Customs officer and wife penalized for misdeclaration

DAVAO CITY, Philippines —A couple was ordered to pay P86,000 for their  failure to file their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) and for failure to declare properties and business interests.

The Ombudsman penalized  Bureau of Customs Operations Officer Hermogenes Caylan III and his wife , Eloisa Caylan, a Human Resource Officer of the National Parks Development Committee, after they  were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of 11 counts each of violation of Section 8 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees as stipulated in Republic Act No. 6713.

In an 11-page Decision penned by Presiding Judge Nerina Anastacio-Mendinueto of the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 22, Hermogenes was ordered to pay a fine totalling P45,000.00 and P41,000.00 for Eloisa.

Ombudsman prosecutors proved Caylan spouses’ infraction of the law by presenting certifications showing that Hermogenes failed to file his SALNs for the calendar years 1995, 1999 to 2002, and 2005 while Eloisa failed to file her SALNs for the years 1995, 1998 to 1999, and 2001.

The court also found that the couple failed to disclose their ownership of four parcels of land in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and business interests in ALS Timber Enterprises, Inc.

The Decision stated that, “the testimonial and documentary evidence presented by the prosecution sufficiently establishes the failure of both accused to file the SALN as charged,  as well as their failure to declare several parcels of land registered in their names and their business interests.”

The court added that “it bears stressing that the requirement of filing a SALN is enshrined in no less than the 1987 Constitution in order to promote transparency in the civil service, and operates as a deterrent against government officials bent on enriching themselves through unlawful means.”

Under Section 8 of R.A. No. 6713, all public officials or employees to accomplish a statement under oath showing their assets, liabilities and net worth and financial and business interests as of 31 December of every year, including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under eighteen (18) years of age living in their households, and to submit this on or before 30 April of the succeeding year. -EZC/