MANILA, Philippines - Controversial couple retired Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and Erlinda Yambao Ligot are in the limelight for snubbing Senate hearings, feigning illness and staying mum when asked about their unexplained wealth, and, in the case of Gen. Ligot, becoming the latest occupant of the Senate detention room.
Some facts about Lt. Gen. Ligot:
>> Ligot was a former military comptroller who served under then chief of staff Gen. Angelo Reyes from 1999 to 2001. Reyes took his life when the Senate probe on the military fund mess focused on him. Ligot and his wife were dragged in the same Senate probe on allegations they, too, dipped their hands into military coffers.
>> Ligot was the predecessor of retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia who was jailed over plunder charges but was released on bail last December after entering into a controversial plea bargain agreement with the government.
>> Military budget officer-turned-whistleblower George Rabusa worked under Ligot.
>> Ligot came from humble beginnings. His family once lived in a nipa hut in the middle of the rice fields in Pozzorubio, Pangasinan. Newsbreak.ph said he experienced using spoon and fork for the first time on his first day at the Philippine Military Academy. He graduated in 1970.
Senators are trying to establish that the Ligot couple has unexplained wealth, which include the following:
>> Two houses in California - one in South Anaheim and another in Buena Park - worth over $700,000 (est. P30 million)
>> Properties in Malaybalay, Bukidnon in central Mindanao worth over P5 million.
>> Bank accounts with deposits that far exceeded Ligot's salary of P360,000 a year. These include a joint bank account with a balance of P5.09 million in 2001 and P511,078 in 2002, and two Citibank deposit transactions amounting to $1.29 million and $1.58 million made between 2001 to 2004.
>> Mrs Ligot's brother, Edgardo Yambao, is suspected to have fronted for the Ligots in acquiring several assets, including the P22-million Essensa East Forbes condominium unit in Fort Bonifacio Global City in 2003, P1.41 million condominium unit in Burgundy Plaza on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City in 1999, a P2.8 million Toyota Highlander for in 2001, and a P1.1 million Subaru Forester in 2002. Yambao does not have a stable source of income.
>> Mrs. Ligot traveled abroad 42 times from 1993 to 2004 and 8 times from 2003 to 2004. A constant travel buddy was Teresita Reyes, the wife of the late Gen. Reyes.