• Ombudsman seeks forfeiture of newly-found Ligot assets

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    FORMER Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and his family are facing a new civil case before the Sandiganbayan in connection with their newly-discovered wealth amounting to P55.6-million in investments and bank accounts.

    The Office of the Ombudsman sought the forfeiture of the newly-discovered bank deposits of Ligot in favor of the state.

    The anti-graft court said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) found that Ligot owned bank accounts and investments disproportionate to his assets during his 33 years in service. Eighteen of these accounts were frozen by the Court of Appeals.

    These cash accounts were reportedly deposited to the Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (P1.21 million); Equitable-PCI Bank, now Banco de Oro (P10,109.81); Bank of the Philippine Islands (P24,210.96); Land Bank of the Philippines (P37,578.87); United Overseas Bank Phil. (P346,190.43); Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (P1.4 million) and Citicorp Financial Services and Insurance Brokerage Phil. Inc. (P52.53 million).

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said if Ligot’s adjusted savings (P3.52 million) would be subtracted from his 2003 net worth before retirement (P3.25 million), it would yield P268,740.59, representing “net disposable income.”

    “Ligot’s net disposable income is obviously insufficient to enable him to make bank deposits or investment placements amounting to P55.6 million,” the Ombudsman said, concluding that the assets were ‘unlawfully acquired’.

    The agency added that Ligot hid these assets under the name of his wife, Erlinda, who owned two accounts, and his children, who had four accounts. Ligot’s brother-in-law Edgardo allegedly owned five accounts, while the heftiest account–Citicorp–was named under Erlinda’s cousin, Gilda Velasquez. On the other hand, one account was named under Parmil Farms Inc., Ligot’s reported company.

    To uphold the interest of the state, Morales asked the Sandiganbayan to issue an ex-parte writ of preliminary attachment “since there is no other sufficient security for its claim against respondents.” The order is needed to protect the interests of the state and to prevent the removal, concealment and disposition of ill-gotten properties held by unscrupulous public officers.

    The Ombudsman likewise sought the forfeiture of Ligot’s assets.

    Aside from the civil case, Ligot is also facing charges of tax evasion and perjury.

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