Customs worker faces suspension for wrong SALN

By Izobelle T. Pulgo April 20,2017

A CUSTOMS employee faces a six-month suspension without pay for false information he submitted in his statement of assets and liabilities (SALN) for several years.

The Ombudsman-Visayas found German Antopina, document processor of the Bureau of Customs, guilty of the administrative charge of less serious dishonesty following a complaint filed in November 24, 2015.

The complaint stemmed from an anonymous text message sent to the anti-graft office that accused Antopina of acquiring wealth beyond his means.

It said Antopina underdeclared the acquisition cost of his house in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City, that he acquired in 2007 at P474,065 when the property had an assessed fair market value of P1.05 million.

Antopina also had several other properties listed in his SALN over the same period which cost more than his gross annual income of P112,786.

In his counter-affidavit, Antopina said he acquired his Gun-ob home through his savings, money sent by siblings who worked abroad and a loan he obtained from a cooperative.

Antopina also said he had no intention of underdeclaring his assets since he wasn’t oriented on how to fill up his SALN.

But the Ombudsman-Visayas believed otherwise.
“The properties he acquired were manifestly out of proportion to his salary and allowances received in 2005, 2006 and 2007,” the Ombudsman said.

In the event that the penalty could no longer be imposed due to separation from service, Antopina is ordered to pay a fine equal to six months’ worth of salary.

Antopina was contacted through social media but didn’t reply as of this writing.

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