Rapist mayor’s assets forfeited
The Sandiganbayan has forfeited the assets, including 19 parcels of land and two Mercedes Benz sedans, of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, the convicted rapist and murderer of two University of the Philippines Los Baños students.
In a 33-page decision, the antigraft tribunal’s Fifth Division ordered the seizure of the “unlawfully acquired properties,” amounting to P5.6 million, of Sanchez and his wife Editha.
The decision was promulgated on July 18.
“We find the respondents’ assets and expenses grossly and manifestly disproportionate to their legitimate income, and, thus, these assets and the funds used for the disproportionate expenses were unlawfully acquired, and, hence, subject to forfeiture,” said the decision penned by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos.
The court ordered the following assets seized in favor of the government: 19 parcels of land worth P679,440; a house worth P100,800; three luxury vehicles, including two Mercedes Benz sedans and a Dodge Caravan van, worth P4.3 million; P246,120 in the bank; and shares in a lending company.
This was less than the P15.7 million originally sought by state prosecutors, who alleged that the Sanchez couple illegally acquired 21 parcels of land worth a total of P805,221, a house worth P5 million, luxury vehicles amounting to P5.35 million and P246,120 in the bank.
No legitimate sources
The antigraft court said the evidence “shows that respondents have accumulated more wealth than they should have gotten through legitimate sources.”
During the trial, the prosecution noted that as vice mayor, Sanchez was entitled only to a per diem of P992 for each municipal council session but not exceeding four sessions, or about P3,968 per month.
As mayor, he received a monthly salary of only P17,724 from 1980 to 1981, P26,388 from 1981 to 1986 and P10,443 from 1988 to 1992, when Calauan was downgraded to a fifth class municipality, court records showed.
From 1986 to 1987, and from 1989 to 1992, the Sanchez couple filed joint tax returns indicating a net income of a total of P855,073.88 over those years, the records indicated.
“According to the plaintiff, the value of the properties is grossly disproportionate to the lawful income of the respondent Antonio Sanchez from his public employment and other sources of income,” the court said.
“Allegedly, this gives rise to the presumption that said properties were unlawfully acquired,” it said.
The prosecution further cited the “lavish lifestyle” of the Sanchez family, noting that their three children attended Hurtwood House, an exclusive school in London which cost an alleged P1 million for each child, their frequent trips abroad to Japan, Hong Kong, United States, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany, and a 550-head count birthday party at Manila Hotel.
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