FORMER Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista was a “no show” on Wednesday during the resumption of the Senate investigation on his possible violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).
Sen. Francis Escudero, chairman of the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, resumed the public hearing on the reported ill-gotten wealth of Bautista after Malacañang officially accepted his resignation and the House of Representatives terminated impeachment proceedings against him.
Escudero began on August 23 the investigation on Bautista’s possible violation of the AMLA after his estranged wife, Patricia, claimed that the resigned poll chief had amassed around P1 billion in hidden wealth that included cash deposits and condominium units.
Among those present at the public hearing were Patricia’s lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, and David Sarmiento, president and director of the Luzon Development Bank (LDB) where Bautista allegedly deposited his hidden wealth.
Escudero conducted the investigation in response to the formal request of Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd and Panfilo Lacson contained in Joint Resolution 468 filed on August 16.
It asked Escudero’s committee to determine whether Bautista violated Republic Act 9160 or the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Bautista’s wife also accused him of not declaring the following local and foreign bank accounts in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) — foreign currency account with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. with $12,778.30 or P640,959.53; an RCBC peso account with P257,931.60; and an HSBC (Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corp. account with HK$948,358.97 or P6.10 million. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO