What Every SALN Filer Must Know

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coa to stage beauty pageant

By Michael punongbayan (The Philippine Star) Updated April 7, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - State auditors are up for another challenge – but this one won’t involve examining accounts and expenditures of the government.

Rather, it is about discovering audit personnel who display the most natural beauty and remarkable qualities amid the pressures of their jobs.

Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza announced last week that the search is on for Mr. and Miss COA 2014.

​The pageant, according to Mendoza, aims to highlight “the finest crop of men and women of the agency who lead very serious and stressful jobs of fighting graft and corruption in government.”

The search will be open to single male and female employees of COA who are not more than 30 years of age and are willing to battle it out with each other in a grand event next month celebrating the audit institution’s 115th anniversary.

Mendoza said the contest will do away with the bikini or swimwear category but will have the sportswear, business or corporate attire and formal or evening wear competitions.

There will also be talent and question and answer portions, she said.

Mendoza said talent presentations “must be within the bounds of morality and decency and must not be offensive to anyone’s sensibilities” and while props will be allowed, fire, water, bladed weapons, guns and other dangerous and explicitly offensive objects will not be permitted.

Mendoza said the contest aims to help rank-and-file employees to “develop self-confidence and be proud of being an empowered member of the government’s working force.”

It also hopes to promote the ideals of an independent, objective, hardworking and committed auditor and public servant, she said.

The event also seeks to give participants a chance to “serve as ambassadors of the commission and promote the culture of integrity and solid work ethics.”

The pageant proper and coronation night will be held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on May 9.

The winning Mr. and Miss COA will each receive P15,000, a sash, a trophy, and a bouquet.

​There will also be prizes for the first and second runners-up and special awards for the best in corporate attire, best in sportswear, best in talent, best in evening wear, and Mr. and Miss Congeniality.

my comments

The timing of this activity is awful to say the least.  The COA is in the thick of the PDAF scam which could not have taken place at the different levels of the bureaucracy without their cooperation and/or culpable negligence.  While the COA took credit for reporting the plunderous anomalies, they should actually be pilloried for allowing this to exist for more than a decade with eyes shut wide open.  It is difficult to conceive that they permitted anyone and everyone to partake and take part in the pillage of the village without their complicity.

​The least that COA should parade in front of the public are the names of those auditors assigned to TRC, NABOCOR, NLDC and DBM during the period covered by the same audit report together with their SALNs and the results of investigations done on them if any.  Audit your ranks so that you can render excellent audits.  Take pride in catching and preventing crimes against the people instead of being proud of coming out with belated and untimely reports.  Bare your sins before baring your skins.

bir exec sacked for amassed wealth

By Zinnia Dela Pena (The Philippine Star) Updated April 1, 2014 - 12:00am

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of a ranking official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for unexplained wealth.

​In an 11-page decision by the ombudsman, Zenaida Chang, assistant commissioner of financial and administrative services in charge of BIR’s budget and procurement, was found guilty of serious dishonesty and gross neglect of duty, giving a boost to the Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS)’s efforts to root out corruption.

​Chang was found to have acquired significant and substantial properties and assets consisting of three houses and lots in Felville Subdivision, three lots in Goldridge Estate, two lots in Felville Subdivision, two lots in New Intramuros, two Pajeros, a Mercedes-Benz MB-100, Mitsubishi L-300, a Toyota Revo and Toyota Altis.

The ombudsman’s office, however, pointed out that the total annual net income of Chang and her husband in 2009 was P933,874.

“Construing spouses Chang’s acquisitions vis-à-vis their legitimate fixed incomes as of 1997, there is reason to believe that respondent Chang has consistently under declared her and her husband’s true net worth to conceal their real wealth and hide the dubious nature of the undeclared sources of their disposable funds,” the decision read.

“The loans obtained by the spouses Chang from various creditors are presented as defense to the charge of unlawful wealth acquisitions. Such defense would have been tenable if the couple’s net worth remained unchanged as the increase in assets would have been offset by the debts payable. The defense of respondent’s availment of ‘pay-when-able’ from liberal personal creditors is a matter too tenuous to believe, considering their consistent spike in net worth despite the presence of these supposed personal loans,” the ombudsman added.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Chang started with the BIR in 1987 as a revenue document processor with a salary of P18,636 per annum. Prior to her transfer to the BIR, she held the position of chief accountant at the professional regulation commission in 1974.

​Aside from dismissal from service, the ombudsman also issued a joint resolution recommending the filing of eight counts of perjury against Chang for falsely declaring her yearly net worth in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth for the period 2000 to 2007.

the latest on corona

ooo affirms charges vs. corona couple

By The Philippine Star Updated March 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman stood pat on its decision to file a P130.3-million ill-gotten wealth case against former chief justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina before the Sandiganbayan.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales junked the Corona couple’s appeal for a reversal of the anti-graft agency’s Jan. 28, 2014 resolution that found probable cause to indict them for perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

In a 15-page joint order released yesterday, Morales dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by Corona and his wife, and affirmed the findings of a special panel of investigators that the couple should be slapped with a forfeiture case for alleged unexplained wealth and failure to declare it in their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

She directed the immediate filing of a petition for forfeiture with the Sandiganbayan along with eight counts of perjury and eight counts of violation of RA 6713.

A special panel of investigators determined that from 2001 to 2011, the spouses earned a total income of P30,369,120.13, of which P27,145,472.68 was earned by Corona as an official at the Office of the President, Supreme Court justice and as member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal and House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

​Cristina earned P3,223,647.45 from 2007 to 2010, based on the Alpha List submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) by the John Hay Development Corp., where Mrs. Corona was employed.

Investigation also showed that from 2002 to 2010, Corona’s cash deposits ballooned from P1,337,072.28 to P137,937,207.88.

By 2010 the cumulative discrepancy between his SALN and his actual cash deposits amounted to P134,437,207.88.

Corona also failed to include various peso and dollar bank accounts in his 2003 to 2010 SALNs, a condominium unit at The Columns, Makati City in his 2004 to 2009 SALNs, and a condominium unit at Spanish Bay Tower in Taguig City in his 2005 to 2009 SALNs.

The former chief justice was found to have only declared P6.8 million as the acquisition cost of a condominium unit in Bellagio I in Taguig City in his SALN for 2010, when the true acquisition cost is P14,510,000, the probe panel added.

In his SALNs from 2003 to 2009, Corona also undervalued the property at La Vista in Quezon City by P8 million.

The ombudsman also cited Land Registration Authority (LRA) records on several properties owned by the Corona spouses in Quezon City, Makati City and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, which were found to be significantly undervalued by P17,297,145.

​Click here for the full article.

My comments after more than 20 cynical others

The big picture devoid of personalities, hidden agendas and vendettas is that the SALN method of convicting or exonerating an accused will finally be on trial.  Note that the article we are now commenting on is on the contents of the charge sheet which is purely SALN based.  The word wars are over as the numbers and number crunchers take the center stage in a cold blooded and objective way.  Convicted or exonerated, it should be short and sweet -- nothing expensive that takes forever.

It will be precedent setting and once proven effective, expedient and efficient either way, this double edge sword will soon become popular and can easily be the people’s favorite champion for chopping the heads of plunderers and discouraging this ilk from even thinking of joining government through an elective or appointive position.

As an international financial expert however, I wonder if there is enough money to give any accountant anywhere in the world an incentive to come and aid the accused in this particular case.  To say the least, his accounting sucks and is quite indefensible.

Corona denies tax raps

The following day the Corona rejoinder appeared in this link.

where I have chosen to quote some of his choicest remarks as follows:

“Morales served as accuser, complainant, prosecutor, investigator, judge and executioner, all rolled into one.”

“my sham, bribe-laden persecutory impeachment trial in 2012"

“A fair and intelligent review of my SALNs within the context of the law, and even simple arithmetic, will prove that I committed no perjury.”

​With the OOO in hot pursuit, Corona has started a word war with Morales instead of a numbers war as it should have been if the accusations have purely been SALN based.  As I have pointed out before, he would have been convictable solely on the basis of his SALNs and the other evidences he would have been “forced to volunteer” in trying to justify the accounting entries therein.

There would have been no need for whistle blowers, opening of bank accounts or dollar deposits except those that he himself would have used in rationalizing his financial affairs.

While I am not an apologist for anyone, let me comment on the 4 statements above:

·         The SALNs are the “accuser, complainant, prosecutor, investigator, judge and executioner, all rolled into one.”

·         His SALNs are his sworn statements which he cannot call “sham”.  No one has to be ‘bribed’ for the best evidence is the document itself.

·         “A fair and intelligent review of my SALNs within the context of the law” could have pinned him down sufficiently to impeach and incarcerate him.

·         With “even simple arithmetic” the ordinary citizen knows that when you pay off liabilities, your money (assets) is decreased and your yaman (Networth) does not increase.  He paid off Php 11 million ‘debts’ over 6 years and increased his Networth proportionately 4 times.

·         When your SALN does not reflect reality how can you say “I committed no perjury.”

​I say bring it on and let the numbers’ war begin for after all “Figures don’t lie and liars don’t figure.”