Bry. captain to face criminal case

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A VILLAGE chief from Tabogon town, Cebu will face criminal cases in court for allegedly falsifying public papers and pocketing about P45,000 in public funds in 2010.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas found evidence to hold Jesus Perez, Jr., barangay captain of Ilihan, Tabogon, on trial for one count of malversation of public funds and two counts of falsification of public documents.

Maria Corazon Naraja, graft investigation and prosecution officer, said in her resolution that Perez admitted he withdrew P45,000, supposedly for the village’s waste disposal.

“However, he (Perez) failed to produce any single piece of evidence to show that such funds were indeed utilized for public purposes,” the ombudsman’s resolution read.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Marichu Bonghanoy, former treasurer of Barangay Ilihan, before the Ombudsman Visayas.

Passbook

Bonghanoy, who was appointed by Perez himself in December 2010, said the village chief instructed her to turn over to him the Development Bank of the Philippines passbook containing P50,061.86, which was allocated for the purchase of recyclable materials under the Capitol-funded Disposal of Garbage Waste Enforcement for Nature project.

Bonghanoy said Perez also instructed her to sign a blank withdrawal slip.

Bonghanoy said she heeded Perez’s request because that time, she did not know yet the processes in the proper disbursement of public funds.

She only learned about it when she attended the Department of Interior and Local Government’s seminar on the proper accounting and disbursing of public funds.

After the seminar, Bonghanoy said she realized that signing a blank withdrawal slip was wrong.

She said she asked Perez if he withdrew the money because she needed to properly account for the money.

Perez assured Bonghanoy he would just take care of the accounting of the funds.

In June 2011, the Ilihan Barangay Council members also asked Bonghanoy about the money, and she told the councilors about Perez’s assurance that he would take care of the accounting of the funds.

During one of their sessions, Perez reportedly told the council that they have no right to ask for an accounting from him because the money was “really intended for him” and that the amount “may be used for whatever purpose he desires.”

In another instance, Perez also instructed Bonghanoy to disburse P5,000 from the village coffers for “social, cultural and sports activities.”

‘Resolutions’

Perez presented two supposed resolutions issued by their village council for the disbursement of the amount.

But after verification, the village council denied passing and approving the resolutions. Barangay Secretary Celestino Guliman also denied affixing his signatures above his printed name appearing on the two resolutions.

Bonghanoy said she did not release the money, which angered Perez. Bonghanoy later quit her job.

When she inquired with the bank, Bonghanoy discovered that Perez withdrew P45,000 on Dec. 23, 2010 and that the money was not used for its intended purpose.

Perez, in his counter-affidavit, admitted he withdrew P45,000. But he turned the tables on Bonghanoy, saying it was she who processed all the documents and even secured the signature of the village secretary.

Perez said he had no participation in the preparation of documents and that his duty was limited to signing the papers presented to him by the treasurer.

Perez said he appointed Bonghanoy as barangay treasurer but he later terminated her services due to her alleged anomalous acts.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 16, 2012.

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