Mayor on cash advances: Everything accounted for

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

STO. TOMAS -- Mayor Joselito Naguit said over the weekend that the P9.5 million in cash advances he allegedly made for the months of May to November 2011 were all returned, accounted for to the last centavo and deposited in the municipal fund of Sto. Tomas.

This, Naguit said, is contrary to the accusations of former municipal administrator Rodelio Garcia that the amount was used by the local chief executive for his “personal gains.”

In an exclusive interview with Sun.Star Pampanga at his house Saturday afternoon, Naguit pointed to attachments -- bank statements and journal entry vouchers -- in his counter-affidavit submitted to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon on July 23 this year.


“Contrary to the allegations of the former municipal administrator, each and every cash advance was duly accounted for and returned not even fully used or liquidated but directly deposited in the municipality’s PNB Bank account, within the parameters required by law. There were seven withdrawals corresponding to seven cash advances and there also seven deposits equivalent to the seven withdrawals. There was a total amount of P9.5 million in cash advance for the period of seven months from May to November in 2011 and no less than P9.5 million was likewise deposited for the said cash advances,” he said.

“None of those took more than 30 days from withdrawal to return as predominantly un-used cash advances because their intended contingency or purpose were no longer needed or did not fully materialize,” he said.

He added: “There were actual withdrawals made in support of the cash advances but all were regular, fully documented and were in accordance with accounting principles observed by the local government of Sto. Tomas.”

Naguit vehemently denied the claims of Garcia that the cash advances from the general fund that were allegedly “later on shifted as a misappropriation of the 20 percent development fund” were used for his personal gains like his alleged “jueteng” business in Tarlac and restaurant in San Matias.

“None of those funds is unaccounted for and were taken by myself for the purpose of covering my alleged losses in an alleged jueteng operation or STL business, or for the purpose of building a restaurant. I am not the owner, incorporator or stockholder of that Northrails Resources Inc. Garcia is pointing to as the STL (small town lottery) operator in Moncada, Tarlac. I am not aware of their dealings and of any jueteng operations in that province. In my SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth), the said corporation is nowhere to be found and my name never appeared in their corporate documents. I do not own, operate and am not interested in STL business or jueteng operation especially not in the province of the President,” he said.

“Funnside Ningnangan is not one of my assets as reflected in my SALN but is actually owned by my brother, Architect Josefino F. Naguit Jr., in equal partnership with Librada G. Manlapaz of Apalit. The restaurant is a small partnership in the amount of P1 million and not P4.5 million as Garcia impressed that would need three months of cash advances to be completed. It is a known fact that our family has been in businesses even before I ventured into politics. And Garcia knows that fully well,” he said.

“Simply put, nothing is missing contrary to the allegations of the former municipal administrator whom -- for the record -- I fired because of unprofessional behavior and petty misconducts about money. For a fourth-class municipality like Sto. Tomas, which is IRA (internal revenue allotment) dependent, with just P54 million in total income (which is not readily available at the start of the year but given monthly at around P4 million), the non-return of the alleged malversed P9.5 million would paralyze the municipality. Hence, to take P1.5 million each every month for seven months would be tantamount to not being able to give the salaries of most municipal employees or failure to operate the various offices since the current operating expenses of the municipality for 2011 which includes the salaries of employees is more than 50 percent of the total budget of the municipality. Again, nothing is missing,” he said.

Naguit reiterated that the belated filing of the charges against him is pure harassment and is clearly politically motivated.

In his affidavit, the mayor noted: “If indeed there was misappropriation of the subject amount, how come from May 2011 it is only now after he (Garcia) became closely associated with the incumbent vice mayor that he is complaining. The only reason he did not file any case at the time of the questioned transaction is because the said transactions were done in accordance with the law and there was never any single centavo unaccounted for. On the other hand, the only reason for the belated filing of the case is to harass me as revenge for not agreeing to extend and prolong his appointment as municipal administrator.”

“More importantly, the present complaint is a political tool to discredit my third term re-election bid this coming election. In fact, this is the ultimate goal and the very reason why another person associated with the vice mayor is also… filing two complaints on the same subject matter, one with the Commission on Audit and another with the Office of the Local Government Finance (Department of Finance). To make it simple, the present case is merely a harassment suit for political mileage and for the purpose of discrediting my person for the ultimate purpose of having the possibility of my person being suspended,” the mayor said.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 06, 2012.

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