Ombudsman indicts Maguindanao mayor over SALN violations
23 February 2018
The Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Mayor Datu Ombra Sinsuat, Sr. of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, for three counts of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) and five counts of Perjury (Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code).
Results of a lifestyle check investigation conducted by the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Unit in Mindanao found that respondent failed to declare his Ford Expedition, Mitsubishi Pajero, Honda Civic, and Ford Ranger vehicles in his 2009, 2013, and 2014 Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs). Respondent also failed to declare his relatives working in the government.
Mayor Sinsuat averred in his Counter-Affidavit that he did not declare the vehicles as they were no longer usable or have already been sold. Respondent also claimed difficulty in identifying relatives in government service as “the Sinsuat family is composed of many members.”
The Ombudsman Resolution set aside the respondent’s self-serving contentions and ruled that the same cannot be given any weight for lack of controverting evidence.
Under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, Perjury is the willful and corrupt assertion of a falsehood under oath or affirmation administered by authority of law on a material matter. Whereas, Section 8, R.A. No. 6713 states that all 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 and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under eighteen years of age living in their households. ###