by Rey Panaligan
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will start its investigation into the alleged P1 billion in hidden wealth of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista.
Aguirre said he met yesterday with BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay and discussed the BIR’s participation in the investigation, particularly in the sharing of documents and findings by the anti-fraud division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which had started its probe.
“The BIR wants to partner with us in this investigation. We need to see if there are tax liabilities based on the affidavit and documents we have gathered,” Aguirre said in an interview.
He said the BIR will issue a letter of authority to Bautista and the other persons named in affidavit executed by the Comelec chairman’s wife, Patricia Paz.
“Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has been informed about the letter of authority,” he added.
Citing an initial report from the NBI, Aguirre said the bureau has started its coordination with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) in the examination of the more than 30 alleged bank accounts of Bautista as alleged by his wife.
He also said the NBI has also coordinated with the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and various property developers.