Beleaguered Commission on Elections (Comelec) chief Andres Bautista on Tuesday defended himself from personal attacks by the camp of his estranged wife, saying the allegations being hurled at him by Patricia Paz “Tisha” Cruz-Bautista were nothing but “foolish lies.”
Earlier, Patricia’s lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, said her client found a latigo or bullwhip from the poll chief’s personal belongings, insinuating that he was engaged in sexual sadomasochism.
Kapunan also suggested that Bautista was either gay or a philanderer as he allegedly maintained accounts in pornographic online sites and on Facebook where he supposedly maintains two identities, including that of a woman, and turned the family’s condo units into sex dens, where he was supposedly “gifted” with women in exchange for favors.
Latigo was supposed to be a gift for Comelec exec
In an interview with News5’s Raffy Tulfo, Bautista explained that he was in India in October last year upon the invitation of the country’s electoral commission to observe its elections. Visiting a market there, a vendor offered him the bullwhip as a souvenir.
“Ibibigay ko sana dito sa isang commissioner, dahil parati kapag kami ay nagkakagulo sa en banc, siya ‘yong parang naglalagay ng order [I was supposed to give it to a commissioner, because every time chaos descends upon the en banc, he is the one who restores order],” the Comelec chief said.
“Pero ang inaano nila is…sexual ano. Naku po, hindi gano’n ‘yon eh (But they’re insinuating that it’s a sexual object. But it’s not like that),” added Bautista.
As to allegations by his wife’s camp that he had registered as a young boy in one pornography site and as a “sexy woman” in another, he replied, “Puro kalokohan po ‘yan. Puro kasinungalingan po ‘yan (That’s foolishness. They’re all lies).”
Bautista said that he had never engaged in sexual intercourse with any man. He likewise stressed that he was not a playboy.
Asked if he was “straight,” Bautista answered, “I am heterosexual. I have nothing against gay people.”
“Alam mo, kanya-kanyang sexual orientation tayo, pero ako po ay hindi gay. Alam n’yo, paninira po lahat ito eh. Na masakit na talagang tinitira po ‘yong aking pagkatao mismo,” he added.
[You know, we each have our own sexual orientation, but I am not gay. You know, this is all defamation. And it hurts because they’re targeting my own person.]
Patricia’a alleged ‘soulmate’
Bautista likewise denied his wife’s accusation that it was him and not her who was the unfaithful spouse.
“And again, papatunayan po natin ‘yan. Narinig ko po ‘yong kanyang mga sinabi. Magpapakita po tayo ng pruweba at ebidensya. At alam n’yo, kausapin niyo na lang po ang kanyang pamilya, ang mga kaibigan niyang matalik,” the poll chief said.
[We will prove that. I heard what she said. We’ll show proof and evidence. And you know, just talk to her family and her close friends.]
He claimed that the events that had transpired between Patricia and her “soulmate,” as she supposedly called Alfonso “Alvin” Lim, was allegedly known in society circles.
Asked why Bautista’s mother-in-law, Pacita “Baby” Cruz-Vazquez, sided with him when it was expected that she would side with her daughter, he replied, “Siguro lang dahil alam niya ang katotohanan [Maybe it’s because she knows the truth].”
Bautista explains Smartmatic meet, denies PCGG had ghost employees
In another interview with News5’s JV Arcena, Bautista answered his wife’s allegations regarding his professional conduct.
On the accusation that he received a commission from Smartmatic, the poll body’s automation contractor, Bautista said, “That is not true again. As I said, there were referral fees given to me in respect to private companies, but nothing to do with Comelec. Basta may conflict of interest, wala akong kinukuha [As long as there’s conflict of interest, I do not take anything].”
These referral fees were from the law firm DivinaLaw.
Bautista did confirm that he had met with Smartmatic officials in the United States, but said the meeting was not done secretly.
“There are other people who were present there in that meeting… This meeting happened six months after the elections,” he said.
He also refuted claims that the Presidential Commission on Good Governance, which he used to head before being appointed Comelec chief by former President Benigno Aquino III, had ghost employees.
Poll chief: Money is issue in our marriage
Bautista stressed that money was at the root of Patricia’s accusations.
“Whenever we had our primary issue in our marriage, it is money. Ako medyo kuripot. Gusto ko ring turuan ang mga anak na they to live within their means. Siya laging money [I’m a bit of a miser. I want to teach the children to live within their means. But she is all about the money],” said Bautista, who has four male children with Patricia aged eight to 16.
He added that he still had to bill her for her credit card expenses worth P3.2 million.
Bautista acknowledged that he had no prenuptial agreement with his wife, and that she had the right to half of his possessions. This was why he was amenable to a settlement worth P90 million, or half of the P176 million amount that he had declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
He added that there were assets in a joint account that he did not declare in his SALN, because these were owned by his parents and siblings.
“I had siblings in the U.S. co-investing with me… Alam ko ang akin. Alam ko ang kanila. Meron kaming accounting [I know what’s mine, and I know what’s theirs. We do accounting],” Bautista said.
The poll chief claimed that almost half of the documents Patricia had presented to media and the National Bureau of Investigation were fake. If her camp could prove that he indeed had P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth, Bautista said he would give it all to them.