DENR director gets jail time for not declaring wife in SALN

MANILA, Philippines – For failing to declare his wife in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), an environment official will be jailed for at least a month to at most a year, and pay a fine of P5,000.

Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Director Jacob Miemban Jr was convicted of perjury and violation of the code of ethics for public officials and employees, and was sentenced by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to jail.

The Office of the Ombudsman charged Miemban in February 2017 for not declaring his wife in his 2007 SALN, and instead putting "not applicable" in the space allotted for the name of a spouse. At the time, the Miemban couple was filing for annulment but it had not yet been finalized.

Because he did not declare his wife, Miemban also did not declare her financial and business interests, which is a requirement under Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Miemban said that he was allowed not to declare his wife because it was "public knowledge that she already reverted to using her maiden name."

“The court does not give credence to his claim. As Director III of the DENR, and a public officer, he is expected to be mindful of this matter, and to live up to the highest standard of service,” said the Fourth Division in its ruling.

The court added: "A person aspiring to public office must observe honesty, candor and faithful compliance with the law. Nothing less is expected. This ideal standard ensures that only those of known probity, competence and integrity are called to the challenge of public service.” – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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