CITING lack of new arguments from the defendants, the Sandiganbayan has denied separate motions for reconsideration filed by retired Lt. General Jacinto Ligot and his family insisting that the P55.6 million forfeiture case against them should be dismissed outright.
In an 11-page resolution dated September 26, 2019 but released only yesterday, the anti-graft court’s Second Division reiterated its finding in the assailed ruling that government lawyers have presented convincing evidence against Ligot, his wife Erlinda, their children Paulo, Riza and Miguel, brother-in-law Edgardo T. Yambao, and Mrs. Ligot’s cousin Gilda Y. Alfonso-Velasquez.
“The Court has already resolved that the petitioner (Republic of the Philippines) presented prima facie sufficient evidence for forfeiture. The Court still does not find any cogent reason to overturn its earlier pronouncement,” the Sandiganbayan said.
Associate Justices Oscar C. Herrera Jr. and Lorifel L. Pahimna concurred with the ponente, Associate Justice Michael Frederick L. Musngi , hat the P55,596,694.26 found in bank deposits and investments of the Ligot family and their relatives was “manifestly out of proportion to the lawful income of the former military comptroller.
“Although the alleged substantial accounts are not under Jacinto’s name, the Court may inquire into the accounts of all the respondents in this case considering that it was proven that the latter do not have the financial capacity to own the subject accounts,” the court pointed out.
The defendants had argued that the case is a duplication of the earlier forfeiture case filed against the Ligot family and Ligot’s sister Miguela Ligot-Paragas docketed as Civil Case no. 197.
The court, however, swept aside the issue as a tired argument noting that the same assertion was already considered and rejected in its Resolution issued on June 30, 2014.
“The said issue had already been laid to rest and thus the Court maintains its finding that there is no violation of the rule against instituting more than one suit for a single action,” the Second Division declared.
Likewise, they accused the Office of the Ombudsman of violating RA 1405 or the Law on Secrecy of Bank Deposits since government lawyers obtained information on their foreign currency deposits even without their written consent.