Friday, December 02, 2011

Hon. Waldo Q. Flores, et al. vs. Atty. Antonio F. Montemayor. G.R. No. 170146, August 25, 2010.

Public officers; statement of assets and liabilities. Even an asset that was acquired through chattel mortgage must be declared and included in the Sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SSAL). The law requires that the SSAL be accomplished truthfully and in detail without distinction as to how the property was acquired. Respondent, therefore, cannot escape liability by arguing that the ownership of the vehicle has not yet passed to him on the basis that it was acquired only on installment basis. The requirement to file the SSAL not later than the first 15 days of April at the close of every calendar year must not be treated as a simple and trivial routine, but as an obligation that is part and parcel of every civil servant’s duty to the people. It serves as the basis of the government and the people in monitoring the income and lifestyle of officials and employees in the government in compliance with the Constitutional policy to eradicate corruption, promote transparency in government, and ensure that all government employees and officials lead just and modest lives. It is for this reason that the SSAL must be sworn to and is made accessible to the public, subject to reasonable administrative regulations. . 


Presidential Anti-Graft Commission; powers. The Court rejected respondent’s contention that he was deprived of his right to due process when the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) proceeded to investigate him on the basis of an anonymous complaint in the absence of any documents supporting the complainant’s assertions. Section 4(c) of Executive Order No. 12 states that the PAGC has the power to give due course to anonymous complaints against presidential appointees if there appears on the face of the complaint or based on the supporting documents attached to the anonymous complaint a probable cause to engender a belief that the allegations may be true. The use of the conjunctive word “or” in the said provision is determinative since it empowers the PAGC to exercise discretion in giving due course to anonymous complaints. Because of the said provision, an anonymous complaint may be given due course even if the same is without supporting documents, so long as it appears from the face of the complaint that there is probable cause. Hon. Waldo Q. Flores, et al. vs. Atty. Antonio F. Montemayor. G.R. No. 170146, August 25, 2010.

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