Issue vs Comelec chief casts doubt on 2016 poll results

By , on August 7, 2017


Senator Grace Poe, a presidential candidate in last year’s polls, made this remark following reports that Bautista failed to declare hundreds of millions of wealth in his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). (PNA PHOTO)
Senator Grace Poe, a presidential candidate in last year’s polls, made this remark following reports that Bautista failed to declare hundreds of millions of wealth in his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). (PNA PHOTO)

MANILA, Aug. 7— The allegations of ill-gotten wealth against Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Andres Bautista make some of the results of the 2016 national elections “questionable”, a senator said Monday.

Senator Grace Poe, a presidential candidate in last year’s polls, made this remark following reports that Bautista failed to declare hundreds of millions of wealth in his 2016 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Poe, however, clarified that she had no doubts that President Rodrigo Duterte won the presidential elections via landslide victory.

“Ang ating Pangulo ay di hamak na nanalo. Pero maraming mga ibang pwesto ang maaaring ma-kwestiyon dahil mas dikit ang laban (There is no doubt that our President won. But there are other positions that we may question because it was a close fight),” Poe told reporters in an interview.

Asked if what she meant by “questionable” poll results were the vice presidential polls, Poe said: “Hindi lamang doon, kundi sa mga iba’t ibang mga posisyon (Not just that, but other positions as well).”

It may be recalled that former Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo won as Vice President against former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by only a slim margin in the national polls. Marcos, who refused to accept the poll results, has so far filed a protest before the Supreme Court.

“Alalahanin natin na hindi lamang national ang position dito. Pati sa mga iba’t ibang probinsya. Yun ang maaaring magkaroon ng pagdududa (Let us remember that this does not only involve national positions. Even positions in the provinces. That’s where there can be a cloud of doubt.),” Poe said.

Poe said that she backed Senate Majority Vicente Sotto III’s resolution calling for a probe into Bautista’s alleged ill-gotten wealth noting that the Comelec chair should prove that the alleged ill-gotten wealth is not his.

“..Ang tanong dito, may pera ba o wala? Saan nakuha iyon? Bakit ganoon kalaki? Doon natin dapat ituon ang ating pag-iimbestiga (The question here is: Is there money or not? Where did it come from? Why did it reach that amount? That’s what we should focus on when we investigate),” Poe said.

“Kung mapatutunayan na hindi kanya iyon e di malakas ang kaso niya (If he can prove that they’re not his, then he has a strong case),” she added.

She said that Bautista may face plunder charges and even impeachment if these allegations were proven true.

The senator, meanwhile, reiterated that lifestyle checks on government officials should be done “periodically.”