The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to file charges before the Sandiganbayan against former mayor Edward Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa for allegedly making untruthful statements in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) from 2004 to 2012.
The charges include nine counts of perjury, one count for violation of Section 7 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft Law, and one count for violation of Section 8 of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
In a resolution approved on May 12, the Ombudsman said “Hagedorn consistently misrepresented the contents of his SALNs” and “concealed information about his ownership of real and personal properties by failing to accurately declare them in his SALNs.”
The Ombudsman found the former mayor allegedly failed to declare his ownership of 59 parcels of real property including residential lots, commercial buildings and agricultural lands.
Tax declarations were submitted during the preliminary investigation which showed “there are more than three real properties registered in respondent’s name—specifically five buildings, four commercial lands, 10 agricultural lands and 40 residential lands,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.
Only three real properties in Puerto Princesa City and one in Parañaque City were declared in the SALN as his own, the Ombudsman pointed out.
Hagedorn also allegedly failed to declare ownership of 49 vehicles that included motorcycles and luxury vehicles.
Likewise, he allegedly failed to disclose his business interests in Palawan Jolly Foods Corporation, Puerto Princesa Broadcasting Corporation, Puerto Prince Bee Foods Corporation, Green Forest Blue Waters Corporation, Radiant Home Land Development, Inc., and Hagedorn Travel and Tours Inc.
The Ombudsman found Hage-dorn “failed to meet the standards of the law and undermined the objectives of the State policy of mandatory disclosure of wealth by public officers and employees.”
“[B]y any standard, the disparity between the number of realties registered in respondent’s name and that declared in his SALNs is too significant to be dismissed,” the ruling said.
Under the law, public officials are required to file a SALN where they must make a true and accurate declaration of their assets, liabilities and net worth, financial and business interests during each year of their incumbency.
Perjury is committed when a person deliberately makes an untruthful statement upon any material matter in a document required by law to be sworn before any public officer.