Sandiganbayan resets Hagedorn arraignment to Aug. 3 pending plea for dismissal of graft raps

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The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has deferred the arraignment of former Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn on charges of graft, perjury, and breach of conduct that were filed against him, which stemmed from his alleged failure to “truthfully and accurately declare” properties in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) from 2004 to 2012.

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On Wednesday, the anti-graft court reset the arraignment to August 3 pending resolution of his plea for the dismissal of the cases.

Hagedorn’s camp said in an urgent omnibus motion filed last April that he, as with others, “had difficulty understanding which items were to be included in his SALN” and that he, “not being a lawyer, complied with the law as he understood it.”

Hagedorn allegedly “fail[ed]to truthfully and accurately declare” in the SALNs “the real properties, motor vehicles and corporate/business interests that he in fact owns,” according to the charge sheets filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

He allegedly “omitt[ed]to declare” 59 real properties located in Puerto Princesa City consisting of 40 residential lands, 10 agricultural lands, four commercial lands, three residential buildings, and two commercial buildings.

Also, Hagedorn allegedly omitted to declare business interests at the time in Palawan Jolly Foods Corporation, Puerto Princesa Broadcasting Corporation, Green Forest Blue Waters Corporation, Hagedorn Travel and Tours, Inc. in nine SALNs; in Radiant Homes Land Development (RHLD) Inc. in four of those SALNs, and; in Puerto Princesa Bee Foods Corporation in one SALN.

“Without knowledge of the technical rules of law, the accused believed that the two-page attachment to his SALN was sufficient compliance with the requirements. The petitioner believed that he has divested his interest in said corporations by executing the deeds of trust in favor of his grandchildren. Common sense also dictates that scrap vehicles could not be considered as assets. Same common sense also dictates that the motorcycles distributed…are no longer owned by petitioner,” the defense said in part in the urgent omnibus motion.

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