Maguindanao town exec indicted for false SALNs

THE OFFICE of the Ombudsman indicted the mayor of Talitay town in Maguindanao over alleged misleading information in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) from 2011 to 2015.Mayor Montaser Sabal was charged with five counts each of violation of Sec. 8 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713) and Sec. 7 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).

Based on the complaint sheet, Sabal reportedly failed to disclose his ownership of 13 firearms; four vehicles including a Hummer, Ford Ranger pick-up, Toyota Land Cruiser, and Toyota Hilux; and four business interests located in Datu Odin Sinsuat and Talitay, Maguindanao.

The respondent also did not divulge the purchase price of each real property mentioned in his SALNs.

Sabal, in his defense, claimed that the non-declaration of his firearms was unintentionally omitted by his staff member who filed his SALNs. He added that the businesses are small ventures and that the vehicles were acquired through a chattel mortgage, hence, unnecessary to be included in the SALNs.

However, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, in an approved resolution said that “the law on SALN is clear that all assets of a public officer, including those of his or her spouse, must be declared.”

“There is no mention that where the value of the property was insignificant or the mode of acquisition was by loan, the declarant has the option not to disclose,” Morales stressed.

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