2 barangay officials face graft charges

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Saturday, June 21, 2014


TWO officials of Barangay Don Salvador Lopez in Mati, Davao Oriental are facing criminal charges after the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao found probable cause to charge them for mishandling the funds of a construction project that was supposedly accomplished in 2006.

Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer (GIPO) 1 Randolph Cadiogan, in his resolution dated May 7, 2014 and penned by Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman, found probable cause to charge Barangay Don Salvador Lopez treasurer Marilou Pilapil and kagawad Aldredo Luchavez for violation of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

This after they were found to have disbursed funds worth P47,750 for the construction of a reservoir at Sitio Cangusan in Barangay Don Salvador yet the project was not immediately implemented.

Cadiogan said they acted on an anonymous letter dated June 3 informing them of the inconsistency of the Cangusan reservoir project. The letter cited that in 2003, the late former village chief Marino Bauyot approved the disbursement of funds.

In the report on the physical count of property, plant and equipment as of December 2006 allegedly prepared by the respondents, it was declared that the Cangusan reservoir was already functional.

But in the audit investigation launched by the Commission on Audit (COA), it was learned that the construction began sometime between 2009 and 2010.

Pilapil reportedly admitted in her affidavit dated March 11, 2011 that the Cangusan Reservoir project was only accomplished on February 2010.

It was also discovered that the respondents were not able to file a Statement of Work Accomplished and Certificate of Completion for the project.

"Thus, there is probable cause to believe that respondents made it appear that the Cangusan Reservoir Project initiated in 2003 was immediately implemented and the Cangusan Reservoir was already serviceable in 2006, when in fact the same was only constructed on February 26, 2010," Cadiogan's resolution read.

The two were charged for violation of Section 3e of the RA 3019, which provides corrupt practices of public officers- Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 22, 2014.

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