Ombud dismisses from service Philpost worker over check theft-A A +A
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has dismissed from service a Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) employee from San Fernando, Cebu who allegedly stole and encashed a Philhealth check worth P9,628.91 last year.
Jane Aguilar, graft investigation and prosecution officer, found Allan Saavedra guilty of serious dishonesty.
“Saavedra gravely abused his authority in order to commit the dishonest act and employed fraud in encashing the check,” said Aguilar in her decision.
The case stemmed from the misconduct complaint filed by Miguela Davies against Saavedra before the anti-graft office.
Davies said his brother Alfredo Bernabe, a Philhealth member, was hospitalized due to
heart attack on Jan. 1, 2011.
Since Davies provided Bernabe with financial aid, the latter promised to give to her the reimbursement of his medical expenses.
But when she received the reimbursement notice from Philhealth, Davies said the supposed medical claim did not contain the check.
When she inquired from Philhealth about his brother’s medical reimbursement, Davies was told the check amounting to P9,628.91 was delivered to Bernabe’s residence on March 11, 2011.
When she further verified from San Fernando’s post office, Davies learned that Saavedra purportedly delivered the check to Bernabe’s house on April 5, 2011.
The mail was received by Bernabe’s wife, Felisa. But it was later found out that what Bernabe received was the benefit payment notice and not the medical claim check.
Davies said Saavedra allegedly stole the money by forging the signature of Bernabe on the dorsal portion and endorsed it by affixing his own signature.
But Saavedra, in his counter-affidavit, denied he stole the Philhealth check. He said he delivered the mail to Bernabe’s residence and was received by the latter’s wife.
Saavedra said one Joseph Bernabe, of Barangay Sangat, San Fernando, came to their office and asked whether he could encash the Philhealth check of his uncle, apparently referring to Alfredo Bernabe.
Joseph asked Saavedra to help him facilitate the encashment of check, which the latter accepted. Saavedra had the check encashed by endorsing it to his friend.
During the clarificatory hearing at the ombudsman, Joseph denied he signed and endorsed the check for encashment.
When asked by the ombudsman investigator whether Joseph was the same person who came to their office and requested to have the check encashed, Saavedra said no.
In the decision, graft investigator Aguilar said Saavedra failed to present “concrete and convincing proof” that he delivered the check.
Saavedra did not deliver the Philhealth check to the intended recipient. What he delivered to Bernabe’s residence was a benefit payment notice, which was received by his wife, Felisa, the anti-graft body pointed out.
“Saavedra misled her into signing the notebook which she innocently did as she had indeed received a letter delivered by the former,” the ombudsman said.
The anti-graft office said Saavedra lied when he said he did not know that the registered letter from Philhealth contained check for medical expense refund.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2012.