DOF-RIPS SCORES THREE WINS TO KICK-OFF 2016

Posted in: Press Releases- Mar 04, 2016 No Comments

The Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS) has again won several cases filed before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) against corrupt revenue sector employees.

In a series of decisions that it issued in the last week of January 2016, the anti-graft body dismissed from the service one (1) Bureau (BOC) Customs and one (1) Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) employees while suspending another BOC employee for six (6) months without pay for graft and corrupt practices.

The Ombudsman found Customs Operations Officer V Walter Farin Reynoso guilty of Serious Dishonesty, Falsification of Public Documents, Violations of Reasonable Rules and Regulations and Section 8 of R.A. No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. The Ombudsman also recommended indicting Reynoso for fifteen (15) counts each of: (a) violation of Section 7 of R.A. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act); (b) Falsification; and (c) Perjury. He was also indicted for fourteen (14) counts of violation of Section 8 of R.A 6713 (The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).

According to the decision, Reynoso failed to truthfully accomplish his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net-Worth (SALN) when he did not declare his property in Muntinlupa City in his 1995-2004 SALN. The Ombudsman also discovered material discrepancies and misleading entries in his 2005 to 2010 SALNs as well as his failure to secure the requisite travel authority for his trips abroad.

Meanwhile, another Customs employee was found guilty for simple neglect of duty and violation of reasonable office rules and regulations. In finding him guilty, the Ombudsman explained that Customs Operations Office III Abel Batino Bayot failed to declare his Bacoor, Cavite residential lot in his 2003 SALN, which he acquired as early as 1998, and his two (2) firearms in his 2011 SALN.

The Anti-Graft Body also found Bayot violating reasonable office rules and regulations when he did not secure travel authority for his Hong Kong trip in June 1995. It set aside Bayot’s defense that his trip to Hong Kong fell on a weekend, declaring such fact not a valid justification for not complying with the provision of law.

Finally, the Office of the Ombudsman also found BIR Chief Revenue Officer IV Alejandro Torreno Polca guilty of Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, Violation of Reasonable Rules and Regulations and of Section 8 of R.A. 6713. The OMB recommended indicting Polca for fifteen (15) counts each of violation of R.A. 3019 and Falsification; for eight (8) counts of violation of R.A. 6713; and nine (9) counts of Perjury. The OMB also recommended filing of a Petition for Forfeiture against Polca before a proper court.

In arriving at its decision, the Ombudsman asserted that Polca failed to file a true and detailed SALN for the years 1996-2010 when he failed to declare his ownership over lots in Pasig City, Cainta and Taytay, Rizal; and two (2) agricultural lots in Ilocos Sur. He also failed to declare certain motor vehicles and business interests in his SALNs.

Bayot was meted the penalty of six (6) months of suspension from the service without pay. Both Polca and Reynoso were dismissed from service, perpetually barred from taking civil service examinations and disqualified from government service; their retirement benefits were also forfeited.

“These recent wins in our campaign to root out corruption are encouraging. Since its inception in 2003 until end-2015, RIPS has charged a total of 271 personalities, 158 of which came from 2010-2015 alone. From 2010-2015, successful resolutions of RIPS cases numbered 78 bringing the total number of successful case resolutions to 103 since 2003.” Finance Undersecretary Carlo A. Carag noted.

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