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BIR joins Comelec chief’s wealth probe

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 227

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is joining the investigation into allegations that Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista amassed P1 billion in assets through questionable means.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday met BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay in a closed-door meeting and discussed the parameters of the investigation and coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
    
"We need to see if there are tax liabilities based on the affidavit and documents we have gathered," Aguirre said. "The BIR wants to partner with us in this investigation."
    
The NBI-Anti-Fraud Division has already started with its investigation, and has coordinated with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to examine more than 30 bank accounts mentioned by Bautista's estranged wife Patricia.
    
"The conduct of parallel money laundering investigation was likewise requested from AMLC," the NBI report stated.
    
Bautista has been accused by his wife Patricia Paz of amassing a billion of ill-gotten wealth. Aside from the more than 30 bank accounts, she also mentioned of various properties and investments made by the Comelec chief.
    
The NBI likewise coordinated with the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) which Bautista previously headed from 2010 to 2015and with the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with Bautista's SALN.

NBI investigators have also sought the cooperation and assistance of the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and various property developers.