A LADY employee of the Davao Central Convenience Store, Inc. (DCCSI) is facing multiple estafa charges before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Davao City Branch 15 after she was accused of falsifying and mishandling numerous checks worth over P4.3 million in 2013.

Facing 24 counts of estafa through falsification of commercial documents is Marifiel Soriano, chief of the accounting section of DCCSI.

She was charged based on the complaint filed by Ralph Banaag, a representative of DCCSI, tasked to take legal actions against the respondent and the testimony of the four other co-workers.

Banaag, in his affidavit, said that the respondent admitted to the changing of the name of the payee on the 24 checks amounting to P4,341,023.29, which were supposedly given as payment to the Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. during a company hearing on September 13, 2013.

The complainant, however, sought the testimony of the co-workers to substantiate how she mishandled the checks.

Gregorio Asoy, operations manager of the company, cited in his affidavit that he uncovered Soriano’s offense when he received a complaint from representative of Coca-Cola identified as Rommel Jimenez.

He was told that Coca-Cola will not be delivering any products in the DCCSI outlets as the company has not been receiving any payments.

Soriano insisted that they made payments to the bottling company through a certain Michelle Sy whom she claimed as a representative of the bottling company.

Asoy met with Jimenez and told him that DCCSI paid the bottling company through Sy. Jimenez, however, said they don’t have any employee by that name.

Asoy kept asking Soriano who Michelle Sy is yet she couldn’t give him a conclusive answer. He was then compelled to look into the documents and found out that there were similarities in the handwriting of Soriano and Sy.

It was until he found out that it was Soriano who made a fictitious bank account for Sy as their signatures were closely similar.

Grace Potato, an account payable staff of DCCSI responsible for issuing and processing the checks, stated in her affidavit that she was constantly approached by Soriano to tell her to change the name of the payee to Michelle Sy.

She added that after issuing the checks, she was supposed to forward them to Judecel Palma Gil, an accounting staff of the same company, who was tasked to verify the information in the issued checks and have it signed by the company president.

Palma Gil, in her affidavit, said she was supposed to assess the checks and have them signed yet the respondent told her that she will be taking the checks and the supporting documents to the president instead. She didn’t mind as she was thinking that Soriano was just doing it to expedite the process.

Josiecar Roxas, a treasury staff of DCCSI, in her affidavit said that Soriano was indeed bypassing the procedures in handling the payments for their clients.

Soriano was arrested on September 14, 2013 by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group but she was released after no charges were filed against her back then.

Thus, RTC Branch 15 Ridgway Tanjili ordered the arrest of Soriano. (RSA)