PCGG probes former chief Andy Bautista

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11) — Embattled Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres "Andy" Bautista is in for more legal trouble.

His former office, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), is also looking into allegations that Bautista has acquired millions of pesos in unexplained wealth, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.

This investigation is separate from that of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) probe. Both the PCGG and NBI are attached agencies of the Justice Department.

Bautista served as PCGG Chairman from 2010 to 2015, before heading the Comelec.

"The PCGG is also conducting an investigation into possible violations during the term of Chairman Bautista as PCGG Chairman...The PCGG also has the power to conduct their own investigation, not only the NBI," he said.

On Thursday, Aguirre met with PCGG officials acting Chairman Reynold Munsayac and Commissioners Rey Bulay and John Agbayani. All three are President Rodrigo Duterte's appointees.

"Nagbigay ng document but we are still studying it kaya siguro by next week baka magkaroon ng any report on that," he said.

Aguirre reveals documents against Bautista show he allegedly accepted commissions on referred cases, had ghost employees, and went on questionable trips.

He said even if Bautista resigns from his Comelec post, he can still be charged.

"Wala na siyang immunity from suit so yung ordinary criminal cases...Example anti-graft practices pwedeng ituloy or any other criminal offense," he said.

Aguirre also said Bautista's estranged wife, Patricia, can testify against him. Patricia had earlier submitted an affidavit to the NBI where she accused her husband of excluding some assets and information in his 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. Her legal adviser Lorna Kapunan said Bautista's true net worth is at P1 billion.

"Although there is a prohibition -- spousal disqualification or privileged communication on the part of the other spouse -- if the relationship is already strained then mawawala yung prohibition," the Justice Secretary said.

Aguirre also noted that the NBI findings could be used as evidence in an impeachment proceedings against Bautista.

He added the NBI would request for Bautista's bank records as the investigation would also cover possible violation of the anti-money laundering law.