Commisssion of Elections chairman Andres Bautista said he was thinking—and praying—of taking a leave of absence amid allegations by his estranged wife that he had stashed ill-gotten wealth as a government official.
“Pinagiisipan at pinagdadasalan…” said Bautista in a television interview. Bautista is also asking for prayers for one of his children who refuses to go to school following his conflict with wife Patricia Bautista.
Bautista declared a net worth of P176.3 million last year, but his wife said she had discovered bank and real property documents in her husband’s name and those of his relatives that were not reflected in his 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.
Patricia also accused the Comelec chairman of employing ghost employees during his stint as chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
Bautista denied the accusations, saying that he had earned money from financial investments with his family even before he entered public service in 2010.
He also filed criminal complaints against his wife.
The television report also said Comelec employees in Region III expressed their support to Bautista.
Meanwhile, a poll watchdog has urged Bautista to take a leave of absence while he faces allegations of amassing unexplained wealth.
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections supported calls for Comelec chairman Andres Bautista to go on leave while the accusations against him are being investigated.
“The least harsh and more prudent action would be to take a leave first while hearings and investigations are conducted,” said Namfrel secretary-general Eric Alvia.
Alvia also advised the embattled Comelec chairman to “remain steadfast, cooperate and pray as investigations commence,” adding that “the truth will always prevail.”
Earlier, poll watchdog, Kontra Daya, has also appealed to Bautista to go on leave to ensure the credibility of any investigation that he may face.