ex-DepEd execs charged with ill-gotten wealth

MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has ordered the filing of a petition to initiate forfeiture proceedings for ill-gotten wealth against former Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Director Jesus Nieves, in conspiracy with his wife and daughter, respondents Segundina Nieves and Gwendolyn Sola.

Segundina was a former Education Supervisor II while Gwendolyn used to occupy the position of Data Controller III, assigned at DepEd Region VI, Western Visayas in Iloilo City.

Records of the Ombudsman showed that based on their Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), the combined declared income of the three respondents for the years 2005 to 2007 is only PHP1,953,597.50.

The Ombudsman found that the income was not proportionate to the wealth they accumulated from 2005 to 2007 totaling PHP10,601,402.50 with the following undeclared properties:

— a commercial lot in Kamuning, Quezon City registered in the name of Segundina in 2006 valued at PHP7.6 million;

— a residential lot in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, registered in the name of Gwendolyn, also in 2006 valued at PHP3.5 million; and

— a Toyota Fortuner registered in the name of Gwendolyn worth PHP1.5 million.

Probers also found that the PHP1.5-million Toyota Fortuner was paid in cash by Gwendolyn.

In its joint resolution, the Ombudsman said that “clearly these properties are prima facie presumed to have been unlawfully acquired as the amounts thereof are manifestly out of proportion to respondents’ salaries as such public officers. Note that respondent Nieves has no registered business interests or other declared legitimate sources of income. As such, there is reasonable ground to believe that respondent Nieves committed a violation of Republic Act No. 1379, in conspiracy with his wife and stepdaughter.”

Aside from forfeiture proceedings, the Ombudsman also found probable cause against Jesus Nieves for perjury for deliberately failing to declare and include the Kamuning property in his 2007 SALN.

Likewise, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of charges against Gwendolyn for 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”, for failing to file her 2007 to 2009 SALN. PTR/PNA-northboundasia.com