Suspensions Ordered for Customs Operations Officer Estigoy and BIR Revenue Officer Avisado
The Department of Finance Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF RIPS) has scored two victories in its efforts to advance anti-corruption efforts with the recent decisions rendered by the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The Ombudsman in its decision found respondent Jocelyn M. Estigoy (Estigoy), Bureau of Customs Operations Officer III of the Port of San Fernando, La Union, guilty of Simple Neglect of Duty. She was meted a penalty of suspension from office without pay for three months; or if suspension can no longer be enforced because of respondent’s separation from the service, she is to pay a fine equivalent to her three months’ salary.
Respondent Estigoy’s case emanates from her alleged failure to verify the authenticity of the Certificate of Eligibility, which Norsk Hydro (Phils.) Inc. (Norsk) submitted, allowing the latter to evade paying correct duties and taxes for nine import entries. The Ombudsman in arriving at its ruling held that Estigoy failed “to give proper attention to a required task or to discharge a duty due to carelessness or indifference.”
Meanwhile, the CSC found respondent Eleodoro C. Avisado (Avisado) guilty of “Simple Neglect of Duty and Failure to File Sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) and Disclosures of Business Interest and Financial Connections Including Those of Their Spouses and Unmarried Children Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age Living in their Households.” He was meted the penalty of three (3) months and one (1) day suspension from service.
In its decision, the CSC held that Respondent Avisado, a Revenue Officer III of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Revenue Region No. 10, Legaspi City, violated Section 8 of Republic Act 6713, obliging public officials and employees to accomplish and submit their SALN and Disclosures of Business Interest and Financial Connections. In arriving at this decision, the CSC said that there are overwhelming pieces of evidence showing that respondent Avisado did not file his SALN and Disclosures on or before April 30, 2011. In fact, the CSC noted that while the respondent’s SALN and Disclosures are dated April 15, 2011, it was only subscribed and sworn to by Avisado on August 4, 2011. Further, the same documents were stamped received by BIR HRM Unit on August 5, 2011.
The CSC also found respondent Avisado’s failure to file his 2010 SALN on the prescribed period as constituting Simple Neglect of Duty. The Commission said Avisado has a sworn duty as a government employee to submit his SALN every 30th of April, and her failure to submit the same shows that she failed to give proper attention to a task expected of a public official or employee.
The Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) is the anti-corruption arm of the DOF. Under the present Aquino Administration, RIPS has consistently investigated allegations of corruption in the DOF and its attached agencies: RIPS has increased its tally from a mere 113 personalities charged in the years 2003-2010 to 231 charged, more than double in just a span of 4 years.
RIPS calls on the public to actively participate in the eradication of corruption in the Government by reporting public officials and employees who engage in graft and corrupt practices.