Court orders arrest of ex-general Ligot

MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan on Thursday, April 25 ordered the arrest of retired military comptroller Jacinto Ligot over perjury charges filed against him last week. The court also issued a hold-departure-order (HDO) against him. 

On April 13, the Office of the Ombudsman filed 11 counts of perjury charges against Ligot before the Sandiganbayan, accusing him of making numerous false declarations in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth from 1993 to 2003.

The arrest warrant was issued by the court's 1st division. The HDO was signed by Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz , division chairman.

Ligot, a retired lieutenant general, has been accused of amassing unexplained wealth during his term as comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The comptroller who succeeded him, retired Maj Gen Carlos Garcia, also once faced plunder charges until he entered into a plea bargain deal with the Ombudsman under then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. The Sandiganbayan recently upheld the legality of the deal.

On March 6, Ligot won a temporary reprieve from the Supreme Court when it lifted a 2005 freeze order on his assets amounting to P54-M.

The SC said the indefinite period of the freeze order violates Ligot's right to due process. The Court of Appeals first issued the freeze order on July 5, 2005 after finding probable cause that the said amount could be linked to Ligot's failure to disclose P54 million worth of assets in his SALN.

The CA extended the freeze order on September 20, 2005 "until after all the appropriate proceedings and/or investigations have been terminated." Ligot went to the SC to question the decision.

Ligot, his wife and children are accused of amassing P700-million in ill-gotten wealth from the coffers of the military. - Rappler.com