MANILA - Prosecutors on Friday opposed the motion of former Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn to dismiss charges against him for non-declaration of real and personal properties as well as business interests in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) from 2005-2012.
Hagedorn is facing nine counts of graft, nine counts of violation of Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and nine counts of perjury for his supposed non-declaration of real and personal properties as well as business interests.
Hagedorn has denied the allegations, saying the properties were in his SALN albeit summarized.
The prosecution argued that the prescriptive period within which the cases have to be filed starts after the discovery of the criminal acts.
"It must be considered that the time of discovery refers to the filing of the complaint by Bertini Causing on October 23, 2013 and not upon the filing of the sworn SALN for the corresponding years. In his motion, Hagedorn argued that the maximum prescriptive period is 10 years and that the questioned SALNs started in 2005," the prosecution said.
Prosecutors said the inordinate delay ground for the dismissal of the case that was argued by Hagedorn is not fixed. They cited the Supreme Court ruling on Dela Pena vs Sandiganbayan which said: "The concept of speedy disposition is relative or flexible. A mere mathematical reckoning of the time involved is not sufficient."
In the complaint, state prosecutors alleged that Hagedorn did not disclose a total of 59 pieces of real property for nine years, including 40 residential lots, 10 agricultural lots, four commercial lots, three residential buildings and two commercial buildings in Palawan.
The former mayor also had undeclared business interests as incorporator, chairman of the board, stockholder, and president of Palawan Jolly Foods Corporation, Puerto Princesa Bee Foods Corporation, and Radiant Homes Land Development Incorporation.
Hagedorn also did not disclose his position as incorporator, member of the board, stockholder, and chairman of the executive committee of Puerto Princesa Broadcasting Corporation, and as incorporator of Green Forest Blue Waters Corporation.
Various vehicles belonging to Hagedorn were also not indicated in the SALNs he filed, starting from five undeclared vehicles in 2004 up to 45 vehicles in 2012.
For his part, Hagedorn clarified that the P102 million worth of properties in his SALN correspond to the 59 properties.
Regarding the 45 vehicles, during his term, he clarified that he bought several motorcycles to be used as prizes for the Puerto Princesa City government's raffle activity.
Although the motorcycles were purchased in his name, they were eventually distributed to the raffle winners.
Hagedorn also added that in 2002, he distributed his business ventures to his children and grandchildren.