Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andres Bautista claims he has accounts with Luzon Development Bank (LDB) but fewer than the 35 disclosed by his estranged wife.
Bautista also claims that the amount in his LDB accounts is not as huge as the total balance of more than P300 million that Patricia Paz “Tish” Bautista alleges.
Patricia based her accusation on the passbooks that she found in their conjugal home, an upscale condominium unit in Taguig City.
Thirty passbooks were with LDB’s Taguig branch while the other five were with the bank’s Makati branch.
Parents, brother, sister
The Comelec chief also said that the money in the accounts “[does] not all belong to me.”
“Most of [it] belong[s] to my parents, my brother and my sister,” Bautista told the Inquirer. He was referring to his brother, Martin, and sister, Susan Bautista-Afan.
Most of the passbooks were in the name of Bautista and his parents. At least one showed the name of Susan and another was a joint account with Patricia. Martin’s name was not on any of the passbooks in Patricia’s possession.
Bautista said Martin was doing well as a doctor in the United States, while Susan also earned substantially when she lived in United States. Susan, a dual citizen, is now with ABS-CBN Foundation.
Bautista said he was the designated family treasurer.
Patricia alleged that in all, the 35 passbooks had a total balance of P329,220,962.
Bautista said he did not know if the passbooks that Patricia had in her possession were authentic. He reiterated that Patricia had stolen all the documents she was now using against him.
“I don’t think it’s that many … Even the amount, I don’t know where she got this P320 million,” Bautista said, referring to LDB passbooks that Patricia showed to reporters and included in the affidavit she submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation.
Bautista, a lawyer who worked with several private companies and was a law dean, was appointed chair of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 2010 and later as Comelec chief in 2015.
A check of the LDB passbooks that Patricia showed to journalists indicated that there were 13 passbooks for accounts opened in September 2014, 10 in 2015 and four in 2016.
The earliest passbook was opened in July 2013. It was a joint account with Patricia. As of Dec. 6, 2013, there was a P37,055.17 balance.
The amounts in the passbooks ranged from as little as P400,000 to as high as P29.4 million.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council can open accounts and determine the source of the deposits if it has doubts about their legitimacy.