January 16, 2018, 11:13 pm
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Bautista asks wife: Stop media ‘circus’

AFTER filing cases against his wife, Elections chairman Andres Bautista yesterday appealed to Patricia’s camp to stop airing accusations in media for the sake of their four kids.

“They haven’t been going to school. One keeps complaining of stomach ache, the other always wants to sleep. So this circus is really at their expense,” he said in an interview.

“I am appealing to them, for the sake of the kids... Let’s follow due process of law… Let’s not try this in the media because it’s not doing good for my kids,” he said.

Bautista on Tuesday filed charges of extortion, robbery, and grave coercion against Patricia before the Taguig City prosecutor’s office. He is accusing his wife of stealing cash, gift certificates, ATM cards, passbooks, and financial reports and other documents from a safe in their house last November. 

Patricia is claiming her husband has some P1 billion in unexplained wealth, and did not declare this in his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN). Bautista’s net worth, based on his 2016 SALN, is P176.3 million.

Bautista has denied the allegations and accused his wife of extorting and blackmailing him.

He showed media what he said was a demand letter sent by Patricia’s camp in February and signed by lawyer Lorna Kapunan, demanding that he give her P500 million cash, including P200-million as trust fund for their children, and their residential property at the Pacific Plaza Towers in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Kapunan has asked commissioners of the Commission on Elections to probe the chairman.

“That is ridiculous. Just ignore her. I am not afraid of her. She is really rude,” said Bautista. 

He also showed to media what he said was a cover letter of a draft impeachment complaint prepared against him and sent to his sister via courier on June 28. He said the complaint will be filed if he does not agree with the terms of their settlement agreement.

“We already have this settlement, an agreement. And then this,” said Bautista.

Asked whether he is considering taking a leave of absence, he said, “I am considering a lot of things. Of course I have to think about all sorts, issues. I have my obligation to my kids, my family, protect the reputation of my family… I also have an obligation to the Comelec. So I am balancing these things.”

Comelec employees and Commissioner Arthur Lim showed Bautista their support by joining him in his daily habit of attending noon mass at the nearby Manila Cathedral. After the mass, the Comelec workers gathered outside the Manila Cathedral and chanted support for Bautista.
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