Ex-AFP comptroller  gets 6 years over assets
Ligot was directed to post a bail bond of P72,000 for him to continue enjoying his provisional liberty while he is appealing his conviction.

Ex-AFP comptroller gets 6 years over assets

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot was sentenced to up to six years in prison as the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan found him guilty of six counts of perjury over his failure to declare his ownership of several properties in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) for 1998 to 2003.

In its 74-page decision promulgated yesterday, the court’s First Division said the Office of the Ombudsman was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Ligot “willfully and deliberately asserted a falsehood in his SALNs” by omitting the properties owned by him, his wife Erlinda and their children Paulo and Riza.

Among the properties that the court said Ligot deliberately omitted in his SALNs were the dividends he and Erlinda earned from the Armed Forces & Police Savings & Loan Association Inc. (AFPSLAI) amounting to around P5 million.

It also included a condominium unit in Taguig City, developed by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) amounting to P507,416.34; Paseo Parkview condominium unit in Makati City with an unspecified amount; Essensa East Forbes condominium unit with three parking lots in Taguig purchased at P22.945 million; a Cabernet property in Anaheim, California with unspecified amount; a farm in Barangay Imbayao in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon purchased at P195,000; and a parcel of land in Tanay, Rizal.

The First Division said Ligot also failed to declare in his SALNs a Toyota Hilux truck with plate number XBE 760 and an Isuzu Elf with plate number XBJ 724 registered under the names of his children Paulo and Riza, respectively.

“The evidence thus far presented all indicate that accused Ligot willfully and deliberately asserted a falsehood in his SALN by consciously and knowingly omitting in his SALN the properties he knows to be in his wife’s name – the AFPSLAI investments, the Tanay, Rizal property, improvements in Imbayao Farm in Bukidnon, the Cabernet property in California, (and) the proceeds of Essensa condominium unit,” the First Division’s decision read.

While the Imbayao Farm and the Paseo Parkview condominium unit were named under Paulo and Ligot’s sister Miguela Ligot-Paragas, respectively, the court said the funds for their purchase “were clearly sourced” from the Ligot spouses’ bank accounts.

The court said this “reveals the clear objective to disassociate such properties from Ligot’s name, perhaps under the concern that the value of these properties are way beyond what Ligot can afford given his declared income from the AFP.”

“Similarly, the same scheme was used in the acquisition of the vehicles in the name of Paulo and Riza Ligot,” the court added.

As for the Cabernet property in California, the First Division noted Erlinda’s act of changing the ownership registration from her married name “Erlinda Ligot” to her maiden name, Erlinda Yambao. 

The court said this raises the suspicion that it was made “with the intent of concealing the purchase of the said property.”

“It shows that the Ligot spouses never intended to declare this in the SALN,” the court said. 

Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees requires all government officials and employees to declare in their SALN all of their assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests and financial connections, including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.

In the same decision, however, the First Division acquitted Ligot of five counts of perjury over his supposed failure to declare several properties in his SALNs for 1993 to 1997. 

The court said that aside from the eight-year prescription period from the commission of the crime, the prosecution also “failed to prove Jacinto’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

Ligot was directed to post a bail bond of P72,000 for him to continue enjoying his provisional liberty while he is appealing his conviction.

But since Ligot still has an unreleased bail bond of P66,000 following his acquittal from the five perjury cases, the court allowed him to just pay an additional P6,000, which he immediately complied with yesterday before leaving the Sandiganbayan building.

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