Retired general ordered to pay gov’t P11.2MBy Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Lisandro Abadia and his wife have been ordered by the Sandiganbayan to pay the government P11.26 million, which the court declared as ill-gotten wealth, or face forfeiture of their assets equivalent to the amount.
The antigraft court’s 3rd Division, in a decision issued on June 13, ruled in favor of the Ombudsman which had filed the forfeiture petition and accused the Abadias of amassing unexplained wealth during the retired general’s term as head of the AFP.
The court said Abadia failed to explain convincingly to the court how his declared net worth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) rose from P3.77 million in 1991 to P6.476 million in 1992, and to P13.61 million in 1993.
Abadia, a four-star general, served in the AFP for 36 years. He started his military service in 1958, retiring in 1994. He served as chief of staff from 1991 under President Corazon Aquino, until 1994 under President Fidel Ramos.
In 2005, then Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio filed a forfeiture petition against Abadia, noting the discrepancies in his SALN.
According to the evidence submitted to the court, Abadia’s total disposable income from 1987 to 1993 was only P2.63 million while family expenditures over the same period amounted to P2.77 million.
The court took into account the sum of P280,000 raised from the sale of Abadia’s property in Bicutan, Parañaque, saying this should have brought his net worth in 1993 to P2.35 million, not P13.61 million as declared in his 1993 SALN, or a difference of P11.26 million.
In his defense, Abadia claimed his 1992 income went up because he sold a piece of property for P2.55 million.
The prosecution, however, presented a deed of sale showing the selling price was only P200,000 although both documents—the prosecution’s and Abadia’s—pertained to the same lot with “the same area, metes and bounds.”
For 1993, Abadia said he received P3.275 million representing full payment for 10,000 shares of Antipolo Properties Inc. which he sold that year to a certain “V. Takai.”