Ombudsman indicts ex-Lanao Sur mayor for SALN violations

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 June) – The Office of the Ombudsman has indicted former Marantao, Lanao del Sur mayor Mohammadali Abboh Abinal for failure to declare five firearms and a vehicle in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) from 2007 to 2012.

Six counts each of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) have been slapped against the former mayor.

The Ombudsman stated in a resolution that Abinal made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood when he failed to fully declare all his assets and liabilities, including those of his wife and children below 18 years of age, despite certifying as true the contents of his SALNs.

The Ombudsman added that the claims of Abinal that his firearms were either confiscated or lost and that his truck was scrapped are “matters of defense involving factual issues, hence, should be fully explained and threshed out not in a preliminary investigation but during trial.”

Article 183 of the RPC states that “perjury is committed by any person, who knowingly makes untruthful statements upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath.”

Section 8 of RA 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 18 years of age living in their households.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)