Aguirre gives state protection to Patricia Bautista

MANILA, Philippines – Patricia Bautista, wife of Comission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andy Bautista, has been provisionally admitted to the Witness Protection Program or WPP, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced on Friday, August 18.

It's considered provisional for now until Mrs Bautista signs the memorandum of agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

She was at the DOJ Friday afternoon to meet with Aguirre.

LOOK: DOJ Sec Aguirre gives Patricia Bautista provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program. Photos courtesy DOJ @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/G1QkQPF51r — Lian Buan (@lianbuan) August 18, 2017

"Ms (Patricia) Cruz-Bautista must execute a Memorandum of Agreement. Ms Cruz-Bautista came to the DOJ freely and voluntarily, with her lawyers, to seek her admission to the WPP," Aguirre said.

The certificate of provisional admission was signed on the same day.

Apart from protection and security, WPP benefits include shelter, livelihood assistance and educational benefits for the children of the witness.

Mrs Bautista's claims that her estranged husband Andy has P1-billion worth of unexplained wealth is being probed into by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which is under Aguirre. (READ: LIST: Bank accounts, properties Comelec chief must explain)

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has also launched an investigation into possible tax violations of the Bautista couple. The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has also been tapped to investigate Chairman Bautista and check for any red flags during his stint as Comelec chief. 

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), meanwhile, is conducting an impeachment case buildup against the Comelec chair. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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