CEBU, Philippines - A former employee of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Region-7 was found guilty of non-disclosure of certain properties and failure to explain tremendous increase of her net worth in her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN).
Ombudsman-Visayas Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Luanne Ivy Cabatingan held Cynthia Entero, Administrative Aide VI of LTO-Motor Vehicle Inspection Center in Subangdaku, Mandaue City liable for violations against Republic Act 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
“Wherefore, respondent Cynthia Duterte Entero is hereby meted the penalty of dismissal from service, pursuant to Section 8, in relation to Section 11 of Republic Act 6713 and Section 8 of Republic Act 3019, as amended, with forfeiture of all benefits, perpetual disqualification to hold public office and cancellation of all civil service liabilities,” read the decision.
Since Entero was no longer in the government service when the decision came down, Cabatingan said the penalty of dismissal shall be converted into a fine in the amount equivalent to her salary for one year, payable to the Office of the Ombudsman.
However, the accessory penalties attached to the principal penalty of dismissal will continue to be imposed.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by the Ombudsman-Visayas' Field Investigation Office (FIO) against Entero. The alleged net worth of Entero from 2003 to 2010 as reflected in her SALN submitted before the Office of the Ombudsman was disproportionate to her legitimate income as administrative aide.
Entero allegedly reported only three vehicles in her 2010 SALN, when she and her husband allegedly owned a total of ten.
In her position paper, Entero denied the accusations filed against her. She claimed that she and her husband both come from well-off families, which explains their wealth.
She said that aside from her husband managing an insurance office with a salary of at least P30,000 a week, he also got financial support from his mother and younger sister who are residing in the United States.
Entero also claimed of not being well-versed with filling up the SALN.
The vehicles mentioned by FIO had already been disposed, Entero said, which explained why these were not included in the real properties listed.
Cabatingan said Entero's claim that they disposed of their other vehicles cannot be given credence since there was no evidence, such as deed of sale or other deed of conveyance shown that would substantiate the same.
“The failure to declare that many vehicles, the lack of effort to so declare them and the absence of a justifiable reason for the failure to declare the vehicles constitute a substantial non-compliance with the duty under Section 8 of RA 6713 to file a SALN that contains information on, among others, personal properties and their acquisition costs,” read the decision.
Likewise, Cabatingan ruled the total gross income of Entero from the years 2004 to 2007 was P975,727 which was far from sufficient to cause a net increase of P2,978,550 in her net worth from the end of 2003 to 2010.
Though there were claims that her husband’s income as branch manager of an insurance office, and the monthly support coming from his sister in the amount of $1,200, she said cannot be given weight since no evidence was presented to support the claim. (FREEMAN)