RIPS Secures Preventive Suspension, Files Raps Versus Unscrupulous BOC Personnel

Posted in: Press Releases- Dec 19, 2011 No Comments

The Department of Finance – Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS) successfully obtained a recommendation for preventive suspension from the Office of the Ombudsman relative to its complaint filed on April 7, 2006 against four (4) Customs officials, namely: Jaime Maglipon, Chief, Warrant and Motor Vehicle Office (WMVO), Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Customs (BOC), Manila; Aniceto Sanchez, Jr., Deputy Collector; Solomon Sumpo, Customs Examiner; and Alfredo Opao, Jr., Cashier II, all from the BOC’s Zamboanga Port.


Per Memorandum dated 21 April 2006 issued by the Office of the Ombudsman, the preventive suspension of the respondents was proposed after it was sufficiently established that “the acts committed by respondents Opao, Sumpo, Sanchez and Maglipon, taken collectively, indicate connivance and conspiracy to deprive the government of its rightful revenue.”


            As stated in the subject Memorandum, the controversy stemmed from the two (2) illegal transactions involving the entry of BMW and Mercedes Benz vehicles using spurious import entries as borne from the Certificates of Payment individually issued on February 21, 2006 to Aurelio Dungo and Catherine Jardin, both from Pasonanca Road, Zamboanga City. The same Certificates of Payment, which were both signed by respondents Opao and Sumpo, showed that the amounts of sixty one thousand two hundred five pesos (P 61,205.00) and sixty two thousand five hundred forty five pesos (P 62,545.00) were paid for the importation of the said vehicles, inclusive of customs duties, taxes and other charges. On the other hand, the said documents bore the indorsements of both Sanchez and Maglipon that led to the vehicles’ registration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), effectively completing the highly irregular transactions.


However, records of the case indicated that the import entry numbers covering the said vehicles, both dated February 21, 2003, were previously issued by the BOC to Japcor Auto Supply and Mega Plywood Corporation, covering their respective shipments of used truck parts and plywood.


“At the time of the issuance of the Certificates of Payment on February 21, 2003, the aforementioned Import Entry Nos. 0086-03 and 0078-03 were not yet in existence inasmuch as the true entries were made on June 23 and 25, 2003, respectively,” the Memorandum stated.  


Upon verification, the sums of eight hundred six thousand eight hundred seventy seven pesos and seventy four centavos (P 806,877.74) and four hundred fifty three thousand five hundred twenty three pesos and twelve centavos (P 453,523.12) for the BMW and Mercedes Benz, respectively, or a total amount of one million two hundred sixty thousand four hundred pesos and eighty six centavos (P 1,260,400.86) should have been charged and paid accordingly.


Considering the enormous loss of income that should have accrued to the government, the Ombudsman’s prosecuting officer concluded that, “As such, respondents Opao and Sumpo committed a violation of Section 3 (e), R.A. 3019, by their act of causing two luxury vehicles to enter the Philippine Territory and be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) by using the aforementioned Import Entries, thus preventing the collection of the correct duties upon the same, thereby giving undue advantage to a private party.”


Conversely, Maglipon and Sanchez’ wrongful indorsements gave rise to violation of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 17-00, which requires that the certificates of payment, as indorsed by concerned Customs officials, as well as its supporting documents, should be subjected to review and verification as to its veracity and existence. Pursuant to the said CMO, the importation of the vehicles necessitates the issuance of an Import Authority by the Bureau of Import Services (BIS), which Authority was found to have not have been issued in relation to the imported vehicles.


The Ombudsman’s prerogative to place any public officer or employee under preventive suspension draws strength from Section 24, Republic Act 6770, or “The Ombudsman Act of 1989”, in correlation with Section 9, Administrative Order No. 17, amending Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07 of its Rules of Procedure.


“Non-Filing of SALNs”


In a separate incident, RIPS intensified anew its mandate pursuant to Executive Order 259, series of 2003, when it filed administrative and criminal complaints against six (6) Bureau of Customs (BOC) employees for their incorrigible failure to file their sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) for corresponding years.


            The complaints, which were lodged with the Office of the Ombudsman on December 14, 2011, alleged that the following Customs personnel were seriously remiss in their obligation in filing their SALNs, namely: Benigno Dulla, Warehouseman IV;   Nasser Pandi, Customs Operations Officer I; Esmael Umpa, Customs Operations Officer I; Nelly Ochoa, Customs Operations Officer III; Rene Agulan, Customs Operations Officer III; and Mustapha Lomondot, Customs Operations Officer I

            The acts of respondents were violative of the SALN provisions as found under Section 7, Republic Act 3019, as amended, also known as the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act” and Section 8, Republic Act 6713, commonly known as the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees”, which mandate every government officer to submit, under oath, and file the same with his concerned office or agency, a true and detailed statement of his assets, liabilities, networth, business interests and financial connections, including those of his spouse and unmarried children under eighteen (18) years old, within thirty (30) days after assumption of office; on or before April 30, of every year thereafter; and within thirty (30) days after separation from the service.


            Earlier, Josephine Nagallo, Information Technology Officer III, was the subject of RIPS’ Complaint filed on December 7, 2011, for her failure to file her SALN for the year 2002 as well as her non-disclosure of her business, Opnet General Merchandise located in Narig Veterans Village, Quezon City in her SALNs for the years 2000 to 2010. Investigation revealed that the Business Permits and License Office issued in Nagallo’s favor a business permit dated September 28, 2000 as contractor-lessor of personal computers.


            Nagallo now faces indictment for Falsification of Official Documents, Perjury, Civil Service rules on Gross Neglect of Duty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, and violations of Section 7, R.A. 3019, as amended in relation to Section 8, R.A. 6713.

            Since 2003 to date, RIPS has initiated one hundred (100) graft and lifestyle cases against one hundred forty one (141) personalities, fifty nine (59) of whom were suspended from office while twenty (20) of them were dismissed from service.

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