DOF EYES 2-PRONGED ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY VS ERRING EXECS

Posted in: Press Releases- Dec 17, 2017 No Comments

The anti-corruption arm of the Department of Finance (DOF) is eyeing the filing of tax evasion charges on top of forfeiture cases against its officials and employees suspected of amassing ill-gotten wealth.

Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said the personnel covered by the anti-corruption investigations of the DOF’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) include those assigned at the Department and its attached agencies–Bureaus of Customs (BOC), of Internal Revenue (BIR), and of Local Government Finance (BLGF); Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Insurance Commission (IC); the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA); and treasurers of local government units (LGUs).

“There is a presumption in the law that when one accumulates wealth beyond his lawful income, then there is a presumption that it is ill gotten and we can file a forfeiture case under Republic Act 1379,” Agabin said in a RIPS briefing for Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee (Execom) meeting.

Agabin said that additionally, “under our tax laws, all income, whether legally or illegally acquired, its subject to tax, and therefore, those who have acquired ill gotten wealth should pay taxes for the illegally acquired income.”

Agabin said the RIPS has already requested for the income tax returns of some of the officials and employees under investigation by the office.

“If they do not pay taxes, that is tax evasion and they will be liable criminally. Their properties are also subject to levy and distraint. If you recall the case of Al Capone, the authorities filed tax evasion cases against him. That is what we are studying,” he said.

Investigations conducted by RIPS against officials and employees under the DOF’s jurisdiction involve only administrative proceedings that it files either before the Office of the Ombudsman or the Civil Service Commission (CSC). The Ombudsman has the power to initiate forfeiture proceedings against public officers.

The BIR is the agency tasked under the DOF to file tax evasion cases.

From January to September 2017, decisions were promulgated by the Ombudsman and CSC finding several employees and officials of the BIR and Bureau of Customs (BOC) guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty and finding anomalies regarding the accomplishment and filing of their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) reports, the RIPS said in a recent statement.

Agabin earlier said RIPS is targeting lifestyle checks on at least 70 more employees in the main office and its attached agencies such as the BOC and BIR before the yearend in line with the Duterte administration’s goal of weeding out corruption in government.

He said the investigation covers officials and employees who have acquired real estate and personal properties with amounts not commensurate to their annual salaries.

The RIPS said its office adds at least 10 more personnel covered by lifestyle checks every month.

“We started actively initiating investigations last January, so we are targeting around 70 plus by the end of the year,” RIPS director Gilberto Espinosa said.

From January to September 2017, decisions were promulgated by the Ombudsman and CSC finding several employees and officials of the Bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty and finding anomalies regarding the accomplishment and filing of their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) reports, the RIPS said in a recent statement.

No Responses to “DOF EYES 2-PRONGED ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY VS ERRING EXECS”

Leave a Reply