The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday gave security and protection to Patricia Paz Bautista, estranged wife of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista.
In a press conference, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, told the media that they have accepted Bautista under provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).
In Patricia’s 10-page affidavit, she accused her husband of having ill-gotten wealth because he declared only P176.3-million in his 2016 Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) even if he has assets worth P1-billion. She is also pushing for the division of their assets following their separation.
Andres Bautista is now being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation; the Presidential Commission on Good Government, which he headed and is facing impeachment raps.
Under the WPP, Patricia is entitled to stay in a safe house, monthly allowance, security protection, hospitalization and medicines, and other privileges.
“The provisional admission of 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 they are evaluating whether Patricia will soon be given full WPP coverage.
“We wish to stress that before being provided with actual protection, security and/or benefits under the WPP, Cruz-Bautista must execute a Memorandum of Agreement stating that she 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 also said that her children are not prohibited from seeking protection under the WPP in case they ask for the same.
Patricia refused to answer questions from media as to the substance of the death threats she allegedly received and issues of morality hurled against her and whether or not Andres has gender problems.