Town mayor files malversation rap against vice mayor

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


DUMANJUG Mayor Nelson Garcia yesterday accused the town vice mayor of misusing public funds and falsifying an official document.

Garcia filed a complaint for malversation of public funds and falsification of official document against Vice Mayor Efren Gica before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

In the complaint, Garcia said Gica allegedly tampered with a receipt from a restaurant in Cebu City to make it appear that the buffet dinner of 39 municipal and barangay officials on April 25, 2014 cost P21,435, instead of only P11,435.

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Gica denied the allegation. He said he submitted the receipt along with other documents for liquidation so he could not have tampered with them.

Gica and Garcia belong to opposing political parties and have been at odds since the vice mayor filed a complaint for abuse of authority against the latter, which led to a 60-day preventive suspension for the mayor starting last April.

Receipt

To support his complaint, Garcia obtained certified true copies of the official receipt and tape receipt from Ding Qua Qua Dimsum showing that the meals of 39 Dumanjug officials cost P11,435, which included a 12-percent expanded value-added tax (EVAT) of P1,225.21.

Garcia said Gica, who was then acting mayor, overlooked the EVAT when he allegedly tampered with the receipt. He said that if the dinner cost P21,453, the EVAT would have been more than P1,225.21.

Garcia alleged that Gica “willfully and criminally misappropriated and pocketed for his own benefit” the difference of P10,000.

The dinner was for town and barangay officials who attended the Albo seminar in Cebu City.

Together with his complaint, Garcia also submitted to the ombudsman copies of the disbursement voucher for the P50,000 cash advance made by Gica, liquidation report for the dinner and purchase order, which showed that 100 persons attended the dinner.

Suspension

He said the purchase order is a “gross and unmitigated fabrication” because Ding Qua Qua denied signing it. He also said the food listed in the purchase order—which included calamares, caldereta kanding and embutido—were not served at Ding Qua Qua, a Chinese restaurant.

Garcia said he will file this week a complaint against Gica before the Provincial Board.

He challenged Gov. Hilario Davide III to also suspend Gica.

Gica said he could not have tampered with the receipt because it was among the liquidation documents he submitted. He added that the documents have gone through processing by different officials at the Municipal Hall.

“Kung dunay tawo nga mo-usab ana, siya (Garcia) ra na (If someone had tampered with it, it could only be Garcia),” Gica told Sun.Star Cebu.

He alleged that Garcia is the one who has a history of coming up with questionable documents, such as the municipality’s 2014 budget, which the mayor forwarded to the PB without Gica’s signature.

“We call that Nelson’s bad habit,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2014.

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