Customs exec in Misamis Oriental sacked over unexplained wealth-A A +A
Friday, March 1, 2013
MANILA -- A Bureau of Customs collector in Misamis Oriental lost his job for alleged unexplained wealth and failure to declare properties in Davao City in his Statement of Assets of Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
In a nine-page order, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera said Customs Collector IV Lowell Medija should not receive any retirement benefits and is disqualified for reemployment in government service.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS) after Medija flunked a lifestyle check and was found to have amassed unexplained wealth and properties despite having an annual gross income of only P511,668.
Medija acquired a house and lot in Talomo Moondland Subdivision in Davao while his son, Brian Dexter, owns a separate lot yet he had no financial means to purchase it.
Investigation showed Medija's wife, Evelyn, owns a residential lot under her name.
He also has piggery, a 5.5-hectare agricultural tract of land with various plantations of pomelos, bananas and mangoes, six poultry buildings, and a residential lot in Toril Eden Mountain Haven Subdivision, also in Davao.
Mosquera said increases in Medija's net worth for the years 2002, 2003, and 2008 (P1,930,000, P500,000 and P554,235.90, respectively) are "manifestly out of proportion to his lawful income."
"From the evidence adduced, there are reasonable grounds to conclude that respondent's wealth have not been legitimately acquired… [and] there appears to be sufficient factual and legal bases for this Office to conduct forfeiture proceedings," the order dated February 12 read.
Medija is assigned at the sprawling Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, a municipality near Cagayan de Oro City. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)