Even long-retired government officials are not safe from the Office of the Ombudsman’s intensified crackdown on the errant reporting of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
The Office of the Ombudsman has filed in the Sandiganbayan 11 charges against retired Chief Superintendent Eduardo S. Matillano of the Philippine National Police for failing to file his SALN for eight years and for lying about his assets from 1994 to 2004.
Matillano retired two weeks earlier than his scheduled exit on Nov. 30, 2004, as chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group amid reports that he was using a blue Jaguar X-Type luxury sedan and a yacht, which the police confiscated from alleged drug lord Jackson Dy.
The Ombudsman has tightened up on SALN reporting in recent months, especially after Chief Justice Renato Corona was ousted in May (mainly for being dishonest in his SALN declarations) as a result of the Senate impeachment trial.
By a 20-3 vote, the senators took Corona to task for his failure to include $2.4 million in bank deposits—on top of an allegedly commingled amount worth P80.7 million—in his SALNs from 2002 to 2010.
The Senate verdict came after 43 days of the nationally televised impeachment trial for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
The charges against Matillano were filed by Assistant Special Prosecutor Honorio C. Ebora Jr. after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the indictment a month ago.
Based on the charge sheet, Matillano was accused of perjury for omitting key assets in his SALN reports in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
The assets included:
— Five properties—two lots in Kingsville Subdivision, Antipolo City, with a combined area of over 500 square meters, two office buildings with a combined floor area of 360 square meters and a 1.69-hectare lot in Roxas, Palawan province.
— Nine motor vehicles registered under his name and his wife, Elizabeth—a 1996 Kia Ceres, 1998 Nissan Patrol, 1998 Honda motorbike, 2001 Toyota Hi-Ace, Suzuki Esteem, Mitsubishi Fuso, Isuzu dump truck, Mitsubishi tractor and Isuzu vehicle.
— Investments in five companies—Warbird Security and Investigation Agency Inc., Palawan Agromate Products Inc., First Food Caterers and Managers Corp., Mega Source Technological and Industrial Corp. and Camtrade Industrial Supply Corp.
Matillano was also charged because he failed to file SALNs for eight years—from 1994 to 2000 and in 2004.
The offense is punishable under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Matillano’s bond has been set at P98,000.
Matillano is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, which includes Senators Panfilo Lacson and Gregorio Honasan.