From the Department of Finance, Bureau of Internal Revenue
Carag: RIPS to continue to root out corruption and reform government
The Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) has achieved its highest performance in its 11-year history.
A marked improvement in 2014 with 85 investigations initiated over the eight-month period from January to August represents a 45% increase compared to the previous highest record of 58 attained in 2013.
RIPS’ accomplishment in the Successful Decisions category also increased by 116%, where for the period of January to August 2014 it attained 13 favorable decisions compared to the previous record of 6 successful decisions set during the same period in 2011.
Successful decisions refer to cases resolved in RIPS’ favor, usually resulting to suspensions, dismissals, penalties, and or criminal convictions. Out of the 13 resolutions, 6 of them imposed the penalty of dismissal from the service. This is a marked improvement from the period of 2003-2013, when the average dismissal from the service attained by RIPS was 1 dismissal per year.
Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Carlo A. Carag of the Revenue Operations and Legal Affairs Group said, “This is the best performance RIPS has registered in history. These are encouraging numbers as we continue to investigate and crack down on erring public officials in our campaign to root out corruption and reform the government.”
Ephyro Amatong, Chair of the DOF Regulatory Compliance and Anti-Corruption Cluster, welcomed the news, saying, “The measurable improvements by RIPS to date reflect the Aquino Administration’s continuing resolve to combat corruption. We will carry this fight for good governance to the very last stretches.”
The DOF notes that the total number of cases filed against erring government officials, including Bureau of Customs (BOC) collectors, increased from only five cases in 2010 to 101 by June 2014. During the current Administration, a total of 108 personalities have been charged at the Office of the Ombudsman (76) and at the Civil Service Commission (27), while five personalities were referred to the concerned agency for formal filing of charge.
Notable RIPS cases include Paulino C. Elevado IV, a Porsche-driving BOC messenger found guilty of serious dishonesty, falsification of public documents, and dishonest declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) by the Office of the Ombudsman. Spouses Marlon and Emma Pascual, former revenue officers in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), were dismissed for acquiring assets that are disproportionate to their salaries, while another case involving former customs examiner Ana Marie Maglasang, who was convicted of five counts of perjury, saw RIPS’ first prison penalty in history.
Launched in 2003, RIPS seeks to eliminate corruption in the Department of Finance and its attached agencies by investigating allegations of wrongdoing and filing cases with the appropriate government agencies.