Vice President Leni Robredo finally denounces the attempts to link her election victory to the Comelec Chair Andres Bautista and his wife’s scandal. Her win is under protest by Bongbong Marcos. She also denied their alleged secret meeting that she calls malicious.
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[VIDEO]: Robredo: No ‘secret meeting’ with Comelec chair Bautista
Robredo cannot help but accuse her detractors of the alleged forced link. She said; “I think it’s just forced. I think they are just forcing a connection with our case, which is unfortunate,” she told reporters in an interview in Naga City.
The VP said that the allegations raised by Mrs. Patricia Bautista “had nothing to do with the election.” “But it’s saddening that such a private problem is being used by some politicians to further their ends,” Robredo said without elaborating. Is she blaming Marcos again?
Patricia accused her husband of unlawfully amassing nearly P1 billion in cash and real estate properties. Chairman Bautista, in turn, accused her of attempting to extort money from him and of having an affair. The mud throwing continues until it reaches into the election fraud issue where the Chairman got referral fees from Smartmatic, the provider of election VCMs that is guilty of illegal alteration on the night of the 2016 election.
Robredo is facing an electoral protest by a rival, Bongbong Marcos. He questions her narrow victory over him. The slim margin of more than 260,000 votes can easily be disputed by the 3.2 undervotes if the ballot boxes are opened for the recount, he said. Marcos’ own name was dragged into the controversy following rumors that his wife Liza Araneta-Marcos arranged Mrs. Bautista’s meeting with the President despite not knowing her personally. However, Marcos never blames Robredo for it.
VP Leni Robredo is one of the possible replacements of former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo. This is after Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson includes her name in a Twitter poll. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that while he does not reject the idea that the VP can become the next social welfare secretary. However, Abella notes that the Political climate may not make her an ideal candidate. That can be right considering that Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest against her is still ongoing.
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[VIDEO]: Umalma ang Malacañang sa komento ni Vice-President Leni Robredo na mabagal ang aksyon sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong “Nina,” at sinabing siya’y namumulitika. Sagot naman ni VP Leni, “nag-overreact” ang Palasyo.
Leads Twitter Poll
Robredo leads in the poll by ASEC Uson. She is ahead of DSWD Asst. Sec. Lorraine Badoy and Nikki Teodoro, wife of former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. It can be recalled that the VP was criticized when a typhoon strikes the Bicol region while was in America. Bongbong Marcos even visited her hometown that she appreciated later on. This is because they need all help that they can get, according to her.
Friction with the Palace
The palace was also irked when she observed that the relief goods were slow when she visited one Barangay during Typhoon Nina. The spokesperson said that she should have checked how the government officials particularly the DSWD worked so hard for the job.
Likely Leader in a Rebel
Since the VP is fond of visiting disaster areas as per her photo opportunity press releases, it can be a good idea to let her show that she can do better. It is also noted that she had a previous rift with the rejected DSWD chief Taguiwalo in the past.
It is also understandable that the palace cannot reckon to name Robredo as DSWD Secretary because she likes to criticize the Du30 administration. Perhaps, it is difficult to work on the same page with someone who has the rebellious nature. Besides, she has the electoral protest to concentrate on especially now that she has not paid the remaining tranche of her counter protest against Bongbong Marcos.
Comelec Chair’s brother Martin Bautista faces direct scrutiny by Patricia Bautista’s lawyer, Atty. Lorna Kapunan on his disclosure that he has with him the evidence of their alleged unexplained wealth. Kapunan points out 8 violations that put not only him and his family into trouble. He also places the 2016 election into a bad light. These add to the weight of the first part of Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest when proven.
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[VIDEO]: Comelec chief may have violated rule to disclose business interests: lawyer
Atty. Lorna Kapunan, a former lawyer and current legal adviser of Patricia Bautista said that Martin Bautista’s admission that he does not know their family’s wealth details because the Chairman is the “family Treasurer” is damaging. It means that the Comelec chief fails to disclose his business interests and financial connections as required by law. She said that the disclosures are supposedly on a separate form attached to the SALN.
Negative Impact on his Brother
As he points the Chairman as the family Treasurer, he also implies that Comelec Chair Bautista is liable if incorrect taxes filed. Kapunan also stresses that Bautista could face charges for “soliciting or accepting gifts directly or indirectly.” This follows after Mrs. Bautista reveals a “commission sheet” or referral record, however they call it. That bears the names of lawyers that allegedly paid such fees to the Comelec chief.
Liberal Party Bet
Kapunan also mentioned that Martin Bautista ran for public office at least three times while he still has residency and active investments in the US. As his current status dictates. She suggests for authorities look into how they transfer their wealth from America to the Philippines. This is to see if they follow the remittance law. He belongs to the Liberal Party of Vice President Leni Robredo, Marcos’ rival in the VP race.
Integrity of the 2016 Election
The Comelec Chair’s brother cannot vouch for the integrity of the 2016 election or else, he can only be biased. Despite his LP affiliation, he seems to have various violations in his political activities. His disclosure not only ruin his own brother and family – but he also helped Bongbong Marcos prove that the previous poll was indeed fraudulent.
Andres Bautista, Ex-Pnoy’s appointee was the PCGG Chair in charge of chasing the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. Now, he’s the Comelec Chair whom Bongbong Marcos accuses of conniving with Smartmatic. This pertains to the dirtiest ever digital election in 2016 that favors Liberal Party candidates especially VP Leni Robredo.
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[VIDEO]: After meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, the wife of Commission on Elections Chair Andres Bautista submitted last week to the National Bureau of Investigation an affidavit. She says that the Comelec chief might have amassed nearly P1 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth.
Patricia Paz “Tish” Bautista submitted the affidavit on Aug. 1, five days after meeting the President in Malacañang. She discloses several passbooks, real property documents under her husband’s name and some of his relatives. Those were not included in his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth or SALN.
“I understand that since Andy holds the position of Comelec chair, he is liable to be impeached should there exist valid and sufficient grounds to hold him in a trial for an impeachable offense under Sec. 2, Article XI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” Patricia said in the affidavit. Bautista was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III as Comelec Chair in May 2015. In 2010, Aquino also made him Presidential Commission on Good Government Chairman. PCGG is the agency tasked with going after the ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family.
Kept in the Dark
Her lawyers insist that Patricia has no hand in the purchase or acquisition of the questionable properties because her husband always kept her in the dark with regards to their assets. Patricia said that based on her own assessment, the cumulative value of the properties at their acquisition costs was between P250 million and P300 million. It is “definitely more than P158.5 million” that Bautista declared in his 2016 SALN.
Disclosure Supports Marcos
Patricia discloses her discoveries to the media as what she divulged through her NBI affidavit. She also narrates her life she had with her husband of 17 years from whom she wants to separate since 2013. Her revelation only supports Bongbong Marcos’ accusation of Comelec’s connivance with the Liberal Party to block his victory. Since the President already knows this, she definitely made the right move.
Bongbong Marcos is confident that the retrieval of ballots and other relevant election paraphernalia can lead to an immediate revision of votes by October. This is if the recount can start middle of August. On the other hand, Robredo’s camp insists that the PET must first resolve the issue on the digital election integrity. This is the first part of Marcos’ electoral protest.
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[VIDEO]: Ipinapa-manual recount ng magkabilang panig ang ilang probinsya na walang bumoto para kina VP Leni Robredo at ex-Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
Marcos supporters are already asking for updates on the electoral protest as soon as August starts. However, the Marcos camp expects the Supreme Court to start the recount by mid-August. The retrieval of ballot boxes from Marcos’ key provinces was already requested upon paying in full.
The PET directed both camps to submit their respective comments, within 5 days, on issues that the tribunal identified in connection with Marcos’ and Robredo’s respective poll protests. This includes limiting their witnesses to three per precinct. By now, both camps must have shortlisted their witnesses already.
Marcos thanked the Supreme Court for the actions it has taken to fast-track the recount process. He expressed his faith in the tribunal. Earlier, the PET assigned a panel of justices to assist in the recount as suggested by Marcos. The venue of the process is already determined and equipped with the necessary fixtures. The basketball court will serve as the center for the activity.
October Revision of Election Votes
Marcos’ lead counsel, George Garcia, said he sees no need to contest or oppose the motion of Robredo to resolve the integrity issue first. He just hoped that the revision of votes would begin in October. If this is undertaken, results can be known already by February – at least for their camp’s pilot areas: Negros Oriental, Camarines Sur, and Iloilo provinces.