New P55-M forfeiture case filed vs Ligot, family

MANILA, Philippines –  The government filed on Monday, June 3, a second forfeiture case against retired Lt Gen Jacinto C. Ligot and members of his family.

The 15-page petition seeks to recover P55.6 million worth of cash investments and bank accounts that form part of the Ligots’ alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on May 28, the petition was based on the recommendation of Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Anna Francesca M. Limbo.

Ligot’s co-respondents include his wife Erlinda Y. Ligot; children Paulo, Riza and Miguel; brother-in-law Edgardo T. Yambao; and Gilda Y. Alfonso-Velasquez, cousin of Mrs Ligot. 

A previous ill-gotten wealth case filed against the family in 2005 sought forfeiture of real estate assets worth P135.28 million.

Named respondents in that case were the Ligot family, Yambao, and the former military general’s sister, Miguela L. Paragas.

No means to open accounts

In the latest case, the government is seeking the confiscation of the proceeds of 7 investment accounts with the Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loan Association Inc. (AFPSLAI).

These accounts are in the names of Ligot, his wife, and children, with a combined value of P1.2 million.

Also eyed by government prosecutors for confiscation are bank deposits with Equitable PCI Bank (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands, Land Bank of the Philippines, United Overseas Bank-Philippines, Metrobank, and Citicorp Financial Services and Insurance Brokerage Phil. Inc (CFSI).

Based on figures obtained by investigators, the CFSI account is under the name of Velasquez and holds the sum of P52.525 million.

“With regard to CFSI Account no. 5274901001 in the name of Velasquez, evidence indicates that she is not the original owner of this account,” the Ombudsman said.

It noted that based on CFSI’s explanation in a letter to the Court of Appeals dated July 27, 2005, the account was originally in the name of Mrs. Ligot and two of her children, Paulo and Riza.

It was transferred in the name of Velasquez with the submission of “Change of Account Title.”

“That most of the Accounts are in the names of Mrs Ligot, the Ligot children, Yambao, and Velasquez is of no moment. They had no sufficient means to open bank deposits or make investment placements in significant sums when the accounts were constituted,” the Ombudsman stressed.

Ligot retired as comptroller of the Armed Forces in 2004, but the year before he left the military service, he declared a net worth of only P3,248,003.

“Verily, the accounts presumably form part of Lt. Gen. Ligot’s unlawfully acquired wealth,” prosecutors added.

To preserve the investment placements and bank assets, the Ombudsman asked the Sandiganbayan to immediately issue writs of preliminary attachment over the AFPSLAI, CFSI, and bank accounts and to keep them in effect until the case is fully resolved. – Rappler.com