By Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan | Business Mirror
MORE than a year ago, I wrote in this column “Andy Bautista: Out of Sight, Out of Mind!” (November 12, 2018). It has been a year since, and sadly two years since all papers, documents, and passbooks discovered by his wife, Patricia, were turned over to Atty. Minnie Retral of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who was assigned to investigate possible plunder charges against Bautista and his cohorts. A full report of the Presidential Commission on Good Government recommending the filing of charges against Bautista (as then-chairman of PCGG), Atty. Nilo Divina, Luzon Development Bank for alleged anomalies in the PCGG was also submitted by the PCGG to Retral. To date, nothing has been filed, nor any action taken despite several follow-ups by Patricia and/or her counsel(s).
Bautista, perhaps complacent that the State authorities are no longer looking for him after he evaded his two warrants of arrests by the Senate, has now gone viral in Facebook (#TheKingMaker at #DocNYC)—FB entry “Opening at the Quad this Friday and screening on Showtime next year. Tonight’s New York premiere had a Q and A with Director Lauren Greenfield and former PCGG/Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista.”
An earlier FB post showed him at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco watching a screening of a documentary about Mrs. Imelda Marcos (https://www.facebook.com/1002198943/posts).
Apparently, Bautista is just roaming around the US in comfortable self-exile. This notwithstanding that he has not fully supported his family (his brother settles the association dues, utilities and sometimes tuition fees) since he quietly fled the country in November 2017; despite the magnitude of the shocking revelations made by lawyer Glen Chong and other resource persons about election anomalies and the integrity of the automated election system used in the two elections conducted under Bautista’s watch (See: The Manila Times “Where is Andy Bautista” by Antonio P. Contreras, August 11, 2018); despite the betrayal of public trust and actual evidence that points to tampering not only with the results but also with the process itself (See: The Manila Times, “Again, where is Andy Bautista?,” by Antonio P. Contreras, January 19, 2019); despite the transfer of confiscated public funds from sequestered and surrendered companies from government banks, Land Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to Luzon Development Bank, a private development bank where his wife discovered that he kept 35 accounts ostensibly in the name of family members totaling at least P1 billion.
So, again, we ask, why is Andy Bautista free to roam around in New York, or San Francisco and other places in the US when he should be here in the Philippines where he said he would clear his name in the proper courts of law?
Worse, why does it seem that nobody is looking for him—not the Senate nor House, not the Department of Justice and certainly not the NBI?
As I said in my column last year (“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”) this is not a domestic fight between a husband and wife. This is a matter of national interest—the integrity of our electoral process and the plunder of public funds. We urge Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra to demand a report from the NBI on its plunder investigation against Andy and his cohorts. Two years is too long, especially since the NBI had all the documents it needed as early as November 2017.
Andy Bautista, come home and submit yourself to our justice system. Now is not the time to watch screenplays in New York or San Francisco, or wherever you might be!! If our State authorities can’t find you, Facebook can!