Nilo Divina gives “fat commissions” to COMELEC Chair, says ex-wife

Is Andy Bautista getting fat commissions from his close friend Nilo Divina, founder of Divina Law? Is it illegal for the head of the Commission on Elections to get commissions from third party lawyers like Divina? Of course.

Yet what Patricia Paz Bautista, estranged wife of Chairman Andy Bautista of the COMELEC believes is that her ex-husband is getting millions from his close friend, Nilo, who maintains clients with cases filed even before Comelec, that is, when Andy was still the chairman of another agency, the Presidential Commission on Good Government or PCGG.

Commissions are lawful payments for services rendered.  People assigned to chairmanships of constitutional bodies such as the COMELEC and PCGG are not supposed to exercise or practice their professions while in office. Why? If the law allows them to exercise their professions as lawyers, they could get into uncompromising situations, since the Comelec has quasi-judicial functions while the PCGG has prosecutorial powers. Unlike politicians like Congressmen or Senators, chairmanships like the one being occupied by Andy are imbued with public interests and should be beyond reproach. That explains why those appointed to these positions are only those without integrity issues or morality questions.

With Patricia’s revelations, it’s double whammy for the Filipino People— possible loss from graft cases filed against the Marcoses and their cronies and, of course, possible loss due to disfranchisements of the people’s votes.

POOR COUNTRY. I hope Andy comes up with a strong and rational explanation against accusations made by no less than his ex-wife, Paz. By the way, Andy and Paz got married in 2000 and have four children. They separated when Andy went into government service in 2010.