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Sotto-Lacson resolution to probe Comelec chair for ‘unexplained wealth’

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A Senate investigation looms over the possible violation of the money-laundering act by Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista.

The probe by the Senate banks committee stemmed from a resolution signed by Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

In their resolution, Sotto and Lacson cited reports that Bautista had 35 separate accounts with Luzon Development Bank, including 30 in Taguig City and five in Makati City, totaling P329 million.

“The splitting of accounts of the Comelec Chair in one small thrift bank so as not to be under the radar of the Anti-Money Laundering Council likewise needs to be further looked into,” they said.

They added the LDB is a covered institution under the AMLA, while Bautista is a “politically exposed person” entrusted with prominent public position “with substantial authority over policy, operations or the use or allocation of government-owned resources.”

In the case of LDB and Bautista’s bank accounts, they said the compliance with the required due diligence “must be studied and investigated.”

Senate banks committee chairman Francis Escudero said Thursday he has scheduled a hearing on the matter next week.