Senate orders arrest of former Comelec chair Andres Bautista

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  • The Senate has ordered the arrest of ex-Comelec chairman Bautista
  • Bautista earlier claimed to have not received any invitation since he is out of the country
  • Senator Escudero said the Senate sergeant-at-arms will serve the warrant to Bautista’s address

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has finally ordered the arrest of former Commission on Election (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista for failing to show up at the investigation of his alleged ill-gotten wealth despite repeated invitation.

Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero revealed on Monday Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel signed the arrest order against Bautista who earlier wrote the committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies asking for the withdrawal of the subpoena issued against him.

“Just learned that Koko signed it last Wednesday,” Escudero said in a text message to reporters.

In his previous letter to the panel, Bautista said he never received an invitation because he has been out of the country since November 21, 2017.

However, Escudero said earlier Bautista could be lying since Immigration’s latest records supposedly showed Bautista left the country last October 21 and returned on November 1.

“The OSAA (Senate’s Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms) will try to serve it (arrest warrant) by coordinating with various law enforcement agencies including the Bureau of Immigration and wait for it to be returned, served, or unserved and will submit a corresponding report to the committee,” said Escudero.

The lawmaker added another hearing will be scheduled before the Senate adjourned in March.

It was Escudero who ask the Senate to issue the arrest warrant against Bautista for repeatedly snubbing the hearing. The former Comelec chief has since been cited for contempt.