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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sequestered firms managed by PCGG under Bautista had accounts with LDB, says NBI

Published August 23, 2017 12:07pm

Sequestered companies that were managed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) under the stint of former chairman Andres Bautista also had accounts with the Luzon Development Bank (LDB), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) disclosed Wednesday.

Lawyer Minerva Retanal, executive officer of the NBI’s Anti-Fraud Division, told the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions, and currencies said they considered such accounts as a “red flag” when they analyzed the financial statements of the LDB.

“Sequestered and surrendered companies managed by the PCGG also maintained accounts with Luzon Development Bank,” Retanal said.

The said accounts, she said, were opened in 2012 and closed “sometime” in 2016.

The LDB is under scrutiny after the allegations made by Bautista’s estranged wife, Patricia Paz Bautista.

Mrs. Bautista earlier claimed that her husband had 35 bank accounts with the LDB containing a total balance of P329,220,962. These, she said, form part of what she supposedly discovered in P1-billion ill-gotten wealth.

The Comelec chairman has said that the accounts claimed by his estranged wife were either closed or fake.

Bautista was appointed chairman of the PCGG in 2010. In 2015, he was given the position of chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee, said it is in the “interest of the government to put it in one bank” regardless of who occupies the post.

“Presumably, nilipat sa iba dahil iba na ang PCGG chair. Perhaps, we should look into that as well because it’s a common practice. Kapag bago mayor, nilipat depository bank...It is in the interest of government to put it in one bank,” he said. —ALG, GMA News


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