Did Bongbong Marcos help ‘Tish’ Bautista vs her husband to smear 2016 polls? Definitely not, he says

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Bongbong Marcos file
Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (Reuters file)

MANILA – Don’t look at former senator Bongbong Marcos for suspects behind the bombshell dropped by Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista’s estranged wife, alleging at least P1 billion in unexplained wealth of the man who presided over the 2016 elections.

“I’m watching what you are reporting. That’s all I know. The Palace can confirm that’s not true,” Marcos said, referring to some speculations he had helped Patricia Paz-Bautista get an appointment with President Rodrigo Duterte, who met her twice: first, with just her and her lawyer; and on August 1, with Bautista himself, whom Duterte talked to in a separate room.

Marcos’ name was among those first floated soon after Patricia went to the press and claimed she had stumbled on evidence of alleged wrongdoing by her husband: dozens of bank accounts, gift-wrapped cash and alleged evidence he was keeping ghost employees.

Some conspiracy theorists said Marcos or his camp might have encouraged Patricia to bring down her husband in order to taint as well the outcome of the 2016 elections, where Marcos had alleged fraud. He has a pending electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, who beat him by 200,000 votes.

The rumors of a Marcos hand in the Bautista vs Bautista mega-battle grew louder after the Comelec chairman told reporters he believed his wife was used by certain “political forces,” whom he declined to name.

But in an ambush interview at the House on Wednesday, Marcos was categorical in denying any hand in the marital spat turned ugly: “Hindi kami nakikialam sa mag-asawa [we don’t meddle with the affairs of couples].”

Marcos said the Palace can bear him out in attesting that neither he nor his wife Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos had helped Patricia Bautista wangle an appointment with the President.