Comelec's Bautista not off the hook even if he resigns: Speaker


Posted at Aug 16 2017 12:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 16 2017 04:16 PM

MANILA - Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista should "seriously" consider resigning from his post after his own wife said he is keeping nearly P1 billion in unexplained wealth, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday.

However, Alvarez said Bautista's possible resignation will not mean he is off the hook.

"Chairman Bautista should consider that (resignation) seriously kasi when you head that agency na handling elections sa bansa, kailangan talagang credible yan. Pag may bahid na yan, medyo hindi na po maganda," he told ANC's Headstart.

"It is an option for him, but it doesn’t mean na off the hook na siya kasi maraming issues—merong marital issues, hindi natin pakikialaman yun; pero merong issues ng corruption, may issues ng sa Smartmatic, merong issues ng money laundering. Kailangang alamin yan ng gobyerno," he added.

The election chief was accused by his wife, Patricia, of failing to declare in his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth some P1.2 billion, as indicated by the documents she discovered in their conjugal home.

Bautista, however, denied the allegations and said the wealth came from earnings of his family's investments.

Without preempting the justice committee, Alvarez said if Patricia wishes to seek her husband's impeachment, the House will have to process it.

"Kung gusto nung wife niya na mag-file ng impeachment complaint, puwede niyang i-file yun sa House of Representatives and we have to process it...Personal knowledge yun e," he said.

Kabayan Party-list Representative Harry Roque has sought an investigation of Mrs. Bautista's claims; Alvarez said this probe will touch on most of Patricia's claims, such as Bautista allegedly receiving commissions from the law firm that handles the cases of election technology supplier, Smartmatic.

Bautista, however, denied that he received commissions from Smartmatic.