Section 2. Filing of petition

Whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property, said property shall be presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired. The Solicitor General, upon complaint by any taxpayer to the city or provincial fiscal who shall conduct a previous inquiry similar to preliminary investigations in criminal cases and shall certify to the Solicitor General that there is reasonable ground to believe that there has been committed a violation of this Act and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, shall file, in the name and on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, in the Court of First Instance of the city or province where said public officer or employee resides or holds office, a petition for a writ commanding said officer or employee to show cause why the property aforesaid, or any part thereof, should not be declared property of the State: Provided, That no such petition shall be filed within one year before any general election or within three months before any special election.

The resignation, dismissal, or separation of the officer or employee from his office or employment in the Government or in the Government-owned or controlled corporation shall not be a bar to the filing of the petition: Provided, however, that the right to file such petition shall prescribe after four years from the date of the resignation, dismissal or separation or expiration of the term of the officer or employee concerned, except as to those who have ceased to hold office within ten years prior to the approval of this Act, in which case the proceedings shall prescribe after four years from the approval thereof.

Section 5. Hearing

The Court shall set a date for a hearing, which may be open to the public, and during which the respondent shall be given ample opportunity to explain, to the satisfaction of the court, how he has acquired the property in question.

Section 6. Judgment

If the respondent is unable to show to the satisfaction of the court that he has lawfully acquired the property in question, then the court shall declare such property, forfeited in favor of the State, and by virtue of such judgment the property aforesaid shall become property of the State: Provided, that no judgment shall be rendered within six months before any general election or within three months before and special election. The Court may, in addition, refer this case to the corresponding Executive Department for administration or criminal action, or both.

Section 7. Appeal

The parties may appeal from the judgment of the Court of First Instance as provided in the Rules of Court for appeals in civil cases.

Section 8. Protection against self-incrimination

Neither the respondent nor any other person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and other records on the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to prosecution; but no individual shall be prosecuted criminally for or on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and conviction for perjury or false testimony committed in so testifying or from administrative proceedings.

12. Penalties

Any public officer or employee who shall, after the effective date of this Act, transfer or convey any unlawfully acquired property shall be repressed with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding ten thousand pesos, or both such imprisonment and fine. The same repression shall be imposed upon any person who shall knowingly accept such transfer or conveyance.

14. Effective date

This Act shall take effect on its approval, and shall apply not only to property thereafter unlawfully acquired but also to property unlawfully acquired before the effective date of this Act.

Section 8. Prima facie evidence of and dismissal due to unexplained wealth

If in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered [1379], a public official has been found to have acquired during his incumbency, whether in his name or in the name of other persons, an amount of property and/or money manifestly out of proportion to his salary and to his other lawful income, that fact shall be a ground for dismissal or removal. Properties in the name of the spouse and dependents of such public official may be taken into consideration, when their acquisition through legitimate means cannot be satisfactorily shown. Bank deposits in the name of or manifestly excessive expenditures incurred by the public official, his spouse or any of their dependents including but not limited to activities in any club or association or any ostentatious display of wealth including frequent travel abroad of a non-official character by any public official when such activities entail expenses evidently out of proportion to legitimate income, shall likewise be taken into consideration in the enforcement of this section, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. The circumstances hereinabove mentioned shall constitute valid ground for the administrative suspension of the public official concerned for an indefinite period until the investigation wealth is completed. (As amended by BP Blg., 195, March 16, 1982)

Type: Civil Illicit Enrichment Laws

Last update on LEARN: 3 Mar 2022