Philippines BIR and Customs Employees Facing Ombudsman Case

By Joann Santiago

Three employees of the Department of Finance and its attached agencies — the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) — are facing graft and corruption charges for allegedly failing the lifestyle check.

DOF’s anti-corruption arm –- Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) — filed before the Ombudsman last December 2 the complaints against Antonio M. Veses, Supervising Customs Operations Officer and Assistant Chief, Informal Entry Division of the BOC; Jessie J. Carlos, Tax Specialist I, DOF “One-Stop Shop” Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (DOF-OSS Center); and Madelyn T. Sacluti, Revenue Officer IV of the BIR.

In a statement, RIPS said the three employees are subject of preliminary investigation for Falsification of Official Documents, Perjury, Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty, Gross Neglect of Duty, violations of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees, and accumulation of unexplained wealth beyond government salary and other lawful income.

The complaint against Veses was filed after RIPS found out that despite his gross annual income of P395,676, he was able to accumulate several real properties and put up business investments, such as townhouses and office spaces for rent, AMV Facial Care Center, AMV Reflex and Body Massage, and a private resort, known as “Jardin de Antonio” in Tanauan, Batangas.

“His sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) bared that even though he has enormous loans, he managed to disburse some of them in cash while simultaneously afforded high-ticket purchases such as a Honda Civic sedan, a Toyota Rav4 SUV, a Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, and a house and lot in Parañaque City worth P7,500,000,” RIPS said.

The complaint also alleged that Veses manipulated some entries in his 2001, 2003 and 2010 SALNs regarding the values or costs of his assets and liabilities.

RIPS said Veses’ networth from 2001 to 2010 rose from P4,286,000 to P13,789,000.

It also said that the Customs officer failed to include in his SALNs some properties like the two commercial lands and a four-storey building located along Dr. A. Santos Ave., San Dionisio, Parañaque City; a 1994 Toyota Corolla sedan; two parcels of land and some improvements which comprise his Batangas garden resort.

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