THE Commission on Audit has ordered Cebu Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino to explain why he and two other officials shouldn’t be charged for using Capitol-owned materials from the former Balili property and donating these for a drainage project in a subdivision where he lives.
Aside from Tolentino, also ordered to explain were Provincial General Services Officer Jone Sigfried Sepe and acting Provincial Accountant Ramon Dumayac.
In her order, COA Audit Team Leader Lolita Mercedes said that Tolentino, Sepe, and Dumayac must present documents to prove that the transaction between the Province and St. Michael’s Village in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City, is legal.
“Further, we would like to seek your comment why this transaction cannot be considered a violation of any prohibited transactions under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” Mercedes added.
Aside from donating 10 culverts, Tolentino allegedly required 10 job-order employees working for the Provincial Government to install the culverts.
Tolentino denied that the donation was illegal, saying it was cleared by the Province. He added that the salaries of the job-order workers who installed the culverts were shouldered by the village.
In a separate interview, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III admitted he was upset when he received word of the transaction after he arrived from South Korea last week. “I was not aware that he had initiated such a transaction,” Davide said. He asked all three to answer COA. (JKV)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2018.
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