Porsche-driving ex-Customs clerk 'guilty'
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman found a Porsche-driving former Bureau of Customs clerk guilty of violating anti-graft laws and ethical standards for civil servants, the Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS) announced on Wednesday, March 12.
The DOF-RIPS said the Ombudsman found "probable cause" to indict Paulino Elevado IV for 5 counts of falsification of public document and 2 counts of violation of Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for his false declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
It also said the Ombudsman found Elevado guilty of serious dishonesty, with the aggravating circumstance 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.
The DOF-RIPS filed a complaint against Elevado in February 2012, after he figured in a shooting incident over a traffic altercation. The incident prompted an investigation as to why he had a Porsche when he was just earning P10,000 monthly as Customs clerk. Elevado resigned from the BOC in February 2012.
Omissions in SALN
In its decision, the Ombudsman agreed with the DOF-RIPS that Elevado concealed and distorted the truth when he repeatedly omitted in his SALN his other so-called "businesses" from the time he entered public service in 1992 to 2008.
"It was only in 2008, or 16 years after assuming office, that respondent acknowledged that he was engaged in 'Buy & Sell of Cars & General Merchandise, Various Small Businesses', without identifying these businesses with sufficient particularity," the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman said Elevado also committed conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service when he figured in the 2012 shooting incident at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
On January 21, 2012, Elevado and his companion were in a car chase with a student over a traffic altercation and allegedly beat up and fired a shot at the student.
"The respondent did not act in a manner that upheld the image and integrity of his office. In no manner could the respondent justify his acts as an act of self defense or in enforcement of his rights," the Ombudsman said.
It noted that tollway cameras caught Elevado driving in a manner that threatened the lives of other motorists.
Since Elevado resigned from the BOC and could not be meted the penalty of dismissal, he was slapped a fine of P20,000, forfeiture of all retirement benefits, and perpetual bar from re-entering the government service, including government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs).
Finance Undersecretary Carlo Carag, head of the Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group, said Elevado's indictment is "a victory for good governance."
"It sends a signal to Customs personnel that the President’s Customs Reform Team is serious in cleansing the Bureau of corrupt officials," Carag said.
On March 11, DOF-RIPS announced that a Manila court meted out a jail term to a former Customs examiner for lying in her SALN. – Rappler.com