The Office of the Ombudsman has completed the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio L. Sanchez and his wife, Editha Vito-Sanchez after 25 years.
Obtained last month were copies of the Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs) from the former mayor’s 19 real properties which formed part of the illegal wealth of the former mayor, according to the statement of the Ombudsman on April 3.
The TCTs were already forwarded to the Bureau of Treasury, the Ombudsman stated.
Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan in 2016 ordered the forfeiture of the Sanchezes’ properties after it ruled that the couple’s “lavish” lifestyle is “grossly disproportionate” to Mr. Sanchez’s earnings as vice mayor and later as mayor of the fifth-class municipality.
The couple registered a total income after tax amounting to P855,073.88 from 1986 to 1992. However, the Sanchezes were able to send their three children to an exclusive school in London which cost P1 million per child; travelled abroad frequently; and held a “lavish” birthday party at the Manila Hotel with 550 guests, Sandiganbayan found.
Moreover, the former mayor and his wife were found to own 19 real properties, three luxury vehicles, a house and lot, business interests in ERAIS Lending, and bank accounts.
The case faced several delays due to the Sanchezes’ attempt to compromise and settle the case amicably, Sandiganbayan said.
Mr. Sanchez was also convicted for the rape and murder of University of the Philippines – Los Baños students Mary Eileen Sarmenta and Alan Gomez in 1993. — Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz