Batasan Hills village exec gets prison, fine for hiding ownership in “Jessa Zaragoza” business
The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has secured the conviction of a former barangay chair in Quezon City for failure to file his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) for five years.
This after the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branch 40 convicted former Batasan Hills Barangay Chair Ranulfo Ludovica for irregularities in his SALN.
The Quezon City MTC found Ludovica guilty of falsification of public documents and five counts of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713, or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”.
The MTC sentenced Ludovica to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of four months to two years for the falsification charge and five years for each count of violation of RA No. 6713.
He was also ordered to pay a fine of PHP5,000 for each count of violation of RA No. 6713.
During trial, the accused was found to have falsified his 2005 SALN by deliberately failing to disclose his business interest in the “Jessa Zaragoza Phenomenal Entertainment.”
Based on the certification from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ludovica was found to have been an incorporator, director and stockholder of the said corporation since 1999, having a subscribed and paid-up capital equivalent to PHP50,000.
Ombudsman prosecutors also presented evidence that the accused failed to file his SALNs from 2002 to 2004; and from 2006 to 2007.
The MTC noted that “accused did not give any explanation nor presented anything in his defense [as to] why he failed to file his SALNs for five years.”
Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) states that falsification is committed by a public officer who makes an untruthful statement in a narration of facts which are absolutely false.
Under RA No. 6713, all public officials and employees have the obligation to accomplish under oath their true and detailed SALNs. (PTR/PNA)