The Sandiganbayan has convicted to 20 years of imprisonment the former president of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Retirement and Separation Benefit System (RSBS) and four others for their involvement in the anomalous purchase of real property in Calamba, Laguna in 1996.
Based on the information provided by the Office of the Ombudsman, convicted were Brigadier General Jose Ramiscal Jr., former RSBS president; former RSBS executives, Atty. Julian Alzaga and Atty. Manuel Satuito after they were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of malversation of funds.
Also convicted were property owners Elizabeth Liang and Jesus Garcia, president and treasurer of Concord Resources, Inc., respectively.
Aside from imprisonment, the anti-graft court also ordered the accused to pay a fine of P250,318,200.
Ombudsman prosecutors proved that all the accused orchestrated the acquisition of four parcels of land owned by Concord Resources, Inc. covering 130,500 square meters intended as a right of way project.
Ramiscal claimed that the amount of P341.3 million was paid to Liang and Garcia.
Official documents, however, showed that the notarized deed of sale, signed by Ramiscal, Liang and Garcia, reflected only P91 million as the actual purchase price.
For his defense, Ramiscal claimed that “the transactions were in order and that it underwent usual accounting auditing rules and regulations.”
He added that his signatures in the deed reflecting the P91million purchase price were falsified.
In its ruling, the Sandiganbayan “conducted its own examination and arrived at the conclusion that even to the naked eye, the signature of Ramiscal appearing on the Deed of Sale for P91,024,800 and the Deed of Sale for P341,343,000 and on other documents on record, are significantly similar.”
The court added that “the documents do not prove accused’s claim that the deed of sale for P341 million was the real deed of sale entered into by the parties.”
“It is through this falsified deed of sale that the Government’s defraudation was made possible” as the “difference of P250,318,200 is unaccounted for,” as stated in the decision.