BAGUIO CITY – Two officials of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) are now facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged failure to file their Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for several years.
In his affidavit-complaint dated November 16, 2017 Salvador Liked, an anti-corruption advocate in the region, accused DPWH-CAR Regional Director Nerie D. Bueno for not filing her SALN for the years 2007, 2008 and 2012 while he also alleged that Engr. Nestor Nicolas failed to submit his SALN for 2008 and 2012.
Section 7 of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act provides that “every public officer, and within the month of January of every other year thereafter, as well as upon the expiration of his or her term of office, or upon his resignation or separation from office, shall prepare and file with the office of the corresponding department head, or in the case of head department or chief of an independent office with the Office of the President, or in the case of the members of Congress and the officials and employees thereof, with the office of the Secretary of the corresponding House, a true detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities, including of the statement of the amounts and source of his or her income, the amounts of his or her personal and family expenses and amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year, provided, that public officers assuming office less than two months before the end of the calendar year, may file their statements in the following months of January.”
Further, pertinent provisions of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees also mandates the submission of the duly accomplished SALN to the office of the Ombudsman.
On May 29, 2017, the records officer of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon issued a certification certifying that Bueno did not file her SALN for the years 2007, 2008 and 2012.
On the other hand, the records officer also issued a certification on October 11, 2017 certifying that Nicolas did not file his SALN for the years 2008 and 2012.
“It is crystal clear that Bueno and Nicolas violated Section 8 of RA 6713 in relation to Section 7 of RA 3019 not once but several times, thus, they must be prosecuted for the same,” Liked stressed.
According to him, Bueno allegedly under-declared her real properties as she reportedly wanted to evade paying higher taxes to the government, thus, the need for her to be separately prosecuted on the matter considering that she is allegedly earning much from her services with the government and yet she is reportedly paying low taxes.
The concerned officials could not be reached by Herald Express as of press time for them to air their side on the filed complaint against them.