Retired police general acquitted of perjury in assets report
MANILA — The Sandiganbayan has acquitted a former high-ranking official of the Philippine National Police of perjury charges for his alleged misdeclaration of his outstanding liabilities for the years 1998 to 2003.
In a 25-page decision on March 27, the court’s Fourth Division said state prosecutors failed to prove the guilt of retired Police Chief Supt. Danilo Mangila beyond reasonable doubt.
The anti-graft court gave credence to Mangila’s claim that his secretary made an “honest mistake” in preparing his six successive Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs).
The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices accused Mangila of falsely claiming that he had an outstanding P4.448-million housing loan with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), when “in truth and in fact, he had none.”
GSIS records did show Mangila only availed of a P56,574 housing loan for a property in Lagro subdivision in Quezon City. The loan was taken out in 1978 and was already fully paid.
But, the court found “reasonable doubt that accused Mangila willfully and deliberately asserted a falsehood” when it appeared from his SALNs that he acquired his real estate properties solely through GSIS loans.
It cited the lack of consistency in his representations. In his 1998 and 2000 SALNs, Mangila stated that he acquired the Lagro property in 1978 through a GSIS loan, while his five other properties were
acquired later through just a “loan.”
His 1999, 2002 and 2003 SALNs stated “GSIS Loan” as the mode of acquisition for all six properties. The 2001 SALN, meanwhile, states this as “GSIS Loan/other loan.”
For the court, this lent credence to Mangila’s contention that “the errors in his SALNs were honest mistakes and inadvertent.”
The prosecution had failed to submit enough evidence to prove the misdeclaration was intentional, it said.
“At most, accused Mangila can be said to be negligent in allowing his secretary to prepare his SALNs and failing to carefully check each and every entry in his SALNs,” read the decision penned by Justice Reynaldo P. Cruz.
Justices Alex L. Quiroz and Geraldine Faith A. Econg concurred with the decision.
Court records showed Mangila held the rank of superintendent in 1998 and senior superintendent in 1999, before going on optional retirement that June. Under the Estrada administration, he served as Land Transportation Authority director in 2000.
In May 2001, he was reinstated to the PNP and assigned as a deputy task force commander of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. In 2002, he was promoted to chief superintendent and assigned as the director of the Traffic Management Group. He retired on June 19, 2006. SFM/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.