FORMER Puerto Princesa City mayor, Edward Hagedorn, slammed an alleged press statement from the Ombudsman finding probable cause to indict him for perjury for allegedly not declaring all his properties in his ‘Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN) covering the years 2004 to 2012.
At a press conference today in Makati City, Hagedorn said he has not yet to receive a copy of the Ombudsman’s findings “and yet it has already been widely reported in the media beginning with the Ombudsman’s official website.”
“Wala pa akong natatanggap na kopya ng resolusyon para masagot ang mga akusasyon sa tamang proseso pero ‘pinagpipiyestahan’ na sa media; I was not given a chance to air my side,” he said.
He pointed out that when he checked with the Sandiganbayan where the charges against him are supposed to have been filed, the court said it has also not received the supposed indictment against him that was allegedly reported out by the Ombudsman last May 12.
“This entire incident is highly irregular at the very least,” Hagedorn said.
In a decision signed on May 12, the Ombudsman said Hagedorn failed to declare ownership of 59 properties including residential lots, commercial buildings and 49 vehicles.
Investigation showed that the former mayor failed to disclose his business interests in six corporations.
Graft probers said Hagedorn concealed information of his ownership of real and personal properties by failing to declare them in his SALNs.
The Ombudsman said that only three properties located in Puerto Princesa City and one in Parañaque City were declared in Hagedorn’s SALNs from 2004 to 2012.
Tax declarations submitted during the preliminary investigation revealed that there were more than three properties registered under the respondent’s name.
“But I wonder if the (Ombudsman) investigators read and reviewed the entirety of the SALNs I filed for the period under question ” Hagedorn said,
“If only they perused the “annex” attached to my SALNs, they would readily see that the total amount of P102,534,437.21 for the commercial/agricultural properties they claimed I failed to declare, is exactly the same amount appearing in the annex that also detailed all my properties. In other words, I did not hide anything,” Hagedorn said.
He also expressed suspicion that an “influential personality” involved in the politics in the province may be behind the continuing effort to besmirch his name and reputation, noting the investigators “appeared to have ignored my reply and attachments.”
“Kung ano na lang ang nakalagay sa reklamo, ‘yun na lang din ang sinabi sa umano’y ‘resolusyon’ na hanggang ngayon wala pa rin akong kopya,” he added.
As for the “luxurious vehicles” that he allegedly failed to declare, Hagedorn said these include a 1992 ‘BMW’ that he bought in 2004 or 12 years later and, a 1997 ‘Volvo’ that he only decided to buy two years ago.
“These already have no ‘book value’ and why it is being made an issue for investigation is not for me to answer as this is already very clear from the start,” he added.
Hagedorn also expressed confidence that he would be able to disprove the allegation against him “at the proper forum and under a fair and impartial court”.