A Bureau of Customs operations officer has been fined a measly P6,000 for false declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) from 2009 to 2014.
Ordered to pay the fine was Francis Voltaire Azaña after he was found guilty of charges of six counts of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).
Based on the information provided by the Office of the Ombudsman, the order was issued by the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court. The court ordered the accused to pay a fine of P1,000 for each count or a total of P6,000.
The Office of the Ombudsman filed the case against the accused after he failed to truthfully declare the acquisition cost of his house and lot in Bataan amounting to P400,000; bank housing loan amounting to P4 million; bank deposits and the acquisition costs of Toyota Corolla Altis amounting to P550,000.
Initially, the accused entered a plea of not guilty on the charges but during his re-arraignment, he changed his plea to guilty and he assured the court that he fully understood the nature and consequences of the change of plea.
Section 8 of RA 6713 mandates public officials and employees to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of their assets, liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests. Failure to make a true and accurate declaration gives rise to criminal penalties as provided under Section 11 of RA 6713.