Panel formed to probe Comelec chief's alleged tax violations | SunStar

Panel formed to probe Comelec chief's alleged tax violations

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Panel formed to probe Comelec chief's alleged tax violations

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A PANEL of investigators has been formed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to probe the alleged tax violations of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II disclosed this at a press conference Tuesday at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Aguirre said that last Sunday, he was furnished a copy of the BIR order dated August 14, where a team has been tasked to investigate the possible violation of the National Internal Revenue Code by the Comelec chief and other personalities tagged in the issue.

Apart from Bautista, also being probed are his estranged wife, Patricia; lawyer Nilo Divina and the Divina Law Firm, the Luzon Development Bank and other related parties.

Aguirre said the team, which composed of four BIR regional directors, is headed by Regional Director Glenn Geraldino.

Bautista's wife, Patricia, accused the official of receiving checks and commissions from Divina, who had reportedly worked for Smartmatic, the company that provided the vote counting machines for the 2016 automated national elections.

Bautista in a previous interview admitted receiving money from Divina, but said it was not a commission as it is intended for the condominium units he had purchased from him.

Patricia claimed Bautista has 35 bank accounts in LDB, offshore accounts abroad and posh condominium units in Taguig City.

Bautista's assets, she said, could reach P1 billion, but the poll official declared only a portion of it in 2016 Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN).

The National Bureau of Investigation is separate probing Bautista's possible violation of money laundering act, graft and the tax code for his undeclared assets Patricia said he might have accumulated while serving the government. (SunStar Philippines)

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