Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina has denied that his law firm gave commissions to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista, who is under fire for alleged unexplained wealth based on a sworn affidavit filed last Aug. 1 by his wife Patricia Bautista.
Patricia claims Divina issued payslips and checks allegedly as commissions to the Comelec chief for referring clients to Divina’s law firm, DivinaLaw.
“We’re not making any official detailed comments for now but we’re taking legal actions. None [of the accusations] are true. [I’m] sure naman na I did not do anything wrong [and that] I did not do anything unethical,” Divina told the Varsitarian in a phone interview on Aug. 7.
Divina and Bautista were said to have become friends when the two became law deans of UST and Far Eastern University, respectively.
Patricia claimed in her affidavit that she had discovered several checks and commission sheets issued by Divina’s law firm in Makati City to the Comelec chairman and even his relatives.
“It would thus, appear that Andy (Andres Bautista) secured the services of DivinaLaw, Nilo’s law firm, in order to profit from his position in the Comelec. [B]ased on the breakdown sheets and checks, I found that Andy was getting commissions from Nilo, while he was or is in active government service,” she claimed.
“Surely, a private practitioner such as Nilo would not give commission or some form of incentive to Andy if it wasn’t for any favor or service that he (Andy) had done for him. However, it appears that Andy would get some sort of commission from Nilo for the clients that his law firm handled before the Comelec as well as other private people and institutions,” she added.
Patricia claims her husband hid nearly P1 billion worth of bank accounts, real estate and foreign investments from his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth in 2016.
Bautista was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government in 2010, and Comelec chairman in May 2015.