Village chief, treasurer suspended

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has suspended for four months without pay two village officials from Daanbantayan, Cebu for releasing about P100,000 in public funds without supporting documents in March last year.

Graft investigator and prosecution officer Mona Chica Gillamac found Malbago Barangay Captain Virgilio Misa and treasurer Jubert Misa liable for simple misconduct for allowing the grant of medical assistance and purchase of goods without the barangay resolution.

“Respondents’ willful commission of an unauthorized act despite their knowledge that they have disregarded legal procedures in making the disbursements clearly evidences that they acted in bad faith,” said Gillamac in her decision.

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The case stemmed from the administrative complaint of grave misconduct thatRosalina Malinao filed against the respondents for allegedly illegally releasing eight checks totaled P100,000.

In her complaint, Malinao said that a Landbank check amounting to P50,000 was used to pay for the hospital bill of Pedro Misa, the village chief’s father.

Malinao also said that another Landbank check amounting to P50,000 was used to buy “assorted goods” and were distributed to the respondents’ constituents.

The complainant said the remaining of the checks with undisclosed amount was used for the payment of materials of “various concreting projects of the barangay.”

Malinao said the village council did not authorize the release of the checks as shown in the summary disbursement vouchers.

The respondents, Malinao alleged, took advantage of their positions to release the two checks without the barangay resolution, which she said prejudiced Barangay Malbago.

In his counter-affidavit, Virgilio denied he issued the check as payment for his father’s hospital bill.

He said the amount was released to Marvin Ostia and Eugenio Dejits Sr., who needed financial assistance for their hospitalization and medicine.

The barangay chief insisted that the P50,000 was used “for its intended purpose” in the purchase of goods given to his constituents.

He also said the release of funds for the repair and concreting of barangay roads was above board and with all the supporting documents.

Jubert, on the other hand, failed to submit his counter-affidavit.

In the decision, graft investigator Gillamac said the release of medical aid and purchase of goods are “highly irregular” for lack of compliance to the government audit law.

The ombudsman found the respondents liable of simple misconduct, and not grave, since it was not established that the respondents granted the medical assistance and purchase of goods for their benefit.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 04, 2014.

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