Capitol accountant nabbed-A A +A
Saturday, March 9, 2013
FOR his involvement in a bogus private foundation in 2002, Provincial Accountant Marieto Ypil was arrested March 7 but posted bail.
Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation arrested Ypil at 11 a.m. of Thursday on orders of the Sandiganbayan Third Division as he faces graft charges for releasing P5 million to Perdido Lex Foundation Inc.
Perdido Lex Foundation Inc. was a non-existent entity whose incorporators could not be found except one, the housekeeper of then vice governor John Gregory Osmeña.
Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz Jr. issued the arrest warrant last Feb. 11.
Ypil was arrested in the Capitol building by NBI 7 agent Gregorio Algoso Jr. but immediately posted bail of P30,000.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Silvestre Maamo signed the release order.
Ypil was charged with violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for having caused undue injury to the government by giving a private party unwarranted benefit, advantage and preference.
Charged with Ypil were Osmeña, former Provincial Board (PB) member Victor Maambong, and Willie Mulla, Osmeña's chief of staff.
Perdido Lex incorporators and private citizens Milagros Herrera, Fe Tan, Nancy Sia, Veronica Caceres and Teodora Limcangco were also indicted.
Ypil maintained his innocence, saying there was an existing MOA between then governor Pablo Garcia, who had the authority of the PB, and the president of Perdido Lex.
To prove Osmeña's "direct personal involvement" in Perdido Lex, Garcia had attached to his affidavit the then vice governor's memorandum dated April 4, 2003 to Ypil wherein Osmeña ordered Ypil to dispense with certain requirements and release the financial aid to Perdido.
Osmeña, son of former senator Sonny Osmeña, ran for governor against Pablo Garcia's daughter, Gwendolyn, in the May 2004 elections, and lost.
Ypil said the foundation was asked to submit numerous requirements and it did.
It had a financial statement and an audit report done by a certified public accountant. The foundation also submitted an accomplishment report duly verified and recommended for approval by Provincial Planning and Development Office head Adolfo Quiroga and duly accepted by vice governor Osmeña.
Ypil also denied accusations that the release of fund was rushed and done at one time in 30 days.
He said the release was staggered in five months and only done after the foundation had liquidated the previous fund release.
But when the foundation failed to liquidate an earlier P914,000 disbursement, Ypil stopped the release of the next sum. He was supported by Capitol local finance committee.
He had stated these in his reply to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Capitol allocated P10 million for the foundation but stopped releasing P5 million after Perdido failed to comply with liquidation requirements.
Had he ignored the absence of liquidation papers, he would have released the entire amount, Ypil said.
The case stemmed from newspaper reports in 2004 on the release of P5 million to Perdido Lex by the Provincial Government. The funds were meant to finance a computerization program for youths in Cebu.
Graft investigators later discovered the foundation did not exist and its incorporators were nowhere to be found-except for one who turned out to be the vice governor's housekeeper.
In 2011, the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas suspended Ypil for three months without pay.
Last January, the Sandiganbayan Third Division dismissed the graft case against Osmeña for lack of evidence. The justices saw Osmeña as "victim of a frame up."
"It is worth noting that, as also borne out by the records, the above adverted set of circumstances even mentioned that Osmeña was a victim of a frame up," the resolution read.
Osmeña and his co-accused Ceceres had no participation in the release of P5 million to the Perdido Lex Foundation, the court ruled.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 09, 2013.