LOOK: Nakakagulat na Confession ni Bautista kay Cardinal Tagle sa SALN

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Friday that there’s something suspicious about Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista’s  Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for 2016.

“Actually meron po … ‘yan po ay upon assessment nung three [Presidential Commission on Good Government] commissioners,” Aguirre told GMA News TV’s “News To Go” on Friday.

“Our office will have to review it very deeply and [we hope] this will be part of the report which will be submitted to us …. the PCGG also has the power to investigate ill-gotten wealth cases,” he added.

Bautista in an earlier interview on television insisted that he “did not lie” in his SALN, and denied allegations that he has hidden properties.

Based on his 2016 SALN, Bautista has a total net worth of P176.3 million.

Last Monday, Aguirre issued Department Order 517, directing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and possibly build a case based on the claim of Bautista’s wife, Patricia, that the poll body chief had amassed nearly P1 billion worth of unexplained wealth.

The NBI probe will also determine whether Bautista violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) and other related laws.

According to Aguirre, “Kung meron pong allegation, an anomaly, the AMLA will investigate and gather data. Under the present status only the NBI has the memorandum agreement with the AMLA and not with the Department of Justice. The NBI could request from AMLA  [information and] data that could be the basis for indicting anybody for violation of the anti-money laundering law.” 

Moreover, Aguirre said that PCGG acting chairperson Atty. Reynold Munsayac and commissioners Atty. Rey Bulay and Atty. John Agacaoili Agbayani have already submitted documents to him about the “possible violations of law” when Bautista was PCGG chairman.

Asked on the possible cases that Bautista could face, Aguirre said: “Well ‘yun pong mga possible [yung] commission given by a law office which could be in connection with the cases endorsed by chairman Bautista to that law office.”

“Meron din mga travels as well as possible violation itong ghost employees. Hindi pa po malinaw ‘yan at the papers were just given to us a few days ago,” he added.

Patricia in her affidavit submitted to the NBI on August 1 said that she found bank and real property documents in the name of her husband and his relatives that were not reflected in Bautista’s 2016 SALN.

Aside from this, Patricia also claimed to have found “several checks and commission sheets” issued by Divina Law office  in Bautista’s name and in those of his family members.

The Poll chief’s estranged wife also said that Bautista had received commissions from a law firm for “assisting the firm’s clients with the Comelec.”

However, Nilo Divina, the managing partner and founder of DivinaLaw, said that they will file libel charges against Patricia and all persons “who aided, abetted, assisted and conspired with her in weaving false stories against the firm.” 

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