COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista said he is willing to face any investigation in relation to his wife's allegation that he has nearly P1-billion in undeclared wealth.
When sought for his reaction on Senator Tito Sotto's plan to probe his wife's claims on his alleged undeclared assets, Bautista in a press conference said he is "ready to face anything and everything."
Bautista's estranged wife, Patricia, earlier disclosed that his husband might have acquired ill-gotten wealth through his "corrupt practices" while serving the government.
In an affidavit she submitted before President Rodrigo Duterte and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), she said her husband has domestic and offshore accounts.
She also said Bautista owns condominium units in BGC, Taguig and in San Fransisco USA, all these, she claimed, were not declared in his 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
The allegations of Mrs. Bautista, however, were denied by the poll chief.
During the press conference, Bautista said he is being supported up by his whole family and even his wife's, the Cruz-Vasquez family.
"Hindi po totoo ang mga paratang, matagal na po kaming may problema, 2013 [pa] at ngayon po ay nababahiran na ng pulitika. Ako po ay suportado ng Bautista at Cruz-Vasquez family," Bautista said.
Bautista stressed out that he is the victim in the issue and not his wife.
He revealed that they parted ways due to a third party involved in the relationship.
"Ipapakita po namin sa mga susunod na araw na ito ay kaso ng pangingikil at panggigipit," said Bautista.
"Sa totoo lang po ako ang biktima dito--biktima ng pagtataksil. Ako din po ay nabiktima ng... ang aking pong pagkatao para po akong nagahasa sa aking sariling pamamahay," he added.
He claimed that Patricia barred her from entering his own house and stole from his room some documents, money, and gadgets.
He further recounted that while he was in America observing the elections, he got a call from BDO that his wife was withdrawing $117,000 and P250,000 from their joint account. The money was transferred by Patricia allegedly to her personal account.
'Assets declared in SALN'
Contrary to his estranged wife's claim, Bautista said all his assets were declared in his SALN.
Bautista's 2016 SALN reported a net worth of P176.3 million. He was the richest among heads of constitutional bodies in the country.
Bautista said he has yet to verify all the accounts being linked to him by his wife.
He said he cannot verify yet as all his passbooks were stolen by Patricia, but added that some of the accounts listed in Patricia's affidavit were fake.
Bautista said he has one offshore account, but it was shared with his family.
"My family has been co-investing with me since 1990s," he said, adding that he is willing to share documents that will prove his claims to the media.
Bautista further told his critics he "can go asset by asset," expressing confidence that he did not steal a single cent from the government.
He clarified that his wealth did not came from the 2016 polls as his critics claimed. He added he was able to acquire his wealth due to his previous jobs as an international lawyer and as the President of Shangri-la Philippines, among others.
'2016 polls the cleanest'
The poll chief also believes that the allegations against him seek to imply that the last elections was marred with anomalies.
He shrugged off issues linking his alleged ill-gotten wealth to the 2016 polls and bragged that the last elections was named the "cleanest" and "best-managed elections" by local watchdogs like PPCRV and NAMFREL and international organization International Center for Parliamentary Studies.
Bautista said politics is involved in the attack against him and wife was being used by his critics.
Asked who is behind the attacks against him, Bautista said he has already received an information but has yet to verify it.
Duterte 'a good counselor'
On August 1, Bautista said he met with Duterte in Malacañang, right after the latter met his wife in a different room.
During the meeting, the poll chief said the President has been like a good marriage counselor, advising him on what to do.
He said he was with his sister, his mother-in-law and his step father in-law during the meeting.
But prior to the said meeting, Bautista disclosed that he was already warned by his wife that she will go to the President if he will not give her the P620 million settlement she is asking.
Bautista said he is mulling on filing a case against her wife for extortion. (SunStar Philippines)