Porsche-driving Customs clerk charged

Posted in: Press Releases- Feb 20, 2012 No Comments

CUSTOMS clerk PAULINO C. ELEVADO IV, whose infamous escapade on board a white Porsche was pressed by the Finance Department-led Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) on February 17, 2012 with administrative and criminal charges for Serious Dishonesty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service under Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACS), as well as violations of Section 7, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Section 8, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees. 

Calls were replete for Elevado’s ouster from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) after he was caught on CCTV footage a few weeks ago speeding away aboard a white Porsche with Plate No. JOE 911 in hot pursuit of two (2) individuals in their mid-twenties whose vehicle bumped the former’s car, per Spot Report dated January 21, 2012 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Southern Police District, Pasay City, but not before Elevado punched one of the victims, Christopher Verceles, in the face.

 Godwin Dimaunahan, Verceles’ companion at the time of the incident, confirmed in his sworn statement before the Pasay Police authorities that he was smacked in his nape by Elevado’s cohort, Florencio Bato, Jr., when the former tried to cool down Elevado from hurting Verceles further. He also saw Elevado retrieved his gun inside the Porsche, and they were fired at, more or less, four (4) times while they zoomed on Magallanes Flyover in Makati City, with Elevado’s car at their heels. Verceles’ Toyota Innova sustained gun shots at its rear end and busted its front left tire during the car chase.

 Based on the suspects’ Booking and Personal Information Sheet, high speed chase came to a halt at the Marriott Hotel Manila where the victims swiftly sought protection from the suspects, when they heard another round of gunfire coming from them, who tried to enter the hotel premises but rammed into its delta barrier instead. They were arrested at 9:30 a.m.

 “Plainly, respondent’s ruthless demeanor … betrays his propensity to be a self-aggrandizing person who suffers from lack of consideration for other people, which should not at all be countenanced,” RIPS stated in its Complaint. 

 Section 4 (c) of Republic Act 6713 provides in part that “every public officer and employee shall at all times respect the rights of others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public interest.”

 The DOF’s anti-corruption unit officially probed further into Elevado’s personnel records, alongside with other supporting documents and discovered that Elevado has been maintaining two (2) private residences in Casa California Exclusive, J.B. Tan Street, BF Homes and Kassel Townhomes, Avelnosce, BF Resort, both in Las Piñas City. However, in his sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN), Elevado did not account for any real property at all.

 In his 2003 SALN, Elevado indicated that he acquired a Volvo for only four hundred thousand pesos (P 400,000.00), but its cost surprisingly increased by additional fifty thousand pesos (P 50,000.00) as gleaned from his SALNs for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006. On the other hand, Elevado declared in his 2007 to 2009 SALNs that he owned an unidentified “motor vehicle” worth five hundred twenty five thousand five hundred pesos (P 525,500.00) but its value jacked up to seven hundred thousand pesos (P 700,000.00) in his 2010 SALN.

 RIPS averred in its Complaint that, “respondent’s gross annual income from 2001 to 2004 only ranged from seventy one thousand five hundred ninety two pesos (P71,592.00) to seventy three thousand three hundred sixty eight pesos (P73,368.00), or equivalent to monthly salary bracket of five thousand nine hundred sixty six pesos (P 5,966.00) to six thousand one hundred fourteen pesos (P 6,114.00), such that it is inconceivable for a mere Customs Clerk to afford a high-ticket personal vehicle worth four hundred thousand pesos (P400,000.00), when he had not clearly established other income-generating trade at the time of the said purchase.”

 As verified with his BOC Service Record, Elevado’s present salary as a Messenger is “one hundred fifteen thousand seven hundred fifty two pesos (P115,752.00), or only nine thousand six hundred forty six pesos (P9,646.00) per month, which is grossly disproportionate to the aggregate costs of his varied investments in his other personal assets, such as jewelry, and furniture and fixtures,” RIPS added.

 It did not also escape RIPS’ scrutiny that Elevado started to report his cash savings only in his 2007 SALN which amounted to only eighty nine thousand four hundred fifty five pesos (P89,455.00) at that time, which, however, grew to more than half million pesos, or five hundred twenty five thousand three hundred thirty two pesos (P525,332.00) in 2010, as maintained in its complaint.

 Elevado’s underhanded strategy in accomplishing his SALNs was further demonstrated in his generalized declaration of his business interests, consisting of “buy and sell of cars” trade, “general merchandise”, and “various small business”, which he claimed to have established back in 2008.

 Summing up Elevado’s list of severe violations is his non-filing of SALNs for the years 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 as attested by the BOC’s Human Resource Management Division in its Certification dated February 13, 2012.

 “Needless to emphasize, the submission of SALNs is a sworn obligation to be observed faithfully by every public officer and employee under Section 7, Republic Act 3019, as amended, in relation to Section 8, Republic Act 6713,” RIPS’ Complaint stated.

 Beforehand, RIPS supported efforts of one Flor Tagle, an Import/Export Consultant of Prima Modas, Inc., in filing charges on October 7, 2011 against Elevado for Direct Bribery, and violations of Republic Acts 6713 and 3019, as amended, when the latter tried to extort one hundred to two hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00 – P200,000.00) as ‘pay-off money’ for the release of her company’s shipment.

 By and large, Elevado’s exploitive actuations warrant dismissal from the service upon finding of probable cause and as duly borne by substantial evidence.

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