Unremitted GSIS premiums: Ex-DepEd exec gets 12 years

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A former official of the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) may spend up to 12 years in prison over unremitted Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions of DepEd employees in the region in 2004 worth P75.3 million.

In a decision promulgated on Sept. 29, the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division said former regional director Leovigilda Cinches was found guilty of four counts of violating Section 52 (g) of Republic Act 8291 or the Government Service Insurance Act.

Cinches was sentenced to up to three years in prison for each count of the offense. She was ordered to pay a fine of P80,000 aside from her perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The court said Cinches failed to remit the GSIS premiums within the prescribed period despite repeated demands.

“The GSIS sent at least four letters... reminding her of the unremitted amount to the GSIS and requesting her to provide an explanation for the failure to remit the same,” the court ruling read.

The court said a supplemental memorandum of agreement (MOA) of the DepEd-ARMM, GSIS and Department of Budget and Management, which states that unremitted premiums from 1997 to 2012 were deemed paid, could not be given weight as it was not offered by Cinches’ camp during the trial.

“Assuming that the amount subject of these cases was deemed paid under said MOA, this will still not result in the exoneration of the accused,” the sixth division said.

The same decision acquitted Cinches of graft, also in connection with the case, saying the prosecution failed to establish that there was bad faith or manifest partiality on her part.

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