NON-DISCLOSURE OF ASSETS HAUNTS BOC EMPLOYEE

Posted in: Press Releases- Dec 11, 2012 No Comments

The Department of Finance – Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS) lodged criminal and administrative complaints against ERNESTO JALECO GONZAGA on November 29, 2012, for non-disclosure of selected assets, as well as misleading and inconsistent declarations in his sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs), in violation of Section 7 of the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended”, in relation to Section 8 of the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees”. 

        Gonzaga, a Customs Marine Engineman, omitted to declare in his 2000 SALN his residential house and lot in Baguio City. Copies of Gonzaga’s SALNs for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 showed that he allegedly purchased the Baguio City properties worth one million pesos (PhP 1,000,000.00) in 1998, but the same was not declared in his SALN as of December 31, 2000. Per verification by RIPS with the Baguio City Assessor’s Office, Gonzaga was identified as owner of a four hundred seventy four (474) – square area parcel of land with a residential building situated therein.

 RIPS likewise confirmed during its official investigation that Gonzaga did not declare in his SALNs three (3) real properties in Inoman, Pozorrubio, Pangasinan which were registered under his wife’s name, Artemia B. Gonzaga, based on three (3) tax declarations. As certified by the Pangasinan Municipal Assessor on September 10, 2012, the aforestated properties, which were particularly described as unirrigated ricelands, with respective land areas of four thousand seven hundred thirty four (4,734) square meters and five thousand two hundred (5,200) square meters. The third lot, which was classified as a mango land, measured seven thousand six hundred fifty (7,650) square meters.

 Also, relevant documents from the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Firearms and Explosives Office confirmed that Gonzaga owned eleven (11) firearms of different calibers, all of which were not reported at all in his SALNs. Included in Gonzaga’s firearm collection were an assortment of shotguns, pistols, and revolver. 

 “Verily, the only rational conclusion that can be drawn from the respondent’s glaring non-disclosure of his ownership of the firearms is his temerity to be less than forthcoming about his personal assets,” RIPS’ Complaint stated.

 Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s 2000 SALN disclosed that he owned only two (2) vehicles, particularly: a Mitsubishi Space Wagon acquired back in 1992 for two hundred forty thousand pesos (P 240,000.00) and a Lancer GLXi purchased in 1994 for two hundred twenty thousand pesos (P 220,000.00). Interestingly, though, he subsequently “lumped” his vehicle declarations in his 2002 to 2011 SALNs without indicating the years when they were acquired, with acquisition costs averaging from four hundred seventy thousand pesos (PhP 470,000.00) to five hundred fifty thousand pesos (PhP 550,000.00).  Official inquiry from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) – Diliman District Office led to the revelation that there are actually three (3) vehicles registered under his name and that of his wife, namely: a 1996 Mitsibishi L300 Versa Van, 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Sedan 4-Door, and a 1998 Honda CRV Wagon SUV.

 RIPS’ Complaint in part reads, “It has been repeatedly emphasized among public officials and employees that the requirement of full disclosure in one’s SALNs is not a mere rhetoric but rather a solemn undertaking prior to one’s entry into government service. Evidently, respondent’s patent misrepresentation is in clear disregard of Section 7 of Republic Act 3019, as amended, in relation to Section 8 of Republic Act 6713, which mandate a ‘true, detailed, and sworn’ declaration of assets must be observed in accomplishing one’s SALNs.”

        Gonzaga may possibly face preventive suspension pending preliminary investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman under its express powers under Republic Act 6770.

 At present, RIPS has filed one hundred twenty eight (128) graft and lifestyle cases against one hundred seventy one (171) personalities and secured sixty two (62) suspensions from office and twenty one (21) dismissals from service. *****

 

 The DOF-RIPS is an inter-agency anti-graft unit, created pursuant to Executive Order No. 259, s. 2003, to detect, investigate, and prevent corrupt practices committed by erring revenue officials and employees under the jurisdiction of the Department, including the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

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