Sep 23, 2020 @ 14:22

Guevarra agrees with Ombudsman that lifestyle check not conclusive

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday agreed with the decision of Ombudsman Samuel Martires stopping the conduct of lifestyle check on government official for being “illogical and inconclusive.”

” I fully understand where the honorable Ombudsman is coming from. Indeed a lifestyle check as a stand-alone measure will not conclusively indicate whether a person is engaged in some wrongdoing to enrich himself.”

” A lifestyle check has to be intertwined with a much deeper process of investigating specific acts of corruption or other crimes. It is meant to strengthen a finding of wrongdoing, as manifested in the lifestyle of the person concerned,” Guevarra said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Martires said he has stopped the conduct of lifestyle checks on public officials, saying the process was inconclusive.

Martires also said the law that covers lifestyle check on public officials should be amended for being “illogical.”

“Nung umupo ako, pinatigil ko muna ang lifestyle check kasi matagal na ako may duda sa probisyon ng batas tungkol sa lifestyle check. Gusto ko i-propose sa Congress ng amendments sa Republic Act 6713 kasi yung provisions there, malabo, walang hulog sa logic,” he said.

RA 6713 is the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials.

“Bakit ko pinatigil? What is living beyond your means? Iyong kumikita ng P50,000 a month, lives in a small house, nakaipon, bumili ng BMW na promo, zero interest, kayang-kaya niya hulugan, is he living beyond his means? I don’t think so. What he has are distorted values and distorted priorities,” Martires continued.

“Anong pakialam natin? Bakit natin siya huhusgahan na bumili ng BMW kahit ang bahay niya walang paradahan? Anong pakialam natin sa buhay ng may buhay kung hindi naman siya nagnanakaw?”

“We have to redefine what is living beyond your means. What is simple living to me may not be simple living to you or anyone,” he said.

The former Supreme Court magistrate made the statement weeks after he restricted public access to the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of public officials filed before the Ombudsman.

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