BAGUIO CITY – The leadership of the Social Security System (SSS) warned erring individuals from filing fraudulent claims with the corporation as they will be dealt with accordingly with the full force of the law.
Luis V. Olias, assistant vice president of SSS Northern Luzon cluster, said the warning came after the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch II in San Fernando City, La Union sentenced an SSS claimant found guilty of falsification of public documents.
Judge Edliberto O. Casiano sentenced certain Noel Laconsay, a purported SSS claimant, to a maximum imprisonment of four years and nine months for making false representations to be the surviving spouse and beneficiary of a deceased SSS member who turned out to be alive.
Laconsay, a native of Gonzales, Tubao, La Union, was found guilty by the court of falsification of public documents for submitting spurious documents to support his SSS funeral and death claim for a certain Maura Apurado, whom he claimed as his deceased wife.
Representing himself as the widower, Laconsay personally filed claims by producing a fake funeral receipt, falsified death certificate and true copies of the marriage certificate and birth certificate of the minor child of Maura.
Furthermore, Laconsay also presented to the SSS fake identification cards to help bolster his claim with the SSS.
However, Laconsay’s unlawful acts were discovered by SSS under its anti-fraud program that resulted to the subsequent filing of the appropriate charges against him before the courts in San Fernando City, La Union.
“The timely discovery of the spurious claim of Laconsay prevented the SSS from subsequently issuing the check but even without financial damage, we pursued the case against him. May his conviction be a stern warning to all fake claimants and that it will send a message that we have already strengthened our anti-fraud programs to make sure that there will be no longer fake claimants,” Olais stressed.
Aside from imprisonment, the La Union court also ordered Laconsay to pay a fine of P5,000 plus the cost of the suit for violation of the Social Security Act and Articles and the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.
According to him, the innovations introduced by the SSS to its current system and the availment of information and communication technology had greatly contributed in reducing the fraudulent claims of unscrupulous individuals wanting to take advantage of the innocence of others to mulct money from them.
The SSS official encouraged all members to frequently update their records to make sure that their proper beneficiaries will be declared to avoid being the subject of fraudulent claims that could render their retirement useless and could be taken away by other individuals who are wise enough to make false representations of their desired members.
In the Cordillera, Olais noted there has been no problem on fraudulent claims of beneficiaries of members and that the same only happened in Abra and some parts of the Ilocos region over the past several years but the same had already been effectively and efficiently addressed by the concerned offices of SSS.
By Dexter A. See