Bautista’s wife under provisional witness protection due to death threats–Aguirre

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THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has given security and protection to the estranged wife of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista due to alleged death threats.

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In a press conference, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told the media that his office would accept Patricia Paz Bautista under provisional coverage of the WPP.

“The provisional admission of Ms. Cruz-Bautista into the WPP was made in consideration of her safety and security as a potential witness,” Aguirre said.

At present, Aguirre said that the DOJ would have to evaluate if Patricia would be given full coverage of the WPP.

“We wish to stress that before being provided with actual protection, security and/or benefit under the WPP, Ms. Cruz-Bautista must execute a Memorandum of Agreement. Ms. Cruz-Bautista came to the DOJ freely and voluntarily, with her lawyers, to seek her admission to the WPP,” the DOJ chief said.

Aguirre did not mention the details of the death threats against Patricia.

He even said that there was no prohibition if the children would also be placed under the WPP.

Patricia refused to answer questions from the media regarding the death threats and on issues of morality involving a third party in their marriage and the Comelec chairman’s sexuality.

In a 10-page affidavit, Patricia accused her husband of acquiring P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth and of misdeclaring his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN) amounting to P176.3 million. She is pushing for the division of their assets following their separation.

Bautista is now being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which he formerly headed. He is also facing possible impeachment if the allegations against him were proven true.

Under the WPP protection, Patricia will be entitled to stay in a safe house, receive monthly allowance, afforded security, hospitalization and medicines, among other privileges.

 

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