‘Probe Tudela mayor on advances’

THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas was asked to investigate Mayor Erwin Yu of Tudela town in Camotes Islands, Cebu over his alleged unliquidated cash advances of P369,136.49 in 2013.

The complainant, Petronilo Talimpuros, asked Deputy Ombudsman Paul Elmer Clemente to investigate Yu for alleged malversation of public funds and for violation of Presidential Decree 1445 (Government Auditing Code of the Philippines).

“...The unliquidated cash advances of the municipal mayor and municipal accountant was very alarming and disturbing not only for me but for the people of Tudela, Cebu as well,” said Talimpuros in his complaint.

Sought for his reaction, Yu, who is seeking reelection, said he will answer the charges once he receives a copy of the complaint. He believes the complaint is politically-motivated initiated by his rivals.

Check

In its audit report, the Commission on Audit said Yu was issued a check worth P500,000 for an “executive and legislative agenda activity” last Sept. 30, 2013.

But Yu was only able to liquidate P390,555.50, leaving a balance of P109,444.50, as of Dec. 31, 2014.

Government auditors noted that Yu was also granted P264,691.99 under “various cash advances.”

However, the mayor only settled P5,000, leaving him with an unliquidated balance of P259,691.

The state auditors reminded Yu to settle his cash advances, pursuant to Sect. 5.8 of COA Circular 97-002.

But the mayor failed to comply with the COA directive, thus violating the COA Circular and an indication of the “management’s failure to strictly monitor and enforce liquidation” of public funds.

Liability

Despite his partial liquidation, Talimpuros said Yu could be held liable for malversation of public funds and of violation of Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

“If there was something being partially extinguished, it was only the civil liability and not the criminal liability,” said Talimpuros.

He said Yu did not even bother to settle his cash advances despite the lapse of about 15 months from the date the auditors required him to liquidate the public funds.

Despite his unliquidated cash advances, the complainant said Yu continued to incur cash advances, which he said was a “blatant and clear” violation of Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

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