Bautista controls 70% of bank’s deposits -- Chiz

  • Written by Marlon Purificacion
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 429

SENATOR Francis “Chiz” Escudero questioned the deposits made in Luzon Development Bank (LDB) under the
name of resigned Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.

Escudero noted that deposits made under the accounts controlled by Bautista made up 70 percent
of LDB’s money.
    
“Ang Luzon Development Bank, hindi ganoon kalaking bangko pero hindi ko rin naman sila
minamaliit. Ang kabuuang assets nila humigit kumulang P5 billion,” Escudero said in a radio interview.
    
He added, “Ang problema, ’pag pinagsama-sama mo ’yung mga account ni Chairman Bautista at
pinagsama-sama mo ’yung accounts ng PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Government) sequestered
corporations na nasa ilalim niya noon, humigit kumulang sisenta hanggang sitenta porsyentong naka-
depositong pera sa LDB ay galing sa kanilang dalawa lamang na parehong kontrolado ni Chairman
Bautista.”
    
The LDB is under scrutiny after Bautista’s estranged wife, Patricia Paz Bautista, claimed that
the former Comelec chief maintained more than 30 bank accounts with the thrift bank with a total
balance of P329 million.
    
Escudero said it was also suspicious for the PCGG, under Bautista, to keep bank accounts of
sequestered firms with LDB, which is not a government depository bank.
    
Escudero also said the LDB violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) when it failed to
report “extraordinary” transactions that amounted less than P500,000, the threshold amount that would
require alerting the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
    
The Senate banks committee chaired by Escudero will continue its probe on Bautista’s bank
accounts when session resumes in November.
    
However, Escudero is not keen on inviting the wife of Bautista to the Senate probe on the
latter’s bank accounts.
    
Escudero said he does not want to turn the probe into a “teleserye.”
    
“Wala pang miyembro na humihiling na dumalo ’yung asawa ni chairman Bautista. Iniingatan ko rin
’yun kasi ayaw ko naman maging pagkakataon o venue iyon para makapanood kayo ng nagbabangayan na
magsawa,” Escudero.
    
“Titimbangin ko at bibigyan ko ng buong ingat ’yung pagdinig na ’yun para hindi magmukhang
pelikula or teleserye ’yung pagdinig ng Senado,” the senator added.
    
The former Comelec chairman was impeached by the House of Representatives two weeks ago, hours
after Bautista said he intended to step down from his post by the end of the year. Malacañang accepted
Bautista’s resignation, but said it was effective immediately.
    
Mrs. Bautista earlier alleged that her husband amassed nearly P1 billion in unexplained wealth.