Maguindanao town mayor dismissed for serious dishonesty

MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed from the service Talitay, Maguindanao Mayor Montasir Sabal for serious dishonesty.

Sabal was also meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

The mayor is facing charges before the Sandiganbayan for three counts each of perjury, violations of Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, and Section 8 of RA No. 6713, or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”.

The respondent’s case stemmed from untruthful statements contained in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) for 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Records showed that Sabal misrepresented the contents of his SALNs as he failed to disclose his ownership of five real estate properties located in Doña Luisa and Buhangin in Davao City; and in Cotabato City.

The Ombudsman said that “the non-disclosure in respondent’s SALNs of the aforementioned real properties constitutes Serious Dishonesty as the acts were done fraudulently and were committed several times.”

“The respondent also violated Section 7 of R.A. No. 3019 and Section 8 of R.A. No. 6713 for failing to make a complete disclosure including the residential lots owned by his wife and son as the law also requires him to acknowledge such property,” it added.

Section 7 of RA No. 3019 and Section 8 of RA No. 6713 require the filing of a true and detailed SALN by every public official declaring their assets, liabilities and net worth, financial and business interests during each year of their incumbency.

Failure to make a true and accurate declaration gives rise to criminal penalties as provided under Section 11 of RA No. 6713.

On the other hand, perjury is committed when a person deliberately makes an untruthful statement upon any material matter in a document required by law to be sworn before any public officer.