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CCMC credit officer summoned for preliminary investigation

CEBU, Philippines – The committee investigating the lost of 28 Philhealth checks issued to the Cebu City Medical Center has summoned credit officer Lourdes Archua to a preliminary conference on Wednesday.

The committee headed by City Legal Officer Joseph Bernaldez called for preliminary conference to define, simplify and clarify the issues surrounding the case before a formal hearing will be conducted.

It is also intended to formulate stipulations of facts, consolidate evidence and discuss other matters which may be helpful to the committee in the prompt disposition of the case.

City Administrator Jose Mari Poblete said a notice was already sent to Archua, who is the only person formally facing investigation so far with regards to the missing checks amounting to P240,000.

Archua was charged for gross neglect of duty and was preventively suspended for 30 days starting July 22 upon the recommendation of the city attorney's office.

In a resolution, Atty. Marie Velle Abella, legal officer III, initially found Archua liable for neglect of duty as she failed to perform the act inherent to her appointed position.

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"The manner in getting the checks was palpably irregular and dubious but she gave the check without any precautionary measures taken. Respondent knows for a fact that only the chief of Hospital can release the checks through formal endorsement to the City Treasurer's Office," Abella said.

Archua, through her lawyer Gloria Lastimosa-Dalawampu, however pass on the blame to Mary Grace Lopez, a City Treasurer's Office employee detailed at the CCMC.

Archua claimed it was Lopez who actually released the 28 checks to a certain Concha Ruth Adlawan who disguised herself as a Philhealth trainee.

The National Bureau of Investigation has also summoned Archua today to give her statement. Aside from Archua, Lopez and Ben Colong, the city hall employee who rediscounted nine of the missing checks are also expected to appear before the NBI today. (THE FREEMAN)

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