, everyday kaming nagta-trabaho," he said.
He admitted that Bautista co-owns a condominium unit in San Francisco with their eldest sister, Susan, who was based there. However, he said he does not know their partition of the property.
MARITAL AND FILIAL WOES
Apart from the allegation of undeclared wealth, the issue between the Bautistas also touched on their marital problems, with the poll chief alleging that his wife is having an affair since 2013.
Patricia has denied that she is seeing a former commercial model.
Without naming names, the poll chief said he was advised to pursue legal action against his wife, but he did not for the sake of their children.
Martin, who said he does not bear any ill feelings towards Patricia, said having Patricia tell Bautista about another man being her "soulmate" must have hurt.
"We’ve never had any conflict, and I will never badmouth my sister-in-law. She’s the mother of my four nephews and she’s always been good," he said of Patricia.
"Kapatid ko si Chairman, pero it’s not about sex. It’s about telling the public that I have a soulmate. Mas masakit sa akin yun. Have an affair by all means; pero wag mo namang sabihing ka-soulmate ko, hindi yung husband ko," he added.
Bautista, he said, "allowed it to happen to protect his kids" who were very young then.
The Comelec chief's brother also noted Patricia's mother is "supporting" Bautista.
The group met on Sunday evening and celebrated the Eucharist in the Urdaneta home of Patricia's mom, Baby Cruz.
"We exchanged words and tears. We had Mass kagabi. Yun na lang. Dinadaan namin sa dasal at iyak," said Martin.
Patricia, in an earlier interview, pointed out that her husband and her stepfather, Dr. Daniel Vazquez, are both represented by Divina Law, one of the country’s fastest-growing law firm.
The law firm, she explained, holds his Vazquez's estate.
"If something were to happen to my stepfather, I am sure my mom feels she would need protection from Andy. Does that explain why she's on his side? I don't know, you decide," she said.