Ex-Comelec chief skips Senate wealth probe anew


Posted at Dec 06 2017 05:11 PM

MANILA - Former Commission on Elections chairperson Andres Bautista missed Wednesday the second hearing of a Senate body into his alleged unexplained wealth. 

The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies may subpoena Bautista to the hearing for failing to explain his absences, said panel chair Senator Francis Escudero. 

Bautista's brother, Martin, would be invited to the next hearing, Escudero added. 

Bautista's wife, Patricia, earlier accused the former poll chief of keeping P1 billion in undeclared assets, allegedly including 35 accounts at the Luzon Development Bank (LDB) with a balance of P329 million. 

Martin had said the former poll chief manages the joint investments of their family and that he had some $1.7 million in joint investments with his brother at one point. 

The committee questioned why LDB did not deem 34 accounts for a single depositor as a red signal and why the bank accepted foreign currency in deposits when it was not authorized to do so. 

The committee also tackled why Bautista's family invested with him when he was already in government and if he had filed proper tax returns. 

He said he hoped Bautista would sign a waiver allowing the allowing the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to examine his bank accounts. 

The LDB, for its part, kept mum about the accounts, citing the Bank Secrecy Law. 

-- Report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News