Saturday, September 12, 2009

Graft raps filed vs Mikey over undeclared US property

A group of militant government workers on Thursday filed a graft complaint against presidential son and Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey" Arroyo for his failure to declare in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) a property he acquired in the United States in 2006.

In a seven-page complaint-affidavit, the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Mikey for allegedly acquiring ill-gotten wealth.

The group said the eldest son of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo violated provisions of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct for Public Officials) and the RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). "Hindi niya (Arroyo) dineklara ‘yung properties niya sa kanyang SALN. Tingin namin, na-violate niya ang RA 6713 for filing an inaccurate SALN (He did not declare his properties in his SALN. As we see it, he violated RA 6713 for filing an inaccurate SALN)," Courage president Ferdinand Gaite told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.

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Gaite also said that Arroyo has yet to give a "satisfactory explanation" on how he acquired all his wealth. "So far, wala pang satisfactory explanation kung paano niya i-nacquire iyan. Kung hindi niya maipapaliwanag, violation iyon ng Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act," he said.

But according to Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, the investigation into Mikey's SALN had started a week ago based on an anonymous complaint filed online on the Ombudsman Web site. Mikey found himself in the center of controversy last week after Vera Files reported that he did not declare in his SALNs a P63.7-million residential house he acquired in San Francisco, California after he became a congressman. Mikey has denied irregularities in his SALN, saying the house was owned by a company called Beach Way LLC, of which he is a shareholder. He said his being a shareholder of the firm was reflected in his SALN. The Pampanga representative also said that a large portion of his wealth came from wedding gifts and campaign donations. But in a separate report, Vera Files bared that Mikey had also failed to declare before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the contributions he received when he ran as Pampanga representative in 2004 and 2007.

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