THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued an order directing the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to investigate the alleged unexplained wealth of its former chair and current Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.

In an order dated August 22, the DOJ has directed PCGG to investigate and submit to the Justice Secretary the report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the more than P100 million unliquidated cash disbursements obtained from the Philippine National Bank Dollar Escrow accounts of the PCGG during term of Bautista as head of the commission.

The agency was further directed to probe if there had been any abuse of resources sequestered and surrendered when Bautista was PCGG chief.

The DOJ order said the probe would include the millions of pesos worth of gift checks and gift cards allegedly received by Bautista and his staff, and those supposedly given to the members of the media.

It also directed the PCGG to look into Bautista’s alleged receipt of kickbacks and commission, including the reported bills he paid with law firms.

The DOJ said the PCGG shall coordinate with the department, the COA and the National Bureau of Investigation, the agency now probing corruption allegations against Bautista upon Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s order.

Bautista allegedly accumulated unexplained wealth that would reach P1 billion. His estranged wife, Patricia, divulged that these might have been acquired while Bautista is serving the government.

Bautista denied the issues against him, saying his wife brought the issues to the media after he failed to give her P620 million settlement. (SunStar Philippines)

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