Ex-Guv of Tawi-Tawi pay fine over erroneous SALN

THE FORMER governor of Tawi-Tawi has pleaded guilty to the charges filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Former governor Sadikul Sahali pleaded guilty before the Sandiganbayan for six counts of violation of Sec. 8 of RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).

Sahali was re-arraigned with the assistance of his counsel and was told of the consequences of his plea. By his plea, he was believed to have admitted all the material facts alleged in the information filed against him by the Ombudsman.

Sandiganbayan ordered Sahali to pay a fine of P5,000 for each count, with a total of P30,000 and a subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

In December 2015, the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao found probable cause to indict Sahali due to his non-compliance with the rules on the filing of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).

It was discovered that his SALNs from 2007 to 2011 were not subscribed before a notary public, while his 2012 SALN was unsigned.

Moreover, all SALNs were also submitted beyond the April 30 deadline.

Under Sec. 8 of RA 6713, “public officials and employees have an obligation to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of, and the public has the right to know, their assets, liabilities, net worth, financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.”

It also requires every government official and employee to file the SALN within 30 days after assumption of office, or on or before April 30 every year thereafter, and within 30 days after separation from the service.

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