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Anti-graft court orders garnishment of Ligot assets, bank accounts.

Byline: Cynthia D. Balana

MANILA -- The Sandiganbayan has moved to secure the bank accounts and other assets valued at P55.59 million alleged to have been unlawfully acquired by now-retired Lieutenant General Jacinto Ligot, members of his family and other relatives.

In a report submitted to the anti-graft court recently, court sheriff Alexander Valencia said his team had served notices of garnishment issued by the court in Civil Case No. SB-13-CV1-0001 (Forfeiture of Unlawfully Acquired Properties) initiated by the government.

The Inquirer obtained a copy of Valencia's report on Tuesday afternoon.

A notice of garnishment is a legal notification served on a third party to hold, subject to a court's direction, money or property belonging to a person or persons that are subject to litigation. This means that a court deems the Ligots may owe the garnished assets to the government, which maintains that these assets were unlawfully acquired and therefore belong to the public coffers.

On Aug. 14, 2013, the court ordered garnishment of all the goods, effects, stocks, interests in stocks and shares, and any other personal properties in the names of defendants Jacinto Ligot, wife Erlinda, children Paulo, Riza and Miguel, Edgardo Yambao, Gilda Alfonso-Velasquez and Parmil Farms Inc. "sufficient to satisfy petitioner's demand... in the amount of P55,596,694.26."

The first notice was served on the president of Citicorp Financial Services and Insurance Brokerage, Phils. Inc. (CFSI), in Citisquare Building, Eastwood, Quezon City.

On August 15, the team also served notice to the presidents of the Armed Forces & Police Savings and Loan Association (AFPSLAI) in Quezon City, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) in Intramuros, Manila, and the Land Bank of the Philippines in Malate, Manila.

On August 16, the team again served notice on the presidents of Metrobank on Ayala Avenue, Makati, the United Overseas Bank of the Philippines (UOBP) on Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, and the BDO on Makati Avenue, Makati City.

On August 23, the sheriff received a letter from lawyer Fabiola Villa, UOBP vice president, that the bank complied and garnished P346,878.37 belonging to Yambao.

On the same day, CFSI compliance officer Katherine Lipana informed the Sandiganbayan Docket Section that while Velasquez had an investment account with CFSI, the funds were no longer in its custody since the account had been terminated. It did not say how much was involved.

"Specifically, since the CFSI is merely a brokerage firm, it had to deposit the proceeds of the above-mentioned investment account (which are subject to a Freeze Order) in the bank account of CFSI in Citibank N.A. Makati Branch, under the name of CFSI F.A.O (for the account of) Freeze Order No. 90238," Lipana wrote.

She said the Freeze Order was issued by the Court of Appeals on July 5, with respect to the "Ex-Parte Application fort Issuance of Freeze Order against the Monetary Instruments and Properties of Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, et. al.''

The said investment account was also subject of an Asset Preservation Order (APO) issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 22, Manila on Oct. 25, 2011 in connection with a case filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council against the accused, Lipana added.

Meanwhile, the City Assessor's Office of Quezon City , through Assistant City Assessor Sherry Gonsalvo, said in its compliance report that it had no record of assessment on file for Jacinto Ligot, his wife, and children.

However, it said the following properties, with corresponding tax declaration number, property index number and TCT number appeared: a condominium in the name of Edgardo T. Yambao, married to Isabel Yambao; land in the name of Gloria Pagsanghan, (married to Edgardo Yambao (no middle name); land in the name of Gilda A. Velasquez (widow, 5/8 share), et al.

The Sheriff earlier asked for the details and specifications of all real properties declared in the Real Property Tax Declaration of all the accused "so that the necessary Notice of Levy may be issued to secure the interest of the State."
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 25, 2013
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