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Retired general convicted of graft, falsification of docus

A retired general and a private defendant were sentenced by the Sandiganbayan to a total of 123 years in prison after they were found guilty of jacking up the acquisition cost of 12 properties in General Santos City in 1997.

Those who were meted prison sentences are retired Brig. Gen. Jose Ramiscal Jr., former president of the now-defunct Armed Forces of the Philippines-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS), and private defendant Nilo Flaviano.
The decision penned by Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta of the Seventh Division said the duo were convicted of 12 counts each of graft and falsification of public documents. Associate Justices Zaldy Trespeses and Bayani Jacinto concurred.
Each graft case is punishable by six years and one month to 10 years in jail while a charge of falsification of public documents bears the penalty of four years and two months to eight years and one day.
The defendants were also ordered to a fine of P5,000 for each count of falsification or a sum of P60,000.
The criminal charges stemmed from a complaint file on December 18, 1997 by former South Cotabato Rep. Luwalhati Antonino to the Office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao after she received reports of anomalous real estate transactions involving the Magsaysay Park properties in her district.
Records showed some 12 lots all measuring 999 square meters was involved in the transactions which was supposedly purchased by the AFP-RSBS from different owners in September 1997 for P10,500 per square meter or P10,489,500 each.
Two sets of documents pertaining to each lot surfaced during trial but bearing different sale valuations. One set showed a tag price of P10,500 per square meter while the other pegged the value at only P3,000 per square meter.

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