BIR SPOUSES DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE FOR UNEXPLAINED WEALTH

Posted in: Press Releases- Mar 21, 2014 No Comments

Carag: Dismissal from the service of Pascual couple a historic win for DOF-RIPS
The Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS), the anti-corruption arm of the Department of Finance (DOF), scored another first in its anti-graft campaign by dismissing a couple working with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from the service.
“The dismissal of spouses Pascual is a first for DOF-RIPS. In its 10-year existence, DOF-RIPS has filed cases against 2 spouses from BIR; 2 spouses from the Bureau of Customs and 1 spouse from the Bureau of Local Government Finance but this is the first that both spouses were dismissed from the service,” Undersecretary Carlo A. Carag, head of the DOF Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group, said.
The dismissal, which takes effect immediately, includes forfeiture of all retirement benefits, cancellation of civil service eligibility and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including any government-owned or controlled corporation.
In a 13-page decision, spouses Marlon and Emma Pascual, Revenue Officers I and II respectively, were found guilty by the Office of the Ombudsman for Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards (RA 6713) for their failure to declare numerous expensive vehicles and business interests in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
“With respondents-spouses Pascual deliberate attempt to evade the mandatory disclosure of all assets acquired during their incumbency in order to conceal their accumulation of wealth which is manifestly out of proportion to their salaries, they are guilty of dishonesty”, the decision states.
Couple’s P278,000 annual salary disproportionate to vehicle purchases
The case stemmed from information received by DOF-RIPS in 2005. An exhaustive investigation and lifestyle check was conducted by DOF-RIPS which led to the discovery of expensive SUV vehicles, including a Ford Explorer, Honda CRV, Hyundai Starex, and a Mitsubishi car registered to their daughter, who was a minor and unemployed at that time. In justifying their accumulation of wealth, the spouses Pascual stated that they were engaged in several businesses, which support the purchases of the expensive properties. But DOF-RIPS discovered that the spouses Pascual did not disclose any business and financial interests in their SALNs. “Such non disclosure essentially embraced concealment of unexplained wealth”, the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman likewise did not give consideration to spouses Pascual’s defense that they did not declare the vehicles because they were not fully paid yet. “Foremost, the said vehicles were registered in respondent Marlon’s name and registration of a motor vehicle connotes ownership. Moreover, if this Office were to accept the said explanation, such would set a precedent wherein public officials may acquire as many assets and never declare it by mere invocation that the property is not yet fully paid. Such act erodes the function of requiring accuracy of entries in the SALN which must be a true and detailed statement. It would undermine the requirement of filing a SALN as the means to achieve the policy of accountability of all public officers and employees in the government”, the decision states.
The couple tried to hide their unexplained wealth by declaring various loans but the Ombudsman said that “the loans raised more questions instead of settling the controversy. How were respondents-spouses Pascual able to keep up with the monthly amortizations and their remarkable monthly living cost of expenses considering their meager income?”. In 2001, the couple had a combined gross annual salary of P278,424.00 when they purchased a vehicle worth P1,800,000.00
Pascual decision adds to DOF-RIPS list of victories
Just last week, RIPS scored a major victory when a trial judge convicted Ana Marie Concepcion Maglasang, a Customs Examiner, with imprisonment of 4 months to 1 year for every count of 5 counts of perjury.
Since last year, the DOF has enhanced the capacity of RIPS by hiring former prosecutors with extensive investigative and prosecutorial experiences to strengthen the case build up capacity of DOF-RIPS, which can ensure the successful resolutions of its cases. It has tapped the assistance of other agencies such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Civil Service Commission, the Land Registration Authority, the Land Transportation Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission to create green lanes that will give priority to DOF-RIPS cases and requests for information and documents in order to expedite their investigations and the resolution of its cases.
DOF-RIPS calls on young lawyers and accountants who want to be a part of the government’s quest for good governance to apply and join RIPS in running after corrupt officials. It encourages the public to help the DOF in its campaign by reporting corrupt practices and extravagant lifestyles of BOC, BIR, Treasurers and DOF employees and officials to www.perangbayan.com.

No Responses to “BIR SPOUSES DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE FOR UNEXPLAINED WEALTH”

Leave a Reply