Senate probes Bautista's alleged unexplained wealth

The Senate has begun its investigation into the alleged unexplained wealth of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Baustista.

Wednesday's hearing is being done by the Committee on Banks, Financial Institution and Currencies.

Committee Chairman Francis Escudero is leading the probe following the resolutions previously filed by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto.

Lacson and Sotto want to know if Bautista had violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Present at the hearing are officials from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and representatives of the thrift bank Luzon Development Bank (LDB).

Baustista is not present in the hearing as Escudero believes his attendance is not required at this time.

Joining the inquiry is Attorney Lorna Kapunan who represents Bautista's estranged wife Patricia.

Patricia had alleged that the Comelec Chairman may have committed an impeachable offense and that he may have also amassed ill-gotten wealth while working for government.

She had accused Bautista of having acquired over one billion pesos in unexplained wealth.

She said she had bank books and financial documents to prove her suspicions.

Based on bank notes, she estimated that her husband has about P 329 million in LDB and these are supposedly hidden in 35 passbooks.

Bautista dismissed Patricia's claims.

He filed in court criminal complaints against Patricia, including extortion.

Bautista said Patricia created a scandal after she failed to collect from him money worth P 620 million.

Patricia had allegedly demanded the money from Bautista as this was supposedly her share in their marital properties.


Topics: Bautista , Senate , probe , wealth
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