FORMER Mandaue City Administrator Serafin Blanco will face trial over his alleged failure to liquidate his cash advances amounting to P189,600 in 2001.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales affirmed the filing of criminal cases against Blanco for malversation of public funds and violation of Republic Act 3019, or theAnti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In a four-page order, Morales denied Blanco’s motion that sought to reconsider his indictment for failing to fully settle his cash advances incurred during the city’s Christmas party in 2001.
Blanco allegedly failed to fully settle his cash advances despite demands from the Commission on Audit, Mandaue City Accounting Office and the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas.
From 2007 to 2012, Blanco attempted to settle his cash advances after the complaint was filed against him before the anti-graft office. But up to now, he has unsettled cash advances of P189,600, the ombudsman said.
In affirming the finding of probable cause against Blanco, Ombudsman Morales stated that “it will not be amiss to conclude that this office’s resolution to indict was justified and that no grave errors of facts or laws or serious irregularities were committed prejudicial to the interest of Blanco.”
In its 2006 annual audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said that Blanco then had about P685,320 in unsettled cash advances.
In the same audit report, state auditors also reported that former city information officer Nerito “Rey” Martinez had unsettled cash advances of P132,226 while former executive secretary and then Sports Commission Chairperson Cheryl Ouano had P4.5 million in unsettled cash advances.
Interviewed separately in 2007, Blanco and Ouano said they already liquidated their cash advances.
Blanco had explained that he incurred cash advances because he is one of the “bonded” personnel authorized to make cash advances. Ouano, for her part, said she wouldn’t be able to make cash advances had she not liquidated the previous ones.