Jul 22, 2021 @ 14:33

Ex-Customs aide gets 88 years max for SALN lies

The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has sentenced a former Bureau of Customs (BoC) employee to a total of five-and-a-half years to 88 years in prison for false declarations and omissions in her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs).

In a recent decision announced by the Department of Finance (DoF), the court pronounced administrative aide Ester Grafil Sese guilty of 11 counts of falsification. She was also ordered to pay a fine totaling P110,000.

“It is settled that a SALN is a public document. It bears stressing that the requirement of filing SALN is enshrined in no less than the 1987 Constitution in order to promote transparency in the civil service, and operates as a deterrent against officials bent on enriching themselves through unlawful means,” the court held.

The case arose from a complaint filed by the DoF Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) before the Ombudsman against Sese, who started working for the BoC as a utility worker.

It accused Sese of falsely declaring in her SALNs for 2000 to 2002 that her family’s Mitsubishi Lancer was a liability, instead of an asset.

In her SALNs for 2002 to 2007, Sese allegedly declared a lower acquisition cost of P150,000 for the Lancer, instead of the true cost of P264,839.

Sese also allegedly omitted from her SALNs a house and lot in Parañaque City purchased in 2002, an Isuzu Elf Aluminum van purchased in 2004, and a Toyota Hilux purchased in 2010.

She also did not declare her 2004 acqusition of a Honda Wave motorcycle in her SALNs for 2004 to 2007, as well as her two pistols in her SALNs for 2012 to 2013.

Sese claimed that she had no personal knowledge of the existence of the properties omitted in her SALNs, that the Toyota Hilux was listed as a liability because it was not yet completely paid for, and that the motorcycle was only held in trust for her brother-in-law.

But, the court found her claims to be implausible, contradictory, and unreliable.

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