Ombud asks COA for compliance-A A +A
Monday, July 23, 2012
THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has asked state auditors if they complied with the notices to suspend the monthly stipend allotted by the cities of Mandaue and Talisay to seven government prosecutors.
Lawyer Carla Juris Narvios-Tanco, acting director of the ombudsman’s Public Assistant and Corruption Prevention Office (Pacpo), wrote Delfin Aguilar, Commission on Audit (COA) 7 Director, if he has complied with the notice of suspension for the prosecutors’ monthly stipend.
COA earlier issued notices of suspension against the monthly stipend that the Mandaue City Government allotted to six prosecutors assigned to the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor.
The auditors withheld in February the release of P1.14 million as monthly allowances of prosecutors for lack of documentary proof that they have served the Mandaue City Government.
COA directed the claimants to comply with the requirements to prove that the transaction is legitimate.
COA 7 also issued a notice of suspension to Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez on the allowances received by Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane and five of his assistants.
The auditors said the P125,500 was suspended because the payments were not supported with an assignment order or any document to prove that claimants are assigned in Talisay City.
State auditors said the notice “operates as a temporary disallowance.”
If the claimants fail to comply with the requirements within 90 days, the suspension automatically slips into a disallowance in which the auditor has to issue a notice of disallowance.
When state auditors issue a disallowance notice, the recipients will be ordered to return the amount to the government agency concerned.
In his reply to the notice, Prosecutor Gubalane said the granting of allowances by the Mandaue City Government was made “voluntarily and legally through valid appropriations and ordinances.”
The prosecutors received their monthly stipend “in good faith,” he said.
The state auditors, in their comment, said the prosecutor’s justification was “not tenable.”
They said they needed to verify if the monthly stipend did not exceed limits set under Republic Act 10071, a law that strengthens and rationalizes the National Prosecution Service.
Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Grame June Elmido had also filed a petition seeking clarification from the court on the withholding of their allowance from Mandaue City.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2012.