MANILA, Philippines—A lawyer representing two civic groups filed a complaint on Wednesday against former Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn for his alleged failure to declare in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) a total of 59 real properties for nine years.
Lawyer Berteni Causing, president of the Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement Inc. (HMMI) and Alab ng Mamamahayag (Alab) submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman a complaint charging Hagedorn of perjury, falsification of public documents and violation of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
HMMI is an organization that advocates adopting a jury system in Philippine courts, while Alab advocates “total press freedom and justice,” Causing said.
Causing said the former mayor did not truthfully and accurately declare his true worth “by making it appear that he did not own 59 real properties with a total area of more than 133 hectares in Puerto Princesa City, all registered in his name during his incumbency as mayor of Puerto Princesa City from the year 2004 to 2012.”
Causing attached certified true copies of the 59 tax declarations issued by the city assessor of Puerto Princesa City showing Hagedorn’s apparent ownership of the real properties.
“Because he had filed his SALN consistently and consecutively in nine years without disclosing the 59 real estate properties … the act of nondisclosure then becomes deliberate under the principle of the totality of the circumstances,” Causing said in his complaint.
Hagedorn declared only four real estate properties in his 2004-2012 SALNs, according to Causing.
He said such an omission constitutes nine counts of falsification, which is punishable by law.
“Because the signature in his SALNs is deemed by law to be accomplished as sworn and under the penalties of perjury, it is now deemed that the respondent committed the crime of perjury also for nine counts,” Causing added.
He further said that since RA 6713 specifically defines the same act as a penal offense under Section 11 thereof, Hagedorn also committed nine counts of violation of Section 8 in relation to Section 11 of the said law.