Graft charges, suspension ordered against two revenue officials

Posted in: Press Releases- Nov 04, 2011 No Comments

THE REVENUE Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) has scored another set of victories against two revenue employees found by the Office of the Ombudsman as liable for the charges they were accused of.

In separate resolutions, the Ombudsman ordered the trial of Customs examiner Dionisito R. Valles for probably violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, while putting Revenue Officer III Myrna F. Ramirez under a three-month suspension without pay for simple dishonesty.

In the first case involving Valles, the Ombudsman resolved that Valles be tried for graft charges at the Manila Regional Trial Court for failing to examine a shipment by Quezon City-based Danvill Forwarders in 2006.

The subject shipment, which entered the Port of Manila in December 7, 2006, was misdeclared to contain 960 packages of used vehicle replacement parts but actually bared six units of used motorcycles, 179 used tires, four high bean suspensions, and a used Suzuki chassis, among others.

Despite Danvill Forwarders’ shipment being intercepted in Bulacan by Customs authorities later on, RIPS said that Valles’ failure to conduct physical examination of the shipment as required warranted legal action. To this, the Ombudsman agreed.

“For not conducting physical examination of the cargo, despite the need to do so, this office finds probable cause against respondent Valles for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019,” the resolution dated May 23 stated.

The Ombudsman said Valles’ defense of threat to his life after being alleged harassed by “burly men” inside the Customs office “does not inspire belief.”

“How could he be threatened inside the office premises? Government offices are heavily guarded. It puzzles this office why no one saw and heard the alleged ‘burly men’ threatened respondent Valles right inside the premises of the Bureau of Customs in broad daylight,” the resolution explained.

“He clearly gave unwarranted benefits to Danvill Forwarders in the exercise of his official function through manifest partiality and evident bad faith,” it added.

Meanwhile, in a decision, the Ombudsman ordered the three-month suspension of Myrna F. Ramirez of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for failing to declare her business interest and a car under her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

“The records show that respondent failed to declared the ‘Ramirez Purified Drinking Water’ as well as the ownership of a Mitsubishi L300 in her 2003, 2004, and 2005 SALN, which is violative of Section 8 of RA 6713,” the decision stated.

Section 8 of RA 6713 or the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees mandates the disclosure of all “assets, liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests” of all government employees and officials every year.

The Ombudsman said Ramirez did not deny being a partner of her brother, Agripino, in the drinking water business, but nevertheless “failed to declare her financial connections” to it from 2003 to 2005. She only began declaring it in 2006.

As to the car, which is also being used in the business, Ramirez failed to prove that Agripino was its real owner as both the Deed of Sale and the car’s sales invoice point to her as the registered owner.

RIPS, the anti-corruption unit of the Finance department, was established in 2003 via Executive Order No. 259 and has the mandate to investigate and file cases against suspected corrupt revenue official and employees.

Since then, the unit had already filed 89 cases against 130 individuals, 55 of whom were already suspended, while 20 were dismissed from service.

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