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Ayaw mapagiwanan: Chiz wants his committee to join widening probe on Andy Bautista’s hidden wealth

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Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero wants his committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies to add to the growing number of agencies and congressional bodies looking into the alleged P1 billion hidden wealth of Commission on Elections Chair Andy Bautista as spilled by his estranged wife, Tish.

Escudero said he wanted the committee to look into Tish’s allegations that Bautista had nearly P300 million deposited in secret accounts with Luzon Development Bank, a thrift bank owned by the family of his friend, former Transportation Undersecretary Rene “Timmy” Limcaoco.

“If this is true, then we have to scrutinize the rural banking industry (and its practices) and introduce amendments to the law if need be,” he said.

The Senate blue ribbon committee is planning to launch a probe into Bautista’s finances.

Escudero said they have to find out if some rural banks were being used as a tool by unscrupulous individuals, especially government officials, to launder money and whether these banks were regularly reporting to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) suspicious transactions as provided under existing laws.

Tish claimed in an affidavit to the National Bureau of Investigation that Bautista has at least 32 passbooks fromLuzon Bank containing an estimated P227.7 million.

She also claimed that the poll executive has been supposedly keeping foreign currency deposits and these were allegedly undeclared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) pegged at P276.3 million in 2016.