Anti-graft court forfeits ex-police general's P16-M unexplained wealth

The Sandiganbayan says former police general Danilo Mangila's salary was 'grossly insufficient to finance the acquisition of his assets

Rappler.com

Published: 9:19 PM July 15, 2019

Updated: 9:19 PM July 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has ordered the forfeiture of nearly P16 million in unexplained wealth of former police general Danilo Mangila, who served as director of the Philippine Nation Police Traffic Management Group and Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group during the Arroyo administration.

In a decision promulgated on July 1 but released on July 14, the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division said Mangila was unable to credibly explain how he had acquired 6 real estate properties with a combined value of P9.103 million, and motor vehicles – 12 cars and 4 motorcycles – worth P7.375 million.

The anti-graft court also found Mangila had enough money for 18 trips to various countries, including Japan, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, France, and Australia from 1993 to 2005. His wife, meanwhile, went overseas 16 times. As such, family expenditures of around P2.222 million and P115,000 in undeclared business interests were also taken into account. 

The Sandiganbayan added that, during those years, Mangila made P2.006 million in salaries and P1.003 million in allowances or just over P3 million, which points to what it called a "gross and glaring disparity between his legitimate income and assets acquired."

While Mangila said he started car buy-and-sell and car rental businesses in Quezon City, there were no business permits issued to his name or to his Nine o Nine Trans Services and Car Merchant in Quezon City. The Sandiganbayan also noted Mangila had a KTV and restaurant business with reported losses of around P3.64 million during its operations from 2000 to 2004.

“Verily and with these facts on hand...respondent Mangila’s lawful income for the said period... was grossly insufficient to finance the acquisition of his assets in the aggregate amount of P15,806,403.65,” the court said.

It added there was no law prohibiting government employees from acquiring properties and registering them under their names, so long as these were legitimately earned by their work. 

“Membership in the government service does not in any way strip government employees of their constitutionally guaranteed right to own properties. Unfortunately, respondent Mangila failed to prove that he has lived a life proportionate to his means,” the court said.

The properties forfeited in favor of the government were 3 lots in Quezon City, as well as one each in Calamba, Laguna; Trece Martires, Cavite; and Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.

Also forfeited were a number of vehicles, including a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle and a 2003 Honda motorcycle, and a Toyota Rav4

Notices of preliminary attachment were already issued by the Sandiganbayan on September 6, 2011.

The 53-page decision was penned by Associate Justice Georgina Hidalgo. Associate justices Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez Estoesta and Zaldy Trespeses concurred.

Mangila was earlier acquitted on 6 counts of perjury charges for alleged falsehoods in his statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth for the period from 1998 to 2003. The court held those discrepancies could be attributed to honest mistakes on Mangila's part. – Rappler.com