Ex-Samar town mayor, wife rapped on SALN discrepancies

MANILA-- The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to indict former Balangiga, Samar Mayor Viscuso De Lira and his wife, Administrative Assistant Emelita de Lira, for misdeclaring their joint Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

In a resolution approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Viscuso and Emelita De Lira were charged with three counts of perjury and three counts of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Graft investigators said the couple undervalued the cost of their Nissan Patrol Super Safari in their 2013 SALN by declaring it as only PHP1.8 million instead of its actual value of PHP3,048,480.

Likewise, the Ombudsman said the former mayor failed to declare ownership over several high-powered firearms in his SALNs.

Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) defines the crime of perjury as making untruthful statements in a narration of facts. The penalty of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed PHP5,000 shall be imposed upon any public officer or employee taking advantage of his official position.

On the other hand, under Section 8 of RA No. 6713, 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 18 years of age living in their households.

Source: Philippine News Agency