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Seizure of Ampatuan ‘illegal wealth’ eyed

  • Written by Joel dela Torre
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 160

THE Office of the Ombudsman seeks to forfeit the alleged illegal wealth of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his spouse Bai Laila Uy Ampatuan.

According to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, she already directed the filing of a petition to forfeit the estate of the Ampatuan couple for properties they acquired amounting to P54,965,526.88.
         
The petition, she added, covers the years 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 when the questioned wealth was acquired.
         
Ombudsman investigators after conducting a lifestyle check found out that Ampatuan Sr.’s wealth “is manifestly out of proportion to respondent’s salary as former governor of Maguindanao and to their other lawful income and income from legitimately acquired properties.”
   
Details of the lifestyle check showed that based on Ampatuan’s income tax returns from 2001 to 2008, his net income was P304,721.91 in 2001; P310,773.09 in 2002; P1,196,403.67 in 2003; P1,423,443.94 (2004); P1,560,327.92 (2005); P1,560,170.78 (2006); P1,608,120.76 (2007) and P631,128.06 (2008).
         
Based on Ampatuan’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), his assets were P6,221,950.00 in 2000;  P10,829,297.17 (2001); P26,248,726.50 (2002); P25,748,726.50 (2003); P26,136,622.33 (2004); P24,538,818.16 (2005); P25,081,238.00 (2006) and P26,705,250.00 (2007)         
   
However, the Ombudsman found that Ampatuan failed to declare 15 real estate properties located in Cotobato and Davao cities, with a total declared value of P55,134,283.10.
   
Not only that, the former Governor failed to declare 25 vehicles, 10 of which were paid in cash by the Ampatuans.  The total value of the 25 vehicles is P27,567,000.00.  In addition, the Ampatuans failed to declare ownership of 23 firearms valued at P3,838,000.00.
   
As for the criminal charges for Perjury, Falsification of Public Documents, violation of Section 8 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and violation of Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the same were dismissed on account of Ampatuan, Sr.’s death on 17 July 2015.
   
According to the Ombudsman’s computation, the Ampatuans’ total unexplained wealth is P54,965,526.88.