BIR and BOC employees face suspension for falsified SALNs, unlawful wealth

Posted in: Press Releases- Mar 26, 2012 No Comments

Two public officials from leading revenue-generating agencies are facing possible preventive suspension without pay for providing fabricated details in their respective sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALNs) and accumulating wealth beyond their salary as government personnel and other lawful sources of income, as
well as dismissal from service and forfeiture of their individual properties if proven guilty.

ALEJANDRO T. POLCA, Chief Revenue Officer IV of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and EVA U. REYES, Administrative Officer III of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), failed the lifestyle check investigations conducted by the Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) of the Department of Finance (DOF), giving rise to  administrative and criminal violations of Civil Service rules, Falsification of Official Documents, Perjury, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees, and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended.

The investigation clearly showed Polca’s failure to declare several real properties in his SALNs, which consisted of residential lands in Pasig City; Tanay, Rizal; and Ilocos Region, as well as agricultural lots in Ilocos Sur, purportedly purchased in 2006 and 2007 by his
children who were confirmed to have no visible means of income to purchase the rural lands. Motor Vehicle Verifications from Land Transportation Office (LTO) also corroborated that there were numerous personal vehicles which were unaccounted for in Polca’s SALNs, namely: two (2) trucks registered under his wife’s name; five (5) Isuzu UVs for hire and a Honda motorcycle, both registered in his name; and a 2009 Ford Ranger 4×4 registered under his daughter’s name, who, at the time of purchase, was clearly without financial capability to do so.

The BIR official also omitted in his SALNs the fact of his jeepney franchise for the Vigan-Sinait Route in Ilocos Sur, which was previously granted to him by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

According to RIPS in its complaint, “It must also be noted that respondent’s wife passed away in 1999 and she does not have any business connection which raises suspicion as to how he managed to finance his acquisitions.”

Alternatively, Polca’s five (5) trips abroad from 2006 to 2010 were not sanctioned by the DOF in view of lack of travel authority required of every government employee under Executive Order No. 6 and applicable department orders and Civil Service rules.  However,
according to DOF’s Central Records Management Division (CRMD) dated 2 December 2011 and 2nd Indorsement dated 21 February 2008, it turned out that Polca only secured the necessary form for a lone travel that took place from 17 March 2008 to 28 March 2008.

Reyes, on the other hand, made it appear in her SALNs that she owned a commercial lot in Rosario, Batangas and a condominium in Magallanes Village, Makati City. Copies of pertinent Certification secured separately by DOF-RIPS on January 25 and 17, 2012 from the Assessor’s Office from both localities verified that Reyes was not a registered owner of any real property in their respective jurisdictions.

Reyes also failed to report four (4) real properties in her SALNs, one of which is situated in Batangas City while the rest are found in Lipa City.

“Given her financial standing, it is quite suspicious how Reyes could afford to purchase the above-mentioned real estate properties. To reiterate, her current gross annual salary is only Php353,496.00, or the meager sum of Php29,458 per month excluding taxes. In fact, other than her salary from employment, respondent has no other legitimate source of income which would justify her acquisition of the above-mentioned real properties,” RIPS’ Complaint partly reads.

Reyes’ lack of business interests to sustain her lifestyle is duly supported by Certifications obtained by RIPS from the Business Permits and Licensing offices of Lipa, Batangas and Makati City, issued on January 25 and 30, 2012, respectively.

“Thus, it can only be surmised that respondent has been manipulating her SALNs through false and untruthful declarations and misrepresentations in order to conceal her actual net worth which has steadily increased despite her modest earnings and to hide her unexplained wealth.”

Like Polca, Reyes was also found to have been remiss in her responsibility in obtaining the requisite travel authority in connection with her twin trips abroad back in 2010, which travel information were validated by supporting documents, inclusive of the letter dated 19 January 2012 from the Bureau of Immigration, Manila.  Bolstering the said fact was the Memorandum dated February 1, 2010 issued by DOF-CRMD, which relayed that “the 2nd Indorsement dated 17 February 2011 is the only travel indorsement on file with their office
issued in favor of respondent.”

The complaints for against Polca and Reyes were filed by RIPS with the Office of the Ombudsman on March 22, 2012.

RIPS is the anti-graft arm of the DOF, created by virtue of  Executive Order 259, series of 2003, and mandated to detect, investigate and prevent graft and corrupt practices among officials and employees under the Department and its attached bureaus and agencies. At
present, it has filed one hundred five (105) graft and lifestyle cases against one hundred forty six (146) personalities, sixty (60) of whom were suspended from office while twenty one (21) of them were dismissed from service.

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