• High-ranking govt execs under lifestyle check


    Some high-ranking officials of the agencies under the Department of Finance (DoF) are under investigation for alleged corrupt practices, according to Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin.

    Agabin said the DoF’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) which is under his watch is conducting a lifestyle check on suspected corrupt employees under the Finance department umbrella.

    He however refused to identify the officials.

    “We cannot tell you until we filed. Me personally, it will be good if we catch high-ranking officials to set examples,” he told reporters in an interview over the weekend.

    “Our problem is the higher their rank, the wiser they become. We just have to outthink them,” he added.

    At present, the DoF official said that the RIPS have recommended four to five employees for dismissal.

    “We act on the basis of complaints. If there are anonymous tips, we investigate” he said.

    “What we do is to look up the SALN [Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth] of everyone under our umbrella. That’s the Bureau of Customs [BoC], Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Local Government Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission and all treasurers,” he said.

    “We compare the SALNs. Look at the trends. We found out that some are, let’s say earning P20,000 a month, but the year-on-year jump in their assets is more than what they are legally earning,” Agabin added.

    “We also have authority to ask for certificate of titles in their name. We discover also, for instances, that they do not declare in their SALN properties,” he said.

    Customs employees earlier identified by Sen. Panfilo Lacson involved in the “tara” or payoff system in the bureau were also under investigation.

    “But we cannot reveal their names until we’re done. When we find something like that, we have to file a case either at the Office of the Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission, or within Customs itself. It’s like we come up with reports based on our analysis of the SALNs, and then ask them to please undertake necessary proceedings,” he added.

    Last month, Lacson tagged former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and other officials and personnel of the BoC as among those receiving payoffs.


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