Impeach complaint filed vs Bautista

MANILA, Philippines - Marcos loyalist lawyer Oliver Lozano has filed an impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust while serving in his previous post as head of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and as current Comelec chief.

However, instead of filing with the secretary general of the House of Representatives, Lozano filed the complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, which he claimed to have initial jurisdiction over the complaint.
Lozano said that the impeachment complaints he previously filed at the House were returned to him because no congressman endorsed them.
“It’s up to the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and refer the impeachment case to the House of Representatives,” Lozano told The STAR.
Lozano said he filed the complaint after Bautista’s wife Patricia recently came out and claimed that the Comelec chief was involved in alleged irregularities when he was then PCGG chief and in his current position as poll body head.
He said the grounds for impeachment he filed against Bautista are similar to the complaints filed against the late former chief justice Renato Corona involving huge sums of money that were not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
He said there is a striking similarity with the case of Corona and the allegations hurled against Bautista by his wife involving multiple banks accounts.
Lozano also called on Bautista to resign before the ombudsman or other government agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that is now conducting its own probe, recommend the filing of charges against him.
“For delicadeza I am urging chairman Bautista to resign now,” he said.
Bautista had filed grave coercion, qualified theft, robbery and extortion charges before the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday against his wife Patricia, who had earlier accused him of having ill-gotten wealth close to P1 billion. 
He challenged his wife to also go to court, saying, “I don’t think it is fair to drag private people into this whole thing.”
Bautista said that 10 months ago, Patricia ransacked his locked cabinets and stole bankbooks, gift certificates, financial statements and other documents that were used to fabricate documents against him. 
Among the pieces of evidence Patricia exposed were Bautista’s alleged 35 passbooks from Luzon Development Bank totaling P329.2 million, an RCBC dollar account with $12,778 (P640,000), an RCBC peso account with P257,931 in cash; 
an HSBC account with HK$948,358 (P6.1 million) in deposits, and one condo unit each in Bonifacio Global City’s High Street in Taguig City, and another one located abroad – in San Francisco, California. 
The Comelec chief also has investments abroad, among them Bauman Enterprises Ltd in British Virgin Islands in September 2010, a trustee company that Bautista set up with the Bank of Singapore.  
Another is Mantova International Ltd. that was established in Brunei in April 2011 while the last is Mega Achieve Inc. established in Anguilla, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean in July 2014.  
Patricia claimed that there were ghost employees at the PCGG identified as Howie Vitas and Joey Perry, when Bautista was chairman.
She also alleged that her husband received commissions from a law firm for supposedly recommending clients, including two sequestered companies of the PCGG.
Bautista denied that Vitas and Perry were ghost employees, saying they were hired as consultants of the commission. He also claimed that there was nothing illegal with accepting fees from the law firm.

Impeach complaint filed vs Bautista Impeach complaint filed vs Bautista Reviewed by David Tan on 11:22 Rating: 5

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