Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies decides to cite in contempt former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.
“Directing that the chairman be arrested and deliver to the Senate if and when he arrives,” said the committee’s chair Sen. Francis Escudero.
The committee also asked the Senate president to issue a warrant of arrest against the former poll chief after he failed to attend for the third time the Senate’s hearing on his alleged ill-gotten wealth.
“Maliwanag na iniiwasan niya ang proseso ng pagdinig (It’s clear that he is avoiding the process of the hearing),” said Escudero.
In a letter he sent to the Senate, Bautista explained that he did not receive any subpoena from the Senate and that he learned of the invitation only from the media.
Bautista claimed he is currently abroad and is suffering various health concerns due to hypertension.
However, the Senate committee doubts Bautista’s explanation. Based on the records of the Bureau of Immigration gathered by the committee, Bautista left the country on October 28, 2017, and returned on November 1st of the same year.
Escudero dared Bautista to sign a waiver that would allow the committee to examine his bank accounts.
Bautista’s wife also calls on the former poll chief to face and answer all the issues.
“You know out of respect for the Senate please appear because that the least you can do, answer the questions that are people are asking,” said Patricia Bautista, and estranged wife of ex-poll chief.
Based on the allegation of Mrs. Patricia Bautista, the former Comelec chief has 35 accounts in the Luzon Development Bank, reaching a total amount of 329-million pesos. The amount is contrary to his declared assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN).