Remember Paulino Elevado, a clerk at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) who was driving a Porsche when he reportedly beat up and shot a 20-year-old student in a traffic altercation at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) on Jan. 21, 2012?
His resignation may have prevented the BOC from pursuing administrative charges filed against him by the Department of Finance, but it did not stop the Customs bureau from forfeiting all his benefits, according to Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
“Although the dismissal (of the administrative charges) came after (Elevado’s) resignation, his benefits were still forfeited,” Biazon said, adding that BOC investigators had earlier conducted a lifestyle check on the clerk who was earning less than P10,000 a month but drove a Porsche worth at least $120,000 (nearly P5 million).
The BOC head also vowed that Elevado would be “prosecuted to the fullest extent (of the law) to serve as an example that his kind of behavior does not have a place in government.”
Elevado and his companion during the road rage incident, Florencio Bato, are facing charges of frustrated murder and physical injuries.
Car ownership denied
Days after missing work, Elevado surfaced in February 2012 to deny ownership of the 2006 model luxury vehicle, claiming that he was merely acting as an agent for its sale. The former BOC clerk however failed to name the car’s real owner.
Biazon earlier blogged about the case, saying that it made him “sad that the efforts of the Bureau of Customs to regain the trust and confidence of the people have been set back by the actions of one man.”
The BOC chief added: “It makes me mad that a man who took an oath to serve the people instead displayed arrogance and abuse by attacking defenseless youths.”
According to Biazon, “the actions of Paulino Elevado who, together with his companion Florencio Bato, chased a couple of youths through the SLEX all the way to an establishment where they sought refuge and fired their guns (at) their helpless prey, shall not be tolerated.”
Security cameras on SLEx recorded the incident.
The Customs chief also explained that Elevado’s actions were “done outside his official duties and time,” so the BOC could only bring administrative charges against him.
“Criminally prosecuting him for his actions rests mainly on the victims, who were the recipients of his abuse,” Biazon added.
The former Muntinlupa representative who assumed his Customs post in September 2011, lamented that cases like that of Elevado’s “do not help the image of (the BOC) … and “run smack against efforts to reform the BOC and regain the people’s trust and confidence in the agency.”
Biazon added: “It is an insult to Customs employees who share this mission with me, especially those who have struggled to lead clean and modest lives in the face of the temptation to live on the fast lane and benefit from corruption.”
The Customs commissioner bewailed the mostly “negative perceptions and prejudgment” on the BOC that has often been described as one of the most corrupt agencies of the government.
The Philippine National Police revoked the gun licenses of both Elevado and Bato following an investigation of the January 2012 road rage incident.
Revoked were Elevado’s license for his .40-caliber Taurus pistol, which was confiscated by the police during the incident, and Bato’s papers for his .45-caliber Sam Shooter, according to the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office.