• Ex-Tawi-Tawi governor charged over SALN


    THE Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has found grounds to charge former Tawi-Tawi Provincial Governor Sadikul Sahali before the Sandiganbayan for failure to submit his subscribed statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

    Sahali allegedly violated provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

    “Investigation revealed that the respondent’s SALNs [Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth] from 2007 to 2011 were not subscribed before a notary public, with the 2012 SALN unsigned by Sahali. It was also found that the SALNs were submitted way beyond the April 30 deadline,” the Ombudsman said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

    Under the law, all government officials and employees must submit their SALNs on or before April 30 of every year.

    The SALN is a declaration made under oath of assets (lands, houses, cash), liabilities (personal or institutional loans) and business and financial interests of a government official or employee, of his or her spouse, and of his or her unmarried children under 18 years old.

    In a separate case, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Region XII Director Ismael Cabural has been charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan for an alleged illegal issue of a special permit for a radio station to operate, in exchange for more than half-a-million pesos in 2013.

    The charges were based on Sections 3(c) and 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

    In a statement on Tuesday, the Ombudsman said it was found that Cabural requested the radio station operators “to shoulder expenses in facilitating talks with the network services provider.”

    “A total of P550,000.00 was solicited and accepted by Cabural in March 2013 in exchange for the issuance of a ‘special permit’ in favor of the municipality of Tampakan, South Cotabato.”

    However, in March 2014, the NTC informed the radio station that its operation was considered illegal and that Cabural was not authorized to issue special permits.

    Cabural, in his defense, claimed his signature was forged. But the Ombudsman rejected his claim for lack of competent evidence to support it.

    Section 3(c) of the anti-graft law prohibits public officials from requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit from any person seeking to secure or obtain any government permit or license.


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