Brgy. official faces probe over P4M

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas is investigating Opao, Mandaue City Secretary Jocelyn Rosal for her alleged involvement in the shortage of P4 million in public funds in 2008.

Rheia Tibon, graft investigation and prosecution officer, recommended a fact-finding investigation against Rosal for the “missing” public funds totalling P4,181,543.59 and several accountable forms.

“The evidence on record suggests that Rosal and other persons took hold of barangay funds, performed barangay financial operations and controlled other accountable functions related to audit findings,” said Tibon in the joint resolution.

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Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol approved Tibon’s resolution.

The case stemmed from the administrative complaint for malversation that the Commission on Audit in Central Visayas filed against Ernesto Mendoza, Opao barangay treasurer, last Sept. 24, 2008.

State auditors Avelina Rosales and Evelyn Dagat conducted a cash examination on Mendoza’s financial transactions from Jan. 2 2005 to July 16, 2007.

The auditors discovered that Mendoza stopped reporting to the barangay treasurer’s office for health reasons.

Thus, Rosal handled the receipt of collections and issuance of official receipts, among other financial transactions.

A verification with the bank showed that several checks totalling P4,149,372.48 were issued and encashed without disbursement vouchers. The ombudsman said Rosal had financial accountability totalling to P4,181,543.59.

Replying to the ombudsman’s directive, Mendoza denied misappropriating funds through negligence.

Mendoza said his physical and medical condition began deteriorating in 2004, preventing him from reporting to work.

Mendoza said he stopped taking custody of the barangay funds from Jan. 2, 2005, to July 16, 2007, which was covered by audit examination.

Mendoza said their village chief instructed him to turn over all the unused checks and
accountable forms to Rosal.

Vouchers

Mendoza said he did not sign any check not supported by disbursement vouchers amounting to P4, 149, 372. 48.

In their joint affidavit, the state auditors said Rosal received collections and issued receipts on behalf of Mendoza.

It was also Rosal who turned over the funds and other accountable forms to the state auditors last July 16, 2007.

In the resolution, graft investigator Tibon said Mandoza cannot be held liable for allegedly misappropriating public funds and accountable forms.

“The admitted fact that respondent was sick and was not reporting for duty over a long period already, makes it clear that respondent did not have funds and forms and was not in any way possessing and controlling the same time,” the ombudsman said.

While the ombudsman dismissed the administrative complaint against Mendoza, it launched the fact-finding probe against Rosal for the alleged shortage. GMD 

 A TRAFFIC official advised motorists passing Mandaue City to take advantage of the truck ban hours to avoid heavy traffic.

Edwin Ermac, head of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team), said massive road congestion is expected in the city this week, as repair works start on the Maguikay flyover and four major thoroughfares.

Ermac, in an interview, said roads may be less congested during 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. as heavy trucks are not allowed to pass through Mandaue at these periods.

Ongoing works on the A.S. Fortuna have already taken a toll on the flow of traffic. Ermac said some motorists have complained their 20 to 30-minute travel time has been stretched to an hour.

Contractors hired by the Department of Public Works and Highways 7 Sixth District Engineering Office will start the rehabilitation of Plaridel St., M.L. Quezon, Hernan Cortes and Ouano Ave. anytime this week.

rabilitation

Except for Ouano Ave. the rest of the roads, including A.S. Fortuna, will undergo rehabilitation for up to one year. The drainage along these roads, except Ouano Ave. will also be rehabilitated.

Some P221 million was alloted for the rehabilitation of the five roads, which will be undertaken by different contractors.

Ermac said the City will not enforce rerouting schemes.

“We leave it up to the motorists to decide which route to take to get to their destination,” he said, adding motorists should plan their trips ahead.

But Ermac said it might be wise to take the Tabok Road in going to Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City. From Tabok Road, one may take Rizal St., then left turn to U.N. Ave., then right turn to Plaridel St. going to the Mandaue Reclamation Area.

“We cannot assure smooth traffic on that route, but it might be less heavy,” he said.

He assured more traffic enforcers will be fielded to congested roads. The Team will also enforce no-stopping and no-parking zones along the roads undergoing rehabilitation.

The PLD Construction, the contractor doing the retrofitting of the Maguikay flyover, has started mobilizing its equipment and putting up traffic advisories yesterday.

The DPWH 7 entered into a P17.6-million contract with the PLD Construction for the rehabilitation of the flyover.

The contractor is setting a vertical clearance to disallow some heavy trucks from passing through the road beneath the flyover.

Works meant to strengthen the flyover will focus on the structure’s middle span. Vehicles can still pass through the flyover.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2014.

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