Sandiganbayan orders forfeiture of retired police general’s P16M unexplained wealth

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The Sandiganbayan has ordered the forfeiture of the unexplained wealth of retired Police Chief Supt. Danilo Mangila totaling P15.81 million.

In a recent 53-page decision, the court’s 7th Division said Mangila “failed to prove that he has lived a life proportionate to his means.”

Among the assets ordered confiscated in favor of the government were six real estate properties—three in Quezon City, and one each in Calamba City, Laguna, Trece Martires City, Cavite, and Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro—with a combined value of P9.103 million.

Also ordered seized were 12 cars and four motorcycles worth P7.375 million. These included a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 2003 Honda motorcycle, a Toyota Rav4, a Hyundai Starex van, and a Toyota Hi-ace.

Besides the questionable acquisitions, the court noted Mangila had enough money for 18 trips to various countries—including Japan, United States, South Korea, France and Australia—from 1993 to 2005; his wife went abroad 16 times.

Mangila lived luxuriously despite the fact that his lawful income as a public official consisted only of P2.006 million in basic salary and P1.003 million in allowances from 1991 to 2004 (his annual income ranged from P99,000 to P365,022).

He tried to explain his wealth by attributing the purchase of vehicles to his buy-and-sell and rental businesses. He also claimed that his wife and children have other sources of income to fund the acquisition of real properties and their travels.

The court, however, noted that neither Mangila nor his business Nine o Nine Trans Services and Car Merchant were issued a business permit. It added that his karaoke and restaurant business reported huge losses of up to P3.64 million 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 concluded in the decision penned by Associate Justice Georgina Hidalgo.

The court said government employees were not prohibited from acquiring properties as long as they could show that these assets came from the “fruits of their legitimate toils.”

“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 assets were already seized through notices of preliminary attachment issued on September 6, 2011.

The court’s 4th Division in March 2017 acquitted Mangila of criminal charges of perjury in connection with his alleged misdeclaration of outstanding liabilities in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) for the years 1998 to 2003.

Mangila served as director of the Philippine National Police Traffic Management Group (PNP-TMG) and as Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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