Failure to file SALN carries stiff penalties – Ombudsman

Ombudsman- 19 June 2012

 The Office of the Ombudsman reminded government employees anew to take the duty of filing their annual Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) seriously.

The Office issued the call following the May 17, 2012 Decision of the Sandiganbayan that convicted Danilo Collantes, former Provincial Engineer for the Province of Rizal, of two counts of Violation of Sec. 8(a) in relation to Sec. 11 of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) for his failure to file his SALNs for the years 2001 and 2002.

Records of the case showed that Collantes started his employment as Supervising Civil Engineer I with the Rizal Provincial Government in July 1986. He was Provincial Engineer from June 1998 until his retirement in June 2004, with an annual income of P277,008 or a monthly income of P23,084.

Certifications duly issued by the Human Resources Management Office for the Province of Rizal, the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon and the Integrated Records Division of the Civil Service Commission state that Collantes failed to file his SALN for the years 2001 and 2002.

Collantes was ordered to submit his counter-affidavit and other controverting evidence but failed to comply with said directive. During trial, respondent initially entered a “not guilty” plea but later pleaded guilty to the offense charged. Hence, the Sandiganbayan First Division rendered a Decision finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. He was sentenced to pay a fine of P5,000 for each case, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

Assistant Ombudsman Asryman T. Rafanan cited that Sec. 8 of RA 6713 mandates “all public officials and employees, except those in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers” to file their SALNs “within 30 days after assumption of office; on or before April 30, of every year thereafter; and within 30 days after separation from the service.”

AO Rafanan warned that under Sec. 11 of RA 6713, violation of Section 8 thereof is “punishable with imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or a fine not exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000), or both, and, in the discretion of the court of competent jurisdiction, disqualification to hold public office.” http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph/index.php?home=1&pressId=Mjcz

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