Corrupt DOF employees face tax, forfeiture cases
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Employees and officials of the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies who are suspected of corruption would be charged with tax evasion on top of forfeiture cases, the anti-corruption arm of the agency said yesterday.

In a statement, Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said the DOF’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) is studying the possibility of using this two-pronged approach against personnel and executives suspected of amassing ill-gotten wealth.

Agabin said employees with illegally acquired wealth should also be charged with tax evasion, in addition to forfeiture cases initiated by the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Under our tax laws, all income, whether legally or illegally acquired, is subject to tax and therefore, those who have acquired ill-gotten wealth should pay taxes for the illegally acquired income,” Agabin said.

“If they do not pay taxes, that is tax evasion and they will be liable criminally. Their properties are also subject to levy and distraint. That is what we are studying,” he added.

The undersecretary said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) would be the agency tasked under the DOF to file the tax evasion cases.

Currently, investigations conducted by the RIPS against officials and employees under the DOF’s jurisdiction are filed before the Civil Service Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman, which has the power to initiate forfeiture proceedings against them.

Earlier, Agabin said the RIPS has initiated a series of lifestyle checks on employees of the DOF and its attached agencies, including the BIR, Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Local Government Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission and the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.

He said the department is targeting to investigate 70 more employees before the end of the year.

Agabin said the RIPS has requested for the income tax returns of some of the officials and employees under investigation by the office.

From January to September 2017, the RIPS said the ombudsman and the CSC found several employees and officials of the BOC and the BIR guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty, and found anomalies regarding their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Two BIR employees and three BOC personnel were dismissed from the service, with penalties of forfeiture of benefits, perpetual disqualification to hold public office and a ban from taking Civil Service Examinations.

The RIPS investigation also resulted in the suspension of nine BOC employees, two BIR personnel and one city treasurer.   

Meanwhile, the ombudsman also found eight BOC employees and one BIR personnel to have committed perjury and falsification of documents by a public officer.

 

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