RETIRED Brig. Gen. Jose Ramiscal Jr., former president of the defunct Armed Forces of the Philippines-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS), was found guilty of graft and falsification of public documents.
In a decision penned by Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta, Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division sentenced Ramiscal of 123 years of imprisonment for the two cases.
Ramiscal was convicted of 12 counts each of graft and falsification of public documents. Each count of graft is equivalent to six to 10 years of imprisonment while each falsification is fours years of imprisonment. Also convicted in the same cases was Ramiscal co-accused Nilo Flaviano, a private defendant. Both were involved in jacking up the acquisition cost of 12 properties in General Santos City in 1997 and were asked to pay a P5,000 fine for each count of falsification or a total of P60,000.
The decision was concurred in by Associate Justices Zaldy V. Trespeses and Bayani H. Jacinto.
The charges stemmed from a complaint filed by former South Cotabato Rep. Luwalhati Antonino on December 18, 1997 to the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao following information of anomalous real estate transactions involving the Magsaysay Park properties in her district.
Based on the trial records, the transactions involved 12 lots all measuring 999 square meters supposedly purchased by the AFP-RSBS from different owners in September 1997 for P10,500 per square meter or P10,489,500 each.
The court said based on the property higher valuations, total taxes on the 12 lots should have been P8.18 million. However, computing the capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax using the lower property value only yielded P2.338 million which meant the government would have shortchanged by as much as P5.844 million.