6 BIR officers face raps over SALNBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
An officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Makati is in hot water for declaring ownership of a nonexistent parcel of land in Quezon City and two residences in Sorsogon province that turned out to be a warehouse and a three-story building.
Raul G. Gorospe was among the six BIR officers whom the Department of Finance’s antigraft body filed complaints against either in the Office of the Ombudsman or the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in connection with their assets and liabilities.
The Department of Finance Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) said Ma. Luisa Joy C. Pisueña, Saidy S. Decampong, Juarez V. Hernandez, Eleodoro C. Avisado and Arsenio N. Reyes did not file their statements of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) for 2010.
Pisueña is based in Bacolod City; Decampong and Hernandez in Koronadal City; and Avisado and Reyes in Legazpi City.
The RIPS said it was the first time it filed administrative and criminal charges in the CSC. Charged were Avisado and Reyes.
“Their failure to file was discovered because of the respective certifications furnished by different BIR Revenue Regions in compliance with the Department Order No. 12-2011 issued by the Secretary of Finance on Feb. 25, 2011,” the agency said.
The order enjoins all officials and employees of the finance department and its attached agencies, including the BIR, to submit a copy of their respective SALNs to the heads of their offices who shall, in turn, forward the documents to the finance department.
RIPS said the five officers’ failure to submit their SALNs was verified and confirmed through records of the Office of the Ombudsman and the CSC.
Gorospe failed a “lifestyle check.”
The RIPS probe found that Gorospe declared in his SALN the ownership of a parcel of “land in Quezon City,” which turned out to be nonexistent. Based on City Hall records, there was no such property in the name of Gorospe or that of his wife and four children.
Investigation also showed that Gorospe declared in his SALN a “residence in Juban, Sorsogon” and another “residence in Sorsogon.”
“(But) according to the records of the Office of the Provincial Assessor of Sorsogon, they owned a one-story warehouse and a three-story ‘residential’ building, both located in Somal-Ot, Casiguran (town),” the watchdog said.
Sta. Cruz property
RIPS investigators discovered a parcel of land with a residential and commercial building in Sta. Cruz, Manila, that was not mentioned in his SALN. It was registered in the names of Gorospe and his wife, and Alhi Real Estate Corp.
“While disclosing only a single car worth P260,000 in his SALNs, (Land Transportation Office) records and other documents revealed numerous motor vehicles that Gorospe failed to declare,” it said.
The vehicles include a 1989 Toyota Lite Ace, a 1992 Hino Truck, a 1991 Mitsubishi Truck, a 1997 Toyota Jitney, a 1999 Hi Bed Trailer, a 1975 Toyota Jeep, nine tractor heads, three 2007 Hi Bed Trailers, a 2007 Mitsubishi Tractor, three 2008 Hi Bed Trailers, a 2003 Toyota Jeep and a 2009 Toyota Fortuner sports utility vehicle.
“More than that, Gorospe’s wife was found to be the owner of Our Lady of Piat Cargo Hauler, a cargo forwarder business, located at Pier 4 North Harbor, Manila, and a beauty parlor in Quezon City,” RIPS said.
“He and his wife were likewise incorporators of ALHI Real Estate,” it added. “Curiously, respondent never declared any business interests and financial connections (with ALHI) in his SALNs from years 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.”
Checking records from the Bureau of Immigration, RIPS found that Gorospe traveled abroad “multiple times” from 2000 to 2011 without authorization as required of government employees.