• Ombudsman to unleash 42 witnesses vs. Ligots

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    The Office of the Ombudsman is set for an all-guns-blazing charge in the perjury case against former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot with its long list of evidence.

    In its 35-page pre-trial brief, fiscals of the anti-graft agency are set to present 302 documents and 42 witnesses.

    Graft investigators noted that the wealth reports of the retired lieutenant general from 1993 to 2003 lacked listing of pieces of properties traced to his name.

    The Ombudsman noted Ligot did not disclose assets in his 1993 to 2003 statements of assets, liabilities and net worth, which corresponds to his 11-count charge of perjury now heard at the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division.

    Of the slew of evidence to be presented, the prosecutors culled 48 checks the Ligots supposedly paid to Mega World Corp.

    Between 1999 and 2001, Ligot failed to stipulate his unit in Burgundy Plaza, two units of Mega World’s Paseo Parkview, Tower 2, and four farm lots in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon province.

    Twelve of these checks were paid to Far East Bank and Trust Co. worth 742,636.58, two checks to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. worth 795,682, four checks to Bank of the Philippine Islands worth 212,181.88, eight checks to Citibank worth P4.8 million, and 22 checks to Metrobank worth P1.1 million.

    Besides the checks, 38 judicial affidavits from witnesses, 12 records from the Social Security System of Ligot’s wife and relatives, and certificates pertaining to Ligot’s gross annual compensation and employment.

    The Ombudsman also plans to present 42 state witnesses from the Registry of Deeds, Land Transportation Office and Bureau of Internal Revenue.

    Despite a long list of evidence, prosecutors still reserved its right to present additional evidence “should such evidence become available or necessary.”

    The Ombudsman asked the Sandiganbayan for a total of 25 trial dates to present its case.

    The anti-graft agency said that Ligot did not declare his residential lot in Muntinlupa City, vehicles such as Honda Accord, Subaru Forester, Isuzu Elf, Toyota Hi-Lux and Hilander.

    Also, investments in the Armed Forces and Police Savings & Loan Association, Inc. and a house in Anaheim, California and unit at Essensa East Forbes in Taguig City were undisclosed.

    On top of the perjury cases, Ligot is also facing two forfeiture cases in the Sandiganbayan, the last of which was filed in June in line with the recovery of P55-million bank accounts.

    John Constantine G. Cordon

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