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BIR exec sacked over lifestyle

Bureau of Internal Revenue building

MANILA, Philippines—An official from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has been dismissed after failing a lifestyle check and could face eight counts of perjury as recommended by the Office of the Ombudsman, the Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) reported on Monday.

Zenaida B. Chang, BIR assistant commissioner for financial and administrative services, was dismissed for alleged “serious dishonesty” and “gross neglect of duty,” according to RIPS, a unit of the Department of Finance (DOF) that conducts lifestyle checks among government employees and officials suspected of corruption.

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RIPS, which investigated Chang amid reports that she had acquired assets not commensurate with her income, filed a case before the Ombudsman after the agency found her guilty of corruption and underdeclaration of income.

Aside from being dismissed from service, Chang’s penalty included forfeiture of her retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from working in government again, according to RIPS.

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The agency said the Office of the Ombudsman had also recommended the filing of eight counts of perjury and forfeiture proceedings against Chang.

Chang allegedly committed perjury for failing to declare her assets in the annual statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) that government employees are required to submit. The forfeiture proceedings had been proposed to enable government to take over Chang’s allegedly unexplained wealth.

Chang could not be reached for comment as of press time. Her secretary told the Inquirer Chang was recuperating from a knee operation.

RIPS hailed the Ombudsman’s decision as a boost to the government’s anticorruption drive.

RIPS’ anticorruption drive is meant to complement the BIR’s antitax-evasion drive and the BOC’s antismuggling campaign.

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TAGS: BIR, dismissed, gross neglect of duty, Lifestyle check, Ombudsman, Perjury, serious dishonesty, Zenaida B. Chang
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