By Hannah L. Torregoza
The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies said it may lift the arrest warrant against former Commission on Elections chairperson Andres Bautista if he submits his sworn affidavit before the panel.
Once the panel receives his affidavit, Sen. Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero, chairperson of the committee, said he would recommend the lifting of the arrest warrant against Bautista.
“We expect your affidavit on March 26. If you fail to comply, we will not lift it; the arrest warrant stays. But if you submit it earlier, that’s the only time the process (of lifting the arrest warrant) will start,” Escudero told Bautista’s legal counsel Anacleto Diaz who appeared at yesterday’s hearing.
Escudero ordered Bautista’s arrest last Feb. 12 after repeatedly snubbing his panel’s inquiry into the ex-poll chief’s alleged hidden wealth and questionable bank accounts which his estranged wife, Patricia Cruz-Bautista, had revealed.
Bautista had told the committee he is out of the country since November to “explore professional opportunities abroad” and seek medical help.
He said he is committed to answer the Senate questions regarding the allegations hurled against him.
Escudero said he is dismayed at the way the former poll chief refused to appear personally before the hearing.
He urged Bautista to execute a bank waiver to allow the committee to scrutinize his bank accounts, including that of his siblings, Susan Bautista-Afan and Dr. Martin Bautista.
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