Ex-Barangay Chairman convicted over SALN problems

The Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 40 of Quezon City has convicted former Batasan Hills Barangay Chairman Ranulfo Ludovica for irregularities in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Ludovica was convicted of Falsification of Public Documents and five counts of violation of Section 8 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713).

The court sentenced the accused to imprisonment of four months to two years for the Falsification charge and five years for each count of violation of R.A. No. 6713. Ludovica was also ordered to pay a fine of P5,000.00 for each count of violation of the Code of Conduct.

During the trial, Ludovica was found to have falsified his 2005 SALN by deliberately failing to disclose his business interest in the “Jessa Zaragoza Phenomenal Entertainment.” Based on the certification from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the accused was found to have been an incorporator, director, and stockholder of the said corporation since 1999, having a subscribed and paid-up capital equivalent to P50,000.00. Prosecutors also presented evidence that Ludovica failed to file his SALNs from 2002 to 2004; and from 2006 to 2007. The court noted that “accused did not give any explanation nor presented anything in his defense [as to] why he failed to file his SALNs for five years.”

Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code states that Falsification is committed by a public officer who makes an untruthful statement in a narration of facts which are absolutely false while under R.A. No. 6713, all public officials and employees have the obligation to accomplish under oath their true and detailed SALNs.