Elevado fined, stripped of retirement benefits
MANILA, Philippines - Remember the Porsche-driving Customs messenger who was involved in a shooting incident along the South Luzon Expressway in 2012?
Bureau of Customs messenger Paulino C. Elevado IV was found guilty by the Office of the Ombudsman of Serious Dishonesty, with the aggravating circumstances of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Since Elevado has already resigned from the Bureau of Customs, the Ombudsman imposed a fine of P20,000 and ordered the forfeiture of all his retirement benefits.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause to indict Elevado for 5 counts of falsification of public documents and 2 counts of violation of Section 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for his false declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
"We consider the Ombudsman’s resolution on Elevado's case and his indictment as a victory for good governance. It sends a signal to customs personnel that the President’s Customs Reform Team is serious in cleansing the Bureau of corrupt officials,” Undersecretary Carlo Carag, head of the Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group, said in a statement.
In February 2012, the Department of Finance's Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) filed a complaint against Elevado. He was accused of failing to declare his other "businesses" in his SALN during his public service from 1992 to 2008.
"It was only in 2008, or sixteen years after assuming office, that respondent acknowledged that he was engaged in 'Buy & Sell of Cars & General Merchandise, Various Small Businesses', without identifying these businesses with sufficient particularity," the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman also found Elevado committed "conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service" during the shooting incident in 2012.
Elevado, who was driving a Porsche, was caught on CCTV firing a gun at another vehicle during a traffic altercation along the SLEX. The CCTV showed him chasing a Toyota Innova driven by a 20-year-old student. Elevado and his companion allegedly beat up the student and his companion when they caught up with them.
"The respondent (Elevado) did not act in a manner that upheld the image and integrity of his office. In no manner could the respondent justify his acts as an act of self defense or in enforcement of his rights," the Ombudsman said.
The DOF again urged the public to help the government's efforts against corruption by reporting through the www.perangbayan.com, BOC and BIR personnel engaged in corrupt practices or ostentatious display of wealth or lifestyle.