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Former BOC exec gets jail term for falsification

MANILA, Philippines – The former head of the Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) was sentenced by the Sandiganbayan to suffer a minimum of six months and one day up to a maximum of six years and one day of imprisonment for submitting a falsified Personal Data Sheet (PDS) in June 2009.
In a 20-page Decision promulgated on April 20, 2015, the anti-graft court found Filomeno Vicencio, Jr. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Falsification after Ombudsman prosecutors proved that he falsely claimed in his PDS to be a graduate of the University of the East (UE). Ombudsman prosecutors presented witnesses and documents to prove that Vicencio Jr. was never a student nor a graduate of the university.
In resolving the issue, the anti-graft court stated that “the accomplishment and submission of PDS was a duty borne out of every public officer like Vicencio and the disclosure of where and when he obtained his bachelor’s degree is a vital information since this renders him qualified for the position.” The court held that “even if it were [his] son who had written down the untruthful statement, the fact remains that he had assented to it by virtue of his signature on the document, appropriating the falsehood as his own… and [had] he really intended to correct the erroneous entry, he could have retrieved the document itself.”
The anti-graft court also pointed out that Vicencio did not disclose information as to where and when he obtained his bachelor’s degree, lending credence to the conclusion that he intended to falsely state that he is a graduate of UE in order to qualify for the position of Director III.
“His continued silence on the matter is bereft of good faith on his part,” the Decision added.
Vicencio was appointed on May 26, 2009 and assumed the position of BOC Director III on June 10, 2009. On June 16, 2009, he submitted his PDS to the human resource office, indicating therein that he graduated from UE in 1969.
Aside from imprisonment, Vicencio was meted out a fine of P1,000.00.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.