Ombudsman dismisses from the service BOC division chief; raps messenger

April 9, 2014 8:42 am 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

BAGUIO CITY, April 8 (PNA) — The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) on Tuesday dismissed from the service Eduardo Guinea Wong, Acting Chief of the Assessment Division of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Cagayan de Oro City, for grave misconduct and dishonesty.

In a 23-page ruling, the Ombudsman found that spouses Wong acquired various real properties and substantial bank deposits despite Wong's fixed compensation income and lack of proof of his wife's income.

The ruling noted that Wong's gross salary was P30,665, which amount would still be subjected to the regular salary deductions and the cost of living expenses.

It said that Wong failed to disclose in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) his apartment rental, barbershop, eatery and retail store businesses.

It added that the 15 single-detached duplex-type residential properties in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental being leased to tenants were acquired when Wong's monthly salary was P20,250 while his wife worked as a school teacher.

The penalty of dismissal from the service carries with it the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and bar from taking civil service examinations.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Paulino Elevado IV, Administrative Aide IV/Messenger of the BOC, for failing to declare a true and detailed SALN.

In a nine-page resolution, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of charges for five counts of falsification of public documents and two counts of violation of Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", against Elevado.

Elevado figured prominently in newspaper reports in January 2012 when he reportedly became involved in a vehicular altercation along the South Luzon Expressway while driving a Porshe Carrera.

Investigation showed that Elevado started his career with the BOC in 1992 as a messenger with an annual salary of P24,876.

He assumed the post as Acting Customs Operations Officer III in 2005 to 2008.

At the time of the investigation, Elevado maintained two residences at Kassel Townhomes in BF Resort and Casa California Executive in BF Resort Village, both in Las Pinas City, all from an annual gross salary of P115,752 or P9,646 monthly.

Elevado was able to purchase a P400,000 Volvo Station Wagon (1995 model) in 2003, and amass P525,332 in bank deposits as of 2010.

In the related administrative case, Elevado was found guilty of serious dishonesty with the aggravating circumstances of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, after considering that he further failed to file his SALN from 1992 to 1996 and from 1999 to 2002.

As Elevado had already resigned from the service, he was meted a fine of P20,000 with the same accessory penalties attendant to dismissal from the service. (PNA)

CTB/PTR

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