Escudero committee to lead Senate probe on Bautista ill-gotten wealth


SENATOR Francis Escudero said he would investigate next week the alleged P1-billion ill-gotten wealth of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista but would not invite him and his whistleblower wife just yet.

Escudero, chairman of the committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, said he would conduct the inquiry in response to the formal request of Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd and Panfilo Lacson to investigate Bautista’s reported hidden wealth.

Escudero said, however, that has no intention at the moment to invite the estranged couple to the public hearing.

“Am trying to schedule the hearing next week. I plan to initially invite BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), AMLC (Anti Money Laundering Council), NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and LDB (Luzon Development Bank) officials only,” Escudero said.

Sotto and Lacson filed Senate Resolution No. 468 asking Escudero to investigate to determine whether Bautista violated Republic Act 9160 or the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act.

“PS Resolution No. 468 filed by Sen. Lacson and Sotto was referred to the Committee on Banks yesterday (Wednesday),” Escudero said.

Bautista’s estranged wife, Patricia, claimed that the Comelec chief maintained 35 passbooks with the Luzon Development Bank (LDB), amounting to over P1 billion.

Sotto and Lacson said the LDB, as a covered institution under the AMLA, “should take reasonable measures to determine whether its customer is a PEP (politically exposed person). BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO



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