OMBUDSMAN ORDERS SUSPENSION OF CUSTOMS OFFICER

Posted in: Press Releases- Oct 20, 2015 No Comments
Ombudsman Orders Suspension of Customs Officer
and the filing of information for violation of anti-graft laws

To stress the importance of a complete disclosure of government employees’ assets, liabilities and net worth, the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has again ordered the filing of information against Customs Officer Nelly S. Ochoa (Ochoa) before the Municipal Trial Court of Pasay City for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019) in relation to the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (R.A. 6713).

In a seven-page decision issued by the Anti-Graft Body, Ochoa, a Customs Operations Officer III, of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, was indicted for two (2) counts of violation of Section 7 of R.A. 3019, as amended, in relation to Section 8 and 11 of R.A. 6713 for her failure to file her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 2003 and 2004.

Despite Ochoa’s assertion that she filed her 2003 and 2004 SALNs with the Administrative Division of the NAIA Customhouse in Pasay City on April 9, 2004 and April 2005 respectively, the Ombudsman still found Ochoa guilty of the above-cited violation. Records revealed that nothing is shown on the face of her SALNs attesting that the Administrative Division of NAIA Customhouse or any of its officers seasonably received the said SALNs. The Ombudsman further noted that the Administrative Division of NAIA Customhouse did not certify that Ochoa’s 2003 and 2004 SALNs are available in their records and that no transmittal of her SALNs to the BOC Human Resource Management Division (HRMD) was ever presented.

Aside from the violation of R.A. 3019 and R.A. 6713, the Revenue Integrity Protection Service of the Department of Finance (RIPS-DOF) also charged Ochoa administratively for Gross Neglect of Duty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. However, finding no wanton or deliberate intention to withhold filing of her SALNs and no proof that trust of the public to the BOC has been diminished, the Ombudsman resolved that Ochoa is guilty of Simple Neglect of Duty only, meting her the penalty of two (2) months and one day suspension from service without pay.

RIPS is the anti-corruption arm of the DOF. It has consistently investigated allegations of corruption in the DOF and its attached agencies (the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Local Government Finance, Bureau of Treasury, Central Board of Assessment Appeals, the Insurance Commission, the National Tax Research Center, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, and the Privatization and Management Office). RIPS continuously calls on the public to report public officials and employees from the above agencies who engage in graft and corrupt practices.

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