Engineers group’s ex-finance head face theft charge

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Monday, January 6, 2014


THE Quezon City Prosecutor's Office (QCPO) on Monday recommended the filing of qualified theft through falsification of commercial documents charge against a former finance officer of a group of electrical practitioners at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

Florante Andrada, the former finance head of the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines Inc. (IIEE), allegedly stole P1.5 million from the group's bank account.

Complainant Gregorio Cayetano, IIEE national president, said Andrada took a total of P1,503,300 from the group's bank accounts in several occasions from August to September 2013 using falsified Metrobank and Banco de Oro (BDO) checks.

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In a complaint-affidavit, Cayetano narrated how Andrada was hired as acting Finance Department head on March 19, 2013 and became regular head on September 21, where his responsibilities was to control and oversee the IIEE's finances.

The organization gave Andrada the custody of its Metrobank and BDO checkbooks on April 2013, among other checkbooks and only allowed IIEE's finance assistant, Emee Formoso-Sulit, access to some of the checkbooks, which were currently used by IIEE.

As part of the IIEE's system of internal control, all of IIEE's cash or check disbursement are supported by disbursement voucher duly signed and approved by Sulit, Andrada, IIEE's executive director Ramon Ayaton and any of the two authorized branch signatories of IIEE.

Andrada filed a leave of absence on December 6, 2013, which was also the day when Sulit received bank statements and cancelled checks for September and October 2013, respectively from Metrobank and BDO.

Sulit noticed that there were five checks that were supposedly drawn and signed by Engineer Christina Cabaraban, the IIEE's vice president for external affairs, and Engineer Florigo Varona, the organization's national secretary, with Andrada as payee.

It was later found out that the checks amounting to P244,000 were allegedly falsified by Andrada as Cabaraban and Varona both denied having signed such checks.

Following the discovery of the irregularities, Sulit further checked the IIEE's other accounting files and found out that accused had allegedly falsified more checks and was able to encash all the falsified checks with the total amount of P1,259,200.

An entrapment operation was conducted on December 10, 2013 against Andrada when he tried to encash three more falsified checks at BDO branch in E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City where he was arrested.

After the entrapment operation, Andrada was charged with attempted qualified theft through falsification of commercial documents.

Records further showed that Andrada sent two email messages to IIEE National Treasurer, Angel de Vera admitting and apologizing for stealing the organization's money promising to pay P200,000 this month. (Sunnex)

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