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Ex-DA undersecretary charged with perjury
Former Agriculture undersecretary Belinda Gonzales “made false statements” in her sworn SALN for 2005 and 2006 when she declared that that she acquired a house and lot in Project 6, Quezon City for P2.6 million. Philstar.com/File photo
MANILA, Philippines — While public officials getting charged for understating their wealth is an old story, a former undersecretary of Department of Agriculture is now facing perjury cases for allegedly exaggerating the value of her house.
In separate case information sheets recently filed by the Office of the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan, former Agriculture undersecretary Belinda Gonzales was charged with two counts of perjury under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code.
Graft investigation and prosecution officer Helen Acuña-Sykioco said Gonzales “made false statements” in her sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN for 2005 and 2006 when she declared that that she acquired a house and lot in Project 6, Quezon City for P2.6 million.
Sykioco said Gonzales “very well knew that the said statement is false” as a deed of absolute sale dated November 7, 2002 shows that the latter purchased the house from a certain Elizabeth H. Hael for only P900,000.
The ombudsman recommended to the court to set Gonzales' bail at P12,000.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the charge sheets on May 22 but they were formally filed before the Sandiganbayan only on July 14.