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Monday, March 4, 2024

Napoles convicted anew; Ligot wealth ill-gotten

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Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, former Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula, and three others were convicted of multiple counts of graft and malversation by the Sandiganbayan in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

Napoles convicted anew; Ligot wealth ill-gotten
Napoles and Ligot

The anti-graft court, in a 103-page decision, ruled that Napoles, Jaraula, and three others committed three counts of graft and three counts malversation charges for pocketing at least P19.2 million of the lawmaker’s Priority Development Assistance Fund allocation or pork barrel.

It said the accused used the state-run Technology Resource Center (TRC) and the Napoles-owned Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED) Foundation to siphon off government funds.

Napoles, Jaraula as well as TRC officials Rosalinda Lacsamana, Belinda Concepcion, and Mylene Incarnation have been sentenced to six to 10 years of imprisonment each of their respective graft convictions 

They were also sentenced to 12 to 18 years for each count of malversation conviction.

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The anti-graft court also ordered Napoles, Jaraula and three to pay the government at least P56 million.

But Jaraula was the only accused who was convicted of three counts of direct bribery charges for receiving P2 million from Napoles. He was also asked by the court to return P6 million to the government or P2 million for each count of direct bribery conviction.

Meanwhile, retired Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, his wife Erlinda, their three children and two other members of his immediate family members were ordered to return P102 million of their ill-gotten assets to the government.

In a 70-page ruling, the Sandiganbayan declared as “ill-gotten wealth” the P102 million of the Ligot’s family assets as these did not match his lawful income from 2001 to 2004 which only amounted to P2.8 million.

“In 1982, General Ligot had a net worth of P105,000 based on his SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth). By 2003, he declared a net worth of P3.248 million. Yet, as the evidence shows, he was able to acquire the above-listed properties with a total cost of P108,154,832.95 million which he did not declare in his SALNs for 1982 to 2003,” the anti-graft court said.

Ligot was the AFP deputy chief of staff for comptrollership (J-6) from July 1999 to March 2001.

The Ombudsman has filed several cases against Ligot and members of his family for allegedly amassing millions of pesos in unexplained wealth, including several hectares of land in Bukidnon and Rizal, high-end condominium units, houses and lots in the United States, motor vehicles, and millions of pesos in bank placements and deposits.

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