Posted in: Press Releases- Mar 18, 2014 No Comments

Carag: President’s Customs Reform Team is serious in fighting corruption

The law finally caught up with the Porsche-driving Bureau of Custom (BOC) messenger who figured in a shooting incident in the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and at the Resort World Complex in January 21, 2012.
Paulino C. Elevado IV (Elevado) was found guilty by the Office of the Ombudsman of Serious Dishonesty, with the aggravating circumstances of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Ordinarily, the penalty is dismissal from government service, but since Elevado has resigned, the Ombudsman meted out a fine of P20,000.00 and forfeiture of all his retirement benefits, with prejudice to reemployment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause to indict Elevado for 5 counts of Falsification of Public Document and 2 counts of violation of Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for his false declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
“We consider the Ombudsman’s resolution on Elevado’s case and his indictment as a victory for good governance. It sends a signal to customs personnel that the President’s Customs Reform Team is serious in cleansing the Bureau of corrupt officials,” Undersecretary Carlo Carag, head of the Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group, said.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed in February 2012 by the Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS), the anti-corruption arm of the Department of Finance (DOF). In its Decision, the Ombudsman agreed with complainant DOF-RIPS that Elevado concealed and distorted the truth when he repeatedly omitted in his SALN his other so-called “businesses” from the time he entered public service in 1992 to 2008.
“It was only in 2008, or sixteen years after assuming office, that respondent acknowledged that he was engaged in ‘Buy & Sell of Cars & General Merchandise, Various Small Businesses’, without identifying these businesses with sufficient particularity,” said the Ombudsman.
The Anti-Graft Body also found Elevado committing conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service when he figured in the 2012 shooting incident in SLEX. In the said event, Elevado had a traffic altercation with Christopher Verceles near the Magallanes Flyover in Makati City, which led to a speed car chase and shooting incident that ended in front of Resorts World Hotel.
The Decision stated, ”The respondent (Elevado) did not act in a manner that upheld the image and integrity of his office. In no manner could the respondent justify his acts as an act of self defense or in enforcement of his rights.” The Ombudsman added that the tollway’s cameras caught the respondent driving in a manner that threatened the lives of other motorists.
DOF-RIPS also calls on the public to help the Government in fighting corruption by reporting through the, BOC and BIR personnel engaged in corrupt practices or ostentatious display of wealth or lifestyle.


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