Arrest of Andres sought

Wanted: Former Comelec chairman Andres Bautista.

THE chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies called for the arrest of former Commission on Elections chief Andres Bautista for snubbing the panel’s hearing on anti-money laundering on Monday.

Sen. Francis Escudero asked Senate President Koko Pimentel to issue an arrest warrant for Bautista saying his absence clearly shows he is trying to avoid the panel.

In an interview with reporters after the hearing, Escudero said Bautista sent the panel a letter without a return address asking it to provide him questions that he would answer in writing.

Bautista’s action, according to the senator, contradicted his earlier pronouncements that he would face allegations against him in any forum.

Escudero said it was the third time that Bautista failed to appear in the hearing, ignored a subpoena, and that he could not be found for lack of an address in the Philippines.

The hearing stemming from Senate Resolution No. 468 seeks the testimony of Bautista for alleged violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Last year, Bautista’s estranged wife, Patricia Paz Bautista accused him of hiding ill-gotten wealth of as much as P1 billion that he allegedly amassed during his term as Comelec chairman.

The accusation prompted the House to seek Bautista’s impeachment leading to his resignation. rw: wjg