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Abadia told to give up ill-gotten wealth

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Sandiganbayan decision that ordered the forfeiture in favor of the government of P11.26 million in unexplained wealth of former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Lisandro C. Abadia and his wife, Violeta.

ABADIAIn a resolution, the SC’s third division denied the petition filed by the Abadia couple and affirmed the Sandiganbayan ruling against them.

“After a review of the records and finding no reversible error, the Court resolves to deny the petition and affirm the Sandiganbayan decision dated June 5, 2013 and its resolution dated September 18, 2013 in Civil Case 0195 which stated that petitioners were guilty of having unexplained wealth amounting to R11,262,876.01 which should be forfeited in favor of the State,” the SC ruled.

Third division chairman Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. was on official leave when the case was taken up on November 18. Justice Roberto A. Abad was designated acting chairman.

Justices Jose Portugal Perez and Arturo D. Brion were designated members of the division. Justice Diosdado M. Peralta did not take part in the deliberation of the petition filed by the Abadia spouses.

Abadia retired as AFP chief in 1994 after serving the military for 36 years. The forfeiture case was filed against him on July 4, 2005.

In its June 5, 2013 decision, the Sandiganbayan ruled that Abadia and his wife failed to justify the increase in their net worth from P3.77 million in 1991 to P6.476 million in 1992 and to P13.61 million in 1993. (Rey G. Panaligan)

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