GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 April) — South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy clarified Wednesday that he filed his 2010 Sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN “properly and on time.”
The governor said the local government has records that it had transmitted his 2010 SALN to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman-Mindanao.
“I properly filed it before the (April 30, 2011) deadline so I don’t understand why they (Ombudsman-Mindanao) declared that they have no record of my SALN,” the governor said in a radio interview.
The Ombudsman’s office, however, has no record of Pingoy’s 2010 SALN and those of eight other governors.
Records from the provincial government’s Human Resource Development Office showed that the governor filed his SALN along with other employees of the Office of the Governor before the April 30, 2011 deadline, a report from the South Cotabato Provincial Information Office (SCPIO) said.
It said that based on his 2010 SALN, Pingoy has a total net worth of P10.7 million, which makes him the 14th richest governor in Mindanao.
MindaNews earlier reported that Pingoy was among the nine Mindanao governors who had no SALN records at the Ombudsman-Mindanao.
The other governors that had no record of 2010 SALNs were Agusan del Sur’s Adolph Edward Plaza, Basilan’s Jum Akbar, Lanao del Norte’s Mamintal Adiong Jr., North Cotabato’s Emmylou Talino-Mendoza, Sulu’s Abdsuakur Tan, Tawi-tawi’s Sadikul Sahali, Zamboanga del Sur’s Antonio Cerilles, and former acting Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Ansaruddin Alonto Adiong.
Pingoy’s submitted SALN indicated that he owns three residential lots and acquired personal and other properties comprising private insurances, furniture and antiques, jewelries as well as other office equipment.
He listed a liability worth P298,051 from his mortgaged Honda Civic car.
The governor’s “business interests and other financial connections” included his being a member of the board of directors of the family-owned Doctor’s Clinic and Hospital Inc. in Koronadal City.
His wife, Annabelle, was listed as proprietor of El-Gawel Piggery, which is located in Barangay Saravia in Koronadal City. Pingoy also listed his relatives in government service, among them a cousin holding an elective post and an aunt who is employed as an auditor of a national government agency.
Pingoy said his office is presently coordinating with the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman-Mindanao in Davao City to clarify his supposed failure to file his 2010 SALN as required by the law.
“It is the responsibility of any government institution to submit the SALN of its officials and employees and we (provincial government) complied with this requirement,” Pingoy said in the SCPIO report.
The governor earlier presented before the media the thick documents containing the submitted 2010 SALNs of provincial government employees and officials, which included his own records.
“I think this is just an oversight by the Office of the Ombudsman,” Pingoy added.
The Ombudsman’s Office in Mindanao, from where MindaNews obtained copies of the 2010 SALNs of governors and city mayors, issued a certification along with the SALN copies, of the governors and city mayor who filed their 2010 SALNs. Pingoy’s name was not listed there.
John Philip Jay Garte, Administrative Officer V and Teofilo Macatiog, Adminsitrative Officer V signed the certification.
MindaNews checked with the Ombudsman’s office on Pingoy’s claim there may have been an oversight but Garte told MindaNews they checked on their 2010 SALN files and found no copy of Pingoy’s.
Garte said they are in charge or receiving and encoding SALNs filed with their office, and also of releasing copies to those who request for copies. He said every SALN filed is stamped received by their office.
Under Republic Act (RA) 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), the SALN must be filed on or before April 30 of every year thereafter.
The Ombudsman’s Memorandum-Circular 95-73 issued on June 15, 1995, requires the administrative/personnel division of a government agency to consolidate all the SALNs of the officials and employees in a summary report and together with the SALNs, shall be “submitted/mailed on or before 31 May of every year” to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao in the case of Mindanao’s elective officials.
Under Section 11 of RA 6713, failure to submit the SALN and disclosure of business interests and financial connections, including their spouses and unmarried children under 18 living in their households, “shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding P5,000, or both, and, in the discretion of the court of competent jurisdiction, disqualification to hold public office.”(Allen V. Estabillo with a report from Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)